Mid-flight, a Raptor catches fire and crashes into Colonial One. No one is killed, but when impurities in the craft's tylium fuel are discovered, Roslin and Adama demand answers from Zeno Fenner , the foreman on the tylium refinery ship Hitei Kan. Fenner has shut down his ship's production, insisting that broken machinery, unsafe conditions, and sheer exhaustion make it impossible for his workers to do their jobs well.
Although the fleet's fuel supply is now dangerously low, Fenner threatens to disrupt production further if these problems aren't solved. Then he quotes from a subversive new manifesto about class conflict that Gaius Baltar has written and had smuggled out of his cell. In response, Roslin orders Fenner arrested. Adama sends Galen Tyrol to the Hitei Kan to replace Fenner and get the tylium flowing.
Tyrol can't help but empathize with the disgruntled refinery workers. One of his working-class deckhands, Seelix, was recently denied elite pilot training for suspiciously arbitrary reasons; his wife, Cally, even agrees with Baltar's declaration that a new aristocracy of privileged Capricans is systematically oppressing the fleet's working poor. But Tyrol also understands that someone has to do the dirty jobs for the fleet to survive at all.
Torn between these positions, Tyrol coerces the refinery's crew to resume work, but also negotiates with Roslin on their behalf. She proposes that everyone in the fleet with the correct skills should be drafted to take shifts aboard the Hitei Kan so that no one gets trapped forever in an intolerable job.
This solution inevitably creates new problems. One of the draftees, Danny, is a young man who has been chosen only because he briefly worked on a farm to earn money for college. He's understandably scared and angry about his new forced employment.
Seeking better answers, Tyrol reads Baltar's book and visits the imprisoned ex-President. Despite himself, he ends up considering Baltar's subversive ideas. Soon afterward, aboard the Hitei Kan, the rickety gears of a conveyor belt jam, nearly causing a deadly disaster. Danny saves the day, worming his body into the machine to fix the jam. But as the gears clank into motion, Danny is snagged and seriously injured.
Seeing this young man-- who once dreamed of a college education-- bleeding on the floor of the refinery jolts Tyrol into action. He shuts down the Hitei Kan and declares a strike. His workers cheer, but Adama immediately arrests Tyrol for mutiny-- and declares that all mutineers will be shot. This time, Tyrol must negotiate not just for his workers' rights, but also for their lives.
ANNE COFELL SAUNDERS and JANE ESPENSON
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Get a sneak peek at the next episode of Z Nation, airing Friday at 10/9c on Syfy
Murphy proves he is the zombie Messiah and Charlie takes a bullet for him.