Trip four of five, opening up in the horror of a star. "Carina, Kat! Report your location." There's no response. Apollo asks if she has her, and Kat screams negative: "Radiation's pissing on my nav!" After a few tense seconds she finds her, then loses her again. Everybody looks like hell. Everybody's cells are shutting down, the radiation having cooked their genes so good they give up the fight. This is not right, is what their cells are saying. I've fucked up. I'm cooked. And instead of going rogue, instead of becoming a tumor -- which is to say, instead of becoming a cancer -- they are giving up. They have the grace to say they're poisoned and won't be coming back. Skin going slack and sallow as their bodies choose death one cell at a time. What we needed and what got cut was a scene, well before this one, where we learned that Kat loved "Kat" so much, the freedom of flight, the power of being the best, of being strong, all the things we love about the pilots and all the things Kara loves about being a pilot, she loved these things so much she stayed in the sky. Loved not being Sasha, I mean to say: was in love with this new woman she got to be, this name she was earning. When all the other pilots were -- when Kara was -- detaching for life on New Caprica. Kat was a chance to be strong, and good. What we needed to know was that Kat was the Galactica CAG for a year and a half. We should know that, moving forward: Kat was Galactica CAG, up in the sky, while everybody was happy down below. And after that too, when things went bad and they had to run, she was the CAG: she planned useless CAP after useless CAP, waiting to go back and save them. With that on her shoulders: soldier's readiness, a whole gutted army, a skeleton crew, waiting. And now the Carina is lost, and Kat screams, and they jump. "I lost it. I lost it."
Kat comes out of decon looking fucking awful; Hotdog barfs and barfs for a long time. Kat stares into her ruined Raptor, where she just was -- I mean to say that Kat stares long and hard at the place where she just was, and how she failed it -- and then wanders blankly around, watching the crew pull pilots out. Her fellow pilots, Kat's. Watches them fall, near dead from hunger and exposure. Another pilot passes out right in the decon chamber, just falls slack. Helo throws his gloves to the floor and stomps around, grossed out and sick and scared. Kat just stares, and thinks about Sasha and the heroes of the Carina.
Later the pilots are piled on the hangar deck floor, bruised cheeks and glassy eyes. Burned out from the inside and all along their skins. "All right, we managed to get another eight ships through, but we still lost one. We gotta get better at tracking our sheep. Quicker reaction times out of the jumps. Racetrack, don't be calling out coordinates to the wrong ship." Racetrack apologizes: she got mixed up. (I didn't recognize the woman she was fighting last week: it was Seelix. Interesting, and not just because Seelix creeps me out: Racetrack's a pilot and Seelix is on deck, so it was personal, right? I like to imagine that Racetrack was fighting for Athena's honor somehow. I also like to imagine that she is a saint.) He begs them to keep checking their instruments, and rechecking their instruments. "The instruments are crap," coughs Kat angrily, and Apollo nods. "All right, that concludes outbound four. This is return four. One to go. All right, get some rest." They stand and stumble and drag themselves out; Starbuck helps another pilot to stand. I mean to say that Starbuck reaches out to a fellow pilot, dead on the ground, and pulls him to his feet again.