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- For information on the star cluster itself, see: Passage (star cluster).
- Starvation threatens the population after the food-processing systems become contaminated, but the Fleet is cut off from a food source by the intense radiation emanating from a massive star cluster. Galactica's pilots must guide the civilian vessels on a dangerous journey directly through the radiation.
- Athena flies a Raptor through a blinding, immensely bright gas cloud. The Raptor's outer skin is charring from the intense heat. Athena is managing to fight off the intense radiation buildup surrounding her, thanks to her Cylon physiology, but a radiation monitor badge she wears is changing color from white, spotting to an ominous black.
- Elsewhere in the Fleet, President Laura Roslin summarizes the contamination of the basic foodstuff material storage used to feed everyone, from soldier to civilian. The situation is dire; 7 to 10 days of rations remain. The Fleet is starving.
- A group of pilots, including Lee Adama, Kara Thrace, Hot Dog and Louanne Katraine, are combining what little food they have and sharing it, down to the last crumb.
- Admiral William Adama and his command staff await Athena's return from her reconnaissance mission to what they believe is a planet with algae. The algae, according to Dr. Cottle, isn't extremely palatable but is protein-rich and will allow them to restock their food stores and survive. Athena is three hours late from return.
- Athena does make it back to Galactica. While her radiation badge is black, her Cylon physiology protects her (although she is obviously uncomfortable). She reports success; the planet is teeming with algae.
- But the travel through the star cluster is extremely dangerous. Two jumps are required to reach the planet on the other side of the cluster, which cannot be circumnavigated. The navigation computers of any civilian ships inside the cluster would be inoperative due to insufficient shielding and the intense radiation leaves a ship only minutes to gather their bearings for the second jump out before they absorb a fatal dose of radiation. Any ship would also have to endure the intense heat as well.
- Galactica alone cannot be used to ferry the people, and the civilian ships alone would not make the trip as they would get lost within the cluster cloud. There is too much algae for Galactica to bring the food to the people in time.
- The Adamas consider the use of the Raptors, whose navigation systems are radiation-hardened to protect against nuclear strikes, as pilot ships that will guide a group of civilian ships at a time by visual reckoning, relaying the proper jump coordinates once visual sighting is made to get the ships to the other side. Five jumps are needed, and skeleton crews are used on each civilian ship to limit the Fleet's possible losses, with the civilians temporarily transferred to Galactica, which will survive the radiation effects thanks to the battlestar's dense hull plating (Miniseries).
- A group of civilians are bunked on Galactica from the civilian ships. One of them recognizes Kat, but calls out for her by another name: "Sasha." Kat reacts angrily to the man, Enzo, and barely acknowledges his call before warning him to back off.
- The pilots are briefed on the plan, and each given radiation badges. When Major Adama encourages the use of stims, Kat objects, warning that stims work by boosting the body's metabolism. In their starvation state, the stims would make them ill. Adama leaves the use of the drug to the pilot's discretion.
- Colonel Saul Tigh returns to the CIC and is greeted by a round of applause from the crew. He promptly reminds them that they have "jobs to do," resuming his post as XO of Galactica. Admiral Adama keeps a quiet smile to himself as he notices Tigh's return, knowing his friend would not care to be particularly noticed.
- The first outbound flight into the cluster begins. The Adriatic is lost when its Raptor guide, flown by Hot Dog, cannot locate her.
- Successive trips continue, but another ship, the Carina, guided by Kat, is lost as well, which greatly angers and saddens her. She stays in the cloud a few minutes too long during her extended search, and her radiation badge becomes dark.
- In the hangar deck, Thrace notices Enzo interacting with Kat and gets suspicious. She later questions Enzo and later, Kat.
- Kat begs Thrace not to tell Admiral Adama about her past life as a drug runner and the fact that she acquired her name, "Louanne Katraine," from a child that died two days before the Cylon attack, using it to clear Galactica's pilot screening when she was a nugget. Thrace accepts her offer, warning her to embrace who she really is.
- Feeling backed into a corner, Kat is physically stressed. Her hair is falling out, a sign of radiation poisoning. Fearful of what will happen to her if Admiral Adama finds out about her past, she chooses to continue her Raptor flights, swapping her radiation badge with Helo's. She allows herself a sexual romp with Enzo before preparing for the last outbound flight.
- The last outbound trip is more destructive. Even Galactica cannot withstand the heat and begins to suffer heat-related decompression failures throughout its hull. Adama orders his son to wrap out visual sighting and perform the escape jump.
- Kat cannot find her last ship. Realizing she had already absorbed too much radiation, she elects to remain in the cloud to continue searching for her lost ship.
- Galactica waits for several frightening minutes until both Kat's Raptor and the last civilian ship, the Faru Sadin, rejoin them.
- Kat is greeted by the command staff and many crewmembers to celebrate her accomplishment. The young pilot pumps her arms in the air and tries to remove her helmet before she collapses from radiation poisoning.
- In sickbay, Kara Thrace talks to Kat, whose exposure to the cloud's radiation was too extreme. Thrace recants a part of her conversation with Kat and her origins, and tries unsuccessfully to leave Kat's bedside with a smile before leaving the dying pilot with a bottle of sleeping pills as a means of suicide. Kat thanks her.
- Admiral Adama stands by Kat's bedside immediately after Thrace's departure. Kat attempts to confess her past, but Adama tells her that her past will not change the heroic thing she did for the Fleet. He gives her the status of CAG once more, a position she held from colonization of New Caprica to Major Adama's return to Galactica, despite the fact that Kat will not survive to fly again.
- Adama stays at Kat's bedside, talking with her and how he would have loved to have had a third child, commenting that he, like his ex-wife, Carolanne, would have liked a daughter.
- Some time later, the pilots assemble in their ready room as Admiral Adama changes the pilot organization chart, placing Kat as the CAG.
- Kara Thrace enters Galactica's memorial hallway and tacks a photo of Kat on the board. She cries quietly as Lee Adama looks on from a distance.
- Number Three wakes up in bed with Baltar and Caprica-Six. She gets up and excuses herself, saying that she has things to do. When Baltar wonders what she is doing alone, Six tells him that the other Cylons are also concerned about Three's activities.
- Later, Baltar confronts Three about her unexplained absences and surmises that she has been dying and resurrecting over and over again.
- Baltar and Three discuss the final five Cylons, who are apparently the figures Three has been seeing between life and death. Baltar wonders aloud if he could be one of them, making him a hero to the Cylons instead of a traitor to the Colonials. Three tries to hold onto the memory of what they look like, but it always fades. Her drawings of them aren't very distinct.
- The two visit the Hybrid's chamber. Against Three's advice, Baltar reaches out to touch the Hybrid and she grabs his hand. More coherent than usual, the Hybrid says a number of cryptic clues and returns to her usual behavior.
- Baltar deduces from the clues that the Hybrid is referring to a planet where the Eye of Jupiter can be found, as well as something related to the final five. Baltar states that he is convinced that everything the Hybrid says has meaning.
- This is one of the few times an Air Group organization chart is visible. Kat, as the honorary CAG, is in the top slot, while directly below her are the squadron leaders, which are Apollo, Starbuck, Two Times, and a fourth whose name is never visible to the camera. Other names visible on the chart include Narcho, Chopper (also on the locker door left to Helo's), Raygun, Helo, Fuzzy, Athena, Racetrack, and Sever (See also List of pilots). Pilots and ECOs may be listed below their squadron leaders in descending order of seniority, as both Helo and Hot Dog, for example, are listed directly beneath Starbuck, and the two of them are among Galactica's senior flight officers.
- A perilous journey by the "rag-tag" Fleet in the Original Series, where pilots are also critical to the Fleet's safety, appears in its series premiere, "Saga of a Star World" .
- "The Passage" was written by Galactica newcomer Jane Espenson. The episode arose when the show brought in Dr. Kevin Grazier, a scientist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who talked about how one would navigate through space; how one would figure out how to get from one point in the to universe to, for example, Earth. Grazier's talk prompted the story at the heart of Espenson's episode.
- This episode marks the destruction of two civilian ships, the Adriatic and Carina. This results in more crowded conditions on the other ships in the Fleet, including Galactica, as evidenced in "The Woman King".
- This is the second episode in which dialog has been censored in the Sci Fi Channel broadcast. Starbuck sarcastically proclaims she gave Dr. Cottle "head" in response to Kat saying she gave him her protein bar. The last word is simply muted, but Starbuck clearly opens her mouth. The line was not edited on its first showing on Sky One.
- Though the actual dialog between Baltar and Three employs the name "Jupiter", the closed-captioning subtitles uses "Zeus" instead. This discrepancy and the question as to why the Roman name Jupiter would be used instead of its Greek counterpart may indicate that the original script employed the name Zeus before. However, there is a precedent for using gods from the Roman pantheon; namely Mars and Mercury.
- Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza is now the only survivor of the three nuggets originally introduced in "Act of Contrition".
- Louis Hoshi appears in the CIC, assuming Dualla's former duties. Other Pegasus crew members to have made the transfer to Galactica include Marcia "Showboat" Case, seen on the flight roster at the end of the episode, and Noel "Narcho" Allison seen in "Torn".
- On the memorial wall Kat's picture is placed below the one of Reilly's girlfriend she herself put there in "Scar".
- A note just above it reads "God rest your souls" - not "Gods rest your souls". A rare departure from the established Colonial polytheism.
- Scenes cut either during the the writing process or after being shot include Helo fearing radiation poisoning, anti-radiation medication being reserved for Adama and Roslin, a scene in which Helo and Sharon discuss the loss of Hera, and a scene where Apollo and Starbuck seemingly chew bubble gum only for it to be revealed as paper. An additional scene where Admiral Adama shows his trust of Kat was shot for "Exodus", but cut (Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three).
- A B-plot had Roslin experiencing shared visions with Sharon Agathon. This was reworked into "Crossroads, Part I" (Season 3 Companion).
- The scene in which Tigh and Adama begin laughing hysterically after Tigh's paper shortage joke may not have been completely acting, as evidenced by an outtake from the scene included in the Season 3 gag reel in which Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan go into hysterics over a minor bodily function mishap on Olmos' behalf.
- Adama may have already abandoned his declaration from "Unfinished Business", as his treatment of Kat during her final hours suggests.
- It could also be that because she was dying he decided to comfort her in her final hours.
- The ranking shuffle resumes in this episode: Tigh returns to the CIC as XO, sending Helo back to the flight lines as a senior flight officer (retaining his rank of captain). At the end of the episode, Kat is posthumously given honorary CAG status, although Apollo is still de facto CAG.
- Baltar calls the Number Three "D'Anna", to which she responds. This may indicate acceptance of Baltar's custom of referring to and addressing some models by their "human" names—in this same scene, Baltar refers to "the relevant Simon" and in prior episodes refers to "one of the Dorals"' views on toilet paper. This custom is shared with the other humans, such as Ellen Tigh who mentions "one of the Brother Cavils," and Adama, who refers to both the Ragnar Anchorage copy and the stowaway copy in "Flesh and Bone" as "Leoben Conoy".
- Since this model has memories of viewing the footage acquired by the Galactica copy of D'Anna Biers on Caprica (seen in flashback in "Hero"), the possibility that both are the same individual can be ruled out.
- This is likely the copy that wanted to box Boomer and Caprica-Six in "Downloaded", since the one that has the visions on New Caprica talks about her death at the hands of the two.
- Gaeta is one of the few in CIC not to applaud Tigh's return to duty. This may be due to lingering feelings of resentment over his treatment by Tigh and the Circle.
- Number Three does not know what the final five humanoid Cylon models look like, at least not consciously.
- No anti-radiation injections are seen to be used by the pilots. Unless they are administered off screen this could either mean that the Fleet's supplies are used up, or that even the medication doesn't help against such intense levels of stellar radiation. Oddly, the pilots are not issued with anti-radiation suits (worn by the deck crew) or put on a rotation to limit their individual exposure, although there are more pilots than ships now according to "Torn".
- Lee Adama comments that the pilots shepherded eight ships through, but lost one during outbound trip four. At this rate, multiplied by 5, this suggests there are only 45 ships left from the roughly 75 that existed before the colonization of New Caprica. The first outbound trip only seems to involve five civilian ships being escorted, further reducing the number. This loss rate of around 30 ships seems unfeasible given the likely overcrowding that would result and given that only roughly 2,000 people died or were left behind on New Caprica. Larger groups of ships guided through off screen during outbound trips two and three could account for some of that. It is also possible that Galactica herself carried smaller ships (such as Colonial One) in her flight pods.
- The fact that outbound trips two and three are not shown could also explain why it seems that the same group of pilots is carrying out the ferrying operation with seemingly no shifts, despite a surplus of pilots.
- From a certain perspective it actually makes sense to re-use the same pilots on most of the flights–up to a point, as this would prevent the risk of widespread radiation induced ill-effects putting most of Galactica's pilot complement out of action.
- Baltar's grooming has declined steadily since his election to the presidency. While no longer a messy drunk as he was on New Caprica, he has grown a scraggly and untrimmed beard.
- One of Three's sketches in particular appears to depict the profile of a mustached and bearded male with long hair—a possible reference to Baltar; later in the episode after Baltar communes with the Hybrid, Three says "Could there be a connection between their gods and ours?" where "their" refers to the polytheistic human pantheon and "ours", the Cylon single god, a possible slip on her part indicating that she believes Baltar to be a Cylon, or that she believes Baltar has accepted the Cylon religion, and so no longer counts him as following human beliefs. However, she may be using "ours" to refer to all Cylons, not just herself and Baltar.
- "Find the hand that lies in the shadow of the light, in the eye of the husband of the eye of the cow", is what the Hybrid tells Baltar. Baltar analyzes "the eye of the cow" to be Hera (since she was referred to as "cow-eyed Hera"). The husband of Hera is Jupiter, which yields: "Find the hand that lies in the shadow of the light, in the Eye of Jupiter." The Eye of Jupiter is also written about in the ancient texts, which prompts Three to believe there may be a connection to the Colonial and Cylon gods. According to Baltar, the Eye of Jupiter is most likely some kind of artifact (like the Arrow of Apollo), located on a planet in the shadow of a bright star cluster. The "hand" is believed to be a reference to the number five, because a hand has five fingers, meaning the Eye of Jupiter will contain or point to information about the Final Five.
- Interestingly, the Fleet can gather protein from a planet in the star cluster after this episode. This will probably mean that the Cylons will run into the Colonials when they find the right planet, much like in "A Measure of Salvation", but reversed as the Cylons found the Lion's Head Nebula before the Fleet did.
- The possible connection between the Colonial pantheon and the Cylon god which Three comments on was previously indicated in "Exodus, Part I", by the statements of Oracle Dodona Selloi, with whom Three conferred.
- The astrometrics lab probably plays a very large role in the discovery of the algae planet and the charting of the star cluster.
- Was the Fleet-wide failure of food-processing systems a result of sabotage? If so, were Cylons responsible, or someone else?
- In particular, did a member of the Final Five sabotage the food to make the fleet turn back to the Temple of Five for the appointed meeting there, which Baltar declares to be not by chance?
- A few episodes prior, in "Torn", Racetrack agrees to be Athena's ECO, noting "too many pilots, not enough birds." If this is the case, why aren't there enough pilots to allow shifts to be taken, especially when those otherwise flying Vipers (Hotdog, Apollo, Starbuck, Kat) are factored in?
- Was assisted suicide an accepted practice in the Colonies, even if not by a practicing physician?
- Are there going to be radiation consequences for the pilots exposed to the conditions of the star cluster, especially those pilots who did in fact have a black indicator?
- How many pilots and crew were lost on the two civilian ships Adriatic and Carina? Will their loss cause problems for the civilians that used to live on them? (Answer 1, Answer 2)
- Other Cylons were seen to attend Three during her resurrection in "Hero". How has she been able to keep subsequent resurrections secret?
- Are the 'nurse' Cylons at the Resurrection Ship aware of Three's attempts to discover who the final five are? (Partial Answer,
- Were there any other ships lost besides Adriatic and Carina?
- During the brief martial law when Roslin was ousted as President, she and Apollo hid inside a meat refrigeration locker. Was all the "real" food, such as meat, fresh fruits, and drinks all used up or left behind on New Caprica?
- If there was no food contamination, how long would the Fleet's food supply have lasted?
- Is there a centralized food distribution system in place for the Fleet?
- "We were pretty excited to have Jane too. I actually took Jane's first pitch way back in my early days at Star Trek and I had the pleasure of buying what turned out to be her first sale. I hadn't seen her since, but I'd followed her career from afar and was very proud to see her do so well. Turns out that Jane was a huge fan of Galactica and really wanted to do a script for us, so we jumped on the chance. I think we're all hoping that we could get her on staff at some point in the future, but we'll have to wait and see how everything shakes out for Season Four -- and whether she's even available, she's very much in demand these days. Her episode this year is "The Passage" (originally Ep 9) and deals with a harrowing voyage of the rag-tag fleet and focuses on Kat."
- "My episode originally had a Laura story threaded through it that had to be cut in later drafts because there was just too much story in the episode as a whole, and I missed it, just because she was so much fun to write. And any character with a strong opinion on what's going on in the episode is always fun and easy to write.
- "The hardest stuff to write in this episode wasn't because of any hard-to-capture voices but because there was a big chunk of mission-planning exposition that had to be done as clearly and as quickly as possible. That is always the very hardest stuff to write, setting down the rules without sounding like a textbook. It was challenging, but so nice when I felt like I'd gotten it right."
- Epsenson talks about the scientific aspects of the episode:
- "When I was given this episode, all the technical stuff about globular star clusters was given to me. And the writers were really patient in explaining technical stuff about the FTL drive and jump co-ordinates and the fact that you can't talk on the wireless over a jump-boundary -- I originally had Galactica in contact with Sharon-Athena while she out in the cluster doing her original recon, but that obviously didn't make sense. I received lots of help from the show's tech adviser, who is wonderful, and who explained all sorts of interesting things to me about how radiation differs from radioactivity and how gravitational forces are more likely to damage large ships than small ones.... The research that I really did on my own was about figuring out how the fleet had been making food prior to this crisis. The explanation was cut for length, but in one draft it was stated that the fleet "grew" meat from cloned cells and that it was this system that got so badly contaminated. As for the algae, I think that was already in place when I was given the story... it's just an obvious alternative protein source."
- Espenson discusses the Hybrid's dialogue:
- "I wrote this for the Hybrid in that pre-grab moment: 'Seascape portrait of the woman-child cavern of the soul under pressure-heat ratio--' which is, I think, what we hear. But there is at least one BSG writer who can generate pages of beautiful, haunting and resonant Hybrid-speak at will. He writes lots of her stuff and more power to him!"
- Espenson discusses scenes that were cut from the script due to time constraints:
- "I think I got a more-than-fair edit! I was amazed! The draft that was shot was way too long -- we all knew it was too long. So lots of scenes had to be cut -- two Adama/Kat scenes that I can think of. A Lee/Dualla scene, a Lee/Starbuck scene, an Adama/Tigh scene, lots and lots of Sharon/Helo stuff... the fact that the episode holds together, that it makes sense and has emotional punch... wow. And that's not even counting lots of Cylon stuff, Laura stuff and Anders stuff that got cut before shooting! This show is so rich, the world is so full, and there are emotions along every axis between every pairing of characters, that it's incredibly easy to find things that you just HAVE to explore. This is part of what gives the series such a great voyeuristic quality... as a viewer you just KNOW that there are scenes that have played out between these people that you have never seen, and you get to infer what they must've been. I like that the edit of this episode hints at the things unseen. And I love that despite the time pressures, moments were allowed to play out... Kat watching her fellow pilots suffer, Kat in the mirror, the final hospital scene... I think it was a lovely edit."
- Espenson discusses fan's expectation of humor from her stories and their pertinence to "The Passage":
- "I know people expect humor from me. I hope they understand why, given a story about Kat's redemptive and unglamorous death, I kept the funny knob turned down -- couldn't resist the giddy Tigh-Adama scene, however, and my personal favorite line the piece, Baltar's "You've got goo in your hair." Anyway, I hope the fans liked what they saw; I hope it felt real; I hope I get to write more Battlestar episodes, and get to play some more with these wonderful characters and their tragic, human, uplifting lives."
- Oh, it was very good. I loved the character from the very beginning. I remember I woke up that morning and I knew from the script how Enzo felt and how his world felt to me. Before the audition I woke up and I said "Enzo lives in a world by himself. Also, in the script he was starving. When I woke up I had no breakfast and I went for a walk for two miles by myself and then I went to the audition.
- Currie discusses shooting the episode:
- [The shoot took] four days. Those were fun days. I knew Tahmoh [Penikett, Helo] from the show. He was also on "Stargate" with me. When I played "Fifth", he was, I think, "First" or "Second". Whatever, one of the four. We haven’t seen each other since then. When I arrived at the set, he came up to me and he said, "I heard you got this part and I'm excited to see you again. The director said your audition was very good". That was very nice and very welcoming.
- And I saw a few other people who I met there; it's good to see old faces. I spend one afternoon speaking with Kandyse McClure [Dualla], she's hilarious. It was a little difficult because one moment Enzo was laughing and having a good time and then I have to get on the Set and be all dark again. She's such a beautiful girl and she is so funny. I had a great time.
- Apollo to the first group of Raptors as they were preparing for their first trip guiding the Civ ships through the storm by splitting the dangerous jump in to segments with the Raptors plotting and replotting the beam of the FTL course along the way:
- Apollo:""Shepards, find your ships, stay close and never let them go - these crews are counting on us to guide them through."
- Adama and Tigh discuss the food shortage
- Adama: I hear they're still eating paper. Is that true?
- Tigh: No. Paper shortage.
- The two break down into helpless laughter.
- Starbuck gives a last minute pep talk to the pilots
- Starbuck: Remember, we're all flying solo on this mission. So that means there'll be nobody there to bitch slap you if you start to get tired or start seeing little toasters on your wing.
- Hybrid: Throughout history, the nexus between man and machine has spawned some of the most dramatic, compelling, and entertaining fiction.
- Baltar and Three confront the Hybrid:
- Hybrid: [Suddenly grabs Baltar's hand] Intelligence! A mind that burns like a fire!
- Baltar: Yes, I'm here.
- Hybrid: Find the hand that lies in the shadow of the light, in the eye of the husband of the eye of the cow.
- Baltar: [Removes his hand from the Hybrid's tank.]
- Three: You all right? It just speaks nonsense, doesn't it?
- Baltar: I don't think anything she says is nonsense.
- Kara Thrace confronts Katraine about her past:
- Katraine: You think I'm a traitor. You think I'm a traitor?
- Thrace: No. I don't think you're a traitor. You're a smart young woman, that's what the old man said. (Kat swallows.) You're just not smart enough to accept who you are. (Kat whimpers.) You see, you lied your way into the company of good people.
- Katraine: (begins to weep) Starbuck, don't tell the admiral. Please. Please don't, or I --
- Thrace: Or what?
- Katraine: Starbuck, please just let me tell him myself. Please just let me. Can you do that?
- Thrace: (pauses for a long time) Gods.
- (Kat sobs as Starbuck leaves her alone.)
- Admiral Adama comforts Katraine on her deathbed:
- Katraine: Admiral, I -- I know, I'm so sorry…
- Adama: I'm not here to lecture. I'm letting you know about a promotion. I'm making you CAG again.
- Katraine: (crying) Sir, you know I'm not getting out of here, right?
- Adama: You earned it. What you did was harder than facing a bullet. And you did it without putting one other soul in harm's way. Don't know if I could've done that. I wish there something more that I could give you.
- Katraine: No. It's good. I liked to be CAG very much. Thank you. Sir, there -- there's a thing. A reason why you might not want to do this. Kara knows what it is, but I wanted to tell you myself.
- Adama: I don't need to know anything other than what I already know. When you were CAG, you protected your people. Made them feel safe enough to be brave. What you were gonna say, does it change that?
- (She stares, mute. He pulls up a chair and sits at her side.)
- Katraine: Are you...you staying?
- Adama: Oh, I'm staying. I love this sickbay in a way. (chuckles) Reminds me where my son Zak was born. Carolanne was so happy. She was convinced, both times, that she was having a girl. So it was a surprise at the end.
- Katraine: Did you want a girl too?
- Adama: Yeah. Three's a good round number.