The first order of business for the new Quorum's Cylon delegate (Sonja Six: Demand Boomer's extradition to the Baseship so she can be killed for her role in the civil war.) Laura signs the papers with a flourish while Chief's mewling about it. His sleepytime visits to the brig have turned into incredibly gross shared projections of their onetime future together. Since she's now the scapegoat for two entire wars and neither the humans nor the Rebels are interested in her mess, Chief beats the shit out of a random Eight and hides her in the brig, sticking his girlfriend in a Raptor bound for Cavil's side of the war.
Of course, he does this without knowledge that: Boomer has been forced to knock the shit out of Athena and handcuff her, then stuff her in a locker so she can watch Boomer fuck Helo. Or that she has gone to daycare, snatched and drugged Hera, put her in a box, and loaded her onto the Raptor, presumably as a bargaining chip to get back on Cavil's good side. Boomer jumps, about a yard off Galactica's outer hull, killing people and wrecking all that nice work they've been doing with the Cylon Goo. Hera's thousandth kidnapping sends Laura into some kind of arrest, and Athena's not having a great day either.
Playing extraordinary renditions of her own -- both "Watchtower" and "Metamorphosis 5" are taken out for a spin -- is Kara Thrace. Wouldn't be a Starbuck episode without Weddle & Thompson, who manage to spend yet another episode running around yelling without actually accomplishing anything: Hera gives Kara a picture of thirteen stars she's drawn on a piece of paper, then Kara hallucinates and heckles some dude in Joe's Bar, where none of the other alcoholics find her behavior noteworthy. After rudely turning down a box of her old pre-death stuff Helo's managed to track down, Kara wanders around with an old recording of her Dad's -- Dreilide Thrace At The Helice Opera House, yeah you heard me -- and helps Slick the Piano Man work on his newest composition.
Eventually, Kara and the imaginary unshaven Days Of Our Lives man grow close enough to... pull some kind of retarded Goonies shit where the picture Hera drew goes over some sheet music, which reveals Chester Copperpot's home on Long Island or some shit. She plays the resulting four-hand song with her invisible Ghost Daddy somehow, and you realize she and Hera have just managed to write the Sam Anders version of "All Along The Watchtower" by way, I think, of the Philip Glass piece from Delphi. That -- despite the weakly symbolismistic emotional closure Kara apparently gets from playing an imaginary song written by a freaky three-year-old on a piano with nobody whatsoever -- is a legitimately cool moment that redeems much of this, as much at least as Athena's horrific response to Boomer's latest abuses. There's a sweetness to Kara having learned "Watchtower" at her father's knee, no matter what it means. So that's five minutes out of seeming hours that leads to an impossibly and pointlessly cheap Sixth Sense-style gotcha.
I can overlook the fact that projection has never behaved this way before -- the Vancouver condo with all the natural light puts it closer to the Gaius/Caprica/Angel shit -- and the Boomer stuff is sort of tightly ironic, given that the show started in the first place with Athena pretending to be Boomer. But the fact that her heel turn -- and random cruel rapey Helo-fucking -- basically comes down to the umpteenth fracking Hera Amber Alert? Or that Laura's cardboard Madame Airlock persona can once again thank her cancer for providing no depth to the character other than moving the plot along? Or the fact that Kara is once again just this corkboard for God that does nutty things for no reason so the grownups can interpret it? Or having Starbuck tell her imaginary father -- that is to say the actual father that she is imagining -- "My Gods, you're just like my father?" I mean, really. Or the brutal rewriting of having Helo (and Hera, for that matter) suddenly unable to recognize who his wife is and is not, i.e., basically to accomplish something that Chief was able to pull off with Boomer last week despite not having seen her in years?
It's not out of character because there is no "out of character": just the show you're watching. But it's not exactly enjoyable either, and heading into the home stretch as we are, a little more insight and subtlety in moving the pieces around the board would be appreciated. This just feels like slamming as many square pegs into round holes as possible, the better to make everything fit in the end, as unemotionally and literally as possible. Which is after all why I've hated every finale and demi-finale, which is worrisome moving forward. This particular writing team -- and thank God as usual for Nankin and the performers, especially Park and Sackhoff -- has always been better with plotting and action (and unceasing technobabble) than with believable or even particularly relevant emotion, but this one takes the cake: people doing things for no real reason, to no specific end, whilst yelling about what they're doing and why. There are some heartstopping moments, and a fair amount of interesting developments, but at this stage in the game it should feel much more like momentum than it does: four more hours, folks. Boom boom boom.
Slick the Pianoman unfolds the velvet over the keys of the piano in Joe's Bar and puts down his cigarette to play another tune. The lights come on in the racks and Kara Thrace rolls over; Hoshi on the PA says the same thing he says every day. In the mirror, in her locker, there's a dead girl in a flightsuit. It's like a waking nightmare, but on the top shelf of her locker, where she can't see them but she knows they're always there, are the dead girl's dogtags. She holds them in her hands every morning; they're burnt and scarred. The ones around her neck are shiny and fresh. The music sounds like a car, pulling away.
Observation lends existence. Nobody's paying attention to her. Her husband, her lover, her guide have left her, and nobody's looking. Her mission is the same this week as it was last week, and the week before: exist. Take a shower, get dressed. Cross off the dead planets in their star charts one by one, brief the pilots, sit with Sam, go to the bar, hold her hand against the flame of her lighter until she feels something. The whole Fleet had a trajectory, and it was taken from them on Earth. The something in the future was replaced with nothing, no place. Maybe the mutiny was just something to do.
The turkeys are flying CAP now; one of the Sixes raises a hand tiredly when called on. In addition to the CAPs they're also doing six-day rotations searching for planets. "The first one who sights a habitable rock will get this," Kara says in the briefing room. "It is the last tube of Tauran toothpaste in the universe. Gods know most of you need it." She can barely smile, now that she's made the joke so many times. Their mission is the same this week as it was the week before that, and the week before that. "Planet hunters, make sure to draw long duration provisions." The bins are big, plastic black things, heavy.
"If those clapped-out FTLs go down when you're out there, you're gonna get mighty hungry waiting for the SAR birds to find you." There aren't enough pilots, after the mutiny, for every Raptor to get an ECO. It's skeleton crews, six days out in the black. "Savor this alone time. But do not whack too much, we need you to conserve your O2." Kara practices that one, that joke about loneliness, in her rack. The repairs to Galactica will continue causing sporadic power outages. She repeats it to herself as she goes to sleep. "Our mission is the same this week as it was the week before that..."
Chief reports to Lee and Laura in Bill's office; even the Cylon goo will only buy a few more jumps. "But we're not ready to give up on the old girl just yet," Bill says, looking at Laura. Her hands shake; she pulls off her glasses with a headache, exhausted. Lee stands, anxious to get back to government, and welcomes the newly elected Sonja Six to the Quorum of Ship's Captains, who will be meeting next week. She thanks him, but warns them all that their first request will be to pull Boomer from Galactica's brig, and take her back to the Baseship. Bill starts to get mad -- she did put two holes in him, and never seemed to feel that bad about it -- but Sonja explains. They don't want Boomer free, they want her tried for treason. Bill immediately understands, but she explains it to Lee: Sharon Valerii sided against the 268s, against the Eights, with Cavil. She directly contributed to his turkey shoot, away from the Baseship. The first sortie of the war. And now that they've lost resurrection, capital punishment means something. Chief can't even breathe: they're going to kill Boomer. Again.