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Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, Episode 2.18, “Lay Down Your Burdens, Pt. 1”

I hate when I have to start TV recaps with trigger warnings. This is for anyone who happens to be watching BSG along with my recaps. (Which, if you are, tell me your address, I’ll send you cookies.) Anyway, there is repeated footage of a lot of physical violence perpetrated by a man against one of the female cast members in this episode. (Non-sexual violence, at least, but still.) I’ll only describe the attack once, but please be warned if you continue! Also, discussion of suicide.

This is one of those episodes, isn’t it? Ugh. Anyway. Previously, on Battlestar Galactica, Sharon’s wiring herself into Galactica to save the ship, Lee’s in command of Pegasus, but not leaving Dee, and Starbuck’s coming back to Sam Anders. Oh, and Baltar is running for president.

Oh, dear. Chief Tyrol is in his undies, empty bottle tucked under his arm, sleeping on the flight deck.

Baltar’s in his lab, in his  lab coat, surrounded by campaign materials. HeadSix has changed out of her sexy red dress into something slightly more appropriate for politics. Baltar says he’s going to lose.

President Roslin is in Adama’s quarters, surrounded by torn up bits of paper.

Starbuck’s on Pegasus, prepping a big flight crew for a mission, volunteer-only.

(Even from the opening, this episode feels different. Different background music, shorter scenes, etc.)

Baltar is concerned he’s about to be humiliated, HeadSix tells him again to have faith. He’s sick of the same old line.

Roslin explains that she’s preparing for something–memorizing talking points, etc. And then she gets the giggles. There’s a mention of a moderator.

Gaeta is prepping the flight crew–we prominently see Helo amongst them. They’re flying a captured Cylon raider, which can jump way further–oh, they’re heading back to Caprica! Okay! And, oh, Sharon is essential to the success of this mission–she’s got to link the Colonial software with the Cylon raider. The pilots are unnerved to see Sharon, and Starbuck quickly jumps to Sharon’s defense.

HeadSix, again, God’s will that Baltar wins, etc. Ah! Two weeks to the election.

Callie goes looking for the Chief.

Starbuck explains that they’re going to try and get as many people off of Caprica as they can. Lee comes in to give the crew a rousing send-off.

President Laura Roslin, giggling.
There is so little happiness on this show, I'm giving Laura Roslin a lot more credit for a bout of giggles than I ought to be.

Roslin is still giggling, and I think I remember this giggle fit as what gets her back into my good graces, after her disappointing decisions of the previous two episodes. I should not be so easily swayed.

Ah, definitely, presidential debate tonight. That explains a bit more. I love that radio is the main method of communication throughout the fleet. Roslin and Baltar shake hands, Roslin promises to wipe the floor with him.

Helo goes to talk to Sharon as she’s being led out of the briefing room, and she’s not doing well. She says something bad is on its way, vaguely.

Callie finds the Chief, who’s clearly in the midst of a nightmare, and when Callie wakes him, he attacks her, repeatedly punching her in the face. He comes to quickly, realizes what he’s done, and carries her away, yelling for help.

And now, at a seriously egregious 12 minutes in, we’ve got the credits. Are you kidding me? We’re nearly a third of the way through the show. This is nearly intermission, you fools!

Brother Cavil
Hello, Brother Cavil. Where the hell did you come from?

Post credits, we’re with the Chief, who has asked for religious counseling from Brother Cavil. Tyrol’s father was a priest, and Tyrol’s apparently kind of religious? Who knew? Brother Cavil doesn’t seem very priest-like. He says the Gods don’t answer prayers. He’s sarcastic and insulting and pessimistic.

Starbuck and Lee scene! Starbuck’s heading back to Caprica, Lee hopes that she finds Sam. I hope that Starbuck and Lee live happily ever after, and have hundreds of fat children, but nobody asks me anything.

The debate went well for Roslin, according to the press. Zarek thinks Baltar needs to hit harder on Roslin’s religious extremism, and HeadSix pops up to agree with Zarek.

Back to Starbuck and Co.’s mission (and from where did they capture this Cylon Heavy Raider anyway? The BSG Wiki is not being clear). Starbuck says thank you to Adama, and she’s all smiles, as they begin the mission. Further back in the Raider, Helo and Sharon talk, and Sharon can’t get Hera out of her head. Sharon, by the way, is literally plugged into the Raider. After the first jump, Racetrack shows up at the wrong coordinates–only one jump away though,  so she should be able to get back to the fleet.

Back to Tyrol and Brother Cavil. Tyrol was apparently having a dream about committing suicide immediately before Callie woke him up. The Chief’s been dreaming about that pretty frequently, it seems. Cavil presses Tyrol for the details. Honestly, this entire damn plotline needs a trigger warning–now we’ve got major suicidal ideation, complete with slow-mo and intense music. Tyrol’s been having this dream every night for the past few weeks, which can’t be fun.

Speaking of which, what’s the general consensus on Tyrol’s attacking Callie? I realized just now that I’ve always written it off as a fit of madness on Tyrol’s part, but perhaps that’s horrible of me? Do fans of the show hate Tyrol for this? I’d be interested to hear other opinions.

But back to the plot. Cavil tells Tyrol that it’s obvious that Tyrol wants to kill himself, but why? Ugh, let us leave this plot line.

Found a planet!

Racetrack and her copilot, stranded at the wrong jump coordinates, find a huge planet. It’s habitable! They race back to Galactica, and present this to Adama. Lee sends Pegasus pilots on a recon mission, and, well, the planet looks lovely. It’s got plants and animals! And the Cylons will never find it!

Baltar doesn’t give a frak about the planet. HeadSix tells Baltar, with some input from Zarek, that this planet is what’s going to win Baltar the election; permanent settlement on this planet is going to become his campaign platform. Baltar starts to come around.

Roslin refers to the planet as a rest stop. She points out that life, apparently, would be hard on the planet: it’s not super-habitable, just kinda habitable. Parts of it. Roslin’s advisor points out that voters vote their hopes, not the truth. They want to settle somewhere. The planet could turn the election around.

Cavil and Tyrol: Cavil walks out, but first tells Tyrol that he’s worried that he’s a Cylon and doesn’t know it, like Boomer. (Cavil tells Tyrol that Tyrol is worried that Tyrol is a Cylon. Is there any better way to write that?) Cavil says that, yes, Tyrol might do something bad, like Boomer did, but not because he’s a Cylon, but rather because people do terrible things. Cavil sarcastically says that he’s know that Tyrol’s not a Cylon because he’s a Cylon himself, and he hasn’t seen Tyrol at any of the meetings. Yeah, right. More helpfully, he tells the Chief to turn to his coworkers for support.

And we’re back with Starbuck, and they’ve arrived back at Caprica! They lost another Raptor; it landed inside a mountain. I’m guessing that’s not good.

Another presidential debate. Roslin is pro-religion, anti-planet. Baltar points out that the Cylons won’t be able to find the planet (it’s very close to a nebula). Roslin replies that we don’t know if the Cylons have already found the planet. Baltar gets some encouraging music to back him up, and urges people to stop being afraid and start living their lives. Three days ’til the election!

Caprica again!  How are they ever going to find Sam and Friends? They wander through the woods for, literally, a few minutes, when boom! Team Resistance has arrived! HAPPY MUSIC! Sam and Starbuck reunite! And there are not that many of them left. Cylons shooting at them! The Cylons have cut them off from their Raptors! Frak.

Sam Anders!

TO BE CONTINUED.

Double frak.

By CherriSpryte

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

8 replies on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, Episode 2.18, “Lay Down Your Burdens, Pt. 1””

I laughed out loud on my first viewing when they landed on Caprica (which I’m guessing is at least about the size of earth), hiked a few feet and BOOM, Helo found Anders by shouting his name once.  It was a nice tension breaker after they destroyed my beloved Tyrol in five minutes of plot I still don’t understand.

I also enjoy giggling Roslin.  This two parter allows for some of the best Roslin emotions and facial expressions ever.

I’d say – since there are, indeed, people who are currently watching, that as long as you put a big, bold, all-caps SPOILER WARNING in front of your spoilery stuff, that should be fine? I’ve tried to keep the recaps spoiler free, which, can I just say, IS HARD.

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