Wednesday 5 January 2011

Caprica - Once an Adama starts a fight, we finish it one away or another.

Caprica: 1x15 The Dirteaters.

The ideological conflict between Tauron migrants with close ties to their home world with the more pragmatic and fully Caprican Guatrau is slowly escalating as the situation on Tauron worsens – a conflict that we, as the Adamas, only see through the occasional Caprican news which are, supposedly, about as devoted to the third world colony as Western news are to conflicts in Africa. The expatriates are still following old rituals: in the beginning of the episode, Joseph gets his first tattoo and Sam becomes a Leader of Men, a Captain – but the Adama’s history on Tauron, the events in their childhood, have shaped their existence now. They can’t follow the advice of the Guatrau and just let go of their old allegiances.
The conflict of their childhood remains barely explained. Tauron used to be / is probably still ruled by a military regime (or a totalitarian ruler called Heraclites) that relies on uniformed police (the Heracs) to subjugate the citizens and those who are silently rebelling against the violence – the Ha’la’tha, a fraction Sam and Joseph’s parents support.
The flashback to how Sam and Joseph came to be the Adamas we know now serves two purposes: one, we learn that the force that drives Sam is guilt (as a child, he stole the gun of a Herac which eventually got their parents killed) and hatred at the established regime on Tauron, and probably a similar disdain at the other’s colonies, but especially Caprica’s, silence at the atrocities. Joseph is far more complex: he steps up when he has to, but the thing his father asks of him, to grant him his final wish (more than anything else, Taurons crave to decide the moment that they “return to the soil”), is incredibly traumatizing. I’ve always found Joseph to be one of the characters that were hard to predict, and that could be either the writers not really knowing what they wanted him to be, or just his feeling of being out of place everywhere he tries to fit in.

“This is New Cap City. There are no rules.”

It’s an interesting choice to have parts of the episode take place in Tauron, a place without technology, and the exact opposite, the virtual world of New Cap City. Nestor and the other husband are playing around, meeting Zoe and Tamara who they ironically do not recognize as what they are, and are finding out that the two “Avenging Angels” are able to change the fabrics of the virtual reality. Even though Zoe is a genius and her invention drives all these characters in one way or another, she is still a teenager – the idea of creating a cool brand for herself appeals to her, and she underestimates the likeliness of The Avenging Angels ever leaving the realms of New Cap City, even though she should know that things in the virtual world tend to influence life in the real one. It’s what draws Daniel’s attention and makes him realize that Zoe is not dead, unmoving Cylon skeleton in the basement or not. Amanda and Daniel, newly reunited, decide to go and look for her.
She still has original Zoe’s hatred of the decadent lifestyle of New Cap City, so she decides for both herself and Tamara (who is a criminally unexplained character at this point) that they will use their powers in a more world-changing manner than they did in the past weeks. Instead of removing elements they disliked one by one, they are just going to destroy and rebuild the entire world, and it barely takes them more than a snap of the fingers.
Zoe: “It’s safer in New Cap City. We’re gods in here. Let’s act like it and forsake these motherfrakkers. We can build a place where nobody will be able to touch us.
“I give you Cylons, and you find a way to keep me alive.”

Daniel finally figures out that being a CEO in a Guatrau-owned company doesn’t really make you eligible to reach a ripe old age. He understands that he has to build a new alliance, and understands quickly that the one soft spot Sam Adama (whose new tattoo already gives him away as the future assassin) is the escalating conflict on Tauron and the Guatrau’s unwillingness to send Cylons. He proposes a deal: his life against a Cylon army for the rebels on Tauron.

"It’s gonna be beautiful"
Clarice only gets a couple of scenes in this episode, but they serve to show that Nestor is starting to doubt her devotion to god. She is struggling with the marketing of apotheosis (the design of the place the martyrs will wake up in is too traditional), and eventually, the faces of those who created this place will end up on statues, which seems to be a bit contradictory to the whole “one god” thing. Her faith has always served her needs, but she is about to lose the support she so desperately needs.

Random notes:

The Caprican news jump from politics to gossip and there is barely any distinction between the two.

“Those holo haters saying that banding causes brain damages – I band 24/7 and I’m totally gravy”.

Also, sorry for the inconsistencies in “frak”. As far as I understand it, the version with the one k is the most common one, but it’s a double k for frakker and frakking.

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