Battlestar Galactica
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Nein Kampf

Gina breathes in. Takes in air. Chokes it out again: "Stay." He turns, parts of his body flipping around on him faster than others, and she steels herself. Slowly, she unbuttons her shirt, shivering in this. At the door he watches, unbelieving. Her shudders are audible. Her back is so thin, still, covered in scars. She stands, locks eyes with him as she crosses the quarters to her bedroom. In the shadows, she unzips her slacks. Looking at her back, he begins to undress, heated. She's a robot. She's a Cylon. She's the enemy. She's the ghost of the woman he loved. She takes her time. He didn't know she was a Cylon when he loved her before. Didn't know she wasn't alive. This is a memory of a fantasy; sex with the Devil himself. Gina reaches for Baltar's hand as their song begins to play. She does not smile, only looks into his eyes, full of longing and pain and love. She reaches out to touch him, leans in to kiss him. This is the first time, for both of them.

We cut back and forth from Cloud 9 to Colonial One, where Gaius takes on the mantle of the head of humanity even as he engages physically with humanity's destroyer. There's a priest on Colonial One, wearing ridiculous vestments and unfurling a scroll. Gaius repeats after him: "I, Gaius Baltar, do now avow and affirm." Baltar and Gina kiss, in the shadows, in slow motion; his hands across her scarred back. "That I take the office of the President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, without any moral reservation or mental evasion." In the small crowd, Laura looks away. On Cloud 9, Gina cries as Baltar lays her down, kissing her. "That I will protect and defend the articles of Colonization with every fiber of my being." There's a heavily-encoded moment where he takes on the body politic, and that of its enemy, in the same moment; she kisses his neck; the priest congratulates Baltar as "Mr. President." There is applause. I never really felt like I entirely got Gaius until now -- maybe I was too scared to think about it -- but I don't think he knows the difference. He finally got Gina, finally got the Presidency. Finally got Laura, and Adama. Kara, Lee, Natasi. He doesn't know the difference. We're all equally fucked, and we all equally hate it, all shudder at his touch. And that's the last thing on his mind. Gaius Baltar wins.

Gina sits naked before an open suitcase, listening to the radio, to the beeping of her bomb. It's over. Baltar thanks the public, the Colonies, "with humility and gratitude." He begs them all to quiet down for one more sign of his magnanimity. "And now," he says with a flourish, "because it was the first will of the people, I'm going to sign my first executive order." Laura and Adama drop their eyes as he signs it. "...Requiring the Fleet to immediately establish settlements on the planet we have come to know as...New Caprica!" Gina weeps, and we come around, seeing the bomb for the first time, beeping, its red eye blinking. Adama steps forward, and Gaius stands a little straighter: "You have your orders." The beeping and the drums cross, build, and we see Cloud 9 floating, exploding, taking out nearby ships. Shrapnel hits our camera, which swings around on its axis, and there is static. The show's over, the camera breaks before our eyes. The show we've been watching for two seasons and a miniseries? That's over.

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Battlestar Galactica




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