8. Ghosts In The Machine
Okay, I think it’s probably time to admit it. Caprica is starting to lose me.
This latest episode was another exercise is adding backstory, from where I was sat, with precious little to really enjoy here and now. Yep, there’s an element of stuck record about this review, with the same points and themes coming through. But go back to the second episode of Caprica onwards, and how has the show really evolved? Is it just me that feels like we’ve been getting lots and lots of prologue, but not enough to actually enjoy?
The show still has many strengths. Some of the production design, particularly in New Cap City, is brilliant. Okay, the effects occasionally burst at the seams a little, but there’s a real ambition in what’s being put on the screen that it’s hard not to admire. Furthermore, should one of the assorted storylines burst into life at any point, I feel like there’s something really very strong potentially in the offing.
But I keep coming back to Battlestar series one. Eight episodes in, I was thirsting for the next instalment. Absolutely aching for it. Here, I’m looking forward to Caprica going on break next week, and hoping that it can sort its issues out in the six months it’s got off before we get fresh episodes.
So, what actually happened this week? Following the intriguing cliffhanger with Daniel looking into the eyes of the robot and calling her Zoe, not actually that much. In fact, the duration of the episode where Zoe and Daniel were concerned was the latter testing the former.
Zoe is refusing to confirm to her father that her avatar is in the robot in front of him, and thus is resisting showing emotion at any cost. The V-world version of her gets to spout off about this, and we’re getting hints that in the episodes ahead she’s going to do something a little more than sit in the corner. But I felt with this story arc that it was more fleshed out rather than moved forward (via some quite torturous techniques on behalf of Daniel). It did, at least, make use of interspersing a human and Cylon Zoe, though, justifying that casting decision.
Joseph Adama’s search for Tamara in the V-world is getting less interesting right now, though. He’s in New Cap City hunting for her, and he’s now abusing his substances to make sure he achieves his goal of locating his dead daughter. This could get quite interesting, especially as the line between the virtual and the real world potentially blurs. The game that Joseph is now involved in is likely to change him, we’re warned, and I’m wondering whether we’ll get evidence of that in next week’s episode, before the show goes off on its break.
Appreciating I’m not in the majority here, the most fulfilling story element right now for me is whenever Tomas Vergis turns up, given that he adds a menace, threat and hint of urgency that’s often lacking in Caprica. Here, he arrives and simply drops hints to Amanda that her husband was linked to two murders. It’s a small, but potentially pivotal, moment in the episode.
Ultimately, I do get that Caprica has depths to it that I’d kill for in other shows, and also that it’s genuinely ambitious in the narrative arcs that it’s putting together. But it’s one of the least entertaining shows I’m following at the moment, even though I still find it interesting.
Given that there are rumours that it might not get a second season, I’m really curious just what we get next week, because it’s not unreasonable to hope for something more substantive from an episode just prior to a big break.
Caprica, in my view, needs that kind of shot in the arm more than any other show around at the moment. For, as it stands right now, it’s in real danger of not making the most of its obvious potential.
Read our review of episode 7 here.