In last night's Caprica episode, "Things We Lock Away," Zoe's tangled virtual identity got a lot more tangled than ever. And the Graystones are eclipsing the Adamas in a disappointing way. Spoilers ahead!
I fear we may have a Head Zoe on our hands.
Though this episode had a lot of greatness, let's start with something that's troubling me. Suddenly it appears that we have a Head Zoe, just like the Head Six and Head Baltar of yore, wearing a rubber trenchcoat. We have never seen Head Zoe before, and yet suddenly she's all over the place in this episode. It seems as if she's the inner self/conscience/schizophrenic alterego of Original Zoe, whom we see in a flashback encouraging her(self) to start the "upload yourself" project. Head Zoe also notices that Daniel is stealing all of Original Zoe's ideas for the cylons (Daniel really is a prick - jeezus).
Then, when Virtual Zoe is getting the crap beaten out of her in New Cap City, Head Zoe shows up in Virtual Zoe's head, telling her that she doesn't need to feel guilty for what Original Zoe did (you can see that in the scene I've excerpted above, which takes place in New Cap City). Head Zoe is basically the angel who soothes Virtual Zoe while Tamara chews her out.
Here's what I liked about this. The idea that Original Zoe and Virtual Zoe both have an alter-ego who wears rubber trenchcoats in their heads and talks sense into them . . . actually sort of makes sense. Everybody has an inner voice, and it stands to reason that if you made a perfect virtual copy of yourself she would have an inner voice that matches yours. I was also tremendously impressed by what might strike many people as a small detail, which is that Virtual Zoe seems to believe that Original Zoe caused the maglev bombing. It makes sense that she wouldn't know what Original Zoe had done, because she's a version of an earlier Zoe, who has been evolving on her own in V-World for quite a while before the bombing takes place. This tiny detail reminded us that Virtual Zoe really is a different person from her maker.
What I didn't like was the random cheesiness of Head Zoe. First, why do we suddenly meet Head Zoe now, when we've been hanging out with Zoe for months now? Also, the floaty, glowing angelic look of Head Zoe made me feel grumpy deep inside.
The existential drama was great, though.
I liked the way Zoe and Tamara debated the meaning of their lives as virtual copies while sword fighting. Seriously, that was just too awesome. It was like the Thunderdome of post-structuralist identity politics. I'm glad these two badasses are going to team up.
Everything's going great for Clarice, including her choice of boots.
Clarice was wearing seriously hot boots in this episode for no good reason. And she was also - for reasons that felt way too murky - suddenly able to imprison a kidnapped kid in her attic without her family caring about it. In previous episodes, the polyamorous family seemed suspicious of Clarice, and she only had two husbands who were helping her with the nefarious deeds. Now the whole family knows there's a drugged, beaten kid in the attic and they're all doing what Clarice says. What changed? Did I miss something?
At any rate, Clarice is consolidating power and has decided to send the broken Lacy to a training camp for STO youth on Gemenon. I hope Lacy comes back dressed like Sarah Connor, with giant guns and twenty zillion soldiers on her side.
She's also trying to get Amanda to hand over a piece of jewelry that belonged to Zoe, something that Lacy says Zoe used to hide things in. Her theory is that there's a backup version of Virtual Zoe in the jewelry. Amanda is getting more and more suspicious, and has started rifling through Clarice's stuff in the cabin. By the end of the episode, she's decided to continue her spying by moving in with Clarice's poly family. Who all look like something out of a frakkin Diane Arbus photograph now, instead of the happy hippies they were last season. What gives? This is obviously more than poly drama.
I am going to put my foot down right now and say the Adamas are totally getting the shaft, here.
As Daniel takes back control of his company, and argues with Joseph about what to do with Vergis, you'll see a pretty radical shift has taken place. In the first half of the season, Joseph was a respected lawyer - sure, he did some backroom deals for the Ha'la'tha, but basically he was on the up and up. Now he's suddenly this mob lackey who takes the "let's clean up a dead guy" calls from Daniel. He's like Daniel's mob dog, not his equal partner. And where the frak is Sam, my favorite character in the entire show? Shouldn't he be at these meetings with Daniel and Joseph too, offering wry comments and occasionally taking his shirt off?
Seriously, though, I feel like the Adamas started out as incredibly rich, complex characters who are flattening into boring stereotypes of mobster immigrants. And as Daniel becomes more heinous, his character becomes more central. He's taken back control of his company now, and wants to convince Joseph that Vergis doesn't have to die in the Tauron way now that he's been defeated.
There's a pretty interesting scene where Daniel invites Vergis over to his house and basically says that the whole deal was all business, that he has respect for Vergis, and wants to ally with him against the Ha'la'tha thugs. But Vergis insists that Daniel has to kill him with a ceremonial knife in the Tauron way. When Daniel refuses, Vergis feigns that he's given up, and manages to trick Daniel into stabbing him anyway. That's when Daniel has to make the "come clean up the dead guy" call to Joseph. The scene felt a bit off, not the least because I couldn't tell who was bluffing whom. Was Daniel serious about teaming up with Vergis? I guess we'll find out.