The “Caprica” pilot set the foundation for the Cylon origin, but this episode paved the way for the impending fallout of an untimely (and very public) revelation.
In “Rebirth,” we see that Zoe #2 (a copy of Zoe’s avatar) still has the memories of her creator, but she doesn’t adjust well to seeing her Cylon form. At his company’s lab, Daniel finds out the meta-cognitive processor (MCP) with Zoe’s information can only work in one robot, all the others seem to have no effect. When he studies the robot closely, the camera effectively switches from Zoe #2 in Cylon form to showing her in human form, amplifying the tension between her newfound dual states. In fact, her two lives are blurring together; flashes of her Cylon life get mixed in with Zoe’s memories.
During a lab session, we the viewers are locked into Zoe #2’s perspective as two male assistants study her in mechanical form. One of the most telling lines comes when one of the assistants makes a quip about Zoe #2 giving him the chills, to which his colleague remarks, “She? Dude, stop feminizing it. It’s weird.” It’s interesting to note that during their brief conversation about “feminizing” the robot and how Zoe #2 is simply a useful tool, Zoe and Ben’s original plan was probably to use Zoe #2 as just that. Referencing a flashback at the start of the episode, we see Zoe and Ben briefly discuss the potential use of Zoe #2 as being a Soldier of The One (STO) in the underground virtual club. While the two assistants treat Zoe #2 differently, one treats her nicely while the other views her as nothing but metal, the significance of Zoe #2’s firsthand experience is significant — and is magnified throughout the episode.
Meanwhile, Joseph drives to his daughter Tamara’s high school to pick her up, but it takes him a few moments to process that she has been dead for awhile now. Can Joseph’s inability of letting Tamara go be read as a metaphor for the idea that programs can outlive even the creator (which is touched upon later in the episode)? We all have in place a sense of routine, especially as a parent.
At the Graystones’ oceanside mansion, Amanda is still grieving over the loss of her daughter, watching home videos until an agent comes at her door requesting to speak with her. He asks about Ben Stark (Zoe’s boyfriend and the suicide bomber), and of course Amanda has no clue who he is referring to. The agent tells her Ben was Zoe’s boyfriend, and she is visibly shaken. Who wouldn’t be after you were just told one of your children was involved with the guy who took the lives of a few dozen people?
The two lab assistants are surprised when they open the back of their van when they arrive at the Graystone residence to see Zoe #2 acting up. As Zoe #2 tries to break free from the metal cuffs, the assistant with a conscience talks his way into removing the MCP from the robot. Afterwards, they transport the robot into Daniel’s home lab per his request. The “nice one” inserts the MCP back into the robot and the second assistant tries to put a drill to Zoe #2’s head to test its/her limits, but when it grazes its/her skin, Zoe #2 pounds his fingers causing them to bleed badly.
Amanda meets Lacy in front of her home, and asks about Zoe’s reason for running away. (In the pilot, Zoe and Ben were going to start a new life on Gemenon.) Lacy tells her the only thing Zoe said was that there’d be “a new family waiting on Gemenon” whatever that means. Later in the afternoon, Lacy attends Sister Clarice’s party, where she meets one of Clarice’s many spouses Nestor (guest star Scott Porter) who is young enough to be Clarice’s son. They serve several kinds of Hobo Stew, and going strictly by the name, it doesn’t sound very appetizing. After their meal, Lacy, Clarice and Nestor talk about Zoe’s invaluable computer skills, and Nestor, a computer geek himself, points out if “you write a great program, it can outlive you.” He then goes one step further, insinuating that perhaps Zoe’s work will live on — and he’s right.
Uncle Sam and young Willie hang out more — after he skips school that is — and his uncle teaches Willie how to spot a good car on the street and how not to get caught when smashing trash cans through glass windows. It’s then that Sam teaches him a lesson: “If you run away, you’re guilty of two things. The thing and the running away from the thing.” They get arrested, but it’s all a part of Sam’s plan: “You give them all the little things, they miss the big things.” Joseph confronts his son after he finds out Willie was never in school, but Willie holds his ground, saying there is no family left anymore. The one thing Joseph has worked to keep some semblance of, is now fading fast.
Zoe #2 manages to explore the remnants of her bedroom, when her best friend Lacy arrives at Zoe #2’s insistence. Lacy’s hesitance at accepting Zoe #2’s physical form is understandable, but even with Zoe #2 urging her that it really is Zoe #2, she doesn’t realize until her body doesn’t match the identity she’s always known (or was created to know).
Amanda attends the memorial for the train bombing victims, and meets Ben’s mother who gives her some of Zoe’s things that were left behind in Ben’s room (including an octogonal photograph of the two). One of the objects is a gold infinity pin (in the beginning of the episode, we find out the symbol represents the STO). Meanwhile, Daniel and Joseph bump into each other at the service, with Joseph desperate to know where avatar Tamara is. Daniel tells him Tamara is most likely gone, which isn’t exactly what Joseph wants to hear.
Unsure who her daughter was/is, Amanda speaks to the grieving families, revealing the fatal truth as she makes the connection from the news report and the home video with Zoe wearing the infinity pin, that her daughter Zoe was a terrorist — and that she might have been the cause of the bombing.
We know she’s wrong, but does it really matter at this point?
Science Overbears: It seems to be an underlying theme in many sci-fi series, but the warning that what we create (especially with science and technology) may one day overpower us and our will, is constant — and this theme runs rampant in this episode.
Random Observation: Lacy identifies Zoe #2 as a trinity. She is part avatar, Cylon and Zoe.
Now that this untimely revelation has been made public, how will this affect the Graystone family and more importantly, Daniel’s personal and professional standing? We know Zoe and Ben had a plan for Zoe #2, what was their big plan?