TV Review: Caprica Continues to Enthrall

How many times have I told you? You can’t trust Polly Walker. You couldn’t trust her in Emma. You definitely couldn’t trust her in Rome. And you can’t trust her now in Caprica. As Sister Clarice, she may pretend to be your friend, but she’s one nasty Soldier of the One nun. I’ve finally caught up on Caprica and now I’m current, having just watched “The Imperfections of Memory” over the weekend. If you haven’t been watching this haunting prequel series to Battlestar Galactica, you should. There’s probably not a more thoughtful science fiction series on television right now.

A few weeks ago, my only major complaint about the series was a lack of likable characters. Now that we’re several episodes in, I can’t say any of the characters has emerged as a hero, but those imperfections and frailties have made them fascinating to watch. In this week’s episode, Amanda Graystone (Paula Malcomson) slips further into her grief. The stoic facade she presented right after Zoe’s death continues to crumble as she comes to terms with her daughter’s secret life and possible involvement in the bombing. And there to exploit that grief is none other than Sister Clarice, played to perfection by Walker, who may actually have a few cracks in her armor as well. Her scene with Malcomson, where she urges her to trust in “God,” is both emotional and chilling.

Meanwhile, Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) jumps into the V-World of New Cap City to try to find Tamara’s avatar, who kicked some major ass in previous episodes and has quickly transformed from whimpering little girl into hard-boiled survivor. Morales gives a surprisingly layered performance here. Grief-stricken like Amanda, sure, but desperate in a completely different way. He is dismissive of the V-World at first, but soon realizes what a serious and potentially dangerous place it is. His bravado as a Tauren (and a gangster) continues to emerge.

Finally, Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) has no problem with bravado. Zoe’s death led to his involvement in industrial espionage and murder. However, his quest to save his company has taken precedence over his quest to resurrect his daughter. In a nice change from the usual characters of questionable intelligence that we get on TV and in movies, Daniel actually appears to figure a few things out, providing the gasp-inducing cliffhanger at the end of the episode.

Caprica is admittedly a tough sell, since we all know how it’s going to end. However, the journey to the inevitable conclusion continues to be enthralling. With just the right mix of science fiction, religious fanaticism and desperation, the classic story of human/robot relations remains fresh and exciting.

Caprica airs Fridays at 9/8c on Syfy. You can watch “The Imperfections of Memory” episode in its entirety here.