Pilot is the first episode of the TV series Caprica.
The episode opens up to Zoe Graystone, her boyfriend Ben Stark and their friend Lacy Rand, three students at the Athena Academy on Caprica. Skipping class, they meet via Holoband and test out an AI duplicate of Zoe in the virtual social network "V-Club". When the AI Zoe is exposed to scenes of simulated but graphic violence, she becomes emotionally distressed and "de-resses" (logs out) from the room. Zoe is found by a school prefect, Caston, and her Holoband is confiscated as punishment, preventing her from freely modifying the AI. After school, the three talk about their plan to runaway from home to move to Gemenon, which is put in jeopardy as Zoe needs to go back home to get her spare Holoband. When Zoe returns home, she is grounded for a month, but causes a larger argument when she refuses to attend the opening of the Apollo University's new science wing named after her. When Amanda criticises Zoe's ignorance of her privilege, she responds back by accusing Amanda of marrying into money. When she is slapped in the face, Zoe runs off, declaring Amanda will regret it for the rest of her life. Returning to her room, Zoe enters the V-World, and talks with the Zoe AI ("Zoe-A", who pleads not to see the violence in the V-Club again, genuinely disturbed by the participants' bloodlust.
The next morning, Amanda drives Zoe to school, who is unresponsive the entire journey. As soon as the car pulls away, Zoe runs out of the school with Ben and Lacy to the Caprica City Maglev Station. Meanwhile, Shannon and her daughter Tamara Adama enter the same train while on the phone to Joseph, Shannon's husband. When the train pulls up, Lacy has second thoughts and decides against going on the train, leaving just Zoe and Ben. Zoe goes on with their plan and sends a goodbye message to her parents via a computer sheet. She is confused at Ben's quiet behaviour and asks if he will act like that the whole journey. He apologises to Zoe, and reveals he is wearing a suicide vest. Ben blows himself up after declaring it to be the will of the "One True God", killing all occupants in the carriage.
In the days after the bombing, the Mayor of Caprica City chairs a meeting on the recent attack, attended by GDD agent Jordan Duram, who's investigation suggests it was committed by the Soldiers of the One, a religious extremist and terrorist group which has been on Caprica before but not linked to crimes for the past decade. At Athena Academy, Sister Clarice Willow consoles Lacy and, when she hears of Zoe's computer skills, suggests she reconnect with Zoe's lifestyle as a means of getting closure. Lacy goes to the Graystones' house, and it welcomed in by Amanda to do so. Lacy goes into Zoe's room and finds a computer sheet with the passcode to Zoe's holoband on. Going into V-World, Lacy meets with Zoe-A to give her the bad news. There, she finds Zoe-A covered in blood. Zoe-A tells her Zoe developed a "biofeedback protocol" that would give automatic updates, and that she felt the pain of being blown up. Lacy is initially disturbed by Zoe-A's interaction with her, but accepts her as a continuation of her friend. Meanwhile, Daniel Graystone meets Joseph Adama in the streets and, realising they both lost family, go to a café together. Afterwards, Daniel gives Joseph his number and an offer of tickets to the next Caprica Buccaneers game. When Graystone gets back home, he interrupts Lacy's interaction with Zoe-A, and she leaves the house in such a hurry she has no time to hide the sheet with Zoe's passcode on.
The following day, Joseph Adams attends court where, through he secures the bail of a known Ha'la'tha member after the judge is bribed to allow him a chance to flee back to Tauron. Leaving the court, his brother Sam informs him the Guatrau, leader of the Ha'la'tha, has offered the to find those responsible for the deaths of his wife and daughter, but rejects it. He drives out to the Wilson Elementary School to pick up his son, where he offers the Buccaneers seats as a means of bonding and coping together. Meanwhile, at Graystone Industries' facility, work continues on the U-87, a prototype robot for the Caprican military. Having failed to develop the promised "meta-cognitive processor" to allow self-aware AI, the U-87 project has stalled for five years and gone massively over-budget. Rumours are spreading that the Prime Minister is facing pressure to cancel their contract and work with the Tauron-based Vergis Corporation. Daniel takes the rest of the day off to work at home. There, he attempts to decrypt Zoe's passcode but is interrupted in V-World by Cyrus Xander, who warns him that Tomas Vergis is claiming to have the MCP to get the contract. Daniel does not believe Vergis has the processor, but is convinced by Xander that the very claim is enough to get the contract. Entering V-World again, he spots Zoe-A in the V-Club, but when he tries to follow her into a private room he is booted out.
The following morning, Agent Duram visits the Amanda at her hospital office. Having a lead that Zoe was involved, he asks Amanda if her behaviour changed in the lead-up to her death. The only evidence the GDD has so far is the goodbye note, which failed to send before the bombing. Unaware of her plan to run away to Gemenon, it is being interpreted with a more ulterior motive. After school, Lacy returns to the Graystones to get the sheet, but is confronted by Daniel, who wants answers about who he saw in V-Club. Daniel is given a tour of V-World by Lacy, and is taken aback by how widespread hacking has gotten that teenagers can so easily enter pornographic and drug-related chat rooms, as well as the violent subculture which has developed due to lack of policing. Lacy explains that while she and Zoe first became V-World regulars to get involved in the sex rooms, they were converted to Monotheism by Ben. She finally takes him inside the private room where Zoe-A hid. He is dismissive of Zoe-A being his daughter, and prefers to ask Lacy. Zoe-A interjects and explains exactly how she was created. As downloading a cyber version of a human consciousness was not possible, she was instead created through the total sum of Zoe's life as a living record, made from everything from emails, to shopping records to school records to favourite TV shows and a secret prescription for birth control. Following this revelation, Daniel warms up to Zoe-A, though still sees fit to remind her she is an imitation. While holding Zoe in his arms, Daniel links the Holoband in the real world to a storage drive, and downloads Zoe-A to his database.
In Caprica City, Joseph meets with the Guatrau, who wants him to threaten Caprica's Minister of Defense, Val Chambers. Chambers had previously been associated with the Ha'la'tha, but the recent court case is a sign he has renegged on any ties and seeks to eliminate their presence on Caprica. As Joseph is not a member of the Ha'la'tha, he is better suited to the task than his brother Sam. He refuses the offer.
At the Athena Academy, Lacy is called into Sister Willow's office to be interviewed by Agent Duram about Ben. Lacy is shocked by the revelation he was affiliated with the Soldiers of the One, and walks out of the room when asked if she knew Zoe was also a member. Sister Willow herself is also asked where she stands on Monotheism, and refuses to name any student who practices the religion.
After the Buccaneers game, Daniel takes Joseph and Willie back to his house, and introduces Joseph to Zoe-A via Holoband. Joseph is disturbed by the experience, and thinks Daniel created the copy himself. Daniel explains how Zoe created the avatar through the analogy of a search engine. Now seeing her as a totally perfect replica to the point of metaphysically being Zoe herself, Daniel reveals to Joseph he knows his Ha'la'tha connections, and wants them to steal the MCP so that he can create a "cybernetic life-form node", an advanced machine duplicate of a person so that Zoe can live again. He manipulates Joseph into supporting him by offering to use Zoe's algorithm to create a duplicate of Tamara, and Shannon if possible.
Joseph meets with Sam, hoping he can get the Guatrau's ear in stealing the MCP. Sam doesn't think it will be easy, as Tomas Vergis has personal ties to the Guatrau. Sam considers stealing the MCP on the sole grounds that Joseph deliver the Guatrau's message to Minister Chambers as asked. Joseph attends the meeting, where he is hurled with racist remarks, and told to send the same message to the Guatrau word for word in a show of total defiance. In the night, Sam enters Chambers' bedroom and slits his throat.
At school, Lacy meets with Sister Willow a second time. She breaks down and confesses to being a Monotheist, that she was converted by Zoe and Ben, and she now firmly believes Ben was the terrorist responsible for the attack. Sister Willow consoles her, and reveals she herself is also a Monotheist and a member of the STO. At the Graystone residence, Joseph hands the MCP over to Daniel, and he fulfills his offer by producing a digital copy of Tamara. Though Joseph is elated to see his daughter again, his mood changes when Tamara-A becomes distressed and starts having a panic attack, unable to understand where she is and why she has no heartbeat. Joseph takes off the Holoband and leaves the house.
Daniel enters V-World again to talk to Zoe-A about putting her inside his U-87 prototype. Zoe-A does not want to live in the physical world if it is on Caprica, and wants to go to Gemenon like the real Zoe wanted, revealing she was running home rather than simply cutting school to go shopping. Daniel goes through with the procedure regardless, uploading Zoe-A to the MCP and then installing it into the U-87. The procedure has early success, with Zoe-A talking through the U-87, but a software error causes the prototype to shut down, and Zoe-A is nowhere to be found. Nonetheless, the U-87 is found to be remarkably efficient in firing at moving targets. Chalmers' successor, Joan Leyte, is impressed by the successful prototype, which Daniel refers to as the Cybernetic Life-form Node, or 'Cylon' for short. When the test is completed, the U-87 quietly begins messaging Lacy.
|Daniel Graystone||Eric Stoltz|
|Joseph Adama||Esai Morales|
|Amanda Graystone||Paula Malcomson|
|Zoe Graystone||Alessandra Torresani|
|Lacy Rand||Magda Apanowicz|
|Ben Stark||Avan Jogia|
|Clarice Willow||Polly Walker|
|Sam Adama||Sasha Roiz|
|Jordan Duram||Brian Markinson|
|Minister of Defense Val Chambers||William B. Davis|
|William Adama||Sina Najafi|
|The Guatrau||Jorge Montesi|
|Cyrus Xander||Hiro Kanagawa|
|Tamara Adama||Genevieve Buechner|
|Shannon Adama||Anna Galvin|
|Prefect Caston||Katie Keating|
|Secretary of Defense Joan Leyte||Veena Sood|
|Ruth||Karen Elizabeth Austin|
|Voice of Serge||Jim Thomson|
|Rod Jenkins||Jared Keeso|
|V-Club Patrons||Cara Long|