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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: The Captain's Hand

Battlestar Galactica

"The Captain's Hand"

TV episode

Written by Jeff Vlaming

Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan

Original air date: February 17, 2006


The latest commander of the Pegasus disobeys orders in order to search for some missing pilots, possibly playing into a Cylon trap.


Read the summary of the episode at the Battlestar Wiki site


Notes from the BSG chronology


Near the beginning of the episode, Apollo remarks to Dee that it's been almost a month since he suffered a gunshot wound (in the previous episode "Sacrifice").


Didja Know?


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 49,584, down six from the last episode, "Sacrifice", though seven people seemed to have been killed there: Billy Keikeya, Sesha Abinell, Kern Vinson, Nelson Page, George Chu, and two unnamed Marines. Possibly another birth took place in the fleet in the month since the events of the earlier episode to make up for one of the seven deaths.


The recap of previous episodes has two scenes that have not appeared before: Adama and Tigh discuss the promotion of Pegasus Chief Engineer Garner to commander of said ship; and Gina Inviere telling Baltar he must betray Roslin and run for president.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Lt. Richard "Buster" Bayer (dies in this episode)

Lt. Hoshi

Lt. Lyla "Shark" Ellway (dies in this episode)





Commander Barry Garner (dies in this episode)


Chief Tyrol

Rya Kibby

Dr. Cottle

Lt. Steve "Red Devil" Fleer

President Roslin

Billy Keikeya (in photo only, deceased)

Tory Foster

Tom Zarek


Captain Marcia "Showboat" Case

Stinger (mentioned only)

Admiral Adama

Sarah Porter

Ensign Abel Thornton

Colonel Tigh

Sergeant of the Guard on Pegasus (unnamed)

Lt. Gaeta

Ensign Charles Bellamy

Playa Palacios



Didja Notice?


Apollo and Dee are seen to be having a sexual interlude in the pilots' bunks at the beginning of the episode. The episode audio commentary reveals there was a shot cut of a pair of boots hanging outside the bunk door to indicate a need for privacy, as also established in "The Lab".


Dee remarks that the Pegasus is often called the Beast and Galactica, the Bucket.


Apollo got promoted to major shortly before the beginning of this episode.


Several times in this episode, comm systems monitors on Pegasus show Galactica servers as message input and relay components, even when Pegasus is out of comm range of the other battlestar. It seems like it should show Pegasus servers instead. Most likely, the production simply used existing graphics instead of creating new ones that were Pegasus-specific for shots that are on screen for only a couple seconds.

Pegasus communications monitor


This episode is the first appearance of Tory Foster, who replaces Billy as Chief of Staff for President Roslin. She later turns out to be one of the Final Five Cylons in "Crossroads" Part 2.


Tory Foster tells Roslin she worked for the Federalist party in Delphi. Delphi is a city on Caprica, as mentioned in several previous episodes.


President Roslin remarks to Tory that her only real political rival is a convicted terrorist. She is referring to Tom Zarek.


Commander Garner refers to himself as a snipe. This is naval slang for someone in the engineering staff of a ship.


Gemenon representative Sarah Porter implies that Gemenese children are the "property" of their parents until they reach legal adult status.


Commander Garner's wristwatch seen throughout this episode is a Gruen, an American watch maker from 1894-1958.


Baltar tells Roslin that he made initial calculations on how long humanity could survive based on the population of the fleet over seven months ago. He now calculates the end of the humanity within 18 years at current rates of attrition.


Pegasus makes the FTL jump without having to retract the flight pods, unlike Galactica.


When Pegasus attempts to rescue two of her lost Raptors, three Cylon baseships jump into the sector and launch an attack on the battlestar. This may have been a nod by the writers, and a red herring to fans, that the Pegasus was about to be destroyed, as the BSG70 Pegasus was "lost" while facing off against three baseships in the original series episode "The Living Legend" Part 2.


The electromagnetic interference (EMI) from a nearby binary star helped the Cylons set their trap. In "Sacrifice", Caprica-Valerii warned Adama that the Cylons might take advantage of EMI from a pulsar to set up an ambush in the future.


Garner's sacrifice in the engine room to return the FTL drive function to Pegasus is very reminiscent of Spock's sacrifice to save the Enterprise at the end of the 1982 film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.


Apollo is promoted to the rank of commander at the end of this episode so that he may assume command of Pegasus after Garner's death.


Near the end of the episode, Roslin's whiteboard shows the population of the fleet at 49,579, accounting for the deaths of Buster, Shark, Commander Garner, and two unnamed Raptor pilots. Apparently no one was killed during the three basestars' assault on the Pegasus!


Having instituted a ban on abortion in order to keep the human species proliferating, Roslin tells Sarah Porter she should be happy with having won that "pound of flesh". The term originated in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice.


Starbuck is transferred back to Galactica, and becomes the new Galactica CAG with Apollo now giving up that role to assume command of Pegasus.


Apollo resents/envies Starbuck's ability to buck authority and get away with it, telling her he tried it once and almost lost everything. What is he referring to?


Baltar announces he is running for President at the end of the episode.


Notes from the audio commentary by Ron Moore on the Blu-ray release


New, tighter helmets are introduced for the pilots in this episode. The new helmets are intended to make it easier to see the actor's face in it.


Memorable Dialog

barely competent and paranoid.mp3


command is about people.mp3

pound of flesh.mp3

it could be worse.mp3

you and Colonel Tigh.mp3

you should hear the way my brain works sometimes.mp3

candidate for the presidency.mp3

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