Kat looks resigned, Starbuck looks hardcore. They consider each other. Starbuck: "What is it with you, Katraine? Ever since I got back [presumably from Pegasus], you've been on my ass like a bad rash." Instead of answering this question, which is unanswerable for several reasons, Kat presses another button: "Coming late for a briefing because you're hung over, that's bad enough. But when you back out on a mission?" Starbuck tells her the regrettable but -- at least in terms of logic -- right answer: "I put Snake in my place because I was in no condition to fly. And I knew that." Kat's using a Gaius logic here, and Starbuck isn't: either way, we're here now, and I'm not flying, and you can bitch about me getting drunk several hours ago, but you cannot tell me I should have been out there. Starbuck: "You see, unlike you, I don't take a bunch of pills and then climb into my cockpit so wired that I can't land the frackin' ship." Kat looks Starbuck up and down and again doesn't answer this: "Starbuck, you're an embarrassment. You used to be the hottest stick on the Fleet. Now, you're just a reckless drunk that sends other people out to get killed." Even though this is Kat's plot-tooliest scene, her delivery of that line is wonderful.
Kat and Starbuck stare at each other for a bit and Starbuck gets way close, stepping up onto the seat parapet so that she's taller than Kat. "What're you gonna do, hmm? What are you gonna do, you gonna hit me, Starbuck?" They cock their heads at each other, and Starbuck does some button-pushing of her own: "It scares you, does it?" I love how they are having two completely separate conversations about how the other person sucks, and have nothing to do with each other. That's so real. Kat gets louder: "Actually, no." But Starbuck keeps it going with that great angry fake smile she gets in situations: "You're afraid most of the time, Kat. You're afraid that you're gonna end up like that picture of Reilly's girlfriend." Oh, now I get it. I thought that was weird, highlighting some random dead girl instead of the obvious dead pilot, but we're not talking about warriors, we're talking about regular people all of a sudden, and they both have to be both, and the stress is unbelievable. Kat looks away. Starbuck: "Some little, forgotten picture that nobody really remembers." Imagine your hero saying this to you, even after you've determined the exact measurements of every crack in the legend: "You see, that's why you're riding my ass so hard. So no one will notice that Scar scares the living crap out of you." Because Scar is code for a lot of things, including Kara's fear of the Cylons, and her belly scar, and her scars from her mom, and Kat's fear of not measuring up to Starbuck (compare with Gaius's disappoinment about Roslin's letter), and Kat's general angst about being on edge all the time, and her fear about not being the best, and her fear about failing the Fleet (remember the crack!), and Kara's right about all of it, but since she's now a huge drunk, she only sees the finger pointing and not the three fingers and thumb she's pointing back at herself, as they say. But because any time anybody says anything so terribly true that you cannot handle it, apparently you slap or punch them, Kat's eyes come alive and she swings. And in the second before she connects, Starbuck smiles a smile she could have stolen directly from the face of Colonel Saul Tigh, and it is not pretty.