Sex, Lies and Holograms

“I lied,” said Amanda at the end of “False Labor.” She may have lied but so did everyone else this week on Caprica.

Sam lied to his guaduro; of course he’ll keep arming the Tauron rebels. Clarice lied to her sister wife; she would sacrifice her family in a heartbeat for the One True God. Joseph lied to Daniel, he stills seeks connection with the other man—and Daniel, naturally, lied to everyone

All the characters’ labors were built on lies. Daniel is busy creating a lie. His resurrection project promises everlasting life; buyers will never have to say good-bye to loved one. But his own experience with Amanda’s avatar shows how far the re-creation is from the original. Daniel’s scenes with the Amanda avatar were brilliant. Did he purposefully create the emotionally supportive, sexually pliant partner that he never had? Or is he truly missing the genius gene that enabled Zoe to turn data streams into autonomous, fully realized consciousness. Either way, his labors were false. The falsity twisted into absurdity in the commercial that Cyrus screened for his bosses. Daniel recoiled at the use of his own digital image, balking at using his virtual self to sell virtual others. I wondered what Don Draper would say.

After last week’s focus on the kids, this week stayed with the adults. Unlike the younger generation who struggled with their own false labors and seemed set free and empowered by truth, the grownups refused to be honest, much less play nice. Did Amanda really lie about her misgivings toward motherhood? Her go for broke stratagem won her a place in the communal home. But from what we’ve seen and heard about her relationship with Zoe, I’m tempted to think that her so-called lie was one of the few truthful moments of the show

Diane Winston

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5 responses to “Sex, Lies and Holograms

  1. I completely agree with you. Everyone in this episode has lied, however I believe that the lies were said for a larger purpose. I felt the writers were trying to show that we, humans, are capable of lying in order to ensure that we get closer to our selfish purpose. The writers are trying to show the selfishness of humans. Amanda lies about her pregnancy to be accepted in the house so that she can help the detective. Clarice lies about her view towards sacrificing her family so that she can ensure that people will still follow her. Clarice needs people to support her in order to reach her final destination. Daniel lies about the Avatar being exactly like the loved one so that he can become powerful and lead the company. Basically, all the lies are said for people’s own selfish desires and wants. This creates a pitiful tone towards these characters, but also humans, as these characters represent human beings. It shows how humans can do anything to accomplish their goals. This is very realistic as if we think about it, mostly people lie for themselves not for others. Even if we claim it was for someone else, the truth is that we lie for someone to make that person like us more or for a larger selfish purpose of our own.
    Nikita Javeri

  2. Did Amanda really lie about her misgivings toward motherhood?

    This made the show for me, where you are forced to go back and watch the show a second time in order to understand subtext. I imagine that there will be healthy debate about whom Amanda lied to: Mar-Beth or Agent Durham. I think that both scenarios create an interesting character and my initial reading was that Amanda lied to Mar-Beth in words but not in feeling. I think that the show has demonstrated a disconnect between Amanda/Zoe and we have already been shown examples of Amanda’s mothering (or lack thereof). But I would like to believe that the show is fighting against the horribleness of women not being loving mothers–Amanda, in her lie, is painted as a frigid career woman–and to challenge it. Part of me wants to believe that Amanda represents a woman who tried to “have it all” and failed (not that there’s anything wrong with that, and we can talk about the current construction of a successful female in modern culture); I think Amanda wanted to be a good mother but it just didn’t work out for whatever reason. I think that this story resonates much more with current parents (although I am not one, so I couldn’t say).

    I also think about the construction of the avatar as a lie, and will go into that in another piece. I think that there is much to be said about image, representation, figures and the like that is productive.

    Interesting read on the title, though. I completely interpreted it in the birthing sense (aligning with the rest of the episode)–what do various characters give “birth” to? I did not, however, think about the “labor” in the context of “work,” although I think that this is an intriguing angle.

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