Friday, March 5, 2010

Caprica: "Know Thy Enemy"

Showing was more important than telling in tonight's Caprica episode. Three very different sets of images pique my interest:

The Opening Credit Sequence

I love the opening to Caprica. I feel like I’m entering a holoworld or a video game. The images represent humans, but they only act out predetermined iconic actions; the characters are all avatars in my virtual TV world. Even the pace is set for a short attention span appropriate to a gaming environment, and the timing of each character’s iconic actions hits important musical beats. I see Caprica through the eyes of a Cylon/avatar/teen—the perfect perspective for a skewed view of modern society.


Knives are such an important image in Caprica, again evidenced tonight. Slicing vegetables, slicing people—both done with clinical, rapid efficiency. The people who wield these knives may be surprising—such as Daniel Graystone, who methodically, if emotionally, hacks to death a zuchini. I like the imagery, but I hope knives become as symbolic as Lost’s keys or bunnies. Let's see them recur even more often than Daniel's nightmares.

Nicely symbolic ending to this episode, too, provided through close-ups of glasses. After the toast, Vergis’ flute is full, but Graystone’s is empty. How foreshadowy.

Barnabas’ True Introduction

First seen as a shadow, Barnabas becomes the figurative and literal darkness against the light (represented by Sister Clarice, bathed in candle glow, in the next scene). He wraps barbed wire around his arm, clearly a man with a bloody self-image—wow, talk about the perfect way to introduce James Marsters’ latest character. Short scene, but powerful imagery. Soft flesh wrapped in barbed wire; soft speech erupting into harsh commands--Barnabas is the epitome of explosive devotion. I’m intrigued. He’s much more vibrant and menacing than the name-dropping in past episodes suggested.

“Know Thy Enemy” indeed. Every confrontation between two characters illustrates future enemies. I'll return to this episode at the end of the season to see just how many later betrayals and plot twists began with the images revealed tonight.

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