“Very little is real these days.”

The plot, as before, unfolds at quite a slow rate, but this episode manages suspense, world-building, strong character, and remarkable cultural insight.

Title: “Gravedancing”

Cast and Crew

Written by Jane Espenson, Ronald D. Moore, Rene Aubuchon

Directed by Ronald D. Moore

Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone
Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone
Sasha Roiz as Sam Adama
Esai Morales as Joseph Adama
Allesandra Torresani as Zoe
Magda Apanowicz as Lacy Rand
Polly Walker as Sister Clarice Willow
Patton Oswalt as Baxter Sarno
Sina Najafi as Bill Adama
Hiro Kanagawa as Cyrus Xander

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

The Graystones go on the popular Baxter Sarno show to plead their case, Sister Clarice awakes from a really good Con party from her bed to learn the school will be raided, the police continue to behave with mixed motives, Joseph Adama wrestles with his decision to seek revenge, and Zoe/Cylon/Avatar tries to find her place. Meanwhile, Lacy pursues her twin goals: passage to Gemenon and a relationship with the soldiers, while Bill finds himself on the horns of a dilemma: is he Tauron or Caprican?

High Point

The series returns to what is has been doing so well: characters in a fascinated world, not quite ours, whose stories raise relevant questions. Without seeming pompous or didactic, Caprica addresses the connection between religious beliefs and society, responses to terrorism and crime, concerns about rights and privacy, and the influence of media and image-making. We live in a society where everything is image-managed yet privacy about our supposed real lives is often lacking.

Low Points

I find it unbelievable that one of the most controversial public figures on Caprica, shortly after being assaulted, would leave the studio without any kind of security in the company of a driver whose credentials she does not check.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. The story concerns movie-style mobsters, Cylon origins, and the forces that breed terrorism.

Effects: 6/6. The Zoe/Cylon effects continue to be impressive, even if, this week, the scenes exist mainly to remind us she’s part of the story. What this episode delivers are views of Caprica City, a strange blend of real-world Vancouver and some artist’s fantasy, fed by Art Deco and other bits of history.

Story: 5/6. The story moves slowly. We get a good deal of suspense, though much of it comes to nothing. Nevertheless, I’ve regained the interest that the previous episode lost.

Acting: 5/6. Sasha Roiz and Patton Oswalt stand out in their roles. Allesandra Torresani does well during her brief examination. Perhaps most remarkable this week are the actors who portray the Graystones, here portraying their characters portraying themselves on a television talk show.

Emotional Response: 5/6.

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 5/6. The little fannish moments were amusing without being particularly distracting; even Galactica tripped on this point once or twice.

They have many storylines with significant potential and characters with conflicted motives. I wonder if the show would be more enjoyable if we saw more of fewer plots each week? Without question, Caprica will work better when it can be viewed as a season. I just wish that, like The Sopranos, say, we would see a clearer plot or overall shape each week. Series television can balance the story arc with the episode.

In total, the “Gravedancing” receives 35/42

Coming Attractions

The previews really make the next ep look like a movie-of-the-week on the dangers of videogames and the internet. I trust the reality will rise above that.