Caprica Returns, Reboots And Disappoints

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Am I the only one who thought that last night’s Caprica felt like a reboot of the series, and not necessarily for the better? It’s not just that certain characters were acting out-of-character (Would the normally anguished Joseph Adama really be the type who’d even bluff about forcing Daniel Greystone to kill his own mother to prove loyalty?), but that a lot seems to have been reset in the three weeks of Caprica-time between the end of the last run and the start of this official second half of the first season, and much of it important shifts happening off-camera. Zoe is gone from the first cylon, and now living in the V-World? The cylon chip can now be copied making much of the drama of the last run moot? Lacey is, for some reason – I really hope this is explained soon – still trying to be a teen terrorist even though her entire reason for doing so (Getting Zoecylon to Geminon) doesn’t exist anymore?

Those abrupt changes – some either not explained or thrown out in explanatory dialogue – weren’t the only reason that last night’s “Unvanquished” (A title referring to what, exactly? Zoe or her mother, neither as gone as people think? Daniel, plotting some kind of mob-fueled comeback to the company stolen from him? The show itself, trying its best to reinvent itself as something more audience-friendly, hence Zoe’s recreation as a shiny-pants-wearing martial arts vamp in the V-World?) seemed off-kilter and unsteady. Bad performances – all of the religious figures in the episode seemed particularly unconvincing, although perhaps that was the fault of the “We’ve stolen these costumes from the dumpster behind the set of The Tudors” outfits and bad green-screened sets – and weak writing that left massive plotholes in its wake (Exactly how will Clarice’s plan to convert everyone by letting believers live on as avatars in a virtual world actually work? How will everyone else find out that they’re there and what they’re saying is true? And why would that make people think that there’s One True God, and not just a good programmer?) hampered what could have, and should have, been a much more impressive return.

(And don’t get me started on the “Look! Amanda’s not really dead!” finale – I went into the episode expecting her to be alive, and was pleasantly surprised when I thought they’d actually gone through with killing her off. That’ll teach me, I guess.)

In the past, I’ve thought that Caprica‘s problems are rooted in the fact that the Battlestar Galactica writers started to believe their own hype and want to create a Serious Show About The Big Issues. This week, I started to feel as if the problem is that the writers don’t actually know what their show is about anymore.

More On Techland:

The Best Thing About Caprica? Their Technology – No, Not Cylons

Caprica Returns Three Months Early

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