Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 18

Murder on the Rising Star

1
Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Feb 18, 1979 on ABC

Episode Recap

Adama recites in his log that another planet has been found that has signs that the 13th tribe visited it. On the Rising Star, Starbuck and Apollo are engaged in another grueling game of triad. One of their opponents is Ortega who plays very rough and he and Starbuck almost come to blows several times during the match.

Tigh and Adama are watching the match from a lounge even though Tigh is itching to watch it live. After Ortega scores a point by viciously blocking Starbuck, Starbuck tackles him and a fight ensues resulting in both men being kicked out of the game. Cassiopeia, recognizing the look on Starbuck's face heads down to the locker room just in time to break up another fight between the two men. She threatens to put them both on report if they can continue. She tells Starbuck she's leaving on the next shuttle and he better be there or else. In one of the locker rooms, Ortega is back in his warrior gear and is ready to walk out the door when it opens. He sees a familiar face and draws his laser. Starbuck is running down the corridor to catch the shuttle when he runs into crewman Chella who asks him why he's not in the game. Chella continues down the corridor and finds a dead Ortega lying in the doorway of the locker room. A very jittery Starbuck arrives at the docking lounge to find Cassiopeia, who tells him that the shuttle is late. At the locker room, Tigh and Adama examine Ortega's body. He died of a single laser blast to the heart and his weapon had not been fired. They question Chella who tells them he ran into Starbuck in the corridor earlier. Adama tells Tigh that they need to find Starbuck and check his weapon. Apollo and Boomer find Starbuck just as he's about to board the shuttle. When they check his laser, they discover it's been fired.

Starbuck has a perfectly good explanation. He was at the firing range early in the day as was Jolly and some others. After testing Starbuck's weapon, Dr. Welker determines that it was used to kill Ortega. Starbuck is offered a plea bargain citing self-defense since Ortega had drawn his weapon but he refuses, proclaiming his innocence. Adama is forced to order that Starbuck be placed in confinement in the Galactica brig awaiting Tribunal. Adama accepts Apollo's request to be Starbuck's protector (defense lawyer). Apollo and Boomer begin talking to Ortega's shipmates and acquaintances. Ortega's triad partner, Barton, gives Apollo his first lead--the only man Ortega was afraid of--Karibdis. However, the Galactica's computer has no record of anyone by that name. They decide to head to the Rising Star and talk to one of the dealers there. On the IFB vid, the Chief Opposer (DA) is discussing the case and the overwhelming evidence against Starbuck. In his brig cell, Starbuck is becoming frustrated and thinks that Apollo isn't doing enough to help him. Cassiopeia begs him to take the plea agreement offered. They both profess their love for each other. After Cassiopeia leaves his cell, Starbuck stages an escape from the brig.

Starbuck is in his viper preparing to launch when Apollo arrives in the launch bay and tries to talk him out of escaping. He calls him a coward and tries to shame him into giving up. Starbuck powers up but backs down and returns to the brig. Apollo requests a postponement of the tribunal but Adama refuses. Boomer tells him that they need to interview acquaintances of Ortega including Karibdis. Adama knows of Karibdis under the alias of Proteus, who was Baltar's pilot and electronics expert. He was responsible for sabotaging the defense computers on Caprica before the attack. Apollo visits the only man able to identify Karibdis on sight: Baltar. Baltar agrees to help--for a price--but the price is too high to pay. Boomer and Apollo head to the Rising Star to interview the pyramid dealer who happens to be Chella. After some subtle blackmail he tells them his story--that he bribed Ortega to let him board the Rising Star after the attack and Ortega had been blackmailing him ever since. He also mentions that two other people, Elias and Pallon, were being blackmailed by Ortega, too.

Apollo and Boomer head back to the Galactica with Chella, Elias and Pallon who all affirm their innocence. On the way back, Apollo apologizes to the three men saying that Ortega's killer has been identified as Karibdis and that as soon as he drops them off at Galactica, he's going to get Baltar--the only man who can identify Karibdis and return him to the Galactica. Apollo later tells Boomer that one of the three men will likely try to stow aboard the shuttle and kill both he and Baltar. Apollo wants to catch the man in the act using an open mike, hoping that the man will admit to killing Ortega. Boomer just has to get the tribunal to listen to the appropriate radio channel. In the tribunal chambers, everyone is awaiting Protector Apollo's appearance but it is Boomer who actually comes in. He apologizes, tells Adama that Apollo will be detained and that he will act, assuming there are no objections as Protector Pro-Temp. Adama calls the tribunal to order. Chief Opposer Solon begins outlining the case against Starbuck. On the shuttle docked at the prison barge, Apollo has a shackled Baltar in the seat next to him as he tells him that Karibdis is onboard the shuttle and he will kill Baltar after killing Apollo and make it look like they killed each other. Apollo launches to head back to the Galactica as we seen someone open a weapons locker and pull out a laser pistol. At the tribunal, the Opposer is questioning Cassiopeia and she is forced to give damning testimony that closes out the Opposer's case against Starbuck. On the shuttle, Karibdis has revealed himself as Pallon and threatens Apollo and Baltar with a laser. At the tribunal, Boomer tries to convince Adama and the others that their defense is on Alpha Channel and he presses the button to activate it. Everyone hears Karibdis tell Baltar to engage the auto pilot before he kills Apollo and Apollo cons him into acknowledging that he killed Ortega. At the last minute, Baltar knocks the laser from Karibdis's hands and Apollo tussles with Karibdis resulting in Karibdis being stunned. Apollo comes back on Alpha channel and asks Boomer if the tribunal heard everything--which they did. Starbuck thanks Apollo but Apollo tells him he should be thanking Baltar instead.

A fidgety Starbuck prepares to head into his first triad match since his acquittal. When he and Apollo enter the arena, he is given a standing ovation by the assemblage including the fans, friends and family.

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