'Caprica' recap: The multiple meanings of 'Unvanquished'
"Caprica" has returned, almost six months after we watched Robo Zoe driving her way toward a fiery explosion, Lacy going full on into the Soldiers of The One, Joseph dealing with losing his daughter again, Clarice avoiding death, Amanda stepping off a ledge, and Daniel losing it all to a rival business tycoon.
In "Unvanquished," they don't waste any time updating us, and they make it clear that everyone has become more active in the events that will lead to the Cylon war/rebellion and to "Battlestar Galactica." It's like they all got a raise and a title change in the "Caprica" corporation, and it begins with Clarice Willow.
Her presentation of Apotheosis, her digital Heaven, as Polly Walker called it, to the monotheistic leaders on Gemenon was pretty effective as she demonstrated the ruthlessness of the STO by bombing a stadium full of people, and the possibilities of eternal life through the holobands.
"She certainly has a way with words," said her mentor, Obal, who was later killed after conspiring to have her murdered. The Mother (nice going, Meg Tilly) apparently flipped the deal with Obal, favoring Clarice, and even meeting with her. Clarice was given control over all of the STO on Caprica, a big step up for the school headmistress.
As she grabbed for control over everlasting life, so did Daniel Graystone. Meeting with a Tauron godfather (the Guatrau?), arranged by Joseph Adama, Daniel made the pitch of eternal life and unlimited profitability through the use of his technology to keep a digital soul alive long after the body had expired -- in V-World. All could be had, if the Taurons would help him get his company back from Tomas Vergis. A pact was "given freely," and Joseph -- after making Daniel show how far he was willing to go (kill his own mother?!?) -- will be his chaperon (with big brother Sam as the muscle). Adama and Graystone get a bit of a boost from the deal.
And talk about a boost ... Zoe Graystone seems to have gotten a boost too. She was always powerful in V-World, we just never got to see her use swords! With her robot body charred, she has no foothold (for now) in physical reality. Of course, with everyone fighting over virtual reality, we know that doesn't mean she's gone. Awesome little fight scene in New Cap City: She displayed a power not only over virtual death as a "deadwalker," but over other players of the game as she froze one of them. Zoe-versus-Tamara is coming, and that's one of the most important battles we're going to see -- or one of the most important unions. Doubt it? Look at how their dads interact.
But what of Zoe's best friend? Lacy's whole point when she joined the STO was to help get her friend to Gemenon. Well, that's not going to happen now, though it doesn't seem as if the writers have gone back to that central point. Lacy is now waist-deep in STO dealings, with a watchful Barnabus shadowing her every move. All of this is fine, but the show shouldn't sever the connection between Lacy and Zoe for too long lest we forget her motivations. If we do that, then she's just a confused girl trying to fit in, which is fine, but veers away from what brought her there.
Meanwhile, after stepping off a bridge, crazy Amanda Graystone is still alive and living with Clarice. Amanda's lost, but you can bet as she figures things out, the doctor could be back in play.
Everything was propelled forward in "Unvanquished," which is great title encompassing Zoe, obviously, but also the whole notion of V-World/digital heaven, Daniel's pursuit of his company, Lacy's resolve, etc. Like the classical music playing in the background during Zoe's sword fight in New Cap City, it's an orchestrated action that goes slow, then hits fast. The Lacy story line, even with James Marsters there, might be the weakest link, but even that has the potential to blow up.
-- Obal's Caesar-like death scene: "Well-played."
-- Vergis being the first to really use the term "toaster" for a Cylon.
-- Cyrus being a spy/friend for Daniel is cool, and shipping back the original body could yield results.
-- The Holy Mother: "What is it you require for your little science experiment?"
-- Jevon Phillips
Upper photo: The cast of "Caprica." Credit: Syfy
Lower photo: Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) sits across from Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz). Credit: Syfy