The WGA strike really took its toll on this show as it ends in a cliffhanger and with unresolved questions. Most of episode 8 centered on decoding the T-888 chip that Cameron kept from an earlier episode and Cromatie’s attempts to find John through the school system.
The hacked T-888 chip reveals that the terminator known as Vick was sent back in time to monitor a Barbara Chamberlain to develop the ARTIE, which would have been an automated system that monitored traffic in Los Angeles. Vick was revealed to have married Barbara and actively encouraged her to develop the programme while secretly removing opposition such as a Jennifer Peck.
They learn that ARTIE would be the nerve centre for Skynet should it ever come into contact with that programme. With this in mind, Sarah decides to have John create a virus that would be uploaded to ARTIE, which was stored in City Hall. Derek and Sarah manage to break into the building and upload the virus, but it fails and they are almost caught by the police.
While John continues to scour Vick’s CPU for memories, the CPU manages to reactivate and almost takes over his computer. However, they manage to stop it before it sends out a signal to other terminators alerting them of John Connor.
Cameron later suggests they use her CPU and hack into the city network so she can go in and disable the system from within. John extracts the CPU from Cameron’s head and gets her CPU to successfully hack the system.
We later learn that Vick had killed Barbara after he had gotten her to successfully finish the ARTIE programme. Cromartie searches every school district for John but Cameron uses Norris to pose as John to throw him off. Sarah then makes a call to buy the Turk.
Episode 9 opens with a flashback of Derek and Kyle Reese playing baseball on 2011 just before Judgment Day starts. In the present, Agent Ellison pays a visit to Charley Dixon asking him about Sarah Connor. He tells him that he seems to believe in her claims but Charley tells him that an agent by the name of Kester has already stopped by asking the same things. Charley later visits Sarah about Ellison and is told to get away from her to save himself.
Sarah and Cameron go to a local internet cafe to look for a Sarkisian, who then offers to meet them in the cafe. In a nearby computer, he offers to sell the Turk for $500,000 and demands they meet him near a park by an ATM. Meanwhile a British man and his goon stop by Carlos’s house to ask them about Sarah Connor and Enrique and kill Carlos’s friends when he refuses. It is implied that they extract the information before killing Carlos. After returning from the park, Sarah and Derek find the British henchman at their home and raises the price to $20,000,000 and demands the money in 24 hours. He also mentions that one of his goons is following John in his field trip to the museum.
Agent Ellison goes to investigate Kester and learns that he is in the FBI database with a resemblance to George Laslow. Meanwhile, Cromartie as Kester is looking for files on Sarah Connor at the same FBI office. Using these strange pieces of information, Agent Ellison manages to convince his superior that Kester is the same person who killed two people in less than 36 hours, had plastic surgery to resemble Laslow, killed Laslow and later got himself into the FBI database. With this in mind, Ellison is able to assemble an FBI tactical team to go after Cromartie. Charley Dixon later hears about the raid from his radio and tries to get there before its too late.
The raid goes horribly wrong with most of the FBI agents except for Ellison being killed and with Cromartie suffering minor damage. Charley arrives just in time to evade Cromartie before finding Ellison and surveying the damage.
While at the museum, John seems upset that no one notices his birthday while talking to Cameron. At the museum, Cameron notices a man following John but is stopped by her teacher from pursuing him. She later manages to kill the goon and stuff him in his Mercedes CLS after the field trip ended and brings the car back to their safehouse. At the safehouse, they examine the corpse and Sarah has Cameron impersonate the dead goon when the British man calls them. He agrees to meet him back at the hideout, but the group has no idea where it is until Carlos’s girlfriend shows up and gives them the location.
It turns out the hideout was the backroom of the Internet cafe and they go after the British man. Cameron, Derek and Sarah pursue the man while John tries looking for anything related to the Turk, but finds the man’s daughter. The British guy later takes John hostage with Sarah in a standoff, but Derek brings in the little girl as a hostage. While comforting the girl, Derek shoots the British guy in the head and we later learn that the father is actually the clerk in the Internet cafe. After taking the dead man’s hard drive, they return to the safehouse.
For John’s birthday, Derek takes John out for some ice cream to have him watch his younger self and Kyle play baseball on a sunny day in a park. There John meets a younger version of his father and Derek reveals that he knew John was his nephew because he had Kyle’s eyes and because Kyle was interested in women like Sarah. After the trip to the park, John hacks the hard drives to learn that there was another buyer for the Turk before Sarah and the British man they killed was not Sarkisian. It turns out that the clerk in the Internet cafe was the Sarkisian and he planted a car bomb in Sarah’s car, which blew up when Cameron started it.
The episode ends with Cameron being blown up, the Turk still at large, and Ellison surviving Cromartie. It was unfortunate that the WGA strike went as long as it did which meant that the full 13 episodes were never produced. This cliffhanger ending could suggest that Cameron does survive the attack to come back in endoskeleton form in episode 10 to find and interrogate Sarkisian and the heroes wind up dealing with a batch of seedy underworld types just to find the Turk with Cromartie after them.