You Can't Go Home Again is the fifth episode of the TV series, Battlestar Galactica, and aired during the show's first season.
- "When Kara goes missing after encountering a hostile Cylon patrol during a training mission, Adama and Lee exhaust every avenue to bring back their ace pilot."
- —Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series DVD cover.
Following the encounter with the Cylon squadron, Lt. Sharon Valerii pilots a Raptor to pick up trainee pilot Brendan Costanza. Bringing him back to Galactica, Costanza confirms Lt. Kara Thrace's Viper was manoeuvring after the fight, meaning she survived the collision with the Raptor. Based on his location, rescue teams begin combing the area to find her. On the planet's surface, Lt. Thrace wakes up finding she is being pulled towards a cliff edge by her parachute, and desperately cuts the cords.
Four hours after the search began, nothing has yet been found. Commander Adama advises Lt. Felix Gaeta to begin guessing her position, which leads to the planet as the best guess. Col. Saul Tigh accepts the possibility she is trapped on the planet, but is reluctant to give the order for Vipers to continue the search due to a Cylon Basestar potentially being in the area. As it was only a patrol however, he and Commander Adama rule that a Cylon patrol searching an entire star system for the refugee fleet could take days - weeks if they are not as advanced as hypothesised. Consequently, a Basestar is unlikely to investigate the Raiders for some time when they are found overdue. As the moon has a heavy cloud layer, Commander Adama insists that Viper pilots begin flying into the atmosphere to search for the crash site instead.
President Laura Roslin has become aware of the missing pilot, and makes efforts to coordinate a civilian search party, having these ships report their DRADIS findings to CIC. This decision is unpopular with Dr. Gaius Baltar, who is warned by Messenger Six that spreading the civilian ships out makes it faster for the Cylons to detect them.
Galactica's pilots fly into the atmosphere of the planet to continue the search as instructed, but poor visibility makes it a dangerous ordeal. Cpt. Leland Adama flies alongside Lt. Sharon Valerii's Raptor but sees no sign of Lt. Kara Thrace, who is now making efforts to get to higher ground to make it easier to be seen.
On Caprica, the fifteenth morning after the Cylon attack dawns. Lt. Karl Agathon and the Number Eight are still living in the restaurant fallout shelter. Lt. Agathon is determined to find a Raptor to escape Caprica, rather than wait out the three months worth of supplies. He heads upstairs to cook toast, but is forced to take cover when a Centurion patrols the street outside. The Centurion is ready to end its investigation of the restaurant when the toast is ready. The Number Eight walks up the stairs as the Centurion prepars to fire, and runs out to safety. Lt. Agathon is left to fight two Centurions. When they are taken out, he runs outside to look for the Number Eight, who has disappered.
Back on the planet, Lt. Thrace strolls towards the crashed Raider, which she finds unresponsive, having been downed by her Viper firing into its brain, leaving the engines intact. The search continues on with no sign of Lt. Thrace, however. Due to flying in-atmosphere, a massive quanitity of fuel has been used, and the civilian fleet has been split up so wide that Alert Vipers would have trouble protecting them from a Cylon attack. Commander Adama refuses to abandon the search, however.
Lt. Thrace finds herself stranded on a barren world with an inhospitable atmosphere. 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 intact, sitting nearby. She forces open its hatch discovering that the interior resembles the internal organs of a creature rather a machine. She uses the inside of the ship as a shelter. After another flight, Cpt. Adama complains about particulates clogging the thrusters. Chief Galen Tyrol cannot spare another Viper for him, as thirteen Mark IIs and his own Mark VII are being serviced for the same issues. He reports in to CIC, where he insists that Commander Adama have the civilian fleet regroup around the planet to conduct the search, allowing CAP to conduct the planetary search and help in the event of a Cylon attack.
Cpt. Adama returns to the deck, where he assists in the servicing of his Viper to speed up its flight readiness. Specialist Socinus alerts him to a phone call, which he finds is from President Roslin. The President inquires as to why CAP is being redeployed, but he insists that it will be for a short time, as shortly Lt. Thrace's oxygen supply should run out. With careful questioning, the President determines Commander Adama's rescue efforts are due to a personal connection with the pilot, and is blinding him from the serious risk to the fleet. In CIC, the timer runs out. Commander Adama insists they explore the possibility that she was carrying a reserve O2 tank. When Col. Tigh objects to continuing the search, he is relieved of duty. Back on the Raider, Lt. Thrace finds a tube supplying the organic components with Oxygen. Out of air, she quickly inserts the tube into her suit to supply her with more Oxygen and she begins toying with the cabling to determine what systems control what. President Roslin phones CIC half an hour later to offer condolences for Lt. Thrace's death, but is hung up on. An hour and eighteen minutes after the timer ran out, Colonial One lands on the hangar deck. President Roslin hears from Col. Tigh about the current goings-on, proving it is a personal matter. When she meets with the Adamas, she criticises them for failing to come to terms with the death of Zak, which has led to 43% of aviation fuel being wasted in the search. The Commander reluctantly orders an end to the search and for the fleet to be readied to abandon the Star System.
Lt. Thrace succeeds in launching the Raider, and makes her approach to the Fleet. She is mistaken for a Cylon patrol, and the Alert Vipers are launched. Cpt. Adama leads the confrontation alone when a fault is detected in Costanza's "Viper 1", but soon sees "STAR BUCK" written onto the wings. The Raider is escorted onto the hangar.
- Story By:
- Teleplay By: Carla Robinson
- Directed by: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
- Alonso Oyarzun as Socinus
- Bodie Olmos as Constanza/Hot Dog
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- You Can't Go Home Again on Wikipedia