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.

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