Sure, it was another episode light on action and logic – but heavy on nicely realized post-apocalyptic green screens – but at long last, the show’s creators delve into Cameron’s origins, and they are interesting, indeed. Cameron, it turns out, is modeled after Allison Young, one of John’s favorite resistance fighters in the future. She’s caught by the machines and interrogated at length and in depth. After a failed escape attempt – she’s lucky she survived the jump off the aircraft carrier deck, never mind actually getting away from the machines – she discovers that her interrogator is an infiltrator Terminator that…wait for it…looks just like her. The machine was just picking Allison’s brain so she could do a convincing job of being Allison when she hit their camp and took them out.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, it looks as though Cameron’s chip is getting a little twitchy again, because after looking at a helium balloon, she goes blank – with no idea who she is and no ID to confirm her identity. She does, though, have a lot of cash, which attracts the eye of a opportunistic leech named Jody, who takes Allison – Cameron hasn’t yet remembered that she’s a machine – under her wing. The two check into a shelter for a couple days, though the catch is that they must submit to therapy. Allison is a virtual tabula rasa in her first meeting, but before long remembers what she is and vows to put John Connor’s head on a stake. The shrink, as she conveniently pointed out in their first session, must contact the authorities when someone speaks of harming another, but more on that later.


“Scout’s honor, if I had any idea you were a killing machine from the future, I totally wouldn’t have lied to you like that.”

Catherine T-1000 Weaver, meanwhile, is slowly luring Agent Ellison into her web, though the endgame on this one seems a bit fuzzy. Since she’s already a more advanced model of Terminator than the one she’s recruiting Ellison to hunt down, why would she care about Cromartie? Is there an edge that the machines would get by replacing Catherine Weaver with not just any old Terminator but a liquid metal badass? I’m still unsure how Catherine was able to convince Ellison to sign on, especially after her clumsy speech about the death of the original Catherine’s husband, and Machine Catherine’s clear hatred for all things human, but maybe it’s one of those Austin Powers things where Basil Exposition just tells us to go along with it, so we do. Ugh.

By episode’s end – there is a Sarah subplot, but the only worthy note to it is that she discovers that Casey’s baby daddy is a cop, while Derek is nowhere to be found – Cameron realizes once again that she’s a killing machine, though she does not, curiously, put John’s head on a stake like she boldly declared to the therapist. One POV shot of Cameron looking at John, with the machine processing what it should do once she sees him, would have done the trick here. Instead, it looks like a huge oversight. Sigh.

Back to Allison Young for a second: we now know why future John Connor is so enamored and protective of Allisonbot – we have to assume that an episode dedicated to Future John’s relationship with the real Allison is forthcoming – but which came first, Future John’s love for Allison, or Present John’s love for Cameron? After all, as Robert DeNiro once said, the future isn’t what it used to be. Present John originally doesn’t meet Allison for another 15 years or so; now, however, he meets her when they’re both the same age, not when he’s 16 years his senior. Which event produced the other? Is this a chicken-egg dilemma, or a dirty old man’s fantasy come screaming to life? Only time will tell, it appears, but I’m officially putting the over/under on John and Cameron getting it on at four episodes. Any takers?