Here Be Dragons, LiterallyNovember 23, 2010
Plenty happened on the penultimate episode of Caprica, titled “Here Be Dragons” including, you guessed it, dragons. They delivered a high body count and some unexpected twists, but it felt like true characterization was sacrificed in favour of a blistering pace. Not my favourite episode by any means.
The following is a recap and review and therefore CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Sam Adama and the Graystones are all on holobands in the real world, and on horseback in V-World, hot on Zoe’s trail. Seems Daniel is able to track where the Zoe!Avatar is. At the bottom of the hill her castle is perched on, the trio dismount and tie up their horses. From above, Zoe moves her hand, making an adjustment. It takes awhile for the change to show up down where they are, but when it does, it’s dramatic. One by one, the three horses change into dragons and turn on their riders. Amanda looks like the first meal when Sam comes to her rescue, shooting all three animals. He’s earning his $10,000. Turns out Dragonfighters of Kobol was Zoe’s favourite book. Nice nod to Anne McCaffrey.
In the real world, there are sirens going off in Caprica City, heard in the background of a scene in Joseph Adama’s apartment. Evelyn is at the table with William, building a model sailing ship. Evelyn talks about how a ship’s crew is like family. It’s two very unsubtle reminders that this is the man who will grow up to be Commander Adama, builder (and smasher) of model ships and commander of a mighty ship. For now, William would prefer to be anywhere else than with is father’s girlfriend, it seems. He asks for permission to go play in V World.
Fidelia is as sharp as we feared. She is out for a walk with the Guatrau. She has figured out the Adamas scheme and she warns the Tauron mob leader that the true danger of the Adamas is that they could become more popular than he is. She remains loyal to him, he is her father after all. He orders her to take them out, quick and painless.
Later that night, there is a knock at the door of Joseph Adama’s home. Everyone wakes up, but Joseph sends Willy back to bed and warns Evelyn to go back upstairs and be ready to call Sam. He answers the door. It is Frankie, a friend, who comes with a demand that Joseph come to see the Guatrau. He doesn’t even want to wait for Joseph to dress. As soon as Joseph turns his back, Frankie whips out a garotte and tries to kill him. How’s a garotte quick and painless? He almost succeeds, until Grandma Ruth comes to the rescue with her meat cleaver. Frantically, Joseph tries to reach Sam, leaving him a message.
On Gemenon, Odin, Lacy and the other students are having a nice seditious chat over drugs. Odin’s asking the tough question….What is the One True God and do our teachers speak for him? Lacy agrees that surely they do not. Odin has a warning for her though, he says she is a threat and her teachers will shoot her. Later, we see him sitting down with Diego and one of the other STO teachers and trying to save his own skin. He wants them to know that whatever they have planned for Lacy, he wants no part of it. They reward him with an assignment: kill Lacy himself.
The Willows are up to no good. Nestor has got himself architectural plans for the Graystone Estate and he’s got an assault plan in place. They do a nice transition from talking about breaking in, to showing them bursting through the front door. Serge confronts them. They shoot him up, and his light goes out. @SergeGraystone is no more.
But the trio is foiled in their plans. Serge activated the house’s security protocol and a series of barricades go up, blocking them from getting to Amanada. Nestor thinks he can break through. On the other side of the safety doors, Amanda and Daniel are absorbed in V-World, unaware of what’s going on so close.
In V-World, smart player Sam turns out not to be so smart after all. When pushed, he reveals to Daniel that his plan is to destroy the abomination that is the Tamara avatar, though he says he doesn’t care what they do with Zoe. “Play house with her for all I care.” But Amanda cares, and she doesn’t trust Sam. She shoots him, sending him back to the real world. Easy way to spend ten grand. Then the dialogue gets clever. Daniel says “Dear, we were negotiating!” Funny. Amanda shoots back, “How did you survive without me all these weeks?” At least back in the real world, where there is real peril, Sam checks his messages and finds out his family is in trouble.
Odin leads Lacy out, only to pull a gun on her and force her to the ground. He apologizes for what he’s about to do. Where’s a U87 when you need one?
Amanda and Daniel are discussing strategy, and here is where the audience is supposed to toss away all believability. Daniel reveals are an eleven hour walk away from Zoe’s fortress! If you’re planning an ambush, why jump in so far away? It’s not like Zoe hasn’t already proved she can detect when they show up. Stupid. Amanda’s strategy to wait her out, let her come to them, sounds like genius.
Diego and the other leader show up, urging Odin to pull the trigger and kill Lacy. Odin chooses a side, firing the gun at the two men. Too bad it wasn’t loaded. He really isn’t a good student, is he? They raise weapons. The pair seem doomed. But suddenly another group comes out of the shadows with weapons drawn. Their fellow students. They remembered to load bullets, and they’re pretty good shots.
The students are tempted to flee, but Lucy takes command. “We’re not running. Follow me.” And they do. Right into the cavern where all the robots are. She starts them up. “We’ve got work to do.” And they follow her. Lacy’s got herself an army.
Nestor’s still trying to break into the lab at the Graystone manor, but Amanda and Daniel are still waiting in V-World. Amanda wants to know if Daniel will build a new body to house the Zoe!Avatar. Inexplicably, they kiss. Nestor gets one barricade open, but finds another behind it. Amanda is cold and wants to go home, even more so when it starts to rain, the fire goes out and monster noises come out of the dark. Nestor tries one more think to unlock the door and gets himself a major burn in the process.
Then Zoe arrives, holding a knife out to her parents. “You can’t hurt me anymore.” But she’s clearly hurt, complaining they don’t want her since she’s just spare parts. Amanda tears up, urges her daughter to look into her eyes and remember. The rebellious teen calls her a stupid, disgusting cow, then drops the knife and hugs her mother. It’s the fastest emotional turnaround in history. The parents agree to leave, but say the door is open for her to come join them anytime. Zoe says she’ll consider it. Daniel and Amanda wake up to find their house in lockdown mode.
Joseph and Evelyn are in a car outside the clubhouse. He tells her that if he isn’t back in 10 minutes, she should take Willy and leave. Sam arrives, in time for a brotherly hug. They go in…
…just as the terrorist trio breaks through the barrier. Olaf forces Amanda and Daniel onto their knees. Nestor starts trashing the place to look for the missing holoband. Amanda admits she doesn’t have it. Clarice complains, “I loved you.” They talk about Zoe, and Clarice declares neither of them knew her at all. Seems Clarice knew Zoe was visited by angels. At the mention of Zoe, the crashed U87 husk that Daniel’s been keeping in the lab twitches. Suddenly Daniel begs Clarice to have mercy and says he wants to know the One True God. He’s covering for the robot, hoping against hope the robot will save him.
He’s right. Zoe!Avatar has taken them up on their invitation and come for a visit just in time. She takes her unattached arm and ends Nestor’s life. Dropping oil and carrying a bloody robot arm, she chases Clarice and Olaf out of the room, making sure Clarice knows who she is. Then, the robot body collapses. Amanda cradles it like a baby. They all hop into V-World, this time to what they call the virtual home. Zoe seems happy enough to listen to her dad make his pitch. He wants to work with her to create a new robot body. One with skin. “A skin job,” she says. When Daniel asks if she’s in, she doesn’t give him an answer.
Sam and Joseph get into the safe to get their money and IDs, but outside it’s been 20 minutes and Willy pays not attention to Evelyn. He runs after his father and uncle. The brothers aren’t alone. More Ha’La’Tha thugs show up. There’s a gunfight. We see Willy take a shot in the hand. Joseph runs to his son as Sam finishes off the goons. Then Willy collapses. It’s an ugly wound, but he’s in much worse shape than he should be. Willy’s been shot in the belly. Joseph wants to take his soon to a hospital, but Sam realizes it’s too late. Willy goes still and the brothers grieve.
Unless the next episode begins with a miracle, this William Adama cannot be THE William Adama we know from BSG. So much for building model ships. It turns out the nitpickers who said he was the wrong age and had the wrong eye colour were right.
Did that feel like a cheat to you?