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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Lay Down Your Burdens (Part 1)

Battlestar Galactica

"Lay Down Your Burdens" Part 1

TV episode

Written by Ronald D. Moore

Directed by Michael Rymer

Original air date: March 3, 2006


Starbuck leads a rescue mission back to Caprica; meanwhile, the fleet discovers a habitable planet.


Read the summary of the episode at the Battlestar Wiki


Notes from the BSG chronology


Tom Zarek states that the population of the fleet has been cooped in the metal boxes of their ships for nine months, indicating how much time has passed since the rag-tag fleet fled the devastated colonies.


During the first presidential debate between Roslin and Baltar, the moderator states that Baltar declared his candidacy a month ago (in "The Captain's Hand"). On this same night, Head Six states that the election is now two weeks away.


After the second presidential debate, the election is said to be three days away, so this episode covers about 11 days.


Didja Know?


The "Previously on Battlestar Galactica..." segment at the beginning of the episode contains moments that were not previously broadcast, culled from deleted scenes of earlier episodes.


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 49,579, the same as the Razor two-parter and "Downloaded". However, as stated in the study of "Downloaded", this population count ignores the deaths of Major Shaw, a Raptor crew, and an SAR marine in "Razor" Part 2.


This episode has a number of similarities to the two-part season one finale "Kobol's Last Gleaming".


The title of this episode touches on a line spoken by D'anna Biers in "Final Cut", "No pay. No rest. No hope of ever laying down the burden and letting someone else do the job."


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Chief Tyrol


Head Six

President Roslin

Tory Foster


Lt. Gaeta



Lt. Hamish "Skulls" McCall

Admiral Adama

Joseph Adama (mentioned only, deceased)


Tom Zarek



James McManus

Brother Cavil (a Number One model Cylon)


Colonel Tigh

Raw Meat
Gully Man
Star Cloud

Tough Guy (mentioned only, dies in this episode)

Carousel (mentioned only, dies in this episode)

Sam Anders

Jean Barolay




Didja Notice?


At the beginning of the episode, leaflets in support of Baltar for president are seen. Some of the slogans are "PEACE IS OURS TO MAKE", and "WE DESERVE PEACE AND SECURITY, WE DESERVE A HOMELAND, WE DESERVE GAIUS BALTAR".


This episode introduces Brother Cavil, the first of several Number One model Cylons we will meet in the course of the series.


In his quarters on board Pegasus at 14:38 on the Blu-ray, Apollo is eating noodles out of a bowl with chopsticks. His father was also seen doing the same in "33". Yet another tradition we inherited from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol!


A newswire service in the fleet called the Colonial Dispatch is mentioned in this episode.


At 16:19 on the Blu-ray, a fleet newspaper called the News-Review is read by Baltar.


The dateline on the article about the presidential debate in the News-Review is 23-77-32.


    The front page article of the News-Review is titled "Baltar Takes the Heat in First Debate". Notice that part of the headline is cut off at the bottom!

    The article text itself is mostly related to real world political matters, even mentioning state legislature, state governor, and Democrats! The article has replaced the names of real world figures with either "Mr. Baltar" or "Mr.(!) Roslin".



Racetrack appears to have been assigned to Pegasus at this point.


Talking to Apollo, Dee remarks on the newly-discovered planet having "rivers of milk and honey." This is a reference to a phrase about the promised land of Israel in the Bible.


Baltar and his running-mate Zarek decide to make the settlement of the newly-discovered planet and the abandonment of the search for Earth the major plank in their election platform. In the BSG70 chronology, there was a similar plan when the Council of Twelve decided to settle the planet Domia instead of continuing the search for Earth in "No Place Like Home", an issue of the BSG comic book series published by Realm Press.


Brother Cavil seems to be playing with Tyrol. Cavil, we soon learn, is a Cylon, and we will learn much later that Tyrol is one of the Final Five Cylons, manipulated by the Number One series of Cylons (like Cavil). Cavil seems to be trying to get Tyrol to kill himself, as he is disdainful of the Final Five.


During Roslin and Baltar's second presidential debate, Roslin remarks about Baltar, "There he goes again." This is probably an intentional reference by writer Ron Moore to Ronald Reagan's line of "There you go again" in a 1980 presidential debate against Jimmy Carter. The line has become part of the political lexicon in the United States, meant to indicate that an opponent is using hyperbole or twisting the facts.


Since the scenes of the pre-election life in the fleet are interspersed with the scenes of the SAR Raptor squadron making the ten hyperjumps back to Caprica to rescue Anders' resistance, it gives the impression that it took about ten days for the SAR squadron to get to Caprica. Is time-dilation involved in the making of an FTL jump?


During the reconnaissance on Caprica, Starbuck is seen armed with a Heckler & Koch G36K and Helo with an Armsel Striker shotgun.


Memorable Dialog

my father used to break pencils.mp3

something dark is coming.mp3
are you sure you're a priest?.mp3
the gods don't answer prayers.mp3
thanks for the pep talk.mp3
the press is getting it right for a change.mp3
I don't have a secret desire to kill myself.mp3
a world that can support human life.mp3
you are a genius.mp3
give up on Earth?.mp3
you think you're a Cylon.mp3
how do you know I'm human?.mp3
the gods lift up those who lift each other.mp3
why don't you go frak yourself?.mp3

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