Clarice and Whispered Guidance…

“Mighty God…though our lives may be hard…we struggle to accept the sadness that is one part our lot…so too do we embrace the joy.  For every ending brings a new beginning, as surely as spring follows winter…”

Clarice Willows closes the latest episode of Caprica (“False Labor”) with a gentle prayer.

While Clarice is a bold character geared for action and violence at a moment’s notice, her whispered prayer is gentle and moving.  Its power lies in its subtlety while she whispers over the newborn baby.

Her prayer speaks to every character in the episode even though she is not actually praying with them.  Her words unify all of their experiences.  While the audience sees each character in an emotionally charged scene, Clarice appears as somewhat of a spiritual leader from a third-person point of view.

This depiction of a female in a spiritually authoritative role fortunately contradicts many of Karen Armstrong’s ideas about women in religion.  Armstrong said that, in modern religion, “power was proscribed mostly to men” even with the emergence of female pastors.   Clarice possesses both a blatant and subtle influence over the characters and audience in many of the Caprica episodes though her actions and private thoughts about the One True God.  Whether or not audiences agree with her beliefs, they can respect her strength and conviction.

Clarice is also a solid representation of what Claire Badaracco calls “neo-feminism.”  Neo-feminism in religion questions the traditional “ephemeral authority in culture.”  Claire not only questions spiritual authority…she defies it.

Daniel Greystone continues to struggle with grief in this episode.  Daniel probably would benefit from Clarice’s prayer the most.   His pain is apparent while he lashes out at virtual Amanda.  He says, “I want you to be REAL!” and “you can’t love anyone because you’re not human.”  Daniel is chasing after a life he once had in the virtual world instead of turning inward and upward to heal from his pain.

And in the end, which is more effective?  Tinkering with the holoband technology…or looking for the help to heal from a higher power?

Jill Krebs

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5 responses to “Clarice and Whispered Guidance…

  1. What do you make of the montage that’s played during the prayer? Caprica has used the same cinematic language prior with the suicide bombings. What did you make of the juxtaposition between the pain of childbirth (Mar-Beth) and orgasm (Evelyn)? The prayer itself calls forth notions of seasons and Christian doctrine, right? The cyclical nature of the prayer is something that I think is important. I would also agree that the prayer is “gentle” in its way but does it belie a hard edge? The prayer is, in some way, about endurance and acceptance? Is this another manifestation of the faith behind the church of the OTG that is not violent?

    Clarice appears as somewhat of a spiritual leader from a third-person point of view.

    Do you think that Clarice is onto something? Maybe her execution is flawed, but is her spirit heading in the right general direction?

    He says, “I want you to be REAL!” and “you can’t love anyone because you’re not human.”

    I also think this is a key point that will unfold…

  2. Whether or not audiences agree with her beliefs, they can respect her strength and conviction.

    Also, do you think that people respect her or are scared of her? Possibly both? Do you think she is identified with Muslim terrorists?

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