Galactica's scout ships, featuring Apollo and Sharon (Athena), find five ailing Cylons aboard the drifting basestar, and bring them back. Cottle identifies the virus, a lymphatic encephalitis that comes from rats originally, and confirms that humans -- and Sharon herself, thanks to Hera -- are immune. Cottle designs a vaccine that will save the Cylon, but not permanently: they'll need frequent injections. A Simon model tells them about how Gaius is working with the Cylons now, and how the Snow Crash portion of the virus would spread through resurrection ships. Apollo puts it together and realizes that by murdering their prisoners near a resurrection ship without warning, they can commit genocide and take out the Cylons for good! Roslin, of course, thinks this is the best new version of airlocking she's ever heard of, but Adama is ambivalent. Helo wigs on everybody, fighting Roslin and making some pretty iffy logical leaps in the process, but continuing to be the only sane, much less good, person aboard. Eventually -- and against even Sharon's wishes -- he takes matters into his own hands, killing the prisoners himself before they reach the infection window. Roslin gets that airlockin' look in her eye, but Adama calls her off, agreeing more vociferously with Helo now that the point is moot.
Lest you forget the Cylons are every bit as creepy as the humans, though, Caprica and Three spend the entire episode torturing Gaius for info about the beacon and the virus.
Lest you forget Gaius Baltar is the creepiest motherfracker ever written, though, he spends the entire episode getting off in a sex-type way with Chip Six in the middle of -- and spurred on by -- the torture itself. And then I think he fools Three into thinking he, or she, or both of them, are God. It's a whole God-sex-torture-threesome-projection-crazy thing, as we've come to expect from the basestar storyline. Which is either awesome or horrible, depending where you stand, but I say: "Bring on the God and sex and torture! Bring on the threesomes, with robots both incarnate and imaginary! This is the best season ever!"
Previously, Gaius led the Cylons toward the Lion Nebula while Gaeta was taking the humans there. What the humans didn't know was that there was a virus on a beacon there which is deadly to Cylons. Gaius did know this, but left out the part about the beacon. His ex-girlfriend Caprica totally knew that he was lying about the beacon, but didn't say anything. The Cylons bounced, leaving the Galactica to discover the tainted basestar without warning -- including the advance scout Raptor piloted by Sharon.
Now: Apollo's riding shotgun in Athena's Raptor, calling in Plan A as they approach the sick baseship. He's gone hard again. Sharon's still mind-blown even though she's returned to Galactica and picked him up in the meantime. I think Major Apollo's the Marine LT on this op; maybe the same way Dualla was his XO on Pegasus. Sharon is having trouble dealing with the site: basestar conky, the Raiders outside her drifting. It's pretty eerie, but when the Raptor starts edging between them to land, it gets a lot creepier. Adama helos to the Raptor that they're clear for entry, and they descend. Helo's quite nervous on his own terms as well, of course. Inside, it is clear the thing is dead. "Galactica, Apollo. No sign of life. Ship appears to be abandoned and powering down." They work their way to the command center, where there are dead models everywhere. Racetrack and Apollo OMG, and Gunny Mathias (Hi!) notes mordantly that "their fracking resurrection ship is gonna overheat." Heh. Apollo calls in the dead -- thirty or forty in his line of sight, but not ours of course -- and Mathias sets up the perimeter. "Sharon," Apollo calls, but she's just staring around at all the bodies. "Athena! See what you can pick up with the computers." She puts her hands in the data port gel we've seen before; the screens all around command begins to flicker. "If I get a connection, put the SSR leads in the water over there. Reduce the error correction level for higher throughput." Racetrack marvels at the USB stuff Sharon can do, but more importantly wonders if it's a good idea. The screens go crazy; something comes up in Sharon. We don't know what it is -- she gasps -- and Hotdog asks if she's okay. Hotdog, who got hot; Hotdog, who named her. "Uh, yeah... the datapoints are almost completely corroded. I don't know if I'm gonna get much out of here, but let's try." I'm not convinced that's why she's wigging, but I'll let the suspicion slide for right now.