Battlestar Galactica: Season 2, Episode 20

Lay Down Your Burdens: Part 2 (10 Mar. 2006)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
8.3
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The group on Caprica is under fire by the Cylons, but suddenly they stop. With only one ship's votes to be counted, Roslin is way behind in the elections.

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Title: Lay Down Your Burdens: Part 2 (10 Mar 2006)

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Storyline

The identity of a new Cylon is revealed when the Cylons leave the Colonies and announce they want to live in peace with humans. Meanwhile, Laura Roslin is afraid of Baltar's increasing popularity since he proposed to settle down in the new, but hostile, planet which has been discovered by the Fleet. Written by Anonymous

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10 March 2006 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Opening credits say there are 49,550 human survivors. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the prayer for President Roslin in the opening sequence, Cavil says "Amen" instead of "So Say We All". See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Chief Petty Officer Tyrol: What do you want to do now, Captain?
Lt. Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace: The same thing we always do. Fight 'em until we can't.
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Connections

Referenced in Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (2009) See more »

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Main Title Theme
Written by Richard Gibbs
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User Reviews

Season 2: Improvements in writing, delivery, performances and presentation make it an engaging and adult sci-fi
1 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Recently I have been practising coming to parties late, by which I mean that I am giving TV shows a try long after everyone else in the world decided they are very good. 30 Rock is of course one but when it came to Battlestar Galatica I did come with a certain amount of hesitancy. Season 1 turned out to be better than the pilot had made me expect when I watched it, but it was only a solid affair and not quite as good as the hype had suggested it would be. It had potential for sure but it seemed to be a bit obvious in how it did things and perhaps not be as complex and thoughtful as it would like to have been. Anyway, while not brilliant, season 1 was good enough for me to come back for more in season 2.

The thing that is most evident about season 2 is the improvement in the writing. Where before themes were delivered in blocks and in rather obvious way, the same moral and political issues are handled with a little bit more in the way of subtlety and, more importantly, they are written across the characters and the situations, rather than just being written into them. What this means in terms of the show is that it has a much darker edge because the things that were "slightly missed potential" in season 1 are now being delivered upon in a reasonably effective way. Let me stress here that season 2 didn't make this show into The Wire but I will admit that I can see why critics calls it "sci-fi for people who consider themselves above watching sci-fi".

The plots are stronger as well, with some very strong episodes and two-parters. At times the narrative feels like things are made out of convenience (ie characters suddenly being important but written out in the same show, new Cylons appearing for dramatic purposes etc) but they do still work. The sci-fi action benefits from this as well, feeling less like it is being done to get viewers and more because it is part of the story (which of course it is). I like the direction of all the in-space action (even if I can understand why some do not like the way the camera moves) but it is the more general delivery that has improved. Episodes being fragmented in terms of time, episodes delivered in different ways and with different focal points and just generally an improved sense of style and presentation – all these make it feel more interesting and more "worthy" of attention.

The acting is not stellar but an improvement is evident across the board from season 1. This may well be helped by the overall improvements in content and delivery but it still shows. McDonnell and Callis benefit from having better material generally while Olmos remains a solid centre to the show. Helfer is good but the more "complex" material given to her does show her range a little bit – she is not bad but she doesn't quite convince when asked to do more than normal. Contrasting with her, Park continues to be able to deliver the goods and I continue to like her performance. Hogan is best early in the season but is solid even later on. Bamber and Sackhoff are both improved with the better material while the supporting turns are also better from the likes of Douglas, Penikett, McClure and others.

Battlestar Galatica isn't perfect but it manages to be enjoyable as a sci-fi but also have plots and characters that are engagingly dark and complex (even if not quite as deep or complex as the delivery and presentation makes them feel). Still, season 2 is a tangible step-up on season 1 across the board and I hope it can maintain and build on this for the remaining seasons.


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