"Balance it out." -Joe AdamaAnd it was when we got to that line, at the end of the three screener episodes I got in late December, that I knew I was in with "Caprica" for the long haul.
It's a fundamentally different show than "Battlestar Galactica," despite sharing a universe (and Willie Adama) with it, not just because of the earthbound setting, but the elements at play: corporate intrigue, police investigations, corruption, revenge melodrama, teen angst, etc. But "different" does not equal "bad," and so far I've been enjoying seeing these elements of non-sci-fi dramas injected into this world, in the same way I dug the military and political aspects of "BSG."
And, as on the other show, Ron Moore is clearly reacting to the over-reliance on techno-babble over human drama from his "Star Trek" experience. Yes, Daniel Graystone's building sentient robots and we spend a lot of time in a virtual reality space, but Joe makes it clear where the series' priorities lie when he tells Daniel, "Don't give me techno-talk! Just help me find my daughter!"
After the pilot made it seem like these two would be reluctant, unlikely allies, the events of these next two episodes have explained how they've instead become blood enemies, and Esai Morales has been great at portraying the irrationality of grief.
I also really liked the black humor of the scene where Amanda and Daniel come home to find each other bloodied for different reasons (the Graystones are having a bad stretch) and wind up having sex with the poor Zoe/Avatar/Cylon has to stand and watch.
Things are still getting messy in both the real and holo-band world, with more hints about what Sister Clarice is up to (she was meant to use the avatar to help the cause "through apotheosis"), and with Lacy and Zoe releasing Tamara's avatar into the rest of the holo-band world because they don't realize who/what she is.
Still lots of world-building going on, from Patton Oswalt as Baxter Sarno, a kind of 12 Colonies cross between Jay Leno (the style of his jokes) and Jon Stewart ("More than half of college-age viewers say they get their news from Sarno!") to the use of old juke-joint R&B on the soundtrack in the Little Tauron scenes to our glimpses of Agent Dunham and his partner working the case. And after a casual reference in last week's dialogue, we get more explicit confirmation that Joe's brother Sam is gay, and that it doesn't seem to be a big deal for Joe or Willie. (We'll have to wait and see whether that's because they're family, or if the "BSG"/"Caprica" universe has a lack of homophobia in the same way we've seen in the past that there's no real sexism.)
Finally, since I've said in previous writings that you don't need to have seen "Battlestar Galactica" to understand or appreciate "Caprica," it occurs to me that we should try to be courteous to the "BSG" ignorant in case this show inspires them to check out the older one. That doesn't mean you can't talk about parallels between stories on the two shows, or how "Caprica" stories are pointing towards events on "BSG" - just that if we can all be a little oblique about that, I think it would be nice. Those who saw "BSG" will get what you're talking about, and those who didn't won't be spoiled.
I say this because I was too explicit in a reference to the "BSG" finale in last week's review, and I regret that. (I've since changed the reference, and I will say that if you saw the original version, it gave away too much, but still only a small aspect of the whole finale.)
And with that out of the way... what did everybody else think?