The Dirteaters

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The Dirteaters
"The Dirteaters"
An episode of the Caprica Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 15
Writer(s) Matthew B. Roberts
Story by
Director John Dahl
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 115
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA January 4, 2011[1][2]
CAN airdate CAN November 9, 2010
UK airdate UK
DVD release
Population {{{population}}} survivors
Additional Info
Episode Chronology
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Blowback The Dirteaters The Heavens Will Rise
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Official Summary
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Listing of props for this episode
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Promotional Materials
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Joseph and Sam Adama reflect on the horrors of their childhood and their loyalty to the Guatrau. Zoe and Tamara come to understand the extent of their power in V-World. Agent Jordan Duram's investigation is thwarted from within the GDD itself.




  • Formally dressed Ha'la'tha members gather in a back room of Goldie's for a ceremony to make Joseph Adama a full member and to elevate his younger brother Sam to captain. Joseph privately confesses that he feels terrible about this event in light of business ties to the STO terrorist group and orders to assassinate Daniel Graystone. Sam blithely dismisses his concerns about Graystone. At that moment, the Guatrau arrives. He fondly recalls his first encounter with the two when they were boys in a refugee camp, when Sam tried to pick his pocket and Joseph showed his quiet, calculating manner. He kisses both of them and the ceremony begins with the lighting of a skivvy malanos lamp.


  • On Tauron, William Adama Sr. lights a skivvy malanos on the kitchen table of the Adama family home, and prepares to give young Joseph--"Yoseef" in the Tauron language--a tattoo of manhood. He praises Yoseef's successful learning of prayers and religious texts. After asking Yoseef to find his ceremonial robes, William turns to a sullen-looking Sam and asks him to support his older brother on this day. He assures Sam that he is already a man, and that his time to receive his own mark will come.
  • Isabelle Adama enters the kitchen with news that Heracleides troops were arriving, likely as a reprisal for the resistance blowing up grain silos. William is uncomfortable about the resistance's tactics, while Isabelle sees them as appropriate. The four family members sit at the table, and as the boys' parents warn them against the dangers of the Heracs, William shows them a small vial of kapi, suicide capsules to be used if no other options remain. He tells them that like their own ancestors, it is a point of personal honor for someone to decide for themselves how they would "return to the soil."

Act 1


  • At Sinny McNutt's Slash and Cut bar in the New Cap City V-World game, Olaf and Nestor Willow are dressed in expensive suits and enjoying drinks and the company of women. The relaxed mood is interrupted by the entrance of the "deadwalkers" Tamara-A and Zoe-A. Most of the bar patrons remove their holobands and escape, fearing game death at the hands of the unstoppable "Avenging Angels." Nestor and Olaf remain and draw their swords, eager for a fight--until the girls pull out firearms in clear violation of the rules of Slash and Cut. Olaf is struck and killed by the first round, while Nestor dives to the floor and takes off his headband just in time.
  • Back in their real world bedroom, Olaf vents his frustration about being permanently blocked from New Cap City after five years of work on his avatar. Clarice Willow enters the room and scolds them for wasting time on the game instead of sorting through belongings left by their wife Mar-Beth Willow after her murder. The two husbands jokingly invite Clarice to try New Cap City and meet the player who is supposedly pretending to be Zoe Graystone. All of this happens as they are recorded by a discreetly placed GDD surveillance device.
Past and present corporate associates of the Ha'la'tha.
  • Daniel Graystone and Joseph Adama spar in a boxing ring in a Graystone Industries gym. Daniel tries to get Joseph to understand that the two-week deadline imposed on him by the Guatrau for delivering new V-World avatar technology is unreasonable. Joseph tries to advise him indirectly as they fight, and at one point pauses the match to tell him in a near whisper to do research and find the Guatrau's weakness, and to use it or risk being killed. He yells at Daniel to fight and knocks him out, giving him a black eye.
  • At the Graystone Estate that evening, Daniel listens as the robot Serge reports biographical and criminal records on Sam Adama, the importance of family ties in Tauron culture, the civil war, and the emergence of the Ha'la'tha crime syndicate as a means of survival for the defeated resistance. Daniel next asks for information on Obolus Incorporated, a shell company operating across the Twelve Colonies on behalf of the Guatrau. The corporation has been able to evade prosecution on Caprica. Except for Graystone Industries, five of the six companies recently acquired by Obolus have all been used up and left in various states of financial ruin. The screen displays the pictures of six CEOs, all of whom have died, except for Daniel.

Act 2


  • Cap News reports that the Tauron government is confident of success in their war against the current rebellion, and that Caprican defense minister Sasha Patel has no plans to send soldiers to Tauron. In very different news, Cap 2 reports that the popularity of the Avenging Angels has spawned new merchandising opportunities.
  • Daniel walks into Goldie's and ignores an insult from Frankie to speak with Sam. The two step into the privacy of a kitchen. Daniel's show of respect for Tauron culture is met with Sam's derision for "Cappa fraks," but Daniel quickly moves on to his main point: he knows that the Guatrau will have him killed soon after he finishes his new avatar program, and that Sam will be the likely assassin. Sam denies it, but Daniel presses on. He demonstrates a deeper understanding of Ha'la'tha respect for family and for "soil," and argues that the Guatrau is betraying those values for profit by selling U-87 Cyber Combat Units to the STO when they could vastly improve the Tauron rebels' chances for survival and victory. Daniel offers Sam the use of his own personal resources--including a private transport--to divert U-87 robots to Tauron without the Guatrau's knowledge. Sam is interested, and asks Daniel for his price. He asks only that Sam keep him from being killed.
  • Joseph and Evelyn spend time talking in bed. While Joseph handles a lucky lighter, his mood sours. Evelyn convinces him to admit that he is being torn up by the Guatrau's decision to sell U-87s to the same terrorist group that murdered his wife and daughter. Despite Joseph's new position in the Ha'la'tha, the Guatrau would not listen to him.


  • The nighttime peace of the tenement where the Adama family resides is disturbed by a Herac soldier being beaten savagely in an alleyway. The noise wakes Yoseef and Sam. When the attackers retreat, Sam ignores his older brother's warnings and climbs down a fire escape. He rummages through the dead soldier's pockets, takes the soldier's sidearm back to the apartment, and hides the weapon underneath a mattress. When Yoseef protests, Sam criticizes his lack of courage.
  • Banging on the apartment door disturbs the Adamas' breakfast. Isabelle whisks the two boys into a secret passageway behind a cupboard shelf and tells them to head for the family's pre-planned meeting place. William answers the door, and Lieutenant Kolibri leads two Herac soldiers into the apartment. Instead of leaving, the boys linger and watch as the soldiers begin their search. Kolibri asks the parents if they have any knowledge of the murder of in the alleyway the previous night. Like their neighbors, they deny having heard anything. Kolibri becomes impatient with their "dirt eater" excuses and slaps Isabelle. One of the soldiers finds the hidden gun.

Act 3


  • GDD director Gara Singh summons Agent Jordan Duram to his office. Duram resists until Singh angrily demands his attention. Duram obeys, but promises that he will find evidence of Singh's treasonous behavior and make sure that he is punished. With an Internal Affairs agent as a witness, Singh calmly lies and accuses Duram of not giving him the identity of his confidential informant, Mar Beth Willow, leading to her murder. He plays security video of Duram's first refusal to hand over the information and omits mentioning their next meeting, in which Duram complied with the request. Singh removes him from duty and forces him to surrender his gun and badge.
  • Amanda Graystone sneaks into the Willow bedroom, opens a small box, and replaces the memory card in the surveillance device with a fresh card and leaves without being spotted. She calls the GDD office from the privacy of her car and asks for Duram, but is shocked to learn that he no longer works there.
The Avenging Angels as cultural icons.
  • While walking down a Caprica City street, Daniel spots a young man wearing an Avenging Angels t-shirt, asks where he got it, and offers to buy it. The man is star struck and babbles while he takes off the shirt, hands it to Daniel, and runs away. Daniel later enters the New Cap City game and stops at the Slash and Cut bar, where he asks about the Angels. The bartender tells him that the girls are the reason most of his customers frequent the Slash and Cut these days. At that moment, Zoe and Tamara enter and spot Daniel. They immediately turn around and flee. Daniel tries to follow but is stopped at knifepoint.
  • Sitting on a high rooftop, Zoe and Tamara realize that their fame and the growing number of New Cap City players who want to fight them is what drew Daniel to them. They consider running away to some other part of V-World, but Zoe realizes that their god-like power in the game makes them safer here. The gritty cityscape around them suddenly comes crashing down. Skyscrapers, bridges, cars, all of it collapse and transform into a sun-drenched forested mountain range, with an ancient castle overlooking the new environment.


  • One of the two Herac soldiers holds Isabelle, while William is tied to a chair and subjected to Kolibri's questions. He cannot answer their questions about the gun, and accuses them of having planted it themselves. From the safety of the pantry, Sam and Yoseef watch as their father's legs are hit repeatedly, shattering his knees. Kolibri and the soldiers take Isabelle into a side room. She screams and William yells at them to stop. The boys take the opportunity to step out and try untying William, but he cannot walk. They hear Kolibri coming back, and Yoseef grabs a gun and the two boys duck back into hiding. William pleads with the Lieutenant to leave them alone, but a single gunshot sounds and Isabelle falls silent.

Act 4


  • Clarice reviews images of the virtual heaven being created by Nestor and Olaf for those who will sacrifice their lives for the monotheist God. She does nothing to hide her disappointment, despite the effort put into it by her husbands, and the fact that the martyrs will be able to create anything that they wish once they enter. Clarice expects something truly glorious to welcome the martyrs, something that can honor God and "those of us that were there at the beginning." Nestor pales when he realizes that Clarice wants to be an object of glorification herself.
  • Sam and another man are loading and re-labeling large wooden crates containing U-87 robots into a truck at a Graystone Industries dock. Willie Adama runs up and alerts them that his father his coming. Sam orders Willie to try stalling. The boy runs to Joseph and tries chatting with him, even suggesting that they go fishing again soon. Joseph is surprised, since his son despised it the last time they went. He steps around Willie and sees Sam in the distance as the other man drives the truck away.
  • In Joseph's apartment, Sam listens as his older brother warns him about the dangers that defying the Guatrau will bring to him and to all of his loved ones. Sam evokes the memory of their parents and admits that he cannot bear to see the same kind of pain being brought to their people again. Joseph tries to assure him that they were just boys and that they could not have known the consequences of bringing the Herac soldier's gun into their home. Sam replies that if he does nothing, then their parents' deaths will have been a waste. Joseph relents, and pledges to help his younger brother in his cause. They clasp hands and embrace.


The Adama brothers are forced to become men.
  • The Heracs continue to torture William as Kolibri demands the names of suspected resistance sympathizers. In the pantry, Yoseef urges Sam to shoot, but he cannot. Yoseef grabs the weapon, points it through the door slats, and fires, killing the two soldiers and incapacitating Kolibri. Alert whistles sound from outside. When the boys emerge from hiding, William shows pride in Yoseef and urges the young man to send him to the soil. Yoseef hesitates only briefly before aiming at his father's head and pulling the trigger.
  • Yoseef finishes giving Sam his first tattoo next to the light of a small campfire and his father's skivvy malanos under the open night sky. He reminds him that "Ha'la'tha" means "always faithful to the soil," but that their faith to one another as brothers is more important than even that. As they will do again in the future, they clasp hands and embrace.

Act 5


  • Amanda comes home and finds Daniel in his basement workspace. He informs her that he saw Zoe in V-World. Rather than being a shallow imitation, it is a perfect re-creation of their daughter, who somehow survived what seemed to be the crash of her avatar program months ago. Amanda asks to see her, and Daniel agrees.


  • "Dirt eater" is a derogatory term for a Tauron.
  • Joseph is seen for the first time with the lighter that, according to his son William, he always carried with him into court when arguing cases. Nearly sixty years later, William lends the same lighter to his own son for good luck before a key battle (TRS: "The Hand of God").
  • Black-and-white film of atrocity victims from the Tauron Civil War is taken (at least in part) from footage of bodies discovered in Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces at the end of World War II[3] Older scenes of agricultural life and more recent file footage of ground rocket bombardments and protests are also used in the episode.


  • After being gunned down in New Cap City, Olaf complains that he had been working on his avatar inside the game for five years. This puts a minimum age on the game, and possibly approximates the age of holoband technology.
  • Daniel's claim that the Guatrau is a "pure Caprican" who is "no more Tauron than I am" is meant as a comment on the disconnect between the Guatrau's profit-driven motivations and Sam's values, and not on his literal background.


  • Are Zoe-A and Tamara-A's ability to alter the virtual world around them limited to New Cap City, or does it work in other areas of V-World? (Answer)

Official Statements

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Nestor stands alongside Olaf in the Slash & Cut bar in New Cap City, challenging Zoe-A:
Nestor: You look nothing like Zoe Graystone. Whoever programmed you was a hack.
  • Daniel tries convincing Sam he will soon be assassinated:
Daniel: (In the Tauron language) "When the tree surrenders all its fruit, it's time to trim from the top down." (Switching back to Caprican) More than just a Ha'la'tha proverb?
Sam: Your pronunciation needs some work.
  • Serge displays photographs of CEOs that have all been executed by the Ha'la'tha and are marked "DECEASED," except for Daniel:
Serge: That is an old likeness of you, Daniel. Would you like me to update the image?

Guest Stars


  1. Gorman, Bill (27 October 2010). Caprica Cancelled by Syfy (backup available on . Retrieved on 28 October 2010.
  2. Exclusive: Syfy's "Caprica" to Sign Off Tuesday, January 4 (backup available on . (19 November 2010). Retrieved on 19 November 2010.
  3. Nazi Death Mills