Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review - Caprica Season 1 Episode 6 Know Thy Enemy

Caprica's ratings have been modest to say the least, but have been very stable through the season. Syfy executives have pledged their full support though a renewal speaks louder than words. Looking forward, it's doubtful Caprica will pick up new fans. It already comes with the burden of Battlestar Galactica, which unfortunately ended badly, so new viewers would be hard pressed to get invested in a new show that requires dedicated watching every week.

New viewers who watched "Know Thy Enemy" probably didn't like it much even if they did understand what was going on. In a serialized show, there's set-up episodes that don't look like much on the first watch. Often, there is little payoff in the immediate, because the writers are building to something. "Know Thy Enemy" was very muted with little story or thematic development other than a few new players, ultimately being an unsatisfying episode.

Daniel employed Joseph and to steal the MCP in the pilot, and until now, nothing really came of the robbery. Tomas Vergis, head of the Vergil Corporation, arrives on Caprica to talk to Daniel. Two of his men were killed during the robbery, and he's out for revenge not for his device but for his money. We've seen the familial and ethnic bond of Taurons, and this is further evidence of how far they will go. He is more concerned for the lives of his men instead of his business. Throughout the episode, Daniel has dreams of the two men dying, and is troubled by what happened, but his business concerns come first, showing the difference between a Caprican and a Tauron.

At first, Daniel is worried Vergis will tell the media of the theft, and confronts Joseph, who immediately is worried. Vergis, however, has other plans. He plans to bring down Daniel from the inside out. First, he offers to buy the Caprica Buccaneers for a large sum of money. Knowing his company is in a tight place financially, Daniel has to consider the offer. Later, Vergis appears on Sarno's show to explain his offer. In light of everything that happened, Vergis claims he too is a Caprican. Right...but in the climate of mourning, people will accept anything. Did you see Bush's poll numbers after 9/11?

Daniel meets Vergis to talk, thinking he has everything figured out. Vergis wants to appear to be a Caprican to win back the contract. No so. Vergis goes explains Daniel's love of pyramid, and how his dream is to destroy Daniel's dream. Scary stuff, but Vergis is too one-sided right now to be considered anything other than a plot device.

James Marsters (Buffy, Angel) makes his first appearance as Barnabus, the self-flagellating STO terrorist. Keon brings Lacy to him to get to Gemenon, but he wants to know more details before agreeing to anything. We learn that Keon built the bomb of the MagLev, so he's deeper into everything than previously thought. Marster's brief appearance was interesting and perfect tonally, and I'm guessing we'll see a lot more of him in the next episodes.

The STO  is not a monochrome organization as you might expect from a group with such fervent beliefs. On one side of the spectrum is Sister Clarice who avidly disapproves of Barnabus and on the other is Barnabus, who commits violence and hurts himself. Clarice isn't beyond a bit of espionage though. She needs to get the Zoebot code from the Graystone's house, and connects with Amanda to get in and copy the data.

Joseph tries, unsuccessfully and hilariously, to enter New Cap City and find Tamara. He buys a holoband, but soon discovers from the Daniel Graystone starting avatar that he can only access legal applications. It's like old people discovering the internet.

Joseph gets Evelyn to find the Heracles. On closer inspection, his ID identifies him as Tad Thorean. Evelyn has Joseph lift his shirt, so she can look at his tattoo. She's definitely into him.

There's weird stuff going on between Philomon and Zoe. With no girls caring about him in the V-world, Philomon turns to the robot, and thankfully, Daniel comes in to stop him before he does anything crazy. The cuts back and forth between the robot and Zoe work well as we see Zoe pleasantly charmed by Philomon. Zoe pretends to be a real girl, and meets Philomon in the V-world. He recognizes her as a Zoe like-alike, and she explains that more perverts are going after her now. Is this creepy to anyone?

There's only three episodes left in the half season, so there's probably something big coming up. Syfy's stupid extra-long hiatuses suck, don't they?They'll probably try to milk more money out of the series by selling a Caprica Season 0.5 DVD. But I digress. What do you think will happen? Will Lacy reach Gemenon? Maybe something will happen in New Cap City. There's so many threads that anything exciting can happen from any angle.

Score: 8.7/10
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