|"Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II"|
Part 2 Edit
After an 18-hour standoff on Caprica with the Cylons, Starbuck's rescue team finds that their enemy has completely withdrawn.
At the fleet, Cally is recovering from her beating by Chief Tyrol. Tyrol apologizes to Cally who forgives him and reveals that she has feelings for him. Roslin secretly meets with Baltar and asks that he table his idea for settling the planet he calls "New Caprica" until after the election. Baltar refuses, to Roslin's dismay. She then confronts him about seeing him on Caprica with the blond Cylon woman, recalling her deathbed vision. Though visibly shaken by Laura's accusation, Baltar knows she has no proof and deflects her questioning.
When Starbuck's rescue team returns to Galactica, an alarmed Chief Tyrol notices a copy of Brother Cavil among the rescued Caprican survivors and alerts security. The man admits to being a Cylon and is taken to the brig along with Sharon Agathon, who knew Cavil was a Cylon agent and didn't warn them. Sharon later explains to Helo that she didn't warn them because she believes Adama killed her baby and that she no longer cares what happens to her.
Starbuck and Anders get reacquainted in a bunk room. Commander Apollo enters to introduce himself to Anders, but a drunken Starbuck barely acknowledges Apollo's presence and makes crude remarks about his new relationship with Petty Officer Dualla.
Roslin meets with the Cylon man who is joined in the brig by his sarcastic twin, Brother Cavil. The Cylon man brings the message that two Cylon "heroes" (a Number Six and Number Eight who they identify as the resurrected Boomer), have convinced the rest of the Cylons that the attack on the Colonies, along with the pursuit of the fleet, were errors. They state that the Cylons need to find their own unique path to enlightenment and have decided to offer humanity a "reprieve". Roslin and Adama are skeptical and Roslin orders they be vented into space.
On election day, Baltar has a 5,000 vote lead over Roslin until the final batch of votes from the Zephyr are counted. Roslin wins the election against all predictions. Lt. Gaeta, who was in charge of the ballot counting, spots a major irregularity with the Zephyr's ballot papers and reports the matter to Col. Tigh. The truth is that Tigh himself, in collusion with Dualla and Tory Foster (Roslin's campaign assistant), has rigged the election in favor of Roslin. Gaeta takes the matter directly to Admiral Adama.
Adama confronts Roslin who admits she knew that Foster was planning to rig the vote. She stresses that Baltar cannot become President because he is working for the Cylons, explaining to Adama what she saw back on Caprica. He is shocked at her claims and though he has no wish to see Baltar as President he insists the vote rigging was illegal and would eventually weigh heavily on her conscience.
Roslin reluctantly cedes the victory to Baltar. Adama explains to Baltar that the original vote count was a "tabulating error". Baltar knows this isn't true but decides to let the matter rest and orders Adama to take the fleet to New Caprica.
Baltar later meets with Gina and tells her they can live together at the new settlement, but she says she isn't going. Baltar goes to Colonial One to be sworn in as President. Gina sets off the nuclear warhead that Baltar gave her terrorist group. The detonation destroys Cloud Nine and a few other ships caught within the blast radius.
The next scene opens one year later where the people of the fleet have settled "New Caprica City". Above New Caprica, the remaining larger ships orbit with only skeleton crews. These include Galactica where Admiral Adama is now assisted by Helo, and Pegasus, where Commander Apollo is now assisted by Dualla. The battlestars are no longer being maintained in combat-ready condition.
President Baltar has turned Colonial One into a messy bachelor pad. Gaeta works diligently as his aide, though Baltar largely ignores him. Laura Roslin has returned to teaching and works inside a makeshift school assisted by Maya. Tyrol is now the leader of a disgruntled worker union denouncing the deplorable conditions the people face under President Baltar. At his side is a pregnant Cally.
Anders, now married to Starbuck, is currently bedridden with pneumonia. Dr. Cottle has no more antibiotics left to give him, but Tigh tells Starbuck that Apollo has antibiotics stored away as a medical reserve on Pegasus for his pilots. Starbuck reluctantly calls Apollo, but neither seem to wish to talk to each other. Before Apollo can respond to Starbuck's request, a fleet of Cylon ships suddenly jumps in. Admiral Adama is reluctant to abandon those on New Caprica but Apollo, knowing that they are outmatched, convinces him to jump away, leaving New Caprica undefended.
Gaeta rushes to inform President Baltar that the Cylons have appeared and that the fleet has jumped away. The Cylons fly over New Caprica in force and proceed to occupy the human settlement. The Cylon Leoben Conoy searches for Starbuck but finds only the bedridden Anders.
President Baltar meets with the Cylons who insist they will not attack unless the humans resist. They explain that New Caprica was found by accident when they detected, from over a light-year away, the signature of the nuclear explosion which destroyed Cloud Nine. With no other option, President Baltar surrenders to the Cylons on behalf of the people of New Caprica. Meanwhile, Starbuck, Tigh, Tyrol, Cally and others watch as Cylon Centurions march through the New Caprica settlement, and vow to resist.