Starbuck watches Gaeta in the Galactica Mess. He's, needless to say, sitting alone. Like, pretending to do comms, or maybe administrating the sugar packets or something. She approaches and sits, genuinely friendly. "Hey. How ya doing?" He's grateful, and, as one does, asks her in response how she is doing. Which is his first mistake, although you wouldn't know it. "I'm good," she says guardedly. And you need a PhD in Starbuck to understand why this would be the fucking point you walk away. "Why do you ask?" she says, which is a CODE RED. "Well," he stupidly continues, "I heard about your situation. You were... " CODE BLACK. She'll have his ass for this. "... Right," she says breezily, and thinks about his eyes. "I just try not to think about it anymore. You know?" She eats and looks back at him. It's a different girl in there now. "Kinda like you. Sitting in your plushy little office on Colonial One doing all of Baltar's dirty work for him. Probably never even thought about what was happening to me, right?" The hidden command: Do not even think about what was happening to me. Don't mention it, don't look at it, don't witness it. "I didn't know about your situation. If I had, I would've tried to get you out." Get your own ass out! Now! You are begging for it! She hums at him, tight-lipped. She folds herself up like origami in a new shape she's never had before. "Like I've just said about 50 times now, I was serving the legal President of the Colonies. We all elected him, remember?" The mess starts to clear out. I mean to say that the ambient heat coming off this table is such that even the stupidest crewman is getting the vibe. "So that's supposed to excuse it?" Gaeta exhales. "What do you want me to say? Maybe I could've done more. But I thought that when the Cylons landed, it was important for me to keep my job. To help from the inside." Starbuck offers a reinterpretation of that story, mainly that his job was "propping Baltar up and letting the Cylons walk all over us." Gaeta protests, talks about the dead drops and Jake the dog and the Cylon positions and all the memos, and she couldn't care less. "Hooray, Felix. You're a frackin' hero." Gaeta stares at her and leaves, realizing there's no way out of this one. She stares and watches him go; in the corner is Seelix, watching. Watching them both. Weighing the votes. Stacking the deck. Making a choice. ("Dude, why does Jacob hate Seelix so much? Cavil's a dick!" This is why, this right here: She'd co-opt Kara's extended abuse trauma to take "revenge" on somebody that never hurt her. Leaving Cavil in the dirt without even suicide as an option was just a pointer to the fact that eventually we'd end up here, now.)
Also: Never duplicate your act breaks. (Hey, Espenson.) You can't cut to commercial with the poundy drums going "oh girl what about Gaeta" the whole time, because A) it's already clear he's going to be fine, because this character is necessary to the spectrum of response to occupation in the ongoing story, but B) it just underlines that fact if you keep screaming at me about it. Not that the scintillating conversation about jump-roping would really work for an act out, but it would have been more balanced, in terms of the show moving forward, to have this next scene before the break, and then lead from Seelix in the mess to the next meeting of the Circle, to see what she was thinking. If you put a Baltar scene for the act out, it tells you we're going to spend a lot of time on the basestar, and if it's a Baltar/Six breakup scene, it lends weight to his entire story, which he kind of needs at this point.