Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah Connor Chronicles: We Should Be Paranoid

So, what have we learned?
Never criticize the boss, especially one who can morph into anything....and I mean anything.

"Samson and Delilah" opens season two of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, and its symbolism will become apparent. We pick up where season one left off, when Cameron started Sarah's car and set off a car bomb, put there by someone who claimed he has the Turk, a computer that's the prototype for Skynet. Cameron is unconscious but trying to reboot.
Sarah and John hear the explosion, but are attacked by the two guys who placed the bomb. While this is going on, we hear "Samson and Delilah", a song popularized by the Grateful Dead, but this time sung by the show's new Mean Girl, Shirley Manson of Garbage. Cameron stuggles to get out of the car, removes a chunk from the back of her head, and limps towards the house. She kills one of the bad guys and takes his gun, but a fire breaks out. When Cam finds John and Sarah, it looks like he killed the other guy. When she sees John, it looks like the explosion had changed her mission--to killing John Connor. When she's about to shoot him, an explosion breaks out and knocks her over. John and Sarah escape through a window, and speed away in a van.

What about Ellison, who meets Terminator Cromartie just after he killed 20 FBI agents? Cromartie decides to spare Ellison, hoping he'll lead him to Sarah and John. Later, paramedic and Sarah's ex-boyfriend Charley Dixon is at the scene. He and Ellison find the body of Sarkissian, the guy whose likeness Cromartie has taken. Dixon asks Ellison how Sarkissian could kill 20 FBI agents, while Ellison asks back if he'd believe it's actually a robot from the future. Like it or not, Ellison is now in the game.

In the van, Sarah asks John if he's OK. As she does, she hits another car, and they flee the scene. They're both injured but they have to keep moving because Cameron is chasing them. Dixon, meanwhile, is at the charred Connor house, and finds the bodies of the two guys who tried to kill Sarah. He also sees someone sneaked into the ambulance. It's Derek Reese, John's uncle. He lets Dixon in on what's at stake, and wonders if he wants to join the team. Dixon just wants to make sure Sarah and John are OK. Then he gets the call about the accident that John and Sarah were in.

We switch to the office of a high-tech firm called Zeira Corp, run by a high-powered executive played by Manson. She got the job because she's a fan of the Terminator movies, and it should be interesting how her character, Catherine Weaver, will fit in this drama. Anywho, she talks to a man who has something she wants...the Turk. She's willing to pay 300 grand for it, although he wonders why. Well, she's no "Stupid Girl", but we should be worried about a woman who is "Only Happy When It Rains." She then calls a meeting of the board to announce something big.

Cameron is still limping through town, looking for Sarah and John, but also a way to fix herself. She takes some baby wipes and staples herself together. Still, consider the situation: Sarah and John are being chased by a now-evil Terminator. Sarah has come full-circle. But now she and John need a place to hide. They find a church called "M. Jesus, el Salvador del Mundo", and ask for sanctuary. Too bad they're leaving a trail of blood for Cameron to follow.

Back at Zeira, Weaver has decided not to hide her Scottish accent, and thanks Mr. Walsh for delivering the Turk to her. She then goes into a strange monologue about how people "flow" at a particular direction at a particular speed, and how they're not so orderly when you look at them up close. As for computers, she adds, they're obedient to a fault, unless you find one that will "cross against the light". That, of course, is the Turk. Should we think she'll perfect SkyNet, and rule the world ...or is it worse than that?

At the church, Sarah and John struggle to talk about what has happened, and they have to face facts. Cameron has to be killed, now that she's gone Schwartzenegger on them. John agrily stabbing a table. Ellison, meanwhile, is put on six weeks paid leave by the FBI. He gets questioned by a supervisor who sounds look mich like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Cameron does find the church, and gazes at the statue of Jesus. She tells the priest she's looking for her family, and that it's "life or death". She then spots some blood, figuring it will lead her to Sarah and John. She heads to the baptism pool, where there's a clock radio at the bottom...and it's plugged in. John flicks a switch, and shorts Cameron out. He and Sarah try to take the chip out of Cameron, while the stunned priest looks on. They fail, and politely carjack someone. Then, they barrel through skid row and drive through a tunnel....blocked by Cameron. She hits the car as it speeds by, setting off a rollover accident.

John tries to stuggle out, but sees Sarah knocked out. She wakes up, and tells John to get away. She then tries to get out, but Cameron is standing over her. Cameron tells Sarah to call John back, even stepping on her wounds, but that doesn't work. He gets into a warehouse where he finds a large truck. As he's trying to hot-wire it, Cameron finds a wrench inside another truck. When she sees John in the other truck, she tosses the wrench at him. Suddenly. another truck zooms in, and traps Cameron in between the two trucks. Of course, the driver is Sarah.

This gives John the chance to remove the chip from Cameron, but she pleads with him not to do it. She keeps saying that she's good now because "she ran a test". Well, John would rather trust the Geek Squad or Nerd Herd to determine if Cam is pro-human. As she's begging for her life, she shocks everyone by telling John, and I'm not kidding, "I love you, John, and you love me." Sorry, Cam, it's the big sleep for you. Still, Summer Glau does a great job showing Cameron in her most human state yet. I would swear that she was crying when she begged for her life. Were those real tears, or WD-40? In any case, it's the most emotion she's shown so far this series.

Dixon and Derek catch up with John and Sarah, and about what has happened. The hard drive the two guys wanted is also charred. John blames himself for Cromartie killing those FBI agents, but Derek says it's really because people won't recognize the reality of the situation. He says Terminators, including Cameron, bring death with them. John says Cameron's different because "she saves my life." Then Sarah tells John they have to get rid of Cameron. Even though her chip was damaged in the blast, there's no reason to fix her. She also tells him that Cameron didn't mean it when she said she loved John because Terminators can't love. John knows this, but he's not happy over what they have to do.

So, they prepare a Terminator version of a Viking funeral. As John is about to set her on fire, he risks everything to give Cameron one last chance. He puts the chip in her, and she wakes up, asking John if he's there to kill her. He asks her if she's there to kill him. She says no, and we see in her head she's telling the truth. So, a test we can trust has been run, and she's pro-human...for now.

Back at the charred Connor house, Ellison is there with Cromartie. Ellison tells him he won't lead him to John and Sarah, calling it the "Devil's work". Cromartie just says "we'll see." Hmmmmmmm, does he know something we don't? And will that involve Miss Weaver?

We see her back at Zeira, telling her board that she needs people, including the A-I group, for a new project called Babylon. Tuck, the head of A-I, is upset he'll lose a lot of his staff. He asks her what Bablyon will do. She says "it's going to change the world". If it involves the Turk, she's right about that.

Back at the church, Sarah and Derek share a PBJ. She asks Cameron where John is, and she's says he's most likely in the shower. Then, she surprisingly asks Sarah about whether she believes in the Resurrection. Cameron says faith is not in her programming, while Sarah says it's not exactly in her programming, either. Cameron also tells Sarah that if she goes bad again, she shouldn't let John fix her. Sarah talks to John from outside the bathroom, and tells him that what has happened just happened, and at least they are alive. She then asks him if he's listening. He is, but he's also cut his hair short. He's dumping his Jonas Brothers look, and going for the bad-ass savior look. Sarah then tells John, "Happy Birthday"...since all this happened the same day as the first season finale, "What He Beheld". Sarah will know how appropriate her birthday wish really was.

Back at Zeira, Tuck and another guy talk about Weaver in the men's room, While Tuck is skeptical about her plans, the other guy says at least she's made the company grow. After the other guy leaves, Tuck says Miss Weaver "really pisses me off" as he uses a urinal. He should be careful saying stuff like that, because sooner or later, the boss will know. And she does....because she's disguised as the urinal. Yep, Weaver is a Terminator, model T-1000. Probably the sister to the Robert Patrick model from T2: Judgement Day...and maybe more advanced than Cameron. Maybe she's from a future where the Terminators try to change the future againt after Patrick wasn't so lucky.

In any case, Miss Weaver tells a stunned Tuck, "So I piss you off, Mr. Tuck?" She then points her finger at his head, and the finger turns into a retractable stiletto, stabbing his brain. "The feeling is mutual," she responds. Whoever dreamed up that ending, I salute you.
As a fan from Television Without Pity exclaimed, "I'll never look at a urinal the same way again."

But let's get back to John cutting his hair, and his declaration that he needs Cameron. Exactly how close were adult John and Cameron in the future? Well, his feelings for her has inspired him to do a Samson haircut that will increase his inner strength, rather than decrease it as it happened to the biblical Samson.

So here's where we stand: John, Sarah and Derek are still trying to stop SkyNet from being born, while Cromartie and Weaver want to make sure it will exist. Ellison, and maybe Dixon, will wind up in the middle. There's also word John will get a love interest that will make Sarah a little uncomfortable, but only because it's part of her journey to let John be his own man.

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