The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Episode 1 & 2

“The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is a television series that supposedly takes place between the second Terminator while setting the stage for the fourth Terminator movie. The series starts in 1999 with Sarah and John Connor living in relative peace in obscurity while trying to avoid capture from their actions in “Terminator 2”. Both Sarah and John appear optimistic about the future with Sarah engaged to a local while John lives a typical awkward life as a teenager readjusting to normalcy in high school. There he meets a nice girl who tries befriending him yet things turn for the worse when a T-888 terminator tries to kill John while posing as a substitute teacher. The girl, going as Cameron Philips, saves the day and exposes herself as a Terminator programmed to protect the Connors. A race against time begins with a FBI agent close on the trail of the Connors and the T-888 after them.

Cameron brings Sarah and John to a bank which actually houses a time machine in the safe built by a sleeper resistance fighter. Cameron later informs the duo that there are dozens of sleeper agents planted across the past in the hopes of better preparing for Judgment Day and with the resources to assist them in the fight. As the T-888 closes in on the trio, Sarah demands Cameron to take them directly to the fight since she wants to prevent Skynet from taking hold once again. The protagonists manage to warp themselves to Los Angeles circa 2007 but show up naked. Random images of their presence are aired on the late night news with the FBI agent, Sarah’s ex-fiance looking in bewilderment.

Later the main characters find a safehouse and begin readjusting to their life in 2007. Sarah and Cameron go to a resistance safehouse to acquire weapons, fake IDs and money but they are too late as they find their agents dead. They are later attacked by another T-888 model who is simply there to air out any resistance sleeper cells in 2007 but not programmed to kill John Connor. Meanwhile the fried T-888 from the previous episode managed to make it through the time warp without its skin and severed from its head. The head was later found by a trash collector who keeps it as a souvenir while the body was brought to the junkyard. However, the body manages to reboot itself and find its way back to the head. This fleshless T-888 continues to pass itself off by wearing clothes and by covering its head with masks. It is implied that the second T-888 will receive updated objectives should it encounter this fleshless model.

Cameron and Sarah evade the T-888’s attack. We later learn that Cameron was sent back in time by John Connor to protect John and to keep Sarah alive although Sarah finds this absurd since she has some of the best paramilitary training. Cameron later tells her that John became a miserable failure because she died of cancer in 2005, which suggest this show is written with the idea of undoing the mess that was “Terminator 3”. Sarah and Cameron go visit Enrique, her old armourer from T2, to get some fake IDswho tells her but he tells her he retired and to get those items from her nephew Carlos.

Sarah and Cameron go visit Carlos for the fake ID, but they need $20,000 for all of it. Enrique informs Sarah of the high price because of what happened in 9/11, which makes no sense to her. She later learns the gangbangers’ accounts of 9/11, the PATRIOT ACT, the Iraq War, and makes a superficial parallel to Judgment Day. I did find it baffling that neither Cameron nor Sarah bothered to do any research of the world in 2007 AD before venturing out for their mission objectives. Meanwhile, John Connor decides to disobey Sarah’s orders to lay low and visits a local mall and learns from a computer about what the news said about them in 1999 and to check on his mother’s ex. John’s mistake sets up the possibility of more terminators or resistance fighters showing up in 2007 to find them.

John later breaks into the the ex’s house and learns that he is married. He is spotted by the ex-fiance who tries to get close to him but has his arms broken by John out of fear. Later, Sarah and Cameron meet back at the safehouse to get the items from the original resistance cell. They managed to get their items from the safe just before the T-888 spotted them but not before being spotted by a resistance member. In the bag they find weapons, diamonds, and some cash to pay off Carlos. After getting their fake IDs from Carlos, Sarah and Cameron overhear allegations that Enrique was a snitch when Carlos was conversing in Spanish.

Sarah confronts Enrique over these rumours at his house at gunpoint. Enrique continues to reassure Sarah that he was only an informer to help the police find a kidnapper when he was arrested for gun running several years ago and there was nothing more to that. However, Cameron kills him in cold blood on the assumption that he was lying at Sarah’s disgust. We later learn that Enrique did leave a voice message to the FBI agent regarding Sarah Connor. This episode ends with John and Cameron enrolling in high school with Sarah going to a clinic to get diagnosed for cancer.

So far “The Sarah Chronicles” seems a bit cheesy with its mediocre production values and its decision to have River Tam as a female terminator. Nonetheless, I applaud the show’s writers for making an attempt to undo all the mess caused by “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”.

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10 thoughts on “The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Episode 1 & 2

  1. The 2 episodes so far are full of holes.
    1) Why does a terminator need to hide a gun in its leg? It could easily conceal the firearm in its clothes.
    2) Why wasn’t the news talking about a dead/injured girl in the school shootout? She might be new at school, but i’m sure someone would notice an injured and down person got up and run out of the classroom.
    3) A terminator might be strong but it can’t easily destroy a vault door that way. It would have to be really heavy to get that kind of leverage.
    4) Why didn’t the SWAT team storm in after the terminator? It probably took 5 minutes to pound the vault open, more than enough time for the team to move in on the terminator.
    5) Head went through time displacement without skin. This violates the law of time travel postulated in the first movie.
    6) The metal body got left behind in 1999 and so were remnants of the time machine. Why didn’t this technology end up in some special research lab a.k.a. CyberDyne? Won’t the CSI team be at the very least curious as to what the metal endoskeleton frame is? Are there resistance fighters doing some cover-up operation?
    7) Assuming i buy the cover-up hypothesis, what was the metal body doing in the junkyard? How is the head powered up? Does it have its own power cell? The body could have been really far, thus it must have been a really powerful battery to transmit instructions over long distances.
    8) How does a headless body see where its going, let alone dress itself?
    9) Too many things sent back in time. Some episode down the series could just use this as a gimmick for a spin-off. James Cameron would turn over in his grave if he was dead.

    Still, i’d watch the show because of the Caminator and i have nothing else better to do 😛

  2. I hope they sort out the WGA strike so we can have much better writing for future episodes…

    This new Terminator show looks like they are going to undo Terminator 3. Some of the timeline and plots are a bit off, but we have to see how these guys will fix it…

    Having too many people jumping back in time can really screw things up

  3. 1. For cool effect and exposition 🙂

    2. She may have been noticed, but it might not have come up when our FBI friend had been talking about the Connors or the teacher. There was also a panic in the classroom, so who knows. They saw the teacher after he started to run, but not notice the girl at all.

    3. leverage would be needed, but you saw him tearing the vault apart as well, piece by piece. He analyzed it by make and model stored in his neural net, found its weak spots and trashed it. First the outer plate, the handle, pinion mechanisms (all 10) and the rest of the door. when you tear a wall down you don’t do it all at once, you take chunks out of it and move it into the rolloff outside.

    4. Would you move in on something that could tear a vault apart with it’s bear hands? Muhahahahahaaaaa…..

    5. If it were an advanced model like the T-1000 or Txperimental, it would have a virtual biofield set up, matching the electromagnetic frequency and structure of a living being. Mind you the skin is used for cover and concealment. You don’t really want to expose yourself as a cold calculating robot killer from the future, it could screw up your past…

    6. If there’s future-based equipment in 1999, built in 1963, then there have to be resistance fighters in the past and present. There have to be some. Who knows, the swat leader could have been a member and so could have the CSI team. If they have pre-existing intel from John, they could use that to gain entry into those positions.

    7. The sleepers figured the T-888 was no longer functional without the head. If they’re grunts and not tech-comm, like Reese said “I don’t know tech-comm” they could have missed that key point, or simply not knew about the T-888 capabilities in 2027 like they knew in 2029 (remember, linear thinking, foreknowledge and so on, share some things, discover teh rest later so as not to destroy the timeline totaly) They most likely figured the crusher could take care of the trash and the head was simply vaporized. Many car alarms can be deactivated and activated from a distance by now, and with GPS tranceivers as small as a chip in your phone, it’s easy to assume there is a locator and a small power cell in the head to give off intervaled blips to the body. WIth that in mind, it, like our modern computers, could have a BIOS battery to retain base information when powered down. It’s safe to assume, in standby mode, a terminator BIOS battery, being built 20 years from now, would have the means to last a lot longer than our NiHm batteries, which didn’t really exist two decades ago.
    Onto the clothes. If the body can locate the head 8 years in the future, then it can probably tap into “old style” WiFi or radio broadcast cameras, look around for suitable attire, and masquarade for years until it’s head reappeared 8 years later.

    The coverup idea works well if there were a sleeper in the CSI unit, but odds are that there could also be sleepers in the FBI, as this was a federal reserve bank.

    9. On the future equipment, it wasn’t futuristic. If you looked at the keyboard used to set the time displacement field and the monitor used as the display, those looked rather old. Odds are those were 1960’s components using 2027 designs, assembled by a tech-comm officer sent back in time as a sleeper.
    We had the technology to get to the moon and back in the 60’s but we don’t live and work there now, even though we have more advanced equipment. Just lack of desire or need. Anyone with the knowledge could have gone back through time, built the machines needed to build the machines needed to get us to Mars by 1970. Same idea with the TDE and plasma rifle. Although, that implies that someone would have to go back to a time before the bank were built, set up a life to gain access to the bank while being built, build the components with 1960’s parts, set up accounts for the lock boxes, store the by then built components in them, and wait for when John, Sarah and Cameron would need them.

  4. if you watch closly sarah blasted the terminator right befor the tim jump and yesssss the terminator would have a back up baterry in his head just like your computer has a bios batterry get your facts straight watch the episodes again on your tivo or dvr

  5. another thing to point out the gun in the t888 leg is possible because there may have been security in the building they did not show this to be fact or not

  6. I never mentioned that Sarah didn’t blast the T-888. I saw it first hand from the pre-release version from bearshare.

    With the gun, this is a post-columbine era incident that had taken place (Columbine – april 1999) So the metal detectors might be plausible, but then how does one explain the metal detector going off? He might just have killed the regular teacher (and did in the story line) from a secluded part of the school where there’s very little foot traffic.

    Either way, I’m waiting for the episode where Cameron has to defend John from regular school bullies, they say “Oooh, is your little girlfriend gonna kick our asses for you?” and she replies “I’m his sister, and I will kick your asses” then she bends the jock douchebags and literaly kicks their asses with a 400FP kick, breaking tailbone and sending them sailing before the rest go running. Then the connors have to explain her immense strength and she winds up on the varsity wreslting team, winds up in the local paper, which forces them on the run again. 🙂

  7. i was responding to iso400 and his bashing of a great show I have watched these episodes 3 times each in a row I can’t wait for the next episode and than I will watch all in a row again

  8. Stupid president and his Sham of the Union speech. T-SCC isn’t on! Grrrrrrrrrr………..

  9. next monday new episode I think they are running every two weeks from here on out right after prison break

  10. The girl in the mall that warns John of “eyes everywhere” and helps him clear his internet search history (no one in any mall I’ve been to is so immediately paranoid for a stranger) is probably a terminator like Cameron, there to help John.

    Sarah’s former fiance confirmed to John that he is married, and went on to make the point that she is a nurse. Why? I guess this will be useful in a later episode.

    Cameron says, “I am,” when John asks her if she’s a new model and reflects, “You’re different.” So which is it, new or different? Then she eats a potato chip. That’s different. If she has a digestive system, what other organ systems does she have? We may some bi-species kids running around before the series is over.

    Sarah should be arrested for terminator contempt and abuse for the way she treats Cameron, smacking her with the butt of a gun across the face.

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