Unfinished Business

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Unfinished Business
"Unfinished Business"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 3, Episode 9
Writer(s) Michael Taylor
Story by
Director Robert Young
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 308
Nielsen Rating 1.3
US airdate USA 2006-12-01
CAN airdate CAN 2006-12-02
UK airdate UK
DVD release
Population 41,422 survivors (Population increase. 1)
Additional Info
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Hero Unfinished Business The Passage
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

Admiral Adama re-institutes a military tradition onboard Colonial warships, in which crewmembers disregard rank and fight each other in a boxing ring to relieve tensions aboard ship—tensions which have existed since Galactica discovered New Caprica.


  • The episode begins on Galactica in a boxing ring, where Karl Agathon and Lee Adama are exchanging blows. Agathon has the advantage, but comments that the major is giving him a rough fight.
  • Several flashbacks occur in which Lee wakes up on a planetary surface, bare chested; he sits up slightly, looking around with a confused look on his face.
  • Kara Thrace and Samuel Anders finish making love, but when Anders broaches the subject of repairing their marriage, she rebuffs him and leaves her officer's duty locker, throwing the "in use" boots back inside the locker's door.
  • Thrace is seen in a flashback, lying outside, her head on a man's bare chest, suddenly startled and frightened.
  • Lee is losing his fight as he is distracted by memories of seventeen months ago, or eight months prior to New Caprica's occupation. Eventually, Dr. Sherman Cottle, who has been enjoying the fight while monitoring the damage of each boxer, removes Lee from the fight, leaving Agathon with the win as Saul Tigh, acting as the referee, calls the match.
  • Flashbacks show Lee boarding a Raptor and passionately kissing Anastasia Dualla.
  • Admiral Adama arrives to watch the match, as does Thrace, from separate sides of the ring. Thrace comments that a couple of months ago you would have had to roll Lee into the ring.
  • Laura Roslin greets Admiral Adama and happily tells him of her father's love of boxing, which she has inherited.
  • Another flashback occurs, with Admiral Adama sitting on New Caprica, his uniform tunic open. He is relaxed and enjoying the moment. Roslin appears and sits by him. Adama compliments her on the color of her dress, while obviously observing her figure as well. She smiles and notices his relaxation, with the sand between his toes. While he corrects her that the soil was "alluvial deposits" from a former river mouth, not sand, Roslin corrects herself but not without another joke about Adama letting his guard down in the beauty of the moment. She says it is good to see him, and he returns the compliment as she squeezes his arm.
  • Roslin and Adama, in the present, appear to show the same look of a close friendship while the boxing transitions to Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza, who unwisely challenges Thrace to a match. Hot Dog initially lands a few blows before Thrace KO's the cocky pilot.
  • Several flashbacks occur where Thrace, Lee Adama, and Dualla are seen at a dance.
  • Another flashback shows Saul Tigh enjoying time with his wife, Ellen Tigh.
  • Another flashback with Roslin and Adama, who are drinking alcohol, smoking a psychoactive native plant, and relaxing together. Their conversation continues.
  • Anthony Figurski comes up and informs Galen Tyrol that he's having trouble with a gyro on a Raptor. He then asks for permission to stay and watch since he's the only person left on the hangar deck. Adama overhears the conversation and asks Tyrol if he has a ship down. Tyrol brushes off the Admiral's concern stating that they'll "get it tomorrow" and that his crew needs the R&R.
  • Adama recalls when Chief Tyrol requests that he and his wife muster out of the ship's fleet to have their child on New Caprica. Adama flatly denies the request, citing Tyrol's obligation to the fleet.
  • A later flashback shows Tyrol attempting to convince his wife that staying on Galactica would not be so bad, while the scene changes to Adama and Roslin on the planet, as she discusses how important it was for many people to get on with a regular life.
  • Adama changes his mind and accepts Tyrol's request to muster from the service, but appears hurt behind the smile he presents.
  • Admiral Adama hands his glasses to Roslin, steps into the ring, and looks at the crowd, which becomes silent. He challenges Tyrol to a match: "Chief, get your fat, lazy ass up here."
  • Flashing back, Adama and Roslin lie together outside, watching the night sky. Later, she snuggles closer to his shoulder, her hand on his chest. Both are quite comfortable, and Adama notes briefly how comfortable he was with Roslin so physically close and with the stars overhead.
  • Roslin questions whether if this will all last—the colony, and their respite from the Cylons' chase. She happily resigns herself to the fact that, no matter what the future holds, the present is good to have.
  • Admiral Adama's boxing match gets ugly when Adama cold-cocks Tyrol (who has his back turned) as soon as the horn sounds to start the match. Adama appears very edgy.
  • The match continues, but Tyrol's anger and youth begins to edge over Adama's experience. During the round's break, Roslin enters the ring, trying to get Adama to quit, but when he refuses, gives him no-nonsense boxing advice. Adama states that he can't win this fight, but doesn't necessarily imply that trying to win is his objective.
  • Another flashback, with Thrace and Lee Adama, who are both drunk. Dualla is aboard ship, and Thrace has literally drunk Anders, now unconscious, under a nearby table. The two former Viper pilots exchange intimate words and soon find themselves outside of camp, getting very intimate.
  • Lee Adama and Kara Thrace have a gratifying sexual encounter. Afterwards, Adama suggests that they each break up with their respective lovers to become a couple themselves. Adama gets up and happily yells into the nighttime sky that he loves Thrace. Adama urges the giggling and embarrassed Thrace to return the gesture into the sky and that he will continue to yell until she does. In less than full volume, Thrace finally somewhat hesistantly yells that "Kara Thrace loves Lee Adama." They then return to lovemaking.
  • Thrace awakens, confused, and leaves the area, leaving Adama to awaken some time later, alone.
  • Lee Adama returns to camp, where his father tells him that Thrace had found a priest and married Anders earlier that morning. The younger Adama is visibly shaken.
  • Lee Adama encounters Thrace and Anders. Adama is still visibly upset but hides it long enough to shake hands with Anders in congratulation and to wish him luck, saying "You're going to need it."
  • Recalling the reason for Lee Adama's passion, viewers see Adama and Dualla kissing on the Raptor once more.
  • In the present in the boxing ring, Admiral Adama is overcome by Tyrol's fight and is knocked to the mat. Everyone watching is silent in concern, and Tyrol helps the admiral up. With blood streaming down both cheeks, Adama speaks to the crowd, saying that over the last year he had let his crew, his family, become too close, relaxing their mandate and responsibility to the safety of the Fleet. He notes that his weakness led to the loss of lives. Adama wearily informs the crowd that such lax operations will now cease, and leaves the ring, escorted by Dr. Cottle, Roslin, and her entourage.
  • The enthusiasm for boxing has been extinguished by Adama's speech, and Tigh calls it off and dismisses the group. Regardless, Thrace challenges Lee Adama to a match by name-calling and an exchange of blows.
  • In the ring, with no referee, Major Adama initially takes it easy, but a few well placed blows from Thrace dispatch Adama's reticence. The two begin to bludgeon each other, Thrace adding a kickboxing element to kick Adama and keep him off-balance.
  • Anders shows up at the boxing ring to see his wife, Thrace, fighting Adama. As soon as he arrives he asks Dualla, who looks very upset, "What are they doing?" Dualla answers with "What does it look like they're doing?" Anders responds, "It looks like they're trying to kill each other."
  • The match soon degenerates into something that the crowd does not enjoy, and many begin to leave. Anders and Dualla stand together, watching the match with no small amount of disappointment, aware of the dark mood between Adama and Thrace, and its history. Anders tells Dualla: "I'm outta here," and leaves.
  • Too tired and beaten to fully continue fighting, Thrace and Adama fall together in a boxer's hug. Thrace whispers into Adama's ear, "I've missed you," and Adama returns the message in kind.


  • Ron Moore and the editor of "Unfinished Business" created a 70-minute long extended cut of the episode and recorded an audio commentary for it. Both are included on the Region 1 DVD set of Season 3.
  • Adama and Roslin are smoking a psychoactive drug on New Caprica.[1] The act of drinking and smoking simultaneously is, perhaps not coincidentally, a pastime for Ron D. Moore as he speaks during his podcasts.
    • This scene was toned down at the request of the network executives. While it is still clear that they are not merely smoking a cigarette, they don't explicitly refer to the substance.[2]
  • The fights shown (and the winners) are: Helo vs. Apollo (Helo), Starbuck and Hot Dog (Starbuck), Kat and Racetrack (Kat), Tyrol and William Adama (Tyrol; albeit it is a strong possibility that Adama deliberately threw the fight), Apollo and Starbuck (draw). One other fight is shown with Sergeant Fischer fighting a member of the crew portrayed by mixed martial artist Paul Lazenby (Fischer).[3]
  • The blackboard also shows Coran Dix, whose name is shown in the pilot chart in the next episode. However, his callsign is given as "Spank" instead of "Chopper". This might be another nickname (like "Tiny" for Fischer), but all other pilots are listed with their callsign. It is implied that he is the man fighting Fischer, but he is never identified as such.
  • A fight between Felix Gaeta and Sharon "Athena" Agathon was discussed in the writers' room. Gaeta was going to bait Sharon into pummeling him due to the guilt he still felt as a collaborator. However, the writers were unable to come up with anything Gaeta might use that would get a rise out of her. This proposed storyline evolved into the Tyrol vs. William Adama fight.[4]
  • Earlier statements by the producers indicated that the episode would explain the closeness of Thrace and Tigh in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II". The scene that explains this was cut, but is included in the extended version: After sleeping with Lee Adama, Thrace walked back to the city a and found Tigh to be the only person to be still awake. He was still drinking and the two shared drinks, which led to Thrace confessing about the night with Adama. Tigh laughed at that, which made Thrace realize the absurdity of the situation, laughing with him, before the conversation turns serious.
  • The flashbacks were shot earlier when the New Caprica arc was shot and retained to later include them into other episodes. When "Unfinished Business" was written to be about releasing the characters' pent-up anger, it was decided to put all flashbacks into a single episode.[5]
  • Jammer and Duck can be seen during the groundbreaking ceremony. From the point of view of the present timeframe, both are dead.
  • Dialogue error: when Adama is down in his corner and bleeding badly, Roslin says "coagulant for the swelling, ice for the bleeding". This should be the other way around.
  • Discounting Sharon Agathon, this is the first episode of the season in which none of the enemy Cylons appear. Gaius Baltar, meanwhile, appears, but only in a flashback.
  • Adama already has his moustache by the time of New Caprica's sod-turning, which is stated to be about four months after the decision was made to settle there (eight months before the Cylon occupation, which was 1 year after the settlement).
  • Kara appears to have recently acquired a pyramid-like tattoo on her left shoulder blade, and this wasn't visible in previous episodes (in which she was shown wearing an unexplained bandage on her shoulder blade instead). In real life the bandage and later the tattoo were used to cover one of Sackhoff's real-life tattoos of a crucifix, which would have been an anachronism in Galactica setting.
  • Helo is seen in attendance of the groundbreaking ceremony. Roslin in "A Measure of Salvation" tells him she doesn't think he ever set foot on the planet. However, she may not have seen him as it doesn't appear she attended Baltar's ceremony, though she talked to Adama beforehand and attended the party after.


  • This episode confirms what caused the rift between Kara Thrace and Lee Adama. Thrace avoids the notion of feeling too close with Adama by marrying Anders, and Adama returns to Dualla and soon takes to overeating.
    • From Thrace's remarks about how Lee Adama doesn't know "when to make his move and when to pull back", it is also possible that she does not feel the same way towards him as he does towards her.
  • On New Caprica, Adama and Roslin are as relaxed with each other as the two leaders could be, not necessarily chasing romance, but allowing themselves a moment of mutual relaxation, physical closeness, and contemplation. This level of open affection may have seemed more permissible due to Roslin's status as a private citizen during the Baltar administration, although the two appear to remain good friends even in the present.
  • Adama made a similar declaration about tightening military discipline when Pegasus arrived, and immediately thereafter almost started a civil war in an effort to rescue Tyrol and Helo. The inability to maintain emotional detachment from his subordinates has repeatedly proven to be a strong personality trait of his, and it is questionable whether he will be able to manage detachment this time, or for very long. This trait can also be seen in the episode "You Can't Go Home Again" where he risks the whole fleet to save just one pilot - Starbuck.
    • Also present in his speech is the continued conviction that the disasters that have befallen humanity can be placed on his shoulders. This sense of guilt seems likely to keep haunting him for the foreseeable future.
  • New Caprica is shown with blue skies, apparently in spring or summer. This matches the mood of the newly arriving Colonial settlers, before the failure of the Baltar administration and the Cylon occupation. This is the first episode thus far to depict New Caprica as a pleasant place to live. Every other episode on-planet has shown it to be dreary and spartan.
  • After Thrace wins against Hot Dog, she takes Tigh's hip flask (still with her boxing gloves on) and drinks from it. Another sign of their improved relationship.
  • Ships are seen flying in heavy power generation equipment of some kind, suggesting that this and many other colonization resources that were too large to retrieve during the Second Exodus were later abandoned on New Caprica, foretelling an eventual supply shortage.
  • Helo's quip about Apollo "fighting like he has it in for me" may have a basis in fact. It was Apollo's plan that Helo's actions derailed (TRS: "A Measure of Salvation"), and some resentment over that would be natural.
  • Kara Thrace does not feel obligated to follow rules of engagement when she starts to lose. During her fight with Lee Adama, once it becomes obvious that she stands a good chance of losing she quickly begins using arm locks and kicks to gain an advantage. Once knocked to the ground, she sweeps Adama's legs out from under him. Adama responds by using a grappling hold on Thrace, placing her into a headlock. This is reminiscent of Starbuck's expressed attitude in "Scar" that war is not bound by ideas of honor or fair play.
    • It should be clarified that Thrace and Adama's fight takes place after the boxing tournament is officially closed. No referee is in the ring, and no bells are rung to signify rounds, making their bout something of an unregulated fight in any case.
  • The population count has risen by one since "Hero". This is almost certainly not Daniel Novacek, since his arrival in the teaser act of the previous episode is accounted for in the population count in that episode; similarly, the nearly 1,700 member crew of Pegasus are instantly added once they are discovered. It is possible that the on-screen figures are more realistic this season, incorporating births and deaths that would naturally continue to happen anywhere but would not be depicted on-screen.


  • What will occur now that Kara Thrace and Lee Adama have begun to mend fences? (Answer)
  • What will be the fallout, if any, in Thrace's and Adama's current marriages? (Answer)
  • Now that Adama admits to letting the crew get too close to him, will he be harder and stricter on his crew? (Answer 1, 2)
  • Did Adama and Roslin have a more intimate encounter than was shown?

Official Statements

  • Bodie Olmos discusses his most memorable moment on the series to date:
Olmos: My most memorable, was probably, "Unfinished Business". The reason I liked this one so much was because, one I got to work with Robert Young, who I have admired and love to watch him work, with actors. Second, this show a lot of us were on set that episode and it is just fun when we are all there. Many times, we are all kind of separated and don't really work together on the same day even. So it was just nice being with every one, and also I have never done a boxing sequence before and is something I always thought would be interesting to see how they are done. Not to mention the fact that I get knocked out by Starbuck, that was pretty fun!![6]
  • Bodie Olmos reflects on his initial reaction to the scene where he is K.O.'ed by Starbuck:
Oddly enough, I was a little annoyed, but then I was all "What the heck, take one for the team." She's pretty tough anyways!![6]
Personally, I didn't have any reservations about that scene — none whatsoever. I'm a baby boomer and I was always sort of disappointed at Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" comment. I was very impressed with Barack Obama saying he did![7]
I was thrilled when I read that script and saw I was gonna kick Adama's ass. Though the boxing was really difficult for me to shoot, because I'd injured myself playing hockey a few weeks earlier. But we got round that by saying the Chief was one of those guys who doesn't move too much—he just stands in the middle of the ring and makes three shots to land one.[2]

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Adama and Roslin about their smokes and life on New Caprica:
Adama: You say this stuff grows around here?
Roslin: Mm-hmm. In the mountains north of here there's this little stream that comes down into this lake the water is so clear it's like looking through glass. I'm thinking of building a cabin.
Adama: (finishing the joint) That's good.
Roslin: Mmm, it is good.
  • Further conversation between Adama and Roslin:
Roslin: Is this really it, Bill? Is this how we're gonna spend all the rest of our days? Hmm?
Roslin: Maybe we should just enjoy this.
Adama: I am.
Roslin: No, no, I mean enjoy being here o­n this planet as long as it lasts. I mean, maybe the Cylons come back, maybe they don't, but for now, right now... We've got a break.
Adama: I've got people that want to get off the ship, move down here.
Roslin: Can't say as I blame them. I mean, what are you gonna do?
  • Taking his talk with Roslin to heart, Adama changes his mind on the Tyrols:
Adama: I've been thinking about, uh, what you said. A battlestar's no place to raise a family. So I'm gonna miss you, Chief. I wanna wish you good luck.
Tyrol: Thank you, sir.
Adama: My best to both of you.
Cally: You mean it? Really? Thank you.
Adama: I want you guys to have at least a dozen.
Cally: (laughs) We'll see about that.
  • During the fight between Admiral Adama and Chief Tyrol:
Wiliam Adama: This how you fight your enemies, Chief? This how you fight for your life? No excuses. Show me you're a soldier. Get up!
Galen Tyrol: Is that what you want? Is that what you want, Admiral?
Kara Thrace: Nice, Admiral! (turns to Lee Adama) The old man's got chops. He knows when to make his moves, when to hold back. I wish I could say the same for his son.
  • Admiral Adama after his fight:
"When you step on this deck, you be ready to fight, or you dishonor the reason why we're here. Now remember this: When you fight a man, he's not your friend. Same goes when you lead men. I forgot that once. I let you get too close, all of you. I dropped my guard. I gave some of you breaks, let some of you go, before the fight was really over. I let this crew and this family disband, and we paid the price in lives. That can't happen again."

Guest Stars


  1. Podcast: Unfinished Business , Act 2. Seek to: 16:37. Total running time: 49:09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bassom, David (2007). Cath Trechman Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-478-1, p. 63.
  3. Podcast: Unfinished Business , Act 1. Seek to: 11:42. Total running time: 49:09.
  4. Podcast: Unfinished Business , Act 1. Seek to: 13:03. Total running time: 49:09.
  5. Bassom, David (2007). Cath Trechman Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-478-1, p. 61.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Craddock, Lisa (20 January 2007). The SciFi World: Bodie Olmos interview (backup available on Archive.org) (in ). Retrieved on 18 February 2007.
  7. Bassom, David (2007). Cath Trechman Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-478-1, p. 62.