You know the drill. You tell all your friends about the cool new show you’re watching. They finally tune in, just as the series broadcasts its worst or least-typical episode to date.

With so few episodes, I cannot, in fact, determine what constitutes “typical” for Caprica, but I hope this isn’t it. “Reigns of a Waterfall” isn’t bad, but it falls far short of the standard set by the first few hours. Let’s hope those hours don’t represent the apotheosis of the show as a quality production.

Title: Reigns of a Waterfall

Cast and Crew

Written by Michael Angeli

Directed by Ronald D. Moore

Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone
Esai Morales as Joseph Adama
Allesandra Torresani as Zoe
Magda Apanowicz as Lacy Rand
Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone
Sasha Roiz as Sam Adama
Sina Najafi as Bill Adama
Genevieve Buechner as Tamara Adams
James Marsters as Barnabas Greele
Philip Granger as Tanner
Luciana Carro as Pryah
Polly Walker as Sister Clarice Willow
Scott Porter as Nestor
Dale Wolfe as Steve Bahara
Hiro Kanagawa as Cyrus Xander
Avan Jogia as Ben Stark (in flashback)
Patton Oswalt as Baxter Sarno

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

The Graystones deal with the consequences of Amanda’s startling public announcement, Zoe-Avatar-proto-Cylon makes plans to split for Gemenon, while Joseph Adama seeks his daughter’s avatar and embraces his inner Tauron.

High Points

This episode’s best points lie in potential, which may or may not be realized in future episodes. We have the twin mysteries of Sister Clarisse’s superiors and Gemenon’s secret destination. Nerdy comedian Patton Oswalt makes his debut as “Baxter Sarno,” a Caprican Jon Stewart/Bill O’Reilly. The character could really add to Caprica‘s satiric dimensions.

Low Points

Both acting and writing feel a bit stilted when compared with the earlier episodes. The teen characters have carried their story well in the past; they seem off-performance this week.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. The show clearly establishes its differences from the parent show. It does, more than ever, however, resemble an evening soap, with political/industrial intrigue. Increasingly, it seems that the Adama family will be integral to, not merely associated with, the key events of Galactica history.

Moore and company continue to examine critically the ways we react to terrorism.

Effects: 4/6. This week sees few effects: Caprica City, and minimal robo-movement. I applaud their decision to show Zoe’s reaction to her parents’ sex scene largely with Cylon eyes.

Story: 4/6 I find it difficult to assess the story, because the episode features plot threads more than a developed plot.

Acting: 4/6. See “Low Points”

Emotional Response: 4/6.

Production: 5/6. The show continues a tradition of strong production, but they clearly cut the budget a little this week.

Overall: 4/6. I anticipate TwistyHat’s reaction with dread (assuming he’s still watching).

In total, the “Reigns of a Waterfall” receives 29/42