Saturday, February 20, 2010

Caprica, "Gravedancing": The Oswalt report

A review of last night's "Caprica" coming up just as soon as I'm careful with the cello...
"We're not company spokespeople. We're parents!" -Amanda
"Actually, no. We're not." -Daniel
Due to a quirk in the scheduling (Syfy didn't want to counterprogram corporate sibling NBC's coverage of the Olympics opening ceremonies), we've had two weeks to dwell on Joseph Adama's request that his brother kill Amanda.(*) "Gravedancing" drags out the suspense for an additional hour, as Joseph keeps flip-flopping on whether he wants Sam to go through with it, and as outside circumstances keep delaying Sam's opportunity to do it.

(*) That scheduling quirk also made this episode feel uncanny in its timing, as Daniel tries to make a big, televised apology on the same day that Tiger Woods tried something similar in the real world.

In the end, it turns out to be a bridge that neither Joseph nor the show are willing to cross. And while that's understandable, it also made "Gravedancing" feel a bit emptier than the previous episodes. There's a lot of talk about big plot developments, but unless you count Daniel Graystone's pledge to stop making money off of the holo-band (and whatever that means for his company, which depends so heavily on that revenue), not a lot actually happens in this one.

But even if "Gravedancing" was light on plot movement, the world-building and character development are still keeping a tight hold on my interest.

We learn that the colonies (or, at least, Caprica) legalized drugs in an attempt to eliminate drug-related crime (which would give the show the Bunny Colvin/David Simon "Wire" Seal of Approval), and I continue to enjoy just watching the production's mix of cutting-edge and retro, like the press gaggle all using cameras that look like something out of the 1930s while filming the raid on the school, even as Sister Clarice and Keon are swapping notes on their Caprican iPads.

"Gravedancing" was also a strong check-in on the Graystone marriage and the relationship between the brothers Adama. Whatever coldness exists in their marriage related to Zoe, Daniel and Amanda made a formidable team on Baxter Sarno's show(**) and even managed to find some humor in their dire situation by episode's end. And I'm really enjoying Sasha Roiz's work as Sam. He's a killer and a crook, but he's also gentle and charming and far prouder of his culture than Joseph, and it's easy to understand why Willie is drawn to his uncle far more than his dad.

(**) And I thought Jane Espenson's script and Patton Oswalt's performance neatly captured two "Daily Show" interview dynamics: both the one where Jon Stewart is determined to lecture his guests and the one where Stewart finds himself too impressed by the guests to keep asking follow-up questions.

Zoe didn't do much but dance this week (that and find a way to get out of that purple dress she's been wearing since the pilot), but the Zoe/Cylon shifting-POV gimmick continues to be fun to watch even when nothing is happening, since Alessandra Torresani has such expressive eyes (perfect for a sequence like this where Zoe's just enjoying the lab dork's attention) and looks so completely the opposite of a killer robot.

What did everybody else think?

57 comments:

Karen said...

Enjoyed it, but never for a second did I think the number three name in the opening credits was going to be killed this soon into the series, so no suspense there. And couldn't help but think, as it was happening, that showing Zoe dancing saved a bundle on CGI expenses.

Those quibbles aside, really liking this show.

kishkeking said...

Bill Hendrickson should start watching Caprica. Maybe he'll learn a thing or two on how a pologomist family should live. Can't get enough of the Zoe/cylon scenes. She plays it just right. Those eyes..... So much expression for such a young actress.

Billiam said...

As Amanda is in the opening credits, I didn't think they would kill her. Still, I really enjoyed this episode.

However, I thought the raid scene at the school was ridiculous. The GDD times it so that its before classes, and thus every student is standing in the hallway in their way. And they proceed to destroy every single locker. That seemed wholly unnecessary and made them look like huge jerks.

Anonymous said...

I found Zoe and the lab guys's little dance utterly charming. Great moment.

mkr said...

did you notice the model name on sam's car? galactica!

belinda said...

I actually kind of liked watching Joseph keep changing his mind on whether to kill Amanda or not. It actually makes a whole lot of sense that he would act in that manner, and I think I'm finally starting to find him a little bit more interesting (for me, Joseph Adama is one of the weakest characters in the show so far). The whole "I can't tell if you're being sarcastic!" was just hilarious and dark at the same time - and this extends to the rest of the show as well. It's a really nice balance of heavy stuff with some humor.

The lab geek complimenting Zoe on her chest was awesome, and I wonder if the real Zoe would enjoy his company as much as Zoebot did.
And I liked that both Zoe and Lacy got to act like teenage girls and just flirt with boys, even if it's just for a short moment.

And, I can only wish the iPads were as cool as the iPapers in here.

Anonymous said...

Did you notice the original Battlestar Galactica theme when the lab tech was scanning the radio for a song to dance to?

I was a little disappointed with this episode and thought it was a big drop off from the pilot and first few episodes. Hopefully its just a hiccup and it picks back up again.

Anonymous said...

Sarno reminds of me Bill Maher more than Jon Stewart.

I thought the robot dance was great, but it must have seemed awful to anyone who isn't invested in the characters or who hasn't watched the show before.

Alan Forkosh said...

The car looks like a 1959 Ford Galaxie. See http://www.seriouswheels.com/1950-1959/1959-Ford-Galaxie-Fairlane-500-Convertible.htm for a similar car.

Laurel said...

I thought this was a solid episode. While there wasn't too much action or movement in the story arc, it did leave me wondering what was going to happen next with the GDD investigation, the implications of the Graystone's appearance on the sarno show, and Clarice's discovery that there is a Zoe avatar out there. I also loved the little dance scene. I love all the scenes with Zoe, the actress is very magnetic.

The character development is coming along well. It is a stark comparison to V for example, where there is so much action but we don't really know why the characters are acting the way they are. I am really impressed with how Caprica gives us a glimpse into the characters' inner workings while still keeping the show interesting and coherent.

Liz said...

I fell asleep toward the end of this episode, but in fairness I was pretty under the weather, too.

Based on what I did see, this wasn't one of my favorites so far. I agree with Billiam that the GDD raid was a little silly. When I worked in the education system, I saw my share of locker sweeps and building searches, and every single time it was done while classes were in session so that the situation could be carefully controlled.

The talk show appearance just made me uncomfortable. I've always had an aversion to celebrities trying to do damage control in this way. I don't know, maybe it says something that the scene in Caprica was realistic enough to bother me?

I did really enjoy the scene in the lab with Zoe dancing. Well done.

Derek said...

I just can't understand Amanda Graystone. Do the writers think she's an idiot?

Last episode, upon discovering that hr dead teenage daughter had an 8-shaped hair clip, she went before a huge crowd and all the press and announced her daughter was a terrorist. What?

And now, in this episode, she doesn't want her husband to go on a TV show to defend himself, his company, and his family. An act he only has to do because of what she did. And she says something like "I didn't go before the press." What?

Then, when he does, she walks onstage AGAIN. Is she a megalomaniac, glory hound, or just stupid?

I only wish Sam had actually gone through with it.

Mark B said...

You can’t have hills without valleys. I smile a little at any critique about a slow episode that seems to imply this is somehow a weakness in the storyline. Every episode without attention riveting events is a not a flaw in the entertainment. A little calm between storms is both necessary and refreshing.

I agree with everyone who appreciates the scene with Cylon Zoey dancing in the lab. It is a beautiful way of establishing that the human joy of life exists within the synthetic machine. The raid on the school is clearly not real life as we know it, so perhaps the intention is to create a visual that promotes the security forces as aggressive, edging on abusive, and thus to be viewed with a degree of sinister suspicion.

Finally, the foreseeable abandonment of Amanda Graystone’s premature termination is understandable in the sense that the Adama family would likely have this type of reflexive response. That the most Tauron of brothers defers to the Caprican in a Tauron body defines their relationship going forward. Good to know that violence is still at the stage where it submits to restraint.

tribalism said...

I think the broader theme that the writers are trying to illustrate is that overreliance on technology can be dangerous. If the show is going to take that route, then I think the writers should stay focused on the Zavatar story—minus any additional Cylon dance routines—and explore the implications of developing artificial intelligence in greater detail. With so much emphasis on religion in this series, I think that this would make for a perfect juxtaposition with the idea of playing God.

If anyone is interested, you can find more if my thoughts, including what potential the show has for taking Daniel to a much darker place, on my blog. Click my username for the link.

James said...

I actually thought this was the best episode to date. It went much more smoothly than the past episodes. Plus, people acted like people and got called for their shennanigans (Joseph Adam's indecisiveness, Amanda's ridiculous moment at the memorial, Daniel's defeat to his corporate mentors). And, in turn we hear their defending arguments.

Plus, there was a certain heart in this episode that the others lacked - as highlighted by the pologomist family's nightly sleeping to the robotic dance.

This was the first episode I cared about the characters and forgot that I was watching a show connected to BSG (the biggest pull it's had until the date of this episode).

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I loved the Zoe/cylon lab rat dance. That was really well done. The show is certainly keeping my interest. The Patton Oswalt character reminded me of Jay Leno (whom I dislike), but I can see how he might remind people of Bill Mahar, too. Jon Stewart, not so much. And I'm really enjoying the character of Sam, but in this episode, I thought the grandmother really stood out as someone who would have no qualms about killing Amanda or anyone else who crossed her. Her "joke" about where the jacks came from seemed like one of those jokes that aren't really, and her hacking away at the meat and the look she had on her face when Joseph was trying to get hold of Sam was priceless. I think she may be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

GabbyD said...

i loved the dancing part and the talkshow moment too. very simple and effective.

Anonymous said...

I want to like this show, but it is seriously trying my patience. I realize that they are setting up a complicated "multi-family drama" (soap opera), but you have to have something happening to keep the viewer's interest as you develop.

This episode in particular I found completely boring, except for the Zoebot dance sequence which I found unintentionally funny and absurd.

As long as I'm complaining, let me add that I find it unfortunate that they have kept the BSG visual style. That kind of fast cut, grainy hand held camera 'hipness' was just bad back in the early nineties, but it's so unnecessary now. I find it distracting; it's as though the show's creators don't have enough confidence in their material to keep the viewer's interest. It also seems that the composer has brought all of his reverb-drenched taiko drums from BSG, but without any new ideas.

I'll watch one more episode, but if it doesn't pull me in by then, I'll be hitting the 'cancel series' button on the DVR (always feel like such a network exec when I do that).

Anonymous said...

Why is this show a soap-opera? Because it chooses to focus on inner dynamic relationships between individuals and families?

When we use that term it usually means a very specific type of day-time show or occasionally night (desperate housewives) that is often over the top.

I hate when people label shows a soap opera when they're not. If this is one then any show is one.

Anonymous said...

I also found this episode was just awful.
The dialouge just seemed bad and unconvincing. Daniel acting like he came up with that whole non-profit idea on the spot would have had the whole audience groaning "oh come on".
and I still don't know what made Joseph change his mind. That was poorly explained.
The robot dance sequence was lame. The whole idea that a robot is going to feel the same emotions as a girl's hormone-filled teenage body is absurd.
The characters are not acting consistently yet from show to show. Joseph Adama is acting like a different person in each episode.
The characters need to be flushed out more.
Did anyone get a Livia Soprano vibe from Grandma Adama?

Billiam said...

Whether or not a virtual person would feel attracted to someone, I just thought Zoe was having fun in the dance scene, amplified by the fact that she hasn't really been able to have any fun since getting downloaded into the robot body.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Adama 101:

a lawyer that grew up in a society that openly discriminated against him = lots of angst

a lawyer that became one by the backing of the mob = conflicting sense of morality

yet, the show opens with him wanting to be a better man so he does his best to get out

then his wife is killed = anger, sadness, loss, confusion

He wants someone to blame.

Upon meeting Graystone he falls back into his illegal activities. = more confusion, should I be doing this?

He still wants someone to blame.

Amanda Graystone tells the world her daughter is the cause of train bomb.

Joseph Adama has more of a reason to dislike Graystone. Fist, the avatar & her disappearnace. Second, this.

Yet, he loves his wife and daughter that he lost. It appears based on the flashbacks they wouldn't want him to be like this. Yet, his history is conflict. He's a man that has always wanted to do good but has always found his execution to do it backed by sinister people. He's a moral conundrum. Does he really want the amanda killed? No. Does he want revenge, something to make him feel better? Yes.

It's not that hard. (Please excuse my memory concerning the pilot for I haven't seen in it in months).

You're missing the entire point of the avatar. They couldn't have laid it on more thick than telling the audience she's a trinity - part zoe, part avatar, part robot. Zoe most liked to dance. She/it is part zoe (according to the logic of the avatar).

Craig Ranapia said...

However, I thought the raid scene at the school was ridiculous. The GDD times it so that its before classes, and thus every student is standing in the hallway in their way. And they proceed to destroy every single locker. That seemed wholly unnecessary and made them look like huge jerks.

Billiam: Got to disagree with you there -- remember, the GDD is doing this for the benefit to the media (and in the wake of another bombing and mounting criticism of their handling of the MAGLEV tragedy)as much as anything. There's a message being sent: The GDD will go anywhere to fight terrorism -- even the private school attended by the sons and daughters of Caprica City's elite.

If only someone hadn't tipped off Clarice (who?), it would have been a win-win-win for the GDD.

And now, in this episode, she doesn't want her husband to go on a TV show to defend himself, his company, and his family. An act he only has to do because of what she did. And she says something like "I didn't go before the press." What?

Derek: She doesn't want her husband to go on the top-rating show in the Twelve Colonies, and trash their daughter as some "troubled" psycho to try and halt the slide in Greystone Industries share price. Can't see why that would get her hackles up at all...

Anonymous said...

Why is this show a soap-opera? Because it chooses to focus on inner dynamic relationships between individuals and families?

Yes. That's been the traditional province of soaps. Sure, many shows now deal with these elements -- which is why the phrase "primetime soap" emerged and why we now have the notion of a "primetime serial", but there's no point in denying that soap operas laid the groundwork for shows driven by complex interpersonal relationships. Caprica isn't just a soap, I suppose, but it does have strong soap elements.

When we use that term it usually means a very specific type of day-time show or occasionally night (desperate housewives) that is often over the top.

I think the best soap on television (for at least another season) is Friday Night Lights, which only succumbed to over-the-topness in one gloriously awful man killin' car explodin' storyline. And I grew up in the vicinity of the kitchen sink British soaps like Eastenders which I recall dealing with such over-the-top themes as divorce and crib death.

It is possible to use the term "soap" non-pejoratively, even if that doesn't usually happen.

Tausif Khan said...

I agree with Jan, Oswalt's Sarno is very much like Leno (who only presents critiques to politicians who let their PR people spin away the controversy, much like Greystone). Sarno is not as nuanced in his social critique as Stewart. If we compare Graystone's appearance on Sarno's show to Jim Cramer's appearance on Stewart's show the difference in the level of discourse between Stewart and Sarno is easily apparent. Sarno comes out on a position of holobands all bad. Stewart took a nuanced position in terms of the financial crisis and his response to CNBC and Cramer. The position was that making money in a capitalist society is not all bad but the media, business and society at large should not be looking to make a quick buck. This is hardly a complete damnation of capitalist America. Stewart and his interns are far more prepared than Sarno was. If Sarno was like Stewart, Sarno would have been pulling out clips from Greystone's past public appearances in order to prove the fallacies of Greystone's personal narrative and that of his company a la the clips of Cramer talking about running his hedge fund and CNBC deifying Cramer.


Both Espenson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shindig_%28Firefly%29) and Oswalt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDCjIjsZp_Y) are capable of more biting cynical commentary (which I feel is the feel of Caprica given the noir style of clothing and sets). I hope the present their skills better in future episodes.

I do not advocate killing George Lucas to clarify.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jan that Granny gives off some serious Madame Defarge vibes.

As to the lab dance.

I had to go to imdb to check on Miss Torresani's age to make sure that the feelings I had weren't illegal on the several planets.

Anonymous said...

That is one frakking mean mother-in-law.

Craig Ranapia said...

That is one frakking mean mother-in-law

True enough, but in her position I don't think I'd be flowing with the milk of human kindness for the Caprican scum who spawned the trust-fund bitch who murdered my flesh and blood. These animals call me and mine "dirt-eaters"? Frak that.

Alison D said...

Caprica is a real pleasure to watch for me, mostly just because of the detailed, gorgeous look of the world, and the beautifully drawn characters. I'm not minding the slower pace at all. Some of the illogicality bothers me a bit - while I can appreciate the writers' desire to explore the idea of drug legalisation, the analogy with the holobands doesn't work at all. Legalised drugs can still have profit attached - tobacco and alcohol are proof of that. The issue with drug legalisation - as the Wire illustrated - is about severing the link between crime (violence, prostitution, property theft) and drug use by allowing the police to focus on the crime, and not the use.

Oaktown Girl said...

The only thing I want to say is that Patton Oswalt is absolutely nailing it.

Oh, and thanks for explaining why there was no new episode last week. That one was a total mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

One reason the robot/zoe point of view switches do not work for me is that in one scene the robot is 7 feet tall and the technician is looking at the robot's chest, then the next scene she/it looks like zoe and the technician is looking her in the eyes. In order for the perspective switch to work, they should be showing a 7-foot tall Zoe perspective.
The second reason I don't buy it is because almost all human emotion is driven by hormones and chemicals. For example, Feelings of pleasure are caused by dopamine being released into the brain. The robot does not have dopamine or pleasure centers. I could buy human cylons feeling human emotions because they are in human bodies. But a robot zoe is not going to feel emotions the same way.

peterme said...

Best episode since the pilot. I didn't mind at all that hardly any plot develops -- they did a lot to deepen characters, and perhaps more importantly, this episode had *tons* of wit:

- Cylon dancing
- polygamist bedtime
- Sam drives a "Galaxie"
-The original Battlestar theme on the lab rat's sound system
-Sarno's Stewart-ness

I think it's because of the wit, because the show opted for a somewhat lighter tone in parts of this episode, that I found myself getting more attached to it.

Maura said...

Derek said... I just can't understand Amanda Graystone. Do the writers think she's an idiot?

Last episode, upon discovering that hr dead teenage daughter had an 8-shaped hair clip, she went before a huge crowd and all the press and announced her daughter was a terrorist. What?

And now, in this episode, she doesn't want her husband to go on a TV show to defend himself, his company, and his family. An act he only has to do because of what she did. And she says something like "I didn't go before the press." What?

Then, when he does, she walks onstage AGAIN. Is she a megalomaniac, glory hound, or just stupid?

I only wish Sam had actually gone through with it.


I would say she's none of those things. She was wrong to proclaim her daughter is a terrorist in front of the gods and everyone, but she's overwhelmed with grief. I wouldn't expect her to be too rational at the moment. In her mind, she hadn't gone to the press in order to get attention. Her intention was to speak to the people of Caprica to let them know she understood the pain and horror they felt.

Also, she was afraid that Daniel was going to have to trash his own daughter in order to save his company. Her fear was confirmed when she showed up at the studio, only to hear Daniel say that Zoe was troubled. It might seem like grandstanding for her to go on stage with him, but she was a grieving mother on a mission from the gods (again, in her mind). And, if not for her, that interview would have been a complete failure.

As for what the writers think of Amanda, she is whatever they want her to be. I don't happen to think stupid is one of those things.

Craig Ranapia said...

Maura;

QFT. One other thing, Amanda didn't spend days before the memorial service macro-parsing every word she was going to say with a PR flack. :)

rosseau said...

So this is also a show about young Dwight Eisenhower, the young William Adama growing into the the most trusted and respected war leader. But who is influencing him? I thought it would be Grandma but she seems to be a Mafia granny. His uncle is part of the Mob. His father is overcome with grief. Perhaps his change of mind is a first inkling of virtue that he will start to pass along to his son to make him who he becomes.

The episode was odd. The meat--the conversation between grief stricken, raging assassin and grief stricken, guilt-ridden victim--was not there. Even if brother called it off, the uncle would still want revenge for his niece and sister-in-law. Grandma certainly did. So why not kill her, unless she talked her way out of it, gave a response that showed her humanity and her own pain and the two recognized their sorrow, pain and loss of normal in each other. But we didn't see that. As soon as she found out she was not going home, the scene ended and the next scene was the guessing game aftermath at home between the brothers. It's an unusual choice not showing the most potentially dramatic part of an episode.

Craig Ranapia said...
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Craig Ranapia said...
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Craig Ranapia said...

@Rosseau: Got to agree and disagree with you there. It wasn't the obvious way to go, but I think we're seeing a very interesting kink in the relationship between Sam and his big brother.

Do I really think Sam gives a flying frak at a doughnut about Amanda Graystone? Not really. But he looked at a woman who is so lost and alone in her grief, guilt and pain she doesn't care that she's about to be gutted like a pig. I think he saw someone he really does care about a great deal, no matter what their differences are.

Sam is right. Joseph is just a "Caprican in a Tauron body" -- and by the Gods, he's going to be taught a lesson about who is the real cold-hearted, pipe-hitting bad-ass in the family.

Sam and the Livia Soprano of Little Tauron could have killed Amanda without blinking. That's the Tauron way -- blood for blood, two eyes for an eye, the whole fraking skull for a tooth. It's nice to be loved, but to be feared is much more efficient.

But he knew his brother could never have lived with Amanda's blood on his hands. Willie would have lost his father as surely as he lost his mother at the hands of Ben Stark.

But, all the same, he wants to make sure Joe fully understands the consequences of playing the gangster. And that, the next time, Sammy won't be around to save his arse.

rosseau said...

Craig, in that context, I guess you are right. I didn't think about how Sam is looking out for Joseph's son and his brother's sanity. He's Sonny Corleone refusing to let Michael go to the Italian restaurant. So I guess the whole point of that subplot was for Joseph not Amanda. But still, it's a bit cold having the other grieving character not get her own redemption when you would expect her to do so. Maybe she will get it later. But the traditional thing, the one that most shows would have done, would have been to show the conversation between Amanda and Sam and how they had much more in common. That's what most shows would have done and probably why this show didn't do it.

OldDarth said...

Agree with you on the big points but not a fan of the the Zoe/Cylon shifting-POV gimmick. It is becoming quite annoying.

Craig Ranapia said...

. But still, it's a bit cold having the other grieving character not get her own redemption when you would expect her to do so. Maybe she will get it later.

But in a perverse way, Amanda is redeem herself. She could have walked on the set and tag-teamed Baxter Sarno in flaming her husband and the company whose share price (and holo-band sales) he's willing to trash their daughter as a "troubled" psycho to preserve. But she didn't. Along with their funny-sad self-mocking "I hate those rich jerk Graystones" routine, I think this is the first time Daniel and Amanda have acknowledged each other's grief, and really started acting like a couple. It won't last, but it is kind of bitter-sweet to see.

Unreliable Narrator said...

Ten bucks says the Greystones will make up for their lost holoband revenue by ramping up Cylon production.

(protillo: a supporter of a certain Chicago hot dog chain)

Michael said...

I'm really interested to see where Caprica is going, but I feel like this was the weakest episode in the series so far. It was so obvious that Sam wasn't going to go through the hit on Amanda, so that whole story was frustrating.

I have trouble believing and understanding the Adamas. The Graystones make a lot of sense to me (who they are, what motivates them, etc) but Joseph doesn't feel like a real person to me yet. Asking Sam to do the hit felt so out of character to me, but then again... I don't really feel like I know his character yet.

For all her impulsiveness, I feel like Amanda is the easiest to relate to so far. I'm very interested to see what's in story for Clarice... hopefully she'll have more to do in the future and will enter more fully into the action.

Jarvis said...

I agree with the comments about it being hard to work out Joe Adama and his indecisiveness.

Perhaps it stems from the writers wanting a cliffhanger ending in the previous episode?

Seeing Joe's mother-in-law adopt such a ruthless attitude in this episode made me think we should have heard that from her in the last episode, and that could have pushed him towards a decision to kill Amanda, as well as given insight into the Tauran mentality. Instead her viciousness seemed wasted in "Gravedancing" because the decision was already made (even though Joe later reneged).

Criticisms aside, the show is keeping me interested, despite the annoying similarities in camera shots and music to BSG. And my wife is quite enjoying it - she's one of those people who would have never gone near BSG because of its sci-fi tag. So maybe Ron Moore's approach will pay off.

Anonymous said...

I thought Joe's decision to halt the plans was precisely because his mother (or mother in law? I can't remember) was so adamant about it being ok with killing Amanda. Once he heard her say it, coupled with seeing Amanda be a real human being on the talk show, made him decide to stop. So it was important for the Grandmother to voice her opinion on this particular episode on the matter because hearing the ruthlessness of the grandmother pushed Joe to finally decide NOT to kill Amanda.

Anonymous said...

To note on the credits reveal, Joss Whedon on Buffy put Tara's name as a full regular character only once- the episode she was killed.

How long before I stop comparing to BSG? I don't think we should be slaves to a canon but you can't help it in some ways.

I'm enjoying this a lot more than some other shows though.

-EmeraldLiz

Craig Ranapia said...

I have trouble believing and understanding the Adamas. The Graystones make a lot of sense to me (who they are, what motivates them, etc) but Joseph doesn't feel like a real person to me yet. Asking Sam to do the hit felt so out of character to me, but then again... I don't really feel like I know his character yet.

Well, Michael, I don't really get the criticism of Joseph being 'indecisive' or 'not a real person'.

I think his character is pretty clearly defined -- and it is deeply divided.

There's Joseph Adams -- the immigrant who believes in "the Caprican dream' -- that if you follow the rules and work hard anything is possible. The lawyer for whom order, reason and justice are his entire life. Zeus, the Law-Giver and All-Father, rules his house.

But there's also Iusif Adama -- the Tauron "dirt-eater", the war orphan who came to Caprica with nothing and nobody but his brother, who was put through law school by the Ha'la'tha and earns his living as a mob fixer who defends scum, bribes dirty judges and threatens corrupt politicians. Mars is his God -- blood and soil are all. No slight can go unavenged -- that is the Tauron way.

The problem is that Sam is right; His big brother is, for better or worse, a Caprican in a Tauron body and the sooner he gets used to it the better. No matter what he thought, he could never live with Amanda's blood on his hands and Sam decided to drive that message home.

BTW, what's so out of character about Joseph asking his brother to do the job? Your toilet backs up, you call a plumber. You want someone killed, you go to the staunch assassin in the family you know is going to be up for some family-related revenge.

SR said...

Reading the comments, it seems like I'm one of the few (only) who was creeped out by the cyclon dancing scene.

I was getting flashbacks to Dollhouse - Zoe 2.0 is a sentient AI trapped in a body that was being manipulated by a guy who sees her as nothing more than an object. They can try to shoot it like a cute little encounter between a girl and a cute lab tech, but that's not what was really happening. She's a puppet, at least physically, and she was only dancing because he was pulling the strings.

And on a narrative level, even if the tech's idea of a fun systems check is to make the robot dance, would he REALLY get up and start dancing with it? One cylon elbow to the head and he's out cold.

In all, I found the scene disturbing psychologically and pretty illogical.

Christy said...

I will be seriously irritated if Clarice gets the Avatar through Zoe's BFF trying to get it to Gemini by way of the One God guy. Too, too predictable

Larry C said...

I continue to enjoy just watching the production's mix of cutting-edge and retro, like the press gaggle all using cameras that look like something out of the 1930s while filming the raid on the school, even as Sister Clarice and Keon are swapping notes on their Caprican iPads.

I probably sound like Comic Book Guy saying this, but I don't like the way they're playing the retro/modern mix at all.

It's one thing to have the people of Caprica wearing retro-looking suits, fedoras, etc, and to have them driving retro-looking cars, but it just doesn't make sense to me that a space-going society that could build holobands, ipads, and cylons would also use old technology such as old flashbulb cameras. That's just the producers trying to mess with us.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zoe said...

@Larry C - they seem to be using the retro/modern mix to highlight some of the extreme differences in Caprican society. Eg. the police have crappy tech, but all kids have a cell phone and use the holoband. Granny Adama chops her chicken by hand, but the Greystones have their whole house on auto pilot. I agree that the cameras probably don't make sense, since entertainment and communication technology seems to advance the farthest the fastest, but most of it seems done for a purpose. But then I'm a steampunk fan, so I really love the visual effect as well.

Anonymous said...

I was getting flashbacks to Dollhouse - Zoe 2.0 is a sentient *AI trapped in a body that was being manipulated by a guy who sees her as nothing more than an object. They can try to shoot it like a cute little encounter between a girl and a cute lab tech, but that's not what was really happening. She's a puppet, at least physically, and she was only dancing because he was pulling the strings.*

Ahh see I thought it was slightly creepy but only in a foreshadowing way. Zoe's used the machine once in anger and vengeance and that's a lot of physical power most teenage girls don't have.

I saw it as the trinity Zoe becoming more integrated, learning how to use the new sense of self she has and interact.

Sure, he's pulling the strings NOW- but when will the machine rebel? (which we know it/they will, and to me that adds to the tension)

-EmeraldLiz

Craig Ranapia said...

it just doesn't make sense to me that a space-going society that could build holobands, ipads, and cylons would also use old technology such as old flashbulb cameras.

Larry C.: I'm afraid I haven't thrown out the VCR yet and buying the latest i-Whatever is pretty low on my list of financial priorities. (There is a recession on, after all.0

Also, I'm typing this in a room full of books -- a pretty retro tech that has been fundamentally the same since before Johannes Gutenberg was a stripling.

Anonymous said...

The issue isn't the existence of "retro-tech," it's using such tech for professional work. It's not used in our world today, it's sufficient to believe it wouldn't be used in a comparable world that is further advanced in similar areas.

-EmeraldLiz

Craig Ranapia said...

EmeraldLiz:

I know plenty of photographers who haven't entirely (or at all) made the shift to digital.

Fernando said...

Couldn't disagree with you more about the Joseph Adama part of the episode. At the end of the previous episode, we see Joseph as a very cold, vengeful character (that was very much out of character for him to that point). This episode showed just how much that decision was weighing on him. It also showed how much he had assimilated into the Caprican society. He brother and even his sweet old mother-in-law thinking of nothing of the "blood for blood" creed that Taurions live by. But Adama is Caprican, he bought in completely to the structure of this society (heck, he's a lawyer) and doesn't have that instinct.

That assimilation story is very familiar to anyone who is a first generation citizen of a country their parents move to. You adopt the culture your in and feel the need to protect it sometimes against the old ways.