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Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 2, "Reins of a Waterfall"

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<em>Caprica</em> Recap: Season 1, Episode 2, “Reins of a Waterfall”

Now, that’s more like it. Battlestar Galactica and Caprica’s creative force Ronald D. Moore takes the directing reins with this episode, and one can feel the dynamic really begining to jell. Whatever misgivings I had last week over Paula Malcomson’s believability when Amanda publicly denounced her daughter as a terrorist evaporated in the powerful scene where Daniel confronts his wife about the incident. Moore directs Malcomson to a performance which explores the range of emotions Amanda is feeling, from betrayal to heartbreak to shock to defensiveness to shame to certitude that she did the right thing. Daniel, who just got beat up by Joseph’s brother Sam in retaliation for his niece’s death in the same suicide bombing, is not so sure Amanda fully comprehends the impact of her public denouncement.

Beyond the personal emnity it has created between the two fathers around whom the show revolves, the increasingly media-conscious backdrop of Caprica flares up with reports taking potshots at the powerful Graystones. Patton Oswalt (Big Fan) appears as the host of Backtalk with Baxter Sarno, a wry combination of Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck who reinforces the thesis I laid out in an earlier post. But Sarno’s tasteless jokes concerning Graystone’s tangential involvement with the Soldiers of the One are the least of Daniel’s worries. As the media interstitials placed throughout Caprica demonstrate, the backlash against Amanda’s admission is affecting Graystone Industries stock, attendance at his pyramid team’s home games, and his Cylon defense contracts are most certainly next. After some prodding from a PR consultant hired by his assistant, Cyrus (Hiro Kanagawa)—nice exchange between Daniel and Cyrus: “Scandals are sunburns, Cyrus. They fade.” / “Not if they give you cancer.”— Daniel decides at episode’s end to take the fight back to the media through populist funnyman Sarno.

And then there’s Joseph. Esai Morales gives some interesting shadings to the grieving Joseph, who has now reclaimed his Tauron heritage by restoring his family name, Adama. In BSG, the impression Joseph left for posterity was one of outstanding achievement in judicial service. In this episode, we are left with the possibility that Joseph instead made his bones by paying off judges to help his clients avoid going to trial. In any case, whatever the man’s professional ethics, there hasn’t been any indication he is ethically challenged in his personal life. Thus far, he has tried to instill a sense of morality in his young son, William. Concerning Daniel’s earlier attempt to ease Joseph’s grief by creating an avatar of his daughter, Tamara (Genevieve Buechner), Joseph responded with the requisite moral outrage one would expect from any TV series protagonist. So it becomes quite compelling to see our expectations of the man inverted just as he accepts the Adama mantle long associated with virtue. As the grief catches up with the Tauron attorney, he reverts back to the stereotypes he tried to disassociate from long ago, calling on his brother Sam to intimidate Graystone into reigniting Tamara’s avatar, and possibly creating a new one for his deceased wife as well.

Ultimately, Tamara-A cannot be found (she’s vanished into the V-club with her new acquaintances, Zoe-A and Lacy who are unaware of her identity), and Daniel admits it is unlikely he could create an avatar of Joseph’s wife. Adama’s thirst for justice sees the episode end in a way no one could ever have expected, with Adama telling his brother that Graystone only experienced one loss to his two demanding that Sam, “Balance it out.”

Quick Takes:

1. Daniel likes to box in a low-rent gym. Could this hobby lead to some sort of a mentor relationship with young William Adama, who grows up to be quite a boxer himself?

2. Two BSG vets are cast in new roles here. Fan favorite Luciana Carro, who played Starbuck’s rival Kat, plays PR consultant Pryah Magnus. And Christian Tessier, better known as Duck in The Resistance webisodes from back in 2006, plays a member of Sam Adama’s gang.

3. It is confirmed. Sam is gay and out to both his brother and nephew. But is his orientation known to his criminal associates?

4. An interesting tidbit by way of the Battlestar Wiki (a great resource worth checking out if you’re a fan), “The documentation in the BSG episode “Hero” gave William Adama’s parents names as Joseph and Evelyn Adama. Does this mean that Joseph will marry his assistant Evelyn?”

5. Amanda and Daniel have a “good frak” in front of the Zoe-A Cylon. If only they knew.

6. Sister Clarice has nothing on Gaius Baltar… so far. The same cannot be said about Polly Walker whose comic timing really sold the “tea” scene where she tries to seduce (figuratively, literally, or both) Magda Apanowicz’s Lacy.

7. Meanwhile, Lacy is smart enough to realize Clarice is fishing for info about Zoe’s avatar, her observation leading Zoe-A to admit that Zoe never fully trusted Clarice…

8. ...with good reason. Who is the mysterious Arvo? What is his connection to the Soldiers of the One? And why does Clarice take instruction from him?

9. Zoe-A’s plea that she must somehow get to Geminon to find out her true purpose is met with Lacy’s response (the best line delivery of the show), “Do you realize you’re 6 feet tall, and you weigh a ton?”

No episode this upcoming Friday. See you in two weeks.

Tony Dayoub considers all manner of films and TV at Cinema Viewfinder.