In terms of plot, this is easily the longest episode ever. All it is, is just stuff happening, more stuff happening, and all of it is awesome. The Basestar/Raptor combo jumps into the Fleet -- minus the Demetrius, whose FTL fucks up just at the most awesome time -- and is saved by... Saul Tigh? Yeah. They will not harm their own.
Except when they do: Cottle has to take Felix's leg after all. He spends the episode singing counterpoint to everything else going on. Gaius, Lee and Laura all listen in, as well as Sam, who is changing faster than you can see. The whole thing is quite beautiful, actually. If I hadn't already forgiven him, this would have done it. â™¥.
Natalie rocks a debrief with the Prez and the Admiral, and then a sweet effing conversation with Lee convinces Laura to bring her in to speak directly to the Quorum. Which she also rocks. Her plan: unbox Three, and destroy the Resurrection Hub. Not Ship, you understand, but Hub: death for everybody. End of line. Both sides plan alternate double-crosses, a la Cain/Adama, but Natalie eventually realizes it's bullshit, and tries to do something like the right thing. Doesn't really matter, since Athena blows her ass away.
...What? Yeah. So you know how in every SF show there's a point where the little kid starts acting fucked up and weird? Hera just figured that one out. She welcomes Mommy home with a super-creepy "Bye bye!" and draws a bunch of pictures of the Opera House Six, scaring Athena even though she was there too. Hera runs into Ambassador Natalie -- getting Marine-marched down a corridor -- and it's instant love. Athena freaks, causes a massive standoff, Galen whisks Hera out of the way, and Athena Cally Tyrols the shit out of Natalie. I cried a bit.
OMG what else. Oh, so Laura whores Tory out yet again to Gaius because he's been broadcasting about her Opera House mojo, then has another sweet convo with Kara, who confirms the legititude of both the Hybrid and Laura's visions. Laura snags Gaius and drags him to the Basestar, where they reconnect the Hybrid, and the first word she says is: Jump.
THAT SHE BE SPARED THE PAIN
(III: Difficulty In Beginning.)
"Now I have learned from unimpeachable sources that President Laura Roslin has for some time now been sharing hallucinogenic visions with two Cylons within our Fleet: One, Sharon Agathon, sent on the classified Demetrius mission, and the other, a Cylon prisoner being held aboard the Galac..."
His lover. The girl who waits on the other side of the wall. Laura listens to a reel-to-reel, eyes closed. Lee watches her, one more bird head brought to the master, as her eyes roll back. Her wig remains steadfast. She opens her eyes, and turns it off. Lee and Laura, the Delegate from Caprica that no longer exists, and the President of a Rag-Tag Fleet of what was once a collection of Colonies: They don't know about her. They know all about her but they don't know about her. Wouldn't really care if they did. This is war.
"Uh-uh. It's not that easy, Madam President." Roslin tells Lee to try it sometime. When the world rests on your shoulders, sometimes it is that easy. Because it's not forever, it's just a few seconds in the cabin before you head out again. "Most of the population has heard that broadcast," he says, but she knows that. It's the point of broadcasts. The Colonies are no longer 2.0, they don't know about niches, about our little websites. "Look, I take no pleasure in putting this before you. In fact, they practically had to push me through that door..." A door against which he's been pushing against since his appointment, and beyond which, Laura points out, he's surely more than happy to stay. The inner sanctum: he's finally earned passage, with a dog-eared novel Emily already read her.
"I can't put one foot in front of another without someone blocking my path asking me what the hell is going on!" Lee starts to lecture her about the welfare of the Fleet, as is his wont, and she cuts him dead. As is hers. "-- Excuse me. As long as I am in this office, the welfare of this Fleet is not something you need to worry about." Captain Apollo's not going down without a fight, and tells her she owes the people. We the people. Her people. She owes them.
"What if suddenly all your beliefs were called into question? Up is down," she says over his protests. "Black is white. Scripture is fiction. Home is thin air, instead of solid ground. Et cetera." These aren't questions. This is rhetorical. What if you had your life turned upside-down, and then again, and then again, and then in one final irony, once more? He tells her he's sorry for all she's endured, but it's nothing less than anybody, and she knows that. Not the point. "What would you do if I told you the truth?" she says. Telling him the truth by talking about telling the truth.