As Laura Roslin endures chemotherapy in the Galactica's infirmary, she meets another patient, Emily Kowalski, who is near death. Roslin is dismayed that Emily relies on Gaius Baltar's radio broadcasts for comfort.
Then Emily reveals that she never liked Baltar before, but now wonders if he is divinely inspired because his sermons echo a visionary dream she experienced. In this dream, as she journeyed across a beautiful river to join the spirits of her lost family, she sensed a caring presence that she calls God. Emily is no mindless zealot, but rather a smart, compassionate woman who has found faith despite a terrible situation.
Roslin opens up to Emily, confessing her own fears about dying. The women's budding friendship is cut short by Emily's death, but new faith may grow from the spiritual seeds that Emily has planted within Roslin.
Aboard the Demetrius, Helo's mutiny against Kara ends abruptly when Anders, defending his wife, shoots Gaeta in the leg. Shocked to their senses, everyone rallies to give Gaeta first aid, and Kara strikes a deal with Helo.
Only 15 hours remain before the Demetrius loses its last chance to rendezvous with the Galactica and the human fleet. In that time, Kara, Leoben, Anders, Sharon and Jean Barolay will fly a Raptor to the location where Leoben claims that a Cylon baseship waits to meet them. If they don't return before the clock runs out, Helo and the Demetrius will Jump back to the fleet without them.
Kara's team finds the single surviving baseship adrift amid the wreckage of a terrible battle between the Cylons. The scene matches Kara's visions exactly. After a dangerous brush with leftover ordnance in the battlefield, Kara's team boards the baseship. There, the Eights greet their sister Sharon while Anders conceals his secret fascination with his kindred and their technology.
The Cylon called Natalie reluctantly accepts the conditions of the human-Cylon alliance that Leoben proposes: Kara will visit the ship's hybrid while the Cylons use the Raptor's systems to supplement their damaged F.T.L. drive. The deal is threatened but not destroyed when old hostilities flare up between Barolay and another Six in a confrontation that leaves both women dead.
Kara finally visits the hybrid, but the words of the mysterious being sound like nonsense. Soon, the hybrid must be taken offline to complete the interface between the baseship and the Raptor, but when the Cylons attempt to do this, a Centurion, acting as if the hybrid is under attack, shoots an Eight.
As the Eight lies dying, the hybrid begins to prophesy, suggesting not only that the final five Cylons may know about Earth but also that Kara is "the harbinger of death." Time is running out to rendezvous with the Galactica, but no one in the room is thinking about that as as the ramifications of the hybrid's prophecy hang in the air ... .
SEAMUS KEVIN FAHEY
Ascension, a three night event, premieres on December 15 at 9/8c
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