Episode ruined by what I imagine are Jane Espenson's add-ons.
The main story involving Joseph Adama and the two Graystone parents was very good. Maybe an 8.5.
However, so many things were poorly written, acted and cliche.
1. The talk show host is still a terrible idea and poorly acted by Patton Oswalt, who can't act!
2. Lacy's scenes at school with the kids harassing her were uninteresting. The boy who looked at her funny is a terrible actor! The scene in which she pinned him down and threatened to beat him up was ridiculous and uninteresting.
3. Sister Clarice continues to bore me, and using that Robotech-style voice for the ultra bad guy was cheesy. This seems a cheap way to avoid her character being blamed for anything. It's like they do on "Lost" by having some hierarchy of greater and greater "evil" as you go up the totem pole, so that when you explore a seemingly bad character, you find out they weren't that responsible, but that someone more important and more "evil" was influencing their actions.
It's poor writing because it's a moral cop-out. You don't have to go dark enough and examine real issues because the suspected character didn't actually do it. I feel they're doing that with Zoe. Instead of examining why a terrorist would do this through Ben (who is acted poorly as well!), they just avoid the issue because Zoe never intended to kill anyone. I'm not defending blowing up civilians, but I am saying that they should explore the mindset and potential political reasons that might make someone so angry. It's the same reason why we should examine why US soldiers committed atrocities in Vietnam (Mai Lai) or Iraq (Haditha) or the phenomenon of going Columbine. By the way, years ago there was a great documentary by Frontline called "Killer at Thurston High" that showed how much in pain the kid who shot his mother and schoolmates was.
4. I really liked the bald FBI-type guy, especially in the very good pilot, but here he's not interesting. And his female partner is cliche.
5. The scenes with William Adama hanging around the mafia guys was boring, as was the gay married couple scene. Just nothing to it.
6. Luciana Carro is not a very good actress and she shouldn't have been cast.
The good stuff again involved the Adama parents. It was kinda neat seeing Zoe pressure Lacy to help her, but it felt a bit uninteresting, dialogue-wise. I really liked the idea of Zoe implying that Adama's daughter was some kind of avatar her dad had sex with; very creepy. I really liked the scene between the judge and Adama. I loved the ending in which Adama shocked the heck out of me in wanting the female medical doctor Graystone killed.
I know Michael Angeli is an amazing writer and so is Ronald D. Moore, which makes me heavily suspect that Angeli's script was severely altered and Moore didn't bother to rewrite it. Espenson is ruining this show fast! And to be fair, Ron Moore didn't cast this thing very well or make very good artistic decisions.
7.7 out of 10
(I should emphasize that only the rarest of shows get 10 -- only the absolute best episodes of The X-Files ("Talitha Cumi", "Paper Hearts", "Redux II", etc.), Battlestar Galactica ("Pegasus","Lay Down Your Burdens", "Occupation"/"Precipice") and Deep Space Nine ("In the Pale Moonlight"). I would give the best story of The 4400 to date, "Terrible Swift Sword"/"Fifty Fifty," around 9.0, and I really loved that.)