Carolanne speaks to him, as he pours a good stiff drink. "Go ahead. Put it away, like you have after every anniversary." I love how even the script is like, "Bitch, not about you. The whole point of you is that it wasn't about you, which either turned you into an asshole or was because you're an asshole, but we're betting on some admixture of both considering that William Adama is incapable of having a family smaller than Every Single Person There Is, which is the point of this episode, and the series, and every Lie About Earth he's told since the show started. Put it away, Bill." She asks him to promise he won't take it out again. She's dead, human psychology is built on projection, he's asking himself if this is the end. It's never the end. "It'd be easier to hate you. But that would be a lie, Carolanne. And there's been enough of that, through our lives." If you had to look at how much of your life is the kind of lie that keeps you alive, you'd die. Him more than most, but not by much. "We had something, didn't we?" asks Carolanne, finally regretful. He nods. "Yeah. We had something." She kisses him, sweetly, all her poison drawn out; his self-hatred self-healing. I don't think we can survive unless the man at the top finds a way to forgive himself. Sometimes he needs to be reminded.
The guilt, the regret, whatever it is, it's no longer speaking through her dead mouth, now that Saul and Seelix have cried in an airlock, and Chief can hold his son again, and he can take the books of law from the father that disappointed him, and hand them down to the son he disappointed, and know there's time to find a balance. There's time to drop all the projections and pull Jenga on all those pedestals, and bring it all crashing down, and build something better. Like he did with Sharon, up in the sky over New Caprica. That kind of bravery, and that kind of love: that's all Laura's asking for. To be naked, to build a cabin, to stop ignoring the alluvial deposits all over that proud ship, the lines of salt and broken seals, and learn the balance. To figure out that the day we finally have the time is today, and tomorrow, and all the days and years that follow.
"See you next year," he says, and puts away the photograph, and takes a drink, and says goodbye to her for a while longer, and climbs back up on that lonely pedestal again.