1245 and it's a dead body party: the ones that tried to fight, and the ones that tried to run, and the ones that were still sitting in their chairs when they drifted off. Felix throws a John Crichton fit about it ("All I did was rub this lamp! Why do you keep granting me wishes?") and Tom is like, "Dude. Are you stroking out right now? This a coup. Which you began. So that we could do something vague and angry. This is what happens." And I mean, I'll take his word for it. He's been through many a coup. He's broken a lot of eggs over the years, in pursuit of an authority that doesn't chafe him. He's the other side of Dualla, the brighter side of Sagittaron: the side that lives so firmly in the future that he won't stop fighting until he gets there. And if you look at it that way, he's sort of terribly beautiful.
What's the first article of faith? Say it with me. "This is not all that we are." It never can be: that's the Cloud of Unknowing glimpsed from the other side. I thought finding respect and love for Tom Zarek would be one of those nice guy things, but honestly, I can't find fault here. Because what he says -- that history is written by the victors -- is totally true. It's only mutiny and treason if the dominant paradigm remains upright when the smoke clears: if Romo lives and Gaius goes free, then Kelly loses it all and goes to the brig. Otherwise -- if, say, they give you a hug and a snack and a garbage scow for pointing a gun in the President's frakking face -- you're a hero. Nobody ever wanted to be a villain and nobody ever wanted to kill: they got there by cruel fate, and strong convictions. I have to respect that. If you step out far enough on that limb to be either -- to be judged by history as hero or traitor, monk or beast; to be sacrificed in the temple, or on the altar -- then you have something strong in you that moves you forward past your limits. I have never fallen in love with anything or anyone that didn't have that as a main ingredient. Ape in a tux or not, Tom Zarek feels every bullet, and keeps walking. Felix, too. And Tom seals it for them both: "Adama has to go. There's no turning back now," he says, needing Felix to get it. And he finally gets it. It itches him in a place he can't reach, but he gets it.
Chief climbs through tiny ducts, claustrophobic, every vein and capillary of her, he knows. This engine he built with his blood. Tory returns with her makeshift Cylon Quorum, apologizing: "We have a chance to survive," she says, stepping forward. Laura calls her out for being a Final Fiver: "I'm sorry, I would've thought ... you'd have a broader vision than that." Six steps forward next, to do what she does best: snap its neck, kill it in its sleep, before it becomes a problem. She sees the weak places and aims right for them. "If he hasn't done it already, Gaeta will airlock Tigh, Tyrol, Anders. Then he'll start with the rest: Kara, Helo, Adama..." Just enough force in her voice that Laura blanches at this, and begs her to stop. He's her weakness now but the entire point of love is that this makes him her strength. The thing that makes you awesome, etc. Over Tory's decree that fates have been decided, Laura issues quite a speech.