EPISODE REVIEW: Caprica: “False Labor” (Episode 13)

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I don’t think there’s any lingering doubt in anyones’ mind that this show is toast. Last week’s episode hit an all-time ratings low of 718,000 viewers. That means effectively the studio paid $4.17 for every viewer. That’s actually pretty sad, because this week, after a miserable three-week crapfest, the show suddenly found its footing again, and was pretty darn good.

PLAY BY PLAY

Amanda continues to infiltrate the Creepy Clarice Bisexual Swinger Line Marriage House, against the wishes of the members. They boot her out, but she tells a pretty impressive lie that emotionally manipulates them into letting her back in. We’re told, however, that she hates them for killing her daughter, and she seems to have no doubt about their culpability.

MEANWHILE, Daniel is in charge of his company again, but not so firmly as he’d like with the local mafia don taking an active hand in running it. He continues to work on his resurrection program, and eventually realizes that personality is based on shared experience, not on raw data. He celebrates this by having virtual sex with his virtual wife. Later on he rejects his virtual wife.

MEANWHILE, there’s a civil war on Tauron.

MEANWHILE, Sam Adama is running guns to Tauron, and gets afoul of a rival mob, who kill one of his men. This also gets him in dutch with his own don, since he was acting completely without orders, and for political ends. The mob is solidly apolitical. Sam is sentenced to clean up his mess in 24 hours, or the don will kill him. He finds the Cylon prototype, and goes on a killing spree

MEANWHILE, Joe Adama finally gets some with his secretary.

The End.

OBSERVATIONS

The show returns to what it was supposed to be, and was promoted as: The Sopranos meet Dynasty in Space. Ok, Dynasty is a bit of an oversell, as Greystone isn’t nearly that glamorous, but you get what I’m going for. Most of the tedious subordinate characters - Zoe, Lacey, Tamara, Clarice - are either completely absent, or reduced to near cameos, and interestingly this really, really, really helps the show. I’ve maintained that Clarice and Zoe were inherently miscast, and Lacey is misused, and this would seem to bear that out.

Lil’ Admiral Bill shows up for the first time in like ten episodes, and gets like one line. He looks about a foot taller than the last time we saw him. I wasn’t even sure it was the same actor. I find I don’t care.

Daniel and Joe get a really good scene together. I feel Joe was miscast as well, but I’ve always maintained that Esai Morales has these momentary flashes of charisma. We got a great one tonight, when he seems to be bonding with Daniel, talking about how he loved his wife, and then shuts it down with “…Until your daughter blew her up.”

Sam Adama, however, Joes’ very gay brother, oozes oily charm, and he actually hit ‘Cool’ on the character-o-meter tonight with the way he handled the rival mob situation. I particularly liked his question to the Cylon, “How are you with tanks?” He mentions that the mob was once political, but has fallen from its roots, and it’ll be interesting to see how far he’s going to let this newfound mafia idealism go. Are we to believe his husband left him at the end? I think so.

Daniel is trying for Resurrection, both technically and personally. He wants to reconstruct people and his own life/soul. Sister Clarise is trying for Apotheosis: the process of becoming a god. I don’t know why this never struck me before, but it didn’t.

Daniel's anger at being forgiven was interesting. Likewise, Amanda's clearly got no doubts that the Creepy Bisexual Swinger Polygamy/Polyandry family are responsible for Zoe's death.

It was an interesting contrast between the conclusion of SGU tonight, and the conclusion of Caprica, which was taken from the same directorial/editing playbook, but generally didn’t work. Where SGU nailed it out of the park, Caprica basically got on first.

That said, it felt like the story was finally moving forward again. I really hope that the writers have realized what works and doesn’t, and they concentrate on their strengths for the five episodes they’ve got left. There’s no way they can save this show now, but they can at least salvage the story, and give us viewers a little closure.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

Not so much, no.

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