Aboard the Pegasus, Capt. Kara Thrace briefs a room full of Raptor crews and marines for a dangerous, volunteer-only mission to Caprica, to rescue the civilian survivors on the planet's surface. Using information obtained from the captive Cylon Sharon, they've linked their Raptors' navigation systems to the superior navigational capabilities of their captured Cylon heavy raider.
Meanwhile, in separate private quarters on the Galactica, President Roslin and Vice President Baltar each prepare notes for their first presidential debate, to be televised to the fleet. As Roslin memorizes her talking points, Baltar is hectored by Six's religious exhortations to have faith that the election will unfold as "God intends."
As the rest of the fleet watches the start of the presidential debate, Specialist Cally finds Chief Tyrol asleep under a Viper. She reaches out and wakes him, and he explodes to consciousness, reflexively lashes out and pummels her with a raging, brutal assault. Then he regains control, is horrified by what he's done, and calls desperately for medical assistance.
After the first debate, President Roslin enjoys a commanding lead over Baltar in the polls. Then, as if in response to Baltar's sarcastic plea for a miracle, one of the Raptors from the Caprica rescue mission returns early with stunning news: Because of a miscalculated hyperspace Jump, they've accidentally discovered a habitable planet, in a region of space that will hide them from the Cylons' sensors.
On the advice of Tom Zarek, Baltar uses the planet's discovery as a political wedge issue. He fans the civilian population's desire for a new home, a safe home, an end to the constant running. Popular opinion swings sharply against Roslin, who is unprepared to give up the search for Earth.
Tyrol seeks counseling from a priest named Brother Cavil, who gets the chief to talk about the nightmares that have plagued him for weeks. Finally, Cavil helps Tyrol confront what's really bothering him: Somewhere deep down inside, Tyrol is afraid that he might, like Sharon, really be a Cylon.
Light-years away on Caprica, the Colonial rescue mission reaches Sam Anders and his surviving resistance fighters. No sooner are Kara and Sam reunited, however, than they find themselves caught in the midst of a Cylon ambush.
RONALD D. MOORE
special guest stars
RICHARD HATCH as Tom Zarek
DEAN STOCKWELL as Brother Cavil
MICHAEL TRUCCO as Sam Anders
Ascension, a three night event, premieres on December 15 at 9/8c
Get a sneak peek at the next episode of Z Nation, airing Friday at 10/9c on Syfy
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