Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S02E19 – Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I

In the nineteenth episode of the second season of Battlestar Galactica, presidential elections are underway, and the discovery of a possible habitable planet swings the campaigning into chaos. Also HOLY SHIT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.

Look, I even knew that this episode was the first of two parts BECAUSE IT IS IN THE TITLE, and I still yelled at the screen when it cut to black and said, “To be continued…” That is how engrossed I was by the first half of season two’s finale. I was wholly unaware that forty-odd minutes had passed.

Ronald Moore weaves three inter-connected stories throughout this specific episode, choosing to focus on the rescue mission on Caprica, the upcoming presidential election, and the mental breakdown of Chief Tyrol. For organization’s sake, LET US ALSO DIVIDE THINGS AS SUCH.

CHIEF TYROL WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING

Tyrol’s sassy gay friend comes in the form of the mysterious Brother Cavil, a “priest” who sure has a lot to say about the pointlessness of prayer. Tyrol needs this man because “Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I” opens with one of the most uncomfortable scenes in the whole goddamn series: Tyrol being woken up from a nightmare by Cally, and then beating her face in whilst in a trance of rage and confusion. And you know, the violence is disturbing to an extent, but I was more bothered by the fact that after the beating, we don’t see Cally at all. It is possible she’ll be in Part II, but the beating becomes all about Tyrol and we don’t see the ramifications of his actions. Yet. Plus, I really want a Cally-centric story, and soon. THANKS, SHOW.

But anyway, can I just have Brother Cavil hang around me all the time? Obviously, what intrigues Tyrol and then us is the fact that he’s so abrasive as a priest. He tells Tyrol that prayer is a waste of energy, and begins getting to the source of the Chief’s anxiety: a reoccurring nightmare of him committing suicide on the hangar deck. How does Cavil know that Tyrol’s lying? I suppose it is pretty obvious, but something about this priest is a bit fishy, but I can’t quite put my finger on what doesn’t match up.

Still, I suppose that it doesn’t matter, because Cavil helps Tyrol realize why he’s feeling this way. Frankly put, Tyrol actually wants to commit suicide. In a haunting parallel to the finale of season one, Tyrol has developed the same sense of foreboding guilt that plagued Boomer, who believed she was a Cylon but wasn’t quite sure about it. Tyrol believes himself to be one as well. He is plagued by the sensation that something awful is coming, and that this unknown, terrible thing will be caused by his own hands. Is he a Cylon who is secretly programmed to be “activated” far into the future? Is his existence a longer can than Boomer’s? Even that concept intrigues me, and I would love to see another episode like “Downloaded” that gives us insight into this. How exactly was Boomer’s past created, and was she merely programmed to believe it was real? How is that history verified? Wouldn’t other people have to have known her at one point?

I don’t necessarily like the idea that Tyrol might be a Cylon, but it wouldn’t exactly be something that would come out of right field. But Cavil assures Tyrol that he’s not a Cylon with some well-timed sarcasm, and tells him he needs to return to his crew. His message here is so striking to me: this crew is the only family he has, and even if he has fucked up terribly, avoiding them is not going to make it better. They love him, and the best he can do for them is to face what he did and go back to them, especially Cally. Though I care more about how Cally feels about this now than Tyrol, but I am intrigued to see where this goes.

PRESIDENTS AND SHIT

Holy awkward. I mean, Roslin’s own Vice President is running against her. It appears that Baltar is not going to resign from his position in the interim, so that just means Awful 24/7. It also doesn’t help that Baltar has chosen Tom Zarek as his campaign manager. I love any chance to see more of Zarek, of course! BUT SERIOUSLY. Roslin! Look at your competitor!

Thankfully (at first), Roslin absolutely crushes Baltar in their first public debate. Part of me wished to see this, but I understand why we skipped out on it. I agree that it was much more fascinating to see both candidates with their managers before the debate itself. Baltar, with Zarek, is giving in to the panic he rightly deserves to feel. He’s declared his candidacy without any solid platform and is hoping to ride out on the coattails of popularity. On top of that, he’s inexperienced. And that’s more important than he thinks! Even if Roslin has never run for president before, we see her rehearsal techniques as she prepares for the debate in Adama’s quarters. (I AM GOING TO IMAGINE ROMANTIC THINGS HAPPENING THERE BEFORE THE CAMERA SHOWED UP. DO NOT JUDGE ME.)

I know that most of “Lay Down Your Burdens” is all DOOM and GLOOM, and it’s why the Roslin giggle fit is just so perfect. Obviously, I ship Roslin/Adama harder than any ship in the history of ships, but it’s such a great contrast to the stress of the situation, and it feels so natural between them. I think that’s why I enjoy their relationship and the small moments between them. They don’t force things, and they can share these things with one another, and it just feels right.

So I’m feeling pretty darn smug about Roslin winning the election, thinking that this finale is all going to be about Baltar realizing that this is not the path for him, and why am I doing that thing where I have hope again? Silly Mark, haven’t you learned by now not to do this? Because of an error in navigational coordinates, Racetrack’s Raptor ends up accidentally discovering a habitable planet. Oh, this finale was specifically made for me, wasn’t it? Season-long parallels, haunted by inner demons, emotional rescue missions, shocking plot twists….SERIOUSLY. ARE YOU IN MY HEAD, RONALD MOORE?

And with that discovery, the elections change dramatically. Suddenly, Zarek and Six help Baltar realize he has a campaign focus. Even if the planet they’ve found is only livable around a certain geographical location on the equator, effectively rendering about 80% of it inhabitable, Zarek and Six find a way to make it work, and it’s a doozy. Brilliantly so, Zarek suggests that Baltar run on the idea that they should seek permanent settlement on this unnamed planet.

At first glance, I reacted in an identical manner as Roslin, though I laughed out loud. Seriously??? I thought. Who would want to settle on a planet that isn’t entirely welcoming to humans, so soon after the last Cylon attack? NO ONE WILL SUPPORT THIS!

Oh, how wrong I was. Once you think about it, it’s not even that it becomes a better idea than before. (If anything, it becomes worse. Seriously, it’s a terrible idea.) But it is appealing. It’s appealing to people who have spent month after month on board ships, in confined spaces, sleeping in bunks, and surround by metal and steel. It’s appealing to people who are tired, tired of being tired, tired of fear, and tired of the extended cat-and-mouse game that is the Cylons. And I love that the episode essentially paints Roslin as being right about her intuition, giving us reasons why this plan makes no sense, but then showing us that this is an election. That does not matter. The message is more important than the substance, and during the final debate, which ISN’T EVEN A LANDSLIDE WIN FOR ANYBODY, it seems that Baltar’s message of “hope,” however misguided it might be, is winning.

Seriously, Baltar’s not going to win, is he?

STARBUCK IS A BOSS

FINALLY, Starbuck gets the approval of Admiral Adama to run a rescue mission to Caprica in order to save the rebels who were stranded there. What better time than a season finale? That only means shit will get real. But it’s a matter of which of these three story lines is going to explode into chaos, isn’t it? Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t expect any of them to end well. This is Battlestar Galactica I’m talking about!

My guess is that the season-ending cliffhanger will be the worst for Starbuck because her story has the most variables that could go absolutely and horribly wrong. Her mission to return to Caprica is ruthlessly complicated, risky, and dangerous to an absurd degree. Even before Sharon is brought into the room, you can see the look of absolute NOPE NOT GONNA on every pilot’s face. And did I believe for a second that anyone would face the scorn of turning down an official mission and walk out of that room?

Ten FTL jumps right into the atmosphere of Caprica seemed bad enough, but the pilots look like they’re about a second away from a riot at any given time when Starbuck reveals her secret weapon: Sharon is going to hook herself up directly to the Heavy Raider through a fiber optic cable in her arm (like in “Flight of the Phoenix”) in order to make the ten jumps successfully. So everyone will have to trust a Cylon in order to do this safely. Look, I’ll just say it: IF SHE DOES THIS, WILL YOU FINALLY TRUST THAT SHE IS ON YOUR SIDE? I don’t know what else it’s going to take. Granted, both Admiral Adama and Starbuck have opened up to the possibility that they’re wrong about Cylons, specifically Sharon. But she has genuinely saved them all! Multiple times! WHY AM I YELLING AT FICTIONAL CHARACTERS!

Perhaps it’s because there’s no story here that fills me with more anxiety than this. Lee is not quick to offer a ton of positive moral support to Starbuck. Look, save your conflicted feelings for later and just tell her that she will be fine and awesome and everything will work out. THEN MAKE OUT WITH HER. Er….okay, WHATEVER. And then! AND THEN! In a unsettling parallel to Tyrol’s moral crisis, Sharon, who is still absolutely gutted by the loss of her daughter, makes a strange statement to Helo: something bad is going to happen. Not on Caprica, but something else.

WTF WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME. YOU KNOW I’M GOING TO BELIEVE IT. Oh good lord, this is not going to end well. It doesn’t even start well for Starbuck. Even though we know that Racetrack getting lost is actually a positive for the fleet, Starbuck believes otherwise. They’ve set out with a mistake. But it seems everything is fine when they don’t lose anyone nine jumps later. However, even that falls apart: one of the Raptors jumped into the middle of a goddamn mountain. You in danger, Starbuck.

I think my biggest fear going into this was that Starbuck wouldn’t get to see Anders again, so I expected each development to end in tragedy. Movement in the forest on Caprica? It’s Cylons, who have killed all the humans. Okay, so the humans survived, and Helo calls out for Anders. I expected them to say he died. Oh, wait, he’s alive? Then as he and Starbuck rush to meet one another, he gets shot and killed.

BUT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN THAT WAY! Holy shit, they actually get to have a reunion! And it’s just as cute and touching as I hoped! Oh god, this is actually quite wonderful!

WHAT THE SHIT THERE ARE BOMBS EVERYWHERE AND PEOPLE ARE GETTING SHOT AND WHAT THE HOLY FUCK IS GOING ON OH MY GOD CYLONS ARE HERE AND THEY CAN’T ESCAPE AND THEN 

…to be continued

OH, FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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98 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S02E19 – Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I

  1. I Hope Other People Find These Old LJ Posts As Interesting and Amusing As I Do

    Things are blowing up!! I like when things blow up! But let's start at the beginning.

    So, so goddamn tired of the fake previouslies. Guess Lee did have a talk with Dualla about going to Pegasus. And did that Starbuck/Roslin talk ever happen? I don't remember it. It really bugs me that Starbuck's quest to return to Caprica has taken place almost entirely in the previouslies. And why didn't they show a previously that explained where they got the heavy Raider from? That's something I honestly needed reminding about!

    Some very strange music in the teaser. I don't think Bear is very successful when he steps outside his normal style; it never seems to fit for the show.

    Hey, look, it's Racetrack! We were just talking about how hot she was the other day. Good to see her again.

    The Chief scenes were…damn. Very scary, all Saving Private Ryan-like, and I was afraid he was going to kill Cally. And I was afraid they were going to make him a Cylon, which, no!

    Dean Stockwell was awesome. I think he was the funniest character the show has ever had, not counting the Baltar/Six Comedy Duo. "Maybe because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings." I like that he was very much able to cut through the bullshit, which is what these characters need to do. A lot.

    Chief's "I think I'm a Cylon" plotline would have worked better if it were, I don't know, an actual plotline and not something almost completely out of the blue. It feels somewhat more organic than Apollo's random death wish, since he's had a tough fucking time since Pegasus, but Boomer's "I think I'm a Cylon" plotline took an entire season. Because it was important. Is this supposed to be important? Or is it just to give the Chief something to do? This is the same criticism that's been leveled against the show time and time again this season: the show's taking us places without having earned it.

    Racetrack's dialogue when they found the new planet was painful. What the hell, Ron? You didn't think we'd realize that if the planet were habitable, they'd want to settle down on it? What I don't get is why they didn't assume it was Earth. Like, do any of them know what Earth looks like? How are they supposed to recognize it? Do they think there's going to be a big sign?

    Ooh, Baltar vs. Roslin. I especially enjoyed that last debate, when Baltar pulled out the "Dubyan culture of fear" card, which is exactly what Tory had warned against. And I cracked up when Roslin told Baltar to go frak himself. The woman is cracking. It's kind of sad. I miss the old Roslin.

    Shut up, Lee's photograph in Dee's locker.

    R.I.P. Raptor 612. I'd always wondered whether jumping into a solid was a hazard of that sort of space travel, and it turns out…yes. That's got to suck. I wonder how that works, really. Because you can jump through space since it's a vacuum: you are all the matter there is. But if you jump into a mountain, your atoms are trying to occupy the same space as the mountain's atoms. If you displace the mountain's atoms…where do they go? If the mountain's atoms simply disallow you to exist…where do you go?

    I will admit I liked seeing Starbuck and Anders reunited. That was cute. Samuel T. Anders is such a stupid name. Kara Thrace is such a cool name.

    Things are blowing up!! I like when things blow up!

    All in all, I was expecting a little more awesomeness, but I'm guessing they're saving it all for next week. This week felt like a whole lot of setup. I hope the payoff kicks a lot of ass.

    • cait0716 says:

      I miss the old Roslin, too. I don't think her near-death experience was good for her

      Don't they know what the stars look like from Earth. They identified a nebula earlier this season that I thought they were plotting a course for. I just sort of assumed that was continuing to happen off screen since it's not really a source of compelling drama. "We're heading for the nebula. Still heading for the nebula. And still going in that direction. It's really far." But why didn't Roslin bring that up during the debates?

    • echinodermata says:

      "Is this supposed to be important? Or is it just to give the Chief something to do? This is the same criticism that's been leveled against the show time and time again this season: the show's taking us places without having earned it."

      I like this summation.

    • monkeybutter says:

      If you displace the mountain's atoms…where do they go? If the mountain's atoms simply disallow you to exist…where do you go?

      Into nothing, that is to say, everything? No really, now I'm curious.

      Maybe I should start paying attention to the previouslies if they're packed with new information.

    • shoroko says:

      I wonder how that works, really. Because you can jump through space since it's a vacuum: you are all the matter there is. But if you jump into a mountain, your atoms are trying to occupy the same space as the mountain's atoms. If you displace the mountain's atoms…where do they go? If the mountain's atoms simply disallow you to exist…where do you go?

      I spent a lot of time last night thinking about this. But it's really not a particularly pleasant thing to ponder, because my brain always seems to come back to "really, really squished."

    • notemily says:

      Shut up, Lee's photograph in Dee's locker.

      The answer is yes. These LJ posts are extremely amusing. πŸ˜€

      And I agree with your general complaint about the show taking us places without earning it. Jamming a scene in the previousLIES is most definitely not an organic way to tell a story.

      I tried to wonder what had happened to Raptor 612, but then my brain hurt.

    • tethysdust says:

      I thought the thing with Tyrol thinking he might be a Cylon was just showing how badly he was affected by Sharon. Sharon's plotline took so long because she had actual reasons to believe she was a Cylon– she was blacking out, possibly causing accidents, etc– and she was slowly being forced to accept it.

      I think Tyrol is freaking out over the thought that anyone could be a Cylon and not know it. The girl he was in love with turned out to be one. They were together for who knows how long and neither of them suspected until near the end. So I would say Tyrol's "I might be a Cylon" plotline is less of a complex story and more just paranoia brought on by the discovery of Sharon's identity.

      So, I guess, I don't think it's particularly important, except in terms of Tyrol's character and how he was affected by Sharon, but I don't think it's out of the blue. Of course, if he actually is a Cylon, I stand corrected.

  2. echinodermata says:

    I like Cavil's snark. Not saying it makes for a good priest (granted, it could; what do I know about it?), but he amuses me.

    And Roslin's nervousness was cute.
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/261kz04.gif&quot; alt="gif of Roslin breaking a pencil">
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/4hfh9e.gif&quot; alt="gif of Roslin laughing and clutching Adama's arm">

    And I might as well share this: I originally got through around 2.5 seasons of BSG when it was airing and never finished, so earlier this year I rewatched from the beginning and watched anew all the stuff I hadn't seen so that I could follow MWBSG knowing all the spoilers and stuff. As I was rewatching earlier this year, I noted that "[t]his ep just makes me think about how hilarious the U.S. Republican primaries should be." Now that they're actually happening, ohgodwhy Ihatemyself etc. Fucking politics: funny and entertaining until you have to live with it.

    • core013 says:

      the giggling fit is one of my favorite things ever. i've just been sitting here watching the gif for way too long.

  3. monkeybutter says:

    "In my opinion, people vote their hopes and not their fears."

    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/bivx43.jpg"&gt;
    I have immense sympathy for Roslin and her giggle fit. I get an uncontrolable urge to laugh when I'm nervous, and it's so frustrating. I don't agree with all of her decisions, and she has to understand that people want a break from the tedium of the fleet, but god I hope she beats Baltar.

    Tyrol, wtf. I don't understand why he suddenly thinks he's a Cylon, though wasn't he getting pretty touchy-feely with one of his ships a few episodes ago? I thought it was a mechanic thing, not a Cylon thing, but whatever. Get better, Chief. Though I am filled with worry for him, because I can think of two other occasions of one-on-one conversations with Cylons across a table (or around one), and I'm worried it's a repeated theme. Please let it be the random chaplain guy.

    I'm happy for Starbuck and Anders, but still devastated for Sharon. And I really, really hope the lost ships aren't her doing. And screw the assholes giving Helo and Sharon nasty looks on the Raptor.

    • notemily says:

      What episode of Colbert is that from? One of the Branson ones?

      • monkeybutter says:

        Oh jeez, I haven't a clue. I don't think it's Branson just because the suit jacket doesn't look like something he'd wear. The best I can tell based on the painting is that it's from the 2nd year.

  4. cait0716 says:

    After all the times Boomer and Crashdown randomly discovered awesome stuff in the first season (water, tylium, Kobol), it's nice that someone else gets a chance to shine. When I was watching that scene, I got a bit distracted by Crashdown. I couldn't remember where he was and was looking for him among the people who went back to Caprica before I remembered that he died. Damn you, show.

  5. elusivebreath says:

    Hahahhaha, Mark, your reaction at the end is PERFECT. I had no idea this episode was a two-parter because I don't pay attention to the names of the episodes lol. I was on the edge of my seat freaking out about the Cylons and then BAM "To be continued…" I think my exact words were ARE YOU FRAKKIN KIDDING ME?

    In other news, I have to say that I am starting to like Baltar more. Which is weird because he's sort of becoming more of a dick, but idk, I just *like* him. I'm also starting to like Roslin less, even if I understand why she has made the choices she has. My emotions, they are easily manipulated.

    So my daughter and I were noticing last night that there hasn't been any good male-Cylon-centric storylines so far. We have lots of stuff with the Sixes, the Sharons, and the Xenas (love you forever Lucy Lawless), but not much with the guys. Not to say there hasn't been *any* but not as much as I'd like, I guess? But there's lots of time left, so we'll see!

    • hamnoo says:

      What about Flesh and Bone with Leoben in season 1?

      • elusivebreath says:

        That's the one I was thinking of when I said that we had *some*, but I was thinking more of full storylines, like the Sixes and Sharons. Although, who knows, maybe we are getting some but we just don't know it yet lol!!

  6. knut_knut says:

    OHGODOHGODOHGOD THIS EPISODE. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN? This was seriously the fastest episode ever. I thought 15 minutes had passed and then TO BE CONTINUED popped up on screen. A;DFKJASFKJASD;FKJAS;DKFJASDFLKJ I looked like one of those ridiculous rage FUUUU cartoons. WILL. HOLDOUT. UNTIL. MONDAY.

    BUT EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE! CALLY (that was INCREDIBLY difficult to watch) πŸ™ SHARON πŸ™ TYROL πŸ™ STARBUCK AND ANDERS FINALLY REUNITED ONLY TO BE BLOWN INTO SMITHEREENS πŸ™ AND WHAT IS BALTAR’S MASTER PLAN? DOES HE EVEN HAVE A PLAN? WILL HE BE A TERRIBLE PRESIDENT AND INADVERTENTLY KILL EVERYONE? I DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE. This episode was so exciting I COMPLETELY missed the fact that the planet they found was NOT Earth and spent the majority of the episode extremely confused. WHY WON’T THEY INHABIT EARTH? Right, because it’s NOT Earth -_- And I also didn’t even remember Lee being in the episode until you pointed it out. I CAN’T HANDLE THIS SHOW

    • monkeybutter says:

      I was hoping they had accidentally found Earth, only to have my hopes dashed! You're right, this episode went by really quickly, and so many things happened. I really like it! Why are two-parters always split up over the weekend?!

  7. NB2000 says:

    So many paralells to Kobol's Last Gleaming I, the montage opening (has there been one in the interim? I don't remember off the top of my head) and Kara calling Adama from her ship before leaving for Caprica stand out most to me. Does put "All of this has happened before" in my head though.

    Bill and Laura's giggle fit is adorable and just shows how far they've come since last season. They're being friendly and supporting each other and JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY!

    Grace Park needs all the awards, poor Sharon just looks so defeated throughout the episode. The moment where she asks Starbuck if she can leave the briefing already always gets to me. She and Helo reaffirming their love in the Raptor…with a small audience of marines is really sweet, I love these guys so much. I do have to facepalm at Helo just up and asking if Anders is in the other group. Because there's no way the other group could lie to get you to walk out and get shot.

    I want to get caught up in the goodbye scene between Lee and Kara but WTF is going on with the framing on that scene? The dutch angles and having them be slightly off-center in the midshots, it's not the way the show is usually done and feels SO out of place that it rips me right out of the scene.

    Kudos to Richard Hatch for not reacting when Six leans on him.

    • cait0716 says:

      Does put "All of this has happened before" in my head though.

      You just blew my mind

      I got the impression that asking for Anders was intended more as a "we're trustworthy" statement than a "are you trustworthy?" one. The response, asking for Kara Thrace is how the other group proves who they are. It's like one of those spy codes from a Bond movie, but without the script.

  8. Noybusiness says:

    "Wouldn’t other people have to have known her at one point?"

    Um, remember, Boomer's entire background vanished in a mysterious accident. The only people who knew her would be in the fleet academy and afterward, and while she had photos of her folks in "Downloaded", the explosion makes it impossible to verify they existed.

  9. echinodermata says:

    Gif choice is perfection.

  10. Oh yes, we called them previousLIES. It's where Lee and Dualla's relationship takes place!

  11. Ryan Lohner says:

    Just like Helo, Anders was going to be left on Caprica and never heard from again. Then Katee Sackhoff asked if she could have a regular love interest, so they threw in the scene in The Farm where Starbuck promises to come back, and the rest is history.

  12. chichichimaera says:

    Join usssssssssssssssssssss.

  13. cait0716 says:

    Well technically there's way more empty space than anything else, even in the densest rock. So I figure that the intense collision forced all the bonds to break and the atoms of the ship/people got squished up between all of atoms in the rock. And in a few centuries there will be a confused geologist wondering why this bit of rock is so much denser and contains more carbon than the surrounding rock.

  14. monkeybutter says:

    That actually makes me really sad for Lee and Dualla.

  15. NB2000 says:

    My work here is done.

    It still seems like a really risky code, especially when you compare it to something like Crashdown and Tyrol's flash/thunder business on Kobol. Admittedly there probably wasn't time for them to set up a password system before Kara, Helo and Sharon left Caprica way back when but…I dunno where I'm going with this, it just makes me facepalm at Helo

  16. toneDef77 says:

    So, the review for "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II" goes up…Tuesday? Is that right? Doctor Who on Monday, then this on Tuesday? That's soooooo long to wait. Excuse me while I throw a tantrum over here.

    At least there won't be a long wait between that and the start of season 3. πŸ˜€ Do we get a day of only season 3 predictions on Wednesday?

  17. cait0716 says:

    Yeah, Kara and Helo probably should have thought that one through before leaving the planet.

  18. Noybusiness says:

    She's the trope namer for "Mining Accident on Troy" on TV Tropes Wiki (which I proposed). Interestingly, there are real-life examples of this trope. For instance: "The non-fiction book KGB: The Hidden Hand mentions how a KGB agent in the United States was ordered to get details on an orphanage that had just burnt down (thus destroying all records), presumably so it could be used to create fake 'legends' for later spies."

  19. Ryan Lohner says:

    So Mark, are you familiar with Dean Stockwell? It just seemed kind of odd that you never mentioned him by name. He's probably best known as Al in Quantum Leap, but he's had one of the longest careers in Hollywood, going all the way back to his childhood (I think you'd especially be invested in one of his earliest films, The Boy with Green Hair, which is all about small town resistance to someone different).

    • monkeybutter says:

      I just looked him up, and he was Nick and Nora's son in one of the Thin Man movies! It's so weird knowing that I've seen someone as a kid and an old man!

      • nanceoir says:

        You're a fan of the Thin Man movies? OMG I love those so much. There's little better than William Powell ans Myrna Loy snarking charmingly at each other.

        Dean Stockwell was also in the Gene Kelly-Frank Sinatra musical Anchors Aweigh, in which he's like the most adorable kid ever. I remember when I first saw it, I was kind of amazed that this little curly-haired cherubic kid grew up to be the kind of grizzled-looking Al.

        • monkeybutter says:

          Yes! My dad is a huge fan, so they were hard to avoid when I was a kid, haha. They're so much fun to watch, and I love Myrna Loy. And Asta. Especially Asta.

  20. knut_knut says:

    Lol that whole bit made me facepalm as well. I was bracing myself for Starbuck and co to get destroyed by Cylons pretending to be Anders, but then it actually was him! What are the odds of them running into him right off the bat, in a forest, on a planet occupied by Cylons instead of a couple of Cylons just going “UH…YES? WE HAVE ANDERS” -_-

  21. Clare says:

    Starbuck and Anders being together again was so lovely! it's always the thing I focus on first from this episode – partly because it's right at the end and partly because it was so genuinely lovely and happy in among all the shit becoming real!

  22. Karen says:

    I was more bothered by the fact that after the beating, we don’t see Cally at all. It is possible she’ll be in Part II, but the beating becomes all about Tyrol and we don’t see the ramifications of his actions. Yet. Plus, I really want a Cally-centric story, and soon. THANKS, SHOW.

    I was thinking the same thing. To me it had that uncomfortable feeling of violence against women for the sake of extra drama or the further development of male characters.

    BUT ANDERS AND STARBUCK ARE REUNITED. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL AND NOTHING HURTS.

  23. Crackers says:

    Lee is not quick to offer a ton of positive moral support to Starbuck.

    He actually did tell her he hopes she finds Anders, IIRC. Such a contrast to last season finale, when he was basically being an assole out of hurt and jealousy, this time he's trying to do the right thing and be a friend to her despite the fact that he's obviously hopelessly in love with her (and despite the fact that he has his own lovely girlfriend) and it STILL MAKES ME FEEL BAD FOR THEM BOTH.

    That last scene with them in his chambers? So pointlessly weighty *sadface*

  24. Crackers says:

    The writers basically wanted to throw in someone to be an obstacle to Hot Space Pilots, and Anders was it. I think they only kept him on because Katee Sackhoff and Michael Trucco basically got on like a house on fire, which is really cute – she, Tricia and Trucco are buddies even now.

    • Karen says:

      Kara and Anders have so much chemistry. GUH.Shipping it so hard.

      • Crackers says:

        Katee Sackhoff has chemistry with everyone. Fact. (I shipped Kara/Kat during their Scar face-offs. Just a little.)

        I'd totally ship Kara/Anders, if it weren't for Lee – I have a thing for their weird friends-and-everything-else-but-can't-deal relationship. Sometimes I feel like I'm totally alone in that.

        ETA: It really doesn't help that Anders is kind of a blank slate just now – he's a sweet hot guy who loves her, but at the moment there's really not much more to his character than that. And in a cast full of fairly well-written, well-developed characters (even the minor ones) it does stick out a bit.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I already loved the fact that Tricia and Katee are friends in real life, but it's a million times better now that I know Trucco is also their buddy. I have an irrational love for castmates who are friends in real life, and they all seem like they'd be awesome to hang out with.

      • Crackers says:

        The whole Battlestar cast (much like the Firefly cast, but more amazing here because there's like a million of them) were really close. They still are, by all accounts – Katee says she's still in touch with everyone from the BSG cast even two years later, though of course her bffs are Tricia and Trucco.

        It's not just Katee, apparently EJO and Mary really did become a bit of Mummy and Daddy to the young 'uns, Tahmoh lived in Jamie's LA place while Jamie was doing Law & Order: UK and he was doing Dollhouse, Jamie and James apparently still meet sometimes in London, and in Season 3, when the cast believed that one of them was getting fired from the show, Ron Moore reported that they very nearly had a mutiny on set because people were so upset to be losing that person – he and David Eick were apparently getting angry calls from the cast at 7 a.m because people were furious about it. That crew, they were tight.

        And have you checked out the little video Katee and Tricia recorded when they did a charity bike ride for the Gulf oil spill last year? I swear it's more fun than most things on tv.

        • monkeybutter says:

          God, every comment is making me love this cast even more. This is the second time I've seen that video mentioned, so I really should look for it.

          • Crackers says:

            Actually just check out any videos of them from conventions too – Katee's are always hilarious and she has a total potty mouth, but any of the entire cast/big chunks of it together are also worth a look, there are quite a few around (a good one I remember was the Paley Media Center festival).

            • monkeybutter says:

              It'll have to wait until after I'm done watching the series because of spoilers, but thanks for the suggestion! More Katee can only be a good thing.

  25. Crackers says:

    Yeah, the Cylons planted her on a transport from Troy, which was one of Aerilon's moons, on her way to the Fleet Academy. She was asleep on it, and by the time she woke up the entire moon was destroyed** and she'd been implanted with memories of her life before the transport (all, of course, totally fake).

    ** no coincidence, I'll bet.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Actually, Troy was a minor planet orbiting Helios Beta according to the map, whereas Aerlion orbits Helios Delta. But the slight accent Baltar recognized in Boomer would indicate Aerilonian settlers of Troy.

      Troy was only habitable under habitation domes, one of which collapsed.

  26. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Just gonna say this now – Roslin's giggle fit is absolutely freaking adorable and I ship her and Adama to the end of time.

    Can't say any more about this episode, since the urge to spoil is so high! Can't WAIT for Monday's review! Or maybe Tuesday, if there's a Doctor Who one?

  27. Maya says:

    I'm too afraid to say anything considering this is a two-parter, so I'll just leave another Bear McCreary video here.

    [youtube ugaJHgMw6ZE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugaJHgMw6ZE youtube]

    OH HEY DID YOU KNOW HE'S AWESOME? WELL HE IS.

  28. Maya says:

    Oh, and there was a mini-subplot where there's a scene where Racetrack gives Helo a longing look and he notices it but Sharon doesn't. This is because the actress who plays Racetrack read a fanfic where Helo and Racetrack had a thing, and decided to work an unrequited love into the character's backstory. She talked to the director and he was cool with her adding the bit in, but it eventually got cut.

    • Crackers says:

      Leah Cairns said she apparently based her initial extreme hostility to Helo right after he got back from Caprica on this – she read the fanfic (I really wish she'd said which fanfic), thought it would be a cool idea and after discussing it with the director and Tahmoh, had Racetrack be an extra-bitch to Helo because she'd had a thing for him earlier. So it's still the intended subtext, even if the schmoopy look didn't make it to final cut.

      I kind of love them for admitting to reading fanfic at all. Adorkable++++++

  29. sparadigm says:

    Didn't Starbuck know where Anders and the others were staying, though? They were probably in the right area when the two groups ran into each other.

    • knut_knut says:

      She did but it's been a while so something could have forced Anders' group to move. Also, Starbuck and co could have still run into Cylons on their way to the hideout

  30. lyvanna says:

    Lrnu, gur 'tb cnaguref' gung Funeba hfrf arkg frnfba jbexf orggre sbe zr.

  31. akacj18 says:

    ugh poor cally! first she's almost raped and killed by the prisoner in like, episode 3 or something, then she's crashed down on kobol and is almost killed multiple times. and now chief rips her face apart. GIRL CANNOT CATCH A BREAK!

  32. akacj18 says:

    i would not be opposed to cheating the daily schedule and posting part II today cause it's friday and that means no part II until monday. and i cant wait until then to see your reaction! YOU ARE SO UNPREPARED SHIT IS GOING TO GET SO REAL YOUR BRAIN IS GOING TO EXPLODE LIKE THE BOMBS AT THE END OF PART I.

  33. cjm62790 says:

    [youtube 4EQXEIoZrZE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EQXEIoZrZE youtube]

    Guys. This music. The best song EVER or the best song EVER? I could (and have) listen to this song all day. So frakking peaceful. ^_______^ Round of applause for Bear McCreary folks!

    • cjm62790 says:

      Oh wait. I should say something about the actual episode shouldn't I? Wait, there is more to Battlestar Galactica than amazing music? >>

    • Marie says:

      I discovered that song last night and became instantly obsessed – whyyyy doesn't canadian itunes sell the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack. It makes so sense and is stupid!

      But that song, seriously. It's nearly nine minutes long and doesn't even have a real hummable melody, but it's so calming and atmospheric and eerie. Just beautiful.

  34. BSGfan1 says:

    Oh I laughed and laughed at your F/U. Imagine real time watching. And throwing remotes and sundry things at the TV.
    This episode destroyed me. And yeah. Mark, you're still not remotely prepared.

  35. notemily says:

    OMG that's so sad.

  36. notemily says:

    These PreviousLIES are getting ridiculous.

    Yes, that's exactly what we should be doing with our scarce resources: printing up posters for Baltar.

    "Break preconceptions. Work with what you have." Am I the only one thinking of [spoilers for future project] Cerfvqrag Onegyrg'f yhpxl gvr?

    "I used to get the giggles before debate team in high school." Do you also have a debate team ring? CAN YOU PROPOSE TO ADAMA WITH IT??

    Poor Sharon. She just LOST HER BABY, I can't imagine how she must feel.

    Oh yeah, this is the one where CHIEF BEATS CALLY TO A PULP. [Lrg nabgure ernfba jul gurve yngre zneevntr znxrf ab tbqqnza frafr gb zr, naq vf gbgnyyl tebff.]

    CAVIL!! [Jbefg crefba gb trg eryvtvbhf pbhafryvat sebz RIRE, evtug?]

    "Are you… sure you're a priest?" Hee hee.

    "…and wait for the Hand of God to reach down and change my political fortunes." BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, GAIUS.

    [Spoilers: Vg whfg qnjarq ba zr gung PNIVY XABJF SHYY JRYY GLEBY VF N PLYBA. Ur'f gur BAYL BAR jub xabjf gurve snprf ng guvf cbvag, evtug?

    Vf guvf, vaqrrq, cneg bs Pnivy'f zvffvba gb fubj gur Svany Svir gung yvsr nf n uhzna fhpxf ernyyl onq? Orpnhfr ur npghnyyl unf n pnfr evtug abj, jvgu Gleby.]

    "You are a genius." "And?" ILU Baltar.

    Tom Zarek comes up with all the WORST ideas on this show, I swear. And the idea of deciding the future of humanity on the basis of what will score more political points… well, I guess that's what we do all the time, right? We suck.

    Look Chief, if you had to beat someone senseless, couldn't it have been Tom Zarek? I MEAN COME ON.

    I remember one of the things I liked about Jacob's recaps was his insistence that the idea of "laying down your burdens" is a fantasy, a pipe dream. That the burdens just keep coming, and we have to keep dealing with them. Which I think is a brilliantly explored theme of this show. [Naq bar ernfba jul V ungr gur qnza raqvat.]

    ["Uhzna orvatf qb greevoyr guvatf nyy gur gvzr." Zna, jngpuvat guvf rcvfbqr univat frra gur jubyr fubj vf IREL QVSSRERAG sebz jngpuvat vg gur svefg gvzr guebhtu.]

    Ha, do Cavil's hands do the drum sound to take them into the next scene? I see what you did there, show.

    "That's Toughguy and Carousel." TOUGH GUY and CAROUSEL?

    "They jumped inside the mountain." WAIT, YOU CAN DO THAT? D: D: D:

    I grinned SO HARD when Kara realized Anders is alive. LOVE THEM.

    Moar spoilers: [V whfg ernyvmrq fbzrguvat. Jura Pnivy fnlf "znlor orpnhfr V'z n Plyba, naq V unira'g frra lbh ng nal bs gur zrrgvatf," vg'f n pnyy-onpx gb Fvk, jub fnlf "V unira'g frra uvz ng nal bs gur Plyba cnegvrf" nobhg Qbeny va gur zvavfrevrf. OHG QBENY NPGHNYYL VF N PLYBA. NAQ FB VF PUVRS. BZT VG JNF EVTUG GURER GUR JUBYR GVZR.]

    Not a spoiler, just awesome: Apparently Leah Cairns, who plays Racetrack, read a fanfic someone wrote about Racetrack being in love with Helo, and Cairns decided to work that in to Racetrack's backstory. She apparently plays all her scenes as if she's attracted to Helo and jealous of Sharon. !!

    • NB2000 says:

      Am I the only one thinking of [spoilers for future project] Cerfvqrag Onegyrg'f yhpxl gvr?

      yby V unqa'g gubhtug bs gung, rira gubhtu V ybir nyy gung ohfvarff jvgu gur gvr.

      "That's Toughguy and Carousel." TOUGH GUY and CAROUSEL?

      They're clearly running out of ideas for callsigns.

    • akacj18 says:

      "[Spoilers: Vg whfg qnjarq ba zr gung PNIVY XABJF SHYY JRYY GLEBY VF N PLYBA. Ur'f gur BAYL BAR jub xabjf gurve snprf ng guvf cbvag, evtug?"

      npghnyyl, Tnynpgvpn Pnivyy qbrfa'g xabj ur'f n Plyba. Gleby frrf Pncevpn-Zvffvba Pnivyy trg bss gur encgbe naq vf yvxr PLYBA NYREG naq gura gurl oevat Tnynpgvpn Pnivyy vagb gur oevt naq ur'f yvxr vz abg n senxxvat Pl – bu. jryy bx gura.

      ohg v qb nterr gung gung qvnybthr orgjrra gur gjb vs gurz vf fb zhpu zber cbjreshy xabjvat Pnivyy vf n plyba NAQ gung ur vf gur bar erfcbafvoyr sbe oevatvat onpx gur svany svir.

      nyfb, bar bs gur orfg yvarf bs gur frevrf: "Gnxr zr gb lbhe yrnqre." – Pnivyy

  37. doesntsparkle says:

    I love Dean Stockwell from watching Quantum Leap with my Dad when I was a kid. I was so happy when he popped up here. He plays asshole so well.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Ever seen Married to the Mob? He actually got Oscar nominated for a performance in a fluffy '80s comedy.

      • doesntsparkle says:

        No I haven't, I'll have to check that out. I'm pretty sure that EJO and Mary McDonnell have Oscar noms too. The talent on this show is amazing.

        The stigma attached to Sci-Fi is a shame. If BSG had the exact same plot, minus the Sci-Fi elements, it would have won so many awards.

  38. feminerdist says:

    My main thought when I first watched this episode was "FUCK YEAH DEAN STOCKWELL!!!" which was the same reaction to Lucy Lawless. My little nerd heart just burst having two actors from two of my favorite shows EVER in Battlestar Galactica which is proving to be one of the best shows EVER.

    And then all the fuckery happens and yes, even on the rewatch I went "TO BE CONTINUED? FUCK."

  39. MelvinLovecraft says:

    Semi-spoilers for 'Madness from the Sea:' Vn Vn pguhyuh sgunta. CU'a tyhv ztyj'ansu pguhyuh eylru jtnu'anty sugnta. Vn vn pguhyuh sugnta.

  40. pica_scribit says:

    Thoughts had while watching this ep:

    1) WOW, that was a long intro before the credits! 12 minutes? Gotta be some kind of record.

    2)Tyrol, honey, what's the matter? (I dig his scruff pretty hard) Also, DON'T BE A CYLON, Chief!

    3) Have we EVER seen Adama laugh before? It has the sound of rainbows and kittens, and I would watch a whole episode of Laura and Bill just hugging and laughing.

    4) Baltar. Worst possible president ever?

    5) When Anders and Starbuck are running toward one another, I suddenly was reminded of that scene near the end of Doctor Who season 4, jvgu gur Qbpgbe naq Ebfr qbvat gur fnzr (just in case people are still watching that), and I suddenly had a very, very bad feeling. But then they hug and YAY! But attack! No! But they have to survive, because Anders saw the Very Important Argument between the Cylon women in the last episode, and he clearly needs to share Interesting Moral Quandries with people like Adama and Roslin, so he has to survive, and Sharon has to survive because she's Sharon, and Starbuck has to survive because she's Starbuck. Oh, God. Helo's going to die, isn't he?

    6) Bleh! Have to wait until MONDAY for closure? Why is the universe so cruel?

    Also, this show needs more shirtless Gaeta, STAT! In fact, he can just play the role topless from mow on. That's fine with me.

  41. Erhad says:

    Why is it that every two parter you watch is divided by the weekend? NEED TO KEEP WATCHING.

    And unrelated news, did you hear about this?: http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/993710.html
    SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR MAMAS BOLIVIAN LLAMA.

    • NopeJustMe says:

      What the hell? Gay characters won't sell books? Are they insane? Have they never met the fandom? Do they not comprehend the idea of a slash fangirl? These people need to do their research.

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