Tag: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles blog (Page 1 of 3)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.13 – In this world, we’ve got to find the time for the (death) of Riley

So this is how the second season of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” was supposed to end.

It’s the 13th episode, which is all they were originally supposed to make when the season began. And this is how they were going to end it…with three episodes that practically stood still. The episode fades to black with Sarah passing out from a gunshot wound, but then they follow it with scenes from the show’s second half (it relaunches in February), and we see that Sarah is very much alive. Exactly how she’s alive, I’m not sure, since she went into that warehouse by herself and didn’t tell anyone where she was. It reminds me of something someone said to my wife when she was trying to carry a bunch of luggage through the London tube station by herself: “You are either very brave, or very foolish.” Sarah’s tough, but this was just dumb.

We finally get Riley’s back story, and man, what a disappointment that was. She goes from feral street rat in the future, to undercover mark assigned to seduce John Connor, in what seems like a matter of weeks. I can see why Jesse would choose someone that doesn’t fight for the resistance (thus making it less likely any fellow Resistance members would recognize her), but surely there was someone more appropriate for the job, right? And would Riley really go from having doubts about the assignment to committing suicide in John’s bathroom? Really? We all knew that Riley was going to die sooner or later, but suicide? That’s just lazy. I would rather have seen Riley try to confess everything to John, only to have Jesse kill her before Riley could rat her out. It’s cliche, but that would have been much more tragic. As it is, John’s only take-away from this is, “Man, that Riley was a crazy bitch.” Methinks the Future John is now even more into Cameron than he was when Jesse and Riley traveled back in time in the first place.

“Hi, I’m a slightly unstable, combat-ready paranoid who sees these three dots everywhere. Oh, and I’m going to get you killed before all is said and done.”

Sarah, meanwhile, is hanging out with a cross-dressing Man Who Knows Too Much, in a blind pursuit of the three dots. She finishes her quest, of course, but not before getting both the cross-dresser and the hypno-therapist she recruits to open his mind killed in the process. Wouldn’t you have thought, after the first attempt on their lives at his/her storage facility, that Sarah would have realized that taking Abraham into the city was not a good idea? Nope. Instead, she brings him back for an “emergency” session with the clearly busy therapist. Who does that? “Excuse me, I need you to fix my car.” “Well, we’re very busy, so you’ll have to make an appointment.” “Nope. It’s an emergency.” “You heard the man, get these cars out of here and get to work on his problem.” Uh, sure.

Ellison and Cromartie/John Henry finally return, and while it has the makings of an interesting dynamic, I’ll stop short of saying that thie will actually lead to something interesting. This show has been nothing but missed opportunities, so there is no guarantee they will follow through on this one. Still, they did hint in the previews that John Henry eventually figures out that Catherine is a machine, which means that Ellison’s concern that John Henry will grow far too powerful to be controlled may will indeed come to fruition. Speaking of Catherine, she had the episode’s best line: “Cows are more powerful than humans, but I’d still rather be the farmer with the rifle.” Curious choice of phrasing, since you could argue that in her mind, we’re the cows, and she’s the farmer with the rifle. However, if the show doesn’t get its ass in gear in February, “Terminator” will be the cow, and Fox will be the farmer with the rifle.

Reports indicate that when Fox brings back “Terminator” in February, it will be moved to the Kevorkian death slot of Friday night. If that is indeed the case, this will likely serve as my last blog on the show. Thanks to everyone who read my rants (quickest way to hate a show: start blogging about it), and here’s hoping that the producers of the show finally get it right in the new year.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.12 – Sydney saved my life tonight, sugar bear

Remember the scene in “Animal House” where Pinto takes the checkout girl to the Delta Tau Chi toga party? She gets drunk, they fool around, and then she passes out right when Pinto reaches under her bra and realizes she’s artificially padded her rack with a bunch of tissue?

“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is the checkout girl.

The last two shows have been nothing but padding. Enough, already. If you have a story to tell, then tell it; please don’t waste our time with these episodes that completely ignore half of the cast to focus on people who will not likely be seen or heard from again. Yes, Terminators are coming back to kill people besides John, we get it. You’ve made that abundantly clear. Now for the love of Jebus, start pushing your story forward. If we’ve hung in there this long, I think we’re entitled to some kind of payoff. Lord knows, we’ve been patient.

Outside of showing “When Derek Met Jesse” in the future, the only important takeaway from this week’s episode is that John Connor is not the only savior of the resistance in the future. John might lead the resistance, but a girl named Sydney – still in the womb when tonight’s episode begins – gives the humans a huge advantage when she turns out to be immune to a biological agent the machines use to wipe out a compound. Derek and Jesse save Sydney in the future, and then her blood saves them both from dying from the virus. Cut to our present, where Derek is helping Sydney’s mother deliver her before she dies, and realizing that Sydney’s sister Lauren is the one who gave him the antidote. Sweet and surreal, yes?

And completely pointless, in the current economic climate. If the story arc at season’s end hasn’t given up a little sumpin’ sumpin’, they’re getting canned, and they’ll have no one but themselves to blame for being so prudish on the front end. Sorry, but that’s just the way society works these days. Blame Lindsay Lohan.

In fairness to the uber-conservative show runners, there is another takeaway from this episode: Cameron gets the bejeezus kicked out of her by the Triple-8 assigned to kill Sydney, and is even knocked “unconscious” at one point. They’re setting up that ‘faulty chip’ plot device, to be sure. God help them, then, if they do nothing with it in next week’s final episode of the year.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.11 – Baby, the stars shine bright

Sarah’s not nuts after all. Well, let’s qualify that: she may very well be nuts, but she’s not nuts about the three dots, as a lengthy flashback episode – gin joints! The Charleston! Twenty-three skidoo! – explained that the machines use three particular stars in relation to the other stars around them as a means of telling time…in years. Very valuable information to us now, but couldn’t Cameron have figured that out before Sarah decided to get medieval on the bathroom mirror? Just a thought.

Tonight’s episode reveals that Cameron has been spending her sleepless nights (cyborgs, apparently, do not dream of electric sheep) at the Hall of Records, reading up on…oh, who the hell knows. One night she stumbles upon a picture from a speakeasy fire in 1920…and she recognizes someone. Soon she’s researching the written history of a man who built a real estate empire from nothing – while another real estate baron suffered a suspicious string of bad luck at the same time, including the death of his son in the speakeasy fire – only to disappear completely in 1925. Where did he go, and why would he erect a building in the name of his rival’s dead son? Cameron knows, but can’t tell. She visits the building, given landmark status and due for reopening in 2010, and finds her man, behind a wall…with a Tommy gun. Nice!

Of course, she kills him, and as far as we know, she leaves the body, which is just nuts. N-V-T-S nuts.

Gotta be a bad girl in this world.
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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.10 – I am trying to break your heart

It’s one of those moves that we felt like we should have seen coming, though we had no way of knowing, because the writers were holding all the cards. And what few cards they played before tonight’s Big Reveal were blatant misdirections that make no sense in retrospect. You know, kind of like a “Saw” movie.

Jesse finally, allegedly, comes clean to Derek. She claims to be working for the resistance to keep John on the righteous path; Future John is apparently getting too close to Cameron, and behaving erratically. Jesse’s mission: seduce Present John into taking out Cameron with live bait…live bait named Riley. Of course. That’s why we never her saw her family before now – so we wouldn’t know she was a “foster child.” Pretty sneaky, sis.

Credit must be given to genius “Terminator” commenter Eddie Offerman – seriously, read his blog on transform matrices, it’ll make your head spin – who laid out his “splintered universe” theory of time travel as an explanation for Reese not remembering Charles Fischer while Jesse did. I wasn’t convinced at first (I’m a fan of Occam’s Razor, myself), but after Jesse’s comments to Derek this week, it makes sense. Take Cameron out in the past, and get your savior back. This assumes, of course, that Jesse is telling the truth about anything, which is a bet that I’m reluctant to take at the moment.

“Hey robot, is it possible to get a blood stain out of silk?”

But now I have a new question: if Jesse and Riley’s mission is successful, what happens when Future John meets Allison, the girl that the machines duplicated and then killed to create Cameron in the first place? Personally, I’m betting that Future John locks her away the second he meets her so that she never gets caught, since she would literally be his lost childhood in the flesh. Man, what kind of splinter in time would that create, and wouldn’t that screw up Future John even worse than having Cameron around? Also, what happens to the people in the future when one of their own is sent back to change an event? How is reality altered for them? Will John just suddenly start acting differently right before their eyes? Would Future Cameron disappear if she’s terminated in our time? Help us, Obi Wan Ken-Eddie. You’re our only hope.

I’m suddenly thinking of the episode where the Connors were robbed, and it was because Riley forgot to set the alarm. Did she really forget, or was that by design? Will they even make a mention of that incident once John discovers who she really is? And if Jesse is really still working for the resistance, then I’m still perplexed why Jesse killed Future Charlie last week instead of Present Charlie. She could have undone all kinds of hurt by letting Derek kill Present Charlie (or as my wife calls him, Warren, from his days on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) while he was young. She put on this big dog and pony show for Derek by kidnapping both Charlies, but in the end it looks as though she was protecting a bad guy. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, in Weaverville, our child psychiatrist is found dead after Babylon, renamed John Henry by Dr. Sherman, needed the alternate power during a blackout and inadvertently killed him. To me, Ellison’s comment that “something killed Dr. Sherman but it wasn’t John Henry” could be taken two ways. The obvious answer is that he meant that John Henry just wasn’t properly coded with ethics and morals – best line in the episode: “It runs on commands. Start with the first ten.” – but with the way that Catherine was detailing Dr. Sherman’s death as Ellison was watching the video, I couldn’t help but think that the lady doth protest too much. Maybe the camera footage is bogus, and Catherine killed him with her magic tongue of death, who knows. The important takeaway from Weaverville is that a resurrected Cromartie is now the spokesperson for John Henry. That’s just all kinds of wrong, right there.

Oh, one other thing: Sarah is losing her mind down a paranoid, “Beautiful Mind”-type rabbit hole. Do the three dots mean something, or were they just the last act of a man who was bleeding to death? The Connor’s bathroom mirror hopes they find the answer to that one sooner than later. And God only knows what Sarah would do to Riley if she were to discover Riley’s true intentions while in this “heightened” state. I’m not 100% sure how she’d react, but I’m betting it would look an awful lot like a “Saw” movie.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.9 – Pleased to meet me

Is it wrong of me to think Sarah Connor’s doomsday nightmares are awesome? Seriously, is there anything cooler than a T-1000 cactus? Or Cameron breast-feeding a tortoise? If that is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.

As the producers of the show continue to treat the story arc like their private garden, planting seeds here and there – Cameron’s constant talk about her sensory perception, Sarah’s walking nightmares – they used this week’s main plot to explore two concepts of time travel that I’m not sure can peacefully coexist. Jesse captures a “Gray” (machine-assisting human) named Charles Fischer (Richard Schiff in a bit of inspired casting), but Derek doesn’t remember him. Jesse explains the relentless interrogation techniques Fischer used on his prisoners, and finally makes the big reveal that, dunt dunt duuuuuuunh, she knows this because Fischer used those techniques on Derek in the future, and Derek told her all about it.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

“All right, tell me right now what it’s like to win an Emmy. Tell me, damn it!”

Derek seems to think that the reason he doesn’t remember this is because the future she left behind is now different than the one he left behind, and he attributes the change to the various things he’s done in the present to undo Skynet’s evil scheme. It’s an interesting concept, but riddled with holes – does this mean his memory is just randomly erased when the future changes? – and leads me to think that there are two, far more likely explanations: either Derek has blocked the memory as a defense mechanism – Fischer did admit shortly before Jesse killed him that he knew who Derek was, and wondered how Derek didn’t recognize him – or Jesse is lying. Actually, both could be true.

Now here’s the part I’m having a reeeeeeeeaally hard time with. Future Fischer breaks into Present Fischer’s place of work and does all kinds of nasty computer stuff that lands Present Fischer in the slammer. Future Fischer explains, like some sufferer of Stockholm Syndrome, that he never would have survived Judgment Day had he not been in prison when it happened, implying that it is the return of Future Fischer that puts Present Fischer on the path to that prison cell to begin with. But is that even possible? The Connors change people’s futures all the time, but only certain aspects of it; the rest is still up to the individuals. Can someone travel back in time and put himself on the path to evil? And while we’re talking about the case against Present Fischer, are there no security cameras at this supposedly data-sensitive company where he works? Jeesh.

One last stating-the-obvious story problem this week: how the hell did John and Cameron not think to check Ellison’s trunk when they were looking for Cromartie? Heck, they didn’t even need to knock on the door. Just pop the trunk, take the body, and go. Surely Cameron would have thought of that, right? Sigh. I hate it when characters do everything but the one thing they’re most likely to do in real life.

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