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Battlestar Fodder

Battlestar Galactica: Episode 2.19 - "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1"

by Shannon Nolley, Sci-Fi Fodder Editor

The planet

Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1
Episode 2.19
3 March 2006

Let's start this time with the "Previously on Battlestar Galactica..." scenes. There are at least two here that I don't remember ever seeing before. This is the second time they've done this (play things that must only live in the deleted scenes files). The two played here are: Apollo talking to Dee saying that he's leaving the Galactica for the Pegasus, but he's not leaving her; and President Roslin talking to Starbuck about a return mission to Caprica saying that she (Roslin) knows what it's like to lose someone (meaning Starbuck leaving Anders behind). Well, I guess these are important plot points. Got it.

This week I'm going to break down the first section a little differently. They crammed a LOT into the first scenes before the credits this time. It was also twelve minutes long! Yes, nearly one half of this episode was jammed into the time before the credits rolled! If you know this show, you'll know that this means we were flying back and forth and back and forth at light speed. My fingers were burning trying to type all my notes!

So here's how the first 12 minutes went:

Tyrol and Cally

TyrolWe open with Chief Tyrol rolling on the floor somewhere in the back of the hangar bay in his undies. He's grown a shaggy beard and looks a mess. He's on the floor asleep, having a nightmare. Why is he on the floor? I'm never quite sure about that one. This nightmare is pretty intense. In obvious distress from the dream, he continues to roll back and forth restlessly. Meanwhile, on the other side of the hanger, Cally has emerged looking for him. She wanders about calling for him. Tyrol doesn't hear her calling and is still locked in his dream. Loyal little deck hand that she is, Cally eventually finds him on the floor. She can tell he's in some distress. She shakes him, trying to wake him up. Not a good plan, Cally. Tyrol wakes up in a rage. He throws her off, knocking her to the floor, and pounces. Let the beatings begin! Tyrol savagely beats her, throwing blow after blow to her head and face. He's grotesque in his rage. He pounds away as to kill her. After many, many blows, Tyrol regains himself. He recoils in horror at what he's done to poor, sweet Cally. He picks her up and carries her off to find help.

Starbuck and Sharon

Sharon and karaStarbuck is in the briefing room addressing the pilots. She's describing a very risky mission where losses could be up to 20%. They will be using their FTL drives to do a series of jumps, leading to a jump in a planet's atmosphere. The mission is so risky, it's volunteer only. They will be jumping back to Caprica. (FINALLY!) Lieutenant Gaeta addresses the pilots and describes the technology behind the mission. The Cylon Raiders are capable of much longer jumps than their ships. If they used the Cylon technology, they could make the trip back to Caprica in less than 10 jumps. They've been trying to figure out how to install the Cylon system into their ships, but they have not been successful - until now. To the shock of the pilots (who look like they want to rip her head off) Sharon is brought into the room. She is helping them revamp their FTL drives and their navigation so they can get back to Caprica. Sharon looks REALLY uncomfortable. Apollo enters. He is encouraging the troops. No human has ever attempted a jump this far. They will go down in the books for this. They will be bringing back the brave Resistance fighters who have been stuck on Caprica. It's a good and valuable mission. Sharon asks Starbuck if she can leave. Starbuck gives the ok and Sharon exits under guard with Helo following. Apollo, still in the briefing room, tunes the radio to the presidential debates just about to begin. Meanwhile, Helo is walking with Sharon. She's depressed. She tells him se feels that something dark is coming. She can feel it lurking, waiting. "Back on Caprica?" he asks. No, she says. It's more like a dark time coming. (Cue heavy foreshadowing music!!!)

Baltar and Six

BaltarMeanwhile, Baltar in his lab with "Elect Baltar" fliers. Six is there. Baltar thinks he's going to lose the election. Six tells him he must have faith in god's plan. Everything will turn out as it should. He doesn't like public humiliation. She tells him that he was chosen by god to lead these people. "Like I was chosen by god to protect our baby?" he responds. "Don't let your anger drive you to blasphemy," she responds. "Get your act together!" she says, slamming his head on the desk. Just then, Zarek enters to take Baltar to the debates with Roslin. Baltar, raising his head off the desk quickly, says he's just taking a quick nap. (har har)

Roslin and Adama

AdamaRoslin in what looks to be Adama's quarters (not sure) practicing her speech for the debates. She is reading off of cards and then ripping them up and tossing them in the air. Adama enters with a drink for himself in one hand, one for her in the other. A bit embarrassed, she tells him that the card ripping (and letting them fall as they may) is a kind of ritual to calm herself down. Adama tells her that his father would break pencils before he went into the courtroom and would them borrow one from the clerk. Roslin likes this idea. She breaks a pencil. She then asks, what if I can't borrow one? "Then you're screwed," Adama says. She laughs. Then, gets the giggles. Torrie enters to take her to the debates. Adama rises and gives his arm to Roslin. They walk out together, Roslin giggling as they go. On arriving at the debates, she greets Baltar in the front of the room. She tells him that she's going to wipe the floor with him! He returns with "You must be losing your mind again." Her response? "If that's your best repose you're really in trouble."

(Finally!! The Opening.)

CavilWe return with Tyrol sitting at a table in an empty room. He's remember what he did to Cally. Then, Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) enters. Tyrol has asked for religious counseling instead of psychiatric help. Apparently his father was a clergyman so he's more comfortable with a man of the cloth. Tyrol prays to the gods every night. Cavil scoffs at this. He says praying gets you nothing. Gods don't answer prayers. We're hear on our own. We have to find our own way. It's the how they set things up. Tyrol says that's what he's trying to do - find his own way. Yeah, well you're screwed up, says Cavil. (I LIKE this guy! Then again, I've always liked Stockwell.)

ApolloMeanwhile on the Pegasus, Apollo is in his quarters eating noodles with chopsticks. Starbuck enters. He has called her there. He wishes her good hunting. "It's a good plan," he says. Starbuck, looking a little indignant says thanks, she knows, she wrote it. What does he want? Apollo is nervous. He's shifting a bit and a bit off centered. (Even the camera angle is askew here.) "I hope you find him, Kara," he says (meaning Anders). "So do I," she replies and exits, leaving Apollo there looking sullen.

SixOn Colonial One, Torrie and Roslin are mulling over the debates and the post-debate polls. "Baltar is an empty suit" they say. They know he'll keep exploiting the religious angle, though. Roslin says that he's got to come up with a much bigger thing if he wants to make it the central issue of the debate. (Careful what you wish for, Roslin!) On Galactica, Baltar and Zarek are talking strategy. Zarek says Baltar must keep plugging the religious angle. Things will turn around, you'll see. Six appears. "He's right. Listen to him," she says, draping herself heavily on his shoulder. Baltar lashes back with sarcasm. "Of course, how blind I've been! Things will turn around! Thanks for your keen advice. I'm just going to wait around for the hand of god to come down and change my political fortunes. How about that??"

StarbuckNext, we go to the raptors out for jump to Caprica. We see that the weird biomechanical Cylon thing is onboard. Starbuck calls the Galactica bridge to talk to Adama. "Did I ever say thank you?" she asks him. "No. Then again that would be a first," he replies. She laughs and says "Thank you." "Come back in one piece, that'll be thanks enough," he returns. They finalize settings for the jump. Sharon is in the back of the raptor with Helo. She tells him she can't believe he talked her into this. She's still depressed. Helo says things will be ok. He's with her no matter what - just like they agreed. Sharon can't get their baby out of her head. She can't stop thinking about her. The other warriors on the raptor give Sharon glaring looks. Helo scold them. The raptors are ready for the jump. They plug the Cylon biomechanical thing directly into Sharon!! The raptors all jump to their first destination. Except for one. Racetrack and crew jump to the wrong coordinates. D'oh! Starbuck is annoyed at the first destination upon the loss of a raptor so early on. They keep going, though. Their orders say they can keep going until they lose three raptors.

CavilBack to Cavil and Tyrol. Cavil is asking lots of questions of Tyrol. Let's talk about what happened. Were you having a nightmare when she woke you up? Any recurring dreams lately? I don't remember and No are Tyrol's only responses. "That's a lie," says Cavil. Tyrol seems afraid of his dream(s). Finally, he reveal that he's having the same dream over and over again. In it, he's climbing stairs. He stops to look over a balcony. He climbs on to the railing and stands up. He stretches out his arms and takes a swan dive into the hangar. He says that every night for the past couple of weeks it's been the same dream. This last time, he doesn't remember the dream, he just remembers waking up hurting Cally. Cavil says, "You obviously want to kill yourself. Why?" Tyrol is thrown back by this. He hadn't thought of this. His lashing out at Cally was because she stopped him from killing himself.

CrashdownMeanwhile, Racetrack and crew are lost in one of the raptors. The mission rules say head back. Just as they gear up to head back, they pick up a planetary body on their sensors. The nebula interference was blocking it so they hadn't seen it until they got really close. They decide to investigate. Holy crap! It's habitable! It'll support human life. Quickly we jump back to Galactica. Everyone is all abuzz. They send out survey missions and find that the atmosphere is consistent with human norms, there are fruit trees and animals, though only a small percentage of the planet is actually livable due to terrain. Gaeta is relaying lots of this to Dee while in the locker room. We notice that Dee has a picture of Adama hanging in her locker for all to see.

ZarekIn the lab, Baltar is consulting with Zarek again. Baltar is skeptical about the planet. Six tells him that it's the future. Zarek is looking over the survey results and has a revelation. Six tells Baltar to pay attention - he's about to win the election. Zarek says that THIS is the political issue they've been waiting for. Permanent settlement on this planet. Baltar scoffs, it's a dreary rock that got only 20% of its land that's habitable. Six encourages Baltar to stop and listen to Zarek. "He's a smart sexy man like you..." she says. Not taking her bait Baltar says ,"Oh, give up!" Of course he says it outloud so Zarek is wondering what he's talking about. Baltar flounders... "Give.. up Earth?" He walks over to Zarek, considering the political ramifications more closely. Realizing that as a tool this might just work in his favor, crappy planet or not. Baltar and Zarek shake on the idea.

CrashdownOn Colonial One, Roslin is also scoffing at the planet's specs. However, every ship in the fleet is begging to get time down on the planet. Rest is fine, but settlement is not it, she says. Having launched his scheme to sway voters, Baltar is making headway in the polls by polarizing the poor rag-tag fugitive fleet. Tired of living in a tin can? Yep. Well, there's a big bright shiny planet down there where you can sleep in a bed instead of a bunk. Besides, the nebula will hide the planet so the Cylons probably won't find them. Roslin is frustrated. What's to say they're not already there? The bitter reality is that this planet is not our answer. Torrie points out, though, that bitter reality doesn't sell. The people will vote for hope, for laying down their burdens. She warns that it could turn the entire election around for Baltar.

TyrolCavil and Tyrol again. (I do believe that Tyrol got the most screen-time this episode). "Why are you running?" Cavil asks Tyrol. "When are you going to see what's right in front of your face?" He gets up to leave. "You won't face it so I'm going. Come on. You think you're a Cylon!" Cavil presses. "I am not a Cylon," Tyrol says unconvincingly. "Of course you're not a Cylon, but you're still worried about it,"Cavil returns. Tyrol explains that Sharon didn't know what she was, she just knew she was going to do a terrible thing and she had to stop herself. Tyrol is afraid of doing terrible things. Cavil agrees that such a thing is always a possibility - it doesn't mean he's a Cylon, though. "How do you know I'm not?!?!" Tyrol demands. "I know because maybe I'm a Cylon and I haven't seen you at the meetings!" Cavil crack. Har har. (Man, you just gotta love Stockwell.) Just go back to work and move forward, he recommends. Tyrol doesn't want to go back and face the deck crew, though. Cavil reassures him saying that they are his family, they love him, and they just want him to be ok.

StarbuckMeanwhile, Starbuck is still charging ahead with the raptors. They make their last jump to the surface of Caprica. She tells the pilots to prepare for atmosphere, weather, anything. They jump into bright sun (that super-blown out post nuclear explosion glare). They take inventory of the raptors. Crap! One is missing! It's still on the radar, it's just not with them. Helo pinpoints it. Oh man. The raptor jumped INSIDE a mountain. That means... they're dead. (WOW! This is the first time this show ever addressed what can happen when you randomly jump somewhere. The theme has been handled a lot in things like "Star Trek" and even "X2," but never here. I wonder if an entire ship the size of the Galactica could randomly jump inside a planet by mistake!).

ZarekBack to the Galactica. Baltar and Roslin are at the debates again. Baltar is picking on Roslin's use of the scriptures to deliver them unto Earth. Roslin rebuts that he is distorting the real issues (duh). She says that the scriptures do they contain things that can guide us - that hold real world relevance. The moderator reads a question from a "viewer." "Is permanent settlement a desperate political move to save your race," it asks. He says that's a great question! "The Cylons continue to follow us. I think we should take the opportunity to stop running." Roslin disagrees completely saying that the Cylons could already be there waiting for them. There's no way to know. Baltar returns by addressing the moderator and the public, Baltar says that the President uses fear - fear of the gods, fear of Cylons - to keep everyone in check. It's time to stop running from our lives and start living them. (Ooh! Nice. Sneaky, but nice.)

ReunionFinally, to Caprica! The warriors are trouncing through the forest. (It looks a bit like Endor.) Everyone is wearing helmet except for Sharon, who is leading the group (or she's at least walking point). They hold to check their position. Sharon spies movement. A group of humanoid-type-things is coming towards them. Are these friendlies? Helo calls over to them "You got a Samuel Anders?" The call is returned, "You got a Kara Thrace? If so, she took her good sweet time getting here." Everyone is relieved. (Err.. that was lucky. I'm sure they landed somewhere near the Resistance's base, but that's a little too lucky.) Starbuck and Anders, all smiles, embrace in a long, deep hug. Hello there. "What took you so long?" he asks. She smiles. SharonAfter a moment, she asks where the rest of his men are. Dead. The toasters hit their base camp this morning. He lost half his crew. Sharon screams, "Incoming!" Bombs explode everywhere. They gotta get back to the raptors, but they are cut off. Bombs continue to explode all around them. Confusion reigns. Sharon looks oddly concerned and serene at the same time.

... to be continued.

Wow. While the episode was intense, it didn't seem like all that much happened compared to a "regular" episode. I'll attribute that to the fact that this episode is actually 2 and 1/2 hours long. They can take their time telling the story. Ultimately, I suspect that we will be shocked by what they do next week. There was a lot of ground laid here. I can't wait to see what they do with it!!!! Questions arise here for me about Zarek. Six was hanging off him like white on rice! Do we suspect that somehow Zarek knew of her presence in the room and on him. Also, did the Cylons know if the raptor's mission to Caprica? Did Sharon somehow inform them? Why was she looking so serene as the bomb fell? Was she hoping to die? She'd just be downloaded to a new body. She'd be back with the Cylons, though. Is that what she wants? I'm sure she's up for some payback if she thinks they murdered her baby. I thought it was really too convenient for Anders and crew to just HAPPEN to be in the forest, running from the Cylons, not far from where the raptors landed. At the very least, could some of Anders Resistance fighters be Cylon agents and the attack and happen meeting have been a set-up to get the other Cylon models on board the Galactica? OH MAN! I'm just bracing myself for whatever comes next week. I know I'm not prepared.

----

2_20 previewNext week - The Season Finale! - "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2." It's a special 90 minutes episode. NOO!! Not the end of the season!! The elections. The planet issue. Anders and Caprica. Apollo and the Pegasus. I think we should expect anything. SciFi's website reads, "When Baltar wins the vote, Roslin considers stealing the election because she believes he is a Cylon collaborator." I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Note: Copyright to all images is held by SciFi Channel/Universal Pictures


Posted by Shannon on March 7, 2006 1:15 AM
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I just can't believe more people don't post on this site!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. However, I did have some problems with the show, and while they are only slight personal preferences, I think the writers could have gone somewhere with them.

Point 1: I don't think Chief was wrestling with being a Cylon at all. I have thought, and still do, that he was trying to kill himself for being so stupid as to fall for a Cylon, and that even after he realized she was a Cylon to still be in love with her! Hello! That makes WAY more sense than thinking he was a Cylon. But, I can see how to a distraught person, those lines could have been blurred, and Cavil could have easily used this confusion to convince him taht he was a Cylon. Which makes it very obvious that Cavil is really a Cylon. So my question to all this is - To what end? Why do we need to know that Chief thinks he is a Cylon? Maybe this was a way to show us how easily the Cylons can manipulate the humans? If this is the reason, I think it was a little rushed, to have it all happen in one episode. I have notice how things seem to have sped WAY up in the last few episodes - I understand they writers are trying to cram a lot in for the big finale, but character development is what makes this show so great.

Point 2: There should have been a lot more focus on the debates! Both actors are tremendous, and having them battle back and forth would have really added to the show. I know this is SciFi and not the West Wing, but it would have been great. Hopefully they will put them on the DVD.

Overall the show was great. Can't wait to see how it ends.

-- Posted by: aDaMsKi at March 8, 2006 3:56 PM

I just love your comments aDaMsKi! Keep posting! I know there's lots of folks out there reading, but we must encourage more people to post!

I agree, some of the things of late do seem rushed. We really should get some more insight into why Sharon can access the memories of the other Sharons and why it appears that the Six models can't. Perhaps it's a model number thing? Sharon's an 8. What can a 9 do? I also wonder if the Sharons can access each others memories, wouldn't the other Sharons on Caprica know about what Caprica Six and Sharon did to D'Anna (prior to her being downloaded)? Are all the Sharons working together to a different end?

I'm very suspicious of all our leading men at this point - trying to prepare for the zinger they have in store for us. It's definitely time for a male lead to be revealed as a Cylon.

I'm definitely not happy that they just announced (http://www.filmfodder.com/scifi/archives/2006/03/
battlestar_seas.shtml) that it'll be another seven months before the next season begins! I wonder how many versions of the Season 2 DVD set they'll release before then. Sigh. They like to torture us so.

-- Posted by: shannon at March 8, 2006 4:18 PM

Shannon, read my post in "Downloaded" to see my thoughts on Sharon's info transfer. Spiritual transfer has to be the only answer. Thanks for noticing my post!

-- Posted by: aDaMsKi at March 8, 2006 6:21 PM

I did catch your post on "Downloaded" (great, by the way) but I'm not totally convinced about the spiritual transfer thing. I agree that by our standards downloading across so many miles would take days, but do we really know the timeline of death of a Cylon vs. their rebirth? They said it would take at least 36 hours to get to D'Anna because of all the Cylons that died in the bomb explosion. That seems to imply they could download whomever when they get around to it. There also could be a delay due to the distance but we just don't know about it. The Cylon wakes up thinking that it was instant, but who knows?

The spiritual transfer thing also doesn't really explain the difference between the Six models memories (versus what the Sharons can remember). I think the "twin effect" or the ability to know things that occurred after the model died may be part of the series' evolution. If Six is "6.0" and Sharon is "8.0" then Sharon is bound to be able to do "more" things than Six. I'm REALLY curious about the 9-12 models!

Of course, then there's still the whole Baltar and Six communication thing. Do you think they'll EVER tell us about that? I wonder if the finale will reveal more about the functioning of the Cylons.

The writers have done a great job at creating lots of plot strings for us to pull at. I'm REALLY hoping they weave it into something satisfying.

-- Posted by: shannon at March 8, 2006 6:56 PM

Well, we know from the clues given us in "Downloaded" that the transfer CAN be close to immediate. If you recall, Caprica six makes the comment to #9 "It's been 9 months and I still am not used to this body" and we know that the humans have been running for nine months, so it looks like it CAN be immediate. However, we also know that the Cylons can "box" the memories, so they can probably control how and when they release the memories into a new body. We may never know how the transfer happens, Ron White says he likes to stay away from "technobabble", so we may never know. I'm excited to hear they will be releasing a BSG comic book and a novel, this will probably shed more light on the techno stuff.

Good point about the numbers being updated models - that makes sense. Six is hardcore, whereas Sharon #8 is more refined, more thoughtful, and capable of really deep love and emotions. Six seems to have SOME love, but she seems to mostly think about herself. And maybe Sharon is the only model that can procreate.

-- Posted by: aDaMsKi at March 8, 2006 8:16 PM

Personally, I think it will be interesting to see if Anders is really ready to leave Caprica. He's already witnessed first-hand that some of the Cylons (Caprica Six and the Sharon that shot Adama) are both capable of some compassion towards humans. Those chinks in the armor might have changed his thoughts toward his mission of "keep killin' 'em until they don't wanna die any more, and hence leave Caprica". It seems reasonable that after a thorough de-briefing, Anders requests that a team be left behind with him to further investigate (and to blow up some more bullet-heads).

BTW, I love the line, "You got a Samuel Anders?" It's just way too close to "You got a Samuel Adams?" Even on Caprica, apparently, sometimes... it's Miller Time.

-- Posted by: Three Eyed Toad at March 9, 2006 2:26 PM

And how does that mean? I do not understand anything.

-- Posted by: Miguel at January 2, 2013 6:02 AM

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