Previously, on Battlestar Galactica: Robots blow shit up, everyone is thirsty. By the way, the Astral Queen, that prisoner transport ship? It's still around! And full of thirsty prisoners.
Tigh drinks his daily ration of booze. Then he goes to a meeting where Tyrol explains that the water they finally discovered on a nearby moon is frozen. Carving up giant ice cubes and melting them down to replenish Galactica's depleted water tanks is going to be a huge undertaking, and the crew is already stretched thin as it is. Tigh makes a few jokes and then immediately goes morose about how dehydration is a horrible way to die. Then he yells, and goes back to cracking jokes. (This week, on Galactica: M*A*S*H In Space!)
Apollo suggests the use of the prisoners on the Astral Queen. Roslin insists the work be voluntary, with "points" earned towards release. (The prisoners were all on their way to parole hearings when Caprica was attacked by the Cylons, so Apollo suggests maybe they aren't all hardened criminals.) Adama doesn't like the idea but lets Apollo take Billy, Dee, and Cally (a really annoying deckhand I thought I'd get around mentioning but now can't) with him to try and round up some help. Adama's also sort of bitchy about Apollo being Roslin's little errand boy.
Famed political terrorist (and prisoner) Tom Zarek (RICHARD HATCH!) (The "original" Apollo) appears to be the unofficial leader of the inmates aboard the Astral Queen, and refuses to help Galactica on their mission. Billy and Dee get in to a little squabble about just how much of a monster Zarek is for blowing up government buildings on his (and Dee's) home planet of Saggitaron. With the help of a few prison guards, Zarek takes Apollo & friends hostage.
While Apollo's away, Starbuck plays. She takes the opportunity at a briefing to pick on another pilot named "Flat Top." Tigh is not happy with Starbuck's tactics. Starbuck is not happy that Tigh is hitting the bottle again. Everyone makes a grumpy face.
Adama meets with Baltar and demands a working Cylon detector. Number Six points out that Baltar's backpeddling is not working on Adama anymore. Gaius tries to beg off building the device, and Number Six gets scream-y. Adama says that Baltar is their only hope; Number Six demands Baltar ask Adama for a nuclear warhead. There are only five warheads left aboard Galactica, but Adama gives one to Baltar anyway.
By the way, if you were wondering whether or not Boomer's being suspected of the bombing from last episode, she's not. Her and Tyrol are snuggling up in the "tool room" (hee!) when Tigh walks in on them and demands they knock it off. It was fine for them to be DOING IT when they were all about to retire, but now that they're at war, it's not so cool.
After a heart to heart between Zarek and Apollo, Zarek demands that Roslin abandon her post as President, and elections immediately be held for a replacement. Roslin refuses to "negotiate with terrorists." Adama sends Starbuck (because she's not only the best pilot, but the best sniper) and a crew of marines to rescue Apollo and the other hostages.
Adama calls Zarek on the Space Phone just as Zarek is pointing out to Apollo that he's named after a God. Cally is almost raped and then is stabbed by one of the prisoners, but she bites his ear off before he gets the chance to finish either killing or deflowering her. Before Starbuck can kill Zarek and gain control of the ship, Apollo strikes a deal with Zarek: Roslin will serve out the remainder of President Adar's term, with elections to be held in seven month's time. Zarek will get his men to help with the water retrieval, and in return can have control of their transport ship. (And by "strikes a deal," I mean Apollo demands, with the barrel of a gun, that Zarek do exactly whatever he damn well asks.)
This deal pisses Adama and Roslin right the fuck off. Roslin doesn't want to have elections; Adama doesn't want to give the Astral Queen over to its prisoners. Apollo tells them both to shove it, that's what's gonna happen.
Starbuck shares a drink of water with Tigh. They attempt another apology session. This time Tigh gets in a jab about Starbuck being a professional jerk.
Tyrol and some of the crew visit Cally in sickbay. She is full of pluck despite almost being raped and getting stabbed, isn't that wonderfully original? Blah.
Apollo tries to apologize to Roslin about forcing her in to the elections, she waves him off. Then she confides to him that she has cancer. Just like the Cylons Look Like People secret, and the Earth Is A Myth secret, she adds the I Have Cancer secret to her list. "For the good of the people." There's a lot of that going around lately.
Meanwhile, on Cylon-Occupied Caprica!: Boomer works her acting skills on Helo, feigning a fear of rats to woo him. They find their way to the Colonial beacon broadcasting in the ruins of the city.