Sunday, March 28, 2010

Caprica- a disappointing first season

It is the end of Season 1 of “Caprica.” I still revel in the relationship between Daniel Greystone (Eric Stolz) and his daughter Zoe, played by Alessandra Torresani. Daniel knows that his daughter’s avatar is resident in a cylon. He has attempted to get some acknowledgement of this from the avatar, but to no avail. He has used her fear of fire and her love of her pet to try to coax her into revealing herself, but she steadfastly refuses. There are two issues for Daniel- he loves his deceased daughter and would like to experience her again and he must fulfill a government contract for a working cylon. He has been unsuccessful in making a successful robot except in the model that has Zoe’s avatar. If he doesn’t produce, he will lose his company. If Zoe doesn’t acknowledge him, he will not experience his daughter again. Stolz plays Greystone as very controlled and detached, yet we feel his longing for his daughter. The confusing part for me is that Zoe is not all that nice of a person. She seems to dislike her father and is avoiding communication with him. She is an adolescent who believes that she will make a big difference in the world and, at the same time, is in open rebellion with her parents. I just don’t particularly like her no matter what future history may have in store for her.

There is a subplot that has Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) searching for his deceased daughter’s avatar in the virtual New Cap City, a virtual world of violence and odd characters. Morales is not very good. In one scene in a nightclub, he is asked a riddle by a drag queen master of ceremonies. Morales acts frightened as if he was a 6-year old child. He stamps his foot and says that he just wants to find his daughter. It was silly and unconvincing. This whole New Cap City part of the plot hasn’t really engaged me and seems like a waste of time since I can’t tell where it is going.

The subplots with Amanda Greystone, Daniel’s wife, are equally frustrating. We learn that she has had psychiatric hospitalization in the past after she accidentally was responsible for the death of her brother. Now she is seeing him wherever she glances and she has visions of running after him, apparently in the hospital where she was treated. All of this is too similar to the famous opera house marathons in BSG, and thus seems repetitive and unoriginal. There is also a relationship developing between Amanda and Sister Clarice Willow, played by Polly Walker. At times the relationship seems very intimate, but we know the Sister is paying respect to Amanda only because she is the mother of Zoe, who is believed to the one who will bring monotheism to Caprica, whose inhabitants believe in multiple gods, the names of which are similar to the names are those of the ancient Greek and Roman deities.

I was more excited about “Caprica” at the middle point of this season. Now I think it is going in too many directions and it’s leaving me a bit unclear of what its ultimate destination is. Maybe that is the way it should be, but it should tantalize me a bit more so that I will be sure to return for the next season. I am only hanging on by a thread at this point.

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