Caprica 1.08 “Ghost In The Machine” Recap

Mark O. Estes March 20, 2010 5

Ghosts were in the machine in last night’s phenomenal episode of Caprica. The bar has been raised and the stage set for next week’s season finale. Yep. Season finale. I am just as shocked as you are! But let’s get into this apparently penultimate episode of science gone amok.

The Set Up

Joseph Adama still is traipsing through New Cap City with Emmanuelle still as his tour guide and gets a shock when Emmanuelle adds drug dealer to the list. She gives him a drug that will enhance his speed and agility in the real life version of a GTA game. When Joseph takes it (its like taking eyedrops), his reaction in the real world mirrors that of someone who just had their first hit of heroin or whatever. Too bad alcohol doesn’t do that cause that is as far as I go when it comes to getting wasted. Oh, crap! Moving on!

Meanwhile, Daniel Graystone has a father-daughter/robot talk with Zoe 2.0/u-87 ad he has finally realized where Zoe’s avatar went. He also realizes that Zoe 2.0 still has the characteristics of the real Zoe, i.e, she can’t stand him. After trying to talk to the avatar in a fatherly manner, Daniel figures out that Zoe has to respond to him when he orders U-87 to do his bidding. He promises to bring Zoe back to them and that despite all the hell she is has/about to go through, it will all be for the best. Did anyone else get a chill from that?

Joseph’s Adventure In Wonderland Continues…

Joseph gets more rules and regulations on staying alive in New Cap City. He also finds out that the drug he was just given, Amp, is addictive as well. After the huge predatory zeppelin flies over them, Emmanuelle hands Joseph a gun and reveals that she in real life she doesn’t look like her avatar and that someone is paying her to protect Joseph. Who in hell could that be? Tamara?

The duo make to the game’s version of the Adamas apartment. Joseph is shocked to find the place locked and not taking his code. He knocks, hoping that Tamara is behind the door, but he gets a scruffy looking low life who tries to shoo them off, but fails miserably. After Emmanuelle and Joseph barge in, they get the guy to answer some questions about Tamara’s whereabouts. The scruffy guy refers to Tamara as “The Dead Girl”, since no one can kill her for the account that she is already dead. Before the guy can drop a location, a group of men wielding shotguns show up demanding to know what Joseph wants with Tamara. When Joseph explains that Tamara is his daughter, the main guy disbelieves him because everyone thinks that Tamara is a part of the game. Emmanuelle feigns ignorance of the whole ordeal only to get in place to take out the men who are prepared to ‘kill’ the both of them. Emmanuelle is grazed in the process, but manages to take out most of the men because Joseph froze when it came time to shoot. She then tells Joseph to leave the game and get his act straight before he gets them both banned from the game for good.

Back in the real world, Joseph looks over an old card that Tamara made with her special personal insignia when Sam stops by. Joseph asks his brother what goes through his head when he kills someone in cold blood. Sam is appalled at such a question, which befuddles me because I am sure William, Sam’s husband even, has asked Sam this question in some capacity. Sam avoids the question until he relents, telling Joseph that he tells himself that the people he shoot at aren’t real and are just targets like in a game. Wow.

Back in the game, Joseph meets up with Emmanuelle and they enter the club the junkie told them about. Emmanuelle warns Joseph of the club host who pulls people onstage to answer a riddle and if they fail, then he orders the club to ‘kill’ them. And what does he do? Walks right into the Host’s trap. The Host, who is a drag queen that RuPaul would be ashamed of and nowhere near the late Andy Hallet’s character on Angel, puts the spotlight on Joseph by asking the question, “As the Gods overthrew the Titans, So has Man overthrown the Gods, but when Men visits His Sins upon His Children, How Shall He Be Repaid?” Joseph doesn’t answer the question and screams for Tamara’s name, but the Host has him carried off the stage.

After they are tossed out the main club, Joseph and Emmanuelle pick up their guns from the gun cage when Joseph notices Tamara’s personalized insignia written on a wall in the entryway. After showing Emmanuelle the insignia, Joseph shoots up on Amp and picks up his gun and shoots his way back into the club, forcing those he didn’t pop to pull out the game. Everyone except the Host, who sings a tune, “Time after time, it’s the ole same story…” Joseph demands answers and the Host gives them when the gun points to his head. Turns out that Tamara was there and she drew a huge crowd, especially after she “transcended life and death” on the stage. She had asked plenty of questions on the after life and, as the Host put it, she came seeking for answers, but maybe she IS the answer. Wow. The Host also says that the game means a lot to people who play it, because it shows them things they didn’t know about themselves and like I said about Tad the Gamer: why not apply what you learned in game out of the game? Anyway. I digress.

Joseph and Emmanuelle leave through the back entrance and they discover that Tamara’s insignia is drawn all over the back of the building. Emmanuelle suggests that Joseph returns home, because Tamara has sure as hell found her own.

Back in the real world, Joseph removes his holoband with a look of disappointment and pain on his face.

Amanda’s Past Imperfect

Amanda Graystone visits the site of the tragic accident that took her brother Darius and sent her to the nut house. As she recollects the incident, a car drives by that looks like the one that was in the wreck last week and Amanda sees the driver. It is Darius, clearly a hallucination and a sign to up that dosage of Caprican Abilify ASAP.

But instead she calls Clarice for advice, but Clarice uses this convo for intel purposes and starts her objective with saying that the visions are because of Zoe. She then asks Amanda if she asked Daniel about the Zoe 2.0 avatar, which Amanda says that Daniel doesn’t think the code works properly. Amanda adds that she doesn’t want to think about seeing more dead people, which prompts Clarice to says she is sorry before proposing company with Amanda. When Amanda declines, Claric hangs up when she spots Olaf.

Daniel Makes Up For Lost Father-Daughter Time

Daniel works with Zoe 2.o/U-87 by having the machine build and unbuild a gun. While the droid does this, Daniel recounts the night their old house burned to the ground and how Zoe hated fire every since. As he tells the story, he has the droid to repeat the process again and again and Zoe get more upset and angry with each command. Meanwhile, Daniel tries to light a cigarette with a match and ends up burning himself, which unnerves Zoe who abruptly stops when Daniel yelps. Zoe 2.0′s cover is soooo blown now that Daniel knows that the droid has emotions. Hmmm…

Zoe 2.0 talks about this with Lacy and she figures out that Daniel did all that to get the reaction out of her and he succeeded. Lacy thinks that is shouldn’t be bad for her to “come out” to her dad, but Zoe 2.0 feels that if she does then Daniel would only use her to secure the military contract. She then suggests to keep Daniel from finding out for sure that she is in the machine that she will have to go emotionless and let the droid ‘lead’ in operation. But Lacy asks if that is even possible now and this leaves Zoe 2.0 with out an answer.

Daniel grows more agitated when Zoe 2.0 doesn’t respond and goes into a huge monologue of how he knows what Zoe 2.o is up to in trying to hold feelings. He talks about how Zoe is nothing but a scared little girl who would rather blow up a train than face life head on and accept its pros and cons and move on. He says despite all that, he still loves her no matter what and that she is all that he has of his real daughter. When Zoe carries on the cold act, Daniel ups the ante: he pours gas around the droid in a circle and orders it to stay, but tells Zoe 2.o that if she is in there to make four steps out the circle of fire. REALLY?!?!?!? He lights the gas and sets the fire and watches for any movement, but Zoe 2.0 remains headstrong, despite a little hand movement. The fire settles and Daniel walks away.

But he doesn’t stop there folks. Daniel has one more test up his sleeve and it involves a gun and the family dog. Oh. CRAP!!!!

Meanwhile, Amanda looks at pictures of her and Darius when Serge the robot announces that Tomas Vergis has arrived and wants to speak with her personally. When she meet with him, Vergis snitches on Daniel about the murders and theft. Amanda is appalled that Vergis would suggest such a thing, especially with their house, and if Vergis knew Daniel then he wouldn’t fix his mouth to say such things. Vergis counters by asking Amanda if she knew her own husband and Amanda only says that Daniel is her husband. Then she tells Vergis to kick rocks.

But downstairs, Daniel talks to Zoe 2.0/U-87 and says that he loves his daughter more than he does the dog and if need be he will do anything to find the littlest morsel of the avatar in the machine. He hands the droid the gun and orders it to shoot the dog in at the count of five. The droid shoots the dog at the count of five. WOOOOWWWWWWW!!!!! But the bullets were blanks, Daniel is defeated and my mind has just been frakked.

Later, Daniel goes into the living room and watches videos of Zoe, while Amanda sits outside crying.

In the virtual world, Zoe 2.0 talks with Lacy on how the droid knew the gun was filled with blanks due to the weight of it being off by a fraction. She adds that if the gun had of been filled with real bullets that she might would’ve shot Daniel instead. She then asks Lacy to get her out of there before she does something drastic.

Just… Wow.

The Caprican

- The title of the episode, “Ghost in the Machine”, served as the overall theme in each story arc that was presented tonight in an assortment of ways. 1) Tamara is the ghost in the machine that is New Cap City and her presence is being felt heavily amongst the gamers as she has become a mythical figure that haunts the landscape and the way people see themselves in the game. 2) The most literal application of the title is, of course, with the Zoe 2.0 avatar inhabiting the U-87 droid, which is like a house whose rooms/appendages are being controlled by the will power of the supernatural force that’s enmeshed within the walls of its shell. This too can be applied to the framework and mentality of New Cap City. 3) Darius’s ghost haunts Amanda by the ‘history repeats itself (on a microscopic level)’ motif, because machines technically repeat their daily functions without hiccups God(s) willing. This example can be seen when Zoe 2.0/U-87 does the repeat exercise of building the gun and unbuilding the gun. But what happens when the ghost leaves the machine or when we encounter said ghost? Does chaos soon follow? Inquiring minds want to know…

- Symbolisms tonight included 1) the spider in its web, which could be a direct symbolic connection with Clarice and what she is trying to do with Amanda. She is needs to get Amanda ensnared in her web to bleed her dry, which could end up happening sooner than we think. 2) The Host singing the phrase of “Time after time, it’s the same ole story”, which is a variation of the Cycle of Time/”All this has happened before and it will happen again” motif in the BSG universe and ultimately life itself.

- Still not caring much for Sam, which is bad because I was really liking this guy in the pilot. I guess the whole Willie thing is going to forever sit sour with me, but I digress. Despite my dislike of him, Sam gave some decent advice for dopey ass Joseph, who waited till the end to show his Tauran “balls” as Emmanuelle so eloquently put it.

- Speaking of which, who wants a spin-off with Emmanuelle? Or how about a spin-off featuring all of New Cap City? I would watch it. Just saying…

- Vergis showing up and snitching to Amanda? Stupid and unnecessary in my opinion. I know the move was just to put a crack in the glass that could lead to breaking the glass house that surrounds Daniel, but I mean really? It was tasteless and I wonder what would happen when Vergis realizes that blackmail might not be looked at nicely, especially when it’s a Tauron trying to take down a Caprican. Anywho…

Well kiddies, I am fresh out ideas at the moment. If you saw something that you want to elaborate on that I missed, then please feel free to comment below. I will see you next week for the finale!