Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blood and Chrome

After the failure that was Caprica, the creators of BSG again went back to the well for a prequel series this time set during the First Cylon War. It was planned to be a series, and after a long time they finally produced a pilot movie which the network then decided not to air. It passed on the series, but decided instead to debut Blood and Chrome as a web series, so they split the movie into 10 parts and premiered them on the internet. Only later was it aired in its entirety and released on DVD. This review is of the full unrated DVD version.

Overall, I found I actually quite enjoyed Blood and Chrome. It was a nice palate cleanse from Caprica and reminiscent of the good stuff in BSG. For me, Razor was the best thing Galactica did, and so going back to young Adama was fun. I was surprised how well a lot of this worked, despite some retcon. I'm kind of glad it didn't go to series, because that would probably have led to more bad continuity and such, but this is a very nice movie to use as a prequel to BSG, and it works whether you are a regular viewer or have never seen it.

The basic story is that it's 10 years after Caprica and we're fierce into the Cylon War. Young Bill Adama is a hotshot pilot fresh out of the academy and is assigned to the Galactica where he's given Raptor duty, though he wants to be flying a Viper. He has to transport some scientist lady, but they get more than they bargained for when they come to a planet in Cylon space on a secret mission. Ultimately Adama gets his Viper and we learn the origins of his call sign "Husker".

Blood and Chrome opens with the exact same shot of Caprica that we ended that series with. I think this was a very clever way to begin, as it starts us just where we left off. With some Adama voice-over catching us up to what's gone on with the rise of the Cylons, we are treated to some of the same shots of Cylon construction that we saw at the end of Caprica. This helps make them all part of the same universe.

We see Cylon centurions here, but they are a new model. They appear to be sort of a cross between the old-fashioned Larson versions and the ones seen on BSG. While it's nice to have a step between in the evolution of the Cylons, I feel like this came too soon. Razor's flashbacks take place at the end of the war, and we see old-style Cylons in that. So I'm not sure I like seeing only these new models and no older ones. Part of the fun for me of the Razor flashbacks was seeing the old-style Galactica stuff.

The movie does at least keep up the other classic aesthetics with the old flight suits and even the Cylon raiders and base stars adhere to the classic design. I really appreciated these nods.

The movie takes an interesting path in having a human collaborator with the Cylons. Though this was a  subject of paranoia in early BSG, we never really saw it this way. It was a great way to do something instead of just Cylon skinjobs, since we know there are only 12 models. I found the reveal to be intriguing even if it doesn't really go anywhere. How very human for someone to side with the poor Cylons. And of course the Cylons don't care about her pity for them and just kill her!

We see an evolution into the creation of the skinjobs here. It's like the next step up from Zoe, a humanoid robot with what appeared to be an organic arm grafted onto it. And in a nice nod to later continuity, this model is voiced by Tricia Helfer. Apparently, this design will eventually lead to Number Six.

As I said, I liked Razor, and I watched the Razor minisodes right after Blood and Chrome. It was cool to see Adama start in the war and then the end of the war. Unfortunately, it does seem like they played a bit with continuity. In Razor, Adama says he's never flown in combat before, and is a little nervous about it. But here, Adama is eager for action and takes all kinds of risky maneuvers blowing Cylons out of the sky. Maybe we can excuse it by saying he wasn't going intentionally into a combat situation and it wasn't in a Viper, but that's a stretch. It's hard to believe that he's never flown combat for three years. Also, there are similarities in story between the two, both involving Cylon operations on secret ice planets.

One thing I just don't understand is the notion of Cylon territory in the war. I don't get why the war is being fought out in space and not the 12 Colonies. Why is this not a land-based civil war? Or at least, a star system-based war? Did the Cylons build their own ships? When Blood and Chrome begins, they've got space marked as their territory, and worlds they have been using as bases and stuff. I simply don't understand this. The text that opens the miniseries says they left to find a planet for their own, but I got the impression that was after the war. And even if it wasn't, why would humanity not just let them go? Why were they at war? We've only ever had the vaguest reasons for the war: that they "rose up against their masters". I need more! This would have made so much more sense if the Cylons were an alien race who attacked Earth.

Once again, the creators use their freedoms to throw some gratuitous nudity in. In this case, it's a very brief shot of some boobs in a shower scene, showing that the men and women steam together. It doesn't really add anything, but it's not as pointlessly salacious as the stuff in The Plan. Also, they've gotten freer with profanity; there are many uses of "shit", though they keep to "frak" otherwise. Did it air this way on TV? It felt like they were just, "hey, this is DVD and the internet, let's curse!" Saying "shit" over and over doesn't make it any more adult, but this is a habit with television shows that become movies.

Despite my issues with some of it, I found Blood and Chrome to be much more enjoyable than I expected it to be. It ends with Adama zooming off to a rocking version of the Galactica theme music and I felt like I'd just had a dose of the old BSG magic. And I was never a big fan of the show, but it reminded me of the good stuff, when it was people fighting robots and none of that silly angel stuff. It maintains continuity with Caprica, and there are some mentions of Graystone, but also keeps focused on Adama and where things are heading when BSG starts. The few retcons are a little annoying but not as glaring as some moments in The Plan or Caprica. If this is the last we ever get of this series, I was surprised that it was pretty worthwhile. It's not the most amazing thing I've ever seen, but it was a good prequel and it was fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Last Thoughts on Caprica

While I generally liked the pilot on the whole, Caprica as a series was essentially a failure very early on.   I've complained a lot about BSG here, but that series was reasonably consistent compared to Caprica. Maybe it would have found its footing in season 2, but I'm very doubtful about that. The origin of the Cylons already conflicts with established BSG continuity, but if we ignore the revelations in the last season or two, it works okay. Caprica could serve as a decent introduction to the universe for the uninitiated. But little things like Willy Adama turning out to not be who we thought he was felt like cheats. Again, this likely would have been softened as the series went on and we got to the real Bill Adama, but it was bothersome.

Knowing that we've now invested in characters like Zoe and Lacy makes me wonder how they are supposed to fit into the larger Cylon mythology. What becomes of Zoe now that she's go her fancy robot body? Is she immortal? Does she die in the war? For someone who essentially created the Cylons, why is there no mention of her at all in BSG? Problems like this haunt the series.

While it was a curious development to say that the Cylons' monotheism came from the humans that programmed them, that monotheism is never properly explored. There are no attempts to really look at how it fits into this universe and the nature of faith. Instead, it is mixed with stock fundamentalist villainy tropes to say that religion started the First Cylon War. The show comes across as being very anti-religion in a way, and this seems at odds with itself when you consider the angels that supposedly were behind it all. The tensions between the polys and the monads was never properly explored beyond "those guys are terrorists". It was lazy world-building.

And yet there were great moments scattered throughout. The intercutting of Zoe-bot with Zoe-avatar was inspired. There were some nice character moments. But it's unfortunate that so much ended up centering around a misunderstanding of apotheosis, and gang warfare. When Adama would talk about his dad the lawyer on BSG, it excited me to see Joe Adama on Caprica practicing law. I would have liked to get a show that was part legal drama in space. Instead, attention shifted to his mob connections.

Characters like Amanda Graystone would have a few great moments, and then oscillate between extremes of craziness. It was clear that the writers had no idea what show they were writing for the entire duration of the season. Even after "retooling" halfway through, the series remained adrift. Nowhere is this more evident than in the character of Tamara who simply had no reason to be in this series and every attempt at stringing the narrative along with her resulted in abrupt dead ends. So we wait for several episodes for Adama to find her, only to have him immediately booted from the game. Then we wait for episodes for her and Zoe to reconcile and discover their purpose, and she's just written out. She was inconsequential and it dragged the series down. That's true of so much of the series: it had so many ideas that ended up just being there dragging things down instead of developing or paying off. BSG was guilty of this too, but not so much so soon.

Eric Stolz was wonderful, though. I single him out as the best acting on the show. No matter what curveball the writers threw there, he was always in the moment as Daniel Graystone. I could disagree with the writing, but not with his performance. It was always strong. Other performances were strong as well, but it's much harder to get behind some of them when the characterization is so bad. Yet Amanda finally reconciling with Zoe, or Clarice's realization she killed the wrong spy, these are moments that stand out.

In the end, Caprica was not essential viewing and I didn't really miss much by giving up when I did. It succeeded at least in getting a mostly self-contained story into that first season. While it's a bit of a shame Sci-Fi cancelled it when it did, just before it picked up again, it's just as well the series ended. I don't think a second season would have been good for it. To go further down that rabbit hole, now with the added knowledge of 5 years down the road, would probably have been no more successful than what came before.

Sorry, Caprica, but you'll stand as a testament to how inconsistent writing can kill a show.

Best episodes: the pilot, "Gravdancing", "Here Be Dragons"
Worst episode: "Unvanquished"

Saturday, August 9, 2014


And now we come to the finish.

Synopsis: Apparently Clarice doesn't need her holoband after all and no one can stop her plan now. She's got bombs being planted at the stadium and is prepping heaven for the arrivals. The GDD descends on the Graystones, but Cyrus helps them escape. Daniel and Amanda find the holoband and discover what her plan is. Graystone gets the other lab tech (the one that Zoe didn't kill) to help him link up his laptop and he and Amanda sneak into the stadium disguised as fans and commandeer the computer network to locate the bombs. Once they do, Daniel summons troops of Cylons who descend on the stadium and take out all the terrorists. Zoe hacks her way into Clarice's heaven program and gives her a stern talking-to about what a terrible idea this all is. And then she uses her power to destroy the simulation and fry Clarice's servers. As the episode ends, we see a jump ahead five years where the Graystones have designed a "skinjob" model for Zoe, the public has welcomed Cylons as a worker class, Lacy is now head of the monad church on Gemenon, and Clarice is giving passionate speeches to the Cylons about how they are lives and God has a plan for them, so they must rise up against their oppressive creators. We know this won't end well, but it does end this series.

Well, at least it's over and things were mostly wrapped up in some sort of way.

I liked Cyrus pulling out the gun and saving the Graystones. Go Cyrus! Though apparently it's pretty easy to dodge Caprican security. Even if you're the most wanted man in town and are the face of a famous interstellar company, you can disappear by wearing a hat. Seriously, Daniel and Amanda just put on hats and sunglasses and immediately they blend in.

It's clear that Tamara wasn't necessary at all because she doesn't appear at all in this episode. So really, all that time we wasted with her character was pointless. She could have just been erased after the pilot and that would have been better for the show. They didn't know what to do with her, and dragging out stories to keep her around only hurt this show.

The ending, with the Cylons coming to the stadium in airships was very reminiscent of Attack of the Clones. And it served the exact same story function: these factory-made weapons will become our heroes but also eventually our enemies.

I like that we actually saw suicide vests again like the one Ben wore on the train. So they didn't just plant bombs under seats; they were going to blow themselves up too. That seems totally unnecessary, since they're all going to die anyway, but maybe it was a contingency plan. Apart from the logic or lack thereof, I just liked that it was a connection to the bomb we saw in the pilot.

Clarice really has lost her mind. It's all about what she wants, though she keeps claiming it's God's will. I've known women like that. The sort of super-spiritual person who claims everything they do is from God even when it's their own selfish quest for power. In fact, there was a recent article about such people in Charisma magazine. So on that level I totally understand the character and where they were going with it. But some of the things she said and did still bother me because they got the level of religion and terrorism being synonymous, which this show seems to keep propagating. When faced with the fact she's killing thousands of people, Clarice is completely nonplussed, saying it's irrelevant. But then we get the kicker and the point where I felt like Clarice was no longer just speaking for her character but on behalf of the show. She says, "If one man is resurrected, that will change the worlds." This is an obvious allusion to Christ. But in the context of her artificial afterlife and all, it feels like the show is taking needless shots at Christianity. I won't go on a long tangent here, but to conflate Clarice's or the STO's plan with the origins of Christianity is to completely misunderstand the Church. I feel like the writers think they're being clever, saying that Christians are really judgmental nut jobs who don't care about humanity because they're in the exclusive Jesus club that gets to go to heaven. And that's not it at all. The Bible says that "God is willing that none should perish but that all should come to repentence." If Clarice's plan was to warn the Colonies that a reckoning was coming from the One True God but that she offered a means of immortality and THEN she blew up the stadium, one might argue the similarities. But she's just killing people indiscriminately and only her people get to go to heaven. She doesn't ever really evangelize for the One True God. Zoe at least did (though I don't think she ever really knew what she was getting into). So the two ideas are not comparable.

What they do get right is Zoe's point about all this. She argues that if everyone just goes to heaven than nobody's actions will have consequences and humanity will continue to live vile lives; life will just be a game like New Cap City. I wonder what original Zoe would have ultimately done. Zoe-A has now forged her own path apart from the STO. In this way, she's also distinguished herself from original Zoe.  I do think that the New Cap City metaphor was a little heavy-handed over the course of the series. "Get it? It's like life!" No one knows why it exists or what the point of it is, but once you die you can't come back.

But what do the angels think about all this? We know that Zoe talked to angels, and we must assume these are the angels from BSG. We saw one of them in an episode and it was she who gave Zoe the idea to make the Cylons and the avatar program in the first place. What was the original intent of the program? Clarice was going to use it for this crazy cult heaven, but was that Zoe's original intent or was Clarice just messing with her? And for all Clarice's talk of knowing God's will, it seems the angels never came to her. So what was the angel's intent in putting this all in motion? Ulitmately, it leads to full-scale war and the near-destruction of humanity. Was that God's will too? Somehow I have a hard time seeing this all as benevolent.

So Willy Adama really is dead, and I guess it didn't matter that we never really got to know him because he wasn't the real Bill Adama after all. The Adama we come to know is born later and is named after his brother. Does Bill Adama have Tauron tattoos and stuff, or did the Cylon War keep him away from those things? It is an annoying bait-and-switch for this series. We start the pilot thinking that this is a character we will know later. There were little continuity nods, like the lighter. And then we find out it was a fake-out, like so much of this series. That's frustrating. Had the show gone on and we'd gotten to know little Bill, maybe it wouldn't feel so cheap.

Now let's look at the "Shape of Things to Come".
I hate hate hate it when TV shows jump ahead five years. It's becoming a lazy cliche now. And Kevin Murphy having just done it recently on Desperate Housewives before coming over to Caprica makes it that much worse. Had the show gone on, it seems they would have used it as a sort of flash forward, like How I Met Your Mother did with the wedding. But I still don't like it.

We do get to see the integration of Cylons into everyday life. Graystone says that it's important to remember the Cylons are tools and not to imbue them with some sort of humanity. At the same time, he's doing just that with his dead daughter. Is he just putting on a face for TV, or can he really not see the connection? He similarly had talked about the Cylons as slaves earlier in the season.

I don't like the idea of Zoe getting a "skinjob" body. Even though it's not a real organic skinjob like later, it still feels too early for that to me. And I don't like the use of the word "skinjob" here. Better question: what becomes of Zoe as the First Cylon War begins? Does she die? She's not one of the 12 Cylon skinjob models on BSG. So what the heck becomes of her? All of this skinjob stuff actually makes it harder to reconcile where he places is in the ultimate BSG storyline.

Lacy is now the head of the monad church? LACY? So she took over by force, I guess. She holds some sort of authority over Clarice, but is it exercised? What is her connection to the Cylons as they plot the war? And just why are the Cylons in church anyway?

Clarice takes on a role as a crazed prophet-preacher rallying the Cylons to war against their makers in the name of God. We know from the little "blood cell tunnel" effect that these scenes are set in a virtual church, not a real one. While it makes sense on one hand to hold these meetings in secret, why are the Cylons going? How did she rally them there? What level of sentience to the Cylons have that they can project avatars into this space? And it looks like we have Clarice to blame for the First Cylon War for putting the idea in their heads to overthrow their makers. That just makes them automatons of a different kind, to be brainwashed like that. I mean, I have no love for the "robots that rise against their makers" trope, but it's one thing to say that they evolved intelligence and weren't respected so they started a war. It's quite another to say the idea was just put in their heads and they became puppets of another kind. Zoe should have just killed Clarice.

What is Zoe's ultimate connection to the Cylons on Gemenon and stuff? Do the Graystones let anyone know they have a walking daughter-doll living with them now? Does Daniel try to market this to those grieving losses? I feel like there are a lot of implications that never get fleshed out. Part of that is because this was all shot before the show was cancelled and intended to lead into future seasons. But I'm somewhat glad it was cancelled. I prefer it mostly ending and leaving it at that before the continuity got even more muddied.

I like though that last shot of the planet as we pull out. There's a kind of somber feeling knowing where it's all going. That epilogue, despite its flaws, at least did a good job closing out the series and setting up what was to come. In that way, we didn't need another season or series. ...And yet, they would try once again to do a prequel, this time set in the First Cylon War, called Blood & Chrome.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Here Be Dragons

Synopsis: Amanda doesn't trust Sam, and when they learn he plans to kill the Tamara avatar somehow, they kill Sam from the game. Fidelia puts a hit on the Adamas. Sam and Joseph try to make a run for it, but are caught. There's some gunfire and before the threat is neutralized Willy is shot and dies. The Graystones realize they are only pushing Zoe away by chasing her, so they wait for her to come to them. They have a sort of reconciliation in V-world and invite her back any time. But during all of this, Clarice breaks into the Graystone house looking for her holoband with all their heaven plans. The Graystones remove their holobands just in time to be caught by her and her husbands. But luckily, Zoe hops back in the Cylon body, kills Nestor and scares Clarice away. Back on Gemenon, Lacy's life is in danger, but the STO kids stage a coup and kill off their teachers. Rather than simply escaping, Lacy takes command of the Cylon army.

Now this is more like it. While I didn't fully love everything in this episode, it was much better than most of the episodes before it. The scenes with the Graystones and Zoe finally sort of becoming a family again were great and everyone put all they had into it.

The episode opens with the standard "previously on Caprica" and even shows us a shot of Caprica, but then starts with the Lacy story. More like "previously on Gemenon"!

I think it was a nice bit of continuity that Amanda recognizes Sam's face and doesn't trust him. She doesn't quite realize exactly that he's the guy who almost killed her back in episode 4 (and why would she remember exactly since she only saw him the one time), but I like that it was a vague enough recollection to inform her actions. It was not that TV thing where everyone is immediately recognized, but at the same time they didn't forget about it. For a show that's been pretty sloppy with continuity, I was glad to see this.

Horses on Caprica kind of bothered me. We know from BSG that these humans will all go to earth and eventually be our ancestors (well, half-ancestors since the other half is Cylon or something). BSG had a lot of annoying stuff from Earth that they shouldn't have had (Bob Dylan, Emily Dickenson) and that drove me crazy, but animals is a whole other thing. Am I to believe that horses evolved just as humans did in these Twelve Worlds? Or are horses in this universe purely products of imagination and solely confined to the holobands?

Zoe turns the horses into dragons and they are kind of shlocky-looking TV CGI creations. But Zoe's transformation over V-world has been commended for how real it is. Graystone just mentioned her generative algorithms (nice bit of continuity there) and how she's improved on the setting. So I find it hard to believe she makes lackluster dragons. If these were just things already in the game I might buy it. However, perhaps she modeled them specifically on the hokey illustrations in some book about the dragon-fighters of Kobol. If so, then I buy it.

Speaking of which, dragon-fighters of Kobol seems an obvious allusion to Dragonriders of Pern, the popular book series by Anne McCaffrey. Ron Moore is a fan of the series and in fact had attempted to produce a television series based on them.

Graystone has very good security at his house. Gotta commend him for his forward thinking.

The whole bit with Odin having to shoot Lacy and then the gun not being loaded really annoyed me. Must everything be a test with these STO people? I was also left a little confused by the whole thing because I understand about the STO setting him up, but then his buddies take them out. So it seems Odin had this planned all along as a sting operation. My question then is, was Lacy in on this plan the whole time and she's a great actress, or did she have no idea they were risking her life that way?

It would have been so much smarter of them to just leave Gemenon. I understand Lacy going back to the Cylons, but couldn't she have taken them with her, or just given them orders to kill everyone while they left? I don't understand Lacy's motivations anymore, and this is a constant problem on this series. Her only motivation that I can see is her loyalty and friendship to Zoe, who she thinks is tied to the Cylons somehow. So I get that as far as it goes. But I don't see how that makes her some true believer militant monotheist. Lacy used to have enough sense not to just get on the train. Forethought has made her a worse person.

The Graystones suggest they will try to make a new body for Zoe, a more humanoid body with skin. I hate the implications of skinjobs coming in on this show. It's far too early for that, since that was supposed to be just newly developing during the Cylon War. Or there are already skinjobs that exist because the Final Five are out there. Either way, I don't want the Graystones responsible. Besides, there's no Zoe model.

Willy Adama dies. So this character who started on the show but then had less and less screen time is killed off. In my notes it says, "when you don't know how to write a kid, you kill him." Says it all.

What the heck happened to Tamara? Zoe met with her parents, and then later joined them back in her house. What about all that "I have a purpose and I think you're part of it" stuff? Zoe just abandons Tamara in their fancy virtual hideaway fort and nobody cares. No one mentions her name again once Sam leaves and after the very beginning we never see her again in the episode. Good riddance, but that's some bad writing there. Is Tamara just going to go crazy again? What's she going to do with herself?

I must confess I was very confused by where the original Zoe-bot U-87 Cylon was. I thought maybe it was on Gemenon last episode, and was the one Lacy talked to. But no, it seems like that was just a random Cylon and the bot from the crash is still in Daniel's lab because it's the one Zoe goes back to. It's confusing because sometimes it seems like not all the Cylons have the "U-87" plate on them. So I started using that as a way to track Zoe-bot. The one on Gemenon had it. But I guess they all do and I just can't always see it. Also, though it was never explained how or why, I guess Zoe was still hacking into the holobands via the Cylon body however she did before. Which means Vergis never did take the chip and wipe it to make the other bots. So how did they succeed in making working MCPs? Or was Vergis right all along that Graystone just wasn't able to work with something he stole and didn't understand?

This was an emotional episode, and a reasonably satisfying one. The Tauron stuff was mostly kept to a minimum, which I liked. The Lacy stuff also wasn't too bad as it killed off some more useless STO terrorists. But the heart of it was the Graystone stuff. Here was an Amanda I could get behind. Good job, folks. One episode left.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Heavens Will Rise

Synopsis: Clarice is moving forward with her plans for apotheosis: she's going to blow up the stadium for realsies this time, and use Zoe's avatar program to save the martyrs responsible. Duram was killed by a mysterious sniper in the woods after revealing to Amanda his hand in Marbeth's death. Lacy discovers she has control over the Cylons on Gemenon, one of which is the Zoe-bot U-87, though whether Zoe's still in there is unknown. Clarice finally learns that Amanda was the spy and she killed her innocent wife for no reason.Zoe and Tamara have made a little jungle fort/Great Wall of Monotheists inside New Cap City and Graystone popped in to talk to Zoe, who promptly booted him out. Now he's going back in with Amanda and Sam as a bodyguard. Though Sam has been scheming with Evelyn and may have an ulterior motive. Zoe's feeling? "Let them come."

Okay, this is more like it. The show still has numerous problems, but this episode was much more engaging as plot threads are advanced and people who have been stupid are called out for their stupidity.

Graystone admits how wrong he was for the fire torture he inflicted on Zoe-bot. It's nice to see Daniel and Amanda cozying up to each other again.

Graystone gets into the game the first time because he says he has backdoor access to all the programs in the holobands because he invented them. If that's the case, why couldn't he and his company shut down all the illegal hacks in V-world?

Clarice's demonstration of apotheosis to the church was not a hypothetical. She's literally planning to bomb the stadium. What kind of ridiculous message is that to send to people? "Follow my one true god or I'll blow you up!" And apotheosis won't help the many many dead who won't get their avatars uploaded, nor will it convince the polytheists of her apotheosis ideas. How will anyone else know about her little virtual heaven? ...And can't people just hack their way into it like they hack into everything in V-world, thus negating the purpose of dying in the first place? Clarice is just another crazy terrorist no better than Barnabas, and her delusions of godhood are getting to her.

It was nice though to her her husband say he had second thoughts about the mass casualties of their plan, since he could just upload the avatars without murder. Glad there is some voice of reason in the STO.

Duram getting shot was a shocker! Sure, he deserves it for getting Marbeth killed, but I'll miss him. He does prove his bias against monotheists though. He doesn't care about Marbeth's baby since he'll just grow up to be another terrorist. Uh, not if you stop the terrorists, silly!

There's a moment when Willy comes home wearing an Avenging Angels shirt and Sam immediately makes him take it off. Okay, that's fine, but is Willy so stupid that he doesn't know he's wearing his sister on that shirt? Why can't this kid figure this out? Especially because the people in New Cap City KNOW who Tamara is! If people at school are talking about the Avenging Angels, are they talking about how one of them is his dead sister? Why does he have no feelings about that? Why is the show not addressing this? And why is Willy barely a character now?

I like the wrinkle that Lacy can command the Cylons. Not sure what else is going on with her though. I miss the Lacy who was too scared to get on the train.

I love that moment when Clarice is called stupid for killing Marbeth, and the sense of overwhelming panic that floods her. She deserves the tongue-lashing! Finally someone on this show says the things I've been thinking!

Overall, this was a much better episode than those that preceded it. Despite the problems this show continues to have, it's building to a conclusion of some sort. I hope the pay-off is worth it.

The Dirteaters

Okay, first let me clarify something from last week. Duram DID give Marbeth's file to his boss, so he did indeed orchestrate the whole thing as a misdirect. It's a bit callous of him to sentence her to death to save his own investigation, but since he hates monotheists I guess he doesn't care. Plus she was getting in Amanda's way. But I don't understand how Clarice knew about it unless the edit of the show was a cheat. What we see is that "confessor man" tells her "you have a spy in your house" and she immediately takes off the holoband. So as far as we know, she was never told who the spy was! Unless this is just tricksy editing, I find it very confusing.

Now on to this episode. It's worth noting that from last week on none of these episodes aired on Sci-Fi until after the DVD was released. Then they burned off the last 5 in a marathon that January.

Synopsis: We learn in flashback of how Sam and Joseph lost their parents. Two of Clarice's husbands are killed in New Cap City by Zoe, so now they know someone's running around with her avatar (but they are too stupid to figure out that it's really her). Tamara and Zoe are now called the Avenging Angels, and hype about them has spread outside the game. When Graystone learns of it, he goes into the game to find her. She and Tamara avoid him, and use their powers to create a place just for them. Graystone tells Amanda about it, and they resolve to go back in and find her. Graystone also educates himself on Tauron and the mob, and secretly meets with Sam, asking that he find some way to avoid killing him. Amanda's spy tech is working, but she can't report to Duram as he's now been fired on trumped up charges.

Now, I'm no fan of the Tauron storyline. It just bores me. But I was glad we at least got a bit more information about the Adama backstory and the Tauron war. This is the sort of thing that LOST would have done episodes ago, and the flashbacks do feel a lot like the way LOST did it. Sam and Joseph feel like Mr. Eko and Yemi. And while there were some good emotional moments here, these flashbacks also fell back on bad writing on discontinuity. The parents show them these suicide pills, with the intent that they will use them if necessary. And then they don't. So why show us the gun if it never goes off, as it were? It's also implied that Adama's grandparents went out by suicide. Why is everyone on this show insane? Are Adama's "we're ready to kill ourselves for our cause" parents any better than the STO?

Then the series pulls another annoying twist, when we're made to think Sam will kill his father for him, but in the end, it's Joseph who pulls the trigger. I object  to this for two reasons: first, it's yet another annoying twist. This show has more twists than M. Night Shyamalan. But secondly, what about when Adama just 5 or 6 episodes ago had to ask Sam what it's like to kill someone? In that episode, he had a problem pulling the trigger even when he knew it was a virtual world and no one was getting hurt. But now I'm supposed to believe he killed 4 people, including his own father, when he was a kid! That's just very very lazy continuity (and I know Kevin Murphy joined the show late, but someone on the staff should have corrected this). Stuff like this is why I'm growing to hate Caprica. Even BSG wasn't this inconsistent in its first year.

Clarice and her family are also kind of dumb. Now that they have Zoe's avatar files and all, what are they doing with them? Nothing! And when her husbands say that saw a girl in V-world whose avatar looked like Zoe, Clarice doesn't even react! WHAT? She's more concerned with designing her artificial afterlife. There's a good moment where she argues it should have more stained glass and statues, only to have them ask, "Statues of who?" Fair point. She somewhat sheepishly implies she means of herself.

And that's really what this episode is highlighting when it's not bogged down in Adama drama: man wanted to become god. If there is to be a thematic connection to Genesis, the words of the Serpent ring true here: "And ye shall be like gods." Graystone wants to play god to bring back the dead and create a robotic slave race. Clarice wants to play god, ushering in an afterlife of her making. Zoe and Tamara are literally playing god in V-world.

What they used to call the Death Walkers are now called the Avenging Angels. Why do Tamara and Zoe keep getting nicknames that sound like bad metal bands? What are they supposed to be "avenging" anyway?

Toward the end of the episode, Zoe and Tamara opt to remake New Cap City in their image using their power over the code. And they're only just doing this now? What have they been doing all this time, just killing gamers? For what reason? Tamara finally suggests they leave New Cap City, and I don't understand why they didn't do that along time ago (apart from the financial reasons that the show already had the sets and costumes).

The club Sinny McNutt's Slash 'n Gutt seems to be a reference to the show's DP Stephen McNutt.

Again, I don't care at all about what's happening on Tauron. And I kind of don't care about Zoe either, since it seems they're never going to do anything interesting with her. We still don't even know how it is she's there, or if she's still in the Zoe-bot. But for all that, at least certain plots were building. Amanda and Daniel are reconciling. And things are heating up for Duram. So the show is starting to build toward the end, even if sometimes it's still far too slow. Not as bad an episode as "Unvanquised", and there are definitely good moments each episode, but the show just doesn't feel tight enough to me. The twists continue to be tiresome.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Synopsis: We pick up with Lacy at the spaceport on her way to STO training on Gemenon. A group of trainees are taken on a plane of some sort only to be hijacked by polytheists demanding their apostasy. Lacy and another guy she meets, Odin, stage a rebellion. But it turns out the whole thing was a ruse anyway; the first exercise for the STO trainees. Graystone is given two weeks to get his program working. The Ha'La'Tha is planning to kill him whether or not he succeeds. It is revealed the "confessor" person is actually the guy in charge at the GDD, and he succeeds in getting Lacy's pin to Clarice. It is indeed a storage device. Duram knows something's fishy, and tries to get cameras to help Amanda's spy mission. But he must reveal that he's got a spy in there. So Clarice is warned there's a spy in her house and she kills Marbeth, thinking it is her. At episode's end, Duram appears to know more than he lets on about who the mole in the GDD is.

I know that some of you won't believe me, but I figured out that that pirate raid was all a ruse almost immediately. I take real-time notes while I watch so I remember what things to write about. The very first note I have reads, and I quote, "FINALLY some conflict between polys and monads -- unless it's all a ruse." I found this so frustrating because it seemed so terribly obvious, especially because this show has a history of such "aren't we clever?" writing turns. Right away I suspected something was up because to date we have never seen ANY conflict between the polytheists and the monotheists on Gemenon. And you would think there would be. I'm very surprised there's been nothing. So I was hoping there might actually be some, but I immediately suspected something was up. Then, when they started "executing" kids, I knew it had to be false. If they really wanted to just kill kids, why would they showily walk them over to the airlock and have them kneel down? Why not just shoot them where they sat? By the time the girl was made to stand up, I was positive this was just an exercise. They even closed the door to hide the shot from us (and the kids on the plane). I'm surprised not one of those recruits figured it out. I really thought Lacy was starting to put it together, and was annoyed that she didn't.

Now let's look at Clarice and the spy in her home. It's all Clarice's own fault that there's a mole in her house. She wasn't going to bring Amanda home; she said it would cause friction with her spouses. But then because she was so desperate to get any word on Zoe's belongings, she changed her mind and invited Amanda over. So she brought it on herself.

And we have an annoying switcheroo once again! They fiendishly edit the episode to make us think she's going to kill Amanda, only to have it be her wife. Sure, shocking twist, but does it make any sense? Why on earth does she suspect her wife of being the spy? Sure enough to kill her! Maybe I wasn't paying attention. The final scene seemed to suggest Duram knew that would happen, as if he threw shade on Marbeth to distract from Amanda. Otherwise, his actions were downright reckless and nearly got Amanda killed. So I don't know what's going on here, but it seemed like sloppy writing just for shock value.

Duram is very clever for playing the GDD mole, suggesting that Marbeth was his informant. It throws him off the trail. I like this Duram guy and wish there was more of him.

Then at the end, we are back on Gemenon and some of those kids are being executed. Now, my DVD skipped a bit so I may have missed something, but why were they killed? Because they were afraid to die for the cause? And their executioner was a Cylon, which means the Taurons are supplying Gemenon with military robots. I don't understand the STO at all, and I don't understand why Lacy is still there and this was yet another shock for shock's sake. "We killed kids! Just kidding, we faked it! But then we did it for real!" And that's the problem with this episode, and a growing problem with the show in general. It's just too many twists.

I got bored sitting through the STO stuff because I already knew what was going on. So I was just waiting for the reveal. This episode was just shock twist after shock twist, and a steady diet of that actually kills tension because we no longer trust the series and we start second-guessing everything we've seen. This means we start to spot the ruses before they are revealed. While certain threads are finally getting traction, it bothers me the show feels it needs to create this artificial drama instead of focusing on the real stuff. Willy Adama might as well not be on this show, and what is going on with Zoe and Tamara? They've been missing for two episodes now, and I just know when we get back to them it will be more annoying New Cap City stuff that I'm tired of. And with Graystone deleting the Amanda avatar files, is he essentially back to square one? What will become of Zoe now that Clarice has her data? And why should I care about any of it?

False Labor

This was the last episode aired on the Sci-Fi Channel before the series was cancelled.

Synopsis: Trouble is brewing on Tauron. It's some sort gang war or something. Anyway, Sam's all upset and tries running guns to Tauron, but he's caught. He gets his revenge when he discovers Adama has Graystone plans for the Cylons. Sam takes a Cylon with him to wipe out the rival guys who caught him. Meanwhile, Graystone Industries has produced a commercial for the resurrection program, which they are calling "Grace". Graystone is busily working on fixing the program, by creating an Amanda avatar. However, he grows frustrated at how no matter what he does, she's just not real. The real Amanda is trying to worm into Clarice's family. Her biggest obstacle is Marbeth, the pregnant one. In the end, she gets into their good graces as Marbeth delivers her baby.

Hey look, it's Willy Adama! He's been missing for so many episodes. Granted, he only makes a cameo appearance here, but good to remember he exists.

I've gotta say, I just don't care about the Tauron stuff. We aren't given enough information to really know what's going on, just that something similar happened years ago which is why the Adamas are on  Caprica.

Graystone objects to the company creating a digital version of him as spokesman for the commercial. He doesn't like his likeness being used without permission. I find this interesting since that is essentially the entire point of his program -- using someone's likeness without permission. He wants to create a digital version of someone after they die without their consent. We know how poorly that worked out for Tamara. But Graystone can't see the connection.

I can understand Graystone's frustration with the Amanda avatar. It's hard for me though to know who the real Amanda is. As I've mentioned in other posts, for most of the season she seemed insane or bipolar or something. So the first hint that something's wrong here is that fake Amanda is not abrasive and crazy. However, she is vapid and horny all the time. That's pretty much all she is. Everything she says is either, "I don't understand" or "I want to make love". I wonder what information he programmed her with that this is where the program defaults!

I would like to know how it is Sam was able to get ahold of a Cylon and take it with him to Tauron like that. Graystone has no security at all? I find it somewhat unbelievable. Then we'll learn later that the guatrao (however you spell it) has been supplying other worlds with arms secretly. There's just too much going on.

I do like that the Cylon says, "by your command" to Sam. I like any time they throw that in there.

What bothers me most about this episode (and it will continue into the next one) is that the show feels the need to fake out the audience too much. When it opens with Graystone and Amanda having breakfast, we know it's wrong because she's living with Clarice. Then it's revealed to be fake in the holoband. But then they pull this switcheroo on us again at the end of the episode, where Graystone bears his soul to Amanda and admits to Vergis' death (oh yeah I forgot to mention: Vergis is dead) and basically gives this big Walter White speech about the bad things he's done and how they seemed like good ideas at the time. And after this long scene it is once again revealed that this is still not the real Amanda and Graystone flips out because she doesn't react like his wife would. Meanwhile, I want to flip out because these sorts of writing stunts are growing tiresome.

Amanda ingratiates herself to Marbeth by saying that when she was pregnant with Zoe she had no affection for her and suffered post-partum depression. She then says she wonders if babies can sense that and it's way Zoe was so cold to her as she grew up, like maybe it was Amanda's fault. In the end, she tells Duram that she succeeded by lying. But was it a lie? We are left not to know. It very well could be; Amanda doesn't seem like the type to blame herself for Zoe's actions. She's certainly put all the blame on Zoe so far from what we've seen. But is it possible there's a grain of truth here?

I wonder how common water birthing is among the Twelve Worlds. Or is this just a weird STO cult thing. I really really really hate how this show lumps every weird fringe religious trait they can think of under the monotheist umbrella. It won't surprise me if the STO training camp involves snake handling.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Things We Lock Away

Synopsis: The title is appropriate, as we open with Lacy locked in Clarice's attic. Eventually, Clarice questions her about Zoe's avatar files and whether Zoe had a back-up. Lacy says she doesn't know, but if she did it might have been hidden in that infinity pin she had. Clarice then doesn't want to just let Lacy go, but instead sends her to Gemenon for STO training. Poor Lacy. Clarice then tries getting back in with Amanda to go through Zoe's things and find the pin. She even invites her to stay at her house (instead of the cabin) for awhile. Back in V-world, Zoe finds Tamara, who promptly shoots her. Tamara holds Zoe responsible for her death, and they fight and fight even though neither can die. Through this, a "head Zoe" appears to give virtual Zoe guidance. So there's that. Zoe tries convincing Tamara that they should work together.

Okay, why is Lacy locked up? What possible reason does Clarice have to take her remaining monotheist student and lock her in an attic? Like that's going to get Lacy in her good graces! Later, Clarice suggests she's testing her trust, holding her responsible for the car bomb. But how does she know Lacy had anything to do with the car bomb? When did she find this out?

Tamara is just insane now. All she can do is be an evil overlord for the amusement of virtual gamers. I guess killing them got old. Why does she stay here and not go to other worlds?

Zoe is held responsible for the train bombing. We know, and Zoe knows, that she was NOT responsible. Yet at no time does Zoe say, "It was Ben!" It's fine to protest your innocence, but you can do that by pointing to the true guilty party! And then there's this weird masochistic angle where Zoe doesn't fight back, as if to suffer for original Zoe's sins. ...But what sins? Where she mouthed off to her mom? That has nothing to do with Tamara or the people here who are beating her up for the TRAIN BOMBING with which she had NOTHING TO DO. Then Head-Zoe appears and tells her she doesn't deserve this and doesn't have to suffer for the original's sins. But to that I would argue, original Zoe doesn't deserve this punishment... but Zoe-A does! Avatar Zoe is responsible for Philo's death and for putting the idea in her father's head to create this Tamara. Avatar Zoe has sins to pay for which relate far more to Tamara than the other Zoe did.

And lets get into this whole "head-Zoe" thing. I guess this is in the tradition of Number Six and Head-Baltar on BSG. In that series, they turned out to be angels sent by the one God. If Zoe-Angel is also sent by God, just what is her purpose? She saves Zoe as a kid, and then inspires her to create life (one could argue blasphemously). This angel being is responsible for the Cylon race! How is this a good thing? This makes the mythology even more bizarre.

According to commentary, they tried to get James Callis or Tricia Helfer to guest on the show in the angel role but their schedules didn't allow for it. I'm glad, because that would have made no sense. Why would they appear in the forms of people who have yet to be born? Would only make it harder to watch BSG after Caprica.

I liked getting flashes to the fire when Zoe was young. However, we see the Zoe-Angel appear to her and she looks like teenage Zoe. Why is Zoe seeing an image of her older self? That's just weird.

Oh, and I'm supposed to believe Zoe not only created the avatar, but also essentially designed the Cylon robots too. Unbelievable.

In that scene where Zoe first creates Zoe-A, she's wearing this bizarre 1950s-inspired ensemble, with a sweater and a neckerchief. That just seemed so wrong for this show and for Zoe. What mouthy parochial school techno-nerd religious fanatic dresses like that? Did they really need to make Zoe a hipster on top of everything?

Seeing the way the avatar was created and all, I came to realize this show has had this all wrong from the beginning: it's not apotheosis or even resurrection. It's just cloning. Really, this is a story about soul cloning essentially. Oh, and how was avatar Zoe able to move around in the lab in that scene? What, Zoe made a virtual lab where she could do actual lab work on a virtual person or something? My brain hurts.

Not the worst episode of the series, but "Things We Lock Away" has me concerned. I like Lacy, in fact I think she's the only likable character at this point, and I don't understand why she's being treated this way. Hope she doesn't go to Gemenon. As for Sister Clarice, she gets worse and worse. Add kidnapping to the list of things her one true God is okay with.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Synopsis: Lacy's having second thoughts about all the terrorist bombings in Barnabas' cell. Her hesitation leads to a botched job at the spaceport, leaving evidence behind. Clarice returns from Gemenon and starts killing off people in Barnabas' cell. In the end, she takes Lacy and blows Barnabas up as a message to other cells that try to go rogue. Agent Durham of the GDD starts to think that Clarice is involved with the STO, and asks Amanda to help him get evidence. Graystone uses Adama and the Ha'La'Tha to blackmail members of the Graystone Industries board, in hopes of buying their votes to reinstate him as CEO.

They've changed the recaps at the start so that we get character voice-overs that explain what's going on with them at this point. They were heading in this direction with Zoe in the last few episodes, but now they do it with everyone.

I do not understand why Lacy is still with the STO. She only joined to get close to Barnabas so she could earn his trust and get Zoe-bot to Gemenon. Now that Zoe-bot is gone, why doesn't she just leave? Is she afraid he'll kill her? I just don't get what she's doing there.

In this episode as well as the previous one, the STO bombs are these little black boxes with a blinking light. But in the pilot, Ben had a vest of what looked like C4 strapped to his chest. And the materials Keon had in his locker also don't look like these little black boxes. Does having uniform-looking bombs make any sense anyway? Doesn't that just scream "The STO did it!" or is that the point?

They are now using flashbacks to fill in the blanks between "End of Line" and last week. We see Amanda recuperating in the hospital. This is a flashback while Amanda is in the shower. I hated the shower shots because they were weirdly grainy and looked like they were shot on video, which they probably were.

Amanda is not just remembering, she's also having dreams. In one of these, we see a scene of her and Zoe fighting over dinner. Actually, it's Zoe just being a brat at dinner. But is this just a dream or is it an actual flashback? At the end of it, she says, "soon I'll be dead and then we'll both be happy." But Zoe's intention was never to die. She had no plan to die on that train. So what does that even mean? Telling her mom in the pilot, "You're going to regret that for the rest of your life," makes sense because she planned to run off to Gemenon and never see her again. But I have a hard time believing suicide was always her plan.

This episode features frequent dramatic uses of thunder and lightning, and it's just downright silly. It smacks of cartoonish gothic melodrama and doesn't endear me to the series. I might have given them a pass on it once or twice, but it happened too many times for me to take seriously.

After having been to Gemenon last episode and seeing all the stuff with the church elders, I am even more confused about who is in the virtual confessional that Clarice keeps talking to. Who is this guy? What does he want? Who does he work for? Why do they only meet in the holoband?

The STO kids get all mad at Lacy when she forgets to leave her bomb behind. They are all, "Now are plans are ruined! Now we've left evidence behind!" I just don't understand why they didn't just throw her bomb out the car window, and then detonate them all. It seems so simple. Does the detonator have a limited range or something? Seems like a mistake which could have been easily rectified.

Also, the fact that all these terrorists seem to be teenagers makes it that much creepier. Why are the adults just using the kids in this way? Why doesn't Barnabas do anything himself? This episode finally answers the question of why he does what he does: he's just insane. Great. I fear that'll be the answer to everything on this show.

One of the guys Graystone blackmails kills himself. I don't understand this. The blackmail wasn't that extreme. Why kill himself? It just didn't seem so bad to me that it would lead him to suicide. They threatened him with a history of substance abuse. That's it? It all seemed so artificial just to create drama. That's a major criticism of this series in general.

It was so nice to see the GDD finally back on the case though! I like the tenacity of Agent Durham, going after Clarice even though no one else believes him. That dramatic irony rears its ugly head again as we the audience know he's on the right track. This episode also gets back to explicitly telling us that Clarice's cover is as a Sister of Athena. So I'm still totally confused by last week's episode, but at least it seems they really haven't abandoned that.

It rains throughout the episode, and there's this curious detail of Durham's umbrella being broken. I wonder if this was intentional symbolism. It sets him apart visually; he's just a little off from everyone else, but he's on to something. There's something a little off, just as this case seems to be getting personal for him. I'm not sure it this was just a happy accident, but I think it was a nice touch.

While this episode was definitely better than the previous one, and kicks off the rest of the season in a stronger fashion, it still feels like things are happening just for drama's sake without the connecting dots to make it work. Glad to finally be rid of Barnabas and all that nonsense, and it's good to finally get back to the GDD. We'll see if the series can correct itself, or if it's too far gone. I didn't love this episode, but at least things were getting back on the right track.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Well, the series comes back from it's brief hiatus and the first episode of the back nine is... a boring, confusing waste. They ended the last one with a bang and then the show is off the air for weeks, and THIS is what they decide to pick it up with? DVD commentary said the ratings were done for it and I can see why.

Synopsis: Clarice is on Gemenon to sell folks on her virtual afterlife ideas. Lots of religious people talk and scheme and die, but it's boring and seemingly inconsequential. Graystone sells his soul to the Ha'La'Tha (well, actually Zoe's soul -- he's offering them the virtual afterlife avatar thing too) to get his company back from Vergis. And Amanda's not dead. Shocker (not.).

That's it. It was forty minutes of "so what" and "wait, what?" Isn't it a little too cute that both Graystone and Clarice spend this episode peddling the idea of a perpetual virtual existence? And Graystone doesn't have the tech anymore; what is he bargaining with? Not to mention the Tamara experiment, as far as he knows, was a failure. Why would he think this was a good idea?

Let's look at the happenings on Gemenon. While it's nice to get off Caprica, I have no clue what's going on here. I am so much more confused and spent the whole episode confused. After all that talk about Gemenon for so long this is what we get? Apparently, there is a church of monotheism based there. I do not understand why there isn't some big holy war raging on Gemenon, the seat of the polytheistic religion. Are they just super tolerant of all religon on Gemenon? Even so, they are growing terrorists there. I don't understand the relationship between the STO and the Church. So the STO are the "militant arm" of the Church. That means they sanctioned the idea of random terrorism? They recruited kids to join and be terrorists. There is an organized cell network. Oh, and the bizarre Catholic visual trappings continue here. But this is very confusing because I thought Clarice was a Sister of Athena! The Athena Academy is polytheistic in nature. So is this a completely separate church organization that also happens to be obviously Roman Catholic in its iconography? It's such lazy television to always paint religion with Western ideas of monks and nuns. There's even a Mother Superior. Clarice seems to answer to all these people, as if she's a nun in their church. But she's not, right? I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON.

And why should I care? This is the first time we've met most of these characters and we've never clearly had the relationships between the various faiths and stuff laid out for us. So I feel as a viewer I'm always one step behind when they talk about things. This one monk guy gets killed Julius Caesar style at the end of the episode, and I don't care because I just met him and have no idea how he fits into anything. This episode was like being invited to a family barbecue and then finding out that the only ones who showed up were the random cousins you've never met who talk about things you have no connection to.

This episode for the first time breaks the rules established on the series for going in and out of V-world. Usually, there's some visual clue to the audience. But there are none this time. The first time we're in the virtual world is a fake-out where some STO terrorists blow up the stadium. Then we learn it's all in the holoband. So I get why they'd be coy with it, even though it's a stupid cheat. But later when we see New Cap City again there is also no visual signal.

And speaking of that explosion, this was Clarice's ad campaign for STO apotheosis. After the explosion, only the STO terrorists are reborn as avatars to the new afterlife, saying "praise the one true God". As an evangelical Christian, this bit really rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed a blatant dig at evangelical language and rapture ideas. To lump that in with terrorism and shades of Islamic extremisms shows how out of touch Hollywood liberals are regarding religion. It's as if they were saying, "It's all the same," but it's not.

And then we get more glimpses of Barnabas' STO group performing some "ritual" involving bloodletting from their hands. Again, this seems swiped from various Klingon rituals that Ron Moore wrote on DS9 (I've always wondered, wouldn't characters like this have very very scarred hands?). Why is the STO a blood-letting cult, and what does it have to do with anything?

The one good line in the episode is when Obal (the monk I don't care about) says to Clarice, "You want to serve God. ...Or do you want to BE God?" Clearly, that seems to be what's happening. She thinks this grand virtual afterlife of hers is wonderful. She touts it as a religion without faith. Sounds like the progressive humanist's fantasy, doesn't it? And yet she's also talking up the One God. Everything here seems confused and bizarre. She can say "apotheosis" as many times as she wants, but it will not suddenly mean something to this show.

Let's look at that, by the way. She specifically says, "That is apotheosis" of her silly virtual afterlife idea. If this is what she's been talking about this whole time, she's wrong. That's NOT what apotheosis means! Apotheosis means to become like God or gain divinity. Heck, it has the root "theo" (god) right there in the middle! Given the ad campaign when the series premiered where Zoe had the apple, recalling an Adam and Eve scenario, then apotheosis would make sense. That would paint Clarice as the serpent, tempting Zoe with the idea of becoming like God. But in the context of the series as it stands now, there is no apotheosis. Even in the looser sense of the word, meaning the ultimate quintessence of being, I don't see how a phony avatar copy of someone counts as something so transcendant. Really, isn't it dependent on the computers running the programs (why has nobody brought this up? Where is all this data stored? The holoband worlds have to "exist" somewhere beyond the ether)? In no way is this about becoming god-like. And how is this at all relevant to the service of this One God over the many?

In the pilot, it seemed very heavily implied that monotheism was a fringe idea and strongly associated with the STO. To me, to now have an organized church of monotheism flies in the face of that concept. These aren't a secret cult of a few crazies. And why aren't they being more evangelistic about the One God instead of just blowing crap up?

Clarice leaves Gemenon having gotten the blessings of the Church to take over the STO cells on Caprica. Whatever. The idea you'd need church permission to be Head Terrorist is so incredibly stupid to me.

At the end of the episode, we're back in New Cap City and Zoe shows up there. I honestly didn't even recognize her as Zoe for a long time. She kills a bunch of guys who have Tamara's mark on their heads. Since she's pure avatar she cannot be killed either, and she can manipulate code just like Tamara. BUT... last we saw of Zoe she was in a robot and crashed into a road block. How did she gain access to the holobands and why did she go to this game world specifically? And how did she learn of her code-manipulation powers? (or is that how she changes clothes?)

This episode was a lot of sound and fury that signified very little. Of course Amanda's not dead. I have all kinds of questions regarding Zoe. I don't care at all about the STO storyline. This just felt like a boring waste of an episode and a terrible way to kick things off. Watching this, it's no surprise that the show was cancelled.

And what the heck does the title have to do with anything? Who or what was unvanquished?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

End of Line

Now we come to the halfway point of Caprica's first (and only) season. And of course, its title is a reference to Battlestar Galactica.

Synopsis: Lacy has joined Barnabas' cell in the Soldiers of the One to gain his help shipping Zoe-bot to Gemenon. He enlists her to plant something on Sister Clarice, which she does. She thinks it's just a tracker, but of course it's a bomb detonator (of course it is, Lacy, you idiot). Adama's search for Tamara finally comes to an end as he finds her, only to have her shoot him out of the game for good. Graystone is on the verge of losing his company's contract to Vergis. In desperation, he orders a clean wipe of the aberrant (read: Zoe) bits in the MCP so they can start fresh and copy it from there. Well, that puts a time crunch on Zoe, who now must leave or die. She reveals to Philomon that she is Rachel and really Zoe and needs his help. He plays along, only to call for security. She flips out, kills him, and escapes in a truck. Amanda's insanity has made her suicidal and she goes up to a bridge to jump off. As the episode ends, Lacy is forced to set off the bomb in Clarice's car (which she does), but Clarice has luckily stepped out to look at the suicide attempt of Amanda jumping off a bridge, and Zoe tries to drive through a road block, flipping the truck and leaving everyone's fate in question.

Hey, this episode was directed by Star Trek: Voyager's Roxann Dawson! She does a lot of TV directing now.

I love that I complained in my last post about how nobody every swears by specific gods, and then in this episode it happens twice! Now that's more like it. Graystone says, "Sweet Aphrodite!" at one point.

I'm really tired of the whole New Cap City thing at this point. I don't understand why Tamara stays there. And what a giant waste of time this whole plot thread was! It was dragged out over four episodes, just so she could shoot him and get rid of him. Uh, YOU WERE THE ONE WHO ASKED FOR HIM, TAMARA!! You specifically sent Heracles into the real world to tell your dad where you were, and then you avoid him for days and when he finally finds you, you kill him. I do not understand this at all. What a waste of time. This is exactly the kind of crap I expect from the writers of BSG.

Turns out Emmanuel was actually none other than Adama's personal assistant lady! She's been stringing him along this whole time. In the real world, Adama's lying at home essentially comatose hooked up to his holoband incessantly. Can't have that, so "Emmanuel" goes to Tamara and creates a set-up for him to get him back. This was all her idea. But why does Tamara go along with it? Part of the reasoning is that Adama is becoming an "amp head". Well, 1) he only did it to find you, Tamara, so why were you avoiding him?? and 2) YOU GAVE HIM THE AMP, EMMANUEL! and now you're all "stop using that stuff!" Why do they write women as so insanely inconsistent? Adama can't ever see his fake daughter again because the woman who said she was there to help him find her got him hooked on drugs and permanently separated from her, while the woman he wants to find -- who herself was responsible for his learning she was still around -- doesn't want to see him and just gets rid of him. Adama had moved on before you sent Heracles after him! If he's a holo-addicted amp head, it's your fault, ladies! WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ANY OF THIS?

The theme of girls killing their pursuers continues with Zoe killing Philo. She really was just using him anyway, so in a way he's better off. But why does the good-natured socially awkward nerd have to be exploited by women and then killed and discarded? What kind of a horrible message is that? "I love you, as long as you do what I say." Sure, Zoe's a teenager, but that doesn't excuse the series.

As I mentioned above, Lacy is completely stupid to not think there is obviously a bomb in Sister Clarice's car. That's what Barnabas does: he blows stuff up. And we know how he dislikes Clarice. But why does Barnabas keep blowing things up? What's his objective? Yes, he's a monotheist, but how do random bombings promote your cause? The show is again trying to show its "relevance", but in the real world there is always some sort of objective, even if it's a stupid one. You bomb a target or you "take out the infidel" or something. Killing Clarice actually makes a bit of sense, but I don't understand the train bombing or the other bombings throughout Caprica. I'm also tired of the series painting all monotheistic religion with a broad brush, as if to say "and of course they use suicide bombings because they're religious!"

Amanda is now suicidal. I just don't get her character at all. I don't know why they write her the way they do. Apparently, the story was originally that she was being driven insane on purpose by Vergis. He had hired a guy who looked like her brother to show up random places and "Gaslight" her. Bizarre as that is, I think I would have preferred it. Amanda is now just randomly hallucinating, and it's making her unstable, and then she jumps off a bridge. Even telling me she has a history of mental illness doesn't make this any more believable for me. She's spent the entire season in bizarre extremes of emotion. I never feel like she's actually a character; just a function of plot and set pieces.

In a broader way, it feels like the series is essentially saying all women are stupid or insane. And that's a dangerous subtext to promote, even unconsciously. I'm sure they don't intend that to be the message, but just about every storyline here hinges on the female characters being insane or naive or violent or inconsistent. Yes, Graystone is responsible for Zoe's breakout. But it's still an episode full of women doing violent, irrational things. So every story does sort of culminate in this explosive ending, but for what? Will the second half of the series be any better? If this is the direction it's going, I doubt it.

I found the pilot pretty good overall, but the series has been an inconsistent jumble. Commentary tracks have suggested part of that was due to them not really knowing the tone of the show at first. They had planned it to be more of a prime-time soap, and to have more humor in it. Then they found it wasn't working. Well, obviously, because where was that stuff in the pilot? So many threads from the first 8 episodes start and then go nowhere. Sam grooming Willy for the underworld of the Ha'La'Tha went nowhere. Willy didn't even appear in the last few episodes. What about all that weird polygamous stuff with Sister Clarice? Irrelevant. So it was just for random shock value. There was that tease that she was grooming Lacy for it, or that one of the husbands was hitting on her, and then that went nowhere. Amanda was distraught, then believed Zoe a terrorist, then she didn't believe she was a terrorist, then she was normal, then distraught again, then hallucinating, then jumped off a bridge. They set up this tease of Tamara, and then string us along only to end it abruptly. We haven't seen anything of the GDD investigation for the past few episodes either. Vergis threatens to attack Graystone by taking away "what he loves the most". This was supposed to set up the Gaslight plot, but when that was cut the line just lies there meaning nothing. He makes a threat, then doesn't follow through. Sure, he buys the C-Bucs, but he was going to do that anyway before he made the threat. What about when Joseph Adama was a lawyer? We haven't seen him in court for four episodes. And what about that thread of the corrupt judge? That was dropped too. This series is proving once again that these writers don't know what they're doing. I'm starting to think that the sloppiness in BSG's early writing was less sloppy than this. And I thought this season started much stronger than BSG. How quickly it's dropped off. The production value is still good, and it's great to not suffer through so much zoomy shaky-cam as with BSG, but what is this show about? What is the point? Religion is bad? Religion is good? There's something about humanity bringing about destruction, but that's on the backburner. Apart from the questionable continuity problems with BSG, the show just on its own doesn't know what it wants to be. We'll see if they succeed in finding out in the remaining episodes, but I'm not hopeful.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ghosts in the Machine

Synopsis: Adama's still tracking Tamara through New Cap City, which leads him to a cabaret where the crossdressing MC might have information on her whereabouts. Except that it ends up being a dead end and we basically waste another episode. But Adama learns to kill in the virtual world (after asking Sam the awkward question, "How do you kill people?"), and he starts seeing graffiti that suggests Tamara had been there. Graystone is driven to near madness with his obsession to discover if Zoe is truly inside the robot. He subjects her to several torturous experiments in hopes that she will reveal herself. As the episode ends, she's afraid of what she'll do to him if Lacy doesn't get her to Geminon soon.

Amanda is still kind of crazy and obsessing about her brother, and this still isn't really going anywhere. But Vergis showed up at the house and told her that her husband stole his MCP, which she has a hard time believing.

It's so frustrating to spend so much of an episode in New Cap City and still get nothing out of it. It was all basically a dead end. Yes, he learns that people think she's part of the game since she can't die, but we knew that already. And how rude of them to tantalize us with a riddle and not reveal the answer!

The stuff with Graystone and Zoe-bot is much more interesting. We learn more about the house they used to live in, which was mentioned in a previous episode. Apparently there was a fire and Zoe was trapped for a long period of time. It seems this has left her with a fear of fire. Graystone then goes forward with an insidious experiment to lure Zoe out: he'll set a fire around the robot, and expects Zoe to walk out of it. He's also ordered the robot to stay, so if it moves it's because of Zoe. This episode is essentially a game of chicken between Zoe and her father, as each stubbornly maintains their position. Alessandra does a lot with just silent facial expressions in these scenes; it's really nice.

One thing that bothers me is the final test with Zoe, when we see her she's got her hands on her hips. But the robot's hands are by its sides. Why is this different? It's just odd to me. Then comes the final test: shoot your beloved dog. I hate dogs, so I was kind of hoping it would die. Zoe-bot does indeed fire, but it seems Graystone is not that cruel and the gun was loaded with blanks. That would have been fine, but then we get a follow-up scene where Zoe tells Lacy about it. She says the robot could sense right away that they were blanks. That really bothered me because it effectively killed the tension of the scene. If she knew they were blanks, then it was no test at all. They try to save the scene by saying if they hadn't been blanks, Zoe might have shot her father instead. But I wish they had just left it alone.

Anyway, all this is the only thing interesting about this episode. The rest is a lot of people talking or de-resing but we still aren't getting anywhere narratively. I'm almost at the half-way point of this season and I hope something happens soon.

The Imperfections of Memory

Synopsis: Amanda thinks she's going crazy because she's been seeing her brother -- a brother that died years ago in a car crash. Zoe goes on another date with Philo, trying to plant the idea of getting the robot outside the lab. Adama finds Heracles, the kid sent by Tamara, and is taken to New Cap City. However, Adama gets him killed in the game, leaving him to wander by himself until Heracles sends a new guide: a woman called Emmanuel. The episode ends with Graystone coming to the realization that Zoe is perhaps still in the robot.

In this episode, we learn that Amanda was institutionalized for a few years because she was crazy, seeing her dead brother after the crash. She's now seeing him again. Well, at least that sort of explains her wild shifts in mood episode to episode. She's just nuts!

As Zoe takes to Lacy about their plans, she says, "I have another date with cute lab boy." This line bugged me because at this point she knows his name. Why not just call him by his name? Was it for Lacy's benefit? Or is it one of those annoying instances of reminding the audience who he is? I wonder if "cute lab boy" was some message board moniker for him before they introduced his name.

Their date involves flying vipers, a little nod to BSG. Obviously these aren't space-faring vipers, but more like planetary fighter jets. Still, I guess it's an early design on the way to what we eventually see on BSG.

I continue to feel like the Tamara/New Cap City storyline is mostly useless to this show. We have enough threads to follow without this one. Yes, it does further the idea of immortality in virtual form which is part of the whole STO plan. But I just don't really care about it. Also, why doesn't Tamara just stay in one place? Didn't she say, "I'll be in New Cap City so you can find me"? So they come back to New Cap City and can't find you!

Sister Clarice is further trying to manipulate Amanda, taking her to her favorite drug den to cozy up to her. Amanda starts to spill her history of hallucinations. This culminates in Clarice suggesting they are from God and Amanda needs to open up to God. Amanda replies, "Which god?" So Clarice is slowly working her over to the STO's monotheism, but to what end? Amanda doesn't know anything about Zoe. I also find something very unsettling about casting monotheists as villains on this show.

Speaking of gods, it bothers me that characters always swear "by the gods" or "oh my gods!" If they serve many gods, and some more than others, why does know when curse by or pray to a specific god? No one goes, "By Athena, that's crazy!" or "Mars help me!" This makes the polytheism kind of less believable to me. There should be more specific god veneration.

Again, this is an episode that's all about dragging stories along and connecting more dots but by the end I'm no closer to anything then when the show started. Things sort of happen, but they also don't, and I'm getting tired of episodes like that.

I would like to briefly look at the semiotics of the show, and this episode seems a good place to talk about names. The original series used mythological names and Caprica is following. The kid in New Cap City is named Heracles, a heroic name of mythology that you probably know as Hercules. Perhaps significant because in the game is the only time he feels like a hero. He's torn between godhood and ordinary humanity, as it were. Adama's new guide is Emmanuel, which means "God with us." Not a bad name for a guide, though part of me wishes it had been Beatrice or a man named Virgil, just because a guide through the underworld having a name out of Dante would amuse me. Zoe is a name that suggests new life, which is exactly what her character represents. And what about Philomon? The name is Greek, seeming to perhaps include the root "phileo", suggesting brotherly love. There is also a Philemon (different spelling) in the New Testament. There's a brief letter sent by Paul to him. Philemon was a Christian likely from the group at Colosse. His slave Onesimus had come to Paul, and the text suggest he might have run away. In the letter, Paul sends him back, saying he wished Onesimus could stay with him but that it was up to Philemon. He suggests Philemon receive Onesimus back "no longer as a slave but more than a slave -- a beloved brother" (Philemon 16). Does any of this have anything to do with the character on Caprica? No idea. But I feel like they wouldn't have just plucked the name out for no reason.

Also, the institution where crazy Amanda spent some time is at Delphi. In ancient Greece, there was a temple at Delphi where people would seek oracles from the gods. Modern archaeology suggests that it was built on vents of gas that would cause priests of Delphi to hallucinate, thus producing these oracles. So it's a little amusing that the person seeing hallucinations is brought to Delphi of all places.

That's about all for now, I guess. I hope things pick up.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Know Thy Enemy

Syonpsis: Everyone's enemies start coming out of the woodwork this episode. Graystone's competitor, Tomas Vergis is convinced that Graystone was involved in the theft of the MCP device and the death of two men in the process. Though he strings him along for the episode, in the end he reveals he's Tauron through and through, and that means he wants blood for blood from Graystone. Sister Clarice's little cabal of monotheists have a small drive that can surreptitiously copy data from any computer. Hoping it will help them get the Zoe avatar, she goes to the Graystone residence and, after getting Amanda a little tipsy, gains access to the lab and downloads his computer contents. Whether or not this gives her access to Zoe, we don't yet know. Lacy's still trying to get help getting Zoe-bot to Geminon, and Zoe learns Philemon, the tech geek, is a lonely soul who can't get a match on his internet dating profile. So she posts a fake reply as "Rachel" and meets him in the V-Club in disguise -- a Clark Kent disguise that amounts to a pair of glasses and being clumsy. Seems like a sweet gesture, but I doubt Philo will see it that way when he learns the truth.

Let's deal with that story first. I suppose it was only a matter of time before Zoe tried something like that with him, since there's really on other way they can keep flirting when she's a robot. It's also a bit depressing that guys like him can't get girls unless someone overhears his private moments and pities him. I credit Philo for immediately saying that "Rachel" looks just like Zoe Graystone. Zoe bluffs it off by saying she thought having an avatar that looked like Zoe would keep the perverts away (but it only incited them). But why doesn't Zoe just create an entirely different avatar image? Or steal one from some other girl? Then again, I guess that would amount to holoband catfishing.

Should Philo be on a holoband date when he's working?

The episode opens with a visit to Vergis Industries in Tauron City. But I'm left confused as to whether Tauron City is on Tauron or is just a city of Tauron people on Caprica. I would love it if we could see or hear of another city on Caprica to break up the homogenous nature of this planet.

The next scene is set in a museum and is the worst scene of the episode for me due to the location chosen. I know they are shooting this in Vancouver, and there's a lot they can get away with by fudging things and visual effects to make it Caprica. But this "museum" was just a museum full of what appeared to be Tlingit art; totem poles and native pieces celebrating the Raven. This immediately takes me out of the world of Caprica because I start questioning who the people are that made these things. I shouldn't be thinking about indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest, but I am. Are we to believe there is some similar culture on Caprica? Raven veneration and other sorts of native paganism and animal worship seem very different from the Greco-Roman polytheism of the rest of the populace. Did the ancient Capricans make these things? Are they from some other colony? Or are we meant to believe that these are the works of the original natives of that world before the Capricans came and colonized it? We have no context for any of it and it felt very bizarre to see such things so prominently displayed. I couldn't pay any attention to the scene between Vergis and Graystone. It was distracting.

While we're on the subject of religion, let's look at the Cylons and the one God. It seems the series is setting up that the reason the Cylons were monotheistic is that Zoe was monotheistic and that was imparted to them. But on BSG there WAS a god of some sort because we saw his angelic emissaries. So is this real god the god of the STO? Is he okay with the bombings in his name? It all just seems to go weirdly in circles. How did this monotheistic movement start? Was it by divine revelation?

Adama buys a holoband in hopes of getting in touch with Tamara. But he can't access the V Club because that's an illegal hack. We see instead the "welcome screen" for first-time users. I thought that was a nice touch. He now needs to find the kid who told him about Tamara.

Not much more to say about this one. Stuff happened, but it more just a series of stepping stones to move the story forward.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

There Is Another Sky

Synopsis: This episode ignores most of our other leads to pick up the thread of avatar-Tamara running around free. She wants desperately to get home, so she hooks up with some folks in the V Club who say they'll help her if she helps them first. This involves a quest through the online game New Caprica City. Meanwhile, Joseph Adama learns his son has been skipping school and they hold a Tauron memorial service for their dead. Dr. Graystone is about to be thrown out of the company over the holoband thing, but he placates the board by revealing Cylon Zoe (not as Zoe of course) and unveiling his plan for the company's future: a Cylon slave race. Because THAT always works out...

This episode is odd for having no scenes at all of Lacy or Sister Clarice and very little Zoe. Speaking of Zoe, I neglected to ask in my prior review, how is it she can change clothes now? For the first few episodes, her avatar image remained stuck in that party dress from the pilot. That made sense to me. But then "Gravedancing" opened with her in the V Club in a different outfit. I thought, okay maybe she can change virtual clothes inside the virtual world somehow. But she's wearing something different this time too. Why? Does it just make her feel more "normal" to change clothes every day?

Tamara is still stuck on her own, which makes sense since there is no "her" outside anymore. But what I don't understand is why back in "Reins of a Waterfall" Zoe just let her go the way she did. Zoe KNOWS she's pure code, and assumes that her father put her there. So saying "Those doors lead outside" won't help Tamara since she's not real. For a computer genius, Zoe's kind of stupid. If it had played out that Tamara was like, "Thanks, bye!" against Zoe's objection, that would have worked. But it makes no sense to me for Zoe to just let her go when it's reasonable to assume she has nowhere to go.

Tamara seeks help from this woman who runs a russian roulette game. Only in this version, it's a bunch of pistols on an actual spinning roulette wheel. I just find it kind of silly, and it reminds me of an old Lost in Space episode where something similar happened, only it was laser guns.

The action moves to Caprica's version of an MMORPG, New Caprica City. It's like Grand Theft Auto meets Gotham City meets World of Warcraft or something. Nobody knows the point of playing, or how you win, but they all keep playing. Tamara is special because she can't die in the game, so they use her to help them rob some fat cat. This is all very obvious commentary on modern video games. The kid Tamara's with says this place is real to him because here he can be somebody, and she says, "Maybe if you weren't here in the holoband all day you could be somebody out there." And I think that's kind of unfair. It's a very simplistic, judgmental attitude to say "Oh well, maybe you wouldn't be such a loser if you stopped playing games and did something with your life." And just because I always need to point it out, this is yet another theme that Star Trek already did in "Hollow Pursuits".

This theme of hiding in fantasy worlds seems to resonate a bit with Willy Adama as well. He would rather spend time in the underworld of Little Tauron where he feels like somebody than out in Caprica where kids treat him like [he eats] dirt.

What is going on with Amanda Graystone? She seems to be totally coping now with Zoe's death. It feels like a complete 180 from the Amanda who was falling apart calling her daughter a terrorist. It doesn't seem natural to me.

At times I feel like they go too far making Caprica "just like us" where people where suits and fedoras, drive the same sorts of cars, carry cell phones, etc. Apart from the holobands (which have contemporary analogs -- it's just virtual reality mashed with the internet) and e-sheets and paper without corners, it's just normal. If some viewer hadn't seen BSG and tuned in to this, I don't know if they'd really get where this world is. If you told me this was supposed to be Earth in the not-too-distant future, I'd believe it because there's really very little about this show to tell me otherwise. Or at the very least, a parallel dimension. I would totally buy that it's a parallel dimension. Considering how the whole BSG thing ends it also makes it all feel a little silly.

The big thing about Tamara is that as pure avatar she cannot die. Anyone else who "dies" in the V Club will immediately de-res and disappear. ...But why then doesn't the virgin sacrifice victim in the pilot disappear once that knife goes in her head? Does she eventually and we don't see it? Or are the virgin sacrifices not real, just code so kids can fulfill these fantasies? If that's the case, it seems kind of a hollow sacrifice (no sacrifice at all really) and I can't see how Hecate would be pleased.

Graystone immediately suggesting the Cylons as a slave race seems incredibly stupid to me. For a world that's just like ours, don't they have science fiction about robots rising up against their makers? You can't give a machine "artificial sentience" and then expect it to just do your bidding!

Speaking of that scene, Graystone orders Zoe-bot to rip off her arm and eventually she does. I kept wishing for a shot of Alessandra with no arm, just out of morbid curiosity.

There's a nice touch in the memorial service scene where Bear McCreary does a little musical nod to "Wander, My Friends," the memorial theme from Battlestar.

As the episode ends, Tamara learns she is dead in the real world, and is using her new-found avatar powers to control New Caprica City. She's sent the other guy into the real world to tell her father about her. So now just as Adama's let her go, he learns she's not gone after all. It's a very odd episode since so much of it plays out inside a virtual world, and while it helps tie up whatever happened to Tamara, I feel like I kind of don't care. I wonder if it was a mistake for the show to introduce that thread, since we're really no closer to anything about the STO or the monotheists or Sister Clarice and her crazy bed full of people. We did get the next jump ahead in the creation of the Cylons, but as I said back in the pilot review, this whole story already feels contrary to canon. This episode is the first time Sam is somewhat likeable, and not just a hired thug. But I do find it interesting that every time Ron Moore thinks he's being progressive by including a gay couple, they are always villains, or at least bad people in some way. I also wonder what the very Mormon creator of BSG, Glen Larson thinks about all this. The original series was a very Mormon show littered with Mormon ideology. To see his creation proudly espousing homosexuality as normal I bet rubs him the wrong way.


Synopsis: Dr. Graystone is going on that Patton Oswald talk show to try to undo the damage his wife did. She doesn't want him to, accusing him of dancing on Zoe's grave as it were (hence the title). With the cameras rolling, he's unable to hit the talking points the company wants him to, and Amanda strolls out to object to some of the things being said about Zoe. Together they have a cogent discussion taking the onus off Zoe being a terrorist and suggesting that the V Clubs are harming society. Graystone admits that he knows Zoe didn't like them because he talked to an avatar of her after she died. He claims to have made the avatar himself. The Graystones announce the company will no longer profit from the holobands, and they will set up a foundation for the victims. Sister Clarice has been watching it all, very interested in the tidbit about the avatar. Meanwhile, Sam Adama is out to make good on last week's cliffhanger and kill Amanda to bring "balance". Throughout the episode he's foiled by other people being in the room. In the end, Joseph Adama can't go through with it and Sam just scares her. Oh, and that nerdy scientist kid is running some tests on the Zoe robot, and Zoe seems to be into him. The governement agents are no closer to uncovering anything about the Soldiers of the One, and this is making them very frustrated.

I enjoyed this episode more than the previous one, mostly for the drama and discussion on the TV show. I thought there were some cogent points made and it was nice to shift away from "Zoe is a terrorist!" What I don't understand is why Amanda now is backtracking on that statement. She now acts like she doesn't think Zoe's a terrorist. So what changed her mind? Maybe she should have thought of that before announcing it to the world.

Is Zoe developing a thing for robo-scientist? She does realize he thinks she's a robot, right? And does this kid have some creepy attachment to this robot that I should be unsettled by?

I'm very curious why the GDD (that is their name, right?) are pursuing the investigation so desperately. Raiding the school and the Graystones' home (but not the lab where the Zoe-bot is, ha ha) means they are grasping for any new leads. As Amanda asks, why do they care sooo much?

There was some passing suggestion that the STO kids were the product of some crazy Geminons coercing them into their cult. This still makes no sense to me. The Geminons are the keepers of the religion of the Twelve Colonies. They are the leading polytheists. I just don't see why THEY would be a haven for a cult of monotheists. Just because that's where "religion" comes from in this world? It really seems poorly thought out to me, and in opposition to what we saw on BSG.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back From the Ashes

Has it really been 4 years already?

In the years since my last post, Caprica has come and gone. A full season, and then cancellation. Eventually a second project, Blood and Chrome was created first teased as a series, then a web series, then who knows what, and eventually released as I guess a miniseries of some sort.

I never finished watching Caprica. And I was just talking about BSG the other day and figured I might as well this time. So I'm going to watch Caprica and post reflections for the remaining episodes. I'll probably follow that up with Blood and Chrome. After that, I do plan to do a BSG rewatch, though whether or not I'll blog anything about it I'm as yet unsure.

I just wanted to say to any out there who used to read these or who stumble upon them now, I'm back.