Roslin explains that, "across the Fleet, people are reporting shortages of essential goods" and that "what they do get comes at a high price." Adama and Fisk realize that she's talking about the black market, and Fisk makes a great "Duh, really?" face. Roslin relates the personally tragic story about how an aide got pneumonia and Billy had to trade liquor for antibiotics. Fisk pops another delicious, juicy grape and bottom-lines it: "It's the nature of the beast. People want what they want." I appreciate the irony of him tossing this off while rolling around indolently in the lap of luxury, but this actually does a greater disservice to the very concerned President and Admiral, because the effect created is that they're being incredibly disingenuous. Any other week, I'd say that was on purpose -- but here? Anyhow, Roslin gets the barter system, thanks, but she's talking about "criminals making outrageous demands on the people," and so she wants to create a new Fleet-wide trade policy: "We need to be in control of our supply chain, not black-market thugs." That's the whole of the trade policy, as far as we'll ever know. She asks for military support, and Fisk -- again not getting any other concepts beyond "civilians suck and are for shooting" -- is proud to offer the Pegasus's support in blowing "these dogs" to hell. God, he's the new Tigh. Adama ignores him, offers his unconditional help, and says it's good to have Roslin back. She smiles gorgeously and says it's good to be back. Dismissed, Gaius and Fisk stand and look at each other incredibly sketchily.
Outside, Fisk and Baltar have made apparently close friends, which makes total sense. They've both got beef with Madame, even though there's a misogynist undertone with Fisk that proves Cain went completely Clytemnestra a long time ago. He wonders if Roslin's always so "right in your face," and Baltar allows as how her "last-minute resurrection" has proven invigorating. I believe and expected it, but what we got in that office seemed like classic Roslin to me; we have to assume that a lot of her worse days weren't shown, I guess, since they're not the most thrilling television. Or because this entire episode seems to think that women are all frail neurasthenics without independent will. Fisk loves being treated like a person, and wonders aloud to Baltar whether Roslin even honestly believes her "made-up plans and regulations are going to change anything." He has a point, but also an agenda, given his body-language comfort with the black-market concept. "As if we don't have enough to do," hums Baltar superciliously. Honestly, what is it that you do, Gaius? Build mystery machines that don't work, invade people's personal space in bathrooms, shoot military officers from behind, and masturbate in public. Sorry if the burden of governance is going to cut into that busy schedule. He tips his hand a bit here: "Madame President sets a great prestige by her office," he self-indicts deliriously, "and Adama supports her, at least for the moment." Fisk: "Well then, so do I, just for the moment." They discuss the cigars Fisk had delivered to Baltar recently, which were much enjoyed, and Fisk takes off, looking forward to their next meeting. I love this story -- I've missed schemy political Baltar, and Fisk is just the right balance of powerful and outsider to really connect with it. Too bad he dies two scenes from now.