Battlestar Galactica #121: Unvanquished

"So you really want to serve God?" "I do." "Or do you want to be God?"

SO SAY WE ALL: Clarice goes to Gemenon to pitch apotheosis. Graystone has lost everything and turns to the Ha'la'tha.

REVIEW: We come back from hiatus and it's three weeks later. Graystone is crashing. His team and company have both been hijacked by Vergis and are doing better in his hands. They make it sound like Amanda's dead (she's not, she's staying in a cabin as arranged by Clarice). The robot is empty of Zoe's consciousness (and she's now a "deadwalker" like Tamara, and indeed looking for her in New Cap City). Meanwhile, Lacy looks uneasy as part of Barnabus's terrorist cell, doing icky Klingon blood rituals in God's service. And Clarice has gotten to Gemenon where she must navigate Church politics to pitch her virtual afterlife.

Let's start on Gemenon, which we see for the first time (a freezing world of temples). Willow's pitch includes an incredible terror attack presented as completely real before Clarice shows up. It should be shocking that a little girl, an old lady, people of all generations, walk into Atlas Arena and detonate bombs under their seats with rapturous glee. The idea is for the chosen few to reach apotheosis and the Church's VR afterlife, specifically designed for the faithful. When news breaks out that the monotheists survived the attack, people should flock to the Church of the One God. Clarice wants to create a religion that doesn't require faith, that deals in certainty, and when the high priest calls it heresy, I'd have to agree. Sure, it's a way for your "self" to live on after death, but as we've seen, it isn't actually you, even if it's sentient. Your own continuity of consciousness stops. And Clarice has another problem besides. The Church was quite happy for the STO to wage war against its neighbors when it suited it, but now the terrorists are kind of an embarrassment. So when the Blessed Mother (played by Meg Tilly who Eric Stoltz helped bring out of a 15-year retirement for this) gives the priest permission to have Clarice killed, only for the assassination falling on HIM instead, we have to wonder where the head of the Church actually falls on this point. Was it sanctioned? Is she thinking on her feet and acting like it was her plan all along? Is she afraid of the STO? Or is this in fact part of her philosophy of letting God surprise her and letting Clarice's plan run its course "to see". OR! Could it just be a means to an end, giving Clarice power over all STO cells on Caprica to effectively eliminate the rogue element, Barnabas, and let them destroy each other. Wheels within wheels.

Meanwhile on Caprica, Graystone's back is against the wall (the theme of the episode) and he's essentially on the same page Clarice is. To regain his fortune and footing in the business world, his new plan is to let Vergis et al. build robots (who now work, absent any sentience) and concentrate on software that recreates your loved ones so you can interact with them in the "afterlife". He's very much on the same page as Clarice even if his motivations are different (are they though? the "chosen few" would just be those who can pay for the service rather than true believers). But he needs an investor and desperate, goes to the Tauron mob who helped him get into this mess. Adama makes the introductions, but is justly revolted by the idea despite the fact that it gives him a bump up in the organization. The Gautrau is interested, but does Graystone know what he's getting into? There's a tense test of his loyalty, a mirror of his asking Zoe to shoot the dog (with him, it's his mother, and it's also a "blank"). They only want to gauge his limit, and in the end, he accepts the offer knowing there's a 90% chance the Taurons will take all his assets and sell them off. Such is his arrogance that he thinks he can play them. Well, that's as maybe.

CAPRICANADA: Daniel enters the Gautrau's mansion through the oft-used Crease Clinic, but the interior and back are at an address on 58th Avenue. Amanda's cabin is the Caretaker's Cottage in Murdo Frazer Park. Diego is played by Vancouver-born Ryan Robbins who, like a lot of Canadian actors in Caprica, would go on to appear in Continuum, but also Arrow, and most notably, Sanctuary. He also played Charlie Connor on Battlestar Galactica.

U-87 becomes the first Cylon to be "boxed", a term that will refer to entire models in the BSG era, and because it's "toast", Vergis makes a "toaster" joke, ALSO the first time a Cylon has been called that. The way the priest is betrayed and killed on Gemenon seems to purposefully mirror Julius Caesar's assassination in our own history (et tu, Diego?). Zoe's assailants in New Cap City essentially dress like droogs from A Clockwork Orange.

VERSIONS: The deleted scenes show Lacy arguing with Keon about Barnabas being insane and thinking of selling him out to the GDD through Duram, Duram frantic about Clarice having left for Gemenon while Lacy and Barnabas are in the lobby under her false pretenses (he threatens her life if she even goes into the office), and Lacy returning to Barnabas without having managed it. It's clear from these scenes that he's keeping some of his followers as drugged sex slaves.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Some nice politicking although I'm not sure they always play fair in terms of the cliffhangers from the previous episode.



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