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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Pilot & Gnothi Seauton

Posted by BenSpark on January 16, 2008

I couldn’t get a review up between the pilot and the second episode over the two day premiere ‘event’. I’m sorry but FOX uses the word ‘event’ for every since show and episode they air. I hat FOX, they will squash this show because I like it. They always do that. Here is the link for the episodes online.

I really shouldn’t get my hopes up for this show to continue because it is on FOX, which means F!#!@# Up anOther eXcellent Show. Yeah, I’m not so good with acronyms. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a show with promise. For one thing there is a fan base from the Terminator movies, there is a mythos behind the characters that can pull in existing fans and make new fans want to learn more. Lena Headey and Summer Glau are attractive and they can act well. So this show has a lot going for it. That and it is full of action.

The Pilot:
In the pilot episode we see Sarah and John in 1999 under the name of Reese instead of Connor. They have been hiding out for the past two years. Sarah is being pursued for the death (murder) of Miles Bennett Dyson (a role done by Joe Morton of Eureka). Right off the bat the show pulls you back to the end of Judgment Day. A road at night with a voiceover by Sarah Connor. Then we get into a dream where a terminator attacks and kills john and then blows up his school.

Sarah awakens with a start and her boyfriend Charley Dixon is there to comfort her and also propose. Not the best time for a proposal I would think. But hey we have to see this so we see Sarah take off on him. We are not sure but we think that Charley is played by the brother of Denis Leary’s character on Rescue Me. But we could be wrong.

Sarah and John up and leave. John goes to a new school and is befriended by a mysterious young woman named Cameron (yeah a nod to the awesome James Cameron of movies 1 & 2). Cameron and John spend some awkward moments together and on the next day a sub is in school. His name is Cromartie. As he takes role call he also takes a pen off the desk and jams it into his leg and extracts a gun. So the Terminators have found a way to go back in time and be armed. In case you didn’t know, nothing metal can go back with you, just organic matter, that is why they always arrive naked. But the machines have gotten smarter and under their organic skin they have hidden weapons.

Cromartie attempts to kill John when his name is called and then pursues him out a window. Meanwhile Cameron attempts to help John and is flung across the room. She shows up later to deliver the line that is a throw back to the movie. “Come with me if you want to live”. She saves John and they head off and pick up Sarah. Cameron explains that she has been sent back to protect John. And then they head off to a bank where future rebels have left a weapon capable of stopping a terminator as well as a time travel device. All three jump 7 years into the future to 2007. I would have thought they would have jumped 9 to 2008 and also been able to add and say that from 1999 to 2007 was 8 years but I digress.

So in addition to the trauma of time jumping the three end up naked in the middle of some highway. Of course someone snaps their photos with camera phones. So I would think that they are no longer anonymous in the future, something that they were attempting to be. Thus ends the pilot.

Episode 2 – Know Yourself.

John, Sarah and Cameron are now in the future. Time to get some clothes. Cameron assaults a car full of idiot frat boys and thus they have new clothes and possibily a car. But apparently they were not the only things that came through the time portal. the decapitated head of Cromartie comes through as well. Wait a minute, I thought only organic material can pass through time. The head was clearly metal when it came through. So much for canon to the movies.

Eventually some road side worker finds the head and brings it home. Bad idea. Eventually the system reboots itself and Cromartie’s head activates. IT send a signal to the body, which happens to be at a scrap yard. So, no one in the government picked up the body at the bank vault and if it had skin on it why was it put in a scrap heap instead of buried or cremated? Either way it spells big trouble for many of the people in 2007.

Meanwhile Cameron explains that John has send resistance fighters through time to help them. She and Sarah go off to the seedy side of town to meet up with them for some new documents and id. But someone got their first and killed 3 of the 4 fighters. IT is another terminator. This one tussles with Cameron and they end up falling out a window or jumping, either way they get to the ground fast. Sarah grabs a discarded gun and chases after them commandeers a motorcycle and sends it right into the new Terminator. Cameron catches up just in time to be hit by a car. With head through the windshield she looks up, says, “Don’t be alarmed” and stalks off after the other Terminator.

Also we find out what happened to Enrique, an old boyfriend of Sarah’s. Sarah and Cameron go to him for new IDs as the resistance fighters are all dead, except for the one that is missing. Enrique is no longer in the business but his young nephew is. So Sarah and Cameron go in search of him. Carlos is savvy and demands $20,000.00 from them so it is back to the hideout of the resistance fighter’s because there should also have been cash and other items that could help Sarah and John.

So in the end Cameron kills Enrique because he is a rat. This appalls Sarah and she wold not have done that because they did not really know he was a rat. We find out that he was a rat and now the FBI is on their trail.

What I like about this series.
Many items of movie canon are present.

  • Dogs sense and bark at Terminators
  • “Come with me if you want to live.”
  • John ‘Reese’
  • Enrique
  • Time travel
  • Mimicking voices (‘Neat Trick!’)
  • Miles Dyson connection
  • Cameron has to obey John (but not the John of the 1999-2007 time jump, very cool moment)

Breaking the canon

  • How did the terminator head go through time? Organic matter only.
  • John isn’t too bright with computers and knows nothing about clearing histories, he was jacking atms in Judgement Day and he reprograms Terminators, I would think he could figure out how to use a search engine.
  • John not exactly swift on the uptake. Believe me I did not like Edward Furlong’s take on John but eventually he smartened up
  • It looks like Cameron is natural and comfortable around humans most of the time and then when she needs to be the fish out of water she looks like a fish out of water.

It seems like the big mystery will be how skynet came to be after the events of Judgment Day. The show tosses out the 3rd movie and while there is no Arnold in the show it is still pretty freaking sweet!

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