Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Motorcycle Maintenance

Sarno comes out in his little suit after the crowd's warmed up, and Daniel's popping pills and eyedrops backstage through the whole monologue, which is as realistic as it is stultifying. Patton Oswalt's been a good actor for a while now, but the stuttering improv lilt he gives his lines -- and later, in the actual conversation -- are breathtaking to watch. This character is an impossible mix of Leno and Stewart, this moralizing crank who's still brightly intellectual, and it's exciting but really hard to pull off. And he does it not only well, but makes him charming as hell in the process. I'm so impressed. He cracks a joke about the GDD raiding the studio because of a mixup -- "I was only bombing figuratively" -- and then invites Daniel out.

And of course Daniel freezes before heading onstage just long enough to miss Amanda's crazy ass showing up backstage screaming about the GDD raid and how this whole investigation and Team Graystone PR campaign are going wrong according to her, and how her experience with Duram proves that Daniel can't play this the way they planned, because it's personal on both sides which means admission of guilt won't help, but Team Graystone is like, "Too late!"

There's a staccato awkwardness to the opening conversation, and Daniel cracks a shitty joke ("My Solstice wish was for free publicity, probably should have been a little more specific") which impresses nobody, so brutally that Sarno throws him a bone: "I feel so much better about my monologue right now!" Daniel grabs a glass of water and Sarno warms them up again, joking that Daniel must be asking for something stronger than water, does he need some booze to get through this, and you can feel the studio relax, like the actual temperature in the room changes the more that Sarno alpha-dogs them to be nice to Daniel. It's electric. Every joke pushes them a little bit further back into their chairs -- you've seen Stewart do this a million times -- until the atmosphere is attained where an actual conversation can take place. Daniel even giggles at one point, is how good he's doing, and they finally start, under the hardcore gaze of both the GDD offices and the Adama household.

"Your wife has stated that your daughter, Zoƫ Graystone, was involved with terrorists and may have been been responsible for the bombing..." Daniel admits most of it, but will only say that she'd "fallen in" with the STO. He throws down the "troubled" word -- upsetting Amanda further -- and tries to change track to how the Matrix isn't evil, just like Team Graystone wanted, and Sarno goes right for the heart of that bullshit. "Let me just tell you what I see here. Uh, I see a lot of young people growing up in a virtual world right now..." Daniel tells Sarno he's heard the theory a million times, and Sarno's like, "Fine, let's talk facts." Daniel's "troubled" daughter grew up in a holoband society, which told her that there are absolutely no consequences to anything. Basically, the same Grand Theft Auto causes rape/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles causes ninja miscegenation bullshit we've been hearing our entire lives, whose only purpose is to let shitty parents off the hook for not parenting their shitty kids.

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