Caprica Review: “Apotheosis”

The final episode of Caprica actually managed to resolve enough that most viewers should be able to make the jump to Battlestar Galactica. It had its flaws, to be certain, but no one could call this ep slow-paced. Caprica lasted only one, uneven season but, judged strictly as a prequel, it proves more successful than either Enterprise or Jar Wars Episodes I-III.

Title: “Apotheosis”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Jonas Pate
Written by Jane Espenson

Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone
Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone
Polly Walker as Clarice Willow
Allesandra Torresani as Zoë
Sasha Roiz as Sam Adama
Esai Morales as Joseph Adama
Jorge Montesi as the Gautrau
Genevieve Buechner as Tamara Adams
Teryl Rothery as Evelyn
Magda Apanowicz as Lacy Rand
Hiro Kanagawa as Cyrus Xander
Patton Oswalt as Baxter Sarno

Full credits may be found at the imdb

Premises

When monotheist agents plant evidence that the Graystones are terrorists, they must race against time to stop the actual terrorist plot. The Adama family tries to settle scores; the suicide bombers receive a surprise when they ascend to heaven.

High Point

“I am god.”

The conclusion doesn’t resolve everything, but the writers have accounted for quite a bit, including Cylon theology (best to ignore that God actually led the Colonists in the final seasons of Galactica), Cylon-human tensions, and even the thorny question of Bill Adama’s age and background.

Low Points

The final episode suffers from a surfeit of action movie conventions. The Graystones accomplish tremendous things against impossible odds, while the conclusion skips over any difficulties they might have clearing themselves of crimes they committed in order to stop the terrorists, and the suspicions that might still hang over them.

I could overlook the contrivances of the Adama/Guatrau plot, because motivations seemed consistent with what we’ve seen before. However, too little prepares us for Cyrus Xander’s convenient heroism in the Graystone Action Movie plot.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. The writers rely heavily on the conventions of the American action movie, while the resolution of several thorny issues surrounding young Bill Adama recalls more than a little Smallville’s handling of problems surrounding their Jimmy Olsen. Apotheosis breaks little new ground, but it provides a comparatively satisfying conclusion to a series that won’t see another season.

Effects: 5/6. The final episode features strong effects. As always, television CGI frequently looks a little too much like CGI.

Story: 4/6 Caprica has often moved too slowly for most viewers. The final episode fast-tracks through situations suspenseful and contrived, and leaps through years in its final moments in order to set the stage for the rise of the Cylons.

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 6/6. The show’s creators clearly knew they might not get another season. I overlooked a number of flaws because this episode accomplishes so much—and could also serve as a prequel to the First Cylon War series.

In total, the “Apotheosis” receives 33/42

5 replies on “Caprica Review: “Apotheosis””

  1. joe__gee says:

    All in all, a decent story arc. Had they paced it differently, I could see a three or four part miniseries accomplishing as much, being significantly more gripping, and gaining higher ratings.

    Pluses:

    They had a GREAT cast for this series.

    Some of the details of Colonial life were interesting, even if they were exposed through tedium.

    The dramatic crescendos of the story tended to have good emotional impact.

    When the writers moved a few of the story lines off of Caprica, at least for me the story gained depth.

    There were some clever explanations for the “how” and the “why” of the Cylons.

    Taurons. Stubborn. Strong. Interesting culture. Nasty-wicked grandmothers with cleavers. :)

    Cylons. Big metal things with guns. Cool.

    We finally see some action with familiar-looking air craft in the final few episodes.

    Negatives:

    The show was too fraking slow-paced.

    Most of the audience has lived through their teenage angst. For me, to re-experience it, even in the v-world, didn’t hold my attention.

    Some of the sub-plots were weak.

    Was it just me, or did New Cap city episodes remind anyone else of the Dix holodeck stories from TNG?

    Maybe Ron Moore and David Eyck were too hands-off?

    I enjoyed it, and the complete series might be worth a discount DVD buy to complete a collection, but I’m not too sad to see Caprica go.

    -Joe

  2. TheYellowLantern says:

    I really like dhow the confrontation with Sister Clarise had Zoe reversing the standard religious argument. She put forth a plausible argument for how belief in god and heaven might lead to an INCREASE in criminal behavior.

  3. lunadude says:

    I had to watch these last few episodes in my browser, since I don’t live in Canada. That said, during the Tauron sequences, I found myself checking email.

    I did enjoy the season/series wrapup sequence. Many things answered and alluded to.

  4. JD DeLuzio says:

    Was it just me, or did New Cap city episodes remind anyone else of the Dix holodeck stories from TNG?

    Not too surprising, though, given that both borrowed from Hardboiled Detective and Film Noir.

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