LadyGhosts of TV Past

LadyGhosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 2.20: “Lay Down Your Burdens, Pt 2”

And now, Cylons and Colonials, we come to the finale of the second season. This episode is a LONG one – an hour and eight minutes, rather than the usual forty-three minutes, so please excuse me if I do ramble on a bit below. SO MUCH HAPPENS! Here we go!

Previously, on Battlestar Galactica, Helo and Sharon are (falsely) told that their baby Hera is dead, while Hera is in fact given to a woman named Mya to raise; Lee’s taking over command of Pegasus, but not breaking up with Dee, Brother Cavil is supposed to counsel Tyrol after he beat up Callie, apparently because he’s afraid he’s a Cylon; Baltar gives BrunetteSix (the former Pegasus prisoner) a nuclear bomb; Baltar’s running for president; Racetrack and co. find a habitable planet, and Baltar makes settlement on the planet his campaign platform; Starbuck is reunited with Sam Anders, and she’s going to take them off of Caprica. Whew! This is going to be a complicated episode, isn’t it?

Hey, credits now, rather than a quarter of the way through. How surprisingly logical.

We start out back in Caprica, with lots of toasters attacking the rescue mission and the resistance fighters.

Callie’s being sent back to work, with her jaw still wired shut and her face heavily scarred from Tyrol’s attack last week. The Chief comes to see her and apologize, which he does quite sincerely. Callie instantly forgives him, saying it wasn’t him, and takes this moment to tell Tyrol she cares about him.

From that incredibly complicated yet somewhat touching moment, we jump back to the firefight on Caprica. They’re hemmed in, and suddenly the shooting stops. Sharon says that the Cylons are waiting, and will round up whose left and send them to the farms (ugh, remember the farms?) Starbuck, who remembers them all too clearly, makes Anders promise to kill her if the Cylons try to gas them.

Oh, right, presidential election! Roslin’s losing ground to Baltar because settling on the planet is a really popular idea. Tory, Roslin’s new aid, says that there’s always a backup plan for victory.

Caprica again, they’re all still waiting, hidden behind a concrete wall. They’ve clearly been there awhile – 18 hours, it seems. A recon team goes out, sees no Cylons, so everyone ventures out of the compound, when HOLY SHIT BROTHER CAVIL! CYLON CYLON CYLON! Or identical twins who both became priests, but doubtful? He seems to have been one of the resistance fighters.


At the exact same time, Galactica Brother Cavil is praying with Roslin, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear that THE PESSIMISTIC PRIEST IS A CYLON!!!!!! Alright, I’ll stop flailing.

On Galactica, Roslin calls a secret meeting with Baltar. She wants to call a truce about the issue of the planet – it requires more research and study, and is far more important to be turned into a political football. Baltar gets offended. Roslin responds by asking Baltar if he was with a blonde woman on Caprica just before the attack. HeadSix shows up and tells Baltar that Roslin knows. Baltar dismisses the accusation and leaves.

Hey, Tigh and Ellen! Where the hell have you two been? Apparently, they’ve been here, fighting over moving down to the planet or not. Ellen would like to move down to New Caprica, which seems to be what we’ve named the planet.

Starbuck made it back! I really love this face of hers.

And Starbuck’s back! With Anders, and many others! Starbuck reports that the Cylons have left Caprica. CapricaBrother Cavil steps off a Raptor, and Tyrol immediately sees him, clobbers him, and announces he’s a Cylon. Cavil confirms that, indeed, he is a Cylon, and he’s got a message for their President. He’s thrown in the brig, as is Sharon, for not speaking up.

Sharon tells Helo that she didn’t say anything, because they killed Hera. She doesn’t really care about anything anymore, including Helo. Helo yells back that he loves her, and he isn’t giving up this easily.

Starbuck and Anders are, actually, playing flip cup, sort of? And flirting like crazy. And then Lee shows up! And Starbuck makes out with Sam, almost ostentatiously, and then ribs Lee about his relationship with Dee. Lee leaves. I can’t tell if this is Starbuck being drunk and ridiculous, or deliberately hurtful.

Brother Cavil meets Brother Cavil, with Roslin and Adama, and Caprica Cavil delivers a message. The Cavils together announce that the Cylons are giving up their pursuit of the human race, after listening to “their heroes” – Caprica Six and Boomer. Cylon and man will now go their separate ways. Roslin wants them both thrown out an airlock. Which I guess happens? We don’t hear from them anymore, at any rate.

You can tape and label these all you want, but nobody should trust opaque ballot boxes!

Hoo boy, election day! They’re counting ballots, and it’s all very official (um, except, as someone who deals with this stuff in her professional life, let me tell you, paper ballot boxes are always clear, if you’re trying to prove the credibility of the election. Ahem. Anyway.)  The race is quite tight. Roslin’s losing. Tory makes a phone call to Tigh, and says “they need to move now.” Dee goes out, and it seems like she’s switching out the ballot box for the Zephyr. The radio broadcaster announces that Laura Roslin has won the presidency, in an unbelieveable come-from-behind win at the last moment. Zarek immediately says that this was fixed, it doesn’t make sense. Baltar defends Roslin, saying that she is both honest and not corrupt.

Gaeta, who was overseeing the vote counting, calls over Tigh, and says that there’s something wrong with the Zephyr’s ballots – there should be a typo, and there isn’t. The Zephyr ballots are a fraud. Tigh says that he’ll take care of it from here. Gaeta calls Adama and says that he believes that Tigh is conspiring to rig the election for Roslin.

Adama confronts Tigh, and tells Roslin about what’s happened, that Tigh and Tory were working together. Roslin says she authorized Tory’s rigging of the election, partially because Baltar is colluding with the Cylons. Roslin tells Adama that she saw Baltar with CapricaSix on the day of the attacks. “Do we steal the results of a democratic election or not?” Adama asks, in one of the blunter questions of the series.  He says that Roslin won’t be able to do it, that it will literally kill her. The people made their choice, they’re going to have to live with it, even if it’s the wrong choice. Roslin says that they’re just going to give it up, that’s it.

This conversation you are having right now IS A HUGE MISTAKE.

Okay, I’m going to need to interject here. I really don’t editorialize much in these recaps, because there’s so much plot to get through, but ROSLIN AND ADAMA WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE. I DON’T CARE IF YOU FAKED THE RESULTS, THIS IS A BIG HUGE MISTAKE, FAR WORSE THAN BUSH V. GORE. (Please see above where I point out I work somewhere that does election monitoring and pro-democracy stuff, so understand that my commitment to democracy is HUGE.) AND STILL. THIS IS A MISTAKE.  Anyway, back to recapping.

Adama informs Baltar that he is, indeed, the president. Baltar gets pissed that there was a “miscount” and Adama tells him to calm down. Baltar responds by ordering Adama to head to New Caprica.

The fleet jumps to New Caprica, and Baltar goes to Cloud Nine to visit BrunetteSix. BrunetteSix says that she’s not going to New Caprica. So Baltar breaks up with her? Kind of? She asks him to stay, and starts undressing, and heads into the bedroom. (Let us not forget that this Six was the one who underwent horrific physical and sexual abuse aboard Pegasus, and rejected Baltar’s earlier sexual advances.) The scene goes dark, but it’s heavily implied that she and Baltar get it on.

Why did Baltar give her a nuke, anyway? Sixes have a penchant for nuking humans, we LEARNED THAT IN THE MINISERIES!

Baltar gets sworn in (not by a Brother Cavil, thankfully) and he’s apparently thinking about sex with BrunetteSix while he’s taking the oath of Office. Baltar’s first act of office is giving the order for permanent settlement on New Caprica. Brunette Six, meanwhile, is sitting naked in front of the nuclear bomb Baltar gave her. She sets it off, and Cloud Nine explodes.  (And who knows how many other ships as well.) Adama submits a report to Baltar about the explosion, saying that he believes the warhead was stolen from Baltar’s lab, and smuggled aboard Cloud Nine. Adama says that their first priority needs to be increasing security. Baltar is still fixated on settlement on New Caprica as the main priority, but he’s also crying. A lot. He puts his head down on the desk.

And when he picks it up again, it’s one year into the future! And Gaeta is now his advisor/assistant?! And there are conventionally attractive women lighting cigars for him and half-empty booze bottles and Baltar couldn’t care less about the people’s concerns that Gaeta brings to him. There hasn’t been a single Cylon attack in over a year. STRANGE. NEW. WORLD.

Literally. Outside the window of Colonial One, we see streets lined with small houses, and half-a-dozen grounded spaceships. Galactica is still in space, doing “Orbital Defense” along with a few other ships. ADAMA HAS GROWN A MUSTACHE. Adama urges Tigh to move down to New Caprica, as more than half the crew is already down there – the ship’s nearly empty. Adama doesn’t think the Cylons are coming back anymore.

And now, for the beginning of the unfortunate era known as "Adama's Mustache Years."
Long-haired Starbuck! Almost as bad as Adama's mustache. WE GET IT, TIME HAS PASSED.

Down on New Caprica, it seems the population is just under 40,000 – ten thousand less than it was at the beginning of the episode. Did the nuke on Cloud Nine really take out 1/5 of the fleet? Damn. Starbuck! She’s grown long hair. Sam has the flu or something, and Starbuck has come to take him away from playing pyramid and take him home – they’re married! And living in a tent. As is pretty much everyone, it seems? Ah. Sam has pneumonia. Doc Cottle says they’ve been out of antibiotics for months. Starbuck sees Tigh and Ellen, who duck into a bigger tent, where Tyrol is leading some sort of meeting, accompanied by a pregnant Callie?! Ah. Tyrol is president of some sort of union. Starbuck follows them in, and asks Tigh if he knows where she can get some antibiotics. Tigh suggests she get in touch with Lee, and Starbuck doubts that will work – it’s been a year, what happened between Lee and Starbuck?

More importantly, Tyrol is raging against President Baltar, making a fantastic strike-instigating speech. The crowd loudly agrees. Awww, Roslin’s a schoolteacher in this brave new world – she’s co-teaching a class with Maya,  I think? It IS Maya! And there’s Hera, suddenly a year older.

Starbuck climbs into a Raptor and turns it on, but leaves the door open. We then cut to the Pegasus, where Lee looks different, and Dee is there with him, and, indeed, Starbuck is on the phone for him. She asks him if she can have some of the pilot’s antibiotics for Sam, but more importantly, Dee sees something on the Dradis – The Cylon fleet has found them! Lee calls his father, they confer, and decide to jump away, rather than defend the planet. (PS – Helo’s in Galactica’s bridge, in case you were wondering where Mr. Hot Hot was in this brave new world.)

I believe that the attractiveness of these women doesn't disqualify them from being sharp political minds, but Baltar probably shouldn't be lying on them like that.

Gaeta runs in yelling to get Baltar, who is again surrounded with booze and women. HeadSix pops up, and declares it judgement day.  Ships whiz overhead, Roslin herds children back into the school, and a Leoben Cylon shows up at Anders’ sickbed, demanding to know where Starbuck is.

On Colonial One, Baltar has somehow gotten himself into a suit, and is seated with all his staff behind him, when three Cylons walk in: a Doral, a Six, and an Eight. Possibly CapricaSix? YUP. The Doral explains that they found the fleet due to the nuclear explosion, again, Baltar’s fault. Baltar surrenders.

Metal Cylons march through the marketplace. Starbuck, who is standing with Tyrol and Callie, says it’s time to fight them until they can’t.

And that, dear friends, ends Season Two for us.

Thanks as always to monchichi, without whom this surprisingly long recap would just be a wall of text. Her screencaps are magic.

By CherriSpryte

CherriSpryte wants you to know that The Great Pumpkin loves you.

7 replies on “LadyGhosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 2.20: “Lay Down Your Burdens, Pt 2””

I always felt bad for Gina (the brunette Six) — she was obviously so damanged and traumatized over what happened with Caine. It never, ever made sense to me that Baltar gave her that nuke. I mean, what the hell did he think she was going to do with it? He’s such a cock.

The ending of this episode is a great moment in television. I remember sitting there, mouth agape at the time leap.


I was so sad for that Six when she blew up the bomb. I know I supposed to be horrified that she killed so many of the few remaining humans. But she was just so damaged and I had a hard time blaming her in particular for hating humans. One of the best things about this show is they never shied away from the awful, ugly side in us all.

Leave a Reply