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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

‘Caprica’ blogging: “The Reins of a Waterfall”

(previous: “Rebirth”)

(lots of spoilers! assumes you’ve seen the episode!)
I thought Joseph Adama was just a mob lawyer — but he’s worse than that, isn’t he? Bribing corrupt judges ain’t nothing next to ordering your brother to even out the deaths in the maglev bombing. We know Sam Adama has no trouble at all with killing in cold blood — we’ve already seen him rather gleefully murder Cancer Man in his bed — but even Sam seems taken aback by Joseph’s calm request that he kill Amanda Graystone.

Amanda’s take on her daughter is very intriguing! She believes her daughter was a terrorist, but while she’s wrong about Zoe using a bomb on the maglev, she’s not wrong about Zoe’s apparent desire to inflict some sort of shattering change upon her culture. Zoe clearly believed that whatever she was working on would have a huge impact — her avatar was meant to be “a gift,” and obviously Sister Clarice, whom Zoe was apparently in the thrall of, believes that the One God is going to save them all. (Save them from what?) Zoe may not have wanted to use violence to affect a change, but she must have considered herself something of a revolutionary.

And hey, who is Clarice talking to behind the blurry glass in the virtual world? Is it one of the skinjobs from when this Happened Before?

Everything we see here — much more so than we ever saw in Battlestar Galactica — feels like a giant example of The More Things Change. And this was 150,000 years ago. And it wasn’t the first time they’d happened, either! Talk show host Baxter Sarno, who’s Leno (terrible monologue) + Stewart (“more than half of college-age students say they get their news from Sarno”). “Taurons are terrible drivers.” Cops who play PR games and destroy evidence to cover their asses. “If you were my friend, you’d do this” — kids have, it seems, been saying this for hundreds of thousands of year. And good things have never, ever started that way.

It makes me despair, a bit: Can we ever change? Then again, the portrayal of Sam’s home life makes me hope. Lacy, who’s brave and determined enough to knock down a boy twice her size because he pissed her off with his hypocrisy, makes me hope.

On the other hand, we already know this won’t end well…

Random thoughts on “The Reins of a Waterfall”:

• Am I the only one who thought, when we saw Willie Adama hanging around his uncle’s club, “Every since I was a kid, I wanted to be a Tauron gangster”?

• I want a Serge.

• Ooo, Dr. Janet Frasier!

• I get the fedoras and the cigarettes as signifiers for “retro,” for “this happened in the not-too-distant past.” I’m not sure if the giant, boxy cameras the TV reporters are using work, though. With the kind of technology we’ve already seen, would the cameras really be that big?

(next: “Gravedancing”)

(Watch full episodes and get recaps at SyFy’s official site for the show.)


MPAA: rated TV14-V

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
  • Knightgee

    I’m wondering if the way the stained glass behind the Zoe Avatar formed a kind of halo when she was speaking with Lacy was intentional imagery or if I’m reading too much into that.

  • …obviously Sister Clarice, whom Zoe was apparently in the thrall of, …

    Actually I saw this episode and came away with the impression that “Sister” Clarice was not part of Zoe’s STO prayer group. She knew of it, knew Zoe (and the kind of things she was doing..if not solid details) and decided to put the bits she knew into an attempt to influence Zoe’s friends (Ben and Lacy).

    I suspect that most of what she knows about Zoe’s work came from Ben and not Zoe directly since Ben was Zoe’s STO group’s spiritual leader. But she is telling Lacy that Zoe trusted her in an attempt to gain trust by proxy.

  • PJK

    What is funny for me as a European is the use of classic 50’s and 60’s European cars in the show.

    I guess since most Americans have never been exposed to the Citroen DS and the Jaguar E type and their shapes are of (then) futuristic design this would work well for the US market.

    For me though it is like the Hummer they used in the BSG Caprica episodes.

  • Isobel

    Caprica is my first foray into anything BSG related (I’ve never seen any BSG) so it’s all completely new to me and I’m still the uncritical stage.

    I have to say I’m really impressed with the world they’ve created on Caprica – it’s very real and well realised. I like the way they casually drop things into the dialogue (like gangster Sam Adama being married to a man, which is about as far from the TV stereotype of a gay man as you can get) rather than beating you over the head with the difference.

    I’m in agreement with C David Dent – I’m not sure that there was any particular collaboration or trust between Zoe and Sister Clarice. I don’t know what a ‘skin job from When This Happened Before is’ but I’m very interested to see who she was talking to – are there different sects of the Soliders of the One, with different agendas?

    I suspect that Tamara Adama (that reads much better with the American pronunciation of Tamara. . . )will also be downloaded into a robot body soon – if Zoe does get her Avatar to Gemenon, perhaps Sister Clarice will be trying to convert and use Tamara, instead?

  • Isobel

    Just thinking about my comment ‘which is about as far from the TV stereotype of a gay man as you can get’, and I am wondering whether the Caprican’s would even have a word ‘gay’ – whether it would just be so completely accepted that it wasn’t even worth noticing someone’s (I’ve had a mental block on the word. . .begins with P?). We can live in hope that we’ll get there outside fiction soon.

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