The Road Less Traveled
From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
|"The Road Less Traveled"|
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
|Episode No.||Season 4, Episode 5|
|US airdate||2 May 2008|
|CAN airdate||2 May 2008|
|UK airdate||6 May 2008|
|DVD release||6 January 2009|
|Population||39,676 survivors ( 1)|
|Escape Velocity||The Road Less Traveled||Faith|
|R&D Skit – View|
|Podcast Transcript – View|
|Listing of props for this episode|
|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr|
|Watch this episode's promo (on-wiki)|
|Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition|
- The prospect of a truce between the remnants of humanity and the Cylons encourages Kara Thrace to trust an old enemy.
- Gaius Baltar listens to the laments of Phoebe, who lost her two children on Picon, as well as her husband, during the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. She is angered by the fact that all this happened and that the Gods did nothing to spite the people who were responsible for the attack, such as the politicians, programmers, and corporations. Baltar, surrounded by his followers, makes a speech (which is recorded and broadcast over the wireless) about how the Gods failed to come to their aid not because they didn't want to, but because the Lords of Kobol don't exist.
- Galen Tyrol is listening to Baltar's broadcast while exercising with a jumping rope, but turns it off eventually. Nicholas begins crying, so Tyrol turns it on again, which apparently soothes the child.
- Later, Tyrol silently stands in the launch tube where his wife died and is joined by Tory Foster. Foster tell him that it might never make sense, no matter how long he obsesses over it. Tyrol can't believe that she would commit suicide, despite taking anti-depressants and that she would never leave her son behind. Foster tells him to let it go and brings up the possibility that she might have known that he is a Cylon.
- After having sex with Foster, Baltar wonders if she is telling Roslin about what he does. She affirms this, but says that the politicians have bigger things to worry about than him, and that only inconsequential people from the fringe of society are drawn to him.
- Later, Tyrol hears another of Baltar's sermons and heads down to the commune. There he listens, but is pulled aside by Colonel Tigh, who scowls and scoffs Tyrol for not getting over Cally's death quickly. Tyrol is told that he needs to get over Cally's death before they are outed as Cylons. Tyrol retorts that Tigh isn't dealing well with their situation either and that he knows that Tigh has been spending time with Caprica-Six.
- After Tigh leaves, Baltar calls out Tyrol, saying that he's sorry for his loss. Tyrol becomes furious, saying that Baltar is a scumbag and that, for some reason, Cally liked him and his manifesto. Baltar doesn't raise to the bait and asks Tyrol to shake his hand. However, Tyrol grabs him by the throat. Baltar's followers pull him away and Tyrol leaves after shouting "you didn't know her!"
- Back in his quarters, he becomes furious, takes a pistol from a shelf and briefly contemplates killing himself. Later, as Tyrol lies awake in bed, still with his service weapon in hand, Baltar visits him and apologizes for the things he said about Cally. He also tells Tyrol that he committed many crimes and accepted his religious role as his only remaining chance of redemption. Tyrol listens silently, then still without speaking extends his hand to Baltar, who takes it.
On the Demetrius
- On day 58 of their mission, Kara Thrace unexpectedly decides to join the Combat Air Patrol, although this usually is beyond her duty as captain. With Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza as her wingman, Thrace (in Seelix's Viper) encounters a heavily damaged Heavy Raider that just appeared on their DRADIS. Both are unsure of what course of action to take, until Leoben Conoy hails them over the wireless, offering them a truce between Cylons and humans and a chance for Thrace to complete her "journey."
- After allowing the Heavy Raider to dock, Conoy tells Thrace that the ones he left behind on the baseship need her help, but also that the Hybrid can help them. Although the crew doesn't find any explosives or tracking devices in the Raider, they are suspicious of Conoy.
- However, Thrace has Conoy escorted to her quarters, where he aims to help her until Samuel Anders sees how physically close they are and assaults Conoy. He fights with him until the Marines drag Conoy away to lock him up in a closet.
- Anders visits Conoy there to ask him what he wants from Thrace. He tells Anders that he wants to understand her destiny, which Anders doesn't consider good enough. Conoy replies that it is good enough for Thrace and that Anders might have his own destiny, beyond his relatively inconsequential life as a Pyramid player. Conoy's words disturb Anders, who fears Conoy may know of his Cylon nature. Conoy also repeats his offer of a truce and that they can find Earth, the "promised land," together.
- On the bridge, Sharon Agathon and others express their concern that Thrace cannot be trusted, and that they have to meet up with the Fleet to refuel. Moreover, Admiral Adama made it clear that if the ship didn't return by then, they would be considered lost.
- Karl Agathon defends Starbuck's authority, but out of concern orders a more thorough search for tracking devices and other potential issues. Gunnery Sergeant Mathias dons a spacesuit and conducts an inspection of the hull, but is blown away and killed after the reactor on the ship goes critical.
- After her death, Thrace makes a speech to the ship's crew in the mess hall, saying that sometimes people die senseless deaths, but that she is responsible for Mathias's death and has to live with it. She is trying to concede that she may have been a difficult captain, but can't find the words. Felix Gaeta tries to come to her aid, by telling her that the rendezvous coordinates with the Fleet have been laid in, but Thrace again insists to meet with Conoy's basestar.
- At this, Eammon Pike becomes openly hostile and riles everyone up against Thrace's order, believing that her course of action will get them killed, too. Captain Agathon offers him a chance to walk away, but when Pike continues, he pistol whips him into unconsciousness.
- Later, on the bridge, she orders the crew to spin up the FTL drives and prepare to jump to the Cylon rebels' basestar. Captain Agathon refuses, which leads her to promote Lieutenant Felix Gaeta to be her new XO, who refuses to carry out the order as well. Agathon then officially relieves Thrace of command, citing the Colonial Military Code.
- The title is derived from the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
- Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
- I took the one less traveled by,
- And that has made all the difference.
- The common interpretation is that one may be rewarded greatly by choosing a more difficult path than the one used by the crowd. The phrase may also have had a religious meaning for Frost, alluding to Matthew 7,12-14, which mentions a broad gate leading to destruction and a narrow gate leading to salvation. 
- The survivor count increases by one, meaning that at least one child has been born in the Fleet.
- It has been 58 days since the end of "Six of One", when Kara Thrace is given the command of the Demetrius.
- Gunnery Sergeant Mathias's first name, Erin, is spoken for the first time on screen.
- Neither William Adama nor Laura Roslin appear in this episode. In both cases, this is unprecedented. This is the only episode of the series in which Adama does not appear.
- Just before the damaged Heavy Raider comes into view, the constellation of Orion is clearly visible by mistake, just as it was during the Cavil-Boomer faction's ambush of the Natalie-Conoy faction.
- In a deleted scene (included on the Season 4.0 DVD), just before going out to talk to his followers, Baltar is visited by Virtual Six, who proceeds to say goodbye to him, saying he no longer needs him anymore. Baltar thanks her and leaves; Virtual Six watches him go and then fades away. Virtual Six reappears in a later episode, rendering this farewell scene moot.
- This episode states clearly that Thrace does remember what happened when she descended into the maelstrom that supposedly killed her. She apparently remembers chasing the Heavy Raider, the vision of her mother, and the message that she has a destiny to fulfill.
- In an interesting moment of symmetry, Conoy, after being beaten up and thrown down by Anders, recites the first article of faith. This is a call back to "Flesh and Bone", when after one of the interrogation sessions he experienced at the hands of Thrace, he recites the first article of faith.
- Although Karl Agathon initially defends Thrace against her crew's discontent and tries to quell any insubordination, he eventually leads the mutiny against her. The difference is that Eammon Pike, and to a lesser extent Sharon Agathon, complain about Thrace behind her back and in an informal way, thus potentially impeding everyone in their work. When push comes to shove, Agathon shares their opinion, but uses official means by citing Colonial military regulations. As executive officer he is also in a better and more credible position to do so than the rest of the crew.
- Instead of using his demotion as a wakeup call, Chief Tyrol has slipped further into despair and even contemplates killing himself. That he has completely shaven his head might also be an indicator of his state of mind.
- Earlier resenting Baltar's presumption of believing what Tyrol's dead wife Cally would want, Tyrol strangles Baltar after ignoring his hand to shake. After Tyrol's suicide effort Baltar visits him in his quarters to apologize and Tyrol accepts Baltar's handshake. In light of Tyrol's resentment, and even hatred, towards Baltar displayed in other episodes, it seems more likely that Tyrol forgives Baltar for offending him in this one instance, but not for all his sins as Baltar may intend.
- Tyrol contemplating to kill himself is visually and thematically similar to Sharon Valerii's suicide thoughts in "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I". Both either suspect or know that they are a Cylon and fear to hurt those around them. However, Valerii was more serious and calm about killing herself and made a real attempt to do so, while Tyrol acts in a fit of rage and eventually calms down.
- In spite of Foster clinging to the idea that she is perfect and thus cannot be held accountable for her actions, her unwillingness and blatant lying to Tyrol about Cally's death betrays her fear of what would happen if Tyrol were to learn that she was responsible for her murder.
- Conoy's comments to Anders indicate that a true Cylon civil war has commenced, and not an isolated incident between the Cavil-Boomer faction vs. the Natalie-Conoy ("rebel") faction.
- The Cylon Civil War appears to be fulfillment of the First Hybrid's prophecy from "Razor". "They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of the one splintering into the many..." Furthermore, it appears that the alliance offered by Conoy to the Colonials could possibly be the meaning of "...they will join the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning," as Conoy tells Thrace that he now sees an angel when he looks at her.
- How will the situation on the Demetrius be resolved? (Answer)
- What have Tigh and Caprica-Six been doing recently? (Answer)
- Does Conoy sense that Anders is a fellow Cylon? (Answer)
- Will Galen Tyrol begin to associate with Baltar? (Partial Answer #1, Partial Answer #2, Partial Answer #3)
- If yes to the last question in the above section, will Baltar have a positive influence on Tyrol and help him to overcome his grief or uncertainty about being a Cylon?
- Why does Baltar's broadcast appear to soothe Nicholas Tyrol?
- How large has Baltar's movement grown?
- Did Conoy intend for his Raider to explode or is it really an accident?
- Why does Baltar focus on making amends with Tyrol? Is it because of Foster's words, a genuine desire to reach out to Tyrol, or both?
- Why is everyone on Demetrius permanently slick with sweat? Is there a problem with the air conditioning?
- "I know it's hard to...make sense of things sometimes. In my own life, I...in my own life I've joined the fleet as a scientist, as a skeptic, as a...supposedly a man of reason. Only to have fate turn that all on its head. But I understand now that there is a purpose to it. We change. We evolve. Maybe we even learn something along the way. (pauses) I have committed...unconscionable crimes. And I have been offered one last chance at redemption, because I chose to accept my fate and not fight it anymore."
- Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster
- Bodie Olmos as Lieutenant Brendan "Hotdog" Costanza
- Callum Keith Rennie as Number Two
- Eileen Pedde as Gunnery Sergeant Erin Mathias
- Jennifer Halley as Ensign Diana "Hardball" Seelix
- Keegan Connor Tracy as Jeanne
- Lara Gilchrist as Paulla Schaffer
- Leela Savasta as Tracey Anne
- Finn R. Devitt as Nicholas Tyrol (credited as "Baby Nicky")
- Ryan McDonell as Lieutenant Eammon "Gonzo" Pike
- Alisen Down as Jean Barolay
- Lori Triolo as Phoebe
- Leo Li Chiang as the Tattooed pilot (uncredited)