Two-parters are the new FIFTEEN MINUTES BEFORE JANUARY LAST WEEK. Not that I'm complaining, because this season freakin' rocks. After Starbuck risks her Viper acting like an ass, CAG Apollo grounds her. Meanwhile, Tigh has been both officially and unofficially replaced by Helo as XO and Adama's BFF. Kacey and her mom (whose name sounded like Julia Prynne, okay) come looking for Kacey's "friend" Kara, and get turned away just like Sam last week, and it is heartbreaking. On the other hand, Saul's crazy now involves hallucinations of Ellen.
Tigh and Starbuck spend the entire episode in the mess hall alienating everybody and trying to start that civil war between the New Capricans and the Fleet crew that I thought was going to boil so subtly for a while longer. Adama finally summons them to a hardcore glaring session in which he orders them to either shoot him in the head or stop fracking around. Even after being demoted from "daughter" to "cancer" (and that's not a metaphor, he literally says those words out loud) Kara seems redeemable, if by an infinitesimally small margin; Saul out-and-out tells Adama he plans on going as crazy as possible and that he'll disappear into the Fleet.
On the basestar, Baltar learns some things that are very interesting and wonderful about Cylons. They spend their existence in "projections," hallucinations of their own design. Unlike most Americans, though, their basestars have half-chrome "Hybrid" pilots that speak oracular gibberish. What else? Um, all Cylons are creepy naked swingers, but we knew that. Did not know that they've now decided to settleâ¦on Earth. (Or that Gaius might be a Cylon. Thought never once occurred.)
Baltar and Gaeta, working on the basestar and Galactica separately, come to the same conclusion about the location of Earth, and send scouting missions to check out a double nebula. The Cylon scout ship is infected with a virus that kills all Cylons -- Threes, Eights, Sixes, Centurions, Raiders and all -- so Baltar volunteers to investigate. He finds a beacon left behind as a trap by the 13th Tribe -- but doesn't tell anybody about this 2,000-year-old human trick. The scout group from Galactica fares better, except for how Lieutenant Sharon Agathon -- now callsign Athena -- is with them, and has no idea about the virus.
Previously: Sharon was called to service in the Colonial Fleet; Tigh spoke at length of his "purpose," to hold the line until Adama returned to New Caprica, and then killed Ellen; Adama saved everybody; Kacey's mommy took off with her; and the Cylons took off with Gaius, and were characteristically upfront about his conditional survival.
Gaius meets Chip Six on a beautiful beach; she's wearing a red bikini and there's a strange dreamy bright sun all over the place. Remember how weird it was when the Pegasus showed up? The music was all crazy and the camera acted like it was on drugs? That's Gaius's life, through this entire episode. It's really disorienting and dreamlike and creepy/amazing. Even the Six fugues have an extra weirdness and a sideways light, like at dusk. "Good to see you," says Gaius, and intimates that Chip Six is somehow connected to the Sixness: "I far prefer these picturesque settings for little our interludes, don't you? I thought you had abandoned me to your Cylon comrades." She grins archly and shifts on her chaise-lounge. "Would I do that?" (Heh: Ambiguous and terrifying? Me?) He's all, "You're nuts, remember?" He says she's always been more "unpredictable" than her flesh and blood counterparts, and I don't know if he means as an hallucination or as a lady or what, because of her response: "A man that loves women as much as you should have learned that a long time ago." He admits he's a slow learner, which in turn earns him a slow clap. "Then take this period as a time to learn all you can about the Cylons," she says in her "fucking pay attention" voice. "You'll need it in the days ahead." He asks if she's got something in particular on the horizon, and she shakes her head. "Cylon psychology is based on projection." Bwuh? "It's how they choose to see the world around them. The only difference is, you choose to see me." (I can't unpack this concept quite yet. I think I might be getting clinical psych bleedthrough where you assume people are talking about the thing you know, like how the psychiatrists and therapists always write us hate mail when we misuse the term "psychodrama," so I'm going to keep quiet. But I think I really like this, because it makes them weirder, and harder to understand, and more like Americans. Or maybe Six is just a Sagittarius, which would explain a hell of a lot. You know Gaius for sure is.) "What are you really?" he asks, and she turns away. "You're either connected to the woman I knew in Caprica, or you're just a damaged part of my subconscious struggling for self-expression. So which one is it?" Option C: "I'm an angel of God sent here to help you. Just as I always have been." Frankly, I'm about to take option C and say frack it, but you know. No polar bears just yet.