Caprica: End of the Line

Synopsis: The first half of season one didn’t end with a bang…it ended with two bangs and a possible suicide. Lacy joins the STO, naively believing that Barnabas will help her get Zoe to Gemenon. Instead, she becomes a pawn in the terrorist’s play for power—Barnabas tricks her into attaching a detonator onto Sister Clarice’s key ring. Zoe, however, doesn’t think that Lacy is moving fast enough and decides to take matters into her own metallic Cylon hands. She escapes from her father’s lab, accidentally killing her geeky paramour, Philomon, in the process, and steals a truck. Finding herself cornered and alone—reaching the titular “end of the line”—Zoe drives into a barricade and the truck explodes. Amanda, who’s been unraveling for the past few weeks, finally reaches her breaking point and prepares herself to jump off of the Pantheon Bridge. Sister Clarice, who is rather fortuitously stuck in traffic right in front of the bridge, spots Amanda and gets out of her car just before it explodes.

Review: Creators Ronald Moore and David Eick unleashed Caprica three months ago, eager to capitalize on the success of Battlestar Galactica but they also attempted to distance the prequel from the source material. This seems paradoxical but the rationale is simple: They wanted this new show to be judged on its own merits but still, you know, wanted money.

Although Entertainment Weekly has showered Caprica with praise—something that we’re reminded of during almost every commercial break—many BSG fans were quick to criticize the show and subsequently dismissed it. But if you recall, similar grumblings accompanied the premiere of the reimagined BSG by fans of the original 1978 series. So I guess it’s cyclical. Eventually everyone will get on board and when Caprica ends—which, fingers crossed, will be years from now—Moore and Eick will give birth to another series and everyone will say, “This show isn’t as good as Caprica.” Anyway, the naysayers aren’t nearly as numerous as the yeasayers and the midseason finale, which was fantastically relentless, just demonstrates why that’s true.

This was the best of these first nine episodes and the perfect way to end the first half of the season. Zoe killed “cute lab boy,” spoiling my hopes for a robot-human romance and Tamara “killed” her father, forever ending his stay in New Cap City. But the most outrageous development was obviously Amanda’s “suicide.” Is she actually dead this time? Probably not. The episode closes with Daniel receiving an upsetting phone call but it isn’t clear if he’s just been told that his wife has committed suicide or that his Cylon has committed suicide. Either way, Daniel should think about working on his interpersonal skills and reevaluating his concept of familial love because his emotional detachment had a lot to do with Amanda and Zoe’s final (though, probably not that final) acts of desperation.

Even though I was beginning to care about Amanda and enjoy her storyline, I kind of hope that she isn’t resurrected when the show returns. If she is still alive or maybe didn’t jump off of the bridge after all, I will be vigorously rolling my eyes. It’s difficult to be excited about any unexpected twists and turns if you know that some unsatisfying resolution is just around the corner. Like I said, I don’t think that Amanda’s dead—we’re only nine episodes into the series—but I’m praying that her second reprieve won’t be as easy and convenient as her first.

The finale was Graystone heavy, as usual, but we did learn that Emmanuelle, Joseph’s guide in New Cap City, was actually Evelyn, Joseph’s real-world friend and assistant. If you’re up on your BSG trivia then you know that William Adama’s mother’s name was Evelyn and not Shannon (which is Joseph’s deceased wife’s name). Romance is on the horizon for Joseph and perhaps this will translate into more screen time for Esai Morales who is lamentably underused.

Aside from that, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of James Marsters when the show returns. Barnabas Greeley may head a terrorist cell, but his emasculating run-in with Sister Clarice at the beginning of this episode made him look more like a petulant child than a real threat—his attempt on her life was downright bratty. I foresee a Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner back and forth developing between these two, with Barnabas continually trying to blow her up or maybe painting a picture of a monotheist shrine onto the side of a brick building, hoping to trick her into running into it.

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