Kara Thrace is unraveling. While asleep, she dreams that she's in her old Caprican apartment with Leoben, struggling to cover up the colorful mandala that she painted long ago. While awake, she hallucinates that a little girl-- her younger self-- is with her aboard the Galactica.
In desperation, Kara visits a religious oracle, but the woman frightens her by saying that Leoben and even Kara's abusive mother are all part of Kara's great destiny. Indeed, Socrata Thrace, a hard-edged former soldier, had always justified her abuse of her daughter by claiming that she was raising Kara to be a special warrior.
Haunted by these memories, Kara joins Hotdog on patrol. Over a planet swathed in clouds and radiation, she spots a Cylon Heavy Raider. The fleet mobilizes to back her up, but the Raider doesn't appear on dradis and Hotdog never sees it. Undaunted, Kara pursues it toward the planet, straight down into a dangerous swirling storm-- which looks exactly like the mandala. Kara gives up the chase and turns back only seconds before her ship breaks up in the dense, turbulent atmosphere.
Later, although some of Kara's fellow pilots doubt that the Cylon ship existed at all, Lee Adama puts his faith in her and refuses to ground her for the incident. Kara struggles to pull herself together, but her hallucinations of her childhood and the mysterious mandala grow worse. Finally, she tells Lee that she doesn't trust herself to fly. Lee insists that she's capable and promises to fly as her backup until she regains her confidence.
On patrol with Lee, Kara again sees the Cylon Raider and again dives toward the mandala-shaped maelstrom. Lee follows, desperate to stop her, but Kara plunges straight into the turbulent heart of the storm.
As the crushing atmospheric pressure begins to rip apart her ship, Kara passes out. She returns as if in a dream to her old apartment, where Leoben greets her and leads her into a vision of her past.
Six years ago, on the day that Kara became a Fleet officer, she learned that her mother had terminal cancer. When Socrata answered her daughter's sympathy with harsh cruelty, Kara fled from her, never to return.
Kara believes that her true reason for running away then was her fear of facing death. Now, with her body trapped in a doomed Viper and her mind lost in visions, she must overcome that fear if she is to be whole.
BRADLEY THOMPSON and DAVID WEDDLE
DOROTHY LYMAN as Socrata Thrace
Count all of this episode€™s zombie kills along with us.
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.