When I saw the previews for this week’s episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I was pretty psyched: bits of Cameron’s past! I mean, future! Unfortunately, as is the way with previews, all the good stuff got jammed into the short, tightly edited package. The lengthier, full-episode version of this week’s tale didn’t fare nearly as well as its teaser.
By show’s end, John Connor finally seemed to comprehend what the majority of us figured out from Day One: he and Cameron should never, ever, ever be apart. What’s the point in protecting the future of mankind if you keep finding ways in which to split apart from each other? Given that Cromartie came this close to killing John the last time he gave his protector the slip, you’d think they’d be at the hip until at least sweeps. But noooo. We didn’t even hit the first commercial break before she was off getting chip-frieds near a stash of melons.
Her amnesia plot was cliched, but let’s be honest: it would have actually been more dramatically affective if it happened in the Connor’s custody. Imagine the possibility if either John, Sarah, or even Derek tried to snap her out of her crossed wires, or even allowed her to maintain that state in order to learn more information about her part in the future war to come. THAT is a helluva lot more interesting than a tame story involving a not-so-bad girl using Cameron for her own ends.
As for Cameron’s future: as expected, she had a tie to John Connor that stretched beyond mere reprogramming. Looks like this version of Terminator mythology borrowed a page from Battlestar: Galactica and created warring factions within the robotic race. Cameron’s Crew kidnapped a girl named Alison Young and brought her to their aircraft carrier prisoner, not to interrogate her so much as observe her. Looks like both John Connor and Cameron’s Crew admired Alison’s skill, tenacity, and mental skills. Cameron’s goal? To allow access to John Connor to discuss a mutually beneficial plan of action.
If this is all correct, then the Cameron we see in present day wasn’t so much programmed by John as self-taught, almost like J.O.S.H.U.A. in the movie Wargames. Not having a slavish adherence to Terminator mythology, I’ll let this new path emerge before casting judgement upon it. But this development also potentially casts new light on Catherine Weaver as well.
Last week, I theorized that Weaver might have an agenda different from Skynet. The disobedience of Cameron’s Crew further solidifies this theory, although it’s fair to say that Weaver might be more Agent Smith in The Matrix, happy to play Global Thermonuclear War only if it is the last robot standing. I think we’ll find that a new model of Terminator caused the plane crash described tonight (the mechanical failure described in the report), with both the original Weaver dying as well as her husband, with the Terminator taking her place for some as-yet unknown plot. Think Agent Ellison might help uncover it before all is lost? Maybe? Just maybe?
And let’s not even discuss waylaying Sarah for an entire episode, sitting at the bedside of her super-preggers landlady. I love me Busy Phillips, don’t get me wrong. And I understand the need to occasionally color “BAD ASS Sarah” with “Kindly Maternal Sarah,” but her inaction drove me up a wall. I am hoping the introduction of Kacy’s LAPD boyfriend is a setup towards a long-simmering “will they catch the Connors or not” storyline. Otherwise, her involvement in this ep was a bust.
So, not the best ep in the world. I blame the severe lack of Brian Austin Green, a statement I can’t even begin to believe I’m making non-ironically. But I mostly blame Sarah’s inertia, John’s boneheadedness, and an amnesia plot wasted on a character with whom we have no emotional connection. What should have been a chamber play instead turned into a meaningless, meandering mess.