6. Know Thy Enemy
Come the end of the latest episode of Caprica, I really, really wanted to watch the next one there and then. I point this out for the simple reason that, while I’ve been enjoying and absorbing the show thus far, I’ve not had that reaction since the final frame of the pilot episode.
I’m not going to bang on at length about the same old problems with Caprica, because, to an extent, they’re still present and correct here. There’s still plenty of seed-sowing rather than exposition right now, and with the introduction of Barnabus of the STO, and the retrieval of crucial data by Sister Clarice, there are clearly some major developments coming up. Not much there we can feast on yet, however.
Without question, though, the main focus and point of interest of this latest episode was dealing with ramifications from a previous instalment. And heck, the pay off was good. For we finally get to see Tauron for the first time, and specifically, we’re introduced to the Vergis Corporation. This, you may recall, was where Daniel Graystone strong-armed Joseph Adama to organise the theft of the MCP that proved crucial to the development of the prototype Cylon. But Graystone and his team can’t wrap their heads around problems with the MCP, and need to find cash to pour into the Cylon project.
Enter Tomas Vergis. At times, Caprica has veered towards a family-driven mob drama, and this episode – arguably its most successful to date – jumped into the genre with both feet. Vergis, for reasons we don’t yet know, has worked out that Graystone stole the MCP, and holds him responsible for the death of two people during the theft.
Over the course of the episode, we see Vergis as a calm, collected man, who makes an offer to Graystone to buy the Caprica Buccaneers pyramid team. Graystone scoffs at the notion, until a figure of 300m cubits is put on the table. That’s just the kind of money Graystone needs, even if he ultimately turns the bid down. Meanwhile, Vergis goes on the late night talk show as part of a PR blitz, and is playing the reasonable man card perfectly well.
Until the final screen.
This was brilliant television, as Graystone and Vergis go head to head, with the latter revealing that his dream was to destroy Graystone’s. That he’d go through everything Graystone had, taking away the things that he loved until the debt was repaid. It was a simple scene, well written and exquisitely played, and it’s the most sinister thing Caprica has put on screen thus far.
It was so good it almost had me overlooking the dumbness of Amanda Graystone for a moment. But not quite. For her part of the episode was the bit where Caprica felt like it was cheating. After a few drinks with Sister Clarice, she invites her into Daniel’s secret lab? Really? Aren’t you supposed to channel hop and watch crappy music videos from the past or something? Just as I wasn’t buying that at all, she then pointed at the Cylon and described it specifically as the top secret defence project he’s been working on. Give us a break. I scoffed out loud at that. It’s clearly important that Clarice gets the data so that the STO can recreate avatars of their own, but this was such a lame way to do it, it went beyond incredulous. Why not just give her a copy of the script or something?
Still, it’s to the credit of the episode that it still emerged as strongly as it did. Heck, it even threw up bonus James Marsters, who we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the weeks ahead. But it’s Tomas Vergis who I’ve now firmly got my eye on. And thanks to a superbly pitched ending, I reiterate: I can’t wait for the next episode.
More like this, please, Caprica…
Read our review of episode 5 here.