CAPRICA Recap, Ep. 6 Teaser, Marsters Debut
Watch the Caprica episode 6 teaser here.
Friday night marks the 6th episode of Caprica, so we are all deeply engrossed in our journey into the pre-Battlestar Galactica universe, right? This week, sci-fi TV veteran James Marsters joins the cast, as rebel leader Barnabus Greeley, hopefully to add a splash of anarchy to the restrained drama of the series so far. Marsters is best known for his role as Spike, the bottle blonde vampire we all know and love from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and as Captain John Hart from Torchwood.
I’ve heard some murmurs on the internet of people feeling lost with the plot of Caprica if they hadn’t previously watched Battlestar Galactica. The series is a little complicated on its own because, in my mind, it’s like no science fiction we have seen on television so far. It is very space opera, for which Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is well known, but just when you think you’re about to get into a juicy relationship, it smacks you over the head with a new level of science fiction question asking.
Maybe I can help sort things out? I will try. Here is my recap of the events so far.
Caprica is set 58 years ahead of the main BSG timeline. The planet Caprica is the governmental and commercial hub for the Twelve Colonies, 12 associated planets named after constellations of the Zodiac. In BSG, the Twelve Colonies are attacked by Cylons (robot soldiers of the colonists’ own creation), and there is a near total genocide of the human race. The remnants of humanity have taken refuge aboard spaceships, and this ragtag fleet is led on a quest through space by William Adama, commander of the Galactica. Their goal is to find the a new home, in a mythical planet called Earth.
In Caprica, we meet up with 11 year old William (Willie) Adama, whose sister and mother have been murdered by a suicide bomber acting in the name of a religious group called the Soldiers of the One (the STO). Also killed in this bombing, is STO supporter Zoe Graystone. Her father, Daniel Graystone, is like the Bill Gates of Caprica, a scientist responsible for numerous advancements in technology, the foremost being the ‘holo-band.’
Before her death, Zoe had created a technologically advanced avatar of herself for use in the V Club, a virtual world accessible only by holo-band technology. Her father discovers this avatar after her death, and implants ‘Zoe’ into a robot soldier which he calls a Cylon. He thinks his experiment has failed, and that he’s lost Zoe’s avatar forever, but she is still alive in the Cylon, controlling it and hiding in it.
Stop here. Daniel Graystone, with the help of Zoe, has created the first Cylon. Eventually the Cylons will be used as soldiers and slaves by the Twelve Colonies. They will rise up, because, oops, they are sentient, and kill almost everyone, and cause the events we see in the main BSG time-line. Let’s call the creation of the first Cylon, and its implications, storyline number one.
Young William Adama’s father, Joseph, is befriended by Daniel Graystone, who shows him Zoe’s avatar. Daniel creates another high tech avatar, this time of Joseph’s late daughter, Tamara. Tamara has a bad reaction to being stuck in the holo-world, and freaks out, so her dad panics, curses Graystone, vows to take him down, and eventually plots to have Graystone’s wife assassinated, ultimately deciding against it. The continuing Adama/Greystone tension is storyline number two.
Meanwhile, back on Caprica, everyone is puzzled as to why Zoe was involved with the Soldiers of the One (STO), a religious group advocating that there is only one god. Their mission is to “drive out the many Gods and combat the decadence and corruption of Colonial society.” See in the BSG universe, the predominant religion is an Ancient Greco-Roman inspired polytheism. They worship Athena and Mars and other deities. After the suicide bombing, the STO are considered a terrorist organization, and Caprican authorities are hunting them down. So the tension between the established religion and the counter-culture STO ‘one true God’ religion is storyline number three.
The education of William Adama is storyline number four. Remember, William will lead the fleet, post-war, and his son Lee will also have a serious impact on the life of the fleet after the attacks. If Daniel and Zoe Graystone doomed humanity by creating the Cylons, it is William Adama and his family that eventually act as humanity’s salvation. See how that works?
After the murder of his mother and sister, William is in a funk, and his father takes him to a Pyramid game, as a guest of Daniel Graystone, to try and cheer him up. He meets Graystone only briefly, but is impressed by his connections and sprawling house and technology. After Joseph has his falling out with Graystone, he decides to imbue Willie with more of his Tauron heritage, primarily by allowing him to spend time with his uncle Sam, an enforcer for the Tauron mob. Tauron is another planet in the Twelve Colonies and their race is not entirely popular with the Capricans. Sam is also the most badass gay guy in all of television history, by the way, and his boyfriend is cute, but I digress. Sam teaches us about the differences in the Caprican and Tauron cultures, and he is trying to teach Willie how to become a proper Tauron man.
Willie’s sister, Tamara, is still stuck in the holo-world and makes her way to New Cap City, a virtual game world that no one quite knows how to play or what the objective is. New Cap City scenes are stunningly delicious, because they are filmed in pulp/gangsta styling and costuming. Tamara is the only avatar in New Cap City who can’t get killed, because she is something different from an avatar, something more. This is storyline number five.
Zoe is still stuck in the Cylon ‘toaster’ body. She dances, which is fabulous because we get to see a Cylon dance, but unfortunately, she is also in the room to witness her parents having sex. You can see how this becomes problematic. The scientists working with her don’t know she’s in there, and hers is the only Cylon that seems to work properly, so they are tinkering with her to see why, and to try and replicate the results in order to mass produce the model. Zoe is still set on going to Gemenon to pursue her STO crusade. Yes, in her toaster body. She has charged her best friend Lacy Rand with this task, and it is in the name of this quest that we get to meet STO rebel leader Barnabus Greeley in this week’s episode, storyline number six.
Sister Clarice gets a storyline all of her own, number seven, because we haven’t quite figured her out. She is the headmistress of the Athena Academy, where Lacy and Zoe attended school, but she secretly adheres to monotheism. She is a part of the STO, as well as part of a very exciting group marriage with multiple wives and husbands. She seems to have some sort of sexy yen for Lacy, and she is seen taking orders from an unknown entity at the end of one of the episodes.
So seven interwoven storylines and I haven’t even talked about potential romances yet? Religion, racism, culture, technology, pulp fiction and RPGs, terrorism, polygamy, teen angst, corporate ethics, all of which will eventually lead to the genocide and salvation of the human race! Did I mention we are only five episodes into this series? Some of the episodes did drag on a bit, but amidst the story building there were some amazing moments that took my breath away. Caprica has been picked up for a second season by Syfy, and it will be a roller coaster ride through and through.The episode ‘Know Thy Enemy,’ featuring James Marster’s first appearance, airs Friday night on Syfy and the Space Channel, followed by three more episodes and then a summer hiatus.