Okay, think I've sufficiently mulled over the episode to come up with a coherent post.
WHAT THE FRAK?!
BSG has just gone and taken everything we've known and understood about the Cylon's attack and thrown us all for a loop - again.
The episode starts with a lone Raider being pursued by two others, which is a bit weird for CIC since Raiders tend to work together in shooting THEM out of the air - not each other.
They receive communication from the pursued and it turns out the person inside is one "Bulldog". Adama seems very surprised, confused and dare we say - worried by this news.
It turns out Bulldog had been a pilot under Adama's command on the Valarie, Adama's previous command position.
Now I'm not going to go into a rant or something here (heh- yeah, right!), but hasn't it been established quite a number of times that Adama has been on the Bucket for at least five years before the destruction of the Colonies? I remember Chief said something to that effect in the Miniseries, and I think it's been said a few times after as well.
Oh well, let's not be pedantic about that little fact, Continuity Errors are due to creep up every once in a while...
Okay, back to the plot...
It turns out that Adama was under orders from the Admirality to go on a special ops mission into the Cylon's territory (This was about a year before the attacks).
Long story short, Bulldog had to fly over the "friendship-line" and was spotted by unfriendlies (most probably on radar) and they started to pursue him. Adama had a choice, shoot down Bulldog or let him be spotted by the unfriendlies and let them know that the Colonials have broken their agreement - Thus the Cylons could see the Colonials actions as a breach of contract and go to war against them. - Well that's basically the gist of the dilemma Adama faced. So Adama did the ugly thing and shot his pilot out of the sky.
However, Bulldog escaped, was captured by the Cylons and was held as a POW for more than (I estimate) three years.
He escaped (which we later learn was with the help of the Cylons - although he didn't know this fact) and gets to the Galactica.
Adama's conscious can't take it anymore and he confesses his sins to his son. Lee is obviously upset and surprised by what he is told, but tells his father basically everything he already knows, but also needs to hear. Adama was under orders, he was one man and he needed to do what was the best for humanity. He doesn't come out and tells his dad that what he did was right, but he does make it clear that Adama shouldn't take all the blame. - Aww, good son...
Adama also tried to talk to Tigh, but the man can't take care of himself, so he doesn't really help the Admiral in the slightest. In fact he just about get Adama killed when he tells Bulldog what really happened that day.
Luckily Kara realizes something isn't right when she sees that the Raiders that had pursued Bulldog were not really trying to shoot him out of the air, and takes this news to Tigh. (Very interesting choice, but I guess she's still on the outs with Lee and the Admiral, and she's become a lot closer with the people that were on New Caprica - It's actually a good way to show us that the Military is most probably still split between those who left Galactica and the Pegasus and those that stayed behind...)
Tigh realizes that Bulldog had not really escaped, but that the Cylons had let him go. He realizes the reason is that they wanted Bulldog to divide the fleet further - most probably by killing the Admiral, and is just in time to save the man. He realizes he's been acting like a jerk and basically apologizes to the Admiral and tells him he wants to get better. - Not in those words, but basically what he meant...
In the meantime Roslin has been organizing a ceremony for the Admiral for 45 years in the fleet, but after he asks her to resign (I guess he told her the whole truth – although we didn’t see this) she tells him there’s no way the fleet could survive his resignation and basically calls for a comprise. He’d accept the medal of service, he’d smile, make nice with the people and keep on leading the fleet to earth, with the truth of what he did only hanging over his own head, not the rest of the fleet.
Sheesh, talk about a mind frak. So the Cylons were actually, in a way, in their own rights to start the war – Sure they went about it the wrong way, but this really does put a lot of things into a new perspective. I agree, it wasn’t only on Adama, the Cylons had as much, if not more a part in the fact that they breached the contract since they never met at the rendezvous point, but the Colonials did also breach the contract, this just brings the whole right/wrong, evil/good debate to a whole new level!