Saturday, March 13, 2010

Caprica, "The Imperfections of Memory": Slow ride

A quick review of last night's "Caprica" coming up just as soon as I get a bigger gun...

Last week's episode was the first hour of the series to really feel like a soap opera in the type of stories it was telling. Last night's "The Imperfections of Memory," meanwhile, was the first episode to feel like a soap opera in terms of its pacing. The plots moved, but very, verrrrry slowly. The episode was so flat that many of the act-out moments (which are, by design, supposed to be big and dramatic so you'll want to stick around through the commercials) were almost comical in how low-key they were (Daniel trying to puzzle out a technical problem, for instance).

Because of that, and because so much time was spent on Sister Clarice, a character who's been a colorless disappointment so far(*), this was the first time I've felt actually impatient with the series. I like the world and many of the characters, but when you're doing a pure serial (as opposed to a show with serial elements where each episode is still supposed to stand on its own), there has to be more forward momentum and urgency than I feel like we got last night.

(*) I've recently been going back through the podcast commentaries David Eick has been doing for each episode. In one of the early ones, he talks about how Clarice was originally conceived as more of a hybrid of villain and comic relief, ala Gaius Baltar on "BSG," but it was so clearly not working that they had to reshoot a lot of Polly Walker's material. Whether it's a bad match of actress and character, or the creative team not having a clear enough replacement plan once their original conception turned out to be a mistake, Clarice remains the character whose scenes most often grind the show to a halt for me.

Only two episodes left of the initial winter run. What did everybody else think?

45 comments:

MyFawny said...

Here's the odd thing, I could never get into BSG no matter how I tried. I keep hearing how good it was , but every time I watched I couldn't get the cheesy original version out of my head. With Caprica it's far enough removed from the original version that I can enjoy it. That said I agree wholeheartedly about the Sister Clarice storyline. It's the one part of the show I absolutely hate. I love Polly Walker, thought she was fabulous in Rome, but hate her here.

C. said...

There were quite a few elements of this episode I liked, but I wasn't as interested in the scenes with Amanda and Clarice as I was with the rest of story. None of it moved particularly quickly and those scenes were just absolute roadblocks.

I think the main problem with Clarice is that she's still too undefined. Her goals are obscure, her character too scattered. She's too many things, and because of that none of them really work. Sometimes she's portrayed as the seducing cultleader, then she's the polygamist space hippie, then pretend friend to Amanda and then guilt-ridden junkie. It all makes her character sort of diffuse as the different elements all take something away from each other.

Perhaps the problem is as well, that for a religious leader she's pretty ineffective. If their god is all love and forgiveness and their movement just a big bed-sharing quibbling community, then it's no wonder they're no good in the role of villains.
She'd be a much more compelling character if we actually saw her in charge for once, if we knew what she was capable of.

So I hope we get to see more of her, or a lot less.

Also Bear McCreary wrote that in the midseason finale there's going to be a noteworthy cameo.
Which seems to indicate there'll be something related to Battlestar coming up.

Teev said...

I agree that Clarice's character seems unfocused, but maybe it's supposed to be like that because she's frakked up all the time and is actually unfocused. I don't know, I kind of loved her and Amanda getting together but I'm not wild about how the 2 adult women on the show are being defined as crazy drug addicts. I guess maybe we'll find out more about how involved she is in the violence or if she's just hanging with the STO for the immortality stuff. I wish we understood more about the monotheists who aren't STO. They seem to be implying that they are persecuted but is that because they are all assumed to be STO? Because the Capricans (unlike, say, the Taurons) don't seem to be all that religious so why would they care?

And didn't Tad say something about how even though you couldn't fly in New Cap City, you could frak 50 women without vinagro? So then why are they panting when they run away from the strafing? (For me I must say that the continuous use of Battlestar Dirigibles with their own fighter squads makes me very happy). And why did NCC all of a sudden look like a (Vancouver) warehouse district instead of cool steampunk 1930's?

I do continue to enjoy Moore and Eick's way of letting "good" characters be bad and "bad" characters be good. Or am I wrong that Daniel is supposed to be a good guy even though he's super excited about inventing a new race of slaves and is being a d**k to the guy he stole from and kindof stealing Philo's breakthrough idea about the analog thing? Although really who are the "bad" guys? You are right, C., that Clarice isn't being a very good bad guy (?!) maybe that is for Marsters' character or some new NCC villian (or Tamara).

And where the hell was Saul?

Zack Smith said...

Agreed -- this felt like filler. Some of the characters just seemed to apepar midway through the episode for no other reason than to have them there and remind us of their plots.

NOT a fan of Amanda's hallucinations. They at least played it as a genuine mental breakdown, but the "God's plan" stuff really dragged down Battlestar for me, and I don't want anyone running around an opera house by season's end.

New Cap City seemed much, much more dangerous than our list visit, possibly because of the need for a plot contrivance. They could have at least explained there was some particularly dangerous "level-up" type deal going on.

"I work with top-secret military robots." "That is SO hot." Bwah!

Annoyed Tamara's friend Tad got kicked out of the game. I thought there was kind of a sweet chemistry between them, but perhaps Neo-Tamara doesn't have time for boys.

Was anyone else getting a weird chemistry between Amanda and Clarice in the opium den scene? Maybe I've been reading too many message boards. It was darn close to a Rome/Deadwood slashfic.

This is some of the best SF TV I've seen in many a yarn, though. I appreciate that they're actually using a fully-developed culture(s) to drive their story, and make solid parallels to our society. That's what the best science fiction does. If nothing else, this is a dead lock for the Hugo and Nebula awards next year.

NothingButTheRain said...

I loved BSG, and I am really liking this show as well. The pacing is very different, but I don't mind. I'm just frustrated that I can't throw in the next ep on the DVD and see what's next.

I thought there were 2 neat little nuggets for BSG fans in the Amanda/Clarice scenes. Plus seeing the dog (Jake?)know that Zoe was the U-87, and Daniel's slow realization of that is the kind of stuff that made R&D TV fun in BSG.

Tom Dickinson said...

I'm with MyFanwy in that I never liked BSG much (all I ever watched was the first season, and the series finale) but I like this show a lot. One thing I don't like about this show (and I didn't like it in BSG either) is "frak." It's used way too much. and it's a dumb-sounding word also.

This episode felt like filler, which is odd, because two incredibly major things happened in it: Clarice blabbed her monotheism, and Daniel started to get suspicious that Zoe was still inside the robot. However, since these things happened at the end, we got little idea of what their fallout was, which is why this episode seemed so frustrating and slow.

One of the act breaks in this one was also terribly lame. Joseph's "guide" reveal to him..... that his services are going to cost him! DUN DUN DUUUUN! Cut to commercial.

So, slightly off episode, but I'm hoping it'll bounce back next week. Speaking of which, there's only a couple episodes left before this show goes away and SG:U takes its place (which I'm fine with, as I love both shows). Do we know for sure what the plan is in terms of when Caprica will return? Is it after SG:U has finished its 10-episode run? If so, that's a shame, because pairing the shows together would make a formidable lineup.

Wade Kwon said...

Just a note on soap opera pacing.

They could pace it like a daytime soap, super slow. Or they could pace it like a newer prime-time soap, like one of my faves, "The OC."

However, it burns through so much plot (see "Desperate Housewives," season 1), that writers tend to dream up a lot of nonsense filler.

That being said, "Caprica" could move a little faster.

rosseau said...

Besides Amanda Graystone, all the characters are colorless. She's the one that is the most alive it seems, the most interesting and I don't want to say complex, but inhabiting a real person, with all their contradictions, doubts, just messy emotional states. Her husband is the mogul and the prideful mogul. Her new friend is the religious zealot, but tonight she also was a friend with sympathy and compassion for the woman she's trying to con. Joseph Adama is the grieving husband and father. But Amanda has the confused and untidy emotions of a real life person.

Like they did with her in the cab scene, they also did with the getting high confession scene: mainly, leave the scene when it got most interesting. Say English director Mike Leigh decided to do American sci-fi TV, and was at the helm last night. Leigh is known for not cutting out pain, shame, anger, grief and embarrassment; he let's the emotional arc of the scenes play out, no matter how uncomfortable for the audience. I would have liked to see the end of the Amanda/Clarice conversation. Clarice tells her of God; Amanda asks which ones: Clarice tells her the one true; then we see Amanda going through many different things at once: shock, anger, but also perhaps curiosity and hope or desire to believe in her. We still might see this next time, but I'm guessing it will be a kitchen scene at home and Amanda will tell her husband that things didn't work out with her friend.

As for the rest of it--the daughter video game plot feels like a time filler. So far this show is plot based not character or theme based, and so it doesn't have much resonance. Yet.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't too bothered by the pacing though I see your point about Clarice (but I did enjoy seeing the layers of Amanda that resulted from her doing).

I actually had more problems with Adama's storyline (slow moving and kind of contrived, considering how easy it was for Tad to navigate the world when he was with Tamara (granted, she can't die, but still) - they weren't walking around with bullets all over) for now - but it's funny to see him so wimpy and unhip in the Vworld (kind of like someone's parent who doesn't know how to use a computer).

blinky said...

I think the opening theme music really exemplifies the problem with the whole series. The music has no focus as it kind of meanders through a lackluster series of notes. There is no melody.
The open music for BSG was one of the best preambles to a show ever while the Caprica theme seems to have been scored by committee.
That's the problem with the show: it meanders aimlessly through a series of scenes.
I am still waiting for SOMETHING TO HAPPEN!

Chad said...

I am somewhat pleased to discover that several of the original comments seem to suggest that the pacing is not a particularly big problem with some viewers. For me, the slow pacing is preferred. I like the slow burn type episodes, because they tend to make the later discoveries much more fulfilling. The realization by Daniel at the end of the episode was a very rewarding conclusion to the episode, I thought. I think this is what made BSG so effective time and again.

I'm also beginning to see a lot of hints at connecting the Caprica and BSG worlds, and not specifically tied to the discussion between Amanda and Clarice. Amanda's broader storyline this episode really reminds me of a major "device" used in BSG -- I hope they continue going down that path.

I think the show's major weakness right now is not a particular character, but a lack of clear motivations. A lot of chess pieces are in place, but like the "New Cap City" V-World game, I'm not sure what the point of the game is yet for many of the characters/storylines. (For example, I'm still not exactly sure why Zoe needs to go to Gemenon.)

Patience is a virtue with shows like these, though, and I'm willing to let the writers provide a slow burn for a while longer before I become restless. In many ways, the pacing here reminds me of Breaking Bad, and that show consistently delivers because of its methodical storytelling.

Anonymous said...

One of the act breaks in this one was also terribly lame. Joseph's "guide" reveal to him..... that his services are going to cost him! DUN DUN DUUUUN! Cut to commercial.

That, I presume, is to highlight the fact that because of the cutaway we don't know what the "price" is. And you know it's not money.

(Nice little gag: shortly after we learn what "Vinagro" is, they show us the Pyramid replay, brought to you by "Vinagro: Making the Game Last Longer.")

Mark B said...

I’m not sure Clarice is supposed to be a religious leader. Like an ambitious follower, she is constantly asking permission to do things her way. Her role seems more accurately described as a recruiter. Finding impressionable young minds and bringing them into the cult. By chance and circumstances, Clarice now has the opportunity to recruit someone with contacts to real world knowledge, wealth and power.

Her probing uncovers the weakness in Amada Graystone and provides the perfect cover for opening the door to the Soldiers of the One. If Amanda is intrigued and wants to understand the appeal that captured her daughter, she walks through that opening. If she rebels at the idea of the terrorist STO, then it is merely the ranting of a known mental patient with ongoing drug and alcohol problems, leaving Clarice plausible deniability.

Caprica remains a story about how artificial intelligence arises to exist simultaneously with humans and the show continues to be well produced science fiction. It is a good thing the authors are taking the time to flesh out the multiple characters required for this type of epic storytelling. It’s also nice they have found a way to toss in some death and destruction to occasionally stir up the action for the action hungry. I’m just glad they are using virtual projectiles rather than phasers. God, please rid our science fiction of phasers and transporter beams.

srpad said...

I am with you Alan. This episode was a bummer for me. More New Cap City garbage which I didn't like the first time (an promises of more to come) and, as you wrote, a glacial pace make for one weak episode.

I did love Zoe's "That is so hot!" laugh line. It worked and makes me thing maybe this show should up the humor quotient. Most of the time when they have sprinkled humor in so far it was worked nicely and it would help differentiate the show further from its ancestor.

I'm still in. There is enough for me to like but I hope it improves.

tribalism said...

I had to laugh at Heracles's espousal of the virtues of New Cap City. The mention of frakking 50 women without "vinagro" was hilarious, but then the vinagro advertisement popped up while Amanda was watching TV (slogan = 'Making the game last longer').

Speaking of Amanda, you'd think that such a technologically advanced society would be able to develop a camera with better shake reduction than what she possessed.

Anyways, I thought "The Imperfections of Memory" was one of the best episodes yet. It really set the characters on a course of two paths: those that believe that avatars can be legitimate representations of one's soul and those that believe avatars can only serve as accurate replications of one's personality.

Even Zoe, an avatar herself, appears to be on the side that believes she's only an accurate replication of the original's consciousness.

I think it's a disservice to our own uniqueness to think that our own souls could continue to exist as long as an advanced computer could accurately program such a thing.

If anyone is interested, I go into further detail about this debate on my blog where I talk about the serious flaw in Joe and Clarice's belief that the avatars represent the continued existence of Tamara and Zoe. Click my username for the link.

FoundNemo said...

@Zach Smith--I also picked up on some more-than-friendly chemistry between Amanda and Clarice. Foreshadowed, I thought, by Amanda's thoughtful "I don't know" when Daniel asked (with awkwardly forced nonchalance) if he should be jealous. Clarice is pulling out all the manipulating stops.

Q Ball said...

I'm still loving the show, but the actress who plays Amanda is what's dragging out those scenes for me. Perhaps it's because I've never seen Deadwood (It's on my to-do list after S2 of Breaking Bad and Battlestar Galactica!), but Paula Malcomson isn't matching Polly Walker's energy.

Diana Frost said...

I'm in for the long haul, will watch the rest of the winter run but I found myself fast forwarding alot of the scenes. I prob missed some interesting clues but this epi just moved too slowly for me.

@NothingButTheRain: what 2 nuggets in the Amanda/Clarice scene are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

A trifecta of Moore/Eick/Espenson 'strategery!'
Let's recap: First, the finale gave a bad taste to the last two seasons for a significant portion of BSG's fan base (including for the guy who started the BSG pod-cast, Galactica Quorum). Then The Plan took a wrecking ball to the first two seasons for another chunk of fandom. Part Three: Caprica tramples through the crime scene that now constitutes the back story. Thus was an intriguing drama of sci-fi realism which posed well the classic dilemma of what happens when machines become self-aware transformed into pseudo-religious psychobabble. Re-imagining the whole BSG franchise from brilliant to rubbish in less than a season!
-anonymoose

Craig Ranapia said...

The plots moved, but very, verrrrry slowly. The episode was so flat that many of the act-out moments (which are, by design, supposed to be big and dramatic so you'll want to stick around through the commercials) were almost comical in how low-key they were (Daniel trying to puzzle out a technical problem, for instance).

Serious non-snarky question here, Alan: Would you say the same thing about (say) an episode of Mad Men or are your expectations of quote unquote "mainstream" drama different from science fiction or genre shows in general?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'd say Mad Men act-outs are similarly low-key (so much so that I'm not often sure where they're supposed to be when I watch screeners), but there are two key differences: 1)the act-outs aren't accompanied by pounding Bear McCreary drums trying to convince me that something dramatic is happening when nothing is, and 2)The Mad Men characters and character arcs are so much richer than anything Caprica has going.

You have to be incredibly good to get away with being as slow and minimalist as Mad Men is. Caprica's not (yet) good enough to pull that off.

Jonah said...

A lot of the plots dragged, but at least they got them all in one episode, which I found surprising. Clarice and the STO's goals seem too simple. If they get Zoe, then their storyline is done, and if they don't, they come back every week like cartoon villains.

Amanda's hallucination really bothered me. Okay, so she's got a tragic backstory. Did we really need that? And did it require the evocation of BSG's confusing "chips/angels"?

And it also bugs me that every new character seems to have a Greek name, but they obviously didn't care about that when they gave all the main characters normal American names. It really clashes with the world.

Sam Garret said...

I enjoyed it overall, but loved the ending. It's always a pleasant surprise when 'smart' characters actually use their intelligence and reach correct conclusions without handing out plot exposition on a silver platter in the process. I am not afraid to admit I whooped a bit at the introduction of this whole new can'o'worms.

Watching the Pilot was similar, I liked it well enough, but when the zoe/cylon reveal happened at the end I was excited to see what happened next. Caprica has some of the qualities of good written SF in this regard - I can tolerate the slow pace because the big moments have that much more impact and involve much more interesting concepts than the happy go lucky hi-tech hijinx of Stargate and wotnot.

I'm not particularly worried about it riding roughshod over BSG backstory either, preferring to consider it its own beast - and one that doesn't appear to be leveraging much of BSG's narrative for impact either, doing well enough on its own.

Hopefully enough viewers reach the same conclusion, but SF fans can be both fickle and, erm, capricious

Anonymous said...

I still think this show would work much better if every season reflected a significant period leading up to the first war Cylon human war. Like BSG this show needs a game plan or it'll fall to pieces. Yes, we all know how it ends (kind of...the poor ending of BSG doesn't explain much..and this series just adds more doubt to that ending) but we need to see more.

Every season should jump 5 years or something. Actually, it should be a show about William Adama while showing the development of the Cylons, their mythology/culture, and the human events that lead to them.

If they fail to deliver they're just hurt BSG's legacy. Maybe they should have just created a new show.

Craig Ranapia said...

Clarice and the STO's goals seem too simple. If they get Zoe, then their storyline is done, and if they don't, they come back every week like cartoon villains.

Actually, the one thing I was seriously concerned with by the end of the pilot was that the monotheists were going to end up as "cartoon villains" -- Al-Qqueda or the IRA in space, if you want to be really crude about it. I'm actually rather liking that there's a clear split in the STO between Willow and Barnabus, the non-violent and "kill 'em all and let God sort them out" wings.

Katelin said...

You are always right on the ticket Alan, this episode was so drawn out I fell asleep ... not switching off from this series anytime soon though.

Conrad said...

I agree with Rosseau's comment that several scenes ended juet before the payoff. The tension was raised, but not nearly enough, and then there was no release. It's as if we weren't aroused and yet we were being teased all the same. I felt manipulated for no good purpose.

I didn't recognize the names of the writer or director. It could be that they put in the B team while the A team was working on the mid-season conclusion.

As for the allegedly slow pace, I don't mind it if the writers/directors/editors are lingering to observe the more subtle details of Caprican society. When it's done right, it's almost like a modern-day, cinematic version of a Vermeer painting. In this episode, however, it didn't hold my interest. I found myself distracted. That's the first time that's happened in this series or in Battlestar, as I recall.

Oh well, on to next week.

Conrad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
themightypuck said...

This and the last episode have me a bit scared for the future of this show. I'm still in but something isn't clicking right now and I'm really noticing plot holes and bad writing that I usually let slide.

Anonymous said...

I can never understand how Sepinwall or Mo Ryan call BSG Sci-Fi's The Wire. Some episodes are just painfully bad to watch, especially with characters that are utterly cheesy (e.g.: The Scientist constantly fantasizing). I watched a season of BSG and could not overcome its terribleness.

I started giving Caprica a chance, hoping I would be in for some kind of sci-fi epic but have been sorely let down in these last two episodes. The endemic bad writing from BSG seems to have carried over.

My wish? Some writer will look at great shows like The Wire and The Shield, and manage to come out with a great Sci-Fi show worthy of being held up against them.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Talk about the show, people, not each other. If you can't do that, your comment will get deleted.

Conrad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Conrad, what did I just say? Talk about the shows, not each other? I don't care how you phrase things. The point is, this place is not like many other blogs and message boards, and me enforcing that rule is one of the main reasons why.

Craig Ranapia said...

Anonymous:

Meh. First, is it some geek version of Godwin's Law that every discussion of Caprica must eventually derail into re-litigating season four and the finale of BSG? Seriously. I found the last season of The Sopranos -- and the screw-you fade out of the finale -- frustrating, to put it politely. Don't think I was alone in that either, but somehow that hasn't turned every thread on Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, the latest season of Desperate Housewives or the Gandolfini-headlined Broadway production of God of Carnage into another round of that argument.

2) Not sure I'd really hold up The Shield as a role model for any other show. IMO, that was a pretty predictable collection of "dirty cop" tropes redeemed as far as it could be by more committed performances than the material really deserved. But, as the kids say, different strokes for different folks. If we all liked the same things for the same reasons, it would be a very boring world.

Anonymous said...

The geek in me liked the discussion of the generative process and how an analog program can contain subtle differences that digital programs can not.
Also for BSG fans, does anyone find it interesting that Daniel Greystone plays the piano?
The geek in me also really liked the new Cap City Tammara episode from a couple weeks ago, but I agree this week's virtual world arc was dragged out too much. Instead of running into a guide in virtual world, just run into the daughter already.
The geek in me did not like the hallucitions from Amanda. Invokes too much memories of the fantasy stuuff from BSG. Stick to things that science can explain, or at least the script can explain.

Conrad said...

I agree with the last poster. The writers seem to have concocted an instant soup arc for Amanda: brother who died in an accident, mental illness, suddenly she's having hallucinations (why now? The bombing was months ago, right?), so she starts smoking dope and when she's high she develops an eye for the ladies. Hmmmm.

My understanding is that it was around this time that Jane Espenson was replaced as showrunner. I don't know if Moore/Eick were appalled by the low quality of this episode, but I wouldn't be surprised. For such an imaginative, competent group of people, it really is beneath them.

Saneman said...

Place me mostly in the "happy with the pacing" camp.
* The return to Newcap suffered from their being no clear dramatic consequence for Adam losing his first (and more unconditionally helpful) guide as we'll likely get an answer as to the true cost in future installments. And in future installments it would be fun to see how Sam would fare in Newcap.
* The Amanda scenes were natural in their pacing and necessarily slow for that, but the killer was the repeated appearance of her brother for no additional expository benefit (unless I missed something with the Museum poster) and not balancing the revelation of Amanda's breakdown and hospitalisation with better detail as to how hard she had to work at getting her life back in order or if she ever really did.

Other than the above storylines the rest of the episode played out well, with both Zoe' and Lacy test running their feminine wiles and then Daniel dropping the Westside Story act with Vergis (no more dancing) and getting in to Real Genius attack mode.

And on a technical point, I think what happened when Zoe' was downloaded in to a non-working MCP was that the program written by Zoe was sophisticated enough to realise the MCP was crap and hack the robot body to make use of any other spare processing power. Daniel thought the program was gone after download because the MCP naturally failed to work and because Zoe' was still disseminating throughout the body. With this scenario Daniel is at least less foolish as he was looking in the obvious place, albeit the wrong place. The drawback is that this means copying might be possible because the failure to copy could be due to Daniel continuing to look in the wrong place(s).

Anonymous said...

Craig,

I only bring the finale because for me I see Caprica as not only a story about the events that lead to they Cylon's creations and wars but an explanation of information provided throughout BSG.

So, that's to say, the Cylon's are monotheistic because the first creation, an avatar of Zoe, is attracted to it. Not only that but inside the STO, monotheistic believers, see the avatar as escaping death. Hence, the Cylons are just a reflection of them, just a reflection of individuals who think God is real.

Then there's,

"Daniel Graystone's personal computer has the same flowing glyphs that appear aboard Basestars and Cylon Installations. In addition, at one point, it is possible to see the words "Datastream" on the screen."


By the end of Caprica my gut tells me our understanding of many events in BSG will be drastically different than when BSG stood upon itself. As I watch the show I see too many coincidences in Caprica to major elements in BSG that will explain whatever answers we did not receive in BSG in Caprica.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Craig, I asked Conrad earlier to dial back the attitude and stop talking about other commenters, and now I'm going to ask you to do the same.

Craig Ranapia said...

Alan:

Fair enough, I'll repeat the part of the comment you didn't take exception to. I think Amanda's behaviour here is totally realistic: Grieving, and serious mental illness, isn't like a train timetable where you go through the stations in a set order, at set times. Yes, the announcement that the memorial is being moved to Apollo Park might seem like a ridiculously trivial tipping point for a psychotic break, and her to start self-medicating with drugs and booze. But from another angle, her daughter has been violently murdered, her career is dead, her marriage is just hanging on by a thread. And just when she's finally getting some order into her life, she's got to deal with Willow at her most manipulative and the locus of her grieving being arbitrarily moved.

Anonymous said...

(1) My preference is to take "all this has happened before..." literally. The "Garden of Eden" was Kobol, where man walked side-by-side with the Gods and the party was over when man "stole fire" from the Gods -- creating life, the 13th tribe of Cylons. I also take this to mean the "Gods" were revealed for what they really were, which IMO was a previous Cylon interation (they were likely stronger and immortal and to primative man would seem godly, just as our Colonials would have seemed like Gods to our spear-throwing forebearers). The 12 Gods likely boxed themselves (Tomb of Athena) but the "one whose name cannot be spoken", also likely to be "The One" in Caprica, is the one who went to Earth I with the Cylons. This is likely the BSG "God". The fact that "he doesn't like that name" also means his origin is less than divine, to my interpretation. The "head creatures" are an earlier iteration of Cylons and we know there is a process, as flesh-and-blood human Kara Thrace was turned into a head creature -- Cylonized. We always wondered if humans could be turned into Cylons, but the only example we have is Starbuck. The sig 7 seem to have been artificial; the toasters were unknown; the final 5 were naturally bred. But now we see Zoe A created from real Zoe, and we now have two examples of real people being turned into Cylons (more appropriately, their intelligence/consciousness duplicated).

(2) This God is a largely "Deist" figure -- he sets the stage but then leaves things largely alone aside from a few interventions here and there. Think about owning an ant farm or a fish tank. You set up the tank and put water in it, drop some food in, add some fish, get rid of dead fish, clean it out every now and then. But you don't micromanage the day-to-day lives of your fish. You may want to breed certain ones, etc. Put it this way, my fish were getting sick and dying, I let them die off and started over by cleaning the tank. Kind of what "God" did with human civilization except he kept some of the old fish to mate with new fish. Sometimes fish get sick. Sometimes fish attack and eat each other. Sometimes one gets stuck in the filter. The galaxy is "God"'s fish tank.


- - -

So, basically, the STO is just cylons of the future.

Anonymous said...

This show just seems to be on a downward spiral, with most of the main characters spinning into ever-tighter circles of indulgent self-absorption. Neither the writing nor the acting has enough depth to cope with the pace that's being set.

I just can't help feeing that there's a tremendous amount of potential here that's being wasted. But then that was true of much of BSG as well.

Karen said...

many of the act-out moments (which are, by design, supposed to be big and dramatic so you'll want to stick around through the commercials) were almost comical in how low-key they were (Daniel trying to puzzle out a technical problem, for instance)

See, I thought that WAS pretty dramatic. Daniel looks at his Cylon after Philomon offers his theory and says "Generative process...like a human system." Now, I'll agree that, for new Caprica-only viewers, that's not very dramatic. But for those who know where Cylon development is going? That's pretty damn ominous.