As the fleet Jumps toward the Ionian Nebula, a mysterious landmark on the way to Earth, a strange mood settles over its citizens. Roslin dreams vivid dreams, Tigh and Anders inexplicably struggle to hear a static-laced song on the radio, and a few lost souls turn to Gaius Baltar with a devotion that borders on religious worship.
Amidst all this, Baltar's trial for treason begins. William Adama sits on the judges' tribunal, while his son, Lee, assists attorney Romo Lampkin on Baltar's defense team.
Then Racetrack returns from a scouting mission with the chilling news that a Cylon force is secretly pursuing the human fleet. As Adama, Tigh, and Roslin confer about this crisis, Lee notices an apparent triviality: there's something peculiar about the special tea that Roslin is drinking.
Tigh interrogates the prisoner Caprica Six about the pursuing Cylons. She confesses that the human fleet's fuel ship emits a quirky radiation signature that the Cylons can track. Oddly, she then torments Tigh with questions about his dead wife, Ellen.
Rattled, Tigh shows up drunk for his testimony at the trial. On the witness stand, his inebriation is obvious. Sensing easy prey, Lampkin pounces, his lawyer's intuition leading him to ask how Tigh's wife died. Tigh admits that he himself killed Ellen. His credibility is destroyed.
By contrast, Laura Roslin's testimony against Baltar is so damning that Lampkin calls a recess to consult with Lee and his client. They must discredit Roslin. Lee admits that he knows something useful, but he hesitates to enter the moral gray area of exposing a good woman's secret to defend an accused traitor.
Then Adama accuses Lee of tipping off Lampkin to the truth about Ellen Tigh's death. Adama is wrong-- Lee never even knew Tigh's murderous secret. But when Adama refuses to believe that, father and son explode into anger and Lee resigns his commission.
Now a civilian, Lee chooses to conduct Laura Roslin's cross-examination himself. Mercilessly, he extracts her secret: as he noticed earlier, her tea is laced with the herb chamalla, which can cause hallucinations. This casts suspicion on her testimony, and Lee's first dirty job as a defense attorney is done. Roslin, however, adds that she's taking the drug because her cancer has returned.
As the effects of this devastating revelation ripple outwards, the mood of the fleet darkens. Relationships fracture, tension builds, and all the while the Ionian Nebula grows closer ... .
MARK SHEPPARD as Romo Lampkin
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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