Caprica Review: "Rebirth"

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There was a lot of pressure on the second episode of Caprica.

Because the first was available on DVD, many fans watcehd it months ago and have been awaiting this week's installment to see if it was a worthy follow-up. Our take on Rebirth? It most definitely was.

While the series tackles broad, important questions such as religion and terrorism, its basic plot so far boils down to a misuderstood little girl. Or a misunderstood digital facsimile of that little girl.

Kudos to the production team for its seamless transitions between Cylon robot and actress Alessandra Torresani as Zoe. What could have been a distracting effect was - and will continue to be - an efficient way to depict the issue of artificial intelligence. There was a poignancy in scenes such as when the mean tech dude treated the Cylon like just a machine, as the camera cut to Torresani's pained face.

This hour was mainl focused on the aftermath of the bombing, but it also excelled at depicting the world of Caprica. There was Little Tauron; Clarice's group marriage; the smoking bar; the Pyramid fans' National Anthem gesture of crossing their hearts. All great touches.

Avatar Zoe

Then, there was Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone. While the pilot episode introduced viewers to the men above, Malcomson shined as the mournful mother this week.

How would you react if you lost your daughter and learned she was a possible terrorist? It's an impossible question to answer, which makes it equally impossible to judge Amanda's episode-concluding speech. (We could have done without the flashbacks to last week as soon as she discovered STO pin, however. Caprica viewers were smart enough to connect those dots on their own).

We're left to wonder: what, exactly, was going on with Zoe? Daniel and Amanda appear to be a loving couple; they are truly mourning their daughter. Would these parents really have been so out of touch that they wouldn't have known Zoe had a boyfriend?

One most definitely does not need to have watched Battlestar Galactica in order to appreciate Caprica - this is a show about religion, a reliance technology, politics, broken families and even organized crime - but it helps to have been a fan of the original.

It's fascinating to see that the Cylons (which would eventually obliterate most of the human race) started out as a father's wish to revive his dead child.

We're less taken so far with the inclusion of William Adama as a boy. Edward James Olmos made this character into an iconic figure on Battlestar. We already know his fate. That makes it less dramatic to watch him in scenes with his uncle, as we know young Willie won't fall too far toward the dark side, no matter how this show might end up teasing that.

Esai Morales and Eric Stoltz already own their roles, however. One of our favorite scenes: when Daniel told Amanda he'd go to the memorial because "I promised Serge some time alone with the U87. It’s not a pretty thing. They need to be alone." You get the feeling this is a guy that diffused tension with a joke, but never really dealt with important issues between his wife and his daughter.

Look where that's left him now.

What did you think of the episode?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    Hello

    I was hoodwinked once by this type of series. Even though I disliked the new series because it was dark and dirty, I was intriqued that the cylons were created by humanity. I like many others watched the show over the years. The at the end the writers made it up as they went along. I felt cheated that they had not developed the whole story.

    The ending was very upsetting to me. I am an amateur robot builder and I speak from the many things I have learned. Artificial or machine intelligence and the wonderous world of robots was badly treated by the new BSG. I will not get trapped again and even though they promise to confront the debate over making machines smart I somehow do not believe it.

    You know I look back to the original BSG with fondness.

    Take Care

    Pius

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    I loved what they were doing with gender in this episode. Between the mind/body fusion in the U87, and Zoe's own gender worries, and the scientist's ability to recognize her femininity, I wondered if they were trying to say that gender is still core to one's personhood or what? Loved it!




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