You Can't Go Home Again (Battlestar Galactica)

You Can't Go Home Again (Battlestar Galactica)

Infobox Television episode
Title = You Can't Go Home Again

Caption = Starbuck learns to operate her new Raider
Series = Battlestar Galactica
Season = 1
Episode = 5
Airdate = UK: November 15, 2004
US: February 4, 2005
Production = 105
Writer = Carla Robinson
Director = Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Guests =
Episode list = Episode chronology
Prev = Act of Contrition
Next = Litmus

"You Can't Go Home Again" is an episode of the reimagined "Battlestar Galactica" television series.


Survivor Count: 47,958

Lt. Starbuck is forced to bail out over a hostile planet after her Viper was badly damaged during a dog fight with a Cylon Raider. On "Galactica", one of the rescued pilots who was involved in the battle reports that Starbuck's Viper was still maneuvering and may have survived. Commander Adama goes against better reasoning and the reservations of Col Tigh to organise a rescue mission to find her.

Starbuck finds herself stranded on a barren rocky world wracked by violent winds. The atmosphere is inhospitable and cannot support human life. With a badly injured knee, she struggles to get to high ground hoping a "Galactica" search team can spot her. She sees the Cylon Raider that attacked her, disabled but relatively intact, sitting in a nearby crater. Thanking the gods, she forces open the hatch discovering that the interior resembles the internal organs of a creature rather than the electronics of a machine. She climbs inside and uses the ship as a shelter; her suit oxygen is beginning to run desperately low and she must find another source on the raider.

Back on "Galactica", the search for Starbuck is going badly. Visibility around the planet is poor and the Vipers are burning up huge amounts of fuel during atmospheric recon ops. Worse, the planet's dusty conditions are causing serious mechanical problems for the Viper squadron, grounding many of the ships. President Roslin is startled when she hears that Adama has also pulled the Vipers out of the fleet's Combat Air Patrol (CAP) in order to join the search for Starbuck. This leaves the fleet defenseless against Cylon attack. Gaius Baltar brings the situation into sharp relief by telling Roslin that Adama is risking the entire fleet in a fruitless search for a single pilot.

President Roslin confronts Adama and his son. She has learnt from Col Tigh that the reason that Adama will not give up the search for Starbuck is that she is a final link to his dead son, Zak Adama. The search is no longer about military needs; it is about a personal issue that neither Adama nor his son can get past; the death of Zak and Starbuck's involvement with him. Their realisation of this snaps them back to reality. They have put the entire fleet in danger by searching for Starbuck for this long. It won't be long before the Cylons notice that their patrol is missing and return in full force.

After a long glance at each other Commander Adama and Lee Adama silently agree that there is only one course of action remaining. The search for Starbuck must be abandoned and the fleet must jump away as soon as possible.

Meanwhile on the planet, Starbuck finds an oxygen supply within the raider and begins to hack away muscle and tendon-like tendrils that are attached to mechanical controls. She finds what appear to be the controls and teaches herself how to operate it. She eventually manages to activate the ship's drives and escapes the planet to return to the fleet. She finds that the Cylon Raider is a fast and agile fighter craft.

As final jump preparations are underway, the "Galactica" suddenly detects an incoming Cylon Raider on DRADIS, possibly a recon for a much larger Cylon force about to jump on top of them. It will be on top of the fleet before they can jump; Adama is forced to halt the jump countdown and launches the alert fighters.

Unaware that Starbuck is piloting the craft, Capt. Apollo attempts to shoot down the raider in his Viper, but is unable to do so as it seems extremely skillful and agile. Suddenly the raider pulls overhead and begins flying in formation with Apollo. After spotting the words "Star" and "Buck" spelled out in insulation tape under the Raider's wings, Apollo realises why, and the Raider is ordered escorted back to the hangar deck. A team of marines is on hand as no one is really sure what is going on until Starbuck finally appears, to everyone's relief. Safe on "Galactica", Adama and Starbuck reconcile (at least partially) over Zak's death.

Meanwhile, on Caprica, Helo and Caprica-Boomer hide out at the shelter until a Cylon patrol arrives. During the Cylon Centurion attack, Helo and Boomer become separated. When Helo regains consciousness in the shelter after the attack, he desperately searches for her but there is no sign of Boomer. Helo is unaware that he himself is being watched by the Cylons.


* When declaring the survivor count, this episode doesn't account for those killed in the hangar deck accident of the previous episode.
* The episode's title is a reference to the 1940 Thomas Wolfe novel by the same name.
* This episode is an homage to the Galactica 1980 episode The Return of Starbuck.
*Bodie Olmos, son of Edward James Olmos (Adama), appears in several episodes as Brendan 'Hotdog' Constanza, and shares one brief scene with his father in this episode.

External links

* at the Battlestar Wiki

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