Starbuck and the Blackbird finally jump back to the Battlestars, and she's freaked out to see the two sets of Vipers dancing around each other. She receives Apollo's message, still off-dradis due to the Blackbird's carbon composite shell, and reads it. Her lips move, by the way, so that's strike one for the old Caprica ISD. She then types back very slowly, saying the words out loud: "Star. Buck. Here. What. The. Hell. Is. Go. Ing. On?" Strike two.
Gaeta picks up the Blackbird, finally -- I guess sending the message put her back on dradis? -- and identifies her as a Raider due to her sudden appearance and lack of confirmation codes and whatever.
Over in Pegasus CIC, Fisk and Cain are freaking out about the Raider too. Makes sense -- you never see just one Raider. Well, if you do, it's Starbuck every time, but they have no way of knowing that. They're new. Cain recalls her Vipers due to the seeming impending Cylon attack. My question is this: what the hell was Apollo doing? Did he know that this would happen? Did he just want Starbuck to come in and save him? Did their messages in fact extend further than we saw, and he told her to come in dark and then suddenly scare everyone? What was his plan? Was there one? Does Starbuck at all know what's going on? Or is this just another example of one or both of them doing something impetuous and somehow saving everyone's bacon at the same time?
The Vipers get ready to blow Starbuck out of the sky -- Kat in particular is of course overjoyed -- and Starbuck is somewhat worried. "Starbuck to all Vipers: do not fire. Repeat, do not fire! I am a friendly, okay? We're all friendlies. So, let's just be friendly." In the Raptor, Stinger yells at Apollo, because he's realized that they've taken out the Blackbird against his express orders, and Apollo just prisses at him: "You got me, I'm just a passenger back here." He's loving it, it's great. Kat radios to the Galactica CIC that it's the Blackbird, and Tigh (of course) protests: "What the hell [drink!] is the Blackbird doing out there?" Gaeta mentions that Starbuck took the Blackbird out a couple hours ago, "running flight tests for Admiral Cain." I love Gaeta for many reasons, but chief among them is the fact that he actually seems to believe this. Adama doesn't, and Tigh -- this is sweet -- he goes argh and then says, "Another one of her crazy-ass stunts...Thank the Gods!" Adama's like, "Word. Get me the Pegasus." Adama points out to Cain that even though there is no actual Raider attack happening, they do have the option of standing down. She's about to tell him to get fracked, and then Fisk alerts her to some pictures they're receiving -- it's Starbuck's shots from the recon mission. And now again, I have to wonder exactly what this is: is Starbuck sending them to Cain because she's their new boss? Because it's a show of good faith? To further the plot? Is she in fact sending it to both ships? We don't get enough cockpit time with Kara to know any of it for sure, but any conjecture will work. The point is, I feel about Human v. Cylons the way Kara treats Galactica v. Pegasus, which is: get to the point already and stop acting like war as a concept hasn't changed. You're not emperors of the olden days fighting over principalities -- you're all we've got. The Cylons are fighting a twenty-first-century war: become the enemy. Interbreed. Take down the walls between us and them. Synthesize and unite, all monotheistic-stylee. The humans are outpaced and outclassed, because they think it's all about annihilation, even as they're being herded. Maybe it was once, but it's not anymore -- the Farm and all of Six's creepy shit prove that, at least. (I'd make a really bad soldier, clearly.)