Starbuck finally gets to the briefing going on in the briefing room: "This is our mission. It's our duty to the people we left behind. And if we need to use a Cylon to get them back, then so be it. [And if I got permission for it during a drug-induced hallucination of Kobol, well, threshold of revelation.] This is about trying to get as many survivors off Caprica as we can. Even so, it's still two-alpha. Anyone want to eject?" The pilots fidget. The door at the back of the room opens, and Helo takes his feet: "Commander on deck!" They assemble, and Apollo enters: "Don't worry. I won't be long. I want to hear it too." He's more commanding, too. (I was going to say, "also less of a girl," but that's not it either. Not exactly.)
Bill and the crazed arm candy he's escorting follow Tory down the corridor toward the press room. ["At this moment she was so loopy I wasn't sure Roslin hadn't forgotten to put her shoes back on." -- Wing Chun] "You just have to really try to think about something serious. That always helps," Adama tells the President. He's kind of giggly, too, or whatever passes for "giggly" with him. "Like what?" Laura asks, and he's stymied. They look into each other's eyes, and they both collapse into laughter again. Tory, leading the campaign toward the debate, spares barely a look behind her at the leaders of the entirety of humanity, rolls her eyes, and grumbles, "Great." It's awesome, like, very organic for the scene, to the point where you don't notice it's a classic West Wing cheat: "Aren't they being adorable? I'm so cutely disapproving and sexy. Doesn't that make them even more of a handful? People in power are still people, and they have foibles!" But it's okay, like it usually is on The West Wing, for the following reasons: they are, she is, and it does. And they do. Deliriously, wonderfully, disappointingly, powerfully: they do.
Apollo stands at the front of the brief, Starbuck at the podium with Gaeta and Boomer behind him. "No one has ever attempted a rescue mission from this distance, much less behind enemy lines. You'll be making history just by making the attempt. But bring these people back from Caprica...and you'll be making part of the future." Pause while they, and we, get weird about this. Racetrack -- I always think of Original Boomer with her, because she's so into it, so ready to prove herself, so excited about the mission, about heroism; so beautiful -- asks, by way of telling the COs that nobody's taking the 2A, "If you guys find Earth before we get back, will you save us a few seats?" Apollo smiles, and Racetrack smiles back. Starbuck: "Earth? Hell, if we find any rock with food and water, I'll build you guys a bar." She nods, and Apollo gaetas ("See? I told you I wouldn't be long") for the wireless so that they can listen to the debate, which he characterizes, humorously, as the "fun they'll be missing for the next five days." As Jim the Moderator, whom we'll be talking about in a sec, tells us the basics -- that this is the first of two debates and that the election's in a month -- Boomer stands and nearly meets Starbuck's eyes: "Can I go now?" She's so out of it. Just demoralized and taken apart on every level. I'd rather she were bashing her head into something; it's too hard. All she's lost. Starbuck nods and asks the Marines to take Boomer out of there. Helo follows, and the rest of the pilots crowd the radio.