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.

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