Thursday, March 4, 2010

- Caprica Open Thread

Hey, feel free!

And don't miss the follow-up:

Caprica (Season 1.5)


  1. The funny thing about this Caprica show is the concept of an alterante reality that the characters all spend time in. I have to say it reminds me some of myself. For the past three years I have gone from a reader of political op-ed pieces, to a reader of those plus a reader of some fun blogs, to a commentor on those blogs, to a frequent commentor on those blogs, and now to a blogger myself. I have a whole host of friends that I have never seen, and I enjoy interacting with them at least as much as the people around me at work. The holo-world experience is eerily familiar.


  2. I like all the 30’s dress styles, the police officer’s uniforms, the hats on the men. It gives the period a familiar yet foreign quality to it, like it is taking place a while ago, yet in the future.

    Pretty ballsy to have Sam happily married to… a man(?) Fredo, maybe, but you think you could pull that crap with Sonny?

    And the whole notion of Zoe/Zoevatar hiding inside the cylon, and being unwilling to allow anyone to know. To have to hear her parents thinking that she (Zoe) had detonated the mag train bomb that killed herself and all those people, and not being able to tell them it wasn’t true. That had to be very hard and very lonely. But why is she so determined to get to Geminon? It makes no sense from a human perspective… she simply knows that Zoe said she had a wonderful purpose there, and she has set her mind on getting there – rather program like in this instance. Thus, not really human, not really machine.

  3. Well, it has been suggested elsewhere that Zoe will eventually become the pattern from which all future cylons will be based upon, or if not her, than Tamara, resulting in the annihilation of all human life on the twelve planets of Caprica's universe. Not being a Battlestar Galactica follower, I am at a clear disadvantage, but I would think there are other possibilities. Zoe and Tamara are both caring individuals, and though Zoe can be self-centered and Tamara can be decisive and ruthless, Sam would make a more ruthless and practical soldier to model after. Also, the notion of duping one person over and over was offensive to Zoe. Would it not be so to anyone? Perhaps everyone in the holo-world game ends up as cylon solders?

    Anyway, these are questions best left to play out in the show. We shall see!

  4. Sam would make a more ruthless and practical soldier to model after.

    Interesting! And Sam certainly has no love for Capricans; easy enough to generalize to Non-Cylons...

  5. I enjoy the way the Tuarans are portarayed as second class citizens, with Joseph changing his name from Adams back to Adama, a statement of his willingness to assert confidence and pride in his own heritage, though he is largely seen as a sell out and soft by his own family. I also enjoy the sense that the Taurans have their own unique culture, a culture that is alien and decidedly more violent than the Capricans.

    My own father changed his name from Perlingieri to a version of his first name, Matthew. It was from a similar sense of trying to fit in better with the culture. We are Irish on my mothers side, and that is the group I largely identify with. Irish-Catholic. If we had kept it Perlingieri, I am sure I would have identified far more with the Italian side of my family.

  6. Irish-Catholic -- That's why we look so much alike!

    (Ever been tempted to change your name back to the original?)

  7. You're still gonna play Caprica at April's, right?

  8. Absolutely! I just couldn't resist playing around with the photo upload and uploading a bunch of the promotional photos from the show, and I have to admit to getting a tad lost in all the LOST talk.

    But those are great guys and its always fun to kick things around with them. I'm surprised April hasn't been tempted to add something to the thread.

    I couldn't see the pilot episode for Caprica, so when a Netflicks promotional flyer was delivered to my home I took a bit of inspiration from you and signed up. The Razors Edge is next up on the mailing list, followed by Splendor in the Grass. I like the idea of potentially having access to so many more old shows.

    As to the name, no I have never been tempted to change it, though my friend Anthony Renaldo has said that I always struck him like one of his friends from the neighborhood back in Philly. Straightforward, thick and thin, loyalty; stuff I always have been but my friends here not so much. Anthony however is just the same way. He claims those traits were common among his Italian friends back home, that I strike him just like a typical Italiano from the neighborhood, so that's a good thing in my view. My Dad had those kinds of friends growing up, but out here in Oregon I did not.

  9. You think the friendship differences are more cultural (as in "old neighborhood" vs subdivision) than generational? So, now I'm thinking over the friendships of my youth, and I wonder how many of the times someone "let me down" it was a matter of, well, youth, and how many times really an issue of character/values. Hmm.

    (Of course, they were all equally unforgivable at the time!)

  10. I'm thinking of myself as Irish-American, my friend says:

    "If I didn't know any better, I'd guess you were Italian."
    "Well, I am. Half Italian. Half Irish."
    "I'm not surprised. You would fit right in with all my old friends back in the neighborhood"

    And the guy is not one to give you a story.

    Back to Caprica:

    There are some aspects of this series that are very nice. Daniel Graystone's initial dissembling to his wife, and her “You’ll tell me the rest when you are ready?” Women are killer good at knowing when things aren't right. Even over the phone, if they care about you and are invested in you, they immediately know when you're off. Yes, I thought that was perfect.

    Sister Clarice lost in her hyper-spirituality, feigning true compassion while she uses those around her to reach her misguided notions of utopia. Meanwhile the team members surrounding her whom she disdains are more focused on practically reaching the next objective. Sounds about right.

    The break in at Vergis, Daniel Graystone was right, it was done in a manner to draw attention to itself. Nothing subtle about it. Sam is violent, but he is no fool. Something went wrong there and even Joseph can’t believe Sam would have made such a dangerous error. Did someone else come behind him and frack up the scene of the crime? Was Sam trying to bring Vergis to Caprica by leaving a trail to Daniel Graystone?

    “Caprica loves you, Tomas Vergis.”
    A man with a lot of dark money, on your show, what else is he going to say? You will not find Baxter being nearly so pushy with Vergis as he was with the mild mannered and civilized Daniel Graystone. Vergis has an expectation of being respected, and he has friends. Lots of friends. You better believe Baxter is telling him that Caprica loves him.

    Sister Clarice using the cheap ploy of returning books (supposedly Zoe’s) to gain access to the Graystone home, highly manipulative and base. Thought up on the fly – awkward and potentially problematic. The physical evidence will lead Daniel to ask where they came from and where exactly did Clarice go. “You didn’t allow her into the lab did you? Tell me you didn’t let her into the lab?” And what friends will Daniel turn to to try to retrieve the stolen programs? This could get messy.

    Zoe, manipulating “Philemon”? What is it with women being so at ease getting guys to do all kinds of stupid things by feigning an interest?

    Good stuff. Thanks for hanging out.

  11. I wonder if the character Philemon is a veiled reference to Onesimus, the servant who was the subject of discussion in Paul's letter to Philemon?

    The name Onesimus means 'useful', and it was given to a servant of a successful merchant named Philemon. Onesimus was highly trusted, but he used that trust to gain access to and steal a fair amount of money, and then effect his escape. He ended up getting all the way to the capital, Rome, where he met Paul while Paul was in jail there. Onesimus became a Christian through meeting Paul, and Paul sent him back to Philemon, where Onesimus faced the prospect of death. Onesimus carried with him Paul's letter to Paul's old friend Philemon, and it is a fine little letter, about love and forgiveness.

    But the young 'Philemon', will he end up like Onesimus, the trusted servant who stole from his master and ran away?

  12. Well, i just don't know! You got me to googling, and Philemon means "affectionate" in Greek.

  13. I gotta tell ya... Every time I look at your photo display -- quite jazzy, by the by, that picture of Sam reminds me of the whole chest-hair discussion. I bet they never imagined that big scary Sam would get a chuckle on a daily basis.

  14. 'Philemon' is no accident. Is he given that name for the affection he has for the cylon creation of Dr. Graystone? Does he love Frankensein's monster? It's for certain Dr. Graystone does not. He sees it as a frustrating piece of poorly-functioning equipment. (I had kind of a sporty car like that once - unlike my first car, I just never could love it). One thing that was off about Dr. Graystone is his focus on the Zoevatar. He was looking to find a robotic skin for it, and use it as a replacement for his lost daughter, which, though understandable, is quite off.

    For her part Zoevatar knows she is not Zoe. She is a new creation, unto herself. She longs for Dr. Graystone's affection, but like twin sisters, she would never want to replace Zoe.

    I am not sure why people focus so on Zoe or Tamara as the avatar that will be the model for the cylons. There certainly are lots of avatars out there, but I am not familiar with the Battlestar Galactica series, so I do not know if the cylons are all alike, or different unique entities. Anyway, others available include that creepy Sister Clarice, and that wack-job loser Ben 'the bomber' Stark. Both are far more fanatical and heartless than either of the girls, and see their presence in the holo-world as a significant step in their move to a utopian eternal existence.

    Does anyone have a favorite character?

  15. I like your idea of Ben as the potential prototype -- it certainly fits with his (unauthorized) murderous fanaticism, and there's nothing to say Zoe hadn't made an enhanced avatar of him that's just getting up a bigger and bigger head of steam watching the doings in the V-Club.

  16. He's there, in the V-Club.

    That Sister Clarice is way too comfortable in that V-Club.

  17. Most avatars de-res when the owner takes off his holoband. Zoevatar is from a program that Zoe wrote, giving her ongoing existence and identity of her own. Dr. Graystone used Zoe's program and information available on Tamara to put one together for Tamara, thus we have Tamaravatar.

    Where did Ben's come from?

    And who is it that Sister Clarice is speaking with when she has her cloistered meetings in holo-world? What is his ultimate goal?

    It is fine to have a sense of right and wrong, but that does not describ God. It is just one aspect, a rather small aspect it turns out, for even the devil himself is well aware of the difference.

  18. I must have missed Ben's Zoe-tized avatar; I only remember seeing Ben at the V-club in the early episode when the three kids were together. And I don't remember seeing Clarice at the V-club at all -- I'm wondering if I may have missed a scene completely. (Or, the all-too-dismaying possibility -- I saw it, but I still missed it! :/ )

    Oh! I almost forgot -- My The Razor's Edge is "in the mail" from Netflix.

  19. "Oh! I almost forgot -- My The Razor's Edge is "in the mail" from Netflix."

    Very good indeed. Next up for me is Splendor in the Grass. Ever see it? I had The Razors Edge qued first but they had to skip over to my next choice for some reason. Hmmm.

    As to the V-Club, it was in the first episode (pilot). Lacy had gone to Sister Clairce to unburden herself about her association with Zoe and their involvement in the activities that resulted in Zoe's death, and the good sister made an infinity symbol out of the water ring of Lacy's glass, to Lacy's surprise and confused gratitude(?). She ended up taking the good Sister to the V-club shortly after she told the sister of Zoe's special program. Lacy was afraid that Sister Clarice would be shocked by the V-Club activities, but the sister brushed it all aside, claiming that she had seen worse on the world where she was raised. Not clear if that is true or if the sister has just spent a lot of time in and around the V-club and its dark back passages. Are the people she speaks with in the back the same ones that created and maintain the V-club? If so, what is their purpose with the V-club? Who are those people, and what are they about with their so-called religion of the One?

    (Part of this is cheating, because the next part was a deleted scene available only on the dvd, which I had to get through Netflicks because I was too late to watch it on hulu).

    Lacy said she had a phone call and had to take off her holo-band to answer it. Sister Clarice stayed on, turns round and who is there to greet her but none other than Ben the bomber himself, and they exchanged a warm hug. She did not look surprised to see him.

    What is going on with that wack-job lady?! She has her own ideas of where things should go and is quite capable of witholding information and otherwise deceiving those around her. The more important question is who are the voice altered creeps that she reprots to in the back rooms of the V-club, and what is their purpose in the Soldier of the One movement? I am quite confident that the Sister does not realize that their aims and her aims are not the same.

  20. Well, every good power-grab can use a few idealists, until they become either over-eager or suspicious. Given that Clarice is already frustrated and disappointed at not being the fair-haired child, she's bound to become a liability at some point. My guess is, she thinks she's failing at an mission she was never actually "assigned." (I wonder -- is it Zoe's specific avatar, or Zoe's program, that she is so fixated on?)

    Even though I think they kind of fouled up with Barnabas, I am curious to see whether he turns out to be another idealist, or just a regular thug.

    Scary/funny thought: Have they met? I have this insane image of her trying to get him to take a cup of tea, while he's busily wrapping himself in barb-wire.

    And I wonder why they cut the bit with Clarice meeting Ben in the V-club. (I am so glad you told me where you saw that!) Maybe to spring him on us later, when we'd forgotten about him. ;)

    Re old favorites -- I haven't seen Splendor in the Grass, but I remember you mentioning it in a post about Warren Beatty. There aren't too many movies of his that I have seen, but I love Heaven Can Wait. Especially the interplay between Beatty and the Dyan Cannonn/Charles Grodin combo. (Hmm. Another one for the "queue".) Do I remember correctly your saying that Splendor is maybe not such a feel-good movie? Not that I wouldn't watch it, I'd just pick my timing.

  21. Heaven Can Wait!! Beatty was soo charming, and Charles Grodin just killed!

    Splendor in the Grass is a tale of family concern and good intentions gone awry, and young love lost because of it. It made Warren Beatty a star, and moved Natalie Wood from child actress to successful adult actress. You have to be willing to mentally move into that time and its values, but that's not hard to do. It's a good one.

    Move it up on your que and I'll watch it with you! Better yet, I'll put up an open post on Splendor in the Grass so all can come and comment! ; )

  22. Fun! Let me know when your copy shows up; I think I can do a watch-it-now option with it, so I can keep up.

  23. Nicholas: "I am not sure why people focus so on Zoe or Tamara as the avatar that will be the model for the cylons. There certainly are lots of avatars out there, but I am not familiar with the Battlestar Galactica series, so I do not know if the cylons are all alike, or different unique entities."

    I don't know anything about the recent BSG of which Caprica is the prequel. But, in the original show, some Cylons (such as those in the "Centurian" class or series) seem totally interchangable, whereas other (such as the "Lucifer" character) seem more individualized.

    As some point, the "Supreme Leader" of the Cylons gets destroyed and a new Supreme Leader is selected. The Lucifer character remarkes that he and the new Supreme Leader are of the same series (and, soto voce, expresses amaxment that he himself wasn't selected to be SL).

  24. Hey, Ilion, great to have you dropping by.

    With the analog discussion going on between Philomon and Zoevatar, between all the make-out sessions which were merely utilitarian to Zoe but the end game to Phil, we get a sense for what is lacking. Zoevatar looks to drive the discussion toward her ends of getting off Caprica, whereas Phil sees the idea as immediately applicable to the problem they have been unable to solve in mass producing the cylons... to get an independently thinking artificial intelligence they need a root element that then generates into the full entity, based on the individual experiences or inputs that the analogue element is exposed to during its development. It is the answer to a key question, and yet Zoevatar misses it - it isn't important to her particular purpose.

    Phil passes his theory on to Dr. Graystone, who then sends Philomon home and proceeds with the diagnostic work on his own. Was he trying to keep hidden from Philomon his sneaking suspicion that Zoe is within the cylon?

  25. I agree that Zoevatar sees Philomon mostly as a way to get out of the lab. But I'm not so sure she missed the significance of the idea she prompted with him.

  26. You're probably right..more like it was a given in her mind that things would work better in the holo-world if using an analog base with infinite variation, which was Zoe's idea with her creation of the Zoevatar. Zoevatar had a tendency to de-res when it experienced shocking things. Zoe had begun to provide it with sensory feedback from her as she went about her day. All of this had stopped, but from Zoevatar's perspective it was Philomon who was missing the point, which was that a robot artificial intelligence might do well to go other places..Geminon perhaps. ;)

    I may be wrong, but I sense a determination and persistence in achieving this goal, for no known end. It strikes me as machine like. Would Zoe herself be this persistent in going to Geminon? I guess that is the question. Is Zoevatar a perfect duplication of Zoe, or is she something else, something that is both brilliant and creative, and machine like in its persistance.

  27. Well, yes. Zoevatar isn't interested in solving Greystone Industries' problem, so from her point of view, Philomon was missing the point.

    And you raise a good question.

  28. Daniel Graystone’s drive, determination and single mindedness serve him poorly in relationship to his daughter’s Zoevatar. How long has this been the case? Earlier it seemed the mother was the one most single minded in her conflicts with the rebellious Zoe. Well clearly that is a very determined young women, who seems to be getting harder and harder with the good doctors efforts at reaching out to her. What is it with this guy? Does he think of it only as a machine, that the damn thing just isn’t working right? Maybe Dr. Graystone should check the history of his home computer – he might find some whole new visita’s to explore in the V-club.

    As to Vergis, Serge’s inquiry was directed to Amanda, and Daniel has not been entirely upfront with her regarding his dealings with the Vergis Corporation. Would setting a ban on the unlikely event that Tomas would visit be more likely to reveal his underdealings? Was it a safe bet that Tomas Vergis would not show up at his home, let alone risk implicating himself by murdering his competitors wife? What is the significance of her visions of her dead brother. Is it something mystical with real expressions in the actual world, or is she really going nuts? And Sister Clairice’s persistant turning of the conversation towards Zoe. Wouldn’t a mom’s warning buzzers be going off pretty soon? Showing just a little too much interest in her daughter’s ‘memory’. Surely such a lack of compassion couldn’t go unnoticed much longer.

    Meanwhile, for all the big talk of the gamer kids, Joseph Adama is still alive in the game. Heracles may have been blaming Joseph for his getting gunned down, but that’s so much whining. Listen, the first thing they teach you about street fighting is to stay the hell out of the street. Wonder boy was running right down the middle of it when he got himself killed. I’m glad he’s out… he was wasting too much oxygen. And while Joseph Adama has been looking for Tamara, she has been getting acquainted with the peace loving inhabitants of New Cap City – and apparently it has been quite a ride. It would seem she has been shot at and shot down on many occasions, and to the surprise of the ‘players’ she doesn’t die. She does, however, experience pain. And beside the pain of being killed over and over again, there is also the pain of being alone in a horrible nightmare of a place, with no apparent way of getting back.

  29. On another thread from a really cool blog it was suggested that the problems Amanda has been experiencing are due to manipulation on the part of the Tauran Tomas Vergis. It's a good thought, and the highly capable Darrell readily agreed. However, I am inclined to think not. I think of him as relentless and subversive, but not as subtle as this would be. My own hunch is that it has to do with Amanda. Should I go on a flyer? Why not, we’re among friends here.

    I think Amanda isn’t crazy, and that she never was. The images of her dead brother that she saw years ago and which took two years ‘therapy’ to clear away were not do to mental illness at all, but were do to some mystical higher plane special insight that she is the possessor of, and which she has passed on to Zoe. This same special insight or quality was essential to Zoe being able to ‘create’ a Zoevatar that was independent of her. Meanwhile Sister Clarice bores on in her bulldozer fashion, searching doggedly for the Zoevatar program she so desperately wants to help her reach a higher state and immortality, all the while the real deal is right before her.

  30. End? I though it was only on hiatus until October or so.

    I haven't watched it yet.

  31. Kind of a wild and somewhat disappointing finish to the Caprica saga, in my view. It seemed possibilities were much broader earlier. The fact that Zoevatar knocked Philomon into the wall so hard that it cracked his skull and killed him seemed a terrible waste of a good story line. Sure, the Zoevatar in the cylon body can destroy Philomon, but it was just far more intriguing when she was manipulating him, with the possibility to turn him to do something against his own interests. Oh well.

    And Joseph's guide in New Caprica city turns out to be his legal assistant. Right, so she spends lots of time playing in the V-world, and has gotten pretty good at it? As if?! Did she also spend time in the club room and all that jazz? The personality of Joseph's guide Emanuel was far different than how she presents herself at her work. Could she have been a plant all along? And how did she get to be so comfortable about tramping around the mean streets of New Cap city? Not bloody likely. Then she befriends Tammara, who has been doing everything possible to get back to her family, and when her Dad finally meets up with her she shoots herself, then him?! To get him out of the game? Why is she so sure she can trust this Emanual? Why not spend some time talking with her Dad - this will be her last contact forever. No, it just does not seem likely.

    I guess it comes down to this...what is Emanuels role in the game, and in Joseph's life, and who is behind her being there?

    Barnabas missing the hit on the Sister is too bad. Amanda would choose just that moment to go bridge diving. Bad luck that. Well, you pretty much only get one shot at those kind of things. Barnabas is likely to be running low on days left to live...she was disappointed she had not been approved to kill him already.

    Dr. Graystone talking about his work day when it is clear his wife is very upset - minus points to Danny for awarness skills. She then goes out to take her life...on the same night that the Zoevatar escapes and Philo gets his brains smooshed - if I were the Defense Department, I would want to see some signs of stability in the home that is the craddle of my enormous contract investment. Hmmm.

    More later.

  32. Oops, caught me in comment edit. End, well no, you're right of is only the end for now. Haven't watched it? Geez - that comment was chock full of spoilers!! Hey, just forget everything I said. It wasn't really like that. To be honest, I wasn't paying very close attention.

  33. Oh, crud. I just realized that we're never going to get some intricate, far-fetched explanation for Amanda's visions of her brother. Seems like an awful lot of story line, though, just to show us she was losing her grip.

  34. I don't mind spoilers. And I've now watched it.

    Quite an episode!

  35. Well, Amanda may not be dead.

  36. I hope not; i don't want her to be dead. I want her to be whole and sane and do something awesome.

  37. After all the time Sister Clarice spent befriending Amanda and developing an intimacy with her, and at her moment of greatest need Clarice pushes her off to her husband - not because she wanted that relationship to succeed and she was concerned that her presence in Amanda's life might be undermining her marriage - but simply because she had other things to do. Amanda was too much bother, and not of immediate importance to the mission. She wasn't worth it.


  38. Well, of course. It was clear, all along, that Amanda was just a means to an end.

  39. I know, and it really bothers me. I try to like everybody, but I really have a problem with people that are duplicitous and that have no real care for the people around them. This Sister Clarice character touches a nerve for me.

  40. Of course. She's fully as wicked as Barnabas.