Chief ushers people around the Galactica deck, doing what he does best, back where he belongs. Not stomping -- although I think the scary stomping will come back next week and it's going to be hella bad -- and a huge smile breaks out across his face when he sees Kara and her daughter. "Oh, my Gods. Captain! I thought you were dead." She smiles carefully. "Yeah, so did I." (Brilliant poster on the forums who compared her to Persephone, spending half a year in hell with the man who stole her from her family.) Chief asks about Kacey, and Anders comes running up to ask as well, and Kara opens her mouth to explain -- that she's not alone, that there's a part of her that he didn't touch, that she has the option of redeeming her own childhood, that there are some kinds of love that are inviolable -- and a third person comes running up. A beautiful woman. And what she is saying is this: "Kacey? Kacey! Oh, my little girl! Oh, Mommy missed you so much! Thank you. Thank you! Thank you. When the Cylons took her I -- I thought -- but you saved her. Gods bless you." And Kara smiles with a huge amount of grace and pain, and hands the woman her child, and smiles awkwardly and can't speak. And the woman and her daughter Kacey disappear into the crowd, and all around them, people are reuniting with their loved ones.
Adama welcomes each new refugee aboard. Sharon Agathon, untroubled and untouched, walks through the joyful masses like any other crewman and throws herself into Helo's arms. Adama welcomes his son back to the Galactica: "I guess you didn't understand my orders, huh?" Lee quirks his neck at his father. "Never could read your handwriting." They smile proudly at each other. Saul Tigh's voice rings out across the deck, waiting for his welcome from the old man: "Permission to come aboard, sir." He clambers down from a Raptor's wing, old and infirm, on a crutch still. Bill doesn't betray anything -- the shock of the leg, the eye, the broken heart you can see just as easily -- as he grants Tigh welcome. He smiles at him fully and looks him in the eye, and they salute. "You did it. You brought 'em home, Saul." The tears come up and they go right back down. "Not all of them." Bill puts his hand on Saul's shoulder, and says, "I'm sorry." There is a moment of silence between them; how does he come back from this? Can Bill save him one more time? I don't know how this can work. It hurts. (How in fuck did my favorite characters become Colonel Tigh and Gaius Effin' Baltar? Seriously, I'm asking. Somebody's getting a letter.)
The deck hands, the pilots, the colonists sweep Adama up in their arms and cheer his name, over and over, hoisting him into the air, cheering his triumphant return. He watches Tigh wander away, crippled and slow. Kara feels a new hole in what's left of her heart, and realizes how alone she always was and how much more alone it's possible to be. Tigh walks slowly past the Chief, past Helo and Sharon, past Lee and Dualla, cheering the old man on. He looks so small. He gave them everything: his eye, his strength, his body, his heart, the love of his life, keeping them alive so that the Admiral could come in and save them all. Choked off the part that would shrink from the ugliest acts of war, in order to fulfill his purpose and keep the fight strong. And he did this willingly: he believes in Adama as much as any of them do. More, obviously. And now he is broken and small, and Adama's getting the cheers Saul has been working -- literally, working himself to death, for months -- to give him. And if he were strong enough, if he had anything left, he'd be cheering too. That's how much he loves Bill. The only other person with the capacity for that much love, the only person who would go that far for love, he killed earlier today. Maybe they were really the perfect couple, and all the fights and drinking and cattin' around, maybe it was just because their love would have burned too hot any other way. Maybe they were always the best of us, after all.