The season premiere of Ronald D. Moore‘s Caprica, in its 1.5th season on the Syfy Channel, kicked it in gear with the story picking it up some weeks after the events that unfolded in the previous episode, the mid-season finale.
If you remember, a car blew up but Clarice (Polly Walker) wasn’t in it. Amanda Graystone (Paula Malcomson) was stepping off a very tall ledge on a bridge, we also saw Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) get removed from the virtual city by his daughter and Zoe/Cylon (Alessandra Torresani) drove a stolen van into a police barricade, destroying the van.
Most of these and other story lines are continued in the mid-season premiere of Caprica titled “Unvanquished.”
Caprica Episode Review
We open the episode with Daniel Graystone (Eric Stolz) disheveled on his couch. He’s lost his wife, the Virgis corporation has taken over Graystone industries and to make matters worse, they’ve apparently copied the chip from Zoe’s Cylon and have transplanted the fighting skills from that chip into production models rolling off the assembly line.
Daniel is pushed to a breaking point and looks to make a deal with the Taurons in getting help to get his company back. He knows there will be a price and the Taurons anticipate that Graystone will use them until they are no longer needed and discard them. Both sides wary, both sides ready to pounce once they have what they want. But who will achieve their goal first?
Daniel is pitching the idea of the virtual after-life and never losing loved ones. He even suggests that at some point they can put the loved one’s avatars into bodies so they can mingle back into society.
In the middle of this uneasy alliance, Joseph Adama is brokering this incredibly harsh deal. I say harsh because he tested Daniel by giving him a bomb detonator that would kill his own mother. That is harsh!
Meanwhile, off on Gemanon, Sister Clarice is pitching to the controlling church powers just how she will bring about the awareness of people to the one true god, and she’s embraced violence as her act and a virtual after life for all, as she seems intent on and believing she can steal the program from Graystone.
And what of our mechanized avatar Zoe? The Cylon body has been trashed and ends up getting boxed. The Cylon never booted since the accident. The cyborg was referred to as toasted, best suited to be a toaster. Ah, the first time that phrase is used!
Avatar Zoe though, is in the virtual world, looking for the other deadwalker who can’t be killed.
All in all, the story picked up several weeks after the finale and did so rather well. I’ve intentionally left a few things out so when you hit up the episode, you’re not spoiled by some of the events that I never mentioned, take place. That’s right… there’s more to it than meets the webpage!
With Daniel traumatized, you can see he’s desperate. Desperate enough to go to the Taurons. In so doing, he finds himself dealing with Joseph and his brother, Sam (Sasha Roiz).
It has been weeks since Joseph lost his daughter’s avatar and I am going to presume he recovered and now has a darker edge to him for that. I say that because he’s a hugely changed man. He’s stepping up to the Tauron way. He’s crawling up from being an unmade man, as they put it.
Clarice is now starting to annoy me rather than bore me. That’s a good sign. Last “season” she bored the crap out of me, but this season, she’s become a threat to many different parties.
The story is still focused on many participants at once and I’m hoping they pull it all back together a little bit so it’s not so distracting to try and keep up with so many players that, in the end, all have a hand in becoming that which we know will happen, and that’s the overthrow of humanity by the Cylons.
This episode, though there was still quite a bit of talking, things came a quicker pace and scenes were broken up enough so a single scene didn’t drag on and on. I think they’re getting the hang of it.
To be honest with you, every aspect of this series has become a critical piece to the development of how the Cylons rose up and destroyed humanity.
The distinction between god and gods and the beliefs that Zoe took to her avatar, the subterfuge in how the Cylons finally went into production, it’s all there. It just needs to be gelled properly in the blender and I hope the ratings are good enough so that they can tell the entire story. Even if they panic and have to shorten the tale, I want to see how Moore envisions this. No ghosts here folks! Just avatars!
Plus Eric Stolz directed this episode of Caprica.