Caprica Review – Rebirth


2010-01-02 Caprica poster

Welcome Caprica and Battlestar Fans!

“Rebirth” wClcik to visit Caprica on SyFy!as the first new episode of the Caprica series after the pilot. The wait was over finally and has been well worth it!

It has almost been one series month now since the bombings that took the lives of many including Real-Zoe, and two series days since U-87/Zoe last talked to her friend Lacy Rand, which was the ending moment of the pilot episode.

Caprica Rebirth -Zoe Graystone. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

The opening sequence reminded me of the first Mass Effect Xbox 360 game with that red, flashing effect and the splicing in of technology that was shown to the game player in the Prothean beacons, ironic timing since Mass Effect 2: “Fight For the Lost” was a sponsor of tonight’s episode.

Mass Effect Prothean Beacons. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Zoe is having a dream—or rather more fitting, a nightmare—with key moments of her robot’s life, her avatar’s life and the real Zoe’s life scrambled in her consciousness.

System Error Rebirth. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy!

Editors Note: As is clearly written within the Caprica story-line, the original Battlestar Galactica, and the re-imagined BSG, the people of this “Galaxy of Worlds” believe in many gods. This review focuses on the various aspects of religion. However WHR does NOT favor one belief (or lack thereof) over the other. The discussion herein is for news analysis purposes only. Thank you.

I immediately made the trinity connection (which is later affirmed by Lacy Rand). Trinity in Catholicism is a Father, Son and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost). However, they are not three principles of creation but one according to that faith. WHR does not venture into religious discussions, but the analogies within Caprica is appropriate for the purposes of this review. Team WHR supports each persons personal right to believe in a faith of their own choosing or for those whom do not believe, in their right to choose not to believe and respect them as well.

Lacy Rand Rebirth. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Editors Note: However, this is delineated by analogy within the Single Effect of Caprica episode “Rebirth”.

Each divine person performs the common work according to the unique personal property. In short, within this episode, everyone who glorifies God does so through the Son in the Holy Spirit; everyone who follows Christ does so because the Father draws him and the Spirit moves him. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Catholic faith and of Catholic life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Inffinity STO. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

The analogy of the “Incarnation of God’s Son” reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is co-substantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father, the Son is one and the same God. The mission of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of the Son and by the Son “from the Father” reveals that with them, the Spirit is one and the same God. We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance. The religions that split off from the Catholic Church during the Protestant reformation still believe in this concept. In Unitarianism, the belief is in one deity/one person; some other religions believe in one deity/two persons, and some believe in the Oneness belief like the Church of Latter Day Saints where God is three separate beings who are one in purpose instead of essence.

In Monotheistic religions like Judaism or the Muslim faith, the belief is in only one deity or one prophet. These beliefs are every bit a personal choice and valid to the believers of these faiths. WHR is not comparing, nor stating one  is “better than the others”. Quite the contrary. Our only editorial purpose is to analyze the multiple deities as are represented in the Caprica story.

Download Complete Rebirth. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy!

Aside from the “faith” or lack thereof discussion, I very much enjoyed the inter-cutting of the robot version of Zoe (U-87/Zoe) and Allesandra Torresani, the actress, who plays Zoe (both real Zoe and virtual Zoe). It allows you to sympathize with the robot and the character trapped inside.

Zoe as U87 Cylon. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Zoe in U87 Cylon. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

U-87/Zoe struggles with her identity. What exactly is she? A poignant moment occurs while U-87/Zoe is being transported in a van and she is entombed. . I felt the anxiety rise up in my own body, wondering if she was also struggling to breathe. Does Avatar Zoe know what it is like to breathe air? Or perhaps the electrical impulses and feelings of breathing air were passed from Real-Zoe to Avatar-Zoe during a biofeedback loop?

Technicians with Zoe-U87. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Panicking, she struggles to free herself from the bonds that hold her in place. When Phil, the technician who is kind to her, approaches and shows her that he wants to take out the Meta-Cognitive Processor (MCP), she lifts her head to allow him so he can end her nightmare. Back in the lab, technician who treats her like a machine, but to our eye is abusive, sees something is wrong with the plating on the chest and grabs a drill with one hand and her neck with the other. I wonder, “Does she feel pain now?” In fear, U-87/Zoe reacts swiftly and slices part of his finger off. Although I cringed, I secretly thought, “He had that coming to him.” U-87/Zoe reaches up to wipe her face and touches real human blood for the first time, not the virtual blood she saw in the virtual club in the pilot episode.

Daniel Graystone. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy!

Daniel Graystone is supposed to be a genius. When confronted with the information that when the MCP is placed inside another identical robot body, they act differently from the original alpha design, becoming “morons” as his colleague describes. My scientific mind would instantly know that the difference between those other robots and the alpha model was the downloadable Zoe avatar. The key must be there. However, it takes Daniel almost half the episode to verbalize these thoughts. That seemed out of place.

Amanda Graystone. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy


Amanda Graystone is still struggling with her daughter’s double life. She leaves a pyramid game and watches old videos of Zoe. Through Agent Durham, she discovers Zoe had a boyfriend named Ben Stark. Visually subtle, after Amanda closes the door, the shadow of Agent Durham is shown with his head down. I believe he feels sympathy for this woman, this mother, as he seems to know more about Zoe’s life than she.

Lacy and Amanda. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Amanda subsequently seeks Lacy out. Lacy shares that she did not know why Zoe wanted to leave, but that Zoe said they were going to have a new family on Gemenon. The disbelief of Zoe’s secret life grows in Amanda’s mind. Frankly that has to be a tough thing for a mother to hear, that you hate it so much where you are, you want to go live with another family somewhere else. I remember verbalizing this to my own mother, but my life was very different from Zoe’s life.

Joseph Adama. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy!

Meanwhile at the Adama house, Joseph’s thoughts stray at dinner to the empty chair where his daughter previously occupied. He sees her and physically startles when she reaches out and touches him. I had to wonder at that point if there was some sort of permanent mind connection made when he went to visit Tamara in the virtual world.

Lacy and Sister Clarice. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Polly Walker does a brilliant job at playing creepy Sister Clarice, headmistress of Athena Academy. Accepting Sister Clarice’s invitation, Lacy stops by for lunch. The writers now introduce us to the concept of group marriage. This group marriage appears bisexual as Clarice is married to at least 3 women and 4 husbands that I could count, including Nestor, who flirts with Lacy. Desiree Willow, one of Clarice’s wives, is where she gets her surname.

Wife of Clarice Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Another wife, who appears pregnant with perhaps one of her husband’s child, confronts Clarice afterwards about Nestor’s suspicious flirting, but I believe she thinks Clarice is wanting to bring another into their group marriage. I am not certain yet whether the rest of the people in the house are part of the Soldiers of the One (STO). Nestor and Clarice were manipulating Lacy to see if they could get information about Avatar Zoe. Nestor is part of STO; I’m certain of that. Being a true friend, Lacy does not break her promise to Zoe, and remains silent. Clarice appears to have a drug problem in the past. Later on she visits a bar where one can smoke drugs legally and breaks her sobriety.

Amanda & Daniel with Zoe. Click & visit Caprica on SyFyZoe the Cyclon. Click & visit Caprica on SyFyZoe inside Cyclon. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Back at home, Amanda sees U-87/Zoe for the first time. She remarks it reminds her of a science fiction horror show she watched. Zoe is offended deeply by her reaction. Meanwhile the dog sits right in front of the U-87/Zoe. Dogs always know, don’t they? If a dog can sniff a terminator dressed up like a human, why can’t a dog sniff out a human stuck in a machine? Good dog, Caesar. Amanda wants to go to the memorial. Daniel does not (but later changes his mind).

Amanda goes back to watch videos and sees the infinity pin, the symbol for STO, on Zoe, and is visibly shaken. Daniel tell Amanda he will go to the memorial service. Daniel uses humor to brighten up a emotionally tense moment. He tells her that he promised Serge some time alone with U-87 (Zoe) because he has a little crush, that it is not a pretty thing, but they need some time alone. Hmmmm… Serge crushing on a Cylon? Now that is a “RO”mance I can get behind! Perhaps Serge knows Zoe is in the robot?

Serge the Robot. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

I loved the portrayal of Serge (the Graystone’s personal robot). He is programmed to respond, when Daniel scores a basket in pyramid, “The crowd goes frakking wild. They are tearing up the seats. It’s bedlam. They demand another hour of game play, sir.” He can be my cheerleader anytime.

Willie play Hooky! Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Willie plays hooky from school to spend time with Uncle Sam in Little Tauron (think Little Italy in New York City). As kids, Sam and his brother, Joseph, would try to pick up people, Sam flirting with the guys while Joseph would wind up with the sisters of those guys he did meet. Sexuality is not the controversy in the Caprica universe that it is on Earth. Sam is teaching Willie the ways of gangster life, teaching him tidbits of wisdom. He advises Willie, “If someone tries to make you feel guilty, you figure out what they feel guilty about and you talk about that.” Willie uses this later against his father when confronted about skipping school and being grounded. He says to his father, “It’s hard to be part of a family when there is no family, but you can punish me if you want.” As this is what fuels Joseph’s guilt, it has the desired effect: Joseph stops him, reaches out to him and pulls him in for an embrace. William Adama (eventually to be Admiral Adama in BSG) flashes a triumphant smile.

Zoe U-87 break bed! Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

U-87/Zoe calls Lacy and asks her to come over. While she is waiting, U-87/Zoe tries to sit down on the bed and it collapses and then she moves to curling up into a ball (the fetal position). Along the head of her bed are dragonflies. Dragonflies symbolize many things to many cultures, but in Native American culture, they believe dragonflies are the souls of the dead. In general, however, they represent renewal, positive force and the power of life. It can also symbolize change. Since the cycle of the dragonfly’s life is short, it lives life to the fullest which is a powerful lesson. It echoes Zoe’s last email to her mom, to not live life with regrets.

Lacy and Zoe U87. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

As I woman, I appreciated this first question to Lacy, “Do I look male to you?” I laughed. Lacy is honest with her, as all good friends should be. U-87/Zoe sounds like she disapproves of what her father did, feeling reassured that he would not be putting any more of her avatars into other robots. Zoe is hurt that her mom called her a monster, but Lacy laughs, “to be fair…” U87/Zoe reaches out her hand and embraces Lacy, the act of the embrace being one of love and acceptance.

Terror Victims Memorial. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

Daniel and Amanda arrive at the memorial service. He acts her if she wants to speak at the podium; she is not ready for that. She would like to talk to the other parents from the school; he thinks she probably should not because it will be hard to get her away from this with Amanda winding up being the shoulder to cry on. Amanda is having difficulty remaining detached as Daniel prefers.

Ben's Mom Natalie Stark. Click & visit Caprica on SyFyAmanda Flips at Pdium. Click & visit Caprica on SyFy

She meets Ben’s mom, Natalie Stark, who gives her some of Zoe’s things and tells her how much Ben loved Zoe. Among her possessions was a book entitled, “The Physics of Religion and Spirituality: A Caprican Approach”, and a pin, which Amanda expands out, turning into the infinity pin, the symbol of the STO. Amanda flips out and goes to the podium.

Joe Adama & Daniel Graystone. Visit Caprica on SyFy

At the memorial service, Joseph finally meets up with Daniel who has been ignoring his calls and home visits. Joseph wants to see Tamara. Daniel tells him that Tamara’s avatar did not just “disappear” when Joseph pulled off the holoband; he left her alone in the dark place by herself. Joseph becomes distraught, but Daniel’s ear is pulled elsewhere as he hears Amanda at the podium: She tells everyone she did not know her daughter, that she led a whole other life that she knew nothing about, and that her daughter was one of the terrorists. U-87/Zoe is watching this on her computer sheet (screen) at home from her room. Amanda apologies to the crowd, but the crowd becomes enraged. She is whisked off in a car.

Daniel & Amanda under attack. Visit Caprica on SyFy

The first time through watching was an “Oh my God, what did she just do?” The dramatic effect was palpable. After having time to think though after subsequent viewings, I tried to put myself in that position. Certainly when you are in that position, when you have experienced a loss and are grieving, you say things you don’t mean to and you have no recollection of ever saying those things, let alone who showed up to the funeral. Was that really Ben Stark’s mother, or did Agent Durham put those things in motion to help push her over the edge to close his case? I want to believe this is a nice man, but there are no simple characters in writer Ronald Moore’s universe.

Would I go up there and admit to everyone that my daughter was one of the terrorists? I would not. Most people would not. When they are confronted with that sort of news, we tend to bunker down because of thClick to visit Sky Onee repercussions that will ultimately ensue.

Caprica Rebirth did make for a wonderful dramatic climax leading up to yet the next wonderful, new episode on Friday, February 5, 2010. Be sClick to visit the SpaceChannelure to tune in to SyFy, Space, or Sky One to see the Caprica saga in your region!

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3 thoughts on “Caprica Review – Rebirth

  1. Hi PB!

    The Butterfly depiction was a brilliant catch on your part and a stroke of genius by the screen writers! As stated, the report is wonderful!

    Best Regards

  2. Hey PBMom,

    Your report on Caprica ROCKED just like the series. The multiple marriage aspect of Sister Clarice reflects social moray’s that accurately depict similar aspects of our society, especially the seduction of the innocent (Lacy). The socio religious and political implications discussions are properly used within a news analysis perspective.

    Well Done!

Comments are closed.

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