Eclipse Magazine has a review of Lay Down Your Burdens with some spoilers:
Source: Eclipse magazine
The first part of the two-part second season finale of "Battlestar Galactica" took some bold steps: Chief Tyrol's beating of Cally, and his fear that he's a Cylon; the discovery of a habitable planet and its effect on the election; Starbuck's rescue mission to Caprica. As for this week's conclusion [Sci Fi Channel, Friday, 10 p.m. ET/PT], well, in the words of Al Jolson, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
"Lay Down Your Burdens Part 2" opens exactly where Part One left off � with Starbuck's [Katee Sackhoff] team, and the few remaining members of the resistance pinned down by Cylon fire. We cut between them and the ongoing election drama, which finds President Roslin [Mary McDonnell] in danger of losing. With doom seemingly encroaching on both fronts, the enemy fire on Caprica suddenly stops!
After waiting for some devious Cylon plan to kick in with continued silence, Starbuck and a few others venture forth to scout out the situation. The Cylons are gone! Meanwhile, back on the Galactica, Roslin's campaign manager has put her "Plan B" into action -- prompting a possible election scandal.
This extra-length season finale takes the members of the rag-tag fleet and changes everything for them. Starbuck is reunited with Sam Anders [Michael Trucco], her lover from when she went to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo. We meet a brand-spanking new Cylon model, and it seems it's been with the fleet the whole time. Two important characters get married. And that doesn't even take into consideration the astounding change that occurs at about the point a regular-sized episode would have ended -- nor the incredible twist/cliff-hanger it presages!
As usual, though, the big events are not the focal point of the episode � which remains firmly fixed on the effects that those events have on the characters that populate the series. When Chief Tyrol [Aaron Douglas] apologizes to Cally [Nicki Clyne], their relationship takes an unexpected shift. When Adama [Edward James Olmos] meets with Roslin, following the election, we learn more about each of them.
One of the most profound changes occurs in Caprica Sharon [Grace Park], who has suffered the loss of her baby [or so she's been told]. Suddenly she becomes nihilistic, confounding Lt. Helo [Tamoh Penikett] completely. Even that change is not as profound as the change in Baltar [James Callis] who not only follows the path of least resistance, he practically skis down it!
Special mention should be made of Dean Stockwell's performance as the priest who counselled Chief Tyrol in Part One, and plays a key role in setting the events of Part Two in motion. Tricia Helfer also continues to bring it as Six --her actions directly set up the cliff-hanger, and it is wonderful the way she communicates her regret at having to do so.
There is little doubt that "Battlestar Galactica" is one of the premiere programs on any tier of television [network or cable]. The two-part season finale, "Lay Down Your Burdens," is one of the most powerful dramatic experiences of the season eclipsing the efforts of several of the year's Emmy nominees by a factor of tenfold, minimum! This is not an episode to miss even if it means that you spend the spring with butterflies in your stomach and sweat on your brow!