Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Lay Down Your Burdens (2)

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Lay Down Your Burdens (2)
Season 2, Episode 20
Airdate March 10, 2006
Production Number
Writer(s) Anne Cofell Saunders &
Mark Verheiden
Director(s) Michael Rymer
Nielsen Rating 1.9
Fleet Survivors 49,550
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Battlestar Galactica (2003)Season Two

Lay Down Your Burdens (2) is the twentieth and final episode of the second season of Battlestar Galactica, and is the thirty-third episode overall.

Starring: Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Captain Kara "Starbuck" Thrace), Jamie Bamber (Commander Lee "Apollo" Adama), James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Grace Park (Sharon Valerii)

Secondary Stars: Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh), Aaron Douglas (Chief Galen Tyrol), Tahmoh Penikett (Karl "Helo" Agathon), Nicki Clyne (Cally), Alessandro Juliani (Lt. Felix Gaeta), Kandyse McClure (PO/Lieutenant Anastasia "Dee" Dualla)

Guest Stars: Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek), Michael Trucco (Samuel Anders), Callum Keith Rennie (Leoben Conoy), Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh), Donnelly Rhodes (Dr. Cottle), Matthew Bennett (Aaron Doral), Rekha Sharma (Tory Foster)

and Dean Stockwell (Cavil)

Co-Starring: Alisen Down (Jean Barolay), Erica Cerra (Maya), Winston Rekert (Priest), David Kaye (James McManus)


Plot Summary

The rescue mission to Caprica is successful, and the mission team returns bearing a new Cylon agent. Gaius Baltar wins the Presidential election and orders the fleet to settle on a newly-discovered habitable planet, dubbed New Caprica.


Arc Advancement


  • The resistance and rescue party become trapped when suddenly the firing ceases. They wait overnight before sending a scout team out and find they're gone. Upon their return to Galactica, Kara tells Adama that the Cylons have ended the occupation of the Twelve Colonies.
  • With the rescue party is Brother Cavil. Tyol recognises and identifies him as a Cylon.
  • Both of the Cavils are put in the brig where they tell Roslin, Adama, and Tigh that the war heroes - a Six and the one they knew as Boomer - have convinced the others that the occupation was an error. They also admit they've been wrong in pursuing the fleet. As the children of humanity, they should have carved out their own destinies instead of hijacking the humans'. They deliver the message they've been given a reprieve and both human and Cylon will go their separate ways. Whatever their plans are, they would rather not reveal where they're going. Roslin makes the decision to have them both airlocked.
  • Roslin meets privately with Baltar to get them to mutually hold off on the planet until after the election. When he refuses, she confronts him about meeting meeting Number Six the day of the attacks. Knowing she's on to him, he plays it off as her desperation.
  • Election Day commences. As Baltar takes the lead, Tory executes a plan with Tigh, and with help from Dee, to rig the election for Roslin. However, Gaeta soon notices an error in the ballot boxes from the Zephyr notifies Adama. He confronts Roslin, leading her to admit her knowledge of the conspiracy and she admits defeat.
  • After Baltar is sworn into office, he signs an executive order to begin establishing settlements on the planet everyone has called New Caprica.
  • Gina kills herself by setting off the nuclear bomb that Baltar had given her, destroying Cloud Nine and a few other nearby ships.
  • A whole year passes without any signs or encounters with the Cylons.
  • New Caprica has a population of 39,192 and is in what passes for full swing, with labour unions, and a marketplace.
  • Baltar has remodelled Colonial One, which is landed on a ridge overlooking the colony, in his own image. This involves a lot of flags, hookers, and pictures of himself hanging on the wall.
  • Pegasus and Galactica are orbiting the planet for defence, although neither ship has little more than a skeleton crew aboard. Both Adamas remain aboard their respective ships.
  • Pegasus picks up a faint DRADIS contact through the gas cloud surrounding the planet, which resolves itself into an incoming Cylon fleet. With barely have enough pilots to fly training missions, much less form up Combat Air Patrols, the remaining crews aboard Pegasus and Galactica take too long time to go to Action Stations. Adama reluctantly orders the fleet to jump away to regroup, but vows to return.
  • As Raiders fly overhead and Centurions march, three Cylons representatives enter Colonial One. A Doral, Six, and Sharon. They inform Baltar that they found New Caprica when they were a light-year away and detected the radiation signature from a nuclear blast. They assure they won't harm anyone as long as there is no resistance, but they also point out they have no choice. Seeing no alternative, Baltar surrenders.


  • Tyrol finally faces Cally after what he did to her. Despite his insistence not to, she forgives him and tells him she cares about him.
  • Adama is upset when Cavil is outed, as Sharon knew full well, and has her put back in the brig. When Helo confronts her and reminds them they've finally gotten Adama to trust them, she tells him that because they killed her child, she doesn't care about any of it, including him. Despite this, Helo pledges not to give up on her.
  • Gina finally gives him to intimacy with Baltar and has sex with him. After her suicide, Baltar is clearly grieving, but tries to hide it from Adama when he reports on the destruction of Cloud Nine.
  • After a year of being president, Baltar has become more dictatorial in how he governs with prostitutes in his company. Gaeta serves as his presidential aide.
  • Ellen wants to settle on New Caprica. Tigh is adamant on staying on Galactica to protect the fleet. A year later, with no sign of the Cylons, Adama relieves Tigh to go down and live with Ellen on New Caprica.
  • Adama stays aboard Galactica and has grown a mustache. On Pegasus, Lee has since gained weight.
  • Dee is now on Pegasus with Lee, serving as his CIC crew. She has apparently received a commission, as she is wearing officer's rank and uniform.
  • Tyrol has settled on New Caprica with a new pregnant Cally and has become the president of the labour union.
  • Kara has settled down on New Caprica with Anders who are now married.
  • Sometime in the past year something has happened to put Tigh and Starbuck on good terms now and are actually happy to see each other when they see each other on New Caprica.
  • Helo remains on Galactica with Admiral Adama after colonization of New Caprica, and is on duty on the skeleton CIC crew when the Cylons appear.
  • Anders has become extremely sick with pneumonia, but won't settle down and rest as Cottle suggests. Kara reluctantly contacts Pegasus and gets a cold response from Lee.
  • Roslin settles on New Caprica where she has resumed teaching with Maya as her assistant.
  • After the Cylons arrive, a copy of Leoben Conoy shows up at Anders' tent, looking for Kara Thrace.
  • The Six that boards Colonial One gives Baltar a look that indicates she is Caprica-Six, which would make it the first time the two have seen each other in the flesh since the attacks.


  • Roslin recounts her recollection of seeing Baltar with Six when she was on her deathbed from "Epiphanies".


The Show

  • This was a special 90-minute episode.
  • Aside from its runtime, this episode is different in that there is no teaser. Instead the credit sequence picks up directly from the recap and then proceeds into the first act.
  • Awards: This episode was nominated for an IVy Award for the 2005-06 season for Best Individual Episode of a Drama Series.
  • Awards: Glenne Campbell, Glenna Owen and Cali Newcomen were nominated for an Emmy for the 2005-06 season for Outstanding Costumes for a Series for this episode.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Tyrol's union speech is taken from Mario Savio's famous address on December 2, 1964, during the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley.

Memorable Moments


  • Cottle: I'm kickin' ya outta here and sending ya back to work.
Cally: Work like this?
Cottle: You gotta love a woman who can complain even with her jaw wired shut.
  • Kara: I'm not going back to one of those farms.
Sharon: Yeah, well, you won't have any choice! None of us will! They're gonna lob some gas in here and then we'll all wake up somewhere else!
  • Roslin: I know in my gut that settling on this planet's gonna mean disaster for humanity, and I will not say otherwise just to win an election.
  • Roslin: So, I guess I should start packing up my office unless you have some super secret backup plan for victory in your pocket.
Tory Foster: There's always a backup plan for victory.
  • Kara: They're gone. They just left.
Cavil: Thank the Gods! It's a miracle.
  • Cavil: Yes, uh, he's right. I'm a Cylon. And I have a message. So... take me to your leader.
  • Helo: Sharon, we finally got he Admiral to start trusting us! Finally! And what?
Sharon: They killed my baby. You think I care about you, or us, or whether the Admiral trusts me anymore?
  • Brother Cavil: You mind telling me what's going on? I'm not a frakking Cylon! I'm no - (sees another Cavil model in the cell) Oh. Well... okay then.
  • Brother Cavil: There is no God.
Cavil: Supernatural divinities are the primitives' answer for why the sun goes down at night.
Brother Cavil: At least that's what we've been telling the others for years.
Cavil: Can't really prove it, one way or the other, of course.
Roslin: I know a way to prove it. Throw them both out the airlock. Let them see if there really is a Cylon God.
  • Tom Zarek: I've seen a lot of elections, Gaius. Most honest, a few fixed. And you can always tell the fixed ones because they don't make sense. And this doesn't make sense.
Baltar: Laura Roslin is many things... but she's not corrupt, and she's not dishonest. It's over.
  • Adama: Congratulations, Madam President.
Roslin: Oh, thank you.
Adama: I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but are you as shocked as I am?
Roslin: I'm relieved.
Adama: Well, you don't sound it.
Roslin: I'm just tired. It's been a long campaign.
  • Adama: Do we steal the results of a democratic election or not? That's the decision. Because if we do this, we're criminals. Unindicted, maybe, but criminals just the same.
  • Adama: You try to steal this election, you'll die inside, likely move your cancer right to your heart. The people made their choice. We're gonna have to live with it.
Roslin: It's the wrong choice.
Adama: Yes, it is.
Roslin: All right. All right. All right. So that's it. We just give it up, just like that.
Adama: The battle, perhaps, but not the war.
  • Baltar: How many Cylon attacks have there been since I took office? How many?
Gaeta: None, sir.
Baltar: None, precisely so why do the people complain? Tell the union to get off their fat arses and do some frakking work for a change or I'll start rounding up their leaders and holding them in detention. I'll doubt they'll like that very much!
  • Tyrol: Please! Please be quiet!
Cally: Hey! Shut the frak up!
  • Gaeta: Mr. President! Mr. President!
Baltar: Don't you knock?
Gaeta: Gaius. Gaius!
Baltar: Yeah, what is it?
Gaeta: The Cylons just jumped into orbit and the fleet's jumped away.
  • Baltar: (to the Cylons) On behalf of the people of the Twelve Colonies, I surrender.
  • Tyrol: What do you want to do now, Captain?
Kara: The same thing we always do: fight them until we can't.