Season 2, Episode 20:
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2
On Caprica, Kara, Anders, Helo, Sharon and the Marines are still pinned down by heavy Centurion artillery fire. They head towards a nearby hill and take cover, intending to strike back, but the bombardment stops. Sharon states that the Cylons will likely try to capture them.
Onboard Galactica, Cally is released from sickbay, although she has her jaw wired shut as a result of Tyrol accidentally beating her. Tyrol expresses joy and relief that she's okay, and apologizes for what he did. Cally responds that she's always cared for him.
The Marines emerge from the hill several hours later to find no traces of the Cylons. As they prepare to head back, they are suddenly surprised by Brother Cavil, who appears behind them and says that humanity has been spared and the Cylons have left the Colonies.
On Colonial One, Tory mentions to Roslin that Baltar is pulling further and further ahead in the polls. Roslin goes to him and asks for a private meeting, then asks him to set aside the issue of colonizing the planet until after the election. He balks at the suggestion and says he intends to win.
The fleet of Raptors returns to Galactica, much to the crew's relief, and report their experiences. However, when Tyrol sees Cavil, he knocks the latter to the ground and calls for a Code Blue emergency, indicating that Cavil is a Cylon. Angered at Sharon's refusal to share this information with the crew, Bill orders her and Cavil to be sent to the brig. Cavil repeatedly states he isn't a Cylon, only to be confronted by another copy of himself. At this, he admits the truth.
Later, the Caprican copy of Cavil tells the crew that a group of Cylon war heroes have convinced the rest of the race that the attack on the Colonies was a mistake. He then says that the Cylons have forgiven the Colonies, and that they can go their separate ways. Roslin responds by having both copies of Cavil Thrown Out the Airlock.
Elsewhere on the ship, Lee goes to greet Anders, but discovers him and Kara getting drunk in the crew quarters. In her alcohol-fueled state, Kara insults Lee's relationship with Dualla and starts kissing Anders, causing Lee to leave in anger.
Sharon also sits in the brig, feeling disenchanted with everything that's happened after Hera's death. Helo comes to visit, and says he won't give up on her.
The ballots open for the election, and Roslin and Baltar nervously await the final results. As the votes are tallied, Tory realizes that Baltar has a clear lead over Roslin, and calls Galactica and tells them to enact their backup plan.
Later, after all the votes are tallied, Roslin is confirmed to have retained her position. Although Tory and Roslin are celebrating, Gaeta become suspicious when he finds evidence of vote tampering, and a further discussion with Tigh leads him to believe the latter is hiding something.
Gaeta brings the evidence to Bill, who subsequently confronts Tigh over the matter. Tigh shamefully confesses to rigging the vote so that Baltar wouldn't win. Bill immediately goes to Roslin and calls her out on trying to sabotage a democratic process, and tells her that they have to let the people decide their course of action.
Bill announces a jubilant Baltar as the winner of the election and the new president. In his new role, Baltar insists that colonization of the planet, now dubbed "New Caprica", is to begin immediately.
Afterwards, Baltar visits Gina, who tells him that she doesn't want to colonize the planet. They consummate their relationship, but afterwards, Gina sits silently and contemplates what she's done.
As Baltar is officially sworn in as President, Gina activates the nuclear warhead he gave her as a gift, and destroys Cloud Nine, along with several other ships. In an investigation afterwards, Bill and the others can't find the culprit, and suggest that it may be a prelude to another Cylon attack. Baltar dodges the issue and orders colonization to continue, with the first ships landing on the planet's surface.
Bill roams the halls of a nearly-empty Galactica, which has had most of the lights powered down and has fallen into disrepair. He receives a status update from the CIC, noting that half of the crew have left to settle on the planet. Bill asks Tigh to go down and make a home with Ellen, and after some brief arguing, Tigh agrees.
On the grounded Colonial One, Gaeta has become Baltar's executive assistant, and comes in to tell him that a workers' union strike may be imminent. Baltar expresses indignation at people still complaining even when there are no Cylon attacks.
Elsewhere on the planet, Tyrol is making a speech to a group of union workers, and it is revealed that he has married Cally, who is now several months pregnant. Roslin is working as a schoolteacher, teaching a group of students which includes Hera. Kara is looking for antibiotics to treat Anders, who has contracted pneumonia, but a passing Cottle says he can't help her. Soon after, Kara meets with Tigh, who tells her that Lee has a stash of antibiotics onboard the Pegasus, and may consider giving some to her if he's over her treatment of him during the last year.
Onboard the Pegasus, a noticeably-heavier Lee walks the corridors to CIC, where it is also revealed that he married Dualla in the interim. Lee receives a call from Kara asking for the antibiotics and begins to argue with her, but both are interrupted by Dualla reporting multiple Cylon contacts on DRADIS.
A fleet of Basestars appear in the sky over New Caprica, and several Raiders are dispatched towards the surface. Initially unsure of what to do, Lee regretfully tells his father that they have to jump out if they want to survive. Bill makes the call and orders the fleet to jump, but promises that theyll return.
While Gaeta informs Baltar that Cylons have occupied the airspace and are sending down forces, and were likely drawn in by the planet's radiological signature, a copy of Leoben visits the ailing Anders and asks where Kara is. Soon after, Baltar and his cabinet stand together as a group of Cylons, flanked by Caprica-Six and Boomer, enter Colonial One. A frightened Baltar says that he is surrendering on behalf of New Caprica.
Outside, Kara and Tigh watch as Cylon Raiders fly overhead. As Tigh wonders what to do, Kara vows to fight back
- Beard of Sorrow: Tigh, Tyrol and Bill all get this after the Time Skip.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Cloud Nine is destroyed, flying debris hits the "camera", causing it to spiral out of control.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Roslin and Tigh try to rig the vote after it becomes clear that Baltar has won, only to be discovered and called out almost immediately afterwards, with Bill being disappointed with her.
- Continuity Nod: Roslin still has a framed photo with herself and Billy sitting on her desk when the results are being read.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The shot of the Cylon Centurians marching into New Caprica City was framed to deliberately invoke the Wehrmacht victory parade in Paris.
- Downer Ending: The season ends with Cloud Nine being destroyed (and several thousand people dying), the conditions on New Caprica growing increasingly worse after only a year, the Cylons discovering the planet and taking over while the remnants of the fleet still in space are forced to run and hide.
- Driven to Suicide: Gina.
- Edited for Syndication: The 90-minute version was cut down to 60 minutes for some international stations.
- Fan Disservice: Baltar and Gina consummate their relationship, but it is hinted that she is not at all happy going through with the act, and although she's seen sitting naked in front of the nuclear warhead after, she looks incredibly distraught with herself over what she's done.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The names of many of the ships throughout the fleet are briefly seen on the election board used to tabulate the votes.
- Important Haircut: Kara has grown her hair out long, indicating that she's content to settle down and enjoy married life.
- Married in the Future: After the Time Skip, it's revealed that Tyrol and Cally, Lee and Dualla, Kara and Sam and Helo and Sharon all got married.
- Paid Harem: Baltar's interns.
- Plausible Deniability: Lampshaded by Cavil:Cavil: Would you mind telling me what's going on? I'm not a frakking Cylon, I'm not(sees another copy of his model in the brig and pauses)Cavil: Oh. Well. Okay then.
- President Evil: Baltar after the Time Skiphe has become a lax, corrupt leader who hangs a photo of himself in his Presidential office, is considering jailing the union forces, and doesn't care for anything besides his own welfare.
- Settling the Frontier: The colonization of New Caprica.
- Shout-Out: Tyrol's union speech is almost a direct word for word speech given by Mario Savio during the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, California in 1964. The production staff went so far as to obtain permission from Savio's widow to use the speech.
- Spotting the Thread: Gaeta realizes that someone has attempted to rig the election because one of the ships did not have the misprinted ballots that he authorized them to use.
- Tactical Withdrawal: The Battlestars and remnants of the fleet still in orbit are forced to jump away from New Caprica when it becomes clear that they're hopelessly outmatched by the encroaching Cylon fleet.
- Take Me to Your Leader: Cavil says this when he is outed as a Cylon Spy. The Galactica crew take him to the brig instead.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Both copies of Cavil, on the orders of Roslin.
- Time Skip: The nine-month jump between the ships landing on New Caprica and the Cylon occupation.
- Wham Episode: One of the biggest in the series, with the destruction of Cloud Nine, the Time Skip, the fleet forced to abandon the settlers on New Caprica to the Cylons, and those left behind preparing to organize a resistance movement.