Sunday, March 21, 2010

Caprica Is Getting So Good

Caprica is really starting to hit its stride. I admit that as a big Battlestar Galactica fan, I was worried, but open to the idea of this prequel. When I saw the two-hour pilot, I was mostly underwhelmed, but knew I'd see the next few episodes before giving up on it entirely. Thank the gods I did.

Here's a quick backstory for the non-watchers. Caprica is a show that takes place in the seemingly futuristic city of Caprica. There are lots of commentary about religion, technology, politics, sex, faith, etc., but the show filters all of this through the family drama within and between the Graystones and the Adamas. You see, the daughter of the Graystones (Zoe) was inadvertently involved in the terrorist attack that killed the wife and daughter (Tamara) of Joseph Adama killing herself in the process. The twist? Dr. Daniel Graystone is a big time technological genius who has developed a virtual world where people can play (or do pretty much anything) with their virtual identities or avatars. Guess whose avatars are now stuck inside this world: Tamara and Zoe.

Joseph Adama has had a hard time trying to get over the loss of his daughter, but as he was finally about to let her go, he finds out she's still "alive" in the virtual world. As expected, the virtual world is a hard and dangerous place and to survive one must in turn become hard and dangerous. While not a saint in real life, Joseph has never killed anyone directly. This past week's episode, he has had enough. Getting some way-too-on-point advice from his gangster brother, he successfully pulls the trigger a few times and I bet his journey will only get darker as he tries to find his daughter.

And yet his story is nothing compared to Daniel Graystone and his quest to "find" his daughter. Unlike Tamara, who is stuck in the virtual world, Zoe's avatar was accidentally placed in a military robot. Zoe is able to control the robot's body (sometimes to hilarious effect), but she doesn't tell her father because of a sense of betrayal from him. It's worked so far, except Daniel is now suspecting her daughter is in there. This past episode was devoted to him psychologically torturing her in order for her to give herself away. He starts out small by making her do monotonous tasks while he smokes, an activity she disapproved of in the past. She bears it, but momentarily flinches giving Daniel what he wanted. He then sets the robot on fire knowing that his daughter had a traumatic fear of fires. She nearly gives herself up, but holds strong. His final test was difficult to watch. He orders the robot to shoot the family dog. Talk about taking the character to a really dark place! She does shoot the robot only for us to find out that not only were they blanks, but that she knew they were by the weight of the gun. WHEW.

Heady stuff, right? Next week I'm expecting both of these story lines to come to a head especially since it's the season finale. As great as it is seeing New Cap City, I'd really like to see a reunion between Joseph and Tamara finally if only for Joseph to see that Tamara is not the same little girl he once knew. I'm okay with Zoe not "coming out" to her father yet if only to drive him more insane than he already is becoming, but I hope she tells someone else she's in there other than her best friend... perhaps the cute assistant she has a mad crush on?

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