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 (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 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


  • Kara is finally given the clear to launch a rescue mission to Caprica due to being able to truncate the number of jumps. This opportunity has been made by getting Sharon to interface with the navigational computer from the captured Heavy Cylon Raider. The plan is to use 20 Raptors in a series of only ten jumps. With the last taking them within the atmosphere, they are expected to take heavy fire and predict a 20% loss. It's designated Alpha-Two - volunteer only.
  • The Raptor piloted by Racetrack and Skulls, due to some type of miscalculation, is separated in the first jump. Arriving at the wrong coordinates, they find DRADIS interference from a nebula. They soon find a planet below. All signs indicate that it's habitable and can support human life, if even less than a quarter of its surface is hospitable.
  • The debates between Roslin and Baltar begin with Baltar lagging in the polls. His only win is going after her on the religious angle, but he still doesn't think his chances are good. Zarek, his campaign manager, suggests running on permanently settling on the newly discovered planet. Goaded by Number Six, Baltar considers it.
  • With the planet giving the people hope of not only resting on a new world, but also being hidden from the Cylons, Baltar begins to gain in the polls. However, Roslin is vocally against it, criticising both the sustainability of the planet and the chances that the Cylons will never find it.
  • Kara and the remaining Raptors land on the surface and soon reunite with Anders and what remains of his resistance fighters with the Cylons having attacked their base that morning. They are soon attacked by the Cylons and everyone gets pinned down under heavy fire.


  • Cally finds Tyrol sleeping on the deck. When she wakes him from a nightmare, still out of it, he begins to repeatedly hits her before coming to his senses and taking her to a medic.
  • Tyrol seeks religious counsel from a clergyman 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. Cavil assures him that he will, but only because he's human.
  • 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.
  • Sharon is shown to be distant and disconnected after having lost her child.


  • Brother Cavil assures Tyrol that he's human because he's never seen him "at any of the meetings." This line is similar to the miniseries when Number Six, referring to Doral, tells Baltar that she doesn't "remember seeing him at the good Cylon parties."


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

  • Kara, Helo, and Sharon were originally to lead the Raptors in the captured Heavy Cylon Raider. However, the two-part finale went over budget and building the Raider would have been deemed too expensive, hence why we only see its navigational computer.

Allusions and References

  • Dualla: Heard the Pegasus survey mission found wildlife. Fruit trees. Rivers of milk and honey.
"Milk and honey" is a common Biblical phrase used in reference to the Land of Israel.

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 you think that's what you're going to do, some terrible thing. Well, the truth is, you might, but not because you're a Cylon; because you're a human being 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?