Question: Seriously, how many vacations do you get a year?! Can I have your job? When you're done sitting by the pool and sipping your piña coladas, how about some Battlestar Galactica scoop?

Answer: Um, last time I checked I hadn't taken a vacation since June. So lay off. And for the record, it was Diet Pepsi with a twist of lemon I was sipping by the pool, not some sissy piña colada. Also, it should be noted that while I was on holiday I worked my ass off watching the first five hours of Battlestar Galactica's third season, which Sci Fi so graciously sent me along with a full-color, glossy souvenir program that rivals my commemorative Melrose Place courtyard brick as my favorite piece of TV swag ever. But back to the episodes themselves, I can only think of one word to describe them, and it begins with an "F" and ends with a "K." (The word is frak, people, frak!) It was so worth the six years Sci Fi made us wait for new episodes. First, the big news: Exec producer David Eick wasn't lying when he told me in May that a "central character" would perish in the third episode. All I'll say is the death takes place on New Caprica and the victim is a woman. Other spoilery highlights from the first five (read at your own risk!): Adama and Sharon have become BFF over the hiatus, a tenuous bond if ever there was one; something significant happens to Sharon's believed-to-be-dead baby at the end of Episode 3 that will have far-reaching consequences; and Laura locks lips with the most unlikely of characters at the beginning of Episode 4. (I pray they saved the outtakes for the DVD.) BTW, the new season starts on Oct. 6. If you're planning a party, all I ask is that you invite me and not be offended when I respectfully decline.