Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Lay Down Your Burdens (1)

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Lay Down Your Burdens (1)
BSG-2x19-Lay Down Your Burdens (1).jpg
Season 2, Episode 19
Airdate March 3, 2006
Production Number 2x19
Writer(s) Ronald D. Moore
Director(s) Michael Rymer
Nielsen Rating 1.8
Fleet Survivors 49,579
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Lay Down Your Burdens (2)
Battlestar Galactica (2003)Season Two

Lay Down Your Burdens (1) is the nineteenth episode of the second season of Battlestar Galactica, and is the thirty-second 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 (Lt. Sharon "Boomer" 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 Anastasia "Dee" Dualla)

Guest Stars: Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek), Michael Trucco (Samuel Anders), Rekha Sharma (Tory Foster)

and Dean Stockwell (Cavil)

Co-Starring: Alisen Down (Jean Barolay)

Cast: Leah Cairns (Lt. Margaret "Raceback" Edmonds) David Kaye (James McManus), Colin Lawrence (Hamish "Skulls" McCall)


Plot Summary

Captain Thrace plans a large-scale rescue operation, intending to return to Caprica to look for and retrieve any survivors. Meanwhile, the presidential race between President Roslin and Vice President Baltar heats up when a Raptor crew accidentally stumbles across an inhabitable planet.


Arc Advancement


Rescue Mission

  • Galactica and Pegasus plan a joint rescue operation, intending to go back to Caprica and pick up as many Colonial survivors as they possibly can. The rescue operation involves 20 Raptors and dozens of pilots and Marines, including Starbuck, who is the head mission planner.
  • The plan is to make several consecutive FTL jumps to get back to Caprica, with the final jump actually dropping them inside Caprica's atmosphere. This is, needless to say, complicated. They use Caprica-Boomer to help them plot the jumps, and bring her along.
  • They lose Racetrack's Raptor on the very first jump, then a second on the final hop into Caprica's atmosphere as Raptor 612 accidentally jumps straight into a mountain.
  • The surviving Raptors make a safe landing on Caprica and, led by Starbuck, the team shortly thereafter encounters the survivors of the Resistance, including Anders. They've been hit hard by the Cylons earlier that same day, and there are very few left. The Cylons are chasing them.
  • Sharon warns them that something is incoming just as explosions start going off all around them. Rescue personnel and Resistance fighters scramble for cover as the Cylons pour on heavy fire.

Safe Haven

  • On the very first jump, Racetrack comes out way off course, and stumbles across a hidden planet. It's not overly hospitable, but it is very much inhabitable, and seems to be well-hidden from the Cylons.

Presidential Debates

  • The presidential race is into the debate phase, and President Roslin is regularly coming out on top versus Baltar, as well as significantly leading him in the polls.
  • Tom Zarek is serving as Baltar's campaign manager and providing helpful suggestions on how to bolster his poll numbers.
  • Upon the discovery of the seemingly safe, inhabitable world, Baltar takes Zarek's latest suggestion and begins using the planet as a talking point in his campaign, calling for the Fleet to settle down on the planet and start their lives anew. Roslin disagrees with this policy, but the majority of the Fleet seems to be siding with Baltar on the issue.



  • Baltar thinks that landing on the planet is stupid and asks Zarek if he's lost his marbles when he suggests it, but quickly changes his mind when Zarek reminds him that taking a stand could win him the election.


  • Chief Tyrol is having nightmares about committing suicide. When Cally finds him asleep on the deck in the middle of one of these nightmares and touches his arm, Tyrol, unaware of what he's doing, hits her repeatedly, then upon realizing what he's done takes her to a medic.
  • Tyrol seeks psychological help from a rather unorthodox Colonial priest named Brother Cavil. Cavil forces Tyrol to admit that he is having constant nightmares about committing suicide, and tells him that it's because he subconsciously fears that he might be a Cylon sleeper agent like Boomer, because Boomer didn't know she was a Cylon agent until she did something horrible. Tyrol is scared that he might be a Cylon and not even know it until something terrible happens.
  • Tyrol is ashamed of his actions, even though they were accidental, and doesn't want to face the deck crew. Cavil convinces him to go back: they're the only family that he has left, and they love him.



The Show

  • Awards: This episode was nominated for an IVy Award for the 2005-06 season for Best Individual Episode of a Drama Series.
  • During the initial airing of the episode, a parental advisory warning was displayed before the start of the episode.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • When Racetrack realises that the planet below is habitable, the marines behind she and her co-pilot are not in the same position when it switches to another angle.


  • Roslin: Memorise a talking point then tear the card, let the pieces fall as they may. It helps.
Adama: You know, my father used to break pencils before he went into court and borrow one from a clerk. Break preconceptions, work with what you have.
Roslin: You know, I like that. Let me see. I like it. (breaks a pencil) That's good.
Adama: Feel better?
Roslin: Yeah. But what happens if the, uh, moderator doesn't have a pencil?
Adama: Then you're pretty screwed.
  • Gaeta: In fact, we realised early on that if we could install a Heavy Raider navigational system aboard one of our raptors, a strike team could make the entire trip back to Caprica in less than ten jumps. Now the limiting factor up until now has been our inability to install the Cylon computer with our computer. That obstacle has now been overcome.
  • Number Six: (to Baltar) You've been chosen to lead these people by almighty God. It will happen.
  • Lee: No one has attempted a rescue mission from this distance, much less behind enemy lines. You'll be making history just by making the attempt by bringing these people back from Caprica. And you'll be making part of the future. Questions?
Racetrack: If you guys find Earth before we get back, will you save us a few seats?
Lee: Earth? Hell, if we find any rock with food and water, I'll build you guys a bar.
  • Roslin: I'm gonna wipe the floor with you, Gaius.
Baltar: You must be losing your mind again.
Roslin: If that's the best you can come up with, you really are in trouble. Good luck.
  • Sharon: Something dark is coming, Helo. I can feel it. Can feel it lurking out there, waiting.
Helo: What do you mean? Back on Caprica?
Sharon: No. Not the mission. Not any specific thing, it's more like a dark time.
  • Brother Cavil: Do you know how useless prayer is? Chanting and singing and mucking about with old, half-remembered lines of bad poetry. And do you know what it gets you? Exactly nothing.
Tyrol: Are you sure you're a priest?
Brother Cavil: I've been preaching longer than you've been sucking down oxygen. And in that time, I've learned enough to know that the Gods don't answer prayers.
  • Brother Cavil: The problem is, you're screwed up. Heart and mind. You, not the - not the Gods or fate or the universe. You.
Tyrol: Thanks for the pep talk.
  • Baltar: Of course, how blind I'm being. Thank you. Yes, um, "things are going to turn around, you'll see." What is that? Advice? Well, thank you. Thank you for your keen insight, your astounding political acumen. You know, I'm so assured right now, Tom, I'm just gonna sit right back and wait for the hand of God to reach down and change my political fortunes. How about that?
  • Tom Zarek: Permanent settlement on this planet.
Baltar: Permanent? Settlement? Here? Have you lost your marbles?
  • Tory Foster: They don't want to hear the truth. They're tired. Exhausted. The idea of stopping, laying down their burdens and starting a new life right now is what is resonating with the voters.
  • Brother Cavil: And human beings do terrible things all the time.
Tyrol: But how do you know I'm human?
Brother Cavil: Oh, well, maybe because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings.
  • Baltar: Not your night, I guess.
Roslin: Why don't you go frak yourself?