I’m looking to do an episode-by-episode blog of one of the shows premiering this fall, but I’ve not yet decided which, so I’ll try doing so with each of the premieres and see which feels the best. I’ve never tried to do this sort of thing before. I’ll be learning as I go, so bear with me, if anyone’s actually reading this. For the first, the second season premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. There WILL be unmarked spoilers.
My mental state:
I’ve been borderline on this show since it began, torn between my desire to see the expanded back story (or future-story) that it promises to reveal and my inability to find the actual storytelling or characters compelling a majority of the time.
Thoughts while watching:
The very beginning is reminiscent of the end of the first season finale what with the semi-slo-mo and music. It feels like it’s trying too hard to recreate that, but maybe it’s just me. Then again, I didn’t like it the first time, either. On the other hand, this SHOWS what’s going on instead of having it happen all off-screen for an extended period of time. (I suspect they just couldn’t come up with a reason for Cromartie to kill everyone and throw them into the pool, so they just did it off-screen and got “artistic.”) THIS, however, just goes on too long while showing us everything. “Yes, episode, you’re very smart. Shut up.”
Cameron looks pretty unscorched for just having been in an exploding car. And an exploding house. Perhaps Skynet adds a little asbestos to the human flesh terminator coverings now.
For some reason Cameron needs Sarah to call to John. It’s odd how they keep doing this (happened in T2, too) after showing us that terminators can imitate voices easily enough.
I’m noticing that Cameron continues flip between being be less able and more able to pass for human than the T-800, as she has during the entire series. In her defense, she is a little scrambled right now, I suppose. But then she’s back to being all convincingly emotional when she’s smashed between the trucks. So hmm. I guess it’s dependent on the needs of the script.
John’s cut off his hair, going back to the Samson and Delilah theme. If Cameron’s secret plan is not to kill John but instead to make him emotionally attached to her and weaken him thusly, I shall be very put out.
It was average, with much of it just being an extended chase scene. I have to admit the surprise at the end with the G-1000 (that’s the lead singer of Garbage crossed with the T-1000, though a friend of mine just wanted to call her Dick Jones after this scene) was pretty darned high on the cool factor. Not sure if they’ll ever explain why there’s a second prototype, but I guess the timeline’s been mucked around with so much that it’s not a detail to worry about.
John’s an idiot for putting the chip back in, of course. He’s clearly still having issues from dropping Daddy Terminator in the molten iron in T2. Call me crazy, but giving a gun to a terminator only moments (from her perspective) after she tried to throw a wrench through his head just isn’t the best idea. If being blown up can flip her from good to evil, and being hit by a truck can flip her back, do you REALLY want her walking around with you, John? What if you accidentally bump into her in the hall or sneeze in the wrong direction? All back to evil! I can understand John doing this. It makes sense for his character, but I can’t understand Sarah not trying to stop him.
So…meh. The characters still continue to bug me, being as foolish or intelligent as the writers need at the time. I’ve never cut the writers much slack in this show, and that cynical attitude may be why I can’t seem to get into it very much. It’s possible I’m still stuck on something that’s bugged me for the entire run of the show: the dual question of just what sort of terminator Cameron is (we know she’s “special,” but have been given few details) and, more importantly, why she refuses to say. Her refusal magnifies the mystery, and yet it’s now the beginning of the second season and we’ve gotten no progression on this. You can only string the audience along on a mystery so far before you have to pay it off, at least partially, and they’ve strung us along so far on this one that I’m now thinking that a bit of intrigue that got me to watch before was just some gimmick of audience manipulation that they had no idea what to do with.
“Hmm, how can we make it more mysterious? People love mysterious, look how well Lost is doing!”
“Uhh, how about we have her refuse to give details about herself?”
“Ooh, that’s GREAT! I love it! Why doesn’t she give details?”
“What, are you writing a book? Who cares? It’s cool!”
So I guess we’ll see. Bit of a jumbled mess, this blog, but hey, I’m still getting my recap-legs. I don’t know that I like Sarah Connor Chronicles enough to do this every week, though…
Michael G. Munz