With Battlestar Galactica making its triumphant return for its fourth and final season tonight, let's take a look at season three. Even though the boxing match between Starbuck and Apollo was hot, we're skipping specific plot points and focusing on a general overview.

Season three started with the continued occupation of New Caprica by the Cylons. Baltar was still the president of the human government and signing death orders for resistance members at the behest of the Cylon occupying force. The resistance was ramping up their efforts in fighting the Cylons, but they also targeted human collaborators. While all this was going on, Adama and Apollo were abroad with what remained of the fleet with Galactica and Pegasus. Things were going from bad to worse on New Caprica as the resistance (under the command of Tigh, Anders and Tyrol) began to employ suicide bombers. Tigh lost an eye while being interrogated, which just makes him look even tougher (not to mention he killed his wife because she was feeding the Cylons info).

But this was all just a framework for two of the best episodes of the entire series (Exodus) where the Galactica was employed in a desperate rescue attempt that resulted in the loss of the Pegasus but managed to get the majority of the population off planet and everyone on the run again. Baltar was left behind and picked up by the Cylons along with Boomer's human and Cylon hybrid daughter, Hera.

After being on the run for some time, the team found a barren planet that was rich with tasty algae. While collecting said algae to feed the masses, the Temple of Five was discovered and Tyrol revealed himself to be quite the religious historian. Unfortunately, the Cylons show up. They were actually looking for the temple and didn't blunder across it like the puny humans did. The Cylons wanted the Eye of Jupiter (which would lead them to Earth) and they thought it was in the temple. The temple exploded and erupted into a supernova. Now, read carefully here:

-Baltar was captured by Tyrol

-Lucy Lawless saw a vision of the final five Cylon models

-Sharon (the Athena version) rescued Hera (her daughter) by having Helo kill her so she would be resurrected on a basestar (assisted by Caprica Six who is also captured).

-The Lucy Lawless Cylon Model (D'anna) is put out of production for being unstable

-Gaeta picked up on something from the explosion of the temple that might be a clue to the location of Earth.

With Baltar aboard, the law required he be tried in court. Baltar's lawyer lived through an assassination attempt, and Apollo was assigned to protect him, but he ended up being part of the case and getting Baltar acquitted (Baltar was then quickly abducted by Cylon sympathizers during a power failure that affected the whole fleet after jumping into the Ionian Nebula).

Starbuck's viper exploded, and it looked like she died. But Apollo saw a vision of Starbuck on the flight deck and in the Nebula. So is she dead or not? She told him that she has seen Earth and everything will be ok. We're also shown who four of the final 5 Cylons are (Tigh, Tory, Anders and Tyrol).

Season 3 really flipped this whole thing on its head. What are we looking forward to in this final season?

-The identity of the final Cylon. Who is it? Starbuck seems a likely possibility, but what about an Adama? Baltar maybe? Maybe Rosalyn? All bets are off, and the only one who knows is a discontinued Cylon model.

-What the frack happened to Starbuck? Time travel? Dimensional travel?

-Will they find Earth? They're supposedly on a trail, and since the Cylons are close that could mean it's a real trail. But will the series end with a happy ending on the new planet or the ultimate destruction of humans and a Cylon victory?

-What's the deal with Hera? The only human/Cylon hybrid is certainly a mystery. We know her blood can heal, but what else is in store for the littlest Cylon?

-Where is Baltar and who is he with? What does the group that nabbed him have in store for him?

-What the frack is going on with the Galactica? After jumping into the Nebula the entire fleet had a power failure and Rosalyn was about to pass out. Can they hold off the ginormous Cylon fleet in time to jump out again or is the Cylon fleet powered down as well?

"Battlestar Galactica" premieres tonight at 10/9 c on SciFi.

Story by Larry Grodsky
Starpulse contributing writer