Kara fauxallas in to Adama that the O2 is fine in the lounge, and she and Adama decide that it was Lee: "Maybe he's giving us an opening. If I can get someone inside, get a clear idea of what we're dealing with..." Knowing how Kara's plans generally consist of two simple steps -- Jump In and Don't Die -- Adama calls her "Kara" and reminds her that she's only on a recon mission. Her face gets hard, because obviously she's going to risk herself: it's Lee. Not up for debate. Adama: "Get someone to volunteer. Then you assess the situation. And then get the hell out of there. Do you understand?" She gives a fake assent and then, conveniently, the maintenance guy shows up. She takes his hat, puts it on, and looks hot as hell some more. "Captain," says the ever-increasingly worried Burrel, "What are you doing?" And you already know her answer: "Volunteering."
The goons admit Starbuck, now wearing overalls to go with her lovely hat. Sesha orders them to close the door and search her, and Starbuck reminds them that the O2 clock is ticking. Frisked and cleared, and her toolbox checked, she makes her way around the room to the back, covered by Vinson. Who notices Ellen recognizing Starbuck. This is the well-known dramatic rule of Chekov that goes, "When there's an Ellen in the teaser, she's sending us all to hell by the third act." I wouldn't have it any other way. Vinson tells them to check the box again, and at least Ellen has the class to look sheepish about how she just got them all totally killed.
Starbuck sighs, closes her eyes for a second, and pulls two guns out of the toolbox's false lid. (Note to hostage takers: Get references for your goons. You'll thank me.) Everything goes nuts as she and the perps start firing and the Marines bust in, immediately losing two-thirds of their number. Gunny Burrel kills one of the goons and Starbuck has to hit the deck. Apollo jumps up to get into the fight, but Starbuck shoots him in the chest. She is horrified, and blanks out. It's interesting, because obviously, she's now killed all the sons of Adama, but also because of something on the forums relating to how no matter what happens with Kara, she still has her Overwhelming Awesome Skills and Tactics, and not only has the operation just gone to hell, but she's lost her perfect markmanship. Her body, her instrument, has failed her, for failing it last week with Lee. Gone. Control. Gone. Her jumping in and living through, borne of sheer willpower and hellcat exuberance -- her luck. That's gone. This op should have gone without a hitch just because it's Starbuck, and if you find that concept annoying, switch sides and pretend it's all you have for a sec. Gone. And because one random dude saw one random drunken harridan catch her eye -- not because she fucked up, not because of anything she did wrong, but because, like everybody else here, including Ray Abinell, was in a place that was not a good place to be at a time that was not a good time to be there. It's a nice companion to her conflict with Kat last week -- I am all for the Buffy theory of "If you take it all away, what's left?" because I think that's maybe the only story there ever needs to be told, over and over and over again until you get it, but thinking about Kara going through it...she's lost her bad-assery, her irradiated boyfriend, her Top Gun status, her invulnerability, her unspoken and unrecreated fantasy sex with Lee...that is very fucking sad, man. Even if you hate her, you hate her for the things she is built on, the fake bravado and the free passes she gets from everybody all the time, and the noli me tangere bullshit, the "I'm so prickly and nobody can get close to me...but could you try?" stuff, but...if you take those away, what's left? All she is, is this bad-ass architecture, built around something broken and screaming she can't even access and wouldn't want to. You wouldn't either. This is a woman so cut off from her own center, by abuse and terror, that she -- as Cymon said -- cannot imagine herself as a parent, or a lover, or a person who trusts. She doesn't get to make choices. She was running well before the Holocaust, and taking these things away from her is like removing skin. Like Voyage Of The Dawn Treader when Dragon Eustace gets ripped completely open under the moon and comes out all fresh and naked and allegorical. My favorite story of all time. It's not a "storyline," it's not Apollo's one-episode descent into suicidal johndom, it's a character in the middle of being dismantled, and becoming small. I am scared for Starbuck, for once. The price of being a mythical persona is that the landing's a bitch; you become a sacrifice to yourself.