Okay, remember that stuff I told you about the women on Caprica not being as assertive or powerful as their BSG counterparts? Well, “Things We Lock Away” is the episode where all that changes, and we get to watch five absolutely stunning performances from the show’s lead actresses.
This episode also marks the point in the series where it begins to align itself with Battlestar mythology. There’s even the introduction of a Head Zoe. If you’ve been wondering when this show was going to get more Battlestaresque, the time is now.
Lacy is not having a good time of it. After being abducted and kept drugged in Clarice’s basement, Clarice questions her about Zoe’s avatar. After that, Clarice sends Lacy to an STO training camp on Gemenon, where she is to learn to love God more and be a better soldier.
In V-World, Deadwalker Zoe isn’t having a great time either. She finds Tamara in the New Cap City version of the C-Bucs stadium, where the denizens of New Cap City enjoy Romanesque gladiator fights between players. Tamara is not at all happy to see her, and confronts her about her involvement in the MAGLEV train bombing. Deadwalker Zoe tries to make the distinction between herself and Original Zoe, but Tamara doesn’t buy it, and she allows any players who’d lost someone in the bombing to come forward and take turns shooting Deadwalker Zoe and beating her to a pulp knowing that even though she can’t be killed, the pain will feel completely real. Tamara then fights her, and it ends when Deadwalker Zoe finally convinces her to forget who she was and think about who she is now and whether she wants to “be entertainment” for the players in V-World, or be her own person.
Now that Amanda is working to take down Clarice, a tense game of Cat and Mouse has begun between the two, and as Clarice tries to insinuate herself further into Amanda’s life to gain access to Zoe’s things, Amanda tries to insinuate herself further into Clarice’s life to gain access to Clarice’s home. By the end of the episode, Amanda won the round, and she is now a guest at the Willow house.
However, the women weren’t having all the fun in this episode. Daniel has Graystone Industries back as a result of his skillful blackmailing, and Tomas Vergis has been hoisted out on his Tauron petard. Graystone FTW, right? Wrong. Vergis, as a Tauron, knows that since Daniel was working with the Ha’la’tha to have him ousted, the Ha’la’tha can’t allow him to live to try and take the company back again. In a harrowing scene, he attempts to convince Daniel to kill him. Daniel refuses, instead offering to team up with him to take down the Ha’la’tha and make them both rich men. Vergis pretends to go along with this, tricks Daniel into picking up his knife, then grabs Daniel’s hand and plunges the knife into himself. Yet another life lost because of Daniel Graystone.
“Things We Lock Away,” written by Drew Greenberg, was a relief after the less-than-successful “Retribution” last week. It succeeded because it concentrated on very specific, character-based storylines. Even as it incorporated an intriguing Zoe flashback, as well as the introduction of a new incarnation of Zoe, it never strayed from very focused storytelling. In light of that post on Caprica’s women that I wrote, it was refreshing to see the female characters on the show not only spotlighted, but thrown into danger and having the strength, courage, and intelligence to either get out of it (in the case of Deadwalker Zoe), or to continue pursuing their interests in spite of their circumstances (i.e. Lacy, Clarice, and Amanda). Refreshing, too, was watching them interact with each other rather than have everything revolve around the Graystone or Adama men. Lacy refuses to speak to the husbands Willow, demanding instead to deal directly with Clarice. Amanda seems to have forgotten about Daniel entirely as she pursues the woman responsible for her daughter’s death. And watching Deadwalker Zoe and Tamara go head-to-head was astonishing, both for the awesome-looking fight scene, and for the way the writing delved into what each of them wants and needs.
Now, let’s talk about the Zoe flashback for a second, because it highlighted something that I was thinking about as early as the airing of the pilot. Daniel Graystone gets all the credit for something his daughter created! She is the genius, and he rode her coattails straight to hell. In the flashback, we learn that when Zoe was little, she was trying to create a robot just like her father, and she drew pictures of what they’d look like. And they looked like cylon centurions. Daniel dismisses the similarity between her drawings and his designs saying, “Oh, yeah. I guess I must have seen those [drawings] somewhere, and they got stuck in my head.” You think?! The flashback gets even more interesting later when, as Zoe is working on creating her avatar, we are introduced to another Zoe; an angelic version of her that I’m heretofore refering to as Head Zoe. She has long, curly locks, wears a clear raincoat over a pink outfit, and has nothing but comforting glances and encouraging words for young Zoe as well as for Deadwalker Zoe.
Now, here’s the thing. Either the flashback actually happened to Original Zoe as is, making Head Zoe an angel that was communicating with her (a la Head Six and Head Baltar), or the flashback was a memory left in Deadwalker Zoe that she is now processing through another incarnation of herself. Or maybe that’s what the angels were all along?
This has all happened before, and it will all happen again…
I cannot emphasize enough how amazing the performances were this episode. Magda Apanowicz continues to kill me with her performance. Lacy is becoming so much more complex, and Apanowicz keeps me rooting for Lacy and curious about what her true motivations are. The scene in which Paula Malcomson’s Amanda and Polly Walker’s Clarice are trying to out-play each other was mesmorizing, and I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering which, if either, would give herself away first. I’ve never seen Genevieve Buechner more nuanced and powerful; so much so that I am firmly Team Tamara! (For now. We all know how character loyalties can change in the BSG universe!)
And now I have to talk about Alessandra Torresani, because I have a confession to make. For most of the series so far, I haven’t really thought she was all that great. Occasionally enjoyable, sure. But all I’d seen was attractive young woman doing snotty, one-note teenager. I didn’t see what the big deal was. This episode changed all that. Deadwalker Zoe has become a revelation, and seeing that contrasted with Head Zoe just makes it all the more obvious how talented Torresani actually is. Throw in the warm, likeable Original Zoe that we see in the flashback? This woman has range. I can admit when I’m wrong, and in underestimating Alessandra Torresani, I was wrong. She brought it, and she brought it hard, and she’s forced me to re-evaluate her performance in episodes past.
From the twitterings I hear on Twitter, next week is going to be testosterone-heavy. Or, as Sasha Roiz put it, “testostauron”-heavy. Here’s hoping that the guys can keep up the momentum that Caprica’s fierce ladies have gotten started for them.
*NOTE: There’s been a bit of confusion as to episode number. So, just to be clear, I count the 2-hour pilot as Episode 1, making this Episode 12 for our purposes. END NOTE*
Teresa Jusino was born the same day Skylab fell. Coincidence? She doesn’t think so. She is a freelance writer in New York City who is a regular contributor to websites like ChinaShop Magazine, Pink Raygun, and Newsarama. In addition to her geeky online scribblings, she also writes prose fiction and screenplays. Teresa is the author of a chapbook of short stories called On the Ground Floor, and she is working on a webseries called The Pack, coming in 2011. She is also the last member of WilPower: The Official Wil Wheaton Fan Club. Get Twitterpated with Teresa or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.