From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
- The stranded Colonials struggle to survive under the brutal Cylon rule of New Caprica, but when Galactica returns to save humanity, the fledgling Fleet resumes its search for Earth. The Cylons, after losing control on New Caprica, depart on their own mysterious quest for Earth.
Four months have passed since the events of "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II". On New Caprica a Cylon occupation, akin to Vichy France, is in full swing. The head of the colonial government, Gaius Baltar, reduced to the role of a puppet leader, colludes (albeit, unwillingly) with the Cylons.
The oppression rouses a resistance, led by Colonel Tigh, who task themselves with the objective of disrupting the Cylon occupation force. Laura Roslin, though supportive of the resistance, focuses on concealing Hera from the Cylons.
During this time, Kara Thrace has been held in captivity by Leoben Conoy, who subjects her to psychological and manipulative torture. He presents to her a child, claiming it to be her own; the result of the removal of one of her ovaries inseminated with his sperm (or his Cylon analogy of sperm). Kara eventually etablishes a motherly connection with the girl, and apparently accepts the child, Kacey, as her daughter.
Meanwhile, Galactica and Pegasus, at a safe distance from New Caprica, are preparing to enact plans to rescue the colonists. Admiral Adama, frustrated with the situation, attempts to spur himself and his crew to action. He orders his son, Lee Adama, commander of Pegasus, to stay behind with the rest of the civilian fleet; now a mere 2000 people. Galactica will attempt the rescue and in case of failure, Pegasus will continue the search for Earth with the remnants of the Fleet.
On New Caprica, the humans continue to be subjected to horrific conditions and many must endure torture, notably Colonel Tigh. A police force is created by the Cylons to tackle the resistance, composed of colonists opposed to it. The fact that humans are collaborating with the Cylons disgusts members of the resistance and they plan revenge. They recruit Duck, a former Viper pilot and hopeless widower, as a suicide bomber and enlist him in the New Caprica Police. Upon his graduation he detonates an explosive vest killing some collaborators and destroying some Cylon bodies in the process.
In response to the suicide bombing, the Cylons try to impose order and force President Baltar to sign a mass execution order. Amongst those rounded up for execution are Laura Roslin and Cally Tyrol. However, the resistance is able to rescue the prisoners before they are killed due to a source in Baltar's administration providing details of the event ("Occupation" through "Exodus, Part I").
Galactica successfully contacts the resistance and coordinates an escape plan. The resistance shepherds the colonists to the grounded civilian ships, while simultaneously setting off wide-spread explosions all over the city to distract the Cylons. With the ground battle engulfing the whole city, Galactica jumps into the atmosphere below Cylon DRADIS range and while falling "like a rock", launches Vipers to protect the evacuating colonists before jumping back into orbit. Laura Roslin retakes Colonial One, and the evacuee ships jump to safety. But Galactica, outnumbered four to one, is near destruction. Fortunately Pegasus joins the battle against orders and attacks the Cylon fleet, allowing Galactica to escape. In the process, Lee Adama sacrifices Pegasus, destroying two more basestars in a deliberate collision after he and the crew escape in Raptors.
On New Caprica, Baltar, Caprica-Six and Number Three, find baby Hera crying in the arms of her dead mother. Taking the baby and Baltar with them, the Cylon fleet leaves New Caprica.
The reunification of the Fleet is a bittersweet one; many colonists have had their lives left in tatters. For instance, Colonel Tigh, forced to kill his wife, is in the deepest of inner turmoil, and Starbuck is forced to come to terms with the tragic realization that Kacey Brynn is not her daughter after all, after her real mother is revealed following the escape (Exodus, Part II).
Trials and Tribulations
The aftermath of the Exodus is marred by the sufferings and betrayals that occured on New Caprica. Tom Zarek, who legitamately succeeds Gaius Baltar as President, commissions the Circle, a secret tribunal of ex-resistance members, to try and convict collaborators. Amongst the members of this group are Saul Tigh, Galen Tyrol and later Kara Thrace. Over a dozen death penalties, carried out via venting through the launch tubes into space, lead Laura Roslin to notice the steady flow of disappearences, which include Jammer. Tom Zarek explains the situation to her, and she is less than impressed. They make a succession deal which leads to her resumption of the presidency, and as a thank you to Zarek she recruits him as Vice President. Upon her inaurguration as President she controversially declares that all collaborators are pardoned and dissolves the Circle, signalling a new start for the Fleet and its citizens (Collaborators).
The search for Earth in jeopardy
The Fleet gleans a new direction to Earth from Baltar's scientific notes, but the Cylons gain this information directly from Baltar himself. The Cylons find themselves victim to a plague, and the Colonials attempt and fail to capitalize on weaponizing the disease. After a harrowing passage to find foodstuffs, the Fleet and the Cylons meet, by a strange coincidence, over a planet once used as a waystation for the Thirteenth Tribe. There, a mysterious temple attracted both Cylon and Colonial alike, albeit for differing reasons by a Number Three and Gaius Baltar. Before the Temple is destroyed as its home star begins to nova, Baltar is recaptured by the Colonials, Hera Agathon is rescued, and the humans appear to have the upper hand in the path to Earth. A strange revelation finds Kara Thrace questioning the words of a Leoben Cylon about her "special destiny."
On the way to the next expected waypoint, the Ionian nebula, the Fleet manages a fuel crisis and takes time out to refuel. An unknown compulsion results in the death of Kara Thrace during a patrol, leaving many of her friends grief-stricken for weeks.
Gaius Baltar is tortured and later put to trial, but is acquitted when Lee Adama provides a stern testimony to the faults of many other leaders of the Fleet and how they were never brought to trial. During testimony, Laura Roslin admits to returning to chamalla treatments as part of a renewed battle against her cancer.
As the Fleet approaches the nebula, four Colonials, Samuel Anders, Tory Foster, Galen Tyrol, and Saul Tigh experience hallucinations of music. As the Fleet arrived at the Ionian nebula, the music drew the four together to meet, where they are shocked to realize that they are Cylons themselves. Despite the shock, the four return to their duties.
The Fleet loses all electrical power briefly on arrival, and President Roslin nearly faints. Moments later, a Cylon fleet enters the system and Galactica manages to scramble alert fighters. Apollo detects a target and pursues it, and reunites, in amazement, with the believed-dead Kara Thrace, who tells him that she can lead the Fleet to Earth.
- The relationship between Helo and Sharon continues. Helo is Galactica's XO at the beginning of Season 3 ("Occupation", "Precipice").
- Dualla is indeed married to Lee Adama after the "one year later" leap forward in time (Occupation).
- The humans on New Caprica are freed from the Cylons, but the price is high. Pegasus is destroyed, Saul Tigh loses an eye and forced to kill his wife, Hera falls into the hand of the Cylons. Baltar joins the Cylons. Roughly 2000 people die ("Occupation" trough "Exodus, Part II").
- The presidential succession:
- Zarek was indeed Baltar's Vice-President, but the relationship soured rather quickly with Zarek refusing to cooperate completely after the occupation (Exodus, Part I).
- He initially becomes President, but realizes he would not be allowed, due to his past, to remain in office. He creates a secret tribunal, albeit legal according to military law, to try and sentence collaborators, in order to rid the Fleet of the worst of the collaborators, while still keeping President Roslin's term free of any scandal.
- Roslin returns to the presidency, but makes Zarek her Vice President (Collaborators).
- There is a large storyline told exclusively from the Cylons' (and Baltar's) point of view ("Collaborators" through "Rapture").
- Not all of the Cylons may believe that Baltar is the Hand of God, "Guardian of the New Order", etc., and he himself begins to question whether he is a Cylon ("Torn", "The Passage").
- A two-part story has Galactica discover a dying Cylon baseship, and deals with a plague that has befallen the Cylons. The Colonials contemplate using the plague to exterminate the Cylons. ("Torn" and "A Measure of Salvation").
- "Unfinished Business" reveals some of the events that transpired during the year-long time gap in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II". One of the flashbacks shows what happened between Apollo and Starbuck that caused a rift between them, and involves a boxing match between them.
- The Fleet comes close to starvation and Louanne Katraine dies when leading a civilian ship to a food source (The Passage).
- The mid-season cliffhanger story, spanning episodes , centers on "discovering the next big clue on the road to Earth ("The Eye of Jupiter" and "Rapture").
- Number Three is permanently resigned by the Cylons themselves. Her entire line is boxed. Even the thought of execution is so repulsive to the Cylons that reaching this point is an extraordinary event for them.
- Hera is retrieved by Sharon Agathon. Caprica-Six is captured by the humans.
- Kara Thrace apparently dies in "Maelstrom".
- Baltar is captured by the Colonials (The Eye of Jupiter), tortured for information about the Cylons (Taking a Break From All Your Worries) and put on trial for his actions on New Caprica (Crossroads, Part I). Lee Adama's testimony in defense of Baltar turns the trial in favor of Baltar who is found not guilty.
- President Roslin's cancer returns.
- Samuel Anders, Tory Foster, Saul Tigh, and Galen Tyrol discover that they are Cylons, though are unaware as to why (or even that they are members of the Final Five).
- Kara Thrace returns under very mysterious circumstances.
Directors & Writing Staff
- To view the list of all the directors and staff, go to the Battlestar Galactica Crew Guide page.
- To view the list of episodes, go to the Battlestar Galactica Episode Guide page.
- The opening episodes to this season are as much a story rooted in political tales like the Vichy France or Vietnam. There are a lot of different sort of reference points for us that aren't necessarily current that inform our culture in profound ways. Battles from the second world war have been used for several of our more actiony episodes. I've always said from the beginning, it's a war show - that was always our initial touchstone. We watched the movie Black Hawk Down as a reference more than any science fiction film. Though I have to say between Black Hawk Down, Alien and Blade Runner, we should probably be cutting Ridley Scott a cheque after every episode.
- Right. You see the schism starting to happen. Basically, its individuation, where as before there was all a collective thought and consensus about everything they were doing. Its like the humans are the serpent in the garden and the mere contact with them has splintered the Cylon collective psyche and everyone is individual again, even within each model. They do not know how to handle individuality; it’s a great threat to their way of life and their programming.
- I am [glad that Lee's skinny again]. Having said that, I really enjoyed it. The first few times I did it, it was so exciting to put on that different look and to change the character and go there with it. It got a little stale the 12th time. I spent a lot of my life in that makeup trailer. But I'm glad we did it, and I enjoyed the challenge. There are only so many facial gestures you can get away with when your face is half gelatin. I think it was a bold move on the part of the producers and I think it is why our show works, because we do stuff like that.
- Bamber discusses being a lawyer prosecuting Baltar:
- Amazing stuff! Talk about getting out of the uniform. I get to wear a civilian suit towards the end. I do a bit of playing the lawyer. He has a real sort of [moment] at the end where he gets prodded and pursued by so many different people that he finally comes out and says exactly what is on his mind in a very high-profile situation. I think it is quite dramatic. He's got a new relationship with a new character that is coming in, a male character who is very different from any character we've seen before. He becomes an alternate mentor to Apollo. There's a lot going on.
- Michael Rymer responds to the change in the tone for the later half of season three:
- I tracked that response and I found it very educational. We had always talked about ways to do more "bottle shows" - stories that were self-contained, that resolved themselves with a beginning, middle and an end. What I didn't understand until I heard the feedback was that our show doesn't work like that. Its a piece of epic poetry that meanders along like "The Illiad" or perhaps more relevant, "The Odyssey". It can have "cycles" of story that build and resolve themselves, but the "bottle show" is not organic to what we do well. I think "Collaborators" is about as self-contained as we can go. I like that show a lot. I'm very happy with "Hero" and "The Woman King", but I can see why a fan of the big story would be frustrated and pissed off.
- Yeah, I thought [that criticism regarding the quality issues with season three's standalone episodes] was a valid criticism, and I think ultimately that provides the answer for the show about how much serialized [episodes we do] versus non-serialized. I don't know that it was a direct result of there being 20 episodes instead of 13, but certainly having a longer order, we said, okay, maybe there's a few here that are more stand-alone and are more accessible to people who aren't following the story as [closely]. There were a couple of good ones in those stand-alones, but by and large I'd say our serialized storytelling is more successful.
- Regarding William Adama and the reduction of the Colonial military:
- "What happened to Adama in the season finale to change him so much? Why would a man who spent decades of his adult life standing watch for the Cylon return suddenly give in and allow the military to stand down? How could he convince himself that the Cylons weren't coming back after 1 year when the last time they waited 40 years? He knew settlement was wrong so why didn't he offer any resistance? "
- I think people have a remarkable ability to convince themselves of just about anything. Adama, like everyone else in the fleet, had been constantly on the run, constantly under stress, and constantly in danger of losing his life for months on end, with virtually no break from the metal walls surrounding him day in and day out. When, finally, the people decided to end the long sojourn and settle on New Caprica, he had little choice but to comply with the results of a democratic election which hinged on that very question. And as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months, people began to relax, to believe that maybe they had really turned a corner, had really found a place to lay down their burdens and start a new life. Adama was just as vulnerable to that attractive idea as anyone else, and as the men and women under him began to clamor for a new life, as the political leadership of New Caprica began to demand more and more military resources to support the civilian population, there came the point where Adama began to believe in the mirage too. He's not perfect. He never was. He couldn't bring himself to leave his ship, but as age and fatigue began to set in, he started to let down his guard just a little -- not all at once and never completely, but just enough.
- There were also practical considerations. He was entirely alone out here. No Admiralty to call for reinforcements or intelligence, no Justice Ministry to prosecute soldiers who simply never came back from the surface of New Caprica, and no friendly ear in the office of the president to get needed resources for the military ships maintaining their lonely vigil up in orbit. He was alone and he was tired. It's almost as simple as that.
- I remember one of my most vivid memories from the immediate post 9/11 period was opening up the newspaper and reading about a physical confrontation in the streets between members of the New York police department and the New York fire department. It was heartbreaking, it was infuriating and it was illuminating. People are people. Enormous events happen, history pivots around us and we tell ourselves that everything has changed, that we're irrevocably different from this day forward -- until the next time everything changes. Adama made a mistake. They all did. And as he is wont to say, they will all have to live with it.