And of course they will keep us in some suspense regarding Lee and Kara. Personally I didn't mind them shifting back to restraint regarding them, as long as they don't keep us waiting too long... For now, I am satisfied in knowing that they've got each other's backs again, that they're back by each other's sides as friends. That last shot of Lee over Kara's shoulder was perfect for conveying that. We're back to them knowing exactly what's going on with the other one and being there for them--their presence beside one another a comfort.
It was also a relief to me to see both Kara and Lee on the top of their games in the professional arena. Apollo's leadership skills were foregrounded as well as his tactical advice. And Kara was working for the team, encouraging the other pilots, rather than undermining them. It was interesting to see Adama nudge Lee in the right direction regarding a solution--as soon as Adama moved the pieces on the board, Lee picked up on it--interesting that Adama let Lee do the talking too. Having Lee back in CAG role and Kara supportive rather than wholly confrontational felt like old times.
Kat's never been my favourite character, but she's interesting enough. To be honest, I would have been a bit bored if the episode hadn't ended in her death, but it's always brave of a show to kill off a character we know, and in this case Kat's death had a profound impact on Kara, so that meant I cared. Kat's story also revealed some interesting ideas that haven't been fully articulated before--including the fact that people could have forged new identities within the fleet.
Kat and Kara are ridiculously femslashy. I seriously thought they were going to make out during that confontation. Could their faces be any closer? And considering that we've just watched an episode in which we see Kara use aggression to mask attraction and as a means of closing the distance between herself and others, it was very hard not to read her as attracted to Kat. Of course, Kat is partly a reflection of Kara herself--she echoes many of Kara's own behavioural traits. I found Kat's concern for the Adama's opinion of her particularly interesting in this episode. Starbuck's been an obstacle between her and Adama in some ways, since Kara's always filled that 'favourite daughter' role that Kat clearly craves. Kat has to be Kara not to tell him, and she's clearly moved by Kara relaying the 'smart young woman' call.
Still with the insanely femslashy was the influence of Kara's words to Kat to accept who she is--driving her back into a relationship that reminds her of her old self. And their final scene together was really intense. Kara's clearly very uncomfortable but also deeply moved. Telling Kat that everyone's stuck with the things they're not proud of (oh, Kara!) was an acknowledgment of their similarity. And the sleeping pills--sheesh! That was both beautiful and chilling. Kara's grief is silent and she can't cope with being by Kat's side when it happens, ceding her position to Adama.
In her dying moments, Kat is offered the privileged position she craves: both in the team, as CAG, and in Adama's eyes. She displaces both Apollo and Starbuck temporarily, and Adama confides in her about his family, an offering of intimacy. (I liked the opportunity to learn more about the Adamas--they wanted girls: I guess that's another reason why Adama sees Kara as a daughter.) Kat's invited into the privileged circle as a reward for her behaviour--but only because she's also dying for it. I think I've got mixed feelings about that.
This episode had a theme of not being punished for what you've done--for facing it in one way or another, but not being punished. That seems to be a recurring theme this season. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. In this case, Kat's death masked the issue a little, since Adama aborted her confession. Would he have done the same if she hadn't been dying? Perhaps. But it's a little unclear.
I'm really not sure how happy I am about seeing Tigh return. I'd like to know how Adama justified that and what he told the rest of his team. Gaeta clearly wasn't happy about it, nor should he be, and it seems dangerous to have that remain unaddressed. While I think Tigh's evolved out of his depression somewhat, I'm not convinced that he's ready for this. I wonder if they will explore that. Tigh could be Adama's weakspot: his friendship means so much to Adama (their mutual hysteria was funny) but at what cost? I also wonder how Helo feels--he must already feel so alone on the ship, marked out by his relationship with Sharon. And I wonder what undercurrents there still are about the killing of the Cylon prisoners... However reasonable the emotions behind those may be, I feel it would be fairer to Helo to address the issue openly, rather than passively shoving him sideways. It's also ignoring how dangerous a disenchanged Helo (and potentially Sharon too) could be.
So, Cylons see the faces of the final five when they download, but they're hard to remember. Interesting, but I'm not sure where they're going with that. I didn't really follow the suggested link between the Cylon gods and ours, but that has a lot of potential. Gaius remains predictibly self-centred in his investigation: he wants to be proved either Cylon or human for once and for all, and he articulates this clearly. Three, on the other hand, seems to be genuinely interested at a spiritual level, but does she also crave individual glory?
Now, how much do I hope that their was Pilot-huggage after that final cutaway? :-) I think Lee knows what Kat meant to Kara and the complexity of emotions going on there--he's watched them on his team, after all. Pilot-huggage much called for.
ETA: sarmoti has news from the podcast that fills in some blanks re. the Pilots.