Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009): Season 4, Episode 8 - Sine Qua Non - full transcript

President Roslin's abduction by the Cylon Hybrid triggers a bitter power struggle within the Colonial Fleet.

Previously on
Battlestar Galactica...

"Thus shall it come to pass."

"The dying leader shall know
the truth of the Opera House."

Where did you hear that?
Who told you that?

The Hybrid on the baseship
before they unplugged it.

I've got to find out
about these visions.

Plug it in.
It's time to get some answers.

Can I see what you drew?


Get away from my child!
You are never gonna take her.


Heavenly Father...

Give me the strength...

The wisdom...

All right, on three.

One, two, three, lift.

Keep some pressure on that wound
until I can get to the artery. Mask on.

- Kidnapped! The president was kidnapped?
- I heard Baltar was with her!

- Are you saying he's responsible?
- I heard it was the Cylons.

- Look, my people say she was shot.
- You talking about Roslin?

No, one of Adama's Marines shot a Cylon,
and that is how this entire thing has begun.

- So then where is Zarek?
- I don't know!

Who's in charge here?

Sir, Vice President Zarek is still waiting to
talk to you. What should I tell him? Sir?

Decker said they've shipped
the last of the Vipers.

Means we're down 40 birds,
almost as many jocks.

We're gonna have to reconfigure the CAP,
rethink our defence posture.

Where is she?

Marines are holding her.

My quarters.

Nobody has told us anything.

- Hi everybody.
- Mr. Vice President.

- I have some questions for you.
- Thank you. Just calm down please.

Everybody just calm down, please.

Mr. Vice President,
it's really important that we know.

- Is the president dead?
- We have no information.

- I heard she was assassinated by the Cylons.
- There is no truth to that, at least as far as we know.

- Then what the hell do we know?
- Clearly our first priority

is to get out as much verifiable information
as we can to avoid exaggeration.

To that end, I asked Admiral Adama to
come and answer our questions directly.

he wouldn't take my call.

At this time...

However... However...

Please. Please, just a moment.

President Roslin was apparently
aboard the Cylon baseship,

along with Baltar and many of Galactica?s
pilots when it jumped away,

after one of their own leaders
was shot aboard Galactica.

We have no idea when
or if they'll return,

or if the president or the other captives
will be subject to reprisals.

For now, by the powers
granted me by law,

- I have taken over as president.
- Hear, hear!

By refusing even to meet with Zarek, you're simply
helping him fan the Quorum's suspicions.

Their suspicions don't concern me.

Look, maybe he's not
the man we hoped for,

but he is next in line and the fleet
needs reassurance and stability

exactly the kind that only its
military commander can offer.

If this fleet needs reassurance,
then you reassure them.

That's your job now.

You can tell Zarek he can go to hell.

- Why?
- Sir?

Do you hate your people so much that
you look for any excuse to kill one?

Or did you deliberately try
to sabotage this truce?

No, sir, of course not.

Then you tell me why.

You make me understand why you did this.

They were gonna take her.

The Six.
She was gonna take my child.

There were too many witnesses.
They all said the same thing.

Your daughter was lost.

The Cylon merely kneeled down,
was talking to her.

That's what it looked like to others sir,
but I know.

- Oh, you knew better.
- I had a vision.

A vision where the Six and Baltar
were taking Hera away from me.

A vision?

It was more than just a vision, sir.
When I saw them together,

I knew that they would take her,
they would take away my child!

You murdered an unarmed woman.
And, by doing so,

you put the lives of every single
person in this fleet at risk.

And quite possibly cost the lives
of the president and your husband.

You disobeyed the direct orders
of a superior officer,

but, more importantly,
you betrayed a promise to me.

I trusted you.

Sir, I will accept any form of punishment
that you think I deserve.

I just ask that you please don't
take away Hera.

I'm afraid the brig
is no place for a little girl.


- Get her out of my sight.
- Yes, sir.

At one time, Admiral Adama supported
Gaius Baltar's administration.

- Isn't there a chance he'd support yours?
- I'm afraid only Admiral Adama can answer that.

I will address this to Delegate Adama.

Do you honestly think your father will
hand over power to this administration?


We have no authority...

Fine. Yeah.

Recon Raptor just reported back.
Resurrection Hub's gone.

No sign of the baseship
carrying the president,

assuming that's where they were headed.

They were determined
to resurrect the Three.

What we used to call D'Anna.

To do that, they gotta go to the Hub.

- You find it, we'll find them.
- Easier said than done.


We got other problems.
Starbuck's having trouble

fielding enough planes to fly
a standard CAP.

Wants us to consider having the fleet
bunched up tighter, so it's easier to defend.

Means counting on a bunch of civvies
flying close formation.

- Yeah.
- Organise it.

I got you appointed to this job.

Pulled strings, called in favours,

all because I thought
you might do some good.

Now, you're advising me to step aside

from a position that, by law, is mine.

A position I was elected to.

- But you were never elected president.
- But I was elected... office!
Which is more than Roslin can claim.

Why do you think she kept me on
in the first place?

To thank me for rolling over? No.

No, to help legitimise her coup.

In the military...

...we used to talk about
facts on the ground.

The facts on the ground are these:

Right or wrong, Adama will never
recognise you as president,

and we need someone he will.
The Quorum has a legal authority

to appoint an Interim President
in a time of crisis.

And I suppose you have someone in mind?

No. No, not yet.

Which is why we need
to form a search committee

and start looking for a candidate
as soon as possible.

Well, good luck with that.

Mr. Vice President, sir. Do you really believe
that this government's in danger?

Let's face facts here. What we had these
past five years isn't a true government,

but a tacit agreement between
a military strongman

and a political strongwoman
to rule together by fiat.

I've heard you asked the Quorum to authorise
the creation of a civil defence force?

After what happened during the last military coup,
we don't want to depend on Galactica's marines

to guarantee our safety.

You see the problem?

Lampkin's first rule of legal dynamics.

When an irresistible force

meets a movable object...

stand aside...

...and wait for the class action suit.

Except I'm not sure if it's to anyone's
benefit if we just sit around,

waiting to pick up the pieces.

This thing's heading for a showdown.
There's gonna be bloodshed, unless...

Unless you can find someone else.
Someone your father won't reject,

someone the quorum will approve of,
someone to take Tom Zarek's place

as Interim President until
the next round of elections.

Don't take the case, Counsellor.

It's a loser.

I have to. We have to.

No one on the Quorum
is going to lift a finger.

Zarek's got them inhaling fear
and exhaling anger.

But you have taken the pulse of the fleet,
and you know character.

And, frankly, you need a reason
to get out of this room.

Unless you want to start discussing
what's been keeping you here.

So you won't be dissuaded, will you?

Not even when you hear my fee?

- Fee?
- Appearances to the contrary,

I'm actually in this for the money.
I have a reputation to maintain, after all.

Okay, so, what did Roslin offer you
to defend Baltar?

Room with a view.

I'm not sure I can improve on that.

Then pro bono it is, Counsellor.

Word to the wise.

Sometimes it's better to settle
for what you've already got.

Colonel Tigh. I understand you've
developed a relationship

with the Cylon prisoner.

That's not the word I'd use,
but she has been more co-operative.

See if she'll tell you
anything about the Hub.


We'll find her.
We'll find all of them.

The resurrection Hub.
How do we find it?

- I'm sure the others have told you.
- You tell me.

Only our Hybrids can locate it.
And then only after it completes a jump.

- Even they can't anticipate where it's going.
- You're holding back something.

I know it. You're lying.

I have never lied to you, Saul.
Why don't you trust me now?

There are too many lives at stake, lady.

Your buddies took off
with half an air wing,

not to mention the president
of the frakking Colonies herself.

She's the real reason you're so angry, so worried.
I can hear it in your voice.

Why? Why is a dying woman
so important to you?

Not to me, godsdammit, to the old man.

Admiral Adama?


- Do you love me?
- What?

Be honest with me.
I've been honest with you.

I don't believe this.

You're asking me if...

Attention. Set Condition One throughout the ship.
This is not a drill.

This has gone too frakkin' far! I don't know what
mind games you are playing with me lady,

but it ends here!

- What have we got? - One of our missing Raptors
jumped into the dradis range.

- We sure it's ours?
- Transponder checks out.

One of the Raptors that boarded the rebel baseship.
No radiological signature.

Racetrack and Skulls on
their way to intercept.

Actual, Racetrack. I'm eyeballing our bird now.
Looks shot to hell.

Venting fuel and O2.

Still no response to hails.

Someone had to jump that bird.

I can't see a frakking thing from here.

Skulls, take the wheel.
I'm going for a walk.

Decompression check okay
Opening hatch.

Safety line secure.
Moving toward the Raptor.

I'm seeing major damage to the canopy.

Looks empty inside.

I got the hatch open,
but it's stuck.

Grav field's off.

It's Pike.

He's dead.

This is the shuttle she took over
to the baseship.

Laird was able to salvage
the flight data recorder,

puts the originating jump point
deep in Sector Delta 9.

President Zarek called again.
Heard about the Raptor, he's waiting to be briefed.

Recall the CAP.
Spin up the FTLs.

- What about the fleet?
- Let's go.

We are essentially looking for an understudy.
Quandary is,

one doesn't generally get
the chance to wield political power

without the ambition
to actively seek it.

Easy, Lance.

That same ambition often compromises

the unselfish motives
that begat the quest.

In other words, a battle of id
versus ego that ego rarely wins.

- Roslin never sought power.
- Exception that proves the rule.

One could argue that Laura Roslin
is a study in repressed ambition.

Just like you, Mr. Adama.

Never seeking out a job
until it's handed to you?

Flight leader, battlestar commander,
quorum delegate.

A man doesn't carve out
a path through life without...

All right, enough psychoanalysis.
Let's get back to the job in hand.

Does your father have some
other place he wants to go?


Where the hell did they go?
And why didn't they tell us?

Galactica, Racetrack. We've located
the source of the transponder.

It's Sandman's Viper, all right,
but no Sandman.

Affirmative. Keep searching.

We're getting radiation signatures
from multiple nukes.

Baseship fragments, other debris
indicative of resurrection technology.

I'm afraid it paints
a pretty clear picture.

They found the Hub
and they destroyed it.

Looks like our pilots helped.
Question is, where did they go from here?

Oh, Bill.
You are way too close to this.

The president's baseship was destroyed.

It's a different baseship.

We'll search every square inch
of this debris field

- until we come up with a clue.
- What, and leave the rest of the fleet back there

with their asses hanging in the wind?

Detail four Raptors to stay behind.

They keep searching until they find
something concrete. Give my order.

People, listen up.
What are we gonna do here?

- They've left 39,000 lives...
- Everybody, gather round. Gather round.

- Mr. President?!
- Please, please, please...

I'm sorry, Admiral Adama will not be
coming to answer your questions.

I did learn, however, that they've contacted
the fleet's captains

to inform them that several of their ships
will be requisitioned

to expand the search for Laura Roslin
and the missing baseship,

while all tylium shipments will
be diverted to support that mission.

- Are you bypassing us completely?
- I understand, I understand.

We're doing the best...
Trying to get through communications.

- That is unconscionable!
- Come on.

That is nothing short of...

Captain Franks?

I was impressed by her gravitas
during her turn as judge

in the Baltar trial.
That and her vote, naturally.

She's already been approached to run for office.
No interest in politics.

Sadly, now she really impresses me.

Gods! You wanna feed that animal?

Where is he anyway?

Come on, Romo.

Let's put our heads together.

Who would Adama respect as president?

What does this search
for paragons net us anyway,

except greater guilt
at our own failings.

Or worse: The idiot's solution
of the clean slate, the fresh start.

We haven't ruled out
all these names yet.

This one's a loser.
An exercise in futility.


How's this gonna affect the president?
The break in her treatment?

Assuming no other changes
in her circumstances?


Well, Diloxin really kicks your ass,
so she actually might feel better at first.

But any break gives
the cancer a chance to regroup,

makes it harder to beat it back.
She's taken a hit to her immune system

so she'll be vulnerable to infections.

How long?

Let's us just say that the sooner you get her back here,
the better her chances are.

And while you're digesting that,
I have some other news.

I ran some tests on your Cylon prisoner.

Guess what I found.

Raptors are due back in a few hours.

Granted, if they'd found anything,
we would have heard from them by now.

- Still, once we correlate their reports...
- I'm not interested... the search.

- You're not?
- I know you've been spending a lot of time

interrogating the Six.

But now the brig guards tell me
that every time you order them out,

- and you turn off the cameras.
- I'm not torturing her,

- if that's what you're worried about.
- I'm not.

That, I could almost understand.
This, I can't.

Cottle tells me she's pregnant.

What the frak have you
been thinking, Colonel?

Do you deny it?

You don't.

You can't!

What the hell have you been thinking?

Who was interrogating whom? How many of our
secrets have you told this thing?

How can you even ask me that?
Question my loyalty?

Your loyalty?
I need more than your loyalty.

You're my first officer.
I need judgment.

I need your competence.

I'm through jeopardising this ship,
putting it at risk because of your weaknesses.

- My weaknesses?
- Yeah, your weaknesses!

You're risking all our lives, for what?!
Our missing pilots?! No, for a woman!

- For a frakkin' woman!
- You watch what you frakking say about that woman!

She's the president, not some frakking
skinjob that I've been banging.

- What would Ellen say about this?
- Leave Ellen out of this.

What do you think Ellen would say about her husband
impregnating a frakking Cylon prisoner?

You motherfrakker!

You know how many times
I've had to repair this thing?

What are you gonna do with that woman?

What are you gonna do about Laura,
if you ever find her?

I don't know.

Have the Raptors and the
civilian ships begin the search

from Phantom's last known position.

Is that a problem?

Sir, respectfully,

I've already got two missing pilots
and hardly enough birds left

to protect this fleet. Now you're asking to send
the remainder of the Raptors out on a blind search

looking for a ship that
very well may be destroyed.

My people are gonna feel like they're being
asked on a suicide missions.

I'm not asking.

You're dismissed, Captain.

Admiral Adama?

Mr. Lampkin, what are you doing here?

Writs of forfeiture for the ships
you're borrowing.

The captains want to be absolved of any
blame should anything untoward happen.

One of the less ennobling consequences
of a legal culture.

No one wants responsibility.

Lee said you once gave him
something before a mission.

A lighter, was it?

It belonged to my father.

Foolish to think a hunk of metal
could keep him safe.

And yet that's what we do, isn't it?

Hang on to hope, in every hopelessly
irrational way that we can.

But not like those poor bastards,
giving away their luck,

just when they need it most.
It's like they've given up.

If you've never been in combat,
you have no idea what they're thinking.

I always imagined you a realist, Admiral.

Not one to indulge a vain hope
at the cost of lives.

But then, everyone has his limits.

- Sine qua non, as they say.
- "Without which not".

Yes. Those things we deem essential
without which we cannot bear living,

without which life in general
loses its specific value.

Becomes abstract.

- You may have a point, Counsellor.
- And while I'm on a roll...

Tom Zarek may not be an ideal president,
but we could do worse.

You're right.

There are limits to my realism.

Goodbye, Counsellor.

I can't give up on her.

I can't let her go.

I've lost my objectivity.

And now that I see that,
I have no choice.

Tell the Quorum that I am relinquishing command,
effective immediately.

No man is perfect.

No man is less perfect than
a candidate for high office.


...the ranks of likely suspects
is winnowed to none.

What if we're going about this backwards?
Hey, Lance?

What if instead of picking names
and finding fault,

we ask ourselves the qualities
that we want.

No... That we need in a new Chief Executive.
See who fits that bill.

Honesty, of course.

The wisdom to recognise the correct
if unpopular choice,

as well as the courage
to see it through.


When the wrong choices cost lives
and the right ones save.

Tall order.

We might as well just
spell out one name.

Just one.

One we knew from the start.

Sometimes, you take on a losing case

and you make yourself a believer.

Other times,
no matter what you tell yourself... your heart,
you know the outcome is fixed.

The verdict inevitable.

Lance. Defence rests.

Come on.

I couldn't wait to tell you.

- Tell me what?
- We found our candidate.

Someone the Quorum won't hesitate to approve,
even over Zarek's objections.

Someone the admiral can't
help but accept.

Yeah? Who?

Congratulations, Mr. President.

My name was never on that list.

Of course not!
That would be too blatant.

But it is everything you always wanted,
isn't it?

Why you had me cross
47 names off that list.

Come on, admit it.

Savour your victory, Mr. Adama.

Because you'll never get
the chance to serve.

- What are you doing?
- Why?

'Cause you're perfect for the job,
of course.

'Cause after the vicious aberration
that was Baltar's presidency,

and the bitter disappointment
that was Roslin's,

you are a shining beacon of hope.

Only hope is the last thing we need.

We're a doomed race, and it's time we made
our peace with that essential truth.

- Romo, what the hell are you talking about?
- Why? You wanna know why?

Open it!

That's right.

- They killed my cat!
- They?

They! Those debased dregs
of humanity out there!

Our lost tribe in search of a new home,
so they can roost and rot again.

- How long has the cat been dead?
- How long?!

It's irrelevant, it's immaterial!
Since it wasn't even my cat!

- Romo, it's been dead for weeks.
- It belonged to my wife.

I'd retrieved it from a vet on Gemenon
when the bombs started to fall,

and fate presented me with a choice.

I could get back on that shuttle, or...

...I could run home and
try to save my family.

- How do you think I chose?
- Romo...

We've all had to make difficult choices,
you don't think I know.

Your wife's name was Faye.

You had two daughters,
Jennifer and Katie!

There were over 200 passengers
on that shuttle.

Only a handful chose to stay behind.

Yea it's right. It was in your file when you were
handed the job as Baltar's counsel.

But no one blamed you, Romo.
Because, at a certain point,

we all made decisions that saved
our lives at the cost of others.

You think you're unique, Romo?

- Think your sins are so special?
- Is that it, Counsellor?

You're gonna rest your entire case
on that pathetic little bit of insight?

No, on this.

The clean slate, the fresh start.
Maybe they are illusions, like you said.

But at a certain point, faith,

in ourselves, in our right
to survive as a species, as a people,

that's not a given, that's a choice.

Well, I've made mine.
And if you can't stomach that,

then you had damn well better squeeze
that trigger right now. Go on.

What are you waiting for?

Or you can make a choice.

Put your past behind you,

put the gun down and help me,

because I'm telling you I'm gonna
make a difference in this fleet.

- Is that your final word?
- That's up to you.

Then swear it.

I, Leland Joseph Adama,

do now avow and affirm...

That I take the office
of President of the Twelve Colonies

of Kobol without any moral reservation
or mental evasion.

That I take the office of
President of the Twelve Colonies

of Kobol without any moral reservation
or mental evasion.

This is a frakking joke.

You're the only man I can trust
to command this ship.

Maybe you're crazy enough
to pull a stunt like this,

but you can't be crazy enough
to leave me in charge.

In case you forgot, my last term
at the helm was a complete disaster.

That was a long time ago.
You're not the same man you were.

You're not even the same man
who came back from New Caprica.

You've found out a lot about yourself,

been tested in ways
I can barely begin to imagine.

You're ready.

Besides, don't count
on this being permanent.

What if it is?

Put these on.

Then you lead the people to Earth
the best way you can.

The fleet has stayed here
too long already.

- Any other last orders?
- Just one.

Give Athena back her daughter.
She needs her family.

We all need our family.

Take care of this one.

Alright, let me see the changes
before you get this out to the press.

- All right.
- Thank you.

Mr. Lampkin.


One day in office and you've
already got a first pet.

Jake here is a genuine hero of the Resistance.
Aren't you, Jake?

his previous owners had to let him go.

Jake, meet Romo.
Romo, meet Jake.

Your new best friend.

If there's one thing
I hate more than cats, it's dogs.

See, a new pet for you to loathe.
I knew it would be the perfect gift.

Good luck, Jake.

I hear you're keeping Zarek
as Vice President.

I can use the advice.

And as long as he knows he's heard,
I think I can trust him.

Don't know if I agree
with your thinking, but...

Well, I could say the same
thing about yours.

The only difference is you are gonna be president.
I'm just getting in a plane.

Waiting alone in a Raptor,
while the fleet jumps away...

That's not just getting in a plane.

That... That sounds a lot like...

Sounds a lot like suicide, Dad.

At least this time
I'm only risking my own neck.

So I guess it won't matter if, as president,
I order you not to do this?

I don't know if I ever
told you this, but... of my first missions
was a solo recon.

Me alone in a Raptor
in enemy space...

I'm not gonna lie to you,
I was scared.

I told myself that I was doing my duty and,
ultimately, I faced my fear.

That's a good memory.

- Why are you doing this?
- Because I can't live without her.

And Laura is gonna get
to the rendezvous point.

I have to believe that.

- Admiral.
- Admiral.

- What do you hear, Starbuck?
- Nothing but the rain, sir.

- Grab your gun and bring the cat in.
- Yes, sir.

Keep a light on. I'll be back.

You can count on it.

Galactica, this is Husker.
I'm in position.

Affirmative, Husker.

All fleet ships,
this is Galactica actual.

- Commence jump.
- Yes, sir.