Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009): Season 1, Episode 4 - Act of Contrition - full transcript

There's a party on Galactica's flight deck as Flat-Top just had his thousandth landing. Something goes terribly wrong however when a drone accidentally goes off and explodes in a group of pilots. 13 are dead. During the ceremony Kara Thrace starts thinking about her dead fiancée Zak Adama. And those memories even get clearer when Adama orders her to start training new pilots. She seems very uncomfortable in doing so. The favor she did for Zak by letting him pass basic flight seems to bother her more and more. Angrily she stops training pilots after just one day. Meanwhile on Cylon-occupied Caprica Helo and Cylon-Sharon find a bomb shelter in a restaurant. It seems like a good place to stay for a while. There's food, water and anti-radiation medication in abundance.

FEMALE NARRATOR: Previously on
Battlestar Galactica.


Zak failed Basic Flight.

But he didn't
because I passed him.

I can't decode it,
but it means there's someone.

Someone in the military
is still somewhere,

alive and kicking
here in Caprica.

I have cancer.

And I fear that knowledge of
my illness will erode hope.

So this has to stay
between you and me.

Zak was my brother.

What was he to me, nothing?

Same old Lee. You
haven't changed either.





You are so unprepared.

Shut up!

You're the worst CAG in the
history of CAGs, actually.

DUALLA ON PA: Raptor pilot
Lieutenant Dwight Fiat Top Sanders

entering Hangar Deck 12 B.
Deck hands, please report.

Repeat, deck hands,
please report to 12 B.

PILOT: There he is!

Way to go, Lieutenant!

PILOT 2: We're talking
one thousand! Yeah.


PILOT 3: One thousand!

1 -0-0-0!

PILOT: Raptor pilots
flying high!

PILOTS: Raptor pilots
flying high!

Red paint, incoming.


You're the worst.
The absolute worst!


PILOT: Raptor pilots
flying by!

PILOTS: Raptor pilots
flying high!

What the hell is this?

Flat Top's thousandth landing
and nobody tells me.

Now we look like idiots.

Find a wagon!

Yes, sir.

Somebody get me a wagon!

1 -0-0...

You're not ready yet?

Someone's going to
have to pick that up.

Stop it!

Let's go, come on.

This one's perfect.
Here, take this.

Give me a hand.

Unload this.
Put it wherever.

You two, come here.

Take this wagon
to the pilots.

So, did the
Commander tell you

what happened on his
thousandth landing?

I don't remember telling
you about what I did.

Yeah, whatever.

He's landing
on the Atlantia

and he's been having this
ongoing fight with the LSO

and so he decides he's gonna
really stick it to him good.

This has all been


PILOTS: Come on, people,
watch them bake!

PILOT: Three little Cylons
in the air!

Three little Cylons
in the air!

Watch their metal
burn and flare!

Watch their metal...

So, he skids to a stop
on the flight deck

and the LSO hears
over the wireless

this big, loud,
long, obnoxious...



I was young.

STARBUCK: Oh, no. It was great.
It was really funny.

PILOT: Two little Cylons
jump in the cave!

Two little Cylons
jump in the cave!

Come on, ACARS,
make it their grave!

The LSO is freaking out,

your dad doesn't care
because he hates the guy.

He figures he can
get away with it anyway

'cause it's his
thousandth landing.

"I can get away
with anything today."

Watch them run!
Raptors pilots...

PILOT: Five little Cylons
in the grass!

PILOTS: Five little
Cylons in the grass!

Watch the Raptor
light their ass!


DUALLA ON PA: Attention!
Fire in the port hangar deck.

Away the fire
and rescue team.

Let's go!




Metal fatigue,
old equipment.

Worn strap fails, drops a million
cubit drone to the deck.

Kills 13 pilots and lands
seven more in sickbay.

It's hard to hear this, I
know, but we got lucky.

If that had been a missile
instead of a comm drone,

would've taken out
the side of the ship.

Never had a death
on my hangar deck.

Never a death.

Services for the dead.

Services will commence at 1100
hours on the forward hangar deck.

Midship's hangar deck
remains closed

for investigation and clean-up
until further notice.

Uniforms for the services
will be dress grays.

I wish I knew what to say,
words to make this better.

Can anything make this better?
I don't know.

Attention on deck!

As you were.


May I?

APOLLO: Yes, sir.

Are you Lieutenant Thrace?

Give me your eyes.

I know this has
been a hard day.

There's been
plenty of them lately.

I can guarantee you
there'll be more to come.

Remember your self-esteem.

Your self-respect.

And your self-worth.

Hold strong to them,
because people are watching.

You're the guardians
of the fleet.

They need to know that
they can count on you.

Even at a time like this.

Are you Lieutenant Thrace?

I'm Commander Adama.
Zak's father.

I know, sir.
I'm sorry, sir.

I was planning on coming to see
you tomorrow before the funeral.

You don't need to
explain anything.

GUARD: Present arms!

Order arms!

Once again, we are charged
with the solemn duty

to return the bodies of
our own to the universe

from which the Lords of
Kobol brought them to us.

PRIEST: The burdens of this life
are with us but a short time.

For Lieutenant Zak Adama, son
of William and Caroline Adama,

brother of Lee,
the time was too short.

But we take comfort in knowing
his life was willingly given

in service to all of us.

We honor them for that.

And, thus, it falls upon
us to repent our sins

and with the help
of the Lords of Kobol

make our own lives
worthy of that gift.

And now, we commit his body to the
ground from which we were all made.

Secure in the knowledge

that we will be reunited
with them

in a better world to come.

So say we all.

GUARD: Present arms!


Pilots we've known.

I have to start
training new pilots.


There it is.


I kind of thought
this was about that.

I don't know if I'm the
right person for this.

Do you know someone better?


But there's almost
50,000 people out there.

Trying to tell me there's
not one flight instructor?

There's two.
Civilians. Both.

But I need someone to
teach combat tactics.

You know, I don't know
if I'd be of any use to you.

I wasn't
the most patient...

Let's get down to it.

This is about Zak.

It was not your fault.

You had nothing to do
with what happened.

It was an accident.

Lee? Zak failed
Basic Flight.


Or at least he should
have, but he didn't,

because I passed him.

His technique was sloppy
and he had no feel for flying,

but I passed him.

Because he and I...

Because I felt something and I let
it get in the way of doing my job.

And I couldn't fail him.

Zak passed Basic Flight.

He was trained and ready
to sit in that cockpit.

What happened to him could've
happened to any qualified pilot.

You know that's true.


You did your job to
the best of your ability.

That's all I can ask.

I need new pilots.

And I want you to
train them.

I can do that.


Just give them the attention and the
professionalism that you gave my son.

And they'll be one
hell of a squadron.


Ten cubits says
she takes him this time.

You're on.

Thanks for
the vote of confidence.

Ten to stay.

So, Gaeta, how are you and the Doc
here doing on your Cylon detector?

What Cylon detector?

CRASHDOWN: Rumor has it
that Cylons look like people

and you guys are working on a
way to weed them out, right?

ZAK: I want you to tell me
the truth about something.

You passed.

By the skin of your teeth,
but you passed.

ZAK: I don't want any special treatment.
Not from my father

and certainly not from you.

GAETA: If there were
such a program, it would be classified

and I wouldn't be able
to talk about it.

Something smells
horrible in here.

Is that you, Crashdown?

Yeah, that's me.

Your card.

Zak, I'm a flight instructor.

I'm not going to
send you to Vipers

if I don't think you've
got the chops. Okay?

Are you all right?



Maybe you'd like
to take a break?

I'm out of here.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Okay, she can't do that.

She can and she did.

This is it.

HELO: Restaurant.

BOOMER: I'm almost
on top of the signal.

I don't get it. How does
a military coded signal

end up coming from in here?

Let's find out.

Is that thing working?


I checked it three times.

This thing says
we're right on top of it.

HELO: Of what?




You're frakking kidding me.



Medical supplies.


Wait a minute, the signal.



Disaster beacon.

Must've been set to go off
if there was an attack.

Some poor slob goes
through all the trouble

of building a fallout
shelter, stocks it,

has a beacon,
the whole plan.

Then what?
What happens to him?

Let's just call ourselves
lucky and leave it at that.


Madam President.

Would you close
that curtain, please?

ROSLIN: Thank you.

You are obviously an intelligent,
well-educated young woman.

Would you mind explaining to
me why you waited five years

in between breast exams?

Yes, I would mind.

It's none of your business.

I was busy.

And now, here you are.

Yes. Here we are.

Would you mind?

I do, actually.

But your doctor back
on Caprica was right.

It's too damn late
to operate,

the cancer
is too far advanced.

All we can do now
is try and shrink

the tumor with
gamma treatments

and follow that up
with IV CIS-Doloxan.

Did he explain to you the
side effects of Doloxan?

Hair loss, nausea,
muscle degeneration.

I watched my mother endure two
years of Doloxan before she died.

I would like to
explore alternate treatment.



Have you ever heard
of Chamalla extract?

Oh, gods.
You're one of those.

What if it works?

All the evidence on
Chamalla is anecdotal.

It's nothing but a bunch of
loose talk and false hope.

I'd take that as a yes.

All right.

I'll put out a med request
to the civilian fleet.

Maybe there's some other
wide-eyed dreamer out there

with a secret horde of Chamalla
extract in their luggage.

You can put your
clothes back on now.

Thank you.

And for what it's worth,

I would seriously
consider prayer.

Boonie jumpers.
Shuttle jockeys.

And a Fleet Academy

This is the best that
you could come up with?

Diamonds in the rough.

Yeah, right.

They're the most qualified
pilots in the fleet.


Attention on deck.

That means get on
your feet, nuggets!

You are joining the Colonial
Fleet, boys and girls,

not some
after-school club.


Pilots call me Starbuck,
you may refer to me as God.

You've all flown before, but you're
about to enter a whole new world,

so pay attention.

We don't have any flight
simulators on board

so we're putting you
in the cockpit, today.

This is
the Viper-Mark ll.

It's as maneuverable as a jackrabbit,
and can flip end for end

in 0.35 seconds.

You've never flown anything remotely
like it, so don't think that you have.

Today we will be doing basic launch,
approach, and landing maneuvers.

Anyone not paying attention
is liable to end up

as a puddle of
something to be hosed

out of the cockpit
by the chief of the deck.

She's laying it
on a little thick.

Costanza, right?

Yes, God, sir.

Not anymore.

From now on,
your name is Hot Dog.

And when God speaks,
Hot Dog, you listen.

Maybe if you had learned
that at the Academy,

you wouldn't have
washed out.

Sit up!

LSO ON RADIO: Viper 791, Galactica,
you are cleared for approach.

Speed 175, port bay,
hands-on approach,

checkers green.
Call the ball.

I have the ball.

Easy on the throttle, Kat.

Are you listening to me?

Don't chase
the lights, okay?

Roger, Starbuck.

Kat, don't chase the lights!

Set it by the numbers
and correct with thrusters.


LSO: Wave-off!

Punch it, Kat!

Worse than awful.

Wretched beyond belief,

You call yourselves pilots?

It'll take the
knuckle draggers a week

to pound your divots
out of the flight deck.

With due respect, sir,
that's unfair.

Yes, sir. This was
only our first day.

No. It's your last.

It would be criminal to let any
of you near a Viper again.

So pack your gear and get the
hell off my ship. You're done.

What are you
doing here, Kara?

You can't wash them
out on their first day.

I just did.


Look, I got 40 Vipers,
and 21 pilots.

That's it.

We are sitting ducks
until we finish water-ops.

We can't even
maintain a CAP.

And gods forbid
the Cylons show up.

Gods forbid.

Let's bring in the next
group of candidates.

The next group has never
even been in a cockpit.

They're starting
Basic Flight.

Then they start
Basic Flight.

Because that group is done.

It says so right there. Maybe
you should read it again.

Lieutenant Thrace,
this is not a request.

Well, Captain Adama,

I am the
flight instructor, sir.

My word is scripture, sir.

I will not, repeat, not pass
another student who isn't ready.

So, that's what
this is about.

It's not them. It's Zak.


Step back.



ADAMA: Starbuck says
they can't cut it, they can't cut it.

She's not giving them
a chance. It's Day 1.

She's one of the finest pilots
I've ever seen in my life.

If one day in the cockpit
is all she needs,

to know if they're gonna hack
it or not, she got that.

I'm not arguing that, sir.

I'm just saying

I think she's letting her personal
feelings cloud her judgment.

Please sit down, Captain.

What are those feelings?

About Zak.

We've talked about Zak.

You did?

We've talked about
a lot of things.

We've been aboard this ship
for over two years.

We know each other
very well.

When I asked her
to be the instructor,

I knew it was going to release
a lot of loose baggage.

She acknowledged it.

She's a professional.
She'll do her job.


I'm just saying that
you should talk to her.

She's walking around
with a lot of emotion.

She almost decked me
in the rec room.

Right. You wouldn't smile
if you were there.

I'll talk to her.

Thank you.


I think she's trying to work out her
guilt over what she did for Zak.

I think she's trying to make up for
it by beating up on these guys.

Guilt? Over what?

What did she do for Zak?

I thought you just said...

What did she do?

It's not my place to say and I've
already said more than I should have.

You'll have to ask her.
I'm sorry.

Captain, just...

Dad, you'll have to
ask her.

ZAK: I don't want any special treatment.
Not from my father

and certainly not from you.

You passed.

By the skin of your teeth,
but you passed.


DUALLA ON PA: Attention.
Pass the word to Lieutenant Thrace.

Lieutenant Thrace, please report
to the CO's quarters.


Yes. Come in.

Lee was just here before.

I knew it.

He thinks you washed out

the nuggets without
giving them a chance.

They didn't cut it.
That's it.

He thought you were letting personal
feelings cloud your judgment.


Your feelings about Zak.

That's not the case.


He said something else.

He said something that I would
like to ask you directly.

He said that you
might have been feeling

guilty about something
that you did for Zak.

What did you do for him?

I don't know.
You'd have to ask Lee.

I'm asking you.

I don't...

I don't really know what he
was talking about, so...

Don't fence with me, Kara.

I love you like a daughter.

I don't deserve that.


Zak failed Basic Flight.

He wasn't a bad pilot.

He just had
no feel for flying.

And when it came to his
final check-ride, he busted

three of the test maneuvers.

And I should have
flunked him, but I didn't.

The bottom line
is that your son

didn't have
the chops to fly a Viper.

And it killed him.

ADAMA: He told me that
you were an amazing instructor.

And that he was involved with
you, and that it was serious.

He'd asked me to come to his
graduation at flight school

and watch him
get his wings.

I know. I read the letter.

I see.

Then, maybe you can tell me
what he was hinting at.

The surprise, about you.

We were going to...

You know what,
it's not important.

I don't want that to...

You were engaged, right?

You did it
because you were engaged.

Because I made a mistake.

And because I was just...

I was so in love with him.

And I let that get in the
way of doing my job.


He just wanted it so much and I didn't
want to be the one who crushed him.

Reinstate the trainees
to flight status.

I will.

But I just want you
to understand that I...

Do your job.

Yes, sir.

And walk out of this cabin
while you still can.


Unpack your gear.

You are all returned
to flight status.

We're going to
try this again.

Those of you
who can be trained

to safely fly
the Viper Mark ll will pass.

Those of you who cannot,
will be cut.

It is my job to figure
out which is which,

without personal feeling
either way.

And I'm going to do my job.

Kat, Chuckles, Hot
Dog, you're up first.

Pre-flight briefing
in 20 minutes.


CHUCKLES: Where the hell
are you going, Hot Dog? Stay on me.

HOT DOG: Target acquired
and destroyed.

Not bad, Hot Dog, but you
left your leader behind.

KAT: Looks like you're having
a bad day, Hot Dog.

And the moral
of this story is?

Never leave your leader.

Thank you.
That is correct.

You never want to
be out here alone.

STARBUCK: Okay, Chuckles, take Kat's wing.
Hot Dog, you're on me.

We're gonna try a little
maneuver called "Thorch Weave."

I'll be damned.
What's got into Starbuck?

She actually sounds like a
real instructor for a change.

She may actually
make Viper pilots

out of some of
those nuggets after all.

STARBUCK: Holy crap,
we've got incoming.

TIGH: Where the hell
did they come from?

Multiple contacts.

It's the Cylons.

TIGH: Why didn't
we see them coming?

Launch the alert fighters.

Attention! Set Condition 1
throughout the fleet.

STARBUCK: Galactica, we're
gonna need you to send the cavalry.

Nuggets, punch it for home.

Where's the base ship?

No base ships
detected, sir.

Eight raiders,
bearing 047 carom 118.

Range 22,000.

They found us. It was
only a matter of time.

Galactica, Starbuck. Where the
hell are the alert fighters?

ALERT ONE: Starbuck, Alert One.
Be there in two minutes.

The Cylons are gaining!

All right,
listen up, nuggets.

Stay together and keep your throttles
firewalled until you hit that deck.

Now go.

What's she doing?

TIGH: Starbuck's gonna
take on all eight.

And get herself killed.

KAT: Hot Dog,
where are you going?

what are you doing?

Got one!

Hot Dog, get out of here!

Hot Dog, I thought
I told you to get your ass home!

HOT DOG: You said
never to leave your leader.

And I also said
never disobey an order.

I'm hit!

I got you, Hot Dog! We're going
to make it through this.

Break right. Now!

She'll make it.

I just lost
all three mains.

It's all right, Hot Dog.
You did good.

We're gonna be okay,
I promise you.

At least one of us will.

That about does it.
I think there's only one left.



STARBUCK: He's right on my tail,
but I got it covered.

Starbuck's wireless
and transponder just cut out.

ALERT ONE: Alert One,
we spotted Hot Dog.

No ID or visual on Starbuck.


Frak me!