Of all the seasons, the first one is the most rewatchable. The desperation of complete extinction is offset with this underlying hope that doesn’t necessarily exist, at least not as overtly, throughout the rest of the series. Genuine joy in the various victories is common in the beginning, whereas similar moments occasionally punctuate loss and pain in more bittersweet ways later on, and I find myself drawn backward, when colonial life simpler and, frankly, sweeter.
Considering that, my favorite episode is “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Adama and Lee have spearheaded a search for Starbuck, whose Viper was destroyed after a Raider attack. She had crashed on the moon of a gas giant and, because her ship isn’t space or air worthy, she fixes up a downed Raider (the one she had shot down in the previous episode, “Act of Contrition”) and flies it up and away. In the meantime, Roslin had convinced Adama that continuing the search for Starbuck, no matter what she means to him, is endangering the fleet and had begun preparing to jump away. However, a Cylon Raider shows up on DRADIS, and the damn thing will arrive on top of them well before they can complete the jump with the rest of the ships. Unaware that Starbuck is piloting the Raider, Lee engages, admitting that this “bastard is good.” Like a scene from Top Gun, the Raider then gets into formation with Lee, revealing Starbuck’s name duct taped on the bottom of the Cylon ship.
The sheer exuberance of Lee’s “hahaa!” in addition to the cheers of the crew back on Galactica is just … so great. In most shows, I would roll my eyes at the cheese factor, but damn. Nobody was left behind that time. And Starbuck and Adama’s reconciliation at the end of the episode was just so freaking great: understated and meaningful. I cry with Kara every single time.
You know what? I’m going to pull out my DVD set and watch this episode now, dammit. I need me some positivity.
Runners’ Up: “33,” “The Hand of God”
Art Credit: Wikipedia