Caprica: The Imperfections of Memory

By  · Published on March 13th, 2010

Synopsis: Schemestress, Sister Clarice, continues to cozy up to emotionally unstable Amanda, who is having visions of her dead brother and questioning her sanity. When Amanda reveals that she was once a patient at a mental health institution, Sister Clarice strokes her metaphorical beard in a very diabolical way, no doubt trying to figure out how she can use this information to get closer to Zoe’s avatar. The episode closes with Daniel finally (!) realizing that Zoe’s avatar is still inside of the Cylon, which begs the following question: Can Cylons/avatars be grounded? If they can, Lacy’s plan to get Zoe to Gemenon just got even more difficult.

Review: You can’t watch ten minutes of Caprica without coming across a little dramatic irony. The show’s just brimming with the stuff. If you haven’t been keeping a running tally of every time that we – the audience – are privy to information that the Adamas, the Graystones, or the conniving monotheists aren’t, you needn’t fret, my friend, because I have. So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite dramatically ironic Caprica moments.

(1) Everyone thinks that Zoe masterminded the Maglev bombing…but she didn’t.

(2) Joseph thought that Tamara’s avatar vanished…but it hadn’t.

(3) In the last episode, Schemey McSchemes-a-lot (Sister Clarice) thought she’d finally gotten her hands on Zoe’s avatar…but she hadn’t (and unknowingly stared directly at the Cylon that houses the avatar, which is dramatic irony and, I think, situational irony).

However, until this episode, the juiciest bit of Caprica flavored dramatic irony had been that Daniel was totally unaware of the fact that he’d successfully transferred Zoe’s avatar into the Cylon body. Alas, it seems that he (with the help of cute lab boy) has finally realized that it’s Zoe and not the meta-cognitive processor that makes the Cylon function properly.

Despite my love for dramatic irony – the second best irony there is* – I was sort of annoyed that it took Daniel this long to put two and two together. He’s supposed to be this mega genius, right? So knowing that he’d tried to upload the avatar into the only Cylon that’s working, why wouldn’t he have immediately thought that Zoe’s program had something to do with how functional the thing was? Whatever. Notwithstanding that tiny bit of improbability, this is one of the most explosive developments in the show so far. My only hope is that this episode’s cliffhanger doesn’t end up being some fake out à la the attempt on Amanda’s life that was never attempted. I mean, I’m going to be kind of pissed if at the beginning of next week’s episode, Daniel says something like, “No, Zoe’s avatar couldn’t possibly be the reason why this machine is working. I must steal another meta-cognitive processor. Muhahahaha. ” You never know with this show. (Actually that isn’t true. You always know, it’s the Adamas, the Graystones, and the monotheists who are totally confused.)

In this episode we also find out that, years ago, Amanda spent some time in a mental health institution after her brother’s death and the hallucinations that put her there have started up again. Part of me wants to take this at face value. That is to say, I want to believe that Amanda is just hallucinating when she sees her dead brother among a crowd of people in the present. But that’s a little too easy, isn’t it? One of the show’s major themes is resurrection, so it’s very possible that she’s actually seeing her brother and if that’s the case, then a completely new and awesome can of worms has just been opened. Regardless, Amanda has chosen the exact wrong person to confide in. She’s in the middle of an emotional and spiritual crisis and Sister Clarice is manipulative and monotheistic enough to capitalize on that vulnerability – she already seems to be indoctrinating Amanda. I don’t think it’s too far fetched to imagine Amanda becoming a follower of the One True God or maybe even, somewhere down the line, one of Sister Clarice’s wives – the sexual tension between these two ladies is palpable.

And then we have Joseph Adama, roaming the streets of New Cap City, looking for Tamara – what he plans to do with her once he finds her, I don’t know. But this game world has injected some much-needed peril into the show – if Joseph dies in the program before he finds his daughter, he’ll never be able to return. Even though I didn’t mind that, for a while there, Caprica had more in common with One Tree Hill than Battlestar Galactica, I think that the decision to incorporate a bit of mindless, sci-fi violence was probably the right one. As we move closer to the mid-season break, the show just gets better and more exciting. It sort of feels like we’re inching up the hill of a rollercoaster and just about to reach that peak.

*The best kind of irony being whatever it’s called when inventors are killed by their own inventions, which, when you think about it, is sort of applicable to Caprica and BSG.