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By Your Command

October 26, 2010

by @spacepug

Sam, meet Cy.  We just know you’ll be the best of friends.

This week’s episode of Caprica showed us two very different men in desperate need of support, both of whom ignore the real values that have made them who they are, and turn instead to technology for what they need most.

What follows is a review of “False Labour” and thus, contains spoilers.

Always Faithful to the Soil

Samuel Adama, the tattooed and dangerous Tauron mob hitman played by Sasha Roiz, has long been a favourite among Caprica fans and this week, he gets a chance to shine.  He’s in a bad mood this morning, having had a nightmare.  We see him frustrated, arguing with husband Larry and railing against the latest military action on Tauron.  His mother and Joseph’s assistant Eve (Teryl Rothery returns for the first time since the mid-season finale) caution him, even though they too have been sending money to the rebels fighting the military junta in charge on their homeworld.

At their new day job at Graystone Industries, the brothers Adama talk about what’s bugging Sam.  Turns out he’s not just sending money back home, but guns.  Guns the Guatrau doesn’t know about.  Joseph warns him that’s dangerous.  And tells him he should be thankful he has Larry, someone who loves him.  It’s hollow advice.

Sam’s day gets much worse.  Driving a classy hearse through little Tauron, Sam and a friend fall victim to a classic pinch.  They turn into an alley and get stuck behind a city works crew just long enough for a car full of bad guys to block them in from behind.  Guns are drawn, his friend is shot.  Turns out Sam stole the guns from Atreus, another Tauron hitman with delusions of grandeur, and a little less class than the Guatrau.

So Sam fesses up to his boss, and is told to deal with it, or he’ll have his stigmata removed with a blowtorch.  Ouch.

Let Me Do What I’m Good At

Meanwhile, Daniel’s certainly having a good morning.  He’s created a virtual version of Amanda.  We can tell right off that she’s not Amanda.  She’s smiling, and coming on to him, over and over again.  Clearly, Daniel’s programming skills aren’t up to his daughter’s standard.  When he removes the holoband, we see that Daniel’s world is indeed quite gloomy.  Not only has the Guatrau started to make marketing decisions for him at Graystone Industries, but it seems someone in the Ha’La’Tha is cooking the books.  Yet fake timesheets and shipping orders aren’t the biggest breaches of protocol at Graystone.  Sam’s taken one of the toys out to play.

How are you with tanks?”

Is it any coincidence that right after SyFy announces they are going ahead with a more robust production of “Blood and Chrome,” the story of the first Cylon War, that Caprica finally lets loose the Cylon?  Not since the pilot have we seen the robot unleash it’s weaponry.  When it finally does, it’s at Sam’s behest.  The Cylon takes out Atreus and his followers.  “Task completed.  By your command.”   It’s a fun scene from start to finish, and my only wish is that it had not been so heavily promoted before hand.  No surprise.

Sam faces the Guatrau again, and it’s a good sign that there’s no blowtorch.  Jazzed by the Cylon’s murderous efficiency, Sam is arguing that more of the robots should be sent to Tauron to fight for the rebellion.  The Guatrau is not interested.  He reminds Sam what  Ha’La’Tha stands for….always faithful to the soil.  He tells Sam his obsession with the Old World must end.  Sam bows to the man as he leaves, but it is clear his heart is not with the Guatrau anymore.

ERROR

Daniel’s made more changes to the Amanda avatar.  She’s wearing more clothing and a bit more severe hairstyle, but with no cane the audience isn’t fooled.  He confesses his multitude of recent sins, and though she struggles for a few minutes, her love for Daniel breaks through and she forgives him.  It’s the wrong answer and Daniel gets mad.  It’s a passionate scene for Eric Stoltz, but there’s nothing new for him in this episode.  “I don’t know what you want from me!” the avatar cries as it becomes unstable and de-rezes.  He wants her to be a real girl.

But Amanda isn’t there with him, and she’s doing her best to stay away.  Even though one of Clarice’s family, Marbeth, really doesn’t like her, Amanda is pulling on the heartstrings to win a place in the Willow household so she can continue to spy on the STO and report back to Jordan Dunham.

So Many Wrong Turns

One of the scenes that struck me the most in this episode takes place between Daniel Graystone and Joseph Adama.  Outside on a balcony high above the streets of Caprica City, the two men smoke side by side, very much like they did when they first met.  Daniel says he thought there was a time when they could be friends, and Joseph replies harshly that “times change.”  Even Daniel knows that he has taken so many wrong turns that he is not sure he can find his way back to who he was.  Yet what struck me is how much Joseph Adama has changed.  He offers a platitude about needing someone who can see the man you were inside the man you’ve become, and forgive you.  Yet he punctuates what might have been a real opportunity for friendship with a brutal jab.  “Did your wife do that?” Daniel asks.  “Yeah,” Joseph replies, “until your daughter blew her up.”  And then he throws his lit cigarette off the balcony to hit some poor person on the street below.  Nice.

In this story, Joseph is little more than a symbol of the family values both Sam and Daniel have lost touch with.  He told his brother to be thankful he has someone who loves him, and he tells Daniel he needs the same.  It’s all a setup for some hot stuff on the sofa with Eve, who has set up a false date at his mother’s suggestion.  Who knows what is in store for his character in coming episodes, but I find myself caring less and less.

It was an interesting episode, but not that engaging.  Perhaps I’ve got to the point that I just don’t care enough about the characters who remain.  I am looking forward to seeing next week’s Lacy-centric episode.

And I just have to say….if you didn’t get a chance to see “Innerspace” on Space Channel immediately following tonight’s broadcast, perhaps you should be thankful.  Teddy Wilson dressed up as Zoe for Halloween is just…wrong.  Sorry Teddy.

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3 comments

  1. For the record, the title of this episode is “False Labor”. : )
    To my comment.. The show is showcasing the very people who created a world that would allow for machines to become sentient and angry enough to commit genocide. How much can you really like these characters? Its a story of frakking up big time! I find that I’m really enjoying it even still. I enjoyed the new insights about Tauron. I think if any character is likeable, especially after today’s episode, its Sam. We have a renewed sense of purpose for the character, what’s more its not self-centered purpose. All of the members of the STO seem to have the ultimate self serving purpose of life everlasting, Amanda and Joseph are after justice/revenge, and Daniel is grief-stricken and stupid about it.
    To me last week’s “You made me dead”, was difficult to follow, but they sure gave it their all with cylons finally getting some action. I’m certainly looking forward to next week’s Lacy-centric episode, especially if its on Gemenon.
    Thanks for blogging, Spacepug!


  2. Write in campaigns have started. A rabid fan has spoken and is trying to get people organized.

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  3. Haha at the falling cigarette. No consideration for other people.

    Looks like this show is returning to the soil, and I think if it could choose the way it returns to the soil, the last episodes should air soon enough that people won’t have forgotten all about this show. I agree with what you said tonight about the high-minded thoughtful elements and the warfare, action-based elements and how they were well-balanced in BSG, and a balance of the two is preferable, but if I have to choose between them I pick the brainy stuff this show is all about every time, so I’ll probably mourn this show when the more war-centric Blood and Chrome comes out. Still, anything from this universe will be good.

    I do find most of the characters likable, and while they’re not perfect heroes, their flaws make them interesting. I’ll take a complex character who is a jerk, or bratty, or corrupt over a boring superhero any day. I like Daniel’s and Joseph’s transformations over the course of the show, and how the tragedies in their lives have propelled them to make the choices that all of humanity will end up paying for. The scene on the roof along with the first meeting are good bookends for the episodes that have aired so far. And like William said, this is a society in decline that’s about to be punished for its sins, so they have to make decisions that aren’t completely sympathetic. (Like the sort of society that would reject its most intelligent current sci-fi show in favor of wrestling? Talk about not heeding warnings.)

    Liked the irony that Daniel was so offended by a digital copy of himself being used in a way he never intended, without his permission, given what he’s been up to.

    Love Sam, but he didn’t have as big a role in this episode as I was expecting. I’ll have to watch again to see what we learned about him this time.



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