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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: The Ties That Bind

Battlestar Galactica

"The Ties That Bind"

TV episode

Written by Michael Taylor

Directed by Michael Nankin

Original air date: April 18, 2008


While Admiral Adama has placed Starbuck in command of a small ship and crew to find Earth, rifts among the Cylons threaten to spark a civil war.


Read the summary of the episode at the Battlestar Wiki


Notes from the BSG chronology


This episode takes place approximately 22 days after the end of the previous episode "Six of One" (the Demetrius is shown to be on Day 22 of its mission to scout for Earth).


Didja Know?


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 39,676, the same as the previous episode, "Six of One". However, President's Roslin's white board on Colonial One has the figure at only 34,279. We can only assume the latter figure is in error.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Number One


Number Six

Cally (dies in this episode)

Nicholas Tyrol

Chief Tyrol

Tory Foster

Dr. Cottle

President Roslin

Admiral Adama


Tom Zarek

Sekou Hamilton

Playa Palacios


Lt. Gaeta



Sam Anders



Number Eight


Number Three (mentioned only)

Jacob Cantrell

Reza Chronides

Colonel Tigh




Didja Notice?


Admiral Adama begins to read the novel Love and Bullets by Nick Taylo to Laura Roslin as she receives her Doloxan treatment in sickbay. This is, of course, a fictitious book.


Apollo becomes the Caprican delegate to the Council of Twelve in this episode.


In this episode, Tory is starting to embrace her Cylon heritage.


At 10:42 on the Blu-ray, Starbuck is seen to be using a Staedtler pencil. Staedtler is a German manufacturer of writing and drawing instruments.


The "comet" Starbuck sees in her visions and paints on the wall of her quarters aboard Demetrius, is revealed to actually be a damaged rebel Cylon baseship in "Faith".


Aboard the Demetrius, Gonzo is seen perusing the same issue of Nymph magazine that previously belonged to Reilly and then Hot Dog in "Scar".


Number One makes a couple of remarks about the rebel Cylon humanoids having done more than they realize by removing the inhibitors from the Centurions. This later seems to be a post/fore-shadowing of the "all of this has happened before and will happen again" nature of robotic intelligence and rebellion that has been a theme of the series.


The Demetrius appears to have four Vipers mounted on top and at least one Raptor docked at the side. 


At 26:05 on the Blu-ray, Apollo is wearing a pin on the lapel of his suit coat. It has a symbol on it, but does not particularly look like the seal of Caprica (or any of the other colonies). What does it represent? Apollo's lapel pin


Tigh, Tyrol, and Foster have a Cylon meeting in weapons locker 1701D. This is an in-joke by the writer to the registry number of the U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, on which BSG producer Ron Moore served as a staff writer. This episode's writer, Michael Taylor, worked with Moore on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


At 36:27 on the Blu-ray, Tyrol reassures Cally he will be there for the three of them (including their baby son) and then suggests that maybe they'll have another (half-Cylon) baby.


At 38:00 on the Blu-ray, notice there is a burned-out Viper behind Cally in the hangar bay.

burned-out Viper


At 41:32 on the Blu-ray, after Tory belts Cally in the launch tube, Cally lands on the "metal" runners of the launch, but they clearly fold under her, indicating they are rubber or foam prop pieces.


Unanswered Questions


With both Helo and Athena aboard the Demetrius as part of Starbuck's mission to find Earth, where is their baby daughter Hera? Presumably, someone is caring for her on Galactica. Later, in "Sometimes a Great Notion", Dee is seen as a babysitter to the girl, so it may have been she who watched over her while her parents were away on the mission.


Memorable Dialog

it's not your ship anymore.mp3
a nihilistic punchline.mp3
not the type to forgive and forget.mp3
we may run out of spare bodies.mp3
Cylon-hating wife.mp3

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