Season 2, Episode 19:
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1
After having her request previously denied, Kara is finally given permission by Roslin and Bill to plan an operation to rescue the resistance members still on Caprica.
Meanwhile, the presidential election is two weeks away, and Roslin and Baltar are jockeying for votes. In a meeting with Tom Zarek, his advisor, Baltar says that Roslin is ahead in the polls, and that his recent attempts to garner votes by accusing her of pandering to the religious fundamentalist demographic hasn't been enough. Despite Zarek's insistence that things will change, Baltar isn't convinced. At the same time, Roslin is practicing her debate questions with Bill.
Kara plans out an operation that will utilize a fleet of 20 Raptors, which will make several jumps back to Caprica. The jumps are to be based on calculations that will be made by Sharon, who will be interfacing with the technology from the Cylon Heavy Raider in Kara's Raptor. Kara informs the participants that the mission will be scuttled if they lose more than 3 Raptors, and they get ready to leave.
On the hangar deck, Cally is searching for Tyrol and finds him sleeping on the ground, mumbling and shaking in his sleep. When she tries to wake him, he snaps out of his nightmare and brutally beats Cally in confusion. He soon snaps back to reality, realizes what he has done and quickly carries her to Galactica's sickbay.
The fleet of Raptors jump out, but soon hit a snag when the Raptor piloted by Racetrack immediately jumps to the wrong set of coordinates. Under the rules of the mission, she prepares to jump back to Galactica, but as she gets ready to leave, she discovers a signature that indicates a nearby habitable planet, and jumps back to Galactica to report the news.
On Galactica, a grief-stricken Tyrol voluntary goes for religious counseling, and is met by a priest named Brother Cavil, who is very sarcastic and wry with his observations. Tyrol contends that he hasn't been having recurring nightmares, but when pressed by Cavil, admits that he keeps having a dream where he jumps from the top of the hangar deck to his death.
Cavil and Tyrol talk further, and the former asks if Tyrol has an unconscious desire to kill himself. Tyrol says that he feared being a Cylon himself after Boomer's death, but Cavil retorts with the disturbing question that no one would really know if they're a sleeper agent or not until they're activated.
In the Galactica CIC, the crew go over the scans Racetrack brought back, and see that while the planet is very barren, it can sustain human life. Baltar and Zarek realize that this is the issue they can use to win the election.
Tyrol continues his counseling, and Cavil assures him that he couldn't be a Cylon, and that the deck crew love him, and especially Cally.
Onboard Colonial One, Tory relays to Roslin that Baltar is gaining support with an offer for members of the fleet to settle on the planet permanently. Roslin is bitter, and realizes that people are voting on pure emotion rather than logic, even if the dangers are great and the Cylons could discover where they are.
Near Caprica, the fleet of Raptors makes its last jump into the atmosphere, but one of the Raptors phases inside a mountain. The remaining Raptors continue on and reach the planet's surface.
Roslin and Baltar take part in the final presidential debate, in front of onlookers and press outlets. While Roslin warns that they shouldn't lose sight of the goal to find Earth, Baltar's persuasive arguments and statements that the fleet doesn't have to run anymore leads to him pulling ahead further in the polls.
Kara, Sharon, Helo and a large group of Marines exit the Raptors and make their way towards the resistance hideout, only to be met midway by Anders and his men. Their joyous reunion is short-lived when Anders tells them that the group was attacked earlier, and is now on the run from the Cylons.
At that moment, the group comes under heavy fire from Centurions, forcing them all to run. As they make their way towards the Raptors to escape, they are impeded by artillery strikes in their path, pinning them down and making it impossible to reach safety...
- Book-Ends: As the penultimate episode of the season, it shares several similarities with the penultimate episode of the previous season, "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1", including a Raptor being spectacularly destroyed (by a Raider crashing into one in the previous season, and phasing into a mountain in this episode), a character considering suicide because they think they might be a Cylon, Kara performing a dangerous DRADIS jump (using Cylon technology) to get back to Caprica and a great emphasis on conflicting political ideals within the fleet.
- Break the Cutie: Cally is mercilessly beaten to a pulp by Tyrol, until he has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and rushes her to Galactica's sickbay.
- Call-Back: Sharon uses her ability as a Cylon to directly interface with a piece of Colonial technology, much as she did with Galactica itself in "Flight of the Phoenix".
- Content Warnings: The episode has a "Viewer Discretion is Advised" warning, right before the scene where Tyrol beats Cally.
- Continuity Nod: Lee has taken to wearing Barry Garner's wristwatch. He also eats noodles with chopsticks, just like his father did in earlier episodes.
- Deadpan Snarker: Cavil, to the point that Tyrol asks if he's even a priest when he has that kind of disposition.
- Disaster Democracy: The election campaign goes into full swing, with Roslin's idealistic views of searching until the fleet finds Earth opposed by Baltar, who plays on the fleet's emotions by asking them to help him settle New Caprica.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Tyrol's confusion and grief over beating Cally.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Tyrol beating up Cally in a confused rage.
- Rescue Arc: Kara, Sharon and a battalion of Marines heading back to Caprica to rescue the resistance movement.
- Straw Hypocrite: A particular scene between Cavil and Tyrol is a heaven for subtext when rewatching the series from the beginning.
- Cavil is posing as a human priest in the human fleet (and in the Caprica resistance), but he's actually a Cylon abusing his position to orchestrate destructive acts.
- He's talking to Chief Tyrol to give him counseling and talk him down from his fear that he, like his girlfriend, is a Cylon sleeper agent. Cavil assures him he hasn't seen him in any of their super secret meetings
because Cavil reprogrammed Tyrol to forget his life as one of the five creators of Cavil and the bio-Cylon race.
- "The Plan," makes this scene even funnier, because it turns out that particular Cavil was having super secret meetings with the other Cylons in the fleet.
- Among the Cylons, Cavil advocated the destruction of humanity for its sins in enslaving the robotic Centurions, while he did just the same, and memory wiped his creators and put them in the colonies, while lying like a dog to his siblings. The war being a genocidal temper tantrum in an attempt to become the "favorite son."
- Telefrag: One of the Raptors jumps into a mountain just before reaching Caprica. Not teleporting and crashing into a mountainteleporting into solid dirt and rock.
- Title Drop: Tory tells Roslin that the discovery of New Caprica will allow the citizens of the fleet to "lay down their burdens and stop running".