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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galatica: You Can't Go Home Again

Battlestar Galactica

"You Can't Go Home Again"

TV episode

Written by Carla Robinson

Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gazzan

Original air date: February 4, 2005


Commander Adama risks the fleet in his desire to find Starbuck alive.


Read the story summary at the Battlestar Wiki


Notes from the BSG chronology


This episode opens immediately after "Act of Contrition".


Didja Know?


This episode has similarities to the fan-favorite Galactica 1980 episode "The Return of Starbuck". Both feature Starbuck and a Cylon Raider having shot each other down and crash landing on a desert world, with Starbuck modifying the Raider for an escape attempt.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story




Hot Dog

Commander Adama



Chief Tyrol

Lt. Gaeta

Colonel Tigh


President Roslin


Number Six



Scar (?)

Billy Keikeya


Didja Notice?


Having difficulty calculating where Starbuck may have gone down with the figures available, Commander Adama tells Lt. Gaeta that it's time to start guessing. Recall that in "Water", Adama told President Roslyn, "I tell my officers not to guess. I prefer to wait until we have fact." His telling Gaeta to guess now shows us how fond he is of Starbuck.


When Adama tells Lt. Gaeta to have the search pilots go under the cloud cover of the moon and take a look the old-fashioned way, Gaeta responds, "Mark one eyeball." This is a term sometimes used in the military to indicate a visual inspection with one's own eyes.


Near the beginning of the episode, we see that President Roslin's whiteboard still shows 47,958 survivors in the fleet, as last established at the end of "Water".


At 10:32 on the Blu-ray, Starbuck is wrapping thick yellow tape around her injured leg. This same roll of yellow tape is what she later uses to write her name in large letters underneath the wings of the captured Cylon Raider seen near the end of the episode.


At 13:15 on the Blu-ray, Helo is toasting what appear to be Pop-Tarts! Maybe they're called Cap-Tarts on Caprica.


At 13:30 on the Blu-ray, the red light of the toaster Helo is using to heat the Pop-Tarts is no longer on even though it came on when he turned the heating knob just seconds before. According to the Battlestar Wiki, the toaster model is a Magimix 11062.


Two Cylon centurions bust into the restaurant/kitchen where Helo was preparing breakfast for himself and Caprica-Valerii. He shoots one of them down and the other comes after him, shooting a shelf full of pots and pans down of top of him, seemingly knocking him unconscious in the process. When he comes to and digs himself out, the second centurion is nowhere to be seen. He (and we) are meant to presume it chased Caprica-Valerii (though it's all a set-up, as revealed in the following episode, "Litmus").


As part of the Viper flight scouring the moon in search of Starbuck, Apollo transmits back to Galactica, "Bingo fuel." "Bingo fuel" is an American multiservice tactical brevity code for minimum fuel state needed for aircraft to return to base.


On the moon, Starbuck is wearing a life-support pack that appears to have been part of the backrest of the pilot's seat of her Viper. It seems it attaches to the pilot's suit and helmet during flight (or during an ejection from the cockpit).


Starbuck manages to open a small panel on the bottom of the crashed Raider's fuselage, revealing a red, fleshy patch underneath, immediately suggesting organic composition. Notice that when she first touches her knife to the flesh, it quivers, suggesting the Raider was still alive before she cuts into it to gain access. Once inside, she cuts out what appears to be its brain, presumably killing it and causing it's consciousness to upload to the resurrection ship at this point. It's possible that this Raider is the same one that later targets Starbuck and members of her Viper flight in resurrected form and is given the nickname Scar by the human Viper pilots in "Scar".


The shot of the fleet at 19:50 on the Blu-ray is a flipped version of the one first seen in "Enemies Among Us" which is also used in the opening titles of each episode of Season 1 (with the starship Enterprise in the top left corner, normally in the top right). Notice here that the "Galactica" nameplate is also now reversed! Such instances of reversal also occurred a few times in episodes of BSG70.



Inquiring about the desperation level of the search for Starbuck, Roslin reminds Apollo that they have left people behind before, saying, "You know that." She is likely referring to leaving behind a large number of occupied ships in the Colonies as a Cylon force advanced in "Flight" because the ships did not have FTL capability; it was Apollo who had to convince Roslin that time that the FTL ships had to escape without them.


Starbuck shoves her wadded-up flight suit jacket into the hole in the side of the Raider in order to seal it. One would think that would not be sufficient to take a flight into space but, according to the episode commentary by Ron Moore and David Eick, it is a scientifically accurate possibility.


At 34:11 on the Blu-ray, there appear to be some elephant-like creatures in an artwork on the wall in Adama's quarters.

Colonial elephants


As Starbuck fires up and uses the twin engines on the Raider, notice that the starboard engine consistently seems to have less power and to flutter more than the port one. This may be due to the Raider having been shot by on its starboard side in "Act of Contrition".


Despite Starbuck being a natural pilot of anything with wings, it seems kind of unlikely that she would be able to pilot a Cylon Raider for the first time so expertly as to evade the shots of an ace Viper pilot like Apollo as she does here.


As Apollo and Starbuck approach the Galactica together in their respective Viper and Raider, they waggle their wings at each other. This may be a callback to the BSG70 episode "The Hand of God", where Apollo and Starbuck waggled the wings of their Raider to identify themselves as a friendly as they approached the fleet, having lost their identifying transmitter. On Earth, airplane pilots have been known to waggle their wings as a sign of greeting to people on the ground. 


At 41:48 on the Blu-ray, the duct tape "BUCK" of "STARBUCK" can be seen on the underside of the Raider's starboard wing as the Galactica flight techs maneuver it on a hoist in the hangar bay. But it doesn't really look much like the design of the word seen in the earlier space shot.
BUCK in space BUCK in hangar


At 43:28 on the Blu-ray, a ring can be seen on Starbuck's thumb. It is probably the wedding band intended to be worn by Zak after their marriage (which never took place due to his death in a flying accident).


Memorable Dialog

Hot Dog's aboard.wav
not as personally as you'd like.wav
just thought I'd mention it.wav
I don't want to leave Starbuck behind.wav
Starbuck would be the first one to tell you.wav
even cockroaches have to breathe.wav
you are relieved, Colonel.wav
one of us needs a bath.wav
talk fast.wav
under normal circumstances, it would just be sad.wav
clear your heads.wav
you stink, but you are one hell of a flying machine.wav
I think we have come to terms.wav
if it were you.wav
it's Starbuck.wav
flying with some serious attitude.wav
like my new toy?.wav
you wanna give me a bath?.wav
you did good.wav

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