Galactica 1980

Season 1 Episode 10

The Return of Starbuck

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 04, 1980 on ABC

Episode Recap

Doctor Zee tells Adama about a dream he had. He says that in his dream, he was not born on the Galactica or on any of the ships in the fleet. Adama confirms that this is in fact true about him. Zee asks where he came from. Adama asks Doctor Zee to tell him about the dream. Zee says that the dream was not about himself, but about a great warrior named Starbuck. Commander Adama takes notice as Zee narrates. Starbuck and Boomer fly their Vipers, battling off some Cylon fighters. They manage to destroy most of them, and the last one crashes into a nearby planet. Starbuck's Viper is damaged so he cannot make it back to the fleet. He tells Boomer to get back to the Galactica to warn them to leave. Boomer heads back while Starbuck tries to find a place to land. Boomer gets back to the Galactica where he tells Commander Adama that Starbuck is trapped out there. Adama says that as much as it hurts him to do so, they cannot go back for Starbuck because they are under attack and keep getting pushed forward by the Cylons. Starbuck is now on his own. Starbuck crashes into the planet. He has survived the crash. He gets out of the escape pod and sets his beacon to send a distress signal, even though he knows that help will never come. Having landed in a desert area, Starbuck sets out to find some civilization, an oasis, or anything. He is optimistic and hopes to perhaps find some primitive people who will think that he is a God; he also names the planet after himself. After climbing over numerous mountains, he realizes that he is not as alone as he thought when he finds the crashed Cylon ship. That night, he builds himself a crude shelter from some of the Cylon wreckage. He uses his weapon to start a fire. It is very cold at night and he is not so sure that he will survive. He goes to sleep wondering if will ever wake up. The next day, he talks to the three dead Cylons, making believe that they are alive. He gives them orders for fun. One of the Cylons falls over, scaring Starbuck. On the third day, he gets an idea. He grabs one of the dead Cylons and sets to work. He spends the day repairing the Cylon and bringing it power. Prepared for a momentous occasion, he flips the switch, but nothing happens. Despondent, he heads to the door. Just then, the Cylon powers up and draws it's weapon. Starbuck turns around, overjoyed at his success. The Cylon tries to shoot him, but the weapon is defective. Starbuck rebukes the Cylon. It stands up and tries to attack Starbuck manually, so he shuts it off. He does this a couple of times to teach it that he is in control. He explains to the Cylon that they are both stranded on the planet and have nobody but each other to rely on. The Cylon insists that they are enemies and cannot work together. Starbuck warns it that he will shut it off permanently if that is the case. The Cylon tells him to wait and asks why Starbuck put it back together. Starbuck explains that he was alone and that they need not be enemies here, away from everything and everyone else. He challenges the Cylon, asking it's purpose. Starbuck tries to logic the Cylon into being loyal to him for saving it. The Cylon says that it will consider it. Starbuck finds that the Cylon knows nothing about humans or the reason for their war so he decides that they will teach each other; the Cylon agrees. The next day, Starbuck teaches "Cy" about humans and gender. Cy is curious and wants to learn more but Starbuck is upset and wants to change the subject since that are talking about something that he will never see again. He teaches Cy how to play Pyramid. That night, Starbuck and Cy play Pyramid but Starbuck keeps winning. Cy gets upset because Starbuck is cheating. He says that Starbuck keeps changing the rules to keep himself interested because he is bored with Cy. Cy says that it is disappointed and walks out. Starbuck is surprised that he has hurt the Cylon's feelings. He goes out and apologizes. Cy says that it's companionship is not enough so it will go off and find a woman for him. Starbuck ponders his situation and his bizarre feelings for the Cylon. He is confused that he actually has any. The next morning, Cy returns to the camp with a surprise for Starbuck: an unconscious woman. Starbuck sees that the woman is alive and even more surprising, is pregnant. He tells Cy to get water. Cy obeys but points out that Starbuck has no real authority to order it around. Cy returns with water for the woman. Starbuck tends to her. Over the next few days, the woman has recovered but remains silent. Starbuck tells her his life story but the only response he gets is from Cy who appears to be getting jealous that Starbuck pays more attention to the woman than to it. Later on, they have developed a generator which can produce some power. Cy does most of the cranking to keep it running. The woman suddenly talks, asking if Starbuck would die for her. He is surprised and yells at her for not saying anything all this time. He is upset that she let him go on and on. Starbuck asks her who she is and where she comes from. She says that she is from another dimension. He tries to learn more but when she is vague in her answers, he mocks her. She is hurt and goes outside into the cold. Starbuck follows her out and gives her a coat. She tells him that they must prepare a vehicle for their child because the beacon will soon bring a Cylon ship. Starbuck is confused and points out that it cannot be his child. She tells him that she meant his spiritual child and asks him whether he has spent enough time and resources on his own needs yet. She says that they should start making plans in the morning and kisses him. Starbuck creates a cradle out of the Cylon ship's rudder. Cy discusses the baby with Starbuck. It finds the whole process to be primitive and clumsy, especially when Starbuck tells it that the baby will not be useful when it is born, and will be helpless for a long time. Angela tells him to hurry because it is predestined that the Cylons will come. Starbuck says that even if they do manage to repair the ship, they will not be able to find the fleet anymore. Angela gets a contraction and warns him to be quick because the baby will come soon. Starbuck tells Cy to help him build the ship. They continue to discuss babies which prompts Cy to say that humans should try the Cylon method of reproduction. The ship is finally done. Starbuck and Cy bask in their creation but Cy gets upset when it feels that Starbuck does not care about it as much as Angela and the baby. Cy starts walking away but Starbuck calls him back when Angela begins to give birth. The baby is born. Cy feels left out and out of place. Starbuck tries to reassure it that they are friends and offers to make Cy the baby's godfather. Cy is upset and says that they cannot be friends because they are enemies and leaves. Angela tells Starbuck that he must prepare himself for judgement because tomorrow is their last day. Starbuck thinks that she is just emotional from giving birth. He holds the baby, thinking that they will laugh it off in the morning. The next day, Starbuck sees three armed Cylons exiting a ship. He runs back to the camp and warns Angela. Cy comes in and asks what is happening. Starbuck tells Cy that there are other Cylons here so Cy says goodbye and goes to leave. Starbuck threatens to shoot Cy if he tries to go but cannot bring himself to do it. Cy leaves. Angela tells Starbuck that it is judgment day and that they must leave now. Starbuck brings Angela and the baby to the ship. He teaches her to fly it just in case he cannot make it back. They say goodbye and he seals them in. He then activates the ship, launching it into orbit without himself because without him, they will have twice the air. He says that he loves the two of them, then goes to face the three Cylons alone. Cy shows up and heads out to confront the other Cylons. Starbuck watches from behind a rock as Cy tells the others to lower their weapons. They ask it where the human is. Cy fires at the other Cylons, killing two of them. The last one shoots Cy before getting shot by Starbuck. Starbuck rushes out and holds Cy. He watches helplessly as Cy lies dying in his arms. Starbuck says that Cy must live because they are all alone, one human and one Cylon, that he can pay attention to Cy now. Cy replies that they are not human, nor Cylon, but friends. Cy then dies in Starbuck's arms. Angela watches the scene from atop a mountain. She announces that the child is safely on it's way and she is ready to return home. She then says that she judges Starbuck to be good, very good, then vanishes. Doctor Zee reads a report on the computer. He reads that the small pod flew through space, carrying the child in stasis until it eventually reached the Galactica. He realizes that his dream was true but is confused as to how he knows these things. Commander Adama explains that Zee knows all this because he was there, because he was the child. Doctor Zee listens shocked, then asks if he could be Starbuck's son. He asks who is mother was. Adama tells him that the answer is out there amongst the stars. Starbuck sits on a rock on the desert planet. He is now truly alone for what remains of his life.

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