Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review - Caprica Season 1 Episode 7 The Imperfections of Memory

There's two episodes left before a 6 month break (in the same season), and with interesting developments, propelled the show towards a mid-season finale The plotting has been slow--deliberately so--but there was definite progress this week amid the great themes. If I had to guess, Zoebot will get to Gemenon sooner than expected.

Amanda Graystone was one of the more confusing characters, and "The Imperfections of Memory" gave an explanation for her behavior. I was shocked when she announced to the world that she daughter was a murderer and even more perplexed when she later backtracked in private and on Sarno's show. Her actions were always inconsistent, and she seemed loony, on the verge of collapse at times and happy, oblivious to her circumstances at other times. There was immense pressure put on her by the acknowledgement that her daughter could be involved with the MagLev bombing to go on top of her grieving. Still, neither Daniel nor Joseph cracked, while Amanda fell into a state of desolation, held together by the tenuous privacy of the Graystone home.

In a series of allusions leading up to a conversation with Sister Clarice, we see flashes of what happened in the past and the profound impact it had on her current state. Amanda sees her brother, Darius, all over the place and tries to follow, but fails to catch him each time. Amanda explains to Clarice that Darius died many years ago in a car crash. In the present day, Amanda chased Darius to a location with a poster of where he died. After a few years at the Delphi Convalescent Institute, intensive therapy, and medication, Amanda was still not perfect. Zoe being killed and subsequently suspected of the bombing decimated any chance she could recuperate.

Sister Clarice has plans of her own and isn't just a shoulder to cry on. The swipe drive shows that Zoe was on the Graystone computer but was downloaded into another device. By getting close to Amanda, Clarice hopes to find Zoe. She also tries to push Amanda towards monotheism, telling her to trust God. Not thinking or listening too intently, Amanda asks "which god," but of course there is only one for Clarice.

I don't want to compare Caprica to Battlestar Galactica, but Amanda's visions of her deceased brother feels so familiar. It's a mix of Kara returning from the dead and Roslin's vision of Hera--both plots that didn't really work in the end. Hopefully it's just part of Amanda's imagination and not some crazy paranormal silliness. There was another BSG reference with Amanda quoting the old saying“All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.” The writers have a difficult job balancing the shows, and are approaching BSG Looking far ahead to the end of the series, I can't imagine how Caprica will fit into the mythology of BSG, and if it doesn't, I won't mind.

Vergis continues to close in on Daniel. Graystone Industries continues to lose money, and Vergis is pressuring the board. Cyrus suggests that Daniel sell the Caprica Buccaneers, but that's exactly what Vergis wants to do. To compound the problem, Vergis tells Daniel that the stolen MCP was never fully functional in the first place.There is no easy way out. Daniel isn't churning out Cylons as he hoped, and will have to do something or he'll lose the contract.

Philomon may have the solution. Following a random Viper flight simulator crash in the V-world, Zoe and Philomon talk about the world. Zoe thinks the V-world shouldn't be used as an excuse rather to do things, but rather emulate real life. She provides a suggestion that may prove vital to the success of Graystone Industries. Zoe says that there should be a program that can alter trees or anything else slightly so there are infinite variations, setting off a thought in Philomon's head. First, they have to make up, and in the real world, Philomon tells Daniel his great new idea. It sounded a lot like techno babble to me, but it was something about treating the MCP as analogy instead of digital. Did anyone understand this?

Joseph tracks down Tad/Heracles, and gets into New Cap City where he immediately faces the harsh face of the game. I don't know if this was a dig at Second Life or not, but it seemed like the writers were trying to make fun of a virtual world based on reality that let people fly. They run around trying to avoid rockets and bullets, but eventually, Tad is hit, and permanently out of the game. Considering how much he relies on the virtual world, I couldn't help but feel bad for him. It looks like Joseph is out of luck with his limited knowledge of the world. Conveniently, a mysterious woman named Emmanuelle shows up and offers to help him for a price.

Barnabus was nowhere to be seen, but Lacy is still trying to move ahead with original Zoe's plan.  Lacy talks to Keon, and he tells her that Barnabus won't help her unless she's STO. Easy, right? She agrees to become STO. I bet she'll regret that decision. It became a lot clearer what the grand plan is. Lacy's part is to get transportation to Gemenon while Zoe will use Philomon to get the Cylon to the transportation. Without a doubt, Zoe likes Philomon, but the cause is still greater.

The episode ends with Daniel peering into the red slits of the Cylon, uttering the single word, Zoe. Maybe Daniel will find out what his furtive daughter has been doing. Every storyline was solid this week, and even the Lacy story, which is usually shafted, offered up a tidbit. Seven episodes in, and Caprica has already established the characters to an incredible length. We see them all desiring something, taking action to get what they want, but their motivations are vastly different, coming from all different directions. It's engrossing to say the least.

Score: 9.2/10
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