After months, our return to the Fleet proves to be both a blessing and a curse, as the hiatus has managed to turn the Pegasus story into a three-parter: while all the cliffhangers from last half-season are resolved within minutes, we end on another crazy set altogether. Apollo and Starbuck manage to resolve the Pegasus/Galactica standoff through either blind fuck-uppery or really intensely good teamwork, as both sides mistake the suddenly-appearing Blackbird for a Cylon Raider and call a truce under the old "enemy of my enemy" clause. Even Cain falls slightly in love with Starbuck due to her super-awesomeness, promoting her to Captain and making her the new Pegasus CAG, which is a neat switch against Cain's taking Apollo off active duty. Starbuck's recon pictures show that the HMS Ernestine is exactly what we thought -- a way-station for Cylon souls before download, and PegaSix Gina of all people provides corroboration -- for the horrible reason that her time on Pegasus has caused her to wish for permanent death. Tigh is pretty awesome throughout, and also gets the Pegasus XO Fisk to explain that Cain left almost her entire own civilian Fleet either dead or Cylon bait. Baltar gives up his awesome imaginary condo now that he's begun a non-sexual relationship with Gina, who came aboard Pegasus as a refugee, planning to sabotage the ship and get killed, downloading into a new body. President Roslin gets both Cain and Adama under her temporary control using only her grace, logic, and terrifying will, and gets a temporary amnesty for Helo and Chief until the Cylons are dealt with. Adama apologizes to Boomer, making me love him, and then cries about Roslin's cancer, making me love him more -- also Roslin, who flirts a bit before advising him, shockingly, to murder Cain. A plan is created to destroy the Cylon Resurrection Ship, thinking that this might cause the Cylons to abandon their pursuit of both Battlestars. The episode ends on a fantastic back-and-forth: Cain advises her ambivalent XO Fisk to "terminate" Adama and the rest of the Galactica CIC once the HMS Ernestine is gone, as Adama is meanwhile advising his ambivalent surrogate daughter (and Cain's current CAG) to shoot Cain in the fracking head.
Back when we last spoke, remember, the situation was briefly this: Helo and Chief were en route back to Pegasus for execution, after having killed Thorne while rescuing Boomer from him. Already on Pegasus was Baltar, attempting to rehabilitate the horribly abused Gina version of Cylon Number Six. Starbuck was off doing recon on the mysterious and eponymous Cylon vessel, Apollo was trapped in a Raptor with the very pissy Pegasus CAG, Stinger, and Cain and Adama had just released their Vipers in an open battle for the future of the fleet and Adama's various crew members. Cain thought Adama was dangerously incompetent, Adama thought Cain was dangerously insane, and they both thought they knew best. Meanwhile, a Cylon battle fleet -- including two gigantic Basestars -- was massing for an attack.
Now: the Vipers from both Battlestars are forming up -- the Pegasus ones are spoiling for a fight and buzzing the Galactica formation. Crackhead Kat, who seems to be our field contact on this battle, has an itchy trigger finger, not to mention being totally unnerved by the Top Gunnery of the Pegasus guys. Seriously, the only thing more nervous-making than open fire is this swarming, creepy, scary shit. Tigh, of course, would like to see Kat and the Vipers turned loose on the Pegasus squads, and would also like to attack the Pegasus directly. I will say right now that Tigh is right about more things in this episode than I would have believed possible, but I'm not sure this is one of them. At least not right away like this. Starbuck is coming in close on the Resurrection Ship, as we'll learn the Cylons call the HMS Ernestine, in the Blackbird Laura, where nobody can see her. She eventually pilots the Blackbird directly through the frackking center of the vessel, because she is a bad-ass, clicking pictures all the time, and then jumps away without any Raiders even noticing. The Vipers are still swarming, and Kat is still freaking out. She is duallaed that she will not fire first, and she gnashes her pearly whites, and dumb old Hotdog says he's got one in his sights, but he can't do anything. Nobody can do anything. It's crazy.
A Petty Officer on Pegasus tells the even bitchier CAG Stinger to "relieve Captain Adama of duty and aid an attack mission on Galactica." Apollo finds this hilarious and ridiculous, and opens the hitch on his gun for Stinger to grab it. He pissily requests permission to hang out in the back of Stinger's Raptor -- what else is he going to do? -- and once back there, a few feet away from Stinger himself, types a message incredibly loudly to Starbuck. Clickity-click-click-tick. Outside, Kat and a Pegasus pilot they call Nacho, apparently, are playing chicken. This, of course, causes Kat to scream and yell like the Incredible Hulk. They are wasting gas.