They talk, he hopes; Cantrell stands and asks him to leave. When? "Now. Mr. Vice President." The Quorum gives a chorus of Hear Hears and So Say We Alls. I wonder how much they even know, at this point. Last week he had them so cooped up they didn't even know he'd been busted out of the brig. But I'm happy for them, the way they finally blink at Zarek's presumptions; I'm proud that Cantrell, in Lee's absence, tries to carry on the science of governance even as the world goes mad. I don't think it's a bad thing exactly, how this goes down, because Zarek would have found a reason to kill them eventually, so this is more of a last hurrah. I can't think of a better farewell for old Cantrell, anyway, than getting shot in the head for calling bullshit on Tom Zarek. That makes me want to hug the world.
And I'm glad it's done, because this is not a workable system of democracy, because the Fleet is not a republic. One thing Dee and Tom were always right about is that this is not a system that needs to be fixed, because it no longer suits: it's a Senate without a House, pretending to equal representation of a demographic wasteland warped by death and prejudice. There are only 35 ships in the Fleet at this point, and less than 40,000 humans. That's a town hall meeting twice a month, not the fucking UN. I've always thought the twelve flags of the Colonies were one of the saddest things about the Fleet, because it says so much about how lonely the science of governance actually is.
Remember that until fifty years ago, when the Centurions revolted, there wasn't even a charter of alliance between the Colonies: just twelve worlds constantly at war, like feudal Europe. Within these people's lifetimes. I know it's unrealistic to expect them to get over the Cylon racism, but think about how nasty and ingrained inter-Colonial bias has been, and still must be. At least in Europe there are borders, places where peoples touch and blend and cross the salt. In the Colonial star system, you had to move through outer space to even meet somebody different. And when you left -- like Kendra, like Gaius -- you left forever. You became that somebody different.
Tom leaves, not happy with this outcome, and right up until the second that he orders them murdered, to the thug Marines outside, you hope that he won't. But you know that he will, because Roslin : Zarek :: Pythia : Marx (:: Kara : Earth :: Cain : Survival) and there are like a million different reasons to become a Razor, but only one way. He sends Kelly for Felix, to show him what he's done in his name, and out in that corridor, as Kelly's walking away, they both lose something. Kelly keeps walking, winded like a punch to the gut. But I'll say this for him: Zarek feels every bullet.