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October 30, 2014

'Caprica' - 'Ghosts in the Machine' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 20th 2010 2:04AM
Caprica(S01E08) This episode could just as well have been called 'Marathon Robot' or perhaps 'The Manchurian Robot Candidate.' Given the psychological torture Robot Zoe had to go through from her father, it's no wonder that eventually the Cylons will rise up and try to destroy the human race.

When you stop to think about it, humanity isn't really giving the first set of sentient artificial intelligences a break. One of them is being hunted and the other is being tortured. It's definitely a case of parenting to the extreme.

Daniel Graystone has lost his "Father of the Year" nomination. The set-ups for his torture of the Zoe-bot were somewhat telegraphed, but still lent some psychological horror. It was kind of predictable that Zoe knew the gun was filled with blanks when shooting at her dog (the old "hold the puppy hostage" trick). Daniel was likely using the sort of justification that a lot of torturers use. There was even some analogy to Daniel's treatment of Zoe and Sam Adama's response of how he can kill people by not thinking of them as people.

To find his daughter, Joseph Adama is even willing to take virtual drugs. While his "Father of the Year" award may also be jeopardized at this stage, his behavior was much better than that of Graystone. To Graystone's benefit, at least he didn't have to attend the Psycho Cabaret. In a way, for both Adama and Graystone, the search for their daughters have stripped them of their humanity.

Graystone also said to his Cylon daughter, "I'm going to find a way to make you a more human body." Could that possibly have foreshadowed more?

Smoking seems quite popular on 'Caprica' (both the show and the planet). On a planet where robots are common, it's likely that heart disease and cancer have already been cured.

It's still difficult to consider Caprica an alien world. Even the cars have similar designs to those on modern Earth. That genetic memory theory could have some bearing here. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but wasn't the entire planet of Caprica supposed to be a developed city? Or perhaps that comes later? Or am I thinking of Coruscant from 'Star Wars'?

The whole storyline with Amanda Graystone seeing her dead brother strikes me as a plot from someone, likely Vergis but possibly with the involvement of Sister Clarice (both of whom had only a cameo this episode). It seems strange that Vergis shows up out of the blue to let Amanda know about her husband's involvement in corporate sabotage and homicide without some sort of nefarious plot.

This was another great episode. SyFy is billing next week's episode as the "season finale," but in actuality it isn't. The season contains 20 episodes and the next batch of eleven won't be shown until October. Since October is in the Fall, it's technically next season. SyFy, therefore, is telling the truth, technically. We have one more episode to go next week before the long break. Same Caprica Time. Same Caprica Channel.

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MSBNYY

First of all, it sends a horrible message when Hollywood promotes smoking. Ron Moore is practically doing a cigarette commercial given the prevalence.

Think about this with BSG--35000 people out of billions survive a global nuclear war. They don't have food, but they have enough tobacco to survive for years?

They don't just show smoking, they really throw it in the audience's face. It's almost as if Moore is trying to say, "screw you people who don't like smoking, I'm going to show as much smoking as possible."

It detracts from the show and is just another example of the smug arrogance of people like Ron Moore.

March 29 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
010111

"Perhaps my memory is faulty, but wasn't the entire planet of Caprica supposed to be a developed city?"

you didn't remember episode after episode after episode of BSG taking place in various woods and fields on Caprica?

kinda hard to forget that i would think.

March 26 2010 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan H

"I must have missed something along the way. Why is Zoe so adamant about hiding her presence in the robot?"

If you are looking for reasonable or rational explanations regarding the artificial intelligence in the cylon, you are barking up the wrong tree. Its best to just turn off your brain and enjoy the cylon as mindless entertainment. None of it actually makes sense if you take the time to actually think about it.

March 24 2010 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zita

Lots of interesting theories but I see that no one is bothered about the fact that they intend next episode to be the season's "finale"... Isn't that waaaaaaaaaaaay too soon to have caught enough audience for October's resuming to be successful? Just saying... Anyway, I'll be sure to watch it (die-hard BSG fan, here!)

March 22 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MSBNYY

They have not cured cancer or heart disease on Caprica. If they did, they would have mentioned it during the BSG run.

There was never a line like, "gee, if we were only on Caprica, I would cure this."

There is nothing natural about the smoking on this show. It's merely the smug writers saying, "look at how defiant we are about not showing smoking." It adds nothing to the show and actually takes away from it.

Even the road signs are modern Earth. Same days of the week as well.

March 22 2010 at 7:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MSBNYY's comment
it-s

I disagree with you about the smoking on the show. Many people do actually smoke, even thought its bad for them. Many "ex-smokers" will lapse into smoking when placed in stressful situations. It is completely natural for a mother who just lost her only child and believes that said only child blew up a train, to engage in risky behaviors while trying to come to terms with it, ergo, the drinking, drug use, and yes, cigarette smoking that Zoe's mother is engaging in.

March 29 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebecca

Am I the only one getting a little tired of Zoe-bot being set up by the show as the only victim in the relationship with the dad? Maybe it's just the father's better acting skills but you can see his torture at having lost his daughter and now having her avatar withhold being there, although he knows she is. That torture of him is as bad or worse than what he put her through. If you think about what he did to make his daughter want to run away like that it doesn't really hold up IMO. I don't believe that the holaband worlds taken over by the kids would really be all sex and violence as shown without any fun and goofiness and other non-bad fun stuff leaving Zoe open to hating her dad for inventing it that much. (And for a smart kid to hate her dad for that is kind of lame when you think about it.) Sure kids get rebellious and all that but the home life and parents usually have to be pretty bad for the kids to lack compassion and love in great dose too. If she is lacking that because she's an avatar then she probably doesn't have he feelings about the dog or fire either so no story there. I'm just saying after reading the discussion here and elsewhere that I can't feel that it's all bad dad and poor Zoe while her parents are going through hell.
Probably the mother seeing the brother will turn out to be the doing of Vergis. I guess that's a less cliche way of his getting at Greystone's wife rather than seducing her.

March 21 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ceti

You really need to let go of complaining that the plants looks like Earth, the cars look like Earth, the food looks like Earth. Do you really want them to spend their budget on that? Do you really want hour of exposition about their cuisine?

March 21 2010 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DarthPaul

Haha! This thread is AWESOME! It's been taken over by Mothers for America or something :-D

You know, if characters smoke on TV you don't actually breathe the smoke, or have to start smoking yourself.

March 21 2010 at 4:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eugene

Yeah, the rampant murder is one thing, but smoking???

March 20 2010 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris

I am getting annoyed/sickened at the smoking on this show. It's gotten so stupid that when the wife/mother sucks the life out of her cancer stick they now have sound effects to enhance it. It's gross.

March 20 2010 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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