“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”.