Syfy made the fascinating and rather depressing decision to just dump out the five remaining episodes of Caprica all at once last night and be done with it. The Onion A.V. Club reviews them here so you don't even have to watch them!
The other day I mentioned that I strongly suspected Caprica was not coming back for the second half of its first season (who started this stupid tradition of splitting up seasons into halves, anyway?), but happily I was wrong. In fact, it's coming back early, on October 5th at 10PM. Follow the link for a preview. Looks like we're going back to Grand Theft Auto: Caprica City, and now there are droogs there! (UPDATE: I was a little confused here. Although the second half of the first season is airing early, Syfy has still not announced a decision on the second season, and apparently may not do so until November. So Caprica still might be dead in the water.)
Blastr has a fun list of 10 of the best sci-fi TV episodes ever aired. Some pretty good selections here, especially "Hush," "City on the Edge of Forever," and "33," all probably my favorite episodes of the respective series. In fact, "33" hooked me on Battlestar Galactica right away and for good. It's probably the best first episode of a series ever. I might have picked different episodes of The Outer Limits ("Keeper of the Purple Twilight?" "The Children of Spider County?"), Firefly (what about "Jaynestown," man?), and Star Trek: The Next Generation (the one with the flute!), but the ones they chose are mighty good. I think "Home" is the only episode of The X-Files I've never seen, which really pisses me off, because everybody says it's so good. I really should track it down one of these days. As for "The Eye of the Beholder"... I don't know, I've just never been a Twilight Zone guy. My reaction to that episode was pretty much just, "Ah. Yes. I see what you did there."
To paraphrase Cinematical's description, Passion Play is a movie about a down-on-his-luck trumpet player (Mickey Rourke) who seeks redemption from an angel (Megan Fox) who's being paraded around like a circus freak by a local gangster named Happy Shannon (Bill Murray). Woah. Interesting story and an interesting cast. Click through to top it off with an interesting clip.
Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.
Neil Gaiman's Sandman might become a TV show that might be produced by the Supernatural guy. Hmm. I wasn't very impressed by what I saw of an early episode of Supernatural, but I've heard that it got a lot better. This could be good news.
Came across this news on Twitter yesterday: Ron Moore's next television project is "an adult Harry Potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic." As long as he doesn't ruin the ending the way he did with Battlestar Galactica, this could be very cool. (Also, I assume this means Caprica is dead in the water, which is sad.)
I wasn't going to mention this, because it's kind of old news, but just in case you haven't discovered it yet, behold the genius and awesomeness of Axe Cop. It's a sci-fi/fantasy/action web comic written by a 5-year-old and drawn by his 29-year-old brother. It is pure, wild, unfettered imagination - insane, hilarious, and fantastic. There are many, many episodes already, so it's taking me a while to catch up, but somehow it just keeps getting better with every episode I read. Check it out.
The guy who played the French master thief in the Ocean's movies is playing a real master thief in this movie. Looks good. (I don't remember where I got the link.)
Time for that little robbery to come back and bite Graystone on the ass. And it looks like there was even murder involved! That is officially Not Good.
Ha! Joseph went and bought himself a holoband, and now he can't open the clamshell packaging. I feel your pain, bro.
More LOLs! An avatar of Daniel Graystone welcomes Joe to the holoband, which freaks him the hell out.
Hey, the credits say that James Marsters is in this episode! Exciting.
Joe's yelling at the Graystone avatar, then all the sudden he's yelling at the real Graystone! I have to say, seeing them openly threaten each other is actually kind of a relief.
Uh oh, Graystone's chopping veggies again. That's never a good sign. Is he actually experiencing remorse over the deaths of Vergis' men? Man, I just can't figure this guy out.
Interesting. Clarice is not behind the recent bombings, but her young student friend thinks this Barnabus guy might be. Is it Barnabus Collins?? I smell a Dark Shadows crossover! Also, young dude is giving Clarice orders? That's unexpected.
Speaking of unexpected, at his meeting with Graystone, Vergis offers to buy Graystone's Pyramid team. He's a very clever and dangerous kind of scumbag. I like him!
Zoe-bot's tech dude is using online dating! And not getting any hits. Poor bastard. But really, that he's alone might have something to do with the fact that he has a sick obsession with a robot and spends all night dancing with it.
James Marsters is playing Barnabus, who turns out to be a seriously wacko religious nut who likes to go around wearing barbed wire on his arm. Excellent.
Xander: "There's something about this MCP we don't understand, and you know why? Because you fracking stole it! It's not ours!"
Heh. I like that guy.
Graystone: "The sweaty cash is bait for some kind of a trap, I know it. I just need to figure out what kind of mechanism it is."
Clarice has failed to maintain a friendship with Lacy, so now she's trying Mrs. Graystone. She's pretty awkward at this kind of thing, but she seems to be doing at least a little better this time. Anyway, getting her drunk will help.
Now Joe's using his legal contacts to try to track down the kid from the holoband. He is going to get himself into some serious trouble one of these days.
I don't think I've heard Zoe talk in the last three episodes. She's just standing around, getting insulted by her Mom, and having her Dad force her to rip her own arm off. Poor Zoe. (Of course, immediately after I wrote this, she started talking again.)
Clarice managed to download the data from Graystone's computer, so theoretically she got what she wanted - and a lot else besides. This should be interesting.
This young guy Lacy's taken up with, and who seems to be giving Clarice orders, is the same guy who built the bomb that blew up the train. That's messed up.
Aww, Zoe's sending her tech guy a message on his dating site. That's sweet and creepy at the same time.
Vergis is getting his Caprican citizenship. He's moving in. This can't be good for Graystone.
Now Zoe's meeting the tech guy in the holoband, which seems like kind of a bad idea. Where can this relationship really go? Also, he immediately recognizes that she looks like Zoe! But she's come up with a silly explanation for that - it's to keep the pervs away!
D'oh. Clarice is back on the pipe.
Joe's legal contact/friend is coming onto him. She likes a man with ink!
Vergis reveals why he really wants Graystone's Pyramid team: because he wants to take away what the man loves. I really like this guy!
Vergis: "You stole from me. I forgive that; that's good business. But the two deaths you are responsible for - those men were like brothers to me." Then he whips out his own Tauron tattoos. He goes on: "I'll take the team. I don't know if I'll ruin them or take the championship - whatever cuts you deeper. Then, I will find the next thing you love. Eventually I will destroy your company. But before that, you have so many precious things. Until the debt is paid."
AWESOME. I have a new favorite character.
This show is really growing on me. A shifting, engaging story, and plenty of interesting characters with more joining the cast all the time. I'm looking forward to the next episode.
Joseph Adama is not holding together well. He's just laying around the house in his bathrobe.
Sam: "You call yourself anything you want, but first, you be a father. And when you can manage that, maybe I'll introduce you to your son."
Tamara wanders into a holoband game of Russian Roulette, gets shot - and doesn't de-rez. Now these people know she's something special. That's probably not good. And what really happens to an avatar when it gets virtually shot? What does that mean? This is where the metaphors start to get a bit confusing.
Joe's found out about his son skipping school, and he comes to take him back from Sam, but it might be too late. Sam quotes him an old Tauron saying: "If you lose something in the desert, and someone else finds it, it belongs to them, permanently." Wow.
This is cool: the roulette people are going to take Tamara into a holoband game and use her to rob a big player. She can't be de-rezzed by security forces. It's Grand Theft Auto: New Cap City! It's like they've stepped into a weird, alternate history film noir.
Guy: "It's not real, okay?"
Tamara: "It is to me."
Ugh. It's painful watching Joe trying desperately and unsuccessfully to recapture the past.
Amanda gives us an interesting glimpse into the Graystones' past. Then Daniel walks into a meeting and says holobands are dead and Cylons are the future. Then he talks about Cylons as slaves that people can make do anything they want. And he has the Zoe-bot rip its own arm off. Dude, that's effed up. Every time I think I like Graystone he goes and does something like that and I don't like him again.
I love that opening this guy's vault in GTA: New Cap City works just like a real video game - you have to have found the solution to the puzzle elsewhere, and then enter the code symbols in the right sequence.
Woah. Tamara made the security guards disappear with her will alone. She's The One!
Tamara learned the rules of this game pretty quick. And she's showing some of that classic Adama hardcore bad-assery.
Is dude gonna show up right in the middle of Tamara's funeral to tell her Dad her avatar is still alive in a holoband game? This is not going to go well.
Yeah, that went about as well as I figured. It looked like Joe was going to be able to move on, and maybe reconnect with his son, but now all that's lost - and so is he.
Another mind-blowing episode. I really appreciate a TV show in which, each episode, things actually happen, and the status quo is permanently altered. Caprica is a show like that.
We open with another bombing, and then, a bunch of the space Mormons in bed together! Woah now.
I love the way Sister Clarice nabs an e-sheet off of some random guy and then uses it to send a warning about the school search. And hey, look who got the warning - dude who claimed he had no knowledge of Sister Clarice being involved with the monotheistic cult at school. Riiight. Dude was keeping explosives in his locker??
Heh. I love the bobble head-style bull that Adama has on his dashboard. Go Tauron!
Another fun moment: Graystone promises his makeup artist 1,000 cubits to let him smoke a cigarette while she works.
The young Adama's grandmother tells him, "You think you only get things from friends? You get the best things from enemies. Because they're scared of you." Holy crap! Thank you, Grandma Machiavelli.
The cops come to search the Graystone estate.
Mrs. Graystone: "What do you expect to find?"
Agent: "Maybe who she met with. Who brainwashed her into believing in a moral dictator called God."
That's some phrasing there.
Mrs. Graystone: "Did you lose someone on that train?"
Agent: "I lost everyone on that train."
Very powerful exchange.
It really is creepy when the young tech guy is poking at the Zoe-bot with tools and says something like, "Now that is a nice chest."
Heh. While the tech guy is flipping channels on the radio, he goes past the original Battlestar Galactic theme.
Man, I literally cannot watch the Sarno show bit. So uncomfortable!
Holy crap! Graystone finally reveals the secret about the virtual avatar of his daughter - on live TV!! And Amanda totally saves his ass.
Grandma Adama is so freaking hardcore.
Sam kidnaps Amanda with no problem at all. Wow. I'm waiting for her to say, "Hey... this isn't the way to the airport!"
And there she goes.
Whew. He didn't do it. He's really good at effing with his brother, though. And with the audience!
This episode was harrowing. Seriously, I think my blood pressure went up while I was watching it. Intense and complex and powerful.
Just going to go ahead and quote this one: "A California physics student has petitioned the International System of Units to declare 10 to the 27th power (a trillion trillions) to be a 'hella.' As in meters, kilometers, hellameters. If he prevails, the universe officially becomes hella big."
In this episode, the Graystones deal with the fallout of Mrs. Graystone's poorly thought-out announcement at the memorial; Zoe-bot tries to continue Zoe's original plan of escaping off-world and meeting a mysterious contact who was supposedly going to help; and the Adamas spiral down further into darkness.
I just know Daniel Graystone is going to end up on that talk show, and it's going to be really uncomfortable. Ugh. But it doesn't happen this episode, at least. Although there is an uncomfortable and creepy scene where the Graystones frak in front of their robot daughter, and the robot sort of averts its gaze in this really awkward way. It's also disturbing and fascinating that the Graystones are now convinced that their daughter was a terrorist and set off the train bomb, even though we know she did not. It's pretty upsetting to Zoe-bot, I think, that her parents simply take it for granted that she was a suicide bomber.
There's an awkwardly funny scene where Lacy keeps asking her teacher to go get her more accessories for her tea, perhaps simply to distract her and keep her away. Lacy is certainly not comfortable with Sister Clarice. And interestingly the other cult members at the school that Ben was in contact with were apparently unaware of Sister Clarice and did not associate with her.
Meanwhile, purely by chance, Zoe-bot and Lacy find Adama's daughter's avatar in that little pocket universe Daniel created to show her off to Adama, and they show her the way out into the larger holonet. Now she's just wandering around out there, lost. That's not going to turn out well for anybody. In fact, Mr. Adama is so pissed about his daughter's avatar being lost that he asks his brother to kill Graystone's wife. Woah!! That makes the show a lot more interesting. Also, it turns out Adama's brother is gay, and married to his partner. Caprica is a more forward-thinking place than I thought! Adama's brother is probably the most interesting character on the show. He's oddly likable, despite his criminal leanings, and somehow he seems to have more confidence and a stronger moral code than his theoretically straighter brother.
I was thinking about dropping this show, and this episode wasn't really convincing me otherwise, until that final scene when Adama asks his brother to "even it out." That really shocked me, and I feel like it's going to alter all the relationships in the show, and turn the story off into an interesting new direction. We'll see.