The Galactica has a food problem, and to keep the fleet from starvation, they must make a desperate journey to a planet rife with algae to restock their protein stores.
But the episode is about the pilots, in particular, Kat, who encounters a man from her past. He attempts to blackmail by revealing her tainted history, and as a result, Kat embarks on a reckless course of action, risking her own life to \"prove\" herself-- to Kat, to Starbuck, to Adama.
Other reviews talk about Kat and say she\'s a secondary character and doesn\'t deserve a whole episode. Those reviews are hopelessly shortsighted. Kat may be a secondary character, but her impact is felt on everyone who is a major character.
Starbuck liked Kat in her position. She liked having Kat as the best pilot. She chafes at responsibility. Losing Kat would mean she would have to be a role model again, something she\'s not very good at. In addition, Kat and Adama had a special bond, as was evidenced at the end of the episode. It\'s the same bond Starbuck had with Adama-- a surrogate father/daughter relationship. Even though she\'s not in the episode much, Starbuck is a focus, if not the focus, of the episode.
Good writing can tell a story about someone without them even being present. We all impact the lives of those around us, even people we meet in passing. People like Kat. It\'s refreshing to see \"secondary characters\" like Kat explored and treated as people rather than expendable roles.
Moore and his writing crew are exploring a three-dimensional approach to writing a series-- not just scripting what happens to the main characters, but the impact of the actions of those characters, as well as the impact on those characters by the actions, the decisions of others.
In Star Trek: TNG, you never encountered that. A crewmember would show up for an episode, make some kind of impact, then never be seen or referrenced again. It was annoying in the extreme. Moore, who worked on Star Trek: DS9, incorporated that kind of non-linear thinking into the scripts, bringing in periphery characters of significant importance to the crew. On BSG, he\'s taking it to a new level and it\'s a welcome change, a deeper examination of a refugee community and those who defend and lead them.
If you just want plot advancement and interactions between the main characters, you should pick up some good books and concentrate on the secondary characters and see how they impact the main characters. If you want a great example of that in a Sci-Fi setting, check out \"Dune\" by Frank Herbert, arguably one of the best Sci-Fi works ever made. Appreciate the detail each secondary character gets. It\'s not just a storyline-- it\'s a universe. And to be honest to your universe, you have to acknowledge the contributions of all characters, minor or major.