I'm ordinarily pretty cynical, and unlikely to be touched by a show that is designed to tug on emotional heartstrings OK, I make exceptions for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Everwood but I just knew there was no way I would be moved by a show in which Jennifer Love Hewitt helps the deceased reunite with their loved ones. Boy, was I wrong. And I learned it the hard way when I watched a screener copy at work and found myself sniffling at the sweet old couple at the VFW and the stubborn son who never met his father and finally got to right before he had a child of his own. I'm weepy just thinking about it again. What's wrong with me? I did have some quibbles with the "scary" ghost appearances. I mean, honestly, a sickly Wentworth Miller randomly showing up on my doorstep in the middle of the night would be far from terrifying. OK, maybe that's just my opinion, but the whole poltergeist-y aspect seems like a silly ploy to get J.Love to walk around a half-built house in a skimpy nightgown. Aside from that, I suppose I'll reluctantly make room to watch this.... But it might become my personal quest just to see if I can make it through a week without giving in to the tears. Angel Cohn
When I heard that David S. Goyer was an executive producer of this CSI -The X-Files hybrid, I was pretty juiced. Although best known for Batman Begins and the Blade franchise, Goyer won my heart and mind by reviving (with James Robinson and the ubiquitous Geoff Johns) comics' first and greatest superteam, the almighty Justice Society (or JSA). As far as I'm concerned, anybody who can restore '40s titans like the Golden Age Green Lantern, Flash and Wildcat into 21st-century butt-kickers is definitely a marvel. Molly Anne Caffrey (Carla Gugino) could have used the help of all three superheroes to find a military-school cadet determined to spread the alien sonic virus. Gugino handles the team with a cool, human authority, and has the most sensual lips this side of Kelly LeBrock. There was a chilling Children of the Corn aspect to Molly's collision with those boys in the library, who cut her off with the creepy precision of British redcoats. (Good thing Molly turned on the indoor sprinklers dampness becomes her.) Nice to see Brent Spiner as the team's prickly physician, Nigel Fenway, though he'll no doubt be haunted by the ghost of Data until his dying day. (Hey, as typecasting goes, it beats Gilligan, or a Brady.) Too bad the Mexican standoff in the school's tunnels at the climax was right out of Taps. Back at HQ, Charles S. Dutton's Blaylock was righteously flaunting due process. His interrogation of the pilot was completely uncontaminated by Miranda but, as we all know, this is a paranoid new world. Like Atlantis' Lieutenant Ford, Blaylock is great liar the story he gave the infected cadet's father (that the boy died trying to save others from a fire) was delivered with such gravity you wanted to believe it, even though you knew it was BS. In fact, I thought Molly had killed the kid until they met face-to-face in a brick holding chamber that looked like Hannibal Lecter's cell. Threshold has the elements of a sleeper, but it already suffers from the glut of CSI-type series, of which there are already far too many on the Eye. GJ Donnelly
OK, want to know the difference between this show and other, more typical, sci-fi fare? It's the little, human moments. Like when Galactica makes contact with the Pegasus after all this time thinking they were the only Battlestar left. There's real emotional resonance amid the dry protocol, and that's the type of thing Galactica does best. "It's like a dream," Apollo says. "It is a dream," his father answers. And played like a good one, particularly during the emotional first meeting between the crews of the two ships, before it rapidly went bad. Michelle Forbes' Admiral Cain outranks Adama, giving her control of the whole fleet, and the crew of the Pegasus wasted no time in alienating their Galactica counterparts, all the way to Cain transferring Apollo and Starbuck to her ship.
But on to the disturbing parts: the nearly catatonic Number Six copy being held on the Pegasus, and the awful and disturbing near-rape scene where the chief kills the Pegasus interrogator. A nice counterpoint: Baltar's speech to the abused Number Six copy. And the moment when Adama hears that Cain's going to execute the chief and Helo, decides he's had enough and launches ships toward the Pegasus. "Admiral, this will spiral out of control fast," her XO tells her as she launches her own, just as... oh, you're kidding me. This episode was moving so fast I didn't even realize it's been an hour, and I ran smack into the cliff-hanger. Another good season, folks. I'll sure as frack be here for the next round. (Oh, man, I'm due for a serious wedgie for being that geeky. And rightly so.) Michael Peck!-->!-->!-->