After spending 3 episodes unconscious and in surgery after being shot, Commander Adama returns in this episode at the end, and you can't help but feel fuzzy all over. Lots of bad things happen here, but Edward James Olmos is just so paternal and reassuring that "we'll pick up the pieces together" and understanding that deep down you just know "dad's home; everything's going to be all right".
Tyrol's team has finally been rescued from their stranding on Kobol, and Tyrol is instantly facing the music for being romantically involved with Galactica-Boomer now that it's been revealed she was a Cylon. Tigh, more than a little buzzed, is convinced that Tyrol must be a Cylon because of his relationship with Boomer. Tyrol tries to take the equivalent of the 5th Amendment rights, but Tigh throws all that out the window when he shouts that Cylons don't have rights; also, following, anyone *suspected* of being a Cylon has no rights. It's a scary prospect, not followed up on too much after this. Conceivably, Tigh seems to intimate that he could just execute Tyrol on the spot, though he doesn't because he knows that it's not what Adama would want. Tyrol gets thrown in the brig with Galactica-Boomer, and he rejects her utterly.
Meanwhile, Apollo pulls off some exciting stuff when he engineers the escape of President Roslin from the brig. There's a really cool tense scene (excellent music in this one) when he steals a Raptor, flies it out of Galactica, and Tigh must decide whether he'll shoot them down or let them get away.
Once again in season 2, Cally is stepping up to the plate as a major character. She started out in the Miniseries as basically an extra that had a name, but over time she's developed a cult following of sorts. Whether the writers are aware of this or not, Cally got a lot to do in all of these first episodes of season 2, and this is actually one of her biggest ever.
Baltar is facing some flak from Tigh for letting Boomer pass the Cylon detector test, but he fluffs his way out of it. Now, Cally goes from background character, to one manipulating the key players. Cally is outraged that Chief Tyrol is in the brig, and blackmails Baltar to aid his release, saying that she will reveal that Baltar 'fragged' Crashdown (in the episode which bears that name) unless he helps the Chief. She's also got one of those infamous Baltar-Six two way conversations going, with Baltar arguing with Cally at the same time Number Six is (although she can't be seen).
This leads to some of the most priceless dialog of the season. Cally keeps referring to the Cylons by the nickname the humans have for them, "Toasters" (the mechanical ones look like "shiny walking chrome toasters). As Cally is repeatedly saying that Tyrol couldn't be a Toaster, Number Six is shouting that "I consider that word racist! Tell her you will not have racial epithets used in your presence!" :) Later on, Cally is arguing with Jammer, another mechanic who is convinced that Tyrol is a Cylon (Jammer always accuses everyone of being a Cylon, which has led me to believe that Jammer himself is a Cylon, there to turn the humans against each other). He accuses Cally of also "frakking" the Chief, and she *snaps* throwing him against a wall and punching him out.
The direction in the show is great too. The first scene is of Tyrol being interrogated by Tigh, and does a closeup of a drop of Tyrol's blood hitting the floor. The final shot is a closeup of a drop of Boomer's cylon blood (same color) plunking on the floor. Great circular storytelling. Cally really moved up in the world; she's blackmailed Baltar, and now she's killed a main cast member (although there are other Sharon copies). I wonder if this is a growing Tyrol-Boomer-Cally love triangle which was implied. Surely Cally cares about the Chief, but it sort of seems like it's something more underneath. Nicki Clyne does some pretty good acting here; she tells off Baltar, and is obviously suffering PTSD after surviving on Kobol, but she's also rationally deciding that "Tyrol got in trouble because of Boomer, Boomer shot and nearly killed Commander Adama; Boomer has to go". The best part is when she finally snaps in the end, after she punches Jammer and has to be pulled off of him, he shouts at her to take it up with Boomer (again, I think Jammer is a Cylon and pushed her towards killing Boomer), and Cally just walks away with this half-there wide-eyed angry expression. When she jumps out of the crowd and kills Boomer, she's just got this great glare of death with coals for eyes, and she blows Boomer away, and then as the guards are pulling Cally away she's got this incredibly dark, satisfied look on her face (Cally is usually the bright "spunky younger sister" character, a little funny and cute, and this episode makes a complete turnaround). She also got to have a scene "fighting over" Baltar with Six, as it were, and I think Cally's cute spunkyness is more attractive than Six's va-va-voom full-on seductress mode. This episode just screams, "In case you didn't notice when Cally bit a rapist's ear off...Cally Rocks!"