I can't believe I'm supposed to recaplet this. Okay, so Kara's been dreaming about painting the Eye of Jupiter on the wall of her Caprican apartment (and then having sex with Leoben soon thereafter) every night since Helo showed her that image from the Temple. So Helo tells her to go see an Oracle, who ends up repeating what Leoben told Kara about her mother in "Flesh and Bone," and says Leoben's coming for her. With the fleet on a refueling jaunt on a blue-sky planet, Kara spots a phantom Raider and chases it down, only no one else sees it or believes it's there. Adama and Son discuss benching her for being crazy, but Lee declines, even though she's wiggier than normal and seeing Eyes of Jupiter in her corn flakes and Kacey's reflection in mirrors and such. She also spends the whole episode giving Adama a figurine of Aurora to remember her by, and telling Lee where to put her photo when she dies, and finally letting Lee go, romantically speaking. So you know this is all going to suck real soon. Back on the planet, this time with Lee on her wing, Kara spots yet another phantom Raider and chases it down once again, this time getting knocked on the cockpit by whatever-it-is and into Mystical Leoben Dreamworld. And he takes her into her past, where we see her awful mother didn't let something like having terminal cancer keep her from emotionally abusing her daughter. And then Not Really Leoben takes Kara to her mother's deathbed, where she can finally let it all go and make her peace and not be afraid anymore and whatnot. Which comes in handy, because Kara's still tailspinning, and Lee's chasing her, and she tells him it's okay and "I'll see you on the other side" and "they're waiting for me," and then her viper completely explodes, and there's no 'chute, and Kara Thrace just really and truly died. No dreams, no cheats, no last-second shot of her stirring on the planet's surface. Just a whole lot of stunned faces in CIC and one big crying heap of Bill Adama. So long, Starbuck. I really, really, really hope you turn out to be a Cylon.
Previously, Leoben was a very clever Cylon, in addition to being a nutjob. Kara beat him up super-bad but prayed for him when he died; later, he kidnapped her and kept her in an apartment and made her super-duper crazy. Which she kind of already was, because her mom was not a nice lady, but it certainly didn't help. Also: all of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. In the apartment, he swore that he was just trying to show her "the truth of her life," and the reasons she suffered and struggled and acted like a world-class a-hole a lot of the time. Everybody was talking about this mysterious destiny of hers, but nothing was really going on with it, even after the Temple of Five proved to be a monument to her doodles. Then we kind of forgot about her altogether so we could concentrate on labor laws. The previouslies end on her conversation with Helo about how the Eye of Jupiter in the Temple was the same one he saw in her apartment in Delphi. (That last link is to the episode titled "Valley Of Darkness." No fear.)
Previous to that, a girl got kidnapped on the coast of Sicily; she was taken away by a dark spirit, into the underworld, where she became a woman. If her mother had known what was going to happen -- if she'd know that this was her fate, that it keeps the world turning -- who knows what she would have done differently? Sometimes it's better to just close your eyes, especially when the Gods are involved. The girl's name was Persephone, or Proserpina, or a thousand other names; we'll call her "Kore" now. It means "daughter." What is your name? Maybe last time, she was the interrogator and he was the prisoner. The players change, the story remains the same. He kept her down there, and it changed her. Maybe he told her she had a beautiful daughter, perhaps. With a name like Kore, or Kat. Or Kara. Homer called what she became down there the Iron Queen, and she only relented once. Empedocles called her water: "Now hear the fourfold roots of everything: Enlivining Hera, Hades, shining Zeus. And Nestis, moistening mortal springs with tears." Elysium, where the dead and burnt-out wraiths of mortals make their home, comes from the word for a person struck by lightning: enelysion. It's where you go when you're a hero and you've reached your end of line; it's the place Persephone rules. It's encircled by the stream Oceanus, which goes around and around, and never ends.