Blood on the Scales

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"Blood on the Scales"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 4, Episode 14
Writer(s) Michael Angeli [1]
Story by
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 416
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA February 6, 2009 [2]
CAN airdate CAN February 6, 2009
UK airdate UK February 10 2009
DVD release
Population 39,603 survivors (Population decline. 40)
Extended Info {{{extra}}}
Episode Chronology
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The Oath Blood on the Scales No Exit
Related Information
Official Summary
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[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
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Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: [{{{itunes}}} USA]


Felix Gaeta's mutiny continues while Roslin finds refuge on the Cylon Basestar.



  • Rebel marines led by Aaron Kelly storm the airlock and capture Admiral Adama and Saul Tigh both of whom were knocked out by a concussion grenade.
  • Tigh recognizes Kelly and calls him "the brig rat." Kelly is visibly uneasy about all this.
  • Meanwhile, the Raptor with President Roslin and Gaius Baltar on board heads for the Basestar.
  • A pair of Vipers, piloted by Narcho and Hotdog, pursue the Raptor. Hotdog, who is unaware of the mutiny on Galactica, gets the Raptor in his sights, but doesn't fire. Instead he orders the Raptor to identify itself.
  • Narcho tells Hotdog to destroy the Raptor, but Hotdog continues to ask for the target's identification.
  • Roslin transmits a message from the Raptor saying that she is aboard the Raptor. Gage blocks the transmission, but not before Hotdog receives it.
  • Gaeta, now in command of the CIC, contacts Hotdog and orders him to destroy the Raptor. When Hotdog continues to hold his fire, Narcho goes in and launches a pair of missiles at the Raptor.
  • The Eight piloting the Raptor successfully avoids the missiles, which hit the Basestar instead. The Raptor successfully docks at the Basestar.
  • Gaeta orders Colonel Tigh to be placed in the brig with the other Cylons, but orders Admiral Adama to be brought to the CIC.
  • On board the Basestar, the Cylons demand to know why they're being fired upon. Roslin explains the situation. Fearing that the government has been overthrown, the Cylons want to jump away from the Fleet.
  • Roslin insists that they give Adama a chance to retake Galactica. Baltar points out that it's unlikely that Adama will win and that Gaeta and Zarek have the majority of support on Galactica. Roslin counters that they've already seen evidence that not all of Galactica's crew support the mutiny.
  • Roslin tells the Cylons to move their ship into the middle of the Fleet, so that Galactica won't be able to fire upon them.
  • Back on Galactica, Adama is brought to the CIC. Gaeta asks him to call Roslin and convince her to surrender.
  • Adama refuses and instead pulls off his admiral pins. He throws them to Gaeta and sarcastically tells Gaeta that he's the admiral now and to make the call himself.
  • Gaeta orders gun batteries to target the Basestar, but before they can do so, the Basestar moves into the middle of the Fleet. Gaeta calls off the attack and orders the Basestar to be quarantined. He also gives orders to prepare for Tom Zarek's arrival.
  • Adama asks Gaeta if he's planning on shooting him. Gaeta gives no response.

Act 1

Act 2

Act 3

Act 4


  • The Quorum of Twelve were murdered on Zarek's order for supporting President Roslin. Lee Adama survived as he wasn't present during the Quorum session. Two other regular Quorum members (Gemenon Delegate and one other delegate) were replaced by temporary stand-ins (who were killed), and their fate is unknown.
  • This episode marks the death of Felix Gaeta and Tom Zarek who are executed by firing squad for their mutiny against Adama and the government.
  • The character Captain Kelly was last seen during season 3 when he was arrested for his bombing and assassinations of Baltar's lawyers. His character has appear intermittently since the show began and is fitting that he would be the double-turn coat as he was part of the original senior staff and his love for Admiral Adama is proven to be stronger than his hatred of the Cylons.


  • Despite all of the support that Gaeta and Zarek seemed to have at the beginning of the mutiny, Roslin and Adama had more support from people opposed to it and possibly people who rethought it like Kelly. On Roslin and Adama's side were Galactica's senior staff (the members of CIC were either people on Gaeta's side or forced to work at gunpoint by marines), at least most of the crew given how many people joined Adama's march to CIC, the Quorum of Twelve and the Cylons and Baltar's followers. Gaeta and Zarek had the supporters they'd managed to gather amongst Galactica's crew and about 25 ships who refused Roslin's order to stand down FTL drives. In the end Adama and Roslin were successful because the people supported them more and Adama had enough respect from his crew that he was able to turn a lot back to his side just by stating his intention to retake the ship and walking by others. Gaeta and Zarek had to use force to get what they wanted while Adama and his men used very little force and ultimately retook the ship without firing a shot once they stormed the CIC. Gaeta's takeover had many people killed (given the survivor count, over 40) while the people on Adama's side killed very few.
  • Gaeta's sudden lack of pain in his amputated leg signals that his chronic pain (which he tried to numb with painkillers during the webisodes) was partially psychological. Once he was at peace with who he was and what he had done, his mental pain and much of his physical pain and itching disappeared. His last words acknowledged that the itching had stopped.
  • The marines who eventually joined Adama's side near the end of the episode indicates that other mutineers simply were part of the coup out of self-preservation or at least wanting to be on the "winning" side. Once it was clear that Adama and the senior staff were rising up and reclaiming the ship, the marines, and others finally arose as well.
  • By sparing Narcho's life, Admiral Adama characteristically shows his love and compassion for those who serve under him. Despite his speech of "no forgiveness" in "The Oath", it is clear that Adama will attempt to give the mutineers a second chance if it is reasonable.
  • The mutineers at no point subdued all resistance aboard Galactica. As Adama marched on CIC, many crewmembers rushed to join him, indicating that they were either still resisting or were waiting for a sign that the tide had turned. CIC also was controlled by Gaeta through the use of marines who held most of the staff at gunpoint.
  • Tyrol, while attempting to disable Galactica's jump drive (in order to stop the jump of the 25 ship mutineer fleet, since they will not jump without Galactica), notices odd tears in the hull near the FTL assembly. It is not known whether this was hull stress caused by Tyrol disabling the FTL as the ship was about to jump, or an as-yet unexplained problem that has an impact on Galactica's hull.
    • The Galactica may be suffering from serious long term metal fatigue and/or cumulative battle damage, as evidenced by the bulkhead deformation Tyrol discovers in the FTL drive room. Over the course of the series, Tigh has made a number of comments on Galactica's worsening structural condition, especially in absence of any possibility for repair at a shipyard. The ship itself is 50+ years old and has seen combat in two wars against the Cylons, and after all the damage its taken - the Battle of New Caprica being the most obvious example - it is not all that surprising to see the ship's structual integrity begin to fail like this.
    • It is extremely unlikely that the damage witnessed by Tyrol was a result of his improper shut-down of the FTL, a tear of that size in metal would likely have been extremely loud and Tyrol does not notice the damage until he just happens to glance up at it. While it is possible that the FTL drive spun up would be louder than the sound of such a crack there is also no strong vibrations shown either in engineering or on the bridge, which would no doubt accompany such a large tear. Given that the area where Tyrol is an auxiliary control center, which is unlikely the be manned unless there is a problem with the FTL drives, it is eminently possible that the tear has been there for some time since it has been quite some time since Galactica has been depicted as having FTL problem.
  • Roslin threatens to attack Galactica if Gaeta and Zarek do not surrender. Numerous missile emplacements are then shown opening along the arms of the rebel basestar. Due to the known incompetence of Galactica's mutineer crew (Gage being unable to jam Roslin's transmission in The Oath without Gaeta's help), the chaos aboard Galactica with a mutiny still ongoing, and Galatica's status as an undermanned vessel, it is possible that the basestar could have successfully engaged and destroyed Galactica or at least severely damaged her enough to prevent her escaping.
  • Captain Kelly, after having been locked up in the brig for his attempts to assassinate Baltar's lawyers, still holds a deep love for the Galactica and her commander. As he was a part of the original senior leadership (3rd in command as shown after Adama's near-assassination), his nostalgic comments with Tyrol indicated his withering resolve to be part of the coup. In addition, being a witness to the cruelty of Zarek with the Quorum was probably the first catalyst for his repentance.
  • Gaeta, prior to his execution, is shown smoking and having drinks with Baltar. This is significant as Gaeta is rarely shown smoking during the show, and when it is shown, it was done when Gaeta finally felt free to be who he wanted to be. The first time was during his taped interview with D'Anna where he "let his hair down" so to speak. Incorporating a final smoke for Gaeta seemed appropriate to allow the audience to see a humanized Gaeta again.
  • Gaeta and Baltar have a civil conversation before Gaeta's execution indicating that the two have forgiven each other for thier past transgressions: Gaeta trying to kill Baltar and Baltar's involvement with the Cylons on New Caprica.
  • Baltar, despite admitting to not really liking his followers, has developed a sense of responsibility towards them as shown when he's speaking with Lida about them and deciding to go back. This is the first time that Baltar has been shown to truly care about something besides himself indicating he may have changed somewhat.
  • Dialogue in this episode indicates there are 35 civilian ships left in the fleet. This is the first time since abandoning New Caprice that significant information on the number of ships left in the fleet has emerged. This number doesn't seem to tally with the observed losses in the fleet since the first season, although the number of ships has been portrayed inconsistently throughout the miniseries and the main seasons (a figure in the mid 70s being mentioned in Home, Part I). The figure of 35 stated here- indicating a loss of half the fleet's ships- seems somewhat inconsistent with a the human population that has only declined by about one fifth since the arrival of Pegasus's crew which bolstered the number of survivors to close to 50,000. Ships being abandoned on New Caprica or afterwards may explain this strikingly low number unless it is a continuity error. If 35 is a correct figure, the other ships in the fleet must have somehow found a way to take a huge number of extra people aboard.
  • Ronald D Moore has commented that Galactica is severely undermanned at this point and therefore large parts of the ship are empty, making it easier for mutineers and counter-mutineers to move around unobserved. This however is contracted by the fact that Galactica now has the crew of Pegasus aboard and the ship has in fact been seen to be overcrowded. Even allowing for losses on New Caprica and the fact that Pegasus was undermanned, the ship should still have a larger crew compliment than when she began her journey. In orbit around New Caprica the two ships still had over 2000 personnel still serving and doubtless most if not all former crew re-enlisted after the evacuation of New Caprica. Galactica's combined crew have not been seen to have taken any substantial losses since leaving New Caprica that would leave much of the ship empty. This may be a retcon or continuity error. It should be noted, however, that a large proportion of the people on the ship following the escape from New Caprica were civilians who may have since been relocated. Furthermore, it may be that only certain areas of the ship - such as the living quarters - are overcrowded. The exact number of personnel that a fully manned Galactica should have is unknown.
  • Despite Sharon Agathon's vision-induced paranoia of a Six taking her daughter, Hera[3], she does not protest Caprica-Six carrying Hera while Sharon supports her injured husband, Karl. Ironically, Caprica-Six is the only character who has been seen specifically committing infanticide (not counting Baltar's dream about Adama drowning Hera).[4]
  • Assuming the writers maintained their preference to mirror real-world military traditions, the firing squad assembled to execute Gaeta and Zarek would likely be composed of low-level mutineers who were treated with leniency and then required to seal their loyalty (and feelings of guilt) by executing their former conspirators.
  • It isn't clear whether Gaeta and Zarek were given any sort of trial before being executed. Given Adama and Roslin's preference (albeit sometimes waveringly so) for maintaining the rule of law, it would be surprising if the lead mutineers were just shot out of hand.


  • What will become of the other mutineers (Racetrack, Narcho, Seelix, etc)? Will Adama follow through with his promise of "no forgiveness"?
  • Will Kelly be allowed to resume his duties on Galactica?
  • Who will take over Gaeta's duties?
  • What repercussions will the Quorum's assassination have on the Fleet?
  • What is the significance of the damage Tyrol discovers in the engine room? Has it been there long, or is it a result of the improper shut down of the FTL drive? Do other areas of the ship show similar signs of damage?
  • Is the same structural deficiency present near the other FTL drive?
  • In the Miniseries, Colonel Tigh tells Lt. Gaeta to "spin up FTL drives 1 and 2". Why did Tyrol's deactivation of one FTL drive stop Gaeta from ordering the other's use? Is the other FTL drive still functional?
    • The ship may need both FTL drives to make a proper jump.
  • Will Anders survive his injuries?
  • Will the rebel Cylons become less trusting of the humans as a result of this mutiny? Or will they be more inclined to trust certain humans, such as Roslin, since she managed to convince them to stay and follow her leadership?
  • What was that device Roslin and Leoben were using to communicate with the rest of the Fleet?
  • Why was Lee Adama - as opposed to Roslin - present at Zarek and Gaeta's execution?
  • What will be done to the 25 ships who did not obey Roslin's order to power down their FTL drives?
  • Will the FTL upgrades proceed once order has been brought back completely?
  • Will there be a faction that will attempt to portray Zarek or Gaeta as martyrs?
  • Will Helo survive his injuries?
  • How will Baltar's new-found sense of responsibility toward his flock change his behaviour?
  • Will the Cylons' assistance of, and subordination to, President Roslin (and/or Colonial political leaders' fears of being associated with the failed coup d'état) secure them the citizenship and Quorum representation they seek?

Official Statements

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Tom Zarek delivers his ultimatum to Laura Roslin:
Zarek: This is Tom Zarek. President of the Twelve Colonies. It's over Laura. Saul Tigh was killed attempting to escape. Bill Adama was tried and found guilty of his crimes. A firing squad executed him this moring. It's done, Laura. You want to think about the people of this fleet now, and surrender.
Roslin: No. Not now. Not ever. Do you hear me? I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eye teeth to end you. I swear it! I'm coming for all of you!
  • Felix Gaeta is disturbed by the site of the slaughtered Quorum delegates:
Gaeta: We--we had the truth on our side. Now . . . now . . .
Zarek: The truth is told by whoever is left standing.
  • Lee Adama has just thrown a grenade towards the marines guarding the Cylon Prisoners, allowing him and Kara Thrace to kill them, after which Kara takes cover and Lee looks at her both amused and pleased with himself:
Lee Adama: walking forward and picking up the Grenade I never pulled the pin.
Kara Thrace: Ok, that is not funny.
Lee Adama: It would have been if you had thought of it.
Kara Thrace: No, still not funny.

Guest Stars


  1. Angeli Also Rises (backup available on (in English).
  3. Sharon kills Natalie in "Sine Qua Non" when she sees the latter with Hera in a corridor after Sharon, President Roslin, and Caprica-Six all have a vision of a Six absconding with Hera at the opera house.
  4. Caprica-Six snaps a human infant's neck in her first scene in the Miniseries.