Ghosts in the Machine

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Ghosts in the Machine
"Ghosts in the Machine"
An episode of the Caprica Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 8
Writer(s) Michael Taylor
Story by
Director Wayne Rose
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 108
Nielsen Rating 0.4[1]
US airdate USA March 19, 2010
CAN airdate CAN
UK airdate UK
DVD release
Population {{{population}}} survivors
Additional Info
Full Credits
Episode Chronology
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The Imperfections of Memory Ghosts in the Machine End of Line
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
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Daniel Graystone suspects that the Zoe avatar he thought was lost is still inside the Cylon prototype, and he puts the robot through a series of tests intended to flush her out. Joseph Adama ventures further into the gritty world of New Cap City to find Tamara.



  • In his Caprica City apartment, Joseph Adama is lying on the sofa, wearing a holoband and a computer running on the table next to him. In a tunnel underneath New Cap City, Joseph is dressed in a flashy suit and fedora--better attire for New Cap City than the "businessman special" he was initially scanned in, according to Emmanuelle. She gives him a drug, Amp, intended to enhance his senses and reflexes. Joseph puts a drop of Amp into his eye and feels an instant surge that registers in his real-life body.
  • Daniel Graystone reactivates the U-87. He tells the prototype that he is convinced the Zoe avatar is there, in the U-87, but she gives him no indication. Daniel correctly guesses that Zoe is refusing to respond to him. Realizing that she will answer only as the robot, he promises something difficult for her, something that he says will be for the best.

Act 1

  • In a New Cap City alleyway, Emmanuelle and Joseph find the unconscious body of an Amp addict. Joseph is scared by the potential of something in the holoband--technology that was intentionally designed to not be addictive--to go directly into the pleasure centers of the brain and have this kind of effect. A large airship and its fighter escorts, the same that took Tad Thorean out of the game, appear overhead, and the two of them take cover. Emmanuelle hands Joseph a gun and instructs him on how to use it with the flair of a fictional character. She refuses to reveal her real-life identify ("You think this is what I look like in real life?"), admitting only that she is being paid to help him.
  • Amanda walks along a secluded road in a forest, the place where her brother died years ago in an accident. A car drives by. It seems as if her brother is driving.
  • Zoe-A finishes assembling a rifle. Daniel orders her to dismantle it again and she grudgingly, but efficiently, complies. Daniel smokes, despite the original Zoe's hatred of his habit. He starts talking to the robot about the old house that their family had lived in years earlier, and the fire that had destroyed it. The firearm is dismantled, and Daniel orders her to assemble it again. He relates the story of Zoe at the age of five, screaming, trapped in her room by the flames. He speculates in vivid detail about what Zoe must have seen and heard and felt in that room. Suddenly, he burns his finger on a lit match--and the robot spontaneously and noisily tenses its grip on the gun. Daniel is more convinced than ever that the avatar is there.
  • Sometime later, Zoe-A sits with Lacy Rand in the V-Club VIP room, telling her about the episode and her urge to hurt Daniel. Zoe realizes that Daniel is trying to draw her out. Lacy wonders openly whether that might not be a bad thing, to which Zoe answers that he has used her and lied to her, and that he will do it again. Her only option seems to be to follow every order, to turn herself off and become only the U-87. "Can you do that anymore?" Lacy asks.
  • Joseph and Emmanuelle arrive at the New Cap City equivalent of the Adama apartment. His key does not work, suggesting that someone else has moved in. They knock. A drug addict answers but quickly shuts the door. Joseph breaks in and holds the man down, making sure that he does not move to take off his holoband. The apartment is a mess. Joseph asks him about Tamara-A. After describing her and showing a photo of her, the man recognizes "the dead girl" and points them to Mysteries, a club. Before they can leave, another man enters the apartment behind them, cocking a shotgun.

Act 2

  • The drug addict hides behind the gunman, who is joined by another man with a gun. Joseph pleads that he is only interested in finding his daughter and that he would be willing to pay them, but the gunman has already lost two friends to Tamara. He spares Emmanuelle, but as she moves away, she pulls a gun and quickly shoots both gunmen. One of them flickers but does not fade from the game, and threatens to shoot Joseph--who cannot bring himself to fire on the man. Emmanuelle manages to finish him off. She is furious with Joseph's hesitation.
  • At the Willow house, Clarice talks to Amanda over the phone about her sighting. She wonders if Amanda asked Daniel yet about the Zoe avatar. Amanda was told that the avatar was unstable and no longer exists.
  • Daniel has brought the U-87 outside, to a grassy area overlooking the water near the estate. He confronts the U-87 about its "tell," the show of tension that betrayed Zoe's presence. Despite her supposed brilliance and the chance she was given to live in the real world through the U-87, Daniel argues that she is still a "scared little girl" hiding from life inside the machine. He briefly softens his tone, tells her that he loves her, and pleads for her to talk. Nothing. Daniel then pours a ring of gasoline around the robot, betting that her fear of fire will overcome her stubbornness and the robot's ability to tolerate heat, and force her to reveal herself unequivocally. He ignites the gasoline and waits. The U-87 does not move, and the fire burns itself out. Inside the robot, stress is taking its toll on Zoe.

Act 3

  • Sam Adama enters his brother's apartment and finds Joseph groggy and unkempt, admiring a card given to him by Tamara and the stylized "T" she used to sign her name. Sam bluntly tells him that he has already said goodbye to Tamara and his wife, Shannon. Joseph asks Sam what he thinks about when he kills someone. At first, Sam is angered, but then says that he tells himself the situation is not real, that the targets are only targets, just like a game.
  • Emmanuelle and Joseph arrive at Mysteries. Before entering the club, they are required to check their weapons. Inside, Joseph tries his best to follow Emmanuelle and to stay inconspicuous. The flamboyant host, Cerberus, calls out for players to the fast-paced beat of electric music, rapid strobe lights, and the chance to reach an epiphany. No one in the audience volunteers. Suddenly, Cerberus selects Joseph. Armed guards drag Joseph to the stage, where he pleads for help in finding Tamara and shows the host a photograph. Cerberus tears up the photo, and insists that they can help one another--but that failure to answer the riddle correctly will result in death. Cerberus ceremoniously reads the question. Joseph is flustered, and comes up with nothing. He is booed and pulled off the stage.

Act 4

  • In the lobby, Joseph spots Tamara's stylized signature written almost out of sight on a glass case, and instantly knows that she was here. He secretly takes a dose of Amp, and the instant he is handed his checked weapon, he moves with lightning speed and kills the check boy. He walks back into the club and eliminates Cerberus' guards before they can react. He orders the clients to leave, and one by one they reach for their holobands and de-rezz.
  • Joseph turns his attention to Cerberus. He admits that Tamara once played the riddle game, looking for answers about her existence. She could not answer her riddle, but she could not be killed. Word of her appearance spread through New Cap City and has been helping to fill the club for the past month. Cerberus is so eager for her return that he is willing to give her star billing and to pay her real cubits. Before Joseph leaves, Cerberus warns him of the transformative abilities of New Cap City.
  • Outside, behind Mysteries, Emmanuelle and Joseph find an entire wall covered by Tamara's signatures. Emmanuelle suggests that Tamara has found a home in the game, and that it is time for Joseph to return to his own home.
  • In her bedroom, Amanda smokes and looks at childhood pictures. Serge interrupts to notify her that Tomas Vergis is at the door and, to Amanda's surprise, wishes to speak with her. In the foyer, Amanda notes Vergis' gloves as a sign of mourning. He succinctly tells Amanda about the murders of his employees and the theft of the meta-cognitive processor, and his belief that Daniel is responsible. Amanda is indignant, and Vergis wonders aloud whether she really knows her husband. She orders him to leave.
  • In the lab, Daniel sits exhausted in front of the U-87. Caesar is fixated on the robot. Daniel shows the Cylon a handgun and promises one more test: if Zoe is in the machine, she will not be able to follow his order to shoot the dog. On the count of five, Zoe complies with the order and shoots three times. Caesar whimpers but is unharmed--the gun is loaded with blanks. Daniel orders the U-87 to shut down.

Act 5

  • Late at night, Daniel wanders into the living room, drinks, and watches home videos of Zoe. Outside, Amanda sits and despairs.
  • In the VIP room of the V-Club, Zoe tells Lacy about the experience, including the robot's ability to detect the subtly lighter feel of the handgun and hence the fact that it was loaded with blanks. If it had been loaded with full rounds, Zoe believes she would have aimed it at Daniel. She begs Lacy to help her escape soon, before she does something rash.


  • The Ghost in the Machine is a non-fiction work by Arthur Koestler. Among its themes are man's tendency towards self-destruction, and that the more primitive parts of the brain (the "ghost in the machine") can override logical functions and are responsible for destructive impulses.
  • Ghost in the Machine is the fourth album by The Police, named for and influenced by the book mentioned above. Among the songs contained on the album are "Spirits in the Material World," Demolition Man," and "Rehumanize Yourself". Additionally, the song, "One World (Not Three)" evokes Lacy's and Zoe's conversation in "Rebirth" about Zoe's three selves which Lacy refer to as a trinity.


  • Cerberus is the first example in the re-imagined continuity of crossdressing.
  • When Joseph confronts Cerberus about his daughter, he yells out, "You freak!" It is unclear if Joseph is referring to the game that Cerberus plays at the club, or Cerberus' status as a crossdresser. If it is the latter, it would be the first expression of intolerance toward a different sexuality and/or gender-based identity depicted in the re-imagined continuity. Up to this point, Colonial society has been shown to be highly tolerant of such diversity.
  • Cerberus' riddle to Joseph about parents visiting their sins upon their children is yet another reference to one of the themes from the Re-imagined Series. In the speech given at Galactica's decommissioning ceremony, William Adama uses this line as well.
  • As per Cerberus' riddle, Colonial mythology (like Greek mythology) includes a war in which the gods overthrew their predecessors the Titans. There are parallels to Man overthrowing the Gods and Cylon overthrowing Man.
  • While describing the fire that destroyed the Graystones' family home (and mentally scarred Zoe in the process) years earlier, Daniel notes that the fire was started by running too much heavy computer equipment in a place that was not designed to accommodate it. This can easily be interpreted as foreshadowing the destructive nature of Daniel's own work and the products of Graystone Industries on an unprepared Colonial society. The holoband is seen by some (such as Baxter Sarno) as having ruined lives, especially those of younger people. In time, the descendants of the U-87 will launch the First Cylon War and ultimately the near-extinction of the human race.
  • The U-87 weighs approximately one-quarter ton, according to Daniel.


  • Will Zoe-A have an opportunity to kill Daniel, and if so, will she take it?
  • Will Tamara-A have a long-term effect on life inside New Cap City? (Answer #1, Answer #2)

Official Statements

Noteworthy Dialogue

Cerberus: As the gods overthrew the Titans, so has Man overthrown the gods. But when Man visits his sins upon his children, how shall he be repaid?
  • Cerberus wonders aloud about the nature of Tamara-A:
Cerberus: Maybe she's found the answers everyone is searching for, or maybe she is the answer.
Emmanuelle: Get your pink newbie cheeks out of this game and don't come back in until you've got your frakkin' head on straight!
Joseph Adama: Uh ... B-but my daughter ... I've got to get my daughter ...
Emmanuelle: Yeah, but you're no good to her if you're going to freeze every time some dirtbag shoves a gun in your face. I thought Taurons had bigger stones.

Guest Stars


  1. Seidman, Robert (29 March 2010). “Caprica” Nielsen Ratings for “End Of the Line” (Mid-Season Finale) (backup available on . Retrieved on 23 October 2010.