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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Lay Down Your Burdens (Part 2)

Battlestar Galactica

"Lay Down Your Burdens" Part 2

TV episode

Written by Anne Cofell Saunders and Mark Verheiden

Directed by Michael Rymer

Original air date: March 10, 2006


President Roslin must decide whether to throw the election…or concede it to Baltar.


Read the summary of the episode at the Battlestar Wiki


Notes from the BSG chronology


This episode picks up immediately after the events of "Lay Down Your Burdens" Part 1, 9-10 months after the loss of the Twelve Colonies. After Baltar's election win in this episode, the story jumps to one year later, with most of the fleet's population now living on New Caprica, per Baltar's directive.


Didja Know?


This was an extended episode, running one hour, seven minutes, and 53 seconds.


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 49,550, down 29 from "Lay Down Your Burdens" Part 1. It's not explained how the fleet lost 29 lives since then. One Raptor crew and an unknown number of SAR marines were lost in that previous episode, but it does not seem to have been enough to account for 29 losses in the fleet, especially considering the fleet gained members of the Caprica resistance in this episode. The losses are also not due to the destruction of Cloud Nine and at least two other ships late in this episode, as the population total is seen on Colonial One before the loss of Cloud Nine.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode



Sam Anders

Dr. Cottle


Chief Tyrol

Jean Barolay



Tory Foster

President Roslin


Brother Cavil


Admiral Adama

Head Six

Caprica Six

Colonel Tigh

Ellen Tigh



Lt. Gaeta

James McManus

Tom Zarek

Gina Inviere (dies in this episode)

priest (unnamed)



Leoben Conoy

Number Five


Caprica Six





Didja Notice?


As the SAR team is attacked by Cylons near the beginning of the episode, Starbuck gives Caprica-Valerii a Colonial standard military sidearm, the pistol typically seen carried by military personnel since the beginning of the second season. It is a modified FN FiveseveN.


When Caprica-Valerii warns the SAR team that the Cylons attackers will try to gas their position in order to take prisoners for interrogation and the farm, Starbuck swears she won't go back to one of those farms. The farms are where the Cylons study and perform experiments with human prisoners in order to try to solve the Cylon problems with sexual reproduction. Starbuck was held prisoner at a farm on Caprica in "The Farm".


Before the election has even been held, Baltar is already calling the newly-discovered habitable world New Caprica.


President Roslin asks Baltar if he was with a tall, blonde woman on Caprica (Caprica Six) just before the Cylon attack. Roslin had a memory of this when she was dying of cancer in "Epiphanies".


Admiral Adama reveals to Anders he was a fan of the Picon Panthers pyramid team.


    Chief Tyrol shouts "code blue" when he sees the Number One Cylon, whom he recognizes as a double of Brother Cavil. "Code blue" would seem to be an agreed upon term in the fleet when someone spots a person they know to be a Cylon.

    After the two Number Ones are put in the brig, President Roslin threatens to space them both. We don't see it happen here, but The Plan later reveals that she ordered just that and it was carried out by Admiral Adama. The execution is revealed through dialog in a deleted scene of this episode.


The names of three ships of the rag-tag fleet not previously seen are revealed on the election board at 26:16 on the Blu-ray: Demetrius, Diomedes, and Embla Brokk. Demetrius is mentioned again in several later episodes; it is a sewage processing ship.


    At 27:44 on the Blu-ray, a whiteboard on Colonial One with the names of the all the ships of the fleet is seen as the election votes are tallied. However, it does not entirely match with the list board seen on Galactica for the election! From this board, it would seem there are 50 ships in the fleet. Previous episodes have implied 60-odd ships and the novel Unity stated 70-odd ships.

    It is interesting to note the name of the ship Carillian Trader, possibly named for the planet Carillon from BSG70? Or, perhaps, a reference to Corellian ships in the Star Wars saga?

fleet ships fleet ships whiteboard
Colonial One whiteboard
Galactica board
Galactica board


At 30:10 on the Blu-ray, a typo of "Colonial Elections Act" is seen on the sealing label of the Zephyr ballot box; the word "Colonial" is seen spelled as "Colonila". Kind of ironic that a real world misprint occurred in representation of ship in which a different misprint occurred on the Zephyr ballots in the story!

Zephyr ballot seal


I love Mary McDonnell's performance as President Roslin as she wins the election here. Roslin smiles and hugs, yet you can see and feel the guilt in her at every moment for having fixed the result.


At 42:08 on the Blu-ray, the interior-side door of Gina Inviere's room on Cloud Nine has a notification on it that looks like a typical hotel room posting of policies and rules.

Cloud Nine posting 


After Gina has detonated the nuclear warhead aboard Cloud Nine, at 45:58 on the Blu-ray, a piece of debris strikes the "camera" in space (our viewpoint), cracking the lens!


Gina stated in "Resurrection Ship" Part 2 that Cylons were incapable of committing suicide, yet she appears to do so here with her detonation of the nuclear warhead. It might be argued that this was not exactly suicide, but a taking out of a number of the enemy through self-sacrifice.


At 48:47 on the Blu-ray, notice that the location on the wall behind the President's desk where Roslin used to have the whiteboard of the fleet's population now sports a painted portrait of President Baltar himself. Baltar also has a couple of lingerie-clad women in his quarters behind him. Baltar's portrait


At 50:11 on the Blu-ray, an old era (BSG70) style Colonial shuttle is seen at New Caprica City next to Colonial One. Another view of it is seen at 53:04.
old-style Colonial shuttle Colonial One and shuttle


During the fleet's orbital defense patrol at 50:22 on the Blu-ray, the narrative text shows "Day 380". This would seem to indicate 380 days since the founding of the colony on New Caprica, since we were already informed during Baltar's briefing with Gaeta that it was "one year later" (from the time of the election). So the total time elapsed since the destruction of the Twelve Colonies would be almost two years.


Adama remarks to Colonel Tigh that more than half the crew of Galactica are now living on New Caprica and laments, "We can barely put a squadron in the air to train, much less fly a decent cap." Presumably, Adama is using the acronym CAP for "Combat Air Patrol" (though, of course, there is no "air" in space!).


At 54:13 on the Blu-ray, we learn from Starbuck's own lips that she is now married to Sam Anders. She also now has a winged tattoo on her left arm that matches one on Anders' right arm.


At 56:00 on the Blu-ray, we see that Starbuck and Colonel Tigh are now warm friends!


At 1:00:36 on the Blu-ray, we learn that Dualla is now a lieutenant and apparently the executive officer of Pegasus under Apollo.


At 1:01:33 on the Blu-ray, Helo appears to have taken Lt. Gaeta's place as tactical officer and is also X.O. on Galactica (confirmed in Ron Moore's commentary on the episode).


At 1:02:17 on the Blu-ray, a bottle of what is presumably alcohol on Baltar's coffee table on Colonial One appears to be named Anterior Stoat.


At 1:02:54 on the Blu-ray, we see some paintings stacked in the tent of Starbuck and Anders. Starbuck was known to do some painting during her off-duty life on Caprica; it would seem she has resumed the hobby.


Number Five tells President Baltar that they discovered the presence of New Caprica by the radiation signature of a nuclear detonation. This would seem to be why Gina Inviere chose to blow up Cloud Nine with her nuclear warhead a year ago (earlier in the episode).


Notes from the audio commentary by Ron Moore on the Blu-ray release


Tyrol's speech as president of the worker's union on New Caprica is based on a speech by Mario Savio (1942-1996) for the Free Speech Movement at the University of California Berkeley in 1964. Tyrol's hand gestures are also like Savio's.


Baby Hera's cradle is the same one seen in Baltar's visions of her in "Kobol's Last Gleaming" Part 2 and "Scattered".


Unanswered Questions


Did Apollo's former lover Shevon and her daughter Paya (as seen in "Black Market") die on Cloud Nine? It seems likely, as they were living in quarters on that ship that Apollo had arranged for them in that episode.


Memorable Dialog

backup plan.mp3

thank you, Madame President.mp3
I won't save your political career.mp3
cat around with all the men.mp3
am I good or what?.mp3
little slut.mp3
the war heroes.mp3
keeping score.mp3
no harm done.mp3
there is no God.mp3
I've seen a lot of elections.mp3
are you as shocked as I am?.mp3
Baltar is working with the Cylons.mp3
set a course for New Caprica.mp3
I don't have to listen.mp3
President Baltar.mp3
pretty exciting.mp3
it's a Cylon fleet.mp3
we'll be back.mp3
President of the Colonies.mp3
I surrender.mp3
fight 'em until we can't.mp3

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