Previously on Battlestar Galactica: Hot Hot Helo sees multiple copies of a Six Cylon, and he and Sharon-on-Caprica are on the run again; Tom Zarek is either a terrorist or a freedom fighter, but either way, he’s demanding elections. Then we head to Cloud Nine, where there’s a radio show providing useful plot exposition. We learn that, on Colonial Day (think 4th of July), there will be the first meeting of an interim Quorum of Twelve, a government legislative body made up of representatives from each of the twelve colonies. As the radio commentary drones on about the Quorum, we see a man concealing weaponry in a briefcase. We’re introduced to Wallace Gray, who seems to be some sort of political operative, and is also good friends with President Roslin.
The radio folks inform us that Tom Zarek has been chosen as a representative to the Quorum. Commander Adama calls President Roslin, concerned about Zarek’s appointment, and offers to bar him from attending the Quorum. Roslin passes. Continuing with the radio-as-plot-progression, Zarek broadcasts from the prison ship he’s currently on, making a rousing speech promising change. We cut away from Zarek, and as his promises of a “new era” are heard, the man with the briefcase from earlier is shown, completing the disguise of his handgun in a briefcase.
All that already, and we’re just to the opening credits now!
We open in Gaius’ lab, and Starbuck informs Gaius that he’s Caprica’s delegate to the Quorum of Twelve. Are they flirting?
Starbuck and Lee are lounging on Cloud Nine, talking about security for the Quorum meeting, and there is an adorable moment with the two of them, a gardening hose, a waterfight, and giggling. We then see that the gun concealed in a briefcase is easily passing through a metal detector.
And now, to the opening of the Quorum ““ it’s a bit of a red carpet, as Colonel Tigh, Ellen, and President Roslin are all there greeting people. The gun briefcase is already inside, and we see the face of the man carrying it, and his associate. (Let’s call that associate “Guy Who Looks Disconcertingly Like My Boyfriend,” or GWLDLMB.) GWLDLMB shoves someone who jeers at Zarek, which is immediately noticed by Lee, who lets GWLDLMB off with a warning. Over at the receiving line, Zarek has arrived. Colonel Tigh won’t shake his hand, but Ellen does. Ellen claims that she only does so to get her photo in the papers, but also apparently thinks that Zarek is the future. Oh, Ellen. When Zarek gets to President Roslin, there is a tense moment, but she ultimately both shakes his hand and kisses him on the cheek.
And now, for the first Quorum of Twelve meeting since the Cylon invasion! Aren’t you excited?! Gaius is not. He’s far more interested in one of the radio reporter’s lack of underwear than he is in President Roslin’s legislative agenda. Zarek, however, is quite excited, and calls for the nomination of a Vice President. Gaius, spurred on by Head Six, seconds the call. Zarek is nominated for Vice President. The meeting is adjourned.
Later that night, Roslin and her staff are discussing Zarek’s candidacy. Roslin needs someone from her side to run against Zarek, and settles on Gray, that close friend and advisor whom we’ve never met before.
The next morning, Zarek is holding court for the radio reporters. Zarek is pro-labor, and advocating a restructuring of society, while Roslin’s stuck in the past. Lee is apparently listening to the radio in a bar, and instructs the bartender to turn it off. GWLDLMB shows up again, protesting against Zarek’s broadcast getting turned off. He and Lee have a bit of a pissing match over whether the radio should be on or off, and he tells Lee to leave the bar. Lee tells him to leave, GWLDLMB agrees, says he doesn’t want any trouble”¦ and then hits Lee across the face with a wine bottle.
PANDEMONIUM! Starbuck’s in the bar as well, and immediately uses her cane to kick some ass. Lee and GWLDLMB tussle, knocking open the briefcase with the concealed gun. Starbuck (is it Starbuck? It doesn’t quite sound like her to me) yells “GUN!” and goes limping/running – which is a lot like skipping, if you’ve ever tried it – after the man with gun and briefcase. She uses her cane to send him sprawling, then gets control of the gun as Lee bashes GWLDLMB in the head with a beer bottle. And scene.
Now we’re back in Caprica. Hot Hot Helo and Sharon are planning on sneaking into Caprica City at nightfall, so they’ve got some time to kill, and some realizations to make. Helo comes to the conclusion, all by his smart little self, that Cylons look like us now. Sharon stands up for humanoid Cylons, suggesting, perhaps, that they are capable of love? Helo rejects the thought. Toasters are toasters.
Back on Cloud Nine, Starbuck and Lee are interrogating the owner of the gunny briefcase. Ah ha! We learn that this man’s name is Valance, and GWLDLMB is named Grimes. Well that makes things easier. No easier for Valance, though, despite his maintained innocence throughout the questioning. Lee and Starbuck, despite yelling and throwing things and threatening everything they can, can’t tie him to Zarek. Lee recommends to President Roslin that they send the entire delegation from Sagittaron away (Sagittaron is home to both Zarek and Grimes and Valance.) Laura refuses in the name of democracy, but wants an even closer eye kept on Zarek.
We go back to that same bar the fight was in earlier, and Zarek’s behind the bar pouring drinks. Since there is alcohol on the screen, Ellen Tigh is there, and she’s flirting like mad with Zarek, while simultaneously working towards securing a bright future for her husband. Zarek tells her he’s looking for a friend named Valance.
Speaking of Valance – he’s dead. Nasty gashes to the wrists – whether self-inflected or not, who knows. Starbuck and Lee rush to the President, who wants this death tied to Zarek. Gaius is on the radio, being absolutely charming and convincing. Lee is convinced that Zarek will try and kill Roslin again, but Roslin points out that this is only if Zarek becomes Vice President. President Roslin, listening to Gaius’ eloquence on the radio, is struck by an idea. She asks Gray to resign from the VP race, and then seeks out Gaius Baltar. Who is in a bathroom. (There is a lovely orchid on the row of sinks. It distracted me through the entire scene.) Roslin asks Baltar to run for Vice President, and he accepts. Roslin leaves, and the underwear-less radio reporter from earlier comes out of the same stall Baltar had exited, hair all mussed, and looking more than a little like an early-season Miranda from Sex and the City. After accepting the nomination for VP, Gaius goes back to hooking up with a reporter in a bathroom. Priorities, people!
Back on Galactica, Starbuck and Lee are talking, and Lee’s in a towel. What they’re talking about, I don’t really care, because Lee Adama’s muscles are far more distracting than even the bathroom orchid from the previous scene. Something about Roslin’s life being at stake after the election, maybe. Starbuck goes to put her jacket on, and there’s blood on it. (Note ““ was this supposed to mean that she had a hand in Valance’s murder? This isn’t a spoiler or anything, it’s just something I’ve always wondered.) Lee ribs her about being a mess, but Starbuck promises she cleans up good sometimes.
At the Quorum meeting, and they’re tallying the votes for Vice President. And Gaius wins!
And now we’re at a party! With jazzy music! Perhaps in honor of one final scene at this bar, Starbuck has gotten all prettified. And she looks GOOD.
Lee is speechless. Starbuck and Lee go off to dance. Zarek comes up to Roslin, congratulates her on a well-played campaign, reminds her there’s a general election in six months, and tells her he didn’t kill Valance. Truth? Unknown. Adama shows up, and after a few lines about the similarities between politics and war, Adama asks Roslin to dance. It is adorable. Ellen tells Saul that she’s gotten them a night in a luxury suite, and that she’s planning for his future. Oh, Ellen.
Hey, back to Caprica! Hot Hot Helo has discovered Sharon is a Cylon. He runs away.
The second-to-last scene here, with everyone happy and together, dancing at the bar on Cloud Nine ““ it’s such a sweet, innocent scene. Without giving away SPOILERS, you may one day come to look back at such simplicity with great fondness. I know I do.
And thanks, monchichi, for the screencaps!