The West Wing Battlestar Galactica: A political terrorist named Tom Zarek backs President Roslin into a rock and a hard place, and she agrees begrudgingly to elections when her "term" is up. Oh, and by the way, the President has cancer. In case you forgot.
The episode opens with a quick look at Starbuck in her Viper, with it apparently crashing -- or at the very least, she's out of control. It's unclear whether this is a dream sequence or how it connects to anything, as we quickly cut to Apollo and Starbuck in the pilot's barracks, preparing to celebrate "Flat Top"'s 1000th landing. (You will remember Flat Top as the guy Starbuck gave a bunch of shit to during her fill-in as C.A.G. during the last episode.)
In the rush to honor Flat Top's landing, an accident in the hanger deck with a reconnaissance drone kills over a dozen Viper pilots (including Flat Top), and injures several more. That's what you get for having hope, folks.
After the opening credits, there is yet another brief glance at what appears to be a scene of Starbuck crashing. The first time I watched this, I thought maybe this whole episode was going to be a dream. As it turns out, these are flashforwards to the end of the episode. Before you're able to figure it out, though, we move quickly on to the Master-at-Arms (Sergeant Hadrian, who we'll see a lot more of later,) who's investigating the accident. She says that they're all lucky it was just a drone and not a missle, or the civilian fleet would be minus a police-military-clusterfuckica. Well, I guess that's one sunny outlook in a ship full of rainclouds.
Apollo is in the briefing room, explaining the procedure for the funeral[s]. He's all choked up, as you'd expect him to be (because he's a nancy, pass it on.) Starbuck has some flashbacks to the first day she met Commander Adama, back when Zak died. Her hair is much cuter in the past. During the funerals aboard ship, there are plenty of flashbacks to Zak's funeral, and we get to see Mrs. Adama.
After the funerals aboard ship (again, where are they getting this unlimited supply of flags from? Does every Battlestar mount up with enough coffin flags for every person aboard, in the event of mass extinction?) , Adama asks Starbuck to get started on training and recruiting new pilots. She's understandably against this, as the last trainee she had she fucked to death. Or, you know. "Trained badly and then passed because they were doing it and then he died." Same diff. P.S, they put in an unnecessary flashback to her confession of this to Apollo. In case you missed ten minutes ago when they showed that in the previouslies. Adama tells her to give the new trainees the same "attention" she gave his son, and they'll be great pilots. Or, dead pilots, but he's not privy to the same information she is.
Quick flashforward to Starbuck crashing some more, then Starbuck playing cards with Baltar, then a flashback to Starbuck having sex with Zak Adama. This memory is distracting Starbuck from playing cards. (It would for me, too, I mean, they've even got the sexy blue "flashback" light going on and everything.)
Roslin sees Galactica's ship doctor, Doc Cottle, who tells her she's a fool for going so long between breast exams, as her cancer has advanced to an inoperable stage. He wants to do the Caprican version of chemotherapy, which sounds just as fun as Earth chemotherapy. She decides she'd like to try a homeopathic cure for her disease, something called Chamalla extract. Cottle is severely skeptical, and advises her to try prayer.
Starbuck struggles with training the new pilots ("nuggets") as she has increasingly strong feelings over the death Zak Adama. Interesting factoid: The Viper can flip end-to-end in .35 seconds. Those things are badass. And also hard to land: a trainee named "Kat" keeps failing to put her Viper down on the flight deck. Starbuck flunks out the nuggets on their first day, which pisses off Apollo.
More scenes from Starbuck's crashback. She ejects, and then: Cue whining! Apollo goes to talk with his father about Starbuck's inability to get over her involvement with Zak's death. Adama wants to know what exactly he's talking about, and Apollo realizes he's just made a big whoopsie. After confronting her and discovering she should have flunked Zak out of flight school, Adama furiously implores Starbuck to reinstate the nuggets.
Crashback: Starbuck ejects and it looks like she and her ship is heading towards some planet. In current time, Starbuck reinstates the nuggets and takes them on a training mission. Cylon raiders attack and Starbuck tries to fight them off herself. Her Viper is damaged when she shoots down a Cylon raider, and it bumps in to her. The full scene that we've been seeing in pieces throughout the whole episode plays in full.
Meanwhile, on Cylon-Occupied Caprica: Helo and "pretend" Boomer find the source of the Colonial signal, an abandoned fall-out shelter (restaurant) that is mysteriously stocked full of provisions.