Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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Caprica - Season 1 - Episode 08

Caprica - 1x08 - The Imperfections of Memory - Originally Aired: 2010-3-13

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.23

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Synopsis
Still seeking Zoe's Avatar program, Clarice redoubles her efforts to gain Amanda Graystone's confidence in order to find it. Amanda, meanwhile, has been literally haunted by visions of her brother, who died in a car crash several years ago.

Zoe develops her strategic romance with Philomon, the young scientist in her father's employ, in hopes that he'll be a part of her plan in transporting the robot body to Gemenon. Lacy's attempts to enlist the help of Barnabas for this enterprise have fallen short, producing tension between her and Zoe.

In his quest to find his daughter, Joseph Adama corners Heracles, the boy who introduced Tamara Adama to New Cap City, and convinces him to help save his daughter. Heracles warns Joseph, however, of the definitive peril of New Cap City: If you die in the game, you can never return.

The visions of her brother intensify for Amanda, leading her on a full-out chase of the specter through the streets of Caprica City, to the discovery of a poster with a chilling picture. Clarice, who has begged more time of her STO superior, the mysterious Olaf, approaches Amanda on the pretext of sharing some rare ambrosia. Amanda confides in Clarice on the subject her visions, and reveals that the image on the poster is the exact location where her brother died.

Rival industrialist Tomas Vergis drops in on Daniel at a Bucks game informs him that the gossip is that Graystone only has one working MCP. He further attempts to pressure Daniel by telling him that he knows that the MCP never worked. Daniel, however, sees this as an advantage - if the MCP didn't work for Vergis, but does work for him, it will seem as proof that the MCP is a Graystone creation.

Lacy tries to convince Keon to get Barnabas' help transporting the robot, but Barnabas is unwilling unless he knows what the cargo is. Since Lacy is unable to reveal that information, Keon tells her that the only recourse left is for her to join STO. Although Lacy is ready to walk that path, Keon remains cautious of the danger for them both in that organization.

Zoe and Philomon have a date in the V-World that leads Philomon to the hypothesis that there is an analog component to the MCP that makes it impossible to reproduce exactly.

Joseph Adama's New Cap City guide, Heracles, is struck by a stray bullet and disappears from the game - only to be replaced by a guide named Emanuelle.

Amanda and Clarice indulge in an opium-like drug, causing Amanda to admit that she was hospitalized for insanity. Clarice, in return, urges Amanda to trust God - and in so doing, reveals her involvement with the STO.

Philomon shares his revelation about an analog component to the MCP, bringing Daniel one step closer to realizing the source of the U-87 Cylon's abilities. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Why didn't Heracles just take off his holoband when it looked like he was about to die in New Cap City? He had ample opportunity to do so. His hands were even right up by his face!
- Zoe misuses the term kernel as it applies to computer science in her conversation with Philomon when they're talking about more realistic tree generating algorithms.

Factoids
- There are some hints dropped that the hospital in Delphi from Amanda's past is quite likely the same one Starbuck stayed in in BSG: The Farm many years in the future relative to this story.
- Amanda had a brother named Darius. He died in a car crash some years ago.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zoe: "My part of the plan is getting the robot out of Daniel's lab. Okay? And I'm already getting it done. I already have another date with cute lab boy." Lacy: "Do you like him?" Zoe: "It's not relevant."
- Joseph confronting Heracles and asking him to take him to New Cap City.
- Amanda going through her crappy cell phone photos. We've all been there!
- Heracles teasing Joseph for thinking that he can fly around naturally like a bird in New Cap City.
- Heracles and Joseph getting shot at by the dirigible.
- Vergis barging into Daniel's booth at the pyramid game.
- Lacy asking Keon to help her get into STO while hanging out at a playground swinging on a swing set.
- Philomon and Zoe flying around in vipers (mark one!) for their date.
- Heracles and Joseph being attacked by the dirigible again, then Heracles being killed in the game.
- Philomon's response to Zoe's nerdy talk about more realistic tree generation algorithms for V world: "I work with top secret military robots." Zoe, playing along: "That's really hot."
- Daniel awkwardly barging in on Philomon again.

My Review
The Imperfections of Memory is a weak story for two principal reasons. Firstly, the A plot focusing on Amanda going crazy is almost entirely a bad plot thread and secondly the more interesting B plot of both Joseph and Daniel simultaneously getting closer to finding their avatar daughters only moves forward at a glacial pace. As a consequence, this episode drags quite a bit and it's only by the cliffhanger that it feels like the story has even begun to go somewhere. Frankly, this episode's cliffhanger should have been the end of the first or second act.

It seems the basic reason for having Amanda go crazy is to give Clarice a means by which to more deeply reach Amanda. But I don't think this is entirely necessary. In the previous episode Clarice was doing a fine job on her own getting inside Amanda's head and manipulating her to suit her own needs. She managed to get into Daniel's computer and confirm that Daniel was indeed once in possession of Zoe's avatar but somehow lost it. Now all she needs to do is figure out where the avatar went, and all that she thinks it will take is continuing to be a shoulder for Amanda to cry on.

As such, all this nonsense about Amanda going crazy and even worse Clarice moronically revealing her Soldiers of the One connection to Amanda strikes me as a profound misstep. As for the Joseph and Daniel B plot, all we really get is Joseph wandering aimlessly through New Cap City which while realistic and somewhat amusing doesn't really move things forward and Daniel finally stumbling on the continued existence of Zoe's avatar in the U-87. Good job Daniel! You're only about five episodes late to this party!

Also of note is the visual effect when the dirigible shoots up that car when Joseph arrives in New Cap City was of remarkably poor quality; especially since the other similar visual effects in this episode are so much better. Though amazingly, they get the technobabble talk right for once, all except one bungled line noted in the problems section. It may sound like nonsense, but all that stuff about generative algorithms, modulatory input, and the difficulties of making a perfect copy of something analog as opposed to digital is all basically correct.

Another unexpected nice surprise was the amusing composition of the scene where Lacy asks Keon to help her get into Soldiers of the One. She's trying to join a terrorist organization while at a playground swinging on a swing set! Such wonderful contrast and delightfully false innocence. But a few nice details here and there don't really make up for a poorly conceived A plot and a glacially paced B plot. As such I can't award the episode very many points.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Giuseppe on 2012-01-06 at 9:44am:
    Well frak me! He did it! He finally figured out where Zoe's been hiding. It's not a moment too soon, because I was really starting to have problems with my "suspension of disbelief" :)

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