Thursday, 21 October 2010

'CAPRICA' 1.12 - "Things We Lock Away"

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The best episode since Caprica returned from hiatus, sure, but it's still flopping about like a dying fish in the majority of its storylines. This week's subplot with Lacey (Magda Apanowicz) held prisoner in Clarice's (Polly Walker) attic and drugged didn't offer us much, beyond letting Lacey know Clarice wants Zoe's avatar program and for her to attend STO training...

Elsewhere, the storyline inside V-world, with Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) being viciously attacked by followers of "Death Walker" of Tamara (Genevieve Buechner) inside a New Cap City coliseum, because Tamara knows Zoe was the bomber who killed her in the real world, could have been better. It was an incongruous jump to have Zoe suddenly in that bizarre situation, and the scenes were dragged out for longer than they deserved -- perhaps as a way to keep people hooked with the promise of intermittent scenes where Zoe brandishes a sword?

I was also confused by the addition of "Head-Zoe"; a vision avatar-Zoe can see who guides her through the ordeal and makes her believe in herself as a separate entity to original-Zoe. An avatar of a dead genius schoolgirl, trapped inside a virtual world, projecting a mental vision of herself to dispense words of wisdom? Can it get more convoluted? Caprica needs to find some easy-to-grasp simplicity.

The best storyline belonged to Daniel (Eric Stoltz), who won back control of his company from Vergis (John Pyper-Ferguson) when the blackmailed board members voted him back in as CEO. Daniel, aware that Joseph (Esai Morales) also now intends to have Vergis killed before he leaves Caprica, as a way to ensure he never again poses a problem, was stuck in a moral quandary. He's done terrible things in the name of business, but draws the line at killing a rival, so offered Vergis the chance to join forces and channel their wealth and influence into destroying Tauron gangsters the Ha'la'tha. But it was a deal that Vergis, himself a Tauron, couldn’t accept. Instead, he forced Daniel to stab him to death in his front room, fulfilling a cultural need to choose the circumstances of his own death.

Finally, Amanda (Paula Malcomsen) searched Clarice's cabin for evidence of her being a terrorist leader, but found nothing, only to be ordered by her handler to infiltrate Clarice's actual home. I just hope we get back to the idea of Amanda being a prophet soon, because I'm not in the least bit interested in watching her snoop around Clarice's home for the cops.

Overall, my interest in Caprica is sapped after a dozen episodes, almost to the point I'm ready to give up on it. Since it came back, it's moved away from everything I enjoyed about the earlier season. I'm still interested in Daniel's arc (even if the situation with Vergis felt like it had more to give us), but it's very difficult to keep faith that the writers know what they're doing with anything else. The show feels all over the place. Even the prospect of Tamara and Zoe as partnering "Death Walkers" in the virtual world doesn't excite me, as it might have done six episodes ago.

A glint of hope was the intriguing flashback that showed Zoe drew Cylons as a child, years before her father designed them. Did Daniel's subconscious just soak up her artwork, as he suggested, or are the Graystone's being guided down a path to create sentient robots by an outside force? If so, this points to the emergence of BSG's so-called Angels, which is fun. But, if you've seen BSG, you'll already know what their deal is (for the most part), so I'm not sure where the mystery is. Hopefully Caprica is going to explain the "Angels" in a manner that will effect how we perceive BSG. I just hope they do a good job, without revising BSG's mytharc in a way that spoils that show.

WRITER: Drew Z. Greenberg
DIRECTOR: Tim Hunter
GUEST CAST: Magda Apanowicz, John Pyper-Ferguson & Genevieve Buechner
TRANSMISSION: 19 November 2010 -– Syfy, 9/8c