There Is Another Sky

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Ambling Alp
whose whole job is to get hard ASAP. But now there's also Tammy, who has already been burnt hard by being a Tauron in Caprica City; Tammy who would have ended up like Ruth or Sam in a way Joe can't even understand, but who certainly got as far as Willie before she died, because her innocence was always compromised by prejudice. I would hasten to remind you that -- and I always knew I would love her, for this -- the last and only thing she did before she died was kick the shit out of a boy for calling her a dirt-eater. Not just because of the point about the three girls, but mostly because of Willie in a sec. She is hardcore and she is totally not interested in your bullshit, which are two things I like a lot in a person but should scare you to death in a living/undying avatar of the Matrix itself.

(Which, it's been pointed out to me I was remiss in the "cold blonde" discussion last week, but only because I thought it was obvious: If the anima/animus takes its form as your daemon, clearly Caprica Six is my Pantalaimon. I loved Boomer and Lee, but everything good and bad about me is there. Virgo rising and all that shit we don't believe in.)

So what's the price? "Play a little game, that's all." The boy Herc stares, that beautiful henchgirl smiles. "Help me settle an old score. You play the game, I get you home." And Tammy's healed already. The beautiful henchgirl talks like that sad girl from To Die For, like she's had slight oral surgery but not to a Serena van der Woodsen degree, or anything. "She's not bleeding! I've never seen anyone heal before..." They get her dressed and on the road, while Joe -- still smoking, still in his depression robe -- finally gets the truancy call from Willie's school instead of Ruth. When he takes the call he's on the other side of an ornate rood screen, if you're keeping track of confessions, but it's interesting that he only got the call because he finally dove headlong into his sadness. We only thought he was wallowing before now.

Joe heads over to Sam's backroom gangster hangout, where Willie's learning magic tricks from one of them. "It's so simple!" he exclaims -- first it's here, then it's gone -- when Joe appears. Willie makes that oh hell stare-face he's perfected, and Joe tells him to get the fuck on up out of there. Sam watches very carefully; Willie checks in with him and heartbreaking, this, waits for Sam's nod. Which he gives, before asking Joe to speak privately. Joe swears at him in Tauron, about which Sam points out the irony, of course, and hustles poor Willie out of there.

"You lose something in the desert," Sam reminds him, an old Tauron saying, "Someone else finds it, it belongs to them. Permanent." Which works here, but also connects to the larger religious questions via Paley's Blind Watchmaker thing, which you already know, but basically says that if you find like a pocketwatch, something comparatively complicated, abandoned in the desert, you assume somebody made it. It didn't just happen. So you've got the metaphor on the face, which is that Sam found Willie in the desert, but also underneath that there's the fact that Willie is a product of his environment: He didn't just become William Adama, he was raised that way.

(So then also in terms of the metaphor itself, there are at least two worlds we've found in the desert: Ours, and the Matrix. The religious person would say of the first that it proves the existence of God. And the atheist would say, "Find a watch in the desert, doesn't matter who made it: It belongs to you, permanent." And the STO/Zoƫ would say -- of both worlds -- that we have to fix the watch, no matter how bad it gets or what it turns us into. And Tauron Tamara would say, "Fuck this v-world, it belongs to me. Permanent.")

"I did not lose my son," Joe whines -- because that's all he ever does -- but Sam's pretty satisfied with it altogether, as it turns out: "Then what are you doing here?" I don't think this whole thing was an elaborate farce to get Joe to man up, but I do think Sam sees it as just as valid an ending as anything else to this particular chapter.

Tad jacks in and he's dragging Tamara down a slick hallway full of pipes, Yesod, toward their destination. He explains the in-world game they're heading for, which is called New Cap City which is, like so much of this show, dorky, but so is the internet so it cancels out. Basically, it's a Grand Theft Auto in the Matrix, modeled on Caprica City herself (he'll explain later they even blew up the maglev to keep it current, which she won't quite know yet is her tragedy and her salvation), with the very important caveat that, unlike other Matrix activities, if you die there it's permanent and you can't come back. A garden you can't get back to.

He drags her through a space which becomes a window in a very cool Matrix-y brokedown-palace kind of hotel room, all curling wallpaper and wrought-iron sconces, onto the fire escape. Special effects commence; it's all Sin City monochrome and those dogfight planes with the shark smiles painted on. A dirigible unleashes a squad of them on the hotel in an unrelated squabble, and Herc pushes Tamara down against the wall while she screams -- it's pretty terrifying -- and then pulls her back into the hotel room which didn't exist a second ago so he can reload his guns and explain about the Matrix some more.

There will be a heist. The guy has security, but Tammy can't die so that won't fuck her up at all. There are no consequences to her game, which is to say NCC is a finite game except when Tamara is playing it, which changes everything. She is now wearing moll furs and her hair is long and wavy and she looks like a million bucks. She immediately asks what the point of all this is, and shit gets deep. "It's a mystery. It's almost like figuring out the object of the game is the object of the game. But we think it's about getting things that convert into points. Like money, or weapons." Tamara, every inch Willie's sister in this moment, is like, "That's fucking stupid!" Um, it is. "Nobody has ever finished it?" Not that could tell you what happens next, because they're in the brighter garden.

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