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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

a few thoughts on ‘Caprica’: “Retribution”

Lacy and the STO’s attempt to bomb the Caprica City spaceport is an interesting counterpoint to Clarice’s virtual bombing of the C-Bucs’ stadium in the previous episode. Just judging from the perspective of who could get things done for the STO, is, indeed, Clarice a better leader for a terrorist group that actually wants to achieve its crazy goals? (She certainly is more charismatic than Barnabas, and that’s important in this kind of situation, isn’t it?) Does her virtual terrorist attack show that she’s better organized than Barnabas… or merely that she has a more vivid imagination when it comes to inventing such scenarios? Or is the STO’s failure to pull off the spaceport bombing merely represent a battle plan not surviving first encounter with an enemy… or a security guard? Because it does seem as if Clarice’s fantasy requires that all her bombers be both really lucky and utterly without last-minute reservations?

Whatever the case, any terrorist actions Clarice wants to take on Caprica will be that much more difficult now that the GDD is on even higher alert for the STO…
And Clarice clearly does not worry about her god judging her: She blows up Barnabas while talking about a kind, loving, just god, and has no compunctions about murdering “her kids” over their betrayal of her. She must believe her god is a violent, vengeful one, too, if she’s a tool of that god. Weird, how people can convince themselves of the most contradictory, hypocritical things in the name of religion. Too bad it takes a science fiction show to make this so plain as a recurring part of its themes and plots.

Lacy is going to “betray” Clarice, too, isn’t she? I wrote regarding the last episode that I thought maybe Lacy was faking her sudden radicalization for some reason, and Barnabas seemed to suspect this too, demanding that she say she’s loyal to him… but all she will say is that she’s “committed to god.” But why is Lacy faking? Is she someone’s mole? Is she working on her own toward some purpose we don’t quite understand? Or is it just to make up for how she let down Zoe?

Oh, hey: Did that bit where Clarice is wearing the holoband and says Zoe’s name — combined with Clarice’s later explanation (which could have been all bullshit, of course) to Amanda about how she’s different characters in the v-world — mean to suggest that Clarice is the new v-world Zoe who showed up last week to kick the droogs around? Could Zoe have been wiped out when the Cylon chip was copied, as she feared? Or are there little bits of Zoe now spread throughout the Cylon army, bits that could later recoalesce in the v-world? Or has that already happened?

Argh, the wanting to know what’s going on is killing me!

Like this: So, someone “highly placed” in GDD is talking to Clarice’s mysterious contacts in the v-world. Is the bald GDD cop a little too polytheistic? Could he be the informant? If so, he’s really working the double-agent bit, with his anti-Clarice vehemence and his recruited Amanda to spy on Clarice. Then again, perhaps this is how he “knows” that Clarice is the “lynchpin” of the STO on Caprica. Maybe he’s sympathetic to the STO’s causes but not to Clarice?

Nah, the informant has gotta be Peter Wingfield, right?

And Daniel: Now he’s using Sam as an enforcer and Joseph as an investigator so he can blackmail the members of the Graystone board? But then… heh: the blackmailed guy kills himself rather than give in to the blackmail. You can’t always control people: sometimes they do unpredictable or unlikely things…

I love the flipping around of Caprica TV we got a glimpse of. Caprica Shopping Network? (If only someone could actually register the domain csn.cap!) Interesting on the weather report that the days of the week are the same as ours, even though their months are different. And I love Sam’s little throwaway comment about how he likes the rain, misses it from Tauron: that was a lovely bit of color.

Just an aside: I love the opening credits for this show, and not only because it’s one of the few shows that still has opening credits. They so perfectly encapsulate the characters and the themes… as with Sam’s protective and presumably influential hand on Willy’s shoulder while Joseph is too preoccupied with grief to look to his son. And Bear McCreary’s theme is fantastic.

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