They didn’t have solid idea as to how they would pick up Season 4 after wrapping Season 3. They had general ideas about the final four and Baltar and knew Kara was coming back. The puzzle pieces were all in place, they felt they were in a good place with the narrative, and knew where they were all going. Not knowing specifics provided a freshness when they began breaking this episode and subsequent episodes.
They talked early on about a direct pickup from where they ended. In an alternate ending for ‘Crossroads, Part 2’, Lee came back to his quarters and saw Kara. Ron and Michael Rymer discussed the implications of this. Is she a ghost or one of the head people? Lee would see her, but no one else would. They thought is was intriguing, but it would lose too much for the show. They needed Starbuck back and killing her off was shocking enough. Also, resurrection is a reoccurring theme with the show. To have a character who had been literally resurrected held a great deal of symbolism and meaning and would resonate in the show.
Tigh shooting Adama was cut repeatedly from the episode. Ron felt it had been done before, you see it coming, and wanted to cut it.
I’m uncertain if it was filmed, but there was a scene involving Anders and Tyrol in which Anders demands his cast be cut off and he or someone else cuts it off. Ron didn’t feel it was necessary and that it would slow down action. The audience would swing with them on this one. (Erm, not so much.)
Ron talked a bit about the battle sequences and how he thought they were getting to the point where they’d shot their wad and couldn’t top themselves. When they have a battle he always thinks this time it won’t be that exciting and, here, they ended up with one of the best battle sequences they’d ever done.
The teaser used to end on a shot of Anders getting Selix in his sites and leaving you with the question, ‘Will he give into Cylon nature?’ They also cut some complex moves so we could follow the action better.
The effects people originally delivered a different sequence. Instead of only a single raider, the scene began with one raider that came right up to Ander’s viper, flipped over, and hovered right over the cockpit. The Cylon eye was mere feet from Anders eye. Four other raiders then came up and circled the ship. When the red eye stopped (moving?), the raiders peeled off one by one in a ballet style move. Ron felt it was an interesting idea, one they hadn’t seen before – and should be included on the DVD – but he hated it. It wasn’t the show and he asked them to take a second crack at it. The show lives in a docu style, is realistic, though still a bit stylized, but the shot was too stylized, too hyper-real.
Ron (as we are) is glad they didn’t destroy the ring ship. He’s always wanted to go inside the ship, but has never gotten to do it.
It’s called “Baltar’s Lair”. They laid the groundwork for acolytes towards the end of Season 3. Four years have gone by, life is kind of bleak, and no matter what was said about Baltar, once he was acquitted some would believe that was the hand of god reaching down and saving this man. There are people in th population who would flock to him. Ron talked about the Manson trial and Hillside Strangler and that there are always women who will be drawn in by these strange, psychotic, charismatic figures, and Baltar isn’t even one of them.
In the first draft, there was no scene of Kara on the hanger deck. She came aboard, there was a brief reaction, and they cut ahead to Adama’s quarters. From her perspective basically no time had passed and they decided they had to be inside her head more when she first showed up.
In a scene not filmed, Kara goes back to her quarters and Sam is in her bunk. She rips his name off her locker. She finds her things have already been divided up. Someone even tells her about Sam and Tory. Ron wasn’t sure how pissed she be given her sleeping with other people and he thought the scene was unnecessary.
From a synopsis dated March 5, 2007:
Kara faces doubts about who she is. The final four worry about their loyalty. Lee leaves the military for good. Baltar begins his role as a religious leader. The Cylon baseships battle Galactica and the fleet which is unable to jump away. They face annihilation. The fleet prevails when heavy raiders mysteriously retreat. Kara’s miraculous return with news as to how to reach earth sparks suspicion. Unable to reconcile what her gut feels with who she thinks she is and with evidence to the contrary Kara grabs her weapon, bolts from confinement, and ominously seeks out the most powerful man alive, Adama. The four secretly meet . There is conflict, they discuss what to do, and an uneasy agreement is reached. Baltar is on the road to believing in himself. Lee’s fundamental joy and belief in Kara galvanizes belief in himself. He has a second chance at life not in uniform and tells Adam he’s through.
They knew from the beginning, with this being the final season, that it would be structured as one long story. They never talked about the need to do a Baltar episode or a Lee episode or an action episode. Kara is probably the A story of the episode – her coming back and the repercussions of it.
They kept going back and forth on the viper – what secrets it had or did not have. They will return to it later in the season.
Laura isn't going to give Kara the time of day while others are finding a reason to believe her. They're presenting a different version of YCGHA. Laura and Adama are going at it from opposite directions now. The pronounced atheist and pragmatic man is busting Laura’s chops on visions and prophecies. He wants to believe Kara while Laura is pragmatically pushing not to believe the hocus pocus.
Baltar healing the young buy: Baltar has been flirting with faith since the beginning of the show, going in and out of his belief system. People are now actually looking at him for genuine help. What would he do in that circumstance? The writers are aware of the Jesus imagery, but are not trying to play it bigger than it seems. It’s kind of interesting and amusing, hammering home certain things they are playing with, but Baltar is not Jesus. It’s not what the show is about.
All of the four (finale four) asked Ron if they were playing something completely different now? Did they have to play someone else? The intent was never to make them completely different people, just to inform who they are. What would they do? How would they react? There are hints of differing attitudes, they are already changing. Saul will never quite be who he was.
They wanted to play the residual resentments of Gaeta towards Kara. The tables have turned since ‘Collaborators’. He's never forgotten or forgiven her actions against him. Now Kara is the one who people have suspicions and distrust about, yet she's walking around CIC, not locked up or put in launch tube like he was. Those things should live on in characters. They never would have reconciled their differences.
During the Lee/Adama scene, Ron talked about the difficulty going back and watching the episodes after such a long break. It feels like a different season to him. He was struggling to recall details and felt far removed from the material. Traditionally he does the podcasts close to the airdate. There is a sense of immediacy to them.
There were not a lot of changes from the original script and this one did not go through his typewriter.
Is Baltar sincere praying for the child? Ron thinks he is. How could you not pray for the child? Shouldn’t he at least try. It makes him a more recognizable human being.
There have been discussions about James’ hair over the years, same with Katee. It's always a continuity issue, but James wanted to cut hair his hair so they found a way to do it.
The Baltar/Conner scene was a little dicey for Ron. He liked the standoff between them, but the thing with Paula doesn’t work well enough. She's supposed to be Baltar's protector. Ron wishes she'd have had a little more of a legitimate struggle. She seems very helpless, but then overpowers her attacker quickly. Her grabbing a weapon works for him, but, overall, there was something in the staging or execution that didn't work.
The Sam/Kara scene: Trucco would come into the scene each time with a different play on it – incredible concern, weariness and fear, a combination of both, staring off. Rymer let them work through the scene and try different things.
Ron questioned whether Kara could get that close to the president. They acknowledged Laura would have her own security, but that Kara could still do something.