In the wake of President Roslin's disappearance, Tom Zarek tells everybody he should be the interim President, but Lee tells the Quorum that his Dad would never ever support Zarek, so then they fight for awhile about who the President should actually be. You should make your most obvious guess right now, because you are right.
Natalie dies holding Cottle's hand, and the Admiral screams his ass off at Athena for killing her, and won't even listen to her crackheaded explanation about how she was simultaneously acting nuts in the imaginary Opera House while acting nuts on Galactica. Adama eventually takes her kid away and puts her in the brig. Back on the bridge, he learns that the Resurrection Hub and the rebel Baseship have disappeared, and sends Tigh off to question Caprica. Saul, of course, immediately lets her in on Adama's giant crush on Roslin, and then she starts getting weird on him again, turning into his dead wife and talking all about love and shit.
Racetrack investigates a randomly arriving lone Raptor, which contains cute dead Pike and a jacked-up copy of Searider Falcon. The follow the Raptor back to where it jumped from and find a bunch of dead Vipers and debris, so Laura's obviously dead. Except obviously she isn't, but that's this whole episode in a nutshell. Cottle tells Bill that cancer sometimes acts up in the absence of medical treatment, and also that Caprica is totally pregnant. A Cylon! Pregnant! With a Cylon-Cylon baby!
Lee goes to Romo Lampkin for help finding a new/temporary President, and Romo plays a bunch of crazy games with his head as usual. Romo is also now the proud owner of an imaginary cat, which replaced his previous dead cat, which he is now carrying around in a duffel bag because he is also crazy himself. Romo decides that Lee should be President, but because everybody saw that coming from a mile away, he randomly goes crazy and holds Lee at gunpoint for awhile to give weight to the imaginary concept that Lee Adama has ever earned anything in his entire life. President Leland escapes this situation by making yet another very long speech, and gives Romo a dog.
Tigh and Bill have a little bit of a discussion about how Tigh knocked up Caprica, and beat the shit out of each other. They agree that they are total screwups and ruining everything because of their love of the ladies, but this is okay by them. So okay, in fact, that Bill promotes Tigh to Admiral before their noses even stop bleeding. Yes he does! And why? So he can quit his job as Commander of the Fleet and climb back in the cockpit to go find Laura his damn self! Nobody really has a problem with this, because it is way obvious that Bill will wither and die without Laura, so the Twins see him off, and then he sits all alone in a Raptor and watches the Fleet jump away... under their new one-eyed Cylon Admiral!
IT IS NO DESERT
We do have to do this. We have to have an episode without Laura, in order to feel anything at all. It's the same reason we don't know what's going on with Boomer: because when we find out, time must have passed. It's a lacuna, a frozen moment in time over here, so that time can pass over there. I know I said I would put this crap at the end from now on, but this time I kind of need a mission statement, because I don't want to get tripped up in explaining why I'm talking crazy in the middle of a scene. So I'm just going to talk crazy right now and then, like, coast. You know I love you, right?
I hated -- well, hated is a strong word -- I had challenges with this episode the first and second and third times I saw it, which is weird considering it's A) a Michael Taylor episode and B) a Season Four episode, but I've never been one to wait for the mountain to come to me. The way I look at it, when faced with untenable alternatives you consider your imperative. Entertainment is provided for us, and we are being told a story. If that story is told poorly, or inexpertly, that's not a reason to celebrate. But I don't think this is a poorly told story, I think it's an unexpected and weird story, told from a weird and unexpected angle.
Much like Razor, it's sufficiently ambitious and strange that the imperative becomes considering it from other angles than the ones we are most used to. If you don't hit your audience, yes you've failed at one thing, but it's possible you've succeeded at something else. Optimally you do both, but I'm not bothered personally. And I don't think it's because the show is making undue demands on us, or in order to ease some kind of cognitive dissonance, but because the show is trying to tell us something, like the Hybrid, and we'd be remiss to just let the signal get lost in the noise. That's lazy and it's not something that speaks highly of us as viewers, tossing it overboard like that because it came from the factory in a different shape from the last one we bought. It's wasteful.
But by the same token I don't want to fill in blanks or stretch analytically to make the necessary apologies. This isn't a cleanup job. I am not arguing for the Starbuck pass for this show, or for Taylor, and I'm not cheerleading. I am telling you that I hated it, had challenges with it rather, and that given enough time I've changed my mind. In the last week I've been assured, with a straight face, that consideration and investigation of our entertainment is cheating; that one's first response is always correct; that art which rewards reflection and interrogation is not art. Or is failed art. That something is not good if you have to think about it. And while I think less old people/more nudity, less unanswerable and questionable morality/more shit blowing up would increase the ratings of the show exponentially, I'll be damned if that would make the show better, which is where you're heading with critiques like that.