Pegasus (episode)

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An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 2, Episode 10
Writer(s) Anne Cofell Saunders
Story by
Director Michael Rymer
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Michelle Forbes as Admiral Cain
Production No. 210
Nielsen Rating 2.0
US airdate USA 2005-09-23
CAN airdate CAN 2006-03-18
UK airdate UK 2006-03-14
DVD release 20 December 2005 US
28 August 2006 UK
Population 49,605 survivors (Population increase. 1,752)
Additional Info Season 2.0 Cliffhanger
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Flight of the Phoenix Pegasus Resurrection Ship, Part I
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
Podcast TranscriptView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
@ BW Media
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

The Fleet happily discovers that the battlestar Pegasus has survived the destruction of the Colonies, only to have Admiral Cain take command of Galactica and enforce her own hardcore military doctrine on the Fleet.


  • Pegasus, a Mercury class battlestar, has joined the Fleet. She survived the attack by blind-jumping as the Cylons attacked the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards. On board is Admiral Cain, a tough uncompromising warrior, and Commander Adama's superior.
  • A large Cylon fleet of two basestars, approximately one dozen support ships and an Unknown Cylon Ship have been trailing the Fleet. Pegasus detected this fleet, which in turn led them to find Galactica.
  • Pegasus discovered this Cylon fleet and has been carrying out hit-and-run attacks against the Cylons. At first the Cylon fleet's course seemed to be random, until Cain realized they were going to systems with natural resources.
  • After looking over Galactica's logs, Cain surmises that the Cylon fleet was following Galactica (which itself was Jumping to systems with natural resources for the Fleet).
  • Upon assuming command of the Fleet, Cain moves crew members around, citing discipline concerns, transferring Lee Adama and Kara Thrace to Pegasus. This is in spite of her initial promise not to do so.
  • President Laura Roslin has concerns about why Cain ignores her requests to talk and, more importantly, why Pegasus is only resupplying Galactica's military stores and ignoring the Fleet's needs.
  • Colonel Saul Tigh meets up with his counterpart, Jack Fisk. Over drinks, Tigh hears an incredible story that Fisk later tries to laugh away as a joke. Fisk says that Cain shot her long-time XO in the CIC for violating a direct order. Tigh later relates this to Commander Adama.
  • Tyrol welcomes his counterpart from Pegasus. Peter Laird is a civilian aeronautical engineer-turned Deck Chief who designed the old engines in the Blackbird. Laird is both appalled and impressed by Tyrol's new stealth fighter.
  • Captain Adama is essentially busted down to Raptor pilot in a recon mission to the Cylon fleet. He shows his defiant side by asking Starbuck (who is pulled off the recon mission herself for insubordination) to commandeer the Blackbird for better recon photos of the Cylon fleet, all without being noticed by Colonial or Cylon forces.
  • Helo and Galen Tyrol discover that Gina Inviere, the Cylon prisoner aboard Pegasus, was raped by the crew as a form of torture. They rush to Galactica's brig, where a Pegasus lieutenant, Alastair Thorne, is about to rape the Caprica copy of Sharon Valerii. Tyrol throws Thorne against a bulkhead, accidentally killing him. The pair are arrested and taken to Pegasus.
    Battlestar Pegasus.
  • Commander Adama is angered at Admiral Cain's convening of courts-martial for the men on Pegasus, not Galactica where the offense occurred. Admiral Cain refuses to return the prisoners and balks at the thought of an independent tribunal to settle the dispute. Using Adama's logs against him once more, she notes that the last time Galactica held a tribunal, Commander Adama dissolved the tribunal when he "didn't like the verdict."
  • Admiral Cain rapidly decides the verdict by herself hours later and orders Helo and Tyrol to be executed.
  • Upon discovering Admiral Cain's hasty execution order, Commander Adama orders a Raptor to fly out with an armed Marine boarding party, and launches Galactica's Vipers as escort, demanding that Admiral Cain release Helo and Galen Tyrol.
  • Admiral Cain responds by launching Pegasus' Vipers against the incoming Vipers from Galactica. They close in on each other as the episode ends.


  • The episode ran over time and a lot of the background information was cut from the television release. However the deleted scenes were restored for the DVD release to create a 5-act episode. These changes are detailed in the "Pegasus (Extended Version)" article.
  • This episode has been nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
  • Louanne "Kat" Katraine flies wingman to Apollo in the opening sequence of this episode, as the CAP scouts Pegasus. Evidently she has been judged fit to resume flight status after negligently damaging a Viper due to overuse of stims in "Final Cut".
  • This episode is inspired by the two part episode, "The Living Legend".
  • Ronald D. Moore also wrote another episode called The Pegasus, in the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • During the premiere airing of this episode on the Sci-Fi Channel, when the episode came back from commercial at the start of Act 3 a "Viewer Discretion Is Advised" black and white message was inserted, warning of "mature subject matter" and content. The following final act of the episode shows drunken Pegasus crewmen bragging about raping the Humanoid Cylon known as Gina, then the scene where Lt. Thorne attempts to rape Caprica-Sharon and Tyrol and Agathon intervene and fight the Marine guards appears.
  • Pegasus crew wear a blue and silver version of the Colonial patch on their uniforms instead of the gold version used by Galactica.
    • Apollo and Starbuck do not switch to this version after their transfer to Pegasus, in this or subsequent episodes.
  • Baltar makes an etiquette flub, referring to Admiral Cain as "Commander". She promptly corrects him "Admiral!" and he apologizes. This might be a little in-joke that in the Original Series, Cain is a Commander, and does not outrank Adama.
  • After Pegasus is identified as a Colonial vessel, Adama orders the Fleet to "stand down to Condition One". However, Condition One is the highest alert level. Thus this is an error, and Adama should either order Condition Two or to "stand down from Condition One".
  • Visual effects gaffe: When viewers are cut to Galactica's exterior as Adama makes his way to the bridge, Pegasus is in front and and slightly below and to the right of Galactica. When seen again shortly later as she launches Vipers towards Galactica, the ship is quite a distance away from the Fleet, above it and facing its left side.


  • The population count is 49,605, a dramatic increase of 1,752 since the 47,853 count in "Flight of the Phoenix," accounting for the addition of Pegasus and her crew to the Colonial Fleet. This is to date the only occasion upon which the Fleet population marked a substantial increase.
    • Cain notes that Pegasus lost 700 crew in the opening attack. This indicates that at the time of the attack her crew totaled to approximately 2,460.
      • This number does not take into account any casualties that may have occurred because of the attack on the Cylon staging area, or any subsequent encounters with the Cylons.
      • This is substantially smaller than Galactica's crew, explained by many of Cain's crew being on leave at the time of the attack and mainly increased automation due to newer technology.
  • As the episode ends, the bulk of Galactica's Viper fleet consist of the Mark IIs, while Pegasus has the Mark VIIs. A classic picture of "old vs. new".
    • While Pegasus seems to have entirely Viper Mk. VIIs, they would presumably have had to removed most of the automated systems from them (to prevent Cylon virus infiltration). Doing this makes them more difficult to fly (Galactica's few Mk. VII's are only used by the most capable pilots now). Pegasus's pilots might have more advanced fighters but they aren't as reliable now as the tried-and-true Mk. IIs.
  • Helena Cain is the female version of Cain, who was portrayed by the late Lloyd Bridges in the original Battlestar Galactica.
  • Cally Henderson's charged reaction to the drunken Pegasus crewmen bragging about raping Gina repeatedly is probably due to herself being the survivor of an attempted rape, in "Bastille Day". This disgust with the Pegasus crew's gang-rape of Gina is interesting in light of the fact that Henderson had no compunctions about killing Sharon Valerii. Evidently she now acknowledges the Cylons' humanity in at least some measure.
    • Women don't appreciate talk about rape in general. Ron Moore indicates something to this effect in the podcast.
  • It is interesting on a dramatic level how the portrayal of Cally's killing of Valerii in "Resistance" contrasts with the portrayal of the brutalized Gina and the attempted rape of Caprica-Valerii. It was less shocking to many to watch Boomer being shot to death than it was to watch Caprica-Valerii being pinned down over her bunk and almost raped — possibly because, while killing a Valerii copy is an understandable act of revenge, raping one would be a senseless act of cruelty.
  • In the Miniseries, Adama first proposes that Galactica will go about independent of the rest of the fleet and fight the Cylons. Roslin persuades him to instead protect and lead the fleet on their escape from the colonies. The Pegasus, in contrast, did travel about independently attacking the Cylons. The condition of the Pegasus's crew may be an indication of what would have happened to Galactica if she stood and fought.
  • In contrast to Galactica's nearly evenly gender-divided crew, the crew of the Pegasus seems predominantly male to a very high degree. Admiral Cain is the only female aboard Pegasus with a speaking role, with only a couple other females visible in the hallways or in the Pegasus ready room. This stands in notable contrast to Ron Moore's egalitarian vision of gender issues in the military, and might have been an intentional decision made during production. In addition, the dialogue of the drunken Pegasus crewmen suggests they have perhaps forgotten how to act around women— they either ignore or fail to understand Cally's and the other female crew members' disgust with their talk about gang-raping Gina. This may be a contributing factor to the behavior of the Pegasus crew, and the resulting sexual frustration could have led to the overly regimented, authoritarian, and brutal culture the crew developed, culminating in the senseless, repeated gang rape of the Cylon prisoner Gina Inviere. However, it should be noted that "Razor" later shows many women among the crew in various roles.
  • Not simply relying on her rank, Admiral Cain asserts her dominance in more subtle ways as soon as she sets foot on Galactica. Despite the fact that she is bringing one ship to join dozens, she welcomes Galactica back to the Colonial Fleet, thus defining the Fleet as wherever she is. Later she tells Roslin "You look like I just shot your dog" when she asserts her authority over Adama. Both of these acts give some show of being welcoming or friendly, but also claim her spot at the top of the food chain.
  • Also, since Adama has the rank of commander, he would not normally be entitled to "having a fleet," but more likely would be in charge of a convoy. This is how Commander Kronus refers to the "Fleet" in the Original Series. By contrast, flag officers (admirals) command "fleets," so Cain referring to "joining the 'Colonial' Fleet" refers to her military command, as opposed to the civilian fleet.
  • Laird, Pegasus's deck chief, refers to events since "the war happened". Admiral Cain and her Pegasus crew seem to still consider fighting against the Cylons to be a war, while in the Miniseries Commander Adama admitts that "the war is over, we lost".
  • Thrace's criticism of Taylor's reconnaissance plan - that the Cylons would never leave such an obvious blind spot unaccounted for - is the same criticism she made of Tigh's initial assault plan in "The Hand of God."
  • Admiral Cain's statement that she has broad authority due to being a flag officer on detached service during a time of war ignores the reality that the military command structure of the Colonial Fleet no longer exists on the Twelve Colonies; the successor Colonial government bodies, both military and civilian, are right there, so she is not actually "detached" from higher authorities. Also, Adama and Roslin decided that the official war is over, though Cain would obviously never accept that. Put together, Cain evidently neither recognizes the legitimacy of what remains of the Colonial government, nor accepts the fact that the Colonies are forever lost.
  • The later Razor film establishes that one of Cain's top officers was Kendra Shaw, who in retrospect becomes conspicuous by her absence in the course of events of this and the following two episodes. Razor establishes in dialogue a reason for Shaw not being evident during the post-"Resurrection Ship" episodes, but not her whereabouts during the events of the initial arc. (Presumably she was present, simply "off-camera" or assigned to duties that kept her away from the main action during this time.)


  • Will Starbuck and her Blackbird stealth fighter play a role in the armed standoff between Pegasus and Galactica? (Answer)
  • Where did the Pegasus crew get fresh fruit? (Probable answer)
  • In the absence of Apollo and Starbuck, who is leading Galactica's fighters against Pegasus? (Answer)
  • What is the function of the unknown Cylon ship? (Answer)
  • Does the Blackbird have an FTL drive? (Answer)
  • Why are so many Viper pilots tasked with a recon mission carried out by Raptors? Did Pegasus lose many Raptor pilots?
  • How did Cain and her crew discover the existence of humanoid Cylon models? (Answer)
  • How did Pegasus escape being infected with a Cylon virus after the initial assault? (Answer)

Official Statements

"Q: Walt Kelly's Pogo used the phrase "the enemy is us" as part of a 1970's anti-litter campaign, and recently David Eick has cited it as a theme in the longer Pegasus arc of the second season. Some of the show's vocal critics charge that this notion promotes a "Blame America" attitude or is a sort of stealth anti-Americanism. What is this concept supposed to convey as we head into the bottom half of the second season?
RDM: The reference is to the fact that human beings are often their own worst enemy. In the context of the show, it means that the real challenges to who and what these people are often comes not from bullets, but from within. I continue to be amazed at how easily one gets tagged with the moniker of "anti-American" these days by those on the right. It's almost... well, anti-American."
Gilles Nuytens: I read some critics about the "rape" scene shown in the last episode aired, as you played in this scene, what's your opinion on it?
Aaron Douglas: BSG is a reflection of real life and these types of events go on everyday. Many people were upset by it but to me they need to realize that this is the world we live in. Does that mean they have or want to watch? Absolutely not but do not discount it as sensationalism. What we shot was so much more graphic than what was aired and I understand why they did not use it. In what aired the rape had not totally begun. It was suggestive. I thought it was a good scene and on point with the story and not added to draw in viewers. That suggestion is absurd. I know Ron Moore very well and he is not the kind of person or writer to add scenes purely for sensationalistic or ratings purposes. They have to be on point, truthfully reflect the situation and today's world and be relevant to the story or they are not there. It also amazes me that people have no problem with beatings, shootings, bombings, stabbings etc. but show a breast, a bottom, or a grope and they fly off the wall to condemn it.
This happens in all areas of film, television and theatre and it is ridiculous.
Robert Falconer: Speaking of bleak, you had some pretty strong feelings about how people reacted to that rape scene at the end of Pegasus, and the overall problem of how violence against women tends to be portrayed on television.
Mary McDonnell: I have strong feelings about this as a woman; it’s a huge button for me, the issue of violence against women on television and how much of this stuff we’re going to pump out there before it becomes an accepted point of view that that’s what happens to women, and no-one takes responsibility and there’s no consequences.
But there’s a big difference between crystallizing it inside a genre that doesn’t do it very often; making it part of one story one week, and the mainstream, non-sci-fi television where we become used to seeing women being raped and killed and mutilated—and other horrible things. That’s the sad thing.
So for me, the fact that it was so upsetting to people when presented on Battlestar Galactica is a very good thing. It should be upsetting. It needs to be very, very upsetting. One should watch it and think, “I don’t want to see that!” We shouldn’t be using the fragility or vulnerability of the female body as a “technique” around which to build entertainment.
I believe if Galactica were doing that sort of thing all the time, then the show would have a problem. But the way it was portrayed enables people to dialogue and talk about these sorts of things. Fires should be lit. And we should hear. Then you know if you’re in the ballpark of something that is really relevant, or if you’re being exploitive. And I have a lot of respect for the people who got upset as well as the people who wrote it.
Robert Falconer: By the end of “Pegasus,” Adama makes a decision with potentially sweeping consequences, but one that logically follows from everything that has happened to him up to that point. Is this a decision he will be able to live with as a military leader?
Edward James Olmos: I think Adama’s decision to attack the Pegasus could be interpreted as strictly military in nature. You don’t leave anybody behind, and protecting your men is a fundamental tenet of any military leader. In fact, you could argue that he has no consideration for anyone OTHER than his military guys aboard the Pegasus—he’s not thinking about the fleet at that moment, he’s not even thinking about the future of either of those two battlestars, because they’re going to blast each other to bits, since he’s not going to give into Cain’s craziness.
Robert: The rape scene toward the end of “Pegasus” has stirred up a lot of controversy in certain quarters. Ironically, there seems to be something of a disconnect here; people seem more willing to accept this in contemporary mainstream drama than they do in television science fiction, almost as if they’ve become conditioned to science fiction presenting a sanitized view of the future. Any thoughts on that?
Edward James Olmos: Well for those who were particularly upset by the scene to which you refer, I pray to god they don’t watch because it’s only going to get worse. They should be warned right now: please turn off your television sets and do not watch this show because it’s only going to provide more insight into the complexities of what happens to human beings. I would say that the minority of people who were freaked out by the rape scene are likely to be jarred into unconsciousness. So I say to them: do not watch this program, it could be hazardous to your health.
For everyone else, hang on, ‘cause it’s gonna be a helluva ride…
  • Leah Cairns discusses a humorous incident while shooting the episode:
Leah Cairns: One of the funniest things shooting a specific scene happened when we were shooting a scene where Pegasus meets Galactica. A scene with Michelle Forbes in it when Forbes and Adama see each other in the hangar deck. Eddie [James Olmos] wandered off set in the middle of shooting. He thought we were on a little break, and he wandered off, and Michael Rymer, the director didn't notice and called action! It was a close up on Michelle Forbes and Rymer had no idea that Eddie wasn't there. And Michelle Forbes being the professional that she is.... when the camera is rolling you do your business..... so she started the scene! But there was no one to respond to her! So James Callis nonchalantly comes over and steps into Eddie's place and puts on the best Adama voice you'd ever heard! Better than Eddie can do! (laughs) And they did the entire scene with Michelle and James Callis as Adama, and Michelle almost pulled it off, except Mary [McDonnell] got the giggles and started laughing and then all the background started laughing and Michael Rymer, who STILL doesn't know that Eddie left, comes out and starts yelling at everybody because we were all laughing during the take! And then he looks around and says ....where the hell is Eddie and realizes that the whole scene was bogus!
Gilles Nuytens: It seems funny yeah. What was the reaction of Michelle Forbes?
Leah Cairns: She was so great! There was this tiny little hint.... you could see in her eyes just a tiny bit that... I think she thought she'd just go along with it until Michael Rymer actually figured it out. But Callis just steps in and starts talking like Adama.... so she just went with it! She was trying so hard to keep it together! Sometimes in situations like that some really great moments can come about and sometimes magic can happen on camera ...... but Mary just couldn't keep it together and started laughing and Michelle ... what can she do? She killed herself laughing! The only person who didn't laugh was Callis, he was dead pan through the entire thing. He was so set on playing Adama, he was just awesome![1]

Noteworthy Dialogue

Baltar: The food is yours. It's not a trick. I'm not going to take it away at the last second. You know,'m just gonna talk right now. I don't expect you to say anything. Back on Caprica, before the attack—and sometimes I forget there was a world before the attack—I knew someone…a woman, unlike any other woman I'd ever known. She was unique. Beautiful, clever, intensely sensual. When she wasn't in my bed, she was in my thoughts. She was a Cylon. And she changed my life in a very real, very fundamental way in that I have quite literally never stopped thinking about her, because I love her. To this very day, I love her. And she looks exactly like you. My name is Gaius Baltar, and I'm here to help you.
Adama: You told me they'd get a fair trial. What kind of a trial could they have possibly had?
Cain: I assure you I heard them out. I weighed their statements against those of the guards and I took into consideration their service records and commendations. It was a difficult decision, Commander, but I dare say it was a fair one.
Adama: They have the right to have their case heard by a jury.
Cain: I am a flag officer on detached service during a time of war. Regulations give me broad authority in this matter.
Adama (to Tigh): Launch the fighters. (to Cain): You can quote me whatever regulation you'd like. I'm not going to let you execute my men.
Cain: I highly suggest you reconsider that statement, Commander.
Fisk: Admiral, Galactica is launching Vipers and a Raptor.
Cain: Commander, why are you launching Vipers?
Adama: Please arrange for Chief Tyrol and Lieutenant Agathon to be handed over to my Marines as soon as they arrive.
Cain: I don't take orders from you!
Adama: Call it whatever you like. I'm getting my men.
Cain: You are making such a mistake.
Adama: I'm getting my men.

Guest stars


  1. Nuytens, Giles (21 March 2007). The Scifi World: Leah Cairns interview (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 10 April 2007.