In Season Two’s “Flight of the Phoenix,” Chief Tyrol throws himself into the construction of a new fighter, a project that nearly everyone thinks is a waste of time. He works on it alone for the first part of the episode, ignoring all the naysayers and generally just trying to distract himself from all he’s lost since the beginning of the series. Caprica-Eight appearing aboard the Galactica isn’t helping matters, even resulting in him getting into a fist fight with Helo, to whom Tyrol admits his anger isn’t even about him or his relationship/love child with this new Sharon.
Despite everyone’s initial reluctance to join in on the construction of this new fighter, it seems like nearly the entire main cast decides to help the Chief, even Starbuck and Dee. In a show of friendship, Helo returns to suggest coating the exterior with carbon-based shit (there’s a technical term here, but I don’t remember it), enabling it to be a stealth ship.
Basically, everyone comes together, uniting in a seemingly meaningless task, to create one of the best fighter models to come out of the fleet in years. In arguably the sweetest scene in the whole series, the crew reveals the Blackbird to President Roslin, who is surprised to find the ship bearing her name: the Laura. I was wiping away tears and cursing the writers for making me have feelings.
This ship is what allows Kara to get close-up shots of the resurrection ship a few episodes later, an act for which she is promoted by Admiral Cain (even though it was against orders, but whatever, it’s Starbuck; she does what she wants) because of the carbon composite coating, making it invisible to radar. It even has FTL capabilities, which no other Viper has, which proves it’s more valuable than initially predicted.
Sadly, the Blackbird is destroyed in the battle to eliminate the resurrection ship, so we don’t ever see it again. It’s hard for me to believe that, particularly with the Pegasus‘ Viper factory, no one thought to make another freaking Blackbird. They’ve got the supplies and building space available, and it’s not like it didn’t prove its worth in their fight against the Cylons. Alas, all we ever get to see after its demise is whenever we’re looking at the “previously on” sequences featuring Lee’s sudden onset of depression and self-loathing. Le sigh.