|Birth Name||Felix Gaeta|
|Role||Tactical Officer, Senior Officer of the Watch, CIC, Battlestar Galactica|
|Portrayed by||Alessandro Juliani|
|Felix Gaeta is a Cylon|
|Felix Gaeta is a Final Five Cylon|
|Felix Gaeta is a Human/Cylon Hybrid|
|Felix Gaeta is an Original Series Cylon|
Lieutenant Felix Gaeta [ˈgeɪ.tə] is a young, capable officer in the Colonial military. For the three years prior to the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies, he has served as William Adama's Senior Officer of the Watch aboard battlestar Galactica.
Prior to the attack, he was studying biogenetics and planned to get a degree through the military extension program (Water).
He exhibits a strong attention to detail and is highly efficient. These tendencies and his overall ability have led William Adama to rely heavily on him as a member of Galactica's command crew, despite his relative youth and junior rank.
As well as performing the role of Tactical Officer, Gaeta also manages the ship's FTL systems, including the calculation and initiation of Jumps. Gaeta also manages the needs of the various primary computer systems used on the battlestar.
As a result of his studies in biogenetics, Lt. Gaeta is selected by Adama to assist Dr. Gaius Baltar in the development of the much-needed Cylon detector following the Cylon attack(Water). During his time working with Baltar, Gaeta develops a certain respect and liking for the doctor - despite the latter's apparent eccentricities. When a woman called "Shelley Godfrey" arrives on-board Galactica, Gaeta works hard to prove Baltar's innocence of the charges levelled against him (Six Degrees of Separation). Although he is ultimately successful, Gaeta fails to follow-up on the fact that the photographic evidence supplied by "Shelly Godfrey" looked as if the evidence itself had been faked in a way that ensured it was exposed as a forgery.
Gaeta shows his remarkable brilliance after Galactica mistakenly Jumps to a different set of coordinates than the rest of the Fleet to escape a Cylon attack (Scattered). The FTL computers compensate for spatial changes, but due to the chaos after Commander Adama is shot by Boomer, Gaeta does not have time to synchronize the spatial positioning with the rest of the Fleet, whose FTL computers had collectively different information. Complicating the issue, if Galactica returns to their original position, the Cylons would destroy the ship before it could retrieve the correct Fleet coordinates using standard procedure.
Gaeta blames himself (although Saul Tigh did not), but later realizes that by networking four computers of the ship (something Commander Adama may never have approved), he could reduce the coordinate calculation time from hours to minutes. Knowing the Cylons would try to crack his ad hoc network, Gaeta sets up five firewalls in the network to slow their progress while the ship's guns and Vipers buy the needed time to calculate. Unfortunately for Gaeta, the firewalls are not completely effective. Several power and CIC systems were disabled by a Cylon infection while Cylon Centurions board the ship (Valley of Darkness). Gaeta scrambles to purge the systems of any remaining traces of the virus.
Gaeta's calm exterior shows signs of wear when his interview with D'anna Biers shows him somewhat drunk, smoking, and brandishing a rather garish tattoo of a tiger (Final Cut). Viewers learn from the footage that Gaeta's first name is Felix.
The Cylon virus rears its ugly head once more a few weeks later when shipboard malfunctions increase to a point where consoles begin to sputter and short out. Gaeta confirms that the same virus they thought they had removed from the formerly-networked computers had metamorphized into a heuristic program--a logic bomb--that studied and probed flaws in the battlestar's computers and the hardware that each system manages. The logic bomb threatened to disable the ship's human control on a Cylon fighter's command--and a Cylon attack force was imminent.
After Colonel Tigh's command to perform the daunting task of inspecting many lines of computer code for a Cylon virus, the young lieutenant completely loses his cool:
- Gaeta: A power surge energized the board. System's been twitchy ever since the Cylons infiltrated our network.
- Tigh: Commander's right. I don't care if you have to go through this program line by line; fix it.
- Gaeta: Excuse me?
- Tigh: You heard me.
- Gaeta: Sir, I'm running every diagnostic we've got. Checking each line of code could take days.
- Tigh: I am not interested in excuses. Fix it!
- Gaeta: It's not an excuse, sir. It's a frakking fact!
Everyone on the bridge, especially Commander Adama, is shocked by Gaeta's highly uncharacteristic outburst, but Adama is not particularly surprised, knowing that everyone on Galactica has low morale after working for months with no relief or change to their routine.
Gaeta has a solution for the logic bomb: Wipe all computer hard drives and restore them from backups made before the Cylon attack. The problem in doing this is that Galactica will be completely vulnerable to attack, save for her Viper fighters, for several minutes as her computers are rebuilt.
Against his instincts and on Laura Roslin's advice, Adama opts to use the unique abilities of the cooperative Caprica copy of Sharon Valerii to aid them. Gaeta gives the humanoid Cylon a fiber-optic data link with access to the battlestar mainframe computer and the ship's communications. After a few tense moments, Valerii asks Gaeta to perform the computer hard drive wipe after taking into her computer/brain a copy of the Cylon virus. She manipulates it and transmits to the massive incoming Cylon fleet, disabling the entire Cylon fleet in the same way that the Colonials suffered in the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. The Colonial forces destroy the entire Cylon force without a single Colonial casualty (Flight of the Phoenix).
Gaeta is among the tense officers and crew in CIC that witness a standoff between their battlestar and the heavily-advanced battlestar Pegasus, whose commander, Admiral Helena Cain, has opted to execute two Galactica crewmembers after she tried them herself and against Adama's requests for the rights of his crew to have a fair, open trial (Pegasus).
- While Gaeta is described as the "Tactical Officer", his role is closer to that of the US Navy's CIC Watch Officer (CICWO), combining it with elements of the Tactical Watch Officer (TAO), a role also partially fulfilled by Colonel Tigh, both under the command of William Adama. According to the official SciFi.com character data file, Gaeta's title is "Senior Officer of the Watch", although the title of Tactical Officer may have a better "ring" to the ears of most viewers.
- The name "Felix" means "Happy" in Latin; the connotations of the Latin word imply being fortunate, lucky, prosperous, or "favored by the gods". It first appeared in the episode Final Cut.
- Gaeta is the name of a small seaport and resort in southern Italy. This goes well with his Latin first name.
- His counterpart in the original "Battlestar Galactica" is Sgt. Omega, a Sagittaron native.
- In the Miniseries, Gaeta's name is usually pronounced "Guy-tah" [ˈgaɪ.tə] . However, in all subsequent installments of the regular series, everyone pronounces it as "Gay-tah" [ˈgeɪ.tə] ; however, Col. Saul Tigh seems to vacillate between [ˈgeɪ.tə] and [ˈgaɪ.tə] .
- There is widespread speculation among fans that Gaeta is another Cylon infiltrator.