Recap: 'Caprica' - 'Gravedancing'
Well, it’s been two weeks since the last new episode of “Caprica.” Apparently SyFy thought that counter-programming a solid sci-fi show against the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics was a frakkin’ bad idea. That decision was everyone’s loss, as the show had only started to build a little momentum before being halted almost right out of the starting gate. It’s like something Fox would do to its Friday night programming. Did the show recover its mojo tonight? Not especially, although all things Patton Oswalt and Grandma Adama rocked. Onto what happened!
[Full recap of Friday's (Feb. 19) "Caprica" after the break...]
A small bomb in a holo-café has the police on edge. Agent Durham thinks it’s STO, but his boss (Gara Singh) isn’t sure. He thinks it’s just a copycat. But Durham has bigger fish to fry: thanks to Amanda’s announcement at the memorial service, he convinced a judge to OK a search of Athena Academy for weapons of monotheistic destruction. Word gets to Sister Willow, who sprints from her bed made for four (yay cable!) and puts all of the student members of STO on high alert. Just after they clear their lockers of all contraband, Durham (with press in tow) shows up at the school.
At the Graystones, Daniel is feeling ill about his upcoming appearance on Baxter Sarno’s talk show. While the appearance itself irks him enough, the “script” handed over by PR expert Prya to recite on the show makes him ill. Both she and Daniel’s right hand man Cyrus insist that labelling Zoe as previously “troubled” will not only exonerate his own public image, but save that of the holoband as well. Flustered, Daniel tells them flat out that the holoband didn’t have anything to do with Zoe’s actions. “That was great, do THAT!” Prya squeals, unaware Daniel wasn’t performing. Yea, this talk show appearance is a FANTASTIC idea.
William Adama’s still skipping school, with his father too revenge-driven to notice. William’s grandmother asks him what he wants to be…not in the future, but now. He mentions a desire to work with the Caprica Buccaneers, noting his father’s relationship with the owner. But William’s grandmother says, “You get the best things from enemies…because they are scared of you.” And now I’m scared of YOU, Grandma Adama. She suggests that William use Sam to get what he wants.
Sam, for his part, is parked outside of the Graystones’ house, on orders from Joseph to “even the score”: ie, even the body count between the two families in the wake of the bombing. It’s clear from his repeated calls to Sam that he’s suffering from a mixture of both angst and regret, feelings Sam uses to gently prod Joseph into turning back before it’s too late. Before Sam can enter the house, Agent Durham, his agents, and the press storm the premesis. Durham insists that the lab isn’t part of their search warrant. Too bad, since the Zylon is currently down there getting ogled by technophile Philomon.
By now, Daniel has arrived at the television studio, fresh from a fight with Amanda over his appearance. Even more nervous, he pays the make-up artists 1,000 cubits in order to smoke in her chair. I’m not sure what the dollar/cubit exchange rate is at the moment, but it’s enough to but him the privilege of doing so. Also, it’s interesting that such a public figure gets this nervous…in public. Ah, sweet irony.
Upstairs at the Graystones, Durham is removing every bit of Zoe’s childhood, right down to her cello. (Apparently, he’s mistaken Zoe with Emma from “Heroes.”) “There are loose ends,” Durham says, OK with ripping up her possessions in order to prevent more attacks. Amanda wants to know what Durham lost on that train to make him act this way. “I lost everything on that train,” he replies. Hmmmm.
After school, Lacy confronts Keon at his job, in which he repairs bicycles. Bicycles? Not hoverscooters? I can’t tell if this is daft or brilliant. She’s mad at him for scampering off during the locker search, noting that it made him look guilty. Still anxious for help getting the Zylon to Gemenon, she offers to stay and help him work. By night’s end, he’s agreed to set up a meeting with a man named Barnabus that might be able to help her, even though he’s still in the dark about what exactly Lacy wants to transport.
Back at the police station, Durham thinks the lack of evidence from the two raids points to a conspiracy in which both sides were tipped off ahead of time. That Durham’s a smart guy. He asks his boss for access to communications records, which gives Singh pause. But he allows it, using the Tauron word for man parts to describe what of Durham’s he’ll own should this plan fall. “Using Tauron is very street of you, sir.” OK, it’s wrong that I like Durham now, right? Like, a lot? Later on, he’s further stonewalled during his electronic search. Looks like Sister Willow’s little bump-and-pass in broad daylight after her emergency wake-up call didn’t use the usual channels to communicate the warning to her students.
Back in the Basement of Creepy Robotic Love, Philomon is admiring the Zylon’s chest plates. Awkward. While running diagnostics on her, he decides to put on some music, which leads to a super weird scene in which he teaches the Zylon how to dance. It’s actually sort of sweet when the POV switches to Zoe, but when it’s the robot getting’ jiggy with it, I had to look away rather than admit I was watching what looked like “Gossip Go-Bots”.
At Casa Adama, Joseph and his mother discuss the upcoming appearance on the Sarno show. “You know, the dead don’t really die until their death is avenged,” she tells him, slicing her way through that night’s dinner. “My daughter and your daughter are caught between life and death.” Well, she’s dead-on about Tamara, given her status in the virtual world. Who knew she’d be more terrifying than Sam and Joseph combined? More of her, please, “Caprica”!
At Sarno’s show, Daniel looks tenser than ever as the host delivers the monologue. The applause for Daniel is polite but slightly subdued when he comes out. Surprised there were no boos heard there. But Daniel’s first attempt at humor falls flat, leaving him more vulnerable and alone than ever. A few quick cuts show that this broadcast will probably get higher ratings than Shawn White snowboarding while singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in front of Simon and Ellen.
Sarno’s act turns harsh when it comes to holobands, however. Looks like he’s not a fan of the technology, arguing they have led an entire demographic into leading double lives. (Think Jim Cramer’s appearance on “The Daily Show” and you get the basic gist.) Sarno pivots off the infamous word “troubled,” which only digs Daniel in deeper. Unable to take the character assault on her daughter, Amanda (having just arrived post-Durham search) storms onto the set. JERRY! JERRY! Oops, wrong show. Sorry, got excited.
Amanda insists that both men have it wrong: “You’re out here saying Zoe was crazy. She wasn’t. She was angry. She was defiant. She was frustrating. Show me a fifteen year old that isn’t!” When Daniel insist their were no signs of her worshipping what Sarno calls the “destructo god” in the sky, Sarno once again brings up the word “troubled.” Yea, I’m thinking Prya’s is glad she got paid up front in cash for this gig.
As a way to defend his daughter, Daniel breaks out the big guns: news of her avatar’s creation after her death. On air. With twelve planets watching. Alrighty then! Sarno calls this revelation disturbing, but Daniel counters, “Show me a parent that would not do everything possible in order to understand their child.” As Daniel tries to further explain his research, Sam sneaks backstage, getting an ID badge from a Tauron stagehand.
Either sensing the futility of his argument, or sensing a brilliant way to safe face, Daniel comes up with an idea on the spot: in order to remove the temptation to create elements such as the V Club, his company will no longer license holospace areas. Furthermore, any profit made on the bands will either go to a charity or a foundation. When Sarno asks if this is simply a stunt, Daniel only reaffirms it to the crowd’s applause, Amanda’s delight, Pryah’s relief, and Cyrus’ ulcer. (Apparently holobands make up more than half of the company’s net profits. So those Buccaneers better start winning more games, I guess.)
After the show, Sam offers to take Amanda home. When she asks about his tattoos, Sam explains that they don’t necessarily mean membership in a gang: they are ritualistic emblems that signify a life. Having a change of heart after seen her on television, Joseph texts his brother with a one-word message: “Don’t.” Seems like Sam’s not answering the phone, what with him driving Amanda to a nice, safe, quiet spot to kill her. Only, since this is only the fifth episode of the show, you kinda know he’s not going to actually off her. Instead, while washing up at Joseph’s house later that night, Sam spins a great tale about her murder only to confess he merely scared her a little. Why did he lie? To stop Joseph from pretending like he has a killer instinct. “Frakkin’ Caprican in a Tauron body,” he mutters.
In bed that night: Sister Willow watches a replay of Daniel’s interview with great interest. Elsewhere under the same Caprican sky, the Graystones agree to be more careful about what they say in public, with both confessing how much they miss Zoe. (For his part, Daniel keeps the true nature of Zoe’s avatar a secret.) “I hear the Graystones are on Sarno tonight,” she says, and the two share one of the few laughs they have since the train bombing.
Other thoughts about tonight’s episode of “Caprica”:
** Agent Durham and Grandma Adama were the MVPs of this episode for me. While Patton’s Sarno was expectedly good, the other was unexpectedly great. Grandma Adama (whose first name I cannot find ANYWHERE on line, please let me know if you know it) was deliciously and casually bloodthirsty, and news of Durham’s “loss” in the train bombing, coupled with his unexpected snark, both bumped up their visibility in the show’s large cast.
** Looks like the Graystones’ appearance on the show did not only earn them major PR points, but also flamed Sister Willow’s fire to find the Virtual Zoe once again. Psst, Sister Willow: she’s the bootylicious ‘bot down in the Graystones’ lab. Just ask Philomon.
** While the entire “will Sam kill Amanda” storyline didn’t have a lot of suspense, I’m not sure that suspense was the point. The point was to illuminate Tauron culture, with Grandma Adama and Sam providing great examples of it in contrast to Joseph’s more homogenized outlook on life due to his time on Caprica. And on THAT level, this storyline more than served its purpose.
What did you think of tonight’s “Caprica”? Did you miss it during its absence? What was Durham’s loss? And will Daniel’s charity only fuel the rise of the Cylons in Caprican society? Leave your thoughts below!