"You must be reminded of your ethical responsibilities, and challenged to rise above your own selfish needs," Six continues, and his lips start to shake. James Callis has a hell of a lot of work to do here, not only in the emotional arc and ego-deflation during the letter itself, but also making the rest of the episode make emotional sense. His challenge here is to make us honestly believe that the man two acts ago that told Gina to go to hell would flip a hundred eighty just because of this well-intentioned, honestly critical letter. I buy it, but only because I know a million guys like this. They're called "the majority of American males," and you can find them nearly anywhere. "I don't write this to hurt you, but to beg you to open your heart." He starts to fidget. "Understand that the people in the Fleet look to you not just for leadership, but for solace..." He takes the letter away from the imaginary woman who just carried it across the room somehow, and she keeps talking. "…[For] justice. Find a way to give them that," she grins, and he's nearly weeping here, "and you will be a great leader." He begins to nod angrily. "Laura Roslin."
Six smiles wickedly as he somehow melts and catches fire at the same time. "After all I've done for the Fleet. After all I've done for her." It's incredibly petulant, this, and somehow very British, but underneath that, it's very deeply hurt, and angry. This letter was supposed to tell him what a good President he'd be, that he deserved to be Vice President and President, that he was a good man, a strong man, the kind of man that could lead all the remnants of humanity, what is left of all 12 Colonies, into safety and the future. It was supposed to be the cherry on top of the "I just did the right thing and sacrificed my own ambition to save a good woman" pie. It was supposed to tell him that his secret belief was right, and that he really was worthy of leading mankind. It's like when you go to pet a nice dog, and the nice dog turns out to be a mean dog, and tries to bite you, and your first impulse, before you get your act together, is to punch the dog in the face. And one thing the doctor's act has never been is together.
Inches from breaking down, he rips the letter into smaller and smaller pieces. Six pushes the advantage: "Roslin's never trusted you. She's undermined you at every turn, and now…" There's a wonderful moment where Six watches him ripping the letter and you can see her heart breaking for him, she feels so terrible for him for a second, but keeps pushing. "So now we know she's never going to trust me," he chokes out. "This is not a political struggle anymore, Gaius. This is quite literally life and death." She says literally like Madonna used to, even before the whole Brit thing, like litrally. (Slight aside: I may be the only person on Earth who still likes Gwyneth Paltrow, I love her like a sister, and when she pulls shit like the "Antony Hopkins" thing, where you feel disgust and rage, I just feel like when your best friend gets drunk at a party and her dress ends up over her head, or she hits on a gay German dude all night or whatever. The total tragedy of my life, though, is that this happens every time the girl leaves the house. I mention this, of course, because of the obvious and varied parallels between the Cylons and Gwyneth Paltrow. You say "Sir Antony Hopkins," I say, "At least her bag of bullshit is not Drew Barrymore's bag of bullshit"; you say "human genocide," I say, "Please Disturb sign outside the brig." Macrobiotic food for thought. One can only hope that someday soon, groups of misguided and militant Gwyneth sympathizers will start sabotaging some shit, because that would be hilarious.)