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At the end of No Exit (Episode 15 Season 4) of Battlestar Galactica, Ellen and Boomer escape from the Cylon Baseship in a stolen Raptor...

(Plot synopsis taken from BSG Wiki)

As they make their way down a corridor, Ellen asks Valerii if she has thought through taking part in John's plans. Valerii responds that she has — and surprises Ellen by bringing her to a waiting Raptor. Valerii then races the Raptor out of the baseship, which launches pursuing Raiders. Dodging their gunfire, the Raptor jumps away.

And in the next episode (Deadlock) they jump exactly to where the fleet is:

In CIC, Louis Hoshi detects the Raptor that Sharon "Boomer" Valerii and Ellen Tigh are on, reporting that it (Raptor 702) was logged as missing over a year ago.

Yet the Colonial Fleet had jumped several times since Ellen and Boomer had been with them, so how did they know where to jump in order to get back to the fleet?

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Those episodes were written after the Writers Strike, so I would personally attribute it to laziness on the writer's part... (It's been too long for me to recall an in-universe reason) –  Izkata Nov 24 '12 at 16:27
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More specifically, there was (for me, at least) a noticeable decline in the show's quality immediately following the strike, and the large gap probably made them want to just finish the series, as opposed to giving it the better ending that the entire 3rd and beginning of 4th season appeared to be leading up to... (All this has happened before, and all this will happen again; all the pieces were in place to turn the Reimagined series into a sequel to the original series, not to mention Starbuck and the mysterious Cylon named Daniel...) But, I'm sort of starting to rant now, so I'm off! –  Izkata Nov 24 '12 at 18:12
    
Ha! Personally I thought the beginning of a season 4 was a mess. It didn't seem to know where it was going. They actually worked during the strike (not sure where you got the idea that they no longer cared!), figuring out what they were going to do for the ending. They realised what they had planned wasn't going to work, so they came up with a new ending. Personally I think 4.5 was a huge improvement over 4.0, but each to their own :) –  Django Reinhardt Nov 25 '12 at 9:29
    
I can't think of a canon answer, but I do know that there's constant mentions of "rendezvousing with the fleet", "we'll miss our rendezvous, etc" when people are off scouting. Perhaps they've got rally points to pick up any stragglers. –  Richard Jan 4 at 20:43
    
Just to correct myself: Ron Moore rethought were they were going during the writers strike. Nobody actually "worked". –  Django Reinhardt Mar 2 at 19:43
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1 Answer

As I see it, there are two in-universe possibilities;

  • The fleet is still in orbit of Earth or a nearby system. Although we see the fleet make several jumps (in the shows and the webisode) in the search for nearby "k-class planets", there's no reason to assume they're heading away from Earth in a straight line. They may be jumping backwards and forwards to Earth in a search pattern or circling away in a spiral pattern.

Earth Search Pattern

  • The fleet has pre-arranged rendezvous procedures. On multiple occasions the fleet has to make emergency jumps and yet their fighters do seem to be able to catch up with them. Knowing where they're heading (e.g. Earth) and being able to guess their likely destination (e.g. Earth-like planets) couldn't hurt.

Out of universe it's clear that this show was hurriedly written, presumably so that they could complete it before the Writers Strike commenced. There were a considerable number of plot issues with this episode, not least how Ellen and Boomer escaped in the first place and why the Cylons would be stupid enough to leave a fully-fuelled Raptor lying around.

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Thanks for really trying to solve this! It's possibly worth noting that no episodes were written during the Writer's Strike... because the writer's were on strike! :) –  Django Reinhardt Mar 2 at 19:36
    
@DjangoReinhardt - That's a misnomer. Plenty of writers didn't take part in the strikes and plenty of scripts were written in advance of the strikes that were "cleaned up" by professional writers. –  Richard Mar 2 at 19:48
    
You made a mistake. Just correct it and move on. You don't have to try justify it. –  Django Reinhardt Mar 2 at 19:54
    
@DjangoReinhardt - You're right. Jane Espenson took part in the strike which means she can't use it as an excuse for the crap writing and repeated plot holes :-P –  Richard Mar 2 at 19:56
    
Every member of the WGA-staff was on strike - including the showrunner, Ronald Moore. That's why the show ceased production. –  Django Reinhardt Mar 2 at 20:15
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