Shakespeare once said, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” John Connor is years away from even seeing the crown (and when he does, it’ll be made of tattered, twisted metal), but everyone around him, to paraphrase Chuck D, has got him like Jesus. Not in the crucified sense but in that his life is not his own, and never was. He’s meant for great things, and he needs to appreciate the sacrifice people are making for him in the past, present and future. They’ve made this point in nearly every episode, but tonight’s episode marks the first time that I felt sorry for John Connor.

I do not, however, feel sorry for Sarah Connor. For someone who’s trying to keep a low profile, perhaps she should refrain from kidnapping small children, even if she saves their lives in the process. I get why she did it: two other Sarah Connors died before the T-888 locked on to her, so her survivor’s guilt kicked in when they discovered that Martin Bedell (but not the Martin Bedell) is brutally murdered. So she saves the life of grade schooler Marty Bedell – and even helped him with his book report – while this week’s time-traveling killing machine abandons his mission to kill young Marty in order to acquire the actual Martin Bedell, a military school student that would go on to become one of John’s most valued fighters…and would ultimately die for him. But more on that later.

“Hey, you don’t know me, but years from now, you’re gonna die for me. Are you cool with that?”

Sarah and Cameron didn’t use aliases. Their extraction of Marty was in broad daylight, and involved the point-blank shooting of the Terminator, which of course got up and continued to pursue them. Someone, somewhere on that street, saw something. How many public disturbances is the Connor posse going to make before they wind up in the slammer?

We only get one Weaver/Ellison moment – more strategic speak that goes over Ellison’s head about the significance of the power plant – but at least we get to see Catherine use her abilities again, “Dream Warriors”-style. You just know, from the moment they cast Shirley Manson as the T-1000, that they scripted a death-by-liquid-metal-tongue scene shortly afterward. The producers would be wise to spend future money in a similar fashion.

It was hilarious how easy it was for Derek and John to walk onto the campus of a military school and receive lodging – and employment! – with no trouble. Who’s running this school, Clancy Wiggum? (“Hey, I told you, you don’t get a gun until you tell me your name!”) They tried to write in a bit about how tenuous the future really is – Bedell wants to drop out of the academy for a girl on the east coast – but they end the episode by giving Bedell a glimpse of the future by having him assist in the destruction of the Terminator assigned to kill him. Bedell takes his newfound importance seriously enough to stay in school, but it had me wondering: if Future John had asked Future Bedell if he remembered meeting him and Derek in military school, what would his answer have been? Was that event always a part of his life – and would Bedell have chosen this path if he knew the fate that awaited him, hence this blog’s Tears for Fears-cribbing title – or have John and Derek stepped on a butterfly in order to maintain the future, only to create a different kind of hurricane? That’s this show’s Achilles heel, I suppose: they’re trading one post-apocalyptic nightmare for another from week to week, but one in which the machines always win.

One last thought: the machines have to know that the resistance is never going to send John back in time, since he’ll be unable to lead the fight for the future. So why are the machines bothering to try and snuff these future resistance fighters during Connor’s teen years? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to just kill their mothers while they’re still carrying these fighters before John, Sarah and Derek have a chance to save them? Or am I not playing by the rules? Sorry about that.