On the bridge, Adama is giving steering commands as they try to avoid the incoming fighters. There's lots of "all ahead fulls" and "bow up three degreeses" and other belabored nautical references, and then we cut back to the battle outside the ship. We learn that the old-school Vipers are immune to the Cylon's red eye of death, and Starbuck manages to shoot down all but one of the incoming fighters.
That's when Ensign Uhura sounds the radiological alarm, as the Cylons have launched three nuclear missiles at Galactica. Starbuck gets two, but the third slips past and heads in for impact. "Brace for contact, my friend," advises Adama. "I haven't heard that in a while," replies Colonel McCain, which probably explains the sorry state of his marriage. The nuke hits Galactica just above the port landing pod, and the blast subatomically fuses the notion that if someone from Star Trek is involved with your production, you can be pretty sure that the actors will have to spend significant time flinging themselves around the bridge set at least twice in every episode. Fade to white.
Commercial. Gee, do you think the Galactica was really destroyed? Also, is the Sci-Fi channel doing Real Sex now? What's up with this Mad, Mad House show? I guess they had to replace Lexx somehow.
When we come back, Starbuck is doing a fly-by. She reports major damage and some venting from the landing pod, but otherwise the hull plating saved them. On the bridge, Commodore 64 delivers the following clunker of a line without missing a single beat: "Sir, port stern thrusters are locked open, all bow thrusters non-responsive. We're in an uncontrolled lateral counterclockwise spin." Damn, that guy can exposit! The upshot of all the damage reports is that she ship is decompressing on the port side. Adama orders McCain to fix the problem, and then goes off to deal with whatever could possibly be more important than his entire ship falling apart.
Down in the landing bay itself, the hangar crew is trying to evacuate. Private First Class Soon To Be Dead Guy calls in a report to Master Chief Lovewrench, who is up on the bridge for some unexplained reason. Lovewrench looks to Colonel McCain for orders, but the colonel freezes so that we'll all remember he's an alcoholic. Finally he orders Master Chief Lovewrench to vent the entire landing bay, which will put out the fires and stop the decompression, but also kill anyone who may be trapped in there. Lovewrench begs for a few extra minutes to get his people out, but McCain wants instant action. He strides over to the control panel, inserts his key into the decompression slot, and turns it to complete the venting. I suppose the key thing makes for a nice safety feature to prevent an accidental activation, but it seems kind of balky for something you'd want to be able to do quickly in an emergency. In any event, the landing pod decompresses, lots of people die, and everyone looks sad. Farewell, Private First Class Soon To Be Dead Guy. You totally should have kissed Dirty Girl when you had the chance. She was into you, my friend.