Heaven in a HolobandNovember 17, 2010
For an episode ostensibly about robots, there was an awful lot of girl power on display in “The Heavens Will Rise,” the latest episode of Caprica, directed by Michael Nankin. Our Avenging Angels are still world-building. Clarice is still scheming. Amanda makes a key move. Evelyn’s pulling strings. We meet the lovely and dangerous Fidelia. But there is one woman at the heart of the story…Lacy Rand.
Zoe may have been the apple of Clarice’s eye, but Lacy is the chosen one. Like Starbuck before her, we are watching this brave young woman be forged into a leader. The biggest regret I have about Caprica’s cancellation is that we won’t get to see her truly come into her own, but it’s clear we’re going to see her get well enough on her way.
What follow is a recap and review, and therefore CONTAINS SPOILERS.
She’s Still Mad
Zoe and Tamara have turned the grit and grime of New Cap City into their very own idyllic mountain retreat, complete with a fortress. Yet with every change they make to their environment, they are being monitored by Daniel. In the real world, the changing code looks an awful lot like the Matrix, only pink. Amanda is eager to take the first turn, if only to assuage her guilt. Daniel reminds her that he is the genius and therefore should go first. He takes the lead and dons the holoband. Inside the changing environment, Daniel is able to force Tamara to appear before him. He wants to her to give a message to Zoe. But Zoe has caught up fast. She’s there, and she stabs her father.
He de-rezzes out of V-World, in agony. When Amanda asks what happened, he deadpans, “She’s still mad.”
By the time we get back from commercial, Daniel has recovered enough to get angry. He’s not happy to have to play by the same rules as everyone else. Amanda laughs at him, until she gets a text from Jordan. And for some reason, Amanda decides she has to tell her husband what she’s been up to.
The Last Arrow We’ve Got
Jordan and Amanda are meeting on Kobol, under the tomb of Athena! Seriously….the location used for this scene is near the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver, used repeatedly for Battlestar Galactica scenes on Kobol. The distinctive “Lions” mountains are covered in snow in this shot, but it is unmistakably the same place identified as BSG’s Tomb of Athena.
Amanda thinks that Marbeth just left, and Jordan doesn’t correct her. He needs something from her. He explains that they cannot trust the GDD, that it has been compromised at the highest level. He gives her a holoband he says is an exact replica of Clarice’s. If she switches it out for the real one, they can hack Clarice’s model and figure out what she’s been up to. It is their only remaining option, their last arrow.
Nestor and Clarice are in a virtual copy of the Arena, going over the final details of their grand bomb scheme. They’re even planning the details of the post-bombing PR campaign. The press release will go out 30 days after the arena bombing. Clarice wants “a sense of buoyancy.” Nestor doesn’t like it at all. Seems this week he has a problem with killing all those innocent people. Even though the martyrs will be uploaded to a permanent virtual heaven. As he puts it, they don’t have to die for him to scan them into heaven. Clarice doesn’t like her husband’s first example of independent thinking, so she taunts him with tickets to the big game.
Lacy and Odin are in Terrorism 101 class on Gemenon, learning about mortars. Lacy isn’t paying attention. Her pal Lexon is late for class, and forgets to salute one of the teachers. Rough school–next thing you know the kid is on his knees and the teacher orders one of the U87 Cylons to come over and shoot him. Lacy breaks ranks and runs out of class. “Stop!” she says to the Cylon. And it does. The instructor orders the robot to resume what it was doing, but every time he does, Lacy is able to override with a simple command. Finally, the robot does nothing. It and everyone else just stares at Lacy. Best scene in the whole episode.
Later, Diego (Ryan Robbins) questions Lacy about what happened. She has no clue why the robot responded to her, even though she is not an authorized controller. She defends herself, asking “What happened to inspiring people to fight for what’s right?” He laughs it off, saying that when she’s in charge, she can run things her way. Epic foreshadowing, dude. Lacy hands him another bombshell…what if the robot has a sense of decency?
In the attic of the Willow house, there’s a bomb in a fishtank and many computers. Amanda carefully tiptoes into the same room Lacy was imprisoned in, and switches out Clarice’s holoband for the one Jordan Duram gave her. She gets away unseen.
Sam meets an old friend at the Tauron clubhouse (the interior of which is apparently shot at what is known locally as the old Watchmen lot, where that movie was shot a few years back.) She’s a pretty ex-con named Fidelia (Carmen Moore). If we don’t already get it from her name, she’s loyal. To the Guatrau. As she leaves, Sam sees Daniel approaching and cuts him off at the pass. Wouldn’t do for his fellow mobsters to know his target is also under his protection. Daniel wants another favour from Sam. He wants him to go into V-World to contact Tamara. He tries to sweeten the deal with the news that he is working on a better robot model for the avatars, one with apparently human skin. Even though he may be the future father of the skin jobs, Daniel still seems blind to how deeply repulsive the mere idea of Tamara’s avatar is to a true Tauron.
Amanda turns over the Willow holoband. Jordan tells her to go home to her estate and keep her head down. Don’t have any further contact with the Willows, he says. When pushed, he admits that Marbeth didn’t leave, but was murdered in her place. Amanda walks away. A shot rings out, Duram sags and rolls down the hill, dropping the incriminating holoband. Amanda rushes back to see what happened and finds him bleeding in the road below.
He Needs to Move On
Downtown in Joseph’s apartment, everyone except Joseph is there. Evelyn, Sam and his mother with her usual meat cleaver in hand. Then William shows up wearing an Avenging Angels Tshirt, and Sam gets so mad he rips the kid’s shirt off. Mysteriously, Evelyn knows about Daniel’s offer to Sam to go into V-World and find Tamara. She wants him to go ahead and do it, and though he may not be able to kill the abomination, he can bury it deep inside the game. “Joseph needs to bet rid of the dead things in his life. He needs to move on.” Yeah, and Sam knows exactly what she has in mind for his brother.
Joseph is re-visiting the past, as Fidelia shows up in his office at Graystone Industries, and we learn the two have history. They were having an affair before Fidelia was convicted and sent to prison. Joseph doesn’t want to pick up where they left off. Now that his wife is dead, it seems he has a harder time cheating on her. That seems OK with Fidelia, she has another agenda. She’s a crack forensic accountant. She’s figured out that 2 out of every 2 dozen robots don’t make it to the military. She’s figured out how many are being re-routed to the STO, but the numbers still don’t add up. Joseph improvises, saying that the rest are faulty and scrapped, but she’s already figured out that isn’t true. Don’t worry, she says, you’ll be fine. “The Guatrau trusts you.”
The Chosen One
Lacy and Odin are making out….no, Odin is just using holo-porn with her image. The real Lacy denies him a happy ending by jacking him out of the program. “Shut up and get dressed. I need your eyes.” She orders him to stand guard as she goes into the empty cathedral where the dormant U87s are being kept. Lacy makes them power up. She finds the one from earlier and it will still follow her orders. She asks if Zoe is in there. If Zoe is in there, she wants the robot to raise it’s arm. Nothing happens. “Zoe please, I need you.” Several robots react to the statement, though not in the way she asked. Perhaps they are sentient after all. Wisely, Odin gets her out of there.
Unwisely, Odin decides that using part of a gun to smoke drugs in the courtyard is a good idea when they are sneaking around after curfew. He heard Lacy’s conversation with the robot. He wants to know who the frak Zoe is. In between kisses, she tells him. Then she starts ripping his clothes of. The girl is becoming more like Starbuck all the time.
Daniel takes a call from Sam. He’s in. He wants $10,000 to go into the game. Daniel agrees. It goes down tonight. Sam hangs up and we find out Evelyn was listening. He should have asked for more.
Diego gets a visit from the Holy Mother (Meg Tilly). She has concerns about Lacy, and even though she is talking in riddles, the message is clear. “Secrets have answers. Now, mysteries don’t have answers. That’s why I love them.” Seems they don’t really need to know how Lacy controls the robots. They just need her dead. Training these children is so dangerous, accidents happen. She offers Diego the ring Obal Ferris wore before he was murdered. Diego knows what to do.
Amanda is at home, telling Daniel that Jordan is in hospital, stable. “Luckily, Cottle was practitioner on duty. He’ll keep it quiet.” So our favourite old fart was a young doctor back in the day! Nice touch. Amanda reveals the holoband is missing. She thinks it’s the GDD who shot Duram. Amanda is afraid she’ll lose her mind. Of course, she’ll only feel better if she can just see Zoe in V-World. Right….even knowing Zoe stabbed her own father?! Yep, Amanda is still nuts.
Time for a Convenient Plot Device
Clarice’s holoband is on the fritz but Nestor soon discovers the problem. Seems that besides escaping explosions, he has another superpower….a photographic memory! He memorized the serial number of Clarice’s holoband and this one isn’t it. They figure out that it’s been switched and Amanda must have done it. And then they realize they therefore murdered their wife Marbeth for no reason. A brief moment of agonizing grief, and they quickly move back to planning mode. Only 24 hours left before the explosion at the Arena. Just enough time to find Amanda, retrieve the incriminating holoband and “get heaven back.” So, they also failed to do a backup. BACKUP YOUR FRAKKING DATA, PEOPLE!!! Ahem…so they didn’t shoot Duram. Did Singh? Some other party? Interesting twist, if brought about in the clumsiest ‘deus ex machina’ kinda way.
Cowboy Sam and the Graystone Posse
Sam is in a car, parked somewhere at night. He puts on the holoband and suddenly turns into a cowboy, with a hat and lasso, astride a horse going through the woods. At the Graystone manor, both Daniel and Amanda follow suit, even holding hands as they enter V-World. They are similarly mounted, and following Sam on a forest trail. We cut to Tamara and Zoe at the top of their mountain fortress. Zoe knows they are here. “Let them come.”
Only two episodes left. Will the series end with a massive explosion at the Arena? Will Lacy lead the Cylons, or become one of their first victims? Will Joseph and Sam destroy the Guatrau? Will Amanda finally be free of her guilt?
Do you even care?