"Islanded in a Stream of Stars" is the twentieth episode in the fourth season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica.
With Hera now likely in the hands of John Cavil, Admiral Adama sends out search teams to locate The Colony, the Cylon home world, that Ellen Tigh says is the only place she imagines she could be. Adama reluctantly comes to the conclusion that the Galactica has reached the end of its days. He orders all repair activities halted and decides to strip the ship and share everything that is salvageable with the rest of the fleet. Starbuck meanwhile shares with Gaius Baltar what she found on the uninhabitable Earth. He subsequently - and quite publicly - proclaims her to be an angel.
The survivor count shown in the title sequence is 39,521
Repairs on Galactica continue, but it seems little headway is being made. The ship's systems are fluctuating, and a major hull breach kills 61 people, 26 of them Cylons.
Ellen Tigh states that if Cavil's plan is to study Hera and learn what made her a successful human-Cylon hybrid, he would take her to "The Colony", which is a large biomechanical structure similar in composition to the Basestars (after the armistice, the Final Five and the Centurions retreated to this "home"). Under protest, Adama allows a heavy raider to be sent to The Colony, not wanting to risk the whole fleet. In their room, Helo and Athena are distraught over the kidnapping of their daughter. Helo asks Adama for a Raptor so that he can go look for Hera, but Adama tells him that the Cylons have already reported back that the Colony has moved.
As Boomer plots several jumps to the Colony in order to deliver Hera to Cavil, Hera begins to whine and cry for her mother. Boomer grabs a needle with a sedative in it and threatens Hera with it, but finds herself unwilling to forcibly sedate her. Boomer begins to tell Hera about her dream home with Tyrol on Picon, revealing that it was, in fact, once her dream and not simply a ruse created to manipulate Galen Tyrol. Hera reaches for Boomer's hand and connects with her, allowing the little girl to project the dwelling in Boomer's imagination. This is a welcome surprise for Boomer as she knew not whether Hera, who is half Cylon and half human, possessed this ability. Boomer arrives at The Colony with Hera and delivers her to Cavil. Hera becomes upset when she is handed over, and Boomer also seems reluctant to give her up.
Gaius Baltar meets Kara Thrace in one of the ship's heads, where Kara tells him that she discovered her own body on Earth and asks him to analyze her dog tags. Baltar finds blood on the tag that came from a body which was already dead whose DNA matches Starbuck's. At the burial of those lost in the hull breach, Baltar reveals what he has discovered and designates Starbuck an angel. Admiral Adama yells at him to be quiet, and Starbuck slaps him across the face. Later, Apollo meets with Starbuck and offers her his unconditional love and support. Starbuck puts a photo of herself on the memorial wall of the dead.
Samuel Anders has been transferred to a hybrid tank in the hopes it would help him recover, but he remains comatose. Kara visits him and decides to shoot him as an act of mercy, but the still-comatose Sam grabs the gun and begins to speak like the hybrid. Arriving in Anders' room, Tigh is informed that Anders has gotten into the ship's programming. The Cylon biopolymer fluid which repair crews have painted upon Galactica's hull has made possible a connection between Anders' hybrid tank and Galactica's electrical systems. When the Eight states that it is theoretically possible for Anders to gain control of Galactica's FTL drive and jump away, Tigh orders that he be taken offline. Kara visits Sam and says they will work out the meaning of the song ("All Along the Watchtower") together. She plugs Sam back in and he says, "new command".
Adama informs Tigh that he has made a decision: he plans to abandon the ship. Adama orders a stop to the repairs on the ship, and he instructs the crew to begin stripping down Galactica, start offloading civilians, and transfer the crew and weapons to the basestar. When Tigh objects, Adama states that the ship is dying and wants to send her off "in style". Adama and Tigh both salute the damaged Galactica with a drink as the episode ends.
- This episode is the first to show repairs to the outer hull of Galactica. As with the earlier repairs to the Space Park, scaffolding, support Raptors and repair crewmen in space suits are seen trying to patch the breach. Presumably this is not the first time Galactica has undergone makeshift repairs given the pounding she has taken. However, this time the endemic damage to the hull makes the repairs much more challenging.
- Caprica-Six appears to complete her hospitalization from her miscarriage. In the Teaser, she is sleeping in sick bay and sharing her recurring dream with Laura Roslin. By Act 1, she appears to have been discharged when she meets with Baltar and tells him about her dream.
- Roslin and Caprica Six have resumed their shared recurring dream of Hera Agathon lost in the Opera House. During a conversation in "Deadlock", they discovered that neither had had the dream since Six's pregnancy began.
- When Caprica-Six is at Gaius Baltar's congregation he spoke to her about hearing about her living arrangement and offered a place to stay. From this it seems that after her miscarriage, she and Saul Tigh have broken up as a couple. As a side effect, Col. Tigh has reverted to his "us" and "them" attitude toward Cylons as a whole despite himself and his wife being Cylons including an increase of anti-Cylon "racial" slurs.
- Chief Tyrol is nowhere to be seen in this episode. Even crewman Dealino gives a report to both Admiral Adama and Colonel Tigh of what the attitudes of the Cylons, particularly the Leobens, thought as to how many jumps Galactica has left in her.
- Hera demonstrates the ability to project, which surprises Boomer.
- It is possible that the opening shot of the episode is a projection of Hera's. If so, it is also possible that Hera's projections are prophetic in nature. Her movement of the basestar and Galactica models foreshadows the events of "Daybreak".
- In sickbay, Adama and Roslin reminisce about New Caprica and about the cabin they wanted to build but can't. This scene is in its own way similar to the scene in which Boomer and Tyrol share a projection of the house they had intended to build on Picon. As humans, Adama and Roslin can only conjure up fond memories and regrets in their own mind's eyes. Both couples know that it is never to be, building their dream houses.
- Helo wants Athena to say that she hates him because he saw it in her eyes. She almost does. In a close up of her lips her mouth parts slightly, but then closes. This is most likely for him sleeping with Boomer, who subsequently took Hera. Athena probably understands that Helo couldn't prevent the kidnapping, but she probably feels that he should had known that it was not Athena he was sleeping with. It is, however, conceivable she could blame him for the taking of Hera if she thinks that if he realized that it wasn't her he could have had Boomer captured even before she got near Hera.
- In the episode we see what is essentially the Cylon homeworld. Ellen Tigh explains in a meeting with Admiral Adama, Lee Adama, Tory Foster, Saul Tigh, and Kara Thrace where the Cylons (including the Final Five) were for the past 40 years: "I guess you can call it home. It's where we and the Centurions went after the First War once we convinced them to abandon their own experiments with evolution in exchange for resurrection technology." In the show's timeline Cavil's faction moved the Colony to its present location five months ago just prior to the Cylon Civil War. It is a huge space station built with the same biological design principles as the baseships.
- Adama's heavy drinking, pill-popping and unprofessional behavior over the last few episodes seems to recall Romo Lampkin's comment that "the soldier in him has had enough" in The Son Also Rises.
- Galactica, nicknamed the Bucket, suffers a severe hull breach at the beginning of the episode. Among the "random" phrases hybrid-Anders spouts are the lyrics of the Earth folk song "There's a Hole in My Bucket". Helo tells Adama that he is "painting over the holes in this bucket."
- "There's a Hole in My Bucket" is an example of an infinite loop. After several verses describing the intermediate steps required to fix the bucket, it is ultimately revealed that the initial problem--the hole--may only be resolved by gathering water in the self-same bucket. In other words, all this has happened before, and will happen again.
- A corpse produces "death enzymes" as it decomposes. It's likely Baltar found high concentrations of these enzymes on Starbuck's dogtags.
- This episode specifically highlights the existence of 'angels' that walk amongst the humans. Baltar may be referring to his Virtual-Six, but it applies to Caprica-Six's own Virtual-Baltar and the other unseen characters that have appeared throughout the show as well. Another interesting fact to note is that the First Hybrid's prophecy before his death was how the humans and Cylons will be gathered in the arms of an angel and carried into the promised land.
- Kara Thrace is called an angel by Baltar during his declaration of eternal life after he examined Thrace's dogtag. She has also been referred or linked to the Goddess Aurora, who guides ships to safe harbors and who resembles what is typically thought of as 'angels.' Thrace's other title from the Hybrids as the "harbinger of death" may be another spin on her 'angelic' nature; the manifestations of angels in modern day world religions are considered to be signs of the end times.
- This episode establishes that Final Five Cylons can interface with the datastream. Thus, if Anders had placed his hand on the Cylon data-font in the episode "Faith", it would have responded to him.
- Cottle says the accident caused 61 deaths or injuries, including 26 Cylons. The difference of 35 Colonials would account for the updated survivor total, meaning the only survivors with injuries would be Cylons.
Body count Edit
- 35 humans when the hull was breached
- 26 cylons when the hull was breached, one being a Number Six
Other scenes Edit
- A deleted scene included in the extended DVD cut shows Starbuck and Helo getting drunk at Joe's Bar, and Starbuck ruminating on her destiny as the Harbinger of Death. She says finding nuked Earth pretty much fulfilled that part of the plan and she wonders what her purpose is now. Helo suggests other meanings for Harbinger, such as herald, to suggest her destiny could be positive. This scene foreshadows Starbuck's use of the music to find the second Earth in "Daybreak," and implies her role in leading the human race to its end refers to finding the planet where human and Cylon can live a blended existence.
- An extended DVD version of the episode contains a scene in which Athena visits Tyrol in the brig. She tells him that she has Boomer's memories from before the war, that it's ironic Boomer posed as Athena to seduce Helo since Athena posed as Boomer to do the same thing, that Boomer loved the Chief and betraying him like that must have been tough, that she respects Tyrol for turning himself in after realizing he had been duped, and that she will never forgive Tyrol for letting Boomer escape.