When a Cylon Raider is being shot at by other Cylon raiders, Colonial Vipers led by Lt. Kara Thrace ( Starbuck ) are despatched to investigate. Instead of destroying all three, the pursued raider is allowed onboard the Galactica. When the Raider has landed, Lt. Daniel 'Bulldog' Novacek disembarks and salutes Commander William Adama.
Bulldog was sent on a secret mission for the Admiralty after being handpicked by Adama. At the time, Adama was in charge of the Valkyrie and not the Battlestar Galactica. The mission was to spy on a Tauron colony who were mining Tylium on a planet extremely close to the Armistice Line with the Cylons. It was feared that Bulldog didn't survive but after three years in captivity, Bulldog has managed to escape and make his way to the fleet.
Col. Saul Tigh accidentally spills the beans of what happened to Bulldog and that it wasn't the Cylons who shot at Bulldog but it was the Valkyrie because they felt with the ship being beyond the Armistice Line, it could start another war between the colonies and the Cylons. At the same time, Adama reveals to his son, Capt. Lee Adama ( Apollo ) the truth of what happened to Bulldog and that he feels he is responsible for what happened and feels that his incursion into Cylon space actually started the second war between the humans and the Cylons.
Starbuck after watching the incident between the Cylons on a battle review, realises that the escape was a set up and Bulldog escape was all part of the Cylon plan.
Bulldog goes to confront Admiral Adama and knocks Adama when he first sees him. Bulldog wants answers and handcuffs Adama but before he can do any harm, the interrogaton is interrupted by Tigh who knocks Bulldog out the way and tells him to stand down.
Adama hands in his resignation to President Laura Roslin after telling her the truth. Laura rejects it and says that he is to get a long service award and that should be his punishment. The next day, Adama goes through with receiving the long service award. The Hero referred to in the title is referring to Adama.
Adama says good bye to Bulldog and gives him his suit as once a pilot, always a pilot.
Adama and Tigh talk over things including what happened to Ellen Tigh,
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