You Can't Go Home Again

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You Can't Go Home Again
"You Can't Go Home Again"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 5
Writer(s) Carla Robinson
Story by
Director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 105
Nielsen Rating 2.5
US airdate USA 2005-02-04
CAN airdate CAN 2005-02-12
UK airdate UK 2004-11-15
DVD release 20 September 2005 US
28 March 2005 UK
Population 47,954 survivors (Population decline. 4)
Additional Info
Full Credits
Episode Chronology
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Act of Contrition You Can't Go Home Again Litmus
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

Continuing from the events of "Act of Contrition", Commander Adama and Captain Lee Adama risk the security of the Fleet as they try to locate a downed Kara Thrace...


  • Kara Thrace is missing following a dogfight with Cylon Raiders (TRS: "Act of Contrition"). While he was forced out of the fight, Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza is convinced her Viper was not destroyed.
  • Adama immediately orders a search started, and Lee Adama leads it in a Viper.
  • On the surface of a small moon, Starbuck awakes to find herself being dragged by a strong wind catching her parachute. Before she can cut herself free of the parachute lines, which have tangled about her legs, she is dragged a considerable distance, smashing her knee in the process.
  • When the initial space search fails to locate Starbuck’s Viper, Gaeta suggests she may be on a moon orbiting the gas giant. Adama orders a low-level search of the moon’s surface. At the same time he accepts an offer from Roslin to have the ships of the Fleet continue the space search. Lt. Gaeta calculates that Starbuck has around 46 hours of air left in her oxygen tanks.
  • Tigh is worried that if they remain in the area too much longer, the Cylons might find them.
  • Aware she is probably being searched for, Starbuck determines to try and make her way to high ground, where she stands a better chance of being seen. Along the way, she asks the Lords of Kobol for help, and comes across a downed Cylon Raider from the confrontation leading to her crash.
  • As the search of the moon continues, the dust-laden atmosphere begins to have its effect on the Galactica's Vipers: 13 are grounded due to mechanical problems. The constant flying is causing other problems: Galactica’s fuel reserves for her fighters are being used at an alarming rate.
  • Tigh also points out that the Fleet is now spread right across the star system, leaving it vulnerable to attack should the Cylons show up.
  • On the moon, Starbuck is determined to make the Raider space-worthy, and sets about accessing it – only to find it is bio-mechanical: inside the vehicle is a mass of organs, veins and tubes.
  • As time passes, Adama and Lee further risk the Fleet by pulling in the CAP Vipers to assist with the search.
  • When the timer in the CIC indicates Starbuck’s air has (presumably) expired, Adama continues the search, relieving Tigh of his duties when he challenges the order.
  • With her air supply all but gone, Starbuck manages to find an oxygen supply hose in the Raider and seals the insides of the vehicle so she can breathe. She then sets out trying to work out how the Raider flies.
  • As Lee and Adama continue to monitor the search of the moon, Roslin arrives on Galactica. Determined to put a stop to things, she challenges both Adama and Lee concerning their single-mindedness and the way it is putting the survival of the fleet and mankind at risk.
  • Realising they have perhaps gone too far, Adama calls off the search and orders the Fleet readied to jump.
  • With the Fleet successfully away, Galactica is about to jump herself when a Cylon Raider appears. Vipers are prepped for launch, however a malfunction with Galactica's launch tubes allows only Capt. Adama's Viper to launch.
  • Making contact with the Raider, Lee discovers the truth – Starbuck is piloting the Raider; she used tape to write her name on the bottom of the Raider and flew formation with Lee's Viper. He escorts her back to Galactica, where she lands and is taken to sickbay.
  • Visiting her in sickbay later, Adama congratulates her on her performance – an indirect way of letting her know she is forgiven for Zak.

On Caprica

  • Helo and Valerii are still hiding in the “fallout shelter”, but Helo determines they must move on.
  • A pair of Cylon Centurions arrive, apparently conducting a search. A firefight ensues between Helo and the Centurions.
  • Helo destroys one of the Centurions but is knocked unconscious by the other, and when he awakens, Valerii is gone.


  • Cylon Raiders are bio-mechanical in nature, and their biomass uses a breathable, oxygen-rich mix suitable for humans.
  • Vipers are atmosphere-capable - indeed, it appears they may have been regularly used in the atmospheres of Colonial worlds, given they are equipped with a parachute.
  • Vipers can be refueled in space (and presumably in relatively calm atmospheres).
  • Starbuck's damaged Viper disintegrates around her upon re-entry, compelling her to eject. The Raider that she disables and forces down on the moon is, when she finds it, notably space-worthy.
  • Colonial flight suits are capable of full life support, both planet-side (Starbuck) and in space (Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza). In the case of Vipers, the back section of the pilot’s seat appears in effect to be a life-support backpack that detaches from the rest of the seat following ejection.
  • Raptor cabins can be depressurized and repressurized (Hot Dog's rescue), adding to their versatility.
  • Roslin has the same image that the pilots touch when leaving the Ready Room.
  • Colonials play billiard pool.
  • The messy organic interior of the Raider was inspired by the Alien series, according to David Eick on the DVD commentary.
  • The scene where Starbuck, in a Cylon Raider, shakes off Apollo's attack is remarkably similar to a scene from the Original Series ("The Hand of God") in which Apollo and Starbuck avoid being shot down in a Cylon Raider by waggling their wings.
  • This story may have been inspired by the classic Galactica 1980 episode "The Return of Starbuck" where Starbuck, after a space battle, is also forced to crash on a barren planet and soon discovers a crashed Cylon raider. He later uses parts of it to build a new ship.
  • Baltar is requisitioning something that requires the President's authorization – the use of one of Galactica's nuclear warheads for his research.
  • William Adama is capable of letting personal feelings rise above professional duty.
  • The toaster used by Karl "Helo" Agathon on Caprica that triggers the attack of the Centurions in the kitchen appears to be a sligthly modified Magimix 11062.


  • On Caprica, the Cylons have apparently stepped up their manipulations of Helo a notch: and they appear determine to test / increase his feelings for Valerii. "Love", and possibly "procreation" seems to be at the heart of their manipulations. The evidence for this comes from the last few episodes:
    • Water: Helo scans the airwaves, failing to find any other signals. Caprica-Sharon makes a comment about them being the only two people left on the planet, and the way she says it makes it hard to keep the words “Adam and Eve” from popping into one’s head – especially with all the other religious motifs that have surrounded our insight into Cylon aims (even if they are from "Six’s" perspective);
    • Water: Helo is obviously attracted to Caprica-Sharon, as evidenced by his embarrassment following the "spontaneous" hug she gives him when they first hear the radio broadcast. Sharon’s disappearance seems to be the first Cylon attempt to accentuate Helo’s feelings for her;
    • Act of Contrition: as a result of the (clearly-planted) "radio broadcast", they come across a fully-equipped radiation shelter, which does not appear to have been used, and which is more than cozily set-up for a long duration stay for two people;
    • This episode: when Helo suggests they pack up and leave the shelter, Sharon’s look is, for a moment, distinctly odd, and she challenges him with a slightly sultry "Unless you can think of a reason to stay here." Valerii’s comment seems calculated to give Helo an opportunity to express a physical interest in her. Her disappointment is evident when he says they should move on;
    • This episode: no sooner is the decision made to move on than Cylon Centurions turn up. The ensuing firefight leaves Helo unconscious, but (surprisingly) alive;
    • This episode: when Helo revives, Caprica-Sharon is gone, and he’s no longer thinking about leaving the planet – he’s only concerned with what has happened to Sharon.
  • During the fight in the restaurant, the Cylon Centurion clearly makes only a token attempt to kill Helo – although it does a pretty good job of shooting up the kitchen as a whole. Helo is surprisingly incurious about his survival. His concern about Caprica-Sharon's disappearance seems to overwhelm any suspicion. Besides, unlike the viewers, Helo has simply been given no outside reason to suspect that the Cylons want to keep him alive and that he is in an "experiment" of theirs. However, as Season 1 progresses Helo does start to gradually suspect that something is amiss.
  • This episode seems to suggest a subtle demarcation between Baltar's hallucinatory Number Six and the other Cylons. Previously, she has referred to them as "we" – implying she is still a part of them. Here she refers to the Cylons very much in the third person: "they". Is this indicative of a possible shift in her loyalties, that the Cylons truly are totally unaware of her presence, or is she simply manipulating Baltar?
  • Are all Cylons bio-mechanical? Probably not, as Helo puts a shot straight through the head of a Cylon Centurion. If any organic matter were contained therein, one would expect blood and/or gore to exit the wound. This does not appear to be the case.
  • When did Starbuck write her name on the underside of the Raider's wings? Considering that she didn't know that she could fly the craft when she found it, one would think that she does it before leaving the moon. However, by that time she has used her flight suit to stuff the hole in the hull.


Answered Questions

For answers to the questions in this section, click here.
  • With almost 50% of fuel reserves gone, can Galactica obtain additional supplies to keep her Vipers flying?
  • What use will be made of the captured Raider?
  • How many more Cylon spacecraft include biological elements in their design?
  • Will Karl Agathon now go in search of the “missing” Valerii?
  • Will he question why the Centurion left him unconscious in the restaurant, rather than taking him prisoner?
  • Did the Cylons develop bio-mechanical capabilities first in a basic form with the Raiders, before going on to develop the humanoid constructs?

Unanswered Questions

None yet.

Official Statements

  • Bear McCreary discusses the "Cylon Theme" and its relation to this episode:
"This theme was originally performed using pots, pans and toasters for the metallic effects. It was composed before I had seen 'You Can't Go Home Again', which includes a scene where Helo battles centurions in a cafe kitchen and bullets ricochet off pots, pans and a toaster!"[1]

Noteworthy Dialogue

Starbuck: Are you... alive?
  • Starbuck upon entering the crashed Cylon Raider:
Starbuck: You bite me, I'll bite you back.
  • The Adamas discuss their recent actions:
Apollo: I want you to know, I think she's wrong. I think we have come to terms with what happened to Zak.
William Adama: I haven't.
Apollo: I need to know something: Why did you do this? Why did we do this? Is it for Kara? For Zak? For what?
Adama: Kara was family. You do whatever you have to do. Sometimes you break the rules.
Apollo: And if it was me down there instead?
Adama: You don't have to ask that.
Apollo: Are you sure?
Adama: If it were you... we'd never leave.
Tigh: (walking in with Roslin) President Roslin.
Adama: Madam President.
Roslin: Skip the formalities. You both know why I'm here.
Adama: Termination of a pilot's rescue mission is a military decision.
Roslin: That's a bunch of crap. It's not military. It's personal. Neither of you can let go of Kara Thrace because she's your last link to Zak.
Apollo: You don't know anything about my brother.
Roslin: Don't even begin, Captain. You've lost perspective, as have you. Under normal circumstances, it would just be sad that the two of you can't come to terms with Zak's death. In this situation, you are putting your pilots at risk, and you're exposing the entire fleet to possible attack every moment we stay here.
Adama: We've been at risk of an attack since day one. Cylons won't be missing their patrol for at least one more day.
Roslin: (steps closer to Adama) Colonel Tigh. How much aviation fuel has been expended in this operation?
Tigh: Forty-three percent of reserves.
Roslin: Almost half. That's unacceptable. An operation into the moon's atmosphere that has put one third of your fighters out of action. That is also completely unacceptable.
Adama: Crap. Unacceptable. Whatever you feel about this, the recovery of one pilot is a military matter.
Roslin: All right. It's military. Fine. And you're both officers. And you're both honorable men. And you're both perfectly aware you are putting the lives of over 45,000 people and the future of this civilization at risk for your personal feelings. Now, if it's the two of you, of all people, that can live with that, than the human race doesn't stand a chance. Clear your heads. (leaves the room).
  • Lee sees "Starbuck" written on the bottom of the Raider he's fighting and realizes the truth
Lee: (laughs) Its Starbuck!
Adama: (stunned) What?!
Lee: Say again, the Raider is marked "Starbuck." Its written under the frakking wing!
(Everyone in CIC is cheering while Tigh and Adama are clearly stunned by this revelation)
Adama: Bring it into the bay, but if it does anything, take it out!
Lee: Yes, sir but I'm telling you its got to be her! This thing is flying with some serious attitude!
Lee escorts the Raider to Galactica and they waggle their wings at each other
  • Kara has just made a dramatic rescue of herself and Lee has come to see her
Kara: (referring to her Raider) Like my new toy?
Lee: When you take a souvenir, you don't mess around!
  • Chief Tyrol walks around the Cylon Raider
Tyrol: Your ass belongs to me now.

Guest stars


  1. McCreary, Bear (10 November 2006). The Themes of Battlestar Galactica, Part II (backup available on . (blog) Retrieved on 25 November 2006.