Caprica: Rebirth

To those who are wondering if I’m going to write about Caprica, the answer is yes! But I will be writing about episodes a few days after they air because there’s a lag between airdates and Hulu appearances. Incidentally, I’ve also got a piece on Battlestar Galactica up at FWD/Forward today: “Battlestar Galactica: Disability In Space” and I’ll be writing more on BSG here in the coming months.

I’m really enjoying Caprica because I think that there are all these neat little nods to fans, but it seems like it would be reasonably accessible to people who haven’t seen BSG yet. It’s fascinating to see the groundwork being laid, and to see the parallels between this world and Classical society. Caprica is Rome, decadent and filled with grandeur and waste and profligacy, and it’s about to be turned on its head.

“Rebirth,” I think, centered around something really important, summed up in Amanda’s Graystone’s speech when she said “we create life and then one day we have to face who they are, what they become, and what they do.” This is clearly the cornerstone of the whole series, because it’s going to take us from the society of Caprica to the fall at the hands of the Cylons, the creations of humans which go far beyond what humans might have imagined.

Her speech also spoke, of course, to the disconnect that happens between parents and their growing teens as their kids start to strike out on their own and make their own decisions. One thing which made me really curious, though, was why Amanda thought it would be a good idea to out her daughter as a terrorist in front of a huge crowd of mourners.

I think it spoke to something which occurs in our society as well, which is that in situations like this, the parents of the terrorist/murderer are expected to mourn privately and to not discuss their feelings (unless it is to make profuse apologies for actions they probably couldn’t have controlled). Was Amanda trying to assert her place, to show that even though she was horrified by Zoe’s beliefs, she still deserved to mourn? And, of course, it doesn’t seem to me like Zoe was a terrorist at all; she got on that train intending to end up somewhere. She was caught, as people often are, by something outside her control.

One thing which was really interesting to me in this episode was the plural marriage, which included multiple husbands and wives cooperating as a household. I hope that’s something we learn more about. Caprican society in general seems to be much more liberal than our own so I don’t think that plural marriage is frowned upon, although it does seem a bit unusual, judging from Lacy’s reaction.

Speaking of Lacy, how exactly did an obviously lower class girl end up at what is very obviously an upper class school? Is Caprican society egalitarian to the point that everyone attends public schools together, or is there more going on here that we’re going to learn about later?

I’m also really loving the story of the Adama family. Who knew that Admiral Adama had such a past? And I am intrigued by the way that they are using cultural tropes and touchstones; the Adamas, for example, have a very Italian feel, and the scene in the market was clearly referencing any number of movie/television scenes in which the avuncular mob member is mentoring the younger generation. I also hope that we get to learn more about Sam Adama’s tattoos (and tattooing in general in Tauron culture).

And, of course, there’s Zoe/the Avatar. I am really curious to see where they take her. (Shall I call her the Trinity?) It seems like, for all my discomfort with religion in BSG, I am going to be plunged into another very religion-heavy series and it will be interesting to see how that unfolds.