Caprica Review: “Ghosts in the Machine”

We have one more episode this season. This week, Graystone and Adama try to exorcise or, at least, exercise, their offspring ghosts in the machine.

Title: “Ghosts in the Machine”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Wayne Rose
Written by Ryan Mottesheard

Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone
Allesandra Torresani as Zoe
Genevieve Buechner as Tamara Adams
Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone
Esai Morales as Joseph Adama
Leah Gibson as Emanuelle
Sasha Roiz as Sam Adama
Polly Walker as Sister Clarice Willow
Magda Apanowicz as Lacy Rand
John Pyper-Ferguson as Tomas Virgis
Alex Arsenault as Philomon
Liam Sproule as Keon

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.


Having (through some fairly far-fetched reasoning) determined that Zoe inhabits the proto-Cylon body, Graystone resorts to extreme measures to get her to reveal herself.

Emanuelle takes Joseph Adama further into New Cap City. As he delves further into his own bullish nature in order to take on the game, we learn that Tamara has integrated herself further into the program.

Amanda’s sanity continues to deteriorate—or is something else at work here?

High Point

The episode’s best moments are in potentia. This week’s foray in the virtual world suggest plot developments that could bode well for the series, if not the characters. Emanuelle, for example, notes that she is a very different person in the real world. This begs certain questions: have we already met her? Has Joseph?

Low Points

I’ve criticized the handling of Amanda Graystone before, so I won’t go on. However, even in her less bizarre moments: try to imagine Melinda Gates moving about and into potentially dangerous situations with this little concern for security. It should be a little less likely that Amanda Graystone would do it, too.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6.

Effects: 6/6. The show continues to integrate the cityscapes and proto-Cylon seamlessly, while featuring a few off moments in the virtual world. The sign to Mysteries, for example, looks slightly fake, in a videogame sort of way.

Story: 4/6. We have a good, if somewhat slow-moving story. I recognize that Zoe and Daniel had a troubled relationship. Does it explain the interactions we see in this episode? Zoe seems needlessly stubborn; Daniel goes to disturbing extremes. Then again, perhaps, even knowing his daughter’s avatar inhabits the robot body, he still sees it as a thing. This perception, we know, will play a huge role in the Colonial future.

Acting: 5/6. I liked the acting overall. The Cabaret-like MC needed something more.

Emotional Response: 5/6.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6.

In total, the “Ghosts in the Machine” receives 36/42


The title references Gilbert Ryle’s oft-quoted phrase, from , The Concept of Mind. Arthur Koestler used the soulful reference as the title of his 1967 treatise, and writers of fiction and non-fiction have been similarly-inspired. It is also the title of a Police album. Genre television seems particularly drawn by the concept. In addition to this week’s episode of Caprica, the phrase has served as an ep title during X-Files‘ first season, 4400‘s fourth, Stargate Atlantis‘s fourth, Kyle XY‘s second, and The Flash‘s only season.

Ryle, of course, originally used the phrase in a rather derisive sense.

5 replies on “Caprica Review: “Ghosts in the Machine””

  1. My bet on Emmanuelle is that it’s his lawyer assistant / partner / whatever.

    Enjoying the show a lot, and these reviews as well.

    • I hadn’t specifically thought of him, but it would be a good twist. It’s an interesting variation on the early eps of Galactica, where we were wondering who would be a Cylon.

    • Xander was my first thought too, but does he even know about the avatars? That has to be the limiting factor here, since the number of people who suspect that Zoe/Tamara may have survived the blast in virtual form, have not already been killed in New Cap City and can afford to pay Emmanuelle has to be quite a small number.

      Some other possibilities that crossed my mind are someone from the STO like Clarice Willow or Barnabus and, as a “just maybe” longshot, Tomas Virgis, but unless I’ve missed a clue, it’s all just guesswork at the moment.

  2. Actually, who I meant was Adama’s colleague Evelyn (Teryl Rothery). She might have learned about New Caprica (and even Tamara’s existence there) while investigating the boy Adama asked her to, and she clearly has a thing for Adama. Or who knows, maybe she’s been a New Caprica player for a long time.

    All the other ideas are interesting, too, though =).

  3. I’m actually starting to think that Emmanuelle might be Tamara, or sent by Tamara. I would assume being shot at as many times as she has, and trying to get by in new cap city, and then finding out that she is dead might have changed her a bit. Although this is still just me thinking outloud.

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