Battlestar Galactica #113: Rebirth

"Someone tries to make you feel guilty, you figure out what they feel guilty about. You talk about that."

SO SAY WE ALL: Zoe asserts her independence. Amanda realizes she was in league with terrorists. Sam exerts a bad influence on Willie. And Clarice invites Lacy to lunch.

REVIEW: If the similarities with the Matrix were incidental in the Pilot, they're really obvious at the start of Rebirth, as we see Zoe's memory intercut with Matrix code, red instead of green (the Cylon's red eye). You can't fool us! A big CG Cylon isn't really going to cut it as a main character, but the idea of the perspective shifting to it being Zoe much of the time, usually mid-scene, works quite well. (Doctor Who would pull this trick with Bill and a Cyberman some time later.) It can be poignant, such as when she is verbally abused by jerky lab assistants or her own mother. Or comical, as when she breaks her bed by sitting on it (I can't believe the floors aren't all scratched up). But it can also be distracting. We might SEE Zoe hugging her best friend, but can't help but be afraid that she'll crush her. The size difference is so massive that we know our perspective is being manipulated. Right now, there's something compelling about her essentially being the fly on the wall in her own home, but girl's gotta get a better body if she's to be anything else.

The human Zoe also looms large in the world of Caprica, what with Duram's investigation converging on everyone who knew her. Specifically, her mother Amanda, realizing she never knew her daughter (that she had a boyfriend even, never mind a new religion) is essentially investigating her life. When she connects the dots, she's so upset to realize Zoe was with the Soldiers of the One, that she confesses for her (unjustly) at a very public memorial. The mob try to hang her - what's up with that, Capricans?! - and her husband gets her out of there as quickly as possible. His concerns seem to be less about safety than public relations, but then this is the guy who has put Zoe out of his mind, is laser-focused on why only the Zoe-infected Cylon works okay, and isn't letting Joseph Adama in now that he got what he wanted from him. He's concerned about Zoe, but he doesn't know. And of course, there's Clarice Willow...

Cult leader, or seductress? She plays it both ways, inviting Lacy to her house where she obviously throws one of her husbands (this is a group marriage with 4 men and 4 women, if I counted right), the young sexy Nestor, at her to better ferret out information about the genius girl. Lacy keeps her promise to Zoe and doesn't blow her cover, but how long before she breaks down? What's most intriguing is that the rest of the family doesn't seem to be in on it and confront Clarice about it later, intimate that she has a "track record", and fleeing the conflict, the good Sister ends up in some kind of opium den. And not to meet some secret contact either. While the Graystone are a  very modern family, Clarice seems to live in a world evocative of Antiquity (which of course the world of BSG is built on). And then we have the Adamas, sitting on the fence in that respect...

They hold tradition to be important, but as immigrants, they have to fight the forces of assimilation to keep their culture alive. Joseph himself made comments in the Pilot about only going through the motions. In Rebirth, he sends Willie to Tauron school (akin to Sunday school), which the boy finds boring. Instead, the kid hangs out with his uncle Sam in Little Tauron, and is initiated to the gangster life which, like it or not, is also part of Tauron culture, especially in the "ghetto". Sam seems to think he's doing the kid a solid, and to be fair, his brother Joseph was bribing judges just a month before. Will we see how Bill Adama grew his moral center through these experiences? At this point, Sam may be a more present mentor - and indeed he uses a trick Sam taught him against his own father - seeing as Joseph is having second thoughts about leaving the Tamara avatar in that cold virtual nowhere. It certainly seems that the tug between tradition and modernity is at the heart of the series, but from the future we know, both will lead to ruin in their way.

CAPRICANADA: The Maglev Memorial is held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Cylon is unloaded at the Cactus Club Cafe. Clarice's house is really on 1st Street (in New Westminster), and Lacy's on West 71st Avenue. Little Tauron is played by East Georgia Street and Gore Avenue (Carley Quality Meat Ltd., adjoining the storefront Sam vandalizes, is an actual business), close to Chinatown, from which Sam is taken to jail at Strathcona Edge Sales Centre. Promethia High School (where Tamara went) was filmed at King George Secondary School. Philomon the lab assistant is played by Alex Arsenault, an actor from Saskatchewan.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: The Soldiers of the One use "So say we all" a lot, but since Adama uses it as a rallying cry in the BSG mini-series, there's no reason to think it is unique to them. The piece Graystone plays on the piano is the one you can hear over the opening narration of the classic series.

VERSIONS: The DVD includes a lot of deleted material. Amanda watching footage of Zoe. Adama angry at Willie for playing games (on Graystone machines). Clarice MAKING Nestor take his shirt off before Lacy gets there. Adama's mother suggesting Willie go to Tauron school on Saturdays and giving her son permission to hurt Graystone. More to the introduction of Clarice's family (including two more husbands). Graystone chewing out his lab assistant for faking an interest in Pyramid, and later giving him the day off. A quick moment where Grayston acknowledges Adama changed his name from Adams. Clarice clearing the family room to talk to Lacy and Nestor privately. More of an apology from Clarice's family when they mistrust her. In Zoe's video, a lot more focus on the broach and being members of the Soldiers of the One (which makes the realization at the memorial redudant). Serge recognizing the Cylon as Zoe. And Zoe asking Lacy why she didn't get aboard the train while they try to fix the bed (just before the hug).

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - The plot thickens, but I think it'll be hard to remember what happens in what episode with this storytelling style.

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