The Lost Warrior
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- After engaging a group of Cylon Raiders, Apollo crash-lands on a planet where a law-deriding thug controls a seemingly indestructible henchman.
- Apollo, piloting Recon Viper 3 away from a pursuing hoard of Cylon Raiders, desperately pleads for help from Galactica's Blue Squadron. Boomer and Starbuck (members of Blue Squadron) want to scramble their vipers to rescue Apollo, but Adama refuses, disclosing that Apollo expects no help because he is bluffing, purposefully leading the Cylons away from the Fleet.
- Apollo evades the Cylons but runs out of fuel for his turbo engines, crash-landing in the Hatari Sector on the planet Equellus, a low-tech planet similar in motif to the American West circa 1800s.
- Apollo is found by Equellus residents Vella and her son, Puppis, after hearing his Viper flyby and crash. Vella tells Apollo to leave immediately, but since his Viper is out of fuel, Vella's second option is to hide the Viper and Apollo.
- With no one having the heart to tell Boxey that his father is missing, Starbuck and Boomer keep him occupied in the Officers Quarters with the pilots, playing pyramid and drinking fruit juice.
Vella and Puppis in "The Lost Warrior"
- Apollo learns that the town bully, Lacerta, has been taking "tribute" for nearly 10 yahrens, leaving only enough ovines (cattle) for a family to live on; no one has stopped him because of his laser-toting henchman, "Red-Eye". Vella reveals her hatred for guns because her husband was killed by a gun. Apollo sympathizes with her, stating that he lost his wife to gun violence as well.
- Red-Eye - a Cylon Centurion - arrives on horseback and questions Vella and Puppis about the noise (from Apollo's Viper), but they feign ignorance and claim to have heard only a howling lupus (a wolf-like creature) in the woods. Puppis kicks Red-Eye in the shin, voicing his disdain for the mechanized thug.
- Vella's brother, Bootes, arrives to check on his sister and inadvertently contradicts Puppis' story by saying that he heard a loud noise too. However, Red-Eye learns nothing more about the noise and departs. Bootes meets Apollo and immediately recognizes him as a Colonial Warrior Captain with a laser pistol.
- Apollo learns that Vella's husband, Martin, was also a Colonial Warrior who had crashed on Equellus over 10 yahren prior. Nursed back to health by Vella, they fell in love and were married, producing Puppis. Martin, though, was killed a yahren later by Red-Eye.
- Bootes encourages Apollo to kill Red-Eye. Apollo declines, not wanting to reveal himself, as he believes there may be additional Cylons present. Bootes quickly grows angry at Apollo's inaction.
- Aboard the Galactica, Boxey is winning at pyramid, much to Starbuck's chagrin. Boxey is pulled away from the game by Cassiopeia, though, who chastises the pilots for teaching Boxey how to drink, gamble and smoke. After they leave, Boomer and Starbuck hatch up a plan to find Apollo, with or without the Commander's blessing.
Puppis takes aim at the Lupus.
- Wearing native clothing to blend in with the locals, Apollo enters a saloon in town and strikes up a conversation with Red-Eye, who challenges him to a dual. Lacerta interrupts his card game (which he was winning) to intervene, saving Apollo's life from Red-Eye's wrath. Apollo, pretending to be seeking employment, is told to return the following day.
- Having learning little more about either Red-Eye or Lacerta, Apollo returns to Vella's ranch to discover that Puppis has sneaked out a window to pursue a lupus which had attacked their herd. Apollo finds Puppis' horse, Strider, and is about to defend the boy from the lupus only to have Puppis kill the lupus with his numo rifle. After this, Apollo gives Puppis a pep-talk. They return to the house, much to Vella's relief.
- Adama initially refuses to mount a rescue operation to avoid the perception that he is endangering the fleet in favor of his son. However, Tigh convinces him otherwise, and when Adama acquiesces, Tigh orders the immediate launch of a patrol (Boomer and Starbuck), whose Vipers "just happened" to be ready and waiting in the launch tubes.
- Apollo reveals to Vella that Puppis reminds him very much of Boxey. He realizes that he is running out of time (until the fleet is too far out of range) and is eager to discover Lacerta's connection to the Cylon Empire. He also believes that there may be a Cylon base from where he can steal fuel, before the Fleet goes out of range.
- Jason arrives at Vella's, telling her that Red-Eye took half of Bootes herd as tribute; enraged, Bootes began drinking heavily and was last seen riding into town. Apollo agrees to try to resolve the situation, but refuses to take his laser pistol with him.
- Drunk and defiant, Bootes angrily confronts Lacerta, refusing to pay any more tribute. Bootes engages in a gunfight with Red-Eye; he loses. When Jason and Puppis attempt to shoot Red-Eye, Apollo disarms them to save their lives. Puppis screams that he "hates" Apollo and storms out. Jason expresses his disgust for Apollo; Vella, however, understands and tells him that she is certain he did the right thing.
- Pushing their Vipers to the limit, Boomer and Starbuck decide to chop the power to their engines, so as to drift another 40 or 50 centons in the hopes of finding their lost comrade.
- Macy, a waitress in the saloon who knows that Apollo is "different", informs Apollo that Marco (another of Lacerta's henchmen) wants to kill him, in order to regain the favor of Lacerta. He also learns that Red-Eye was discovered in the wreckage of a crashed ship, a Cylon Raider, along with two other destroyed Cylons. When Red-Eye "awoke", he saw Lacerta and said "By your command." Ever since, Red-Eye has obeyed Lacerta.
- Realizing now that Red-Eye is an "independent" and no longer connected with the Cylon Empire, Apollo straps on his laser pistol. Marco challenges Apollo to a duel, but backs down when he sees Apollo's laser. In fear, Lacerta calls for Red-Eye.
- Red-Eye confronts Apollo in a duel. Red-Eye draws first, but is beaten to the trigger by Apollo, who blasts Red-Eye through the swinging doors of the saloon. Red-Eye explodes, his metronomic red eye extinguished forever.
- Back at the ranch, Puppis excitedly recreates the laser duel, much to the dismay of both his mother and Apollo. As Apollo grabs the young boy, telling him to settle down, he accidentally calls him Boxey. When Puppis states a desire to grow up to be a "hero" like Apollo, Apollo tells him that there was nothing heroic about his actions. Red-Eye's destruction was something he had to do, and that he was indeed scared.
- Vella volunteers the information on the location of Martin's crash site, which might have the fuel needed by Apollo's stranded Viper. If it weren't for Boxey, Apollo might have chosen to stay on Equellus forever.
- After almost abandoning all hope, Boomer and Starbuck receive Apollo's faint transmissions. They guide the Viper home to Galactica, while on Equellus, Vella and Puppis gaze up into the stars, awaiting Apollo's return....
- This is the first episode to make use of a promotional teaser, prior to the show's opening.
- This is an "Apollo episode".
- The episode is based off the western novel Shane. According to Anne Lockhart, Bellisario wrote a similar show to this one for the television series Tales of the Gold Monkey, except the antagonist is Japanese and the events are set in 1936.
- Equellus was apparently a fringe colony, descended from the Colonies (given their common language and customs), but had lost contact with the Colonies long before their destruction in the Cylon attack.
- Wolves are called "lupus"; "lupi" is apparently the plural form of the word.
- In a deleted scene, Apollo rushes out with his laser pistol poised to kill a lupus, only for the lupus to be shot by Puppis.
- In another deleted scene, Bootes escorts Apollo to the edge of town. Bootes refuses to enter for fear that his anger be his undoing. In that same scene, it is told that Lacerta owns most of the town and that he could be found if one followed the sound of the music.
- The Colonials have detailed maps of the Hatari sector (which Adama looks over). As they had knowledge of the system, why did they not have any knowledge of the inhabitants?
- The Colonials are still in their known space.
- Starbuck and Boomer are loyal to Apollo, clearly willing to risk their careers to go after him.
- The characters Equellus, Lupus, Lacerta, Bootes, Puppis and Vella are named after star constellations visible from Earth. Jason in mythology commanded the ship Argo Navis, an ancient constellation. While some constellations have mythical origins Lacerta is only 400 years old. Puppis and Vella were created out of the ancient Argo constellation 300 years ago. They are considered Argo's stern and sails.
- Some have suggested that this episode is based on the classic western Shane.
- The issue with this episode is not that this is a character piece; it is a short character piece that goes on too long. In essence, it is a Western episode set in the backdrop of the Galactica universe with a plot that could be easily solved in two acts, if not less. For example:
- Apollo crash lands on planet.
- Apollo discovers the people being terrorized by a lone Cylon.
- Apollo shoots Cylon; threat eliminated.
- Obviously, the episode wouldn't work like that, as there would be other acts to fill.
- Despite the performances of all the actors involved, the episode falls flat because of a lack of genuine tension. All the roadblocks set in place by the writer, Don Bellisario, are logical but superficial. For example, Apollo's fear of additional Cylons is unbelievable–and easily dismissed by Bootes.
- Bellisario is essentially filling up space between Apollo's landing on Equellus to the final showdown with Red-Eye:
- When he first sees Red-Eye, Apollo is hiding safely in a room with a clear shot at the Cylon. Puppis claims that Apollo doesn't shoot for fear of hurting himself or his mother.
- Bootes confronts Apollo regarding his inaction. Apollo claims that he doesn't know how many more Cylons are around and he doesn't want to reveal his presence on Equellus, for he feared that the Cylons would sweep in and kill every human.
- Bootes counters this by saying that Martin also has a laser pistol, which Red-Eye took, and that no other Cylons have come. Also, the Cylon clearly follows a human commander, who appears to be more worthless a person than even Baltar.
- Apollo wants to learn about Lacerta's connection to the Cylon Empire.
- The Cylons, being logical creatures, would not use Lacerta as their mouthpiece; they would have at least found someone else.
- There are a few memorable moments though, which include: Boxey's playing pyramid with other pilots, Cassiopeia's (uncharacteristic) demonstration of motherlike behavior, Starbuck's pledge to not have Boxey lose two parents, and Adama and Tigh's argument about finding Apollo, and Adama's hesitation because of Apollo being the "Commander's son".
- There is no true conflict to test Apollo's morality against Bootes' pro-violence view. The episode is, act by act, a means of filling an episode via posturing and throwaway dialogue. Episodes such as "The Hand of God" and "War of the Gods" do more to develop characters and have believable conflict.
- Regarding, Boomer's and Starbuck's willingness to disobey orders to rescue Apollo: Unauthorized missions are a misuse of military property and are court martial offenses, particularly in wartime or a state of emergency. But since the Colonial military no longer exists in its previous form, the Fleet wouldn't be able to afford throwing Boomer and Starbuck in the brig, as they have proven their worth to the Fleet. The Fleet is in no position to replace experienced Viper pilots (they had enough trouble with this due to a virus Boomer contracted in "Lost Planet of the Gods"). So how to punish a Viper pilot that disobeys orders or steals military property, especially if the offenses are repeated?
- If the Cylons have encountered Colonial resistance in the Hatari sector before, why have they not swept through the area?
- Why don't the Colonials search for Martin?
- How do the Colonials have detailed maps of the region, yet not have knowledge of settlements or inhabitants?
- How does Red-Eye kill Martin and take his laser pistol? Is it with a numo?
- Where exactly do the Cylon Raiders originate from? Is there a basestar or a base nearby?
- How long ago was Equellus settled?
- What exactly does Martin tell Bootes regarding Colonial Warriors?
- How does Bootes recognize Apollo as a captain (considering the lack of visible rank insignia)?
- If Vella really wants Apollo to leave when she first encounters him, why doesn't she simply point Apollo to Martin's crash site (with the Viper fuel) immediately?
- Why doesn't Apollo take Vella and Puppis with him in his Viper when he finally did leave the planet?
- How does Apollo transfer the fuel so quickly from Martin's crashed Viper to his own?
- Does Apollo really promise that he would return to Equellus someday? He must know that he would be traversing the galaxy indefinitely, fleeing the Cylon tyranny in search of Earth.
- On hearing Apollo's frantic transmissions:
- Adama: Those transmissions are for Cylon ears.
- Red-Eye makes an intellectual observation:
- Red-Eye: Humans deceive, not sound waves.
- Red-Eye's last words, uttered when he saw a laser pistol, instead of a numo, strapped to Apollo's leg:
- Red-Eye: Uh-oh.
- Apollo remarks in surprise at Boomer's and Starbuck's arrival:
- Apollo: What are you guys doing way out here?
- Boomer: Oh, we thought we'd just take a little ride; the stars are kinda nice in this galaxy.
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