Saturday, July 30, 2011

We'll return to our regular programming shortly

And by "regular programming" I mean "finishing up the recaps of Harsh Realm before moving on to something else - hopefully True Blood."  In the meantime, I'm finding that the best thing on television these days isn't on television but instead: I am so loving Misfits.  Yes, it's vulgar and some of the episodes are a little over the top with the sex (those crazy British t.v. shows) and the plot of the week is often wrapped up a little too tidily ... but the character work is so strong, and it's funny as hell and creepy as hell and violent as all get out.  Each of the five misfits - Nathan, Simon, Kelly, Alisha and Curtis - have distinct, flawed and mostly interesting personalities (I find Alisha to be the least interesting, largely because she's been given less to do than the others), and the way they interact with each other is believable.  I haven't had an emotional connection to a t.v. show like this since - True Blood, maybe? - I like these crazy people, I look forward to seeing them each week and I am interested in what they are going to do next.

Not so much with Teen Wolf.  I know it's already been renewed for a second season but, really, it's quite terrible.  The acting is still awful pretty much across the board and during the last episode, I felt like they left a big chunk of storyline out - everyone was acting so strangely from where they were in a prior scene.  I may give up on it, just haven't yet.

Anyway, off to watch some more Harsh Realm.  And you - you should go watch Misfits!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E9 "What He Beheld"

For the record, this show's canon says Judgment Day was 4/21/11.  Guess we dodged a bullet there.  On Judgment Day, however, fifteen year old Derek and eleven year old Kyle Reese were out playing catch in the park when the bombs went off and the machines took over.

Sarah and Cameron have an appointment to meet "Sarkissian," the Turk purchaser, in an internet cafe.  John and Derek wait in the car.  Derek is a little pouty about it.  Sarkissian doesn't actually show up but IMs Sarah to bring $500,000 tomorrow and he'll sell her the computer.

Ellison goes to visit Charley, saying he thinks Sarah is alive and Charley knows where she is.  Charley's like, I already told the other FBI guy that I don't know anything.  Ellison: other FBI guy?  Charley gives him Kester's name.  Later, Charley swings by the Connor abode to tell her that Ellison seems ready to believe her.  She kicks him the hell out - he could have led the FBI or a Terminator right to their door.

Some slick and nasty Brit stops by Carlos's place, asking about Sarah.  Carlos ain't talking.  The Brit chops all of Carlos's henchmen to little bitty pieces and asks again.

Sarah and Derek take the freedom fighters' diamonds with them to meet Sarkissian but have to rabbit when there are cops in the area.  By the time they get home, that evil Brit is waiting for them.  He's decided he wants $2 million for the Turk ... or he'll lead the FBI to their hideout.  They've got twenty-four hours to come up with the cash.

Meanwhile, John and Cameron are on a museum field trip.  John is mopey because his birthday is tomorrow and he thinks his mom forgot.  Also, he has to explain birthdays to Cameron.  She notices one of Sarkissian's thugs following them.  Off camera she kills the guy and stuffs him in the trunk of his own car.

Ellison goes to FBI HQ and looks up "Kester" in the directory.  He is shocked to see Lazlo's photograph.  How could that guy have lied so coldly, and killed all those people, and ... it's all rather far-fetched but Ellison is beginning to think Lazlo/Kester might be a robot.

Sarah, John, Derek and Cameron track Sarkissian down.  While Cameron punches down a cinder block wall to get to him, John searches an office looking for the (or any) computer.  He also finds a little girl working on a coloring book while she waits for her daddy to finish work.  John tells the little girl to stay where she is and be very quiet.  As John tries to make his way back to the others, Sarkissian grabs him and puts a gun to his head, dragging him out to the alley.  Everyone is pointing guns every which way - but Derek has his pointed at that little girl.  "Not my kid," grunts Sarkissian.  "Mine either," says Derek and shoots Sarkissian in the head, scaring the bejeezus out of poor John.  They grab the hard drive in the office and get the hell out of there.  Oh, the little girl?  Her dad is a schmoe working in the restaurant out front.

The next day, the hard drive is "double encrypted" but John is working on it.  Derek knows it's his birthday - they got drunk together when John turned 30 - and takes him out for an ice cream.  They sit in a park, watching a couple of kids playing catch.  One of the kids is about eight, the other about twelve ... John puts it together and realizes that they are watching Derek and Kyle.  Grown-up Derek nods and says happy birthday, he thought John might want to see his father.  John gets teary and Derek smiles.  Of course he figured it out - John looks just like his dad.  Plus, Sarah is just the kind of girl Kyle went for.

Ellison leads a whole squad of FBI agents to Lazlo's apartment complex.  Charley, driving around in his ambulance, hears the call and the name "Kester" and heads over there.  The FBI busts in and Cromartie wastes no time completely shredding them, tossing bleeding and broken agents off the balcony and into the swimming pool.  Finally, he and Ellison are the only ones left.  They stare at each other, the silver metal showing through gouges on Cromartie's face.  Ellison realizes he has no chance and closes his eyes.  Cromartie walks away, leaving him alive.  By the time Charley gets there, the pool is an abbatoir and Ellison is in shock.

The hard drive begins to decrypt and they see a passport scan.  It seems that "Sarkissian" is another guy, not the Brit Derek killed in the alley.  John wants to keep working on the drive but Sarah wants him to come out for his birthday dinner.  She's sent Cameron out to get a birthday cake too.  Outside, Cameron notes a man wearing black walking down their street.  She turns the key to start their car.  The car explodes in a massive fireball.

Previously on T:TSCC / next time on T:TSCC

Friday, July 22, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E7 "Vick's Chip"

Cromartie, as Agent Kester, is searching all the L.A. schools for John.  When a school administrator wants to see a court order, Cromartie just snaps the guy's neck and scrolls through the computer screens himself.  [Note: "Cromartie" and "Kester" are the correct names/spellings as per this episode.  I'm not going back and correcting prior recaps.  Sorry.]

At dinner, Derek brings out the computer chip Cameron took from the Terminator she disabled and burned.  John and Sarah are shocked that she would hide something like that from them.  Derek smugly reminds them that machines can't be trusted.  John and Cameron hack the chip to access the video data to see what the Terminator was up to before he killed Derek's fellow freedom fighters.  It turns out that this machine's name was "Vick Chamberlain" and he was married to the L.A. city planner.  They get his address off a video memory of his mail. Sarah and Derek break into Vick's house.  No one has been there for a while and Derek assumes that the wife, Barbara, is dead.

Cromartie walks into a high school gym locker room and checks out all the showering boys.  He's looking for an "Eric Carlson" but when he finds him, the facial scan doesn't match the one he has for John.  When the gym coach complains, Cromartie tosses him into a row of lockers.

One of Vick's video memories is of him killing a woman.  It never shows her face so the gang heads out to try to find out if the Terminator killed his own wife.  When they find the body, it isn't Barbara but a lobbyist who had been working against one of Barbara's pet projects: a traffic system run by artificial intelligence using video cameras at all the traffic lights/intersections/etc.  Cameron points out that this would be of great interest to Skynet what with all the surveillance everywhere.  Derek thinks they should just blow up City Hall and be done with it but John says they should drop a virus into the program instead so Skynet thinks the program is flawed and abandons it.

The next day Cromartie arrives at John's school, this time looking for a "John Baum."  Cameron sees him first and sends one of John's friends to say that he is John Baum.  Cromartie scan him, determines he's not the kid he's looking for, and leaves.  Later, Cameron tells John what she did and he's (1) furious that she'd put one of his friends in such danger and (2) worried that Sarah will make them move again if she knows how close Cromartie got to him.  He makes Cameron promise not to tell Sarah what happened.

From Vick's chip they learn that Derek's freedom fighters were killed because one of them was tailing Barbara - and being careless about it.  Derek says he didn't know anything about it.  Sarah is skeptical.  She and Derek head into the tunnels under City Hall (Derek knows them fairly well because he and Kyle lived down there in the future).  They get into the data center and begin to upload John's virus, but the system sounds an alarm and they have to run for it.  "We can still blow the place," Derek says hopefully.  Sarah drags him out of there before he tries it.

Meanwhile, John and Cameron are poking around in Vick's chip some more when they inadvertently give it too much electricity and it starts to re-activate. Panicked, they pull everything apart.  Sarah and Derek return with news of their failed mission but John has the brainstorm of using Cameron's chip to upload the virus into the system right through a traffic light.  Derek thinks she can't be trusted not to escape into the system and possibly become the thing that becomes Skynet but John trusts her.  He cuts into her head, with her telling him how to do it, and removes her chip.

Derek takes John to a traffic light and he hacks in, dumping Cameron's consciousness (?) into the system to deliver the virus.  The city's traffic system freaks out and Derek and John grab the chip and bolt.

That evening, Sarah corners Derek while he's showering (!!) and tells him that she knows he killed the defenseless Andy Goode.  (How does she know this?)  "Lie to me again and I'll kill you," she promises.  On the plus side, she finally got a call back from the guy who bought the Turk from Victor.  But that's the next episode!

Previously on T:TSCC / next time on T:TSCC

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E7 "Demon Hand"

In a callback to T2, Cameron, dressed as a L.A. cop, breaks into a power plant, shutting down some of Los Angeles's electricity.  She then goes to LAPD, searching the evidence locker for the Terminator hand that Ellison found in the aftermath of their rescuing Derek; the evidence log says that Ellison has the hand with him.  When Cameron reports back to Sarah and John, Sarah sends John off to school and Cameron back out to search for Victor, Andy Goode's partner, whom they think stole the Turk.

Ellison also has Sarah's file at home with him, complete with videotaped sessions from her time in the mental hospital.  The hand is in his freezer for safe-keeping.  As he watches the tapes, hearing Sarah rant so committedly about the rise of the machines, it looks as though Ellison might be starting to believe what she says.  Sometime later, when Ellison is out, Sarah breaks into his apartment [how does she know where he lives?] and sees her file.  She takes one of the tapes with her.

It turns out that Victor's sister Maria is a ballet teacher so Cameron signs up for classes - any excuse to use Summer Glau's ballerina training, I guess.  After class, a Russian thug stops by, looking for Victor.

John comes home from school to find Derek mobile and re-loading their guns.  Derek starts badgering John about how he shouldn't trust Cameron, and he lets Sarah have it too when she gets back.  As his mom and uncle have it out, John finds the tape Sarah liberated from Ellison's and watches it, using his headphones so his mom won't hear.  His eyes fill with tears immediately.  In the morning, John rushes out to school and Sarah quickly realizes that he watched the tape.  She plays it: on it, she signs paperwork terminating her parental rights.  But there's no time for regrets - she found the name of her shrink from the mental hospital at Ellison's apartment and if Ellison is going to talk to him, so is she.

Ellison is the first to track down Dr. Silverman, Sarah's former shrink.  Silverman offers him tea, which is drugged; when Ellison comes to, Silverman has tied him to a chair and insists on slashing his leg so he can see that the agent is flesh and bone, not a machine.  The doctor recalls the scene in T2 where Sarah broke out of the hospital with the aid of Arnold, fleeing the sleeker Terminator.  He's a believer now (but also slightly nutso), although no one believes him because there's no proof.  Ellison tells Silverman that he has proof - in a cooler in the back of his car.

When Cameron returns to the ballet studio, the Russian thug comes back too.  Cameron kicks the crap out of him and tells Maria that she can help Victor.  So Maria takes Cameron to her brother.  She asks him about the Turk and he admits that he is in debt to the Russian mafia (or something similar) and sold the computer for the money.  He gives her the name of the guy he sold it to; Cameron turns and walks out.  As more Russian mobster burst in, Maria shrieks that Cameron was going to help them!  But our girl just leaves as shots and screams echo down the hall.

Silverman goes out and retrieves the hand from Ellison's car, and then immediately sets out to burn his house down, with Ellison inside, so that Ellison doesn't get in the way of Sarah's mission.  He walks out to find Sarah there.  He is overjoyed to see her; she flattens him with one punch.  When the fire bursts a window, she hears Ellison screaming for help.  She goes inside the burning house, extends her hand to Ellison and drags him out.  While he's still unconscious, she takes the hand and leaves the men behind.

That night, Sarah explains to her son that the day she signed those papers was the day she decided to break out of the mental hospital (coincidentally the day John broke in to save her) because she couldn't bear what she'd done in relinquishing her rights.  "I will always find you," she murmurs, and John nods, saying "I'll always find you" back to her.  They bond over burning the hand with thermite.

Previously on T:TSCC / next time on T:TSCC

Monday, July 18, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E6 "Dungeons and Dragons"

Note: half of this episode is in flashback form, Derek's POV.  Rather than bounce back and forth between the flashback time and the show's now, I'm going to follow the now all the way through and then do the flashback.

Now.  We pick up right where we left off, with Charley working furiously to save Derek's life.  Understandably, he rants a little bit to the Connors about WTF happened over the last eight years since they supposedly blew themselves up in that bank vault.  The Connors and Cameron explain to him - off-camera - about the Terminators and, when confronted with the battered chassis of the Terminator that shot Derek/they disabled and apparently brought with them (except for his left hand which Agent Ellison has), manages to take it all in stride.  He does need a beer though.

Derek starts flailing a bit and Charley tells the gang that he needs three units of AB negative blood (very rare).  John says they should test him and since he's a match what with being a relative and all, they hook him up to Derek for a direct transfusion.  Charley pieces together that Kyle Reese, Derek's brother, about whom Derek keeps ranting in his delirium, is John's brother - funny how Cameron hasn't figured that out yet.

As Cameron skins out the Terminator and sprinkles thermite on its metal frame, Charley pauses to try to talk to her.  He eventually flees after calling her a "very scary robot."  Sarah comes out to tell Cameron that she is to stay away from Charley and not hurt him.  She tasks Cameron to tracking down the missing hand since it is imperative that all bits and pieces of this Terminator get destroyed.  (Um, what about the one you all left stranded behind the blast doors at that army depot?)  Cameron nods, but then pockets the chip she pulled out of the Terminator's head when she shut him down.

Charley says goodbye to Sarah and hands her "Agent Kestler's" (Cromarty's) business card, letting her know that they're still being hunted.  When Derek arises to some vague consciousness, John is there, talking quietly to him about Kyle ... but still not letting his uncle know that they're kin.

Flashback to Derek's when.  Down in the freedom fighters' tunnels, Derek and Kyle shoot the shit before being sent topside by an unseen John to suss out the machines' latest secret weapon.  Says another soldier, "Don't they have enough weapons?  Why do they need a secret one?"  Topside is hellish, post-apocalyptic, and the Reese brothers glimpse what looks like a huge jet engine being dragged off by the machines.  More machines open fire, the brothers get separated and Derek gets captured.

He comes to, chained to the floor of an old house, along with numerous other humans.  Terminators periodically drag off the dead bodies.  One of the other imprisoned humans confesses to being Andy Goode, to having been part of the team that built Skynet.  Derek is skeptical but files this information away for future reference.  After an unknown period of time - and various off-camera torture sessions - the prisoners wake up to find the machines gone and an ax on the floor next to them, just perfect for striking off their chains.  Derek rushes out to the secret passage into the tunnels but it is blasted wide open, flames everywhere.

Down below, the tunnels are empty and there are signs of fighting.  A couple of guys on patrol show up and gladly tell the escapees what happened: the machines attacked so John cleared his people out.  The resistance attacked a research facility and both John and Kyle went inside on some secret mission, but only John came back out.  Derek is not happy to hear this and wants to know WTF happened to his brother.  Just then, Cameron walks up and Derek freaks out, shooting at her and shouting about the loose machines.  The guy in charge ("Doctore" from Spartacus!) tells him to chill: John is capturing the Terminators and reprogramming them.  Derek doesn't think that's particularly safe, and his fears are confirmed later when one of the reprogrammed machines flips out and shoots up the joint.  Cameron steps up and blows the faulty Terminator to bits, saving Derek.  He doesn't look that grateful, to be honest.

Sometime later, Cameron tells Derek that John wants to see him.  She takes him to a room where a blazing ball of lightning and light crackles.  Afterwards, Derek tells three other freedom fighters about John's plan to send them back twenty years to fix the mistakes.  He gives ol' Andy Goode a meaningful glance.  Derek and the other three freedom fighters come through to the past, naked and gasping at the sight of all that civilization.

One more flashback, to just a couple weeks from the show's now.  Andy Goode, in his chess competition hotel room, looks up as the door opens.  It's Derek, who calmly shoots Andy dead, hoping to have stopped him from inventing Skynet.  Guess he lied to Sarah about that after all.

Previously on T:TSCC / next time on T:TSCC

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mini movie review: 127 Hours

127 Hours* is absolutely amazing in that it is a movie that Mr. Mouse has repeatedly requested that I get and we both liked it.  It is the slightly movie-fied true story of Aron Ralston who, whilst solo hiking in Canyonlands National Park, got his hand trapped by a rock in Bluejohn Canyon and ended up SPOILER cutting off his own arm to save his life.  Directed by Danny Boyle (I looooove Danny Boyle: Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine ... I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire or Millions yet) - who has yet to find a genre he can't do - 127 Hours is a short (94 min.), taut little film.  It is to James Franco's credit, however, that we are even able to bear what is basically an hour and a half of a guy standing trapped in a slot canyon; Franco is on screen always and does a wonderful job.  I remember reading that when this movie came out, people were fuh-reaking out about the self amputation: fainting at the sound effects and getting sick from the gore.  Maybe I've seen too many horror movies but I didn't think it was all that horrific - and even Mr. Mouse, who is NOT a horror film fan, had no problem with it.

The one issue we had with the movie is that it didn't really let you know what Ralston was feeling - how horrible his legs must have felt after standing in one position for all that time, for example - but I don't know how they could have done that other than the actor talking about it, and that wouldn't work.  I suspect we'll probably read Ralston's book to get the full story, but that's a pretty minor quibble about a solid film.

* Filmed entirely on location in Canyonlands and in a sound stage in SLC ... Utah represent!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E5 "Queen's Gambit"

Blah blah blah flashback.  In the now, Cromarty-Lazlo knocks on Charley's door, posing as an FBI agent and asking questions about his history with Sarah Connor, a/k/a Reese.  Charley tells Cromarty-Lazlo (I think I'll just stick with "Cromarty" from here on out) that he doesn't know anything about Sarah "Connor" and the Sarah Reese he was engaged to died in explosion eight years ago.  Cromarty gives him a business card and leaves, amazingly without killing anyone.  Charley's wife looks like she might, though.

Andy calls Sarah to let her know that he's rebuilt his computer and has entered Turk II in a computer chess tournament in Pasadena, in case she wants to see him in action.  She does, and heads to the tournament, telling John and Cameron to meet her there after school.  When she gets there, Andy is all a-flutter since the tourney winner gets a military contract for their computer.  Dun dun dun dun!  Sarah watches the match, noting a scruffy-looking guy lurking in the shadows.  Andy's doing really well ... until he isn't, and the Japanese team wins the tournament.

Penny (Charley's wife, but I don't know her name so I'm just going with her name from Lost) tells her husband that she knows he lied to the FBI agent.  He confesses that he saw John.  She gets very upset, reminding him that Sarah is dangerous.

After the Turk II loses, Sarah wonders what to do - since how can the Turk II become SkyNet if it didn't win the contract.  She goes to see Andy and bumps into the scruffy guy - Brian Austin Green, having left all traces of David Silver behind him and looking dang hot - coming out out of Andy's room.  Inside, Andy is dead.  Sarah goes chasing after BAG and they have a big ol' fight.  The cops show up and Sarah scarpers, watching BAG get cuffed and hauled away.

The next day, John hacks into the LAPD system and they determine that BAG is the fourth freedom fighter.  Cameron says that in the future, BAG is one of John's best soldiers.  Unbeknownst to our heroes, however, the Terminator that killed the other three freedom fighters and then escaped has also hacked into the LAPD system, who really ought to upgrade their firewall or something.  This Terminator recognizes BAG and sets out to do something about it.  [For those keeping score, there are three Terminators extant at this point: Cromarty, the freedom-fighter-killer and the powered-down one that Cameron locked behind the blast doors.]

Ellison interrogates BAG.  He shows him photos of all the bodies thus far that are linked by the splashes of Terminator blood (the freedom fighters, the plastic surgeon, the British research guy, etc.).  Ellison asks what he thinks and BAG replies, "We're all going to die."  Cheery!  Ellison thinks that BAG has more to say and wants him transferred to FBI custody from the LAPD.  Out in the hall, the FF-killing Terminator has managed to get himself arrested and brought to LAPD.  Uh-oh!

Sarah poses as a lawyer, I guess, and goes to see BAG.  He is unhappy to see her, saying that she's taking an unnecessary risk coming here.  He also tells her that he didn't kill Andy - he was already dead when BAG went to his room to try to steal the Turk II.  By the way, whoever killed Andy took the computer, so they both (Sarah and BAG) failed in their missions.  He tells her to go find Andy's partner; he'll deal with the Terminator that is after him.  Also, he's Kyle Reese's brother, Derek.  But he doesn't know that Kyle is John's father because of time-travel/keeping secrets/whatever.

The Terminator busts out of its cell easily, looking for Derek.  Luckily, Derek is already on the transport truck.  En route, he gets loose of his cuffs.  Sarah, John and Cameron break him out of the truck but the Terminator is right on top of them.  There's a big fight: Derek gets shot; Cameron manages to pull the chip out of the Terminator's head and that brings him down.  They take Derek back to their house but he's in really bad shape.  When John wants to know why he should be worried about this total stranger bleeding to death on the kitchen table, Sarah tells him that Derek is his uncle.  At this point, Derek needs a doctor but they don't dare take him to a hospital.  John runs off, leaving his mom to try to keep the bleeding under control, and eventually brings Charley, EMT that he is, back to the house.  After Sarah and Charley exchange "holy frigging shit" looks, Charley goes to work on Derek.

In other news, whilst questioning the transport cops on how two 110-pound women managed to make off with his prisoner, Ellison finds the Terminator's torn off hand under a pile of wreckage.  Dun dun dun dun!

Humor:  as Sarah, John and Cameron jump in the car at some point, John says, "I call shotgun."  Without skipping a beat, and deadpan as only a Terminator can do it, Cameron says, "I call 9mm."

Previously on T:TSCC / next time on T:TSCC

Friday, July 8, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E4 "Heavy Metal""

We open with a plastic surgeon getting a visit from the reconstructed Terminator: the machine wants a new face because the one he just grew out of that blood solution is a bit too monsterish.

At the Connor house/HQ, John is sad and distracted, thinking about Jordan, a girl from school who killed herself  (there was some weird graffiti going up at school and had something to do with her - like she was molested by a teacher or something - and she just couldn't take it anymore, and jumped off the roof of the gym right in front of all the students) - he blames Cameron for not letting him try to stop her from jumping.  Cameron has more important things to discuss, however: she's found video footage from the night the three of them jumped forward from 1999 and in the background is the disembodied Terminator head.  So the reassembled Terminator is Cromarty, then.  Sarah and Cameron think they should make a run for it but John throws a small hissy fit, whingeing that Sarah promised him that this time they would stay and fight.  

Also, there's a shipment of a special alloy coming in to port today - the alloy from which the Terminators are made - and they think that Cromarty might try to take it.    They grab the shotguns and the C-4 and go check it out.  They find a bunch of bodies and realize that the truck has been hijacked by a different crew.  That's weird, thinks Sarah, since when does Cromarty work with humans?  Then they see the Terminator - and it's not Cromarty.

Ellison finds the plastic surgeon dead in his office, with used instruments and some of that not-human blood solution in the drain.  A photograph is up on the computer screen, showing the new face Cromarty has taken: that of "George Lazlo," a former patient.  He brings Lazlo in for questioning.  Lazlo (and Cromarty) are played by Garrett Dillahunt, who is fabulously creepy as always.  Ellison coerces a blood sample from Lazlo - who calls him a fascist - then lets him go.  Lazlo returns to his apartment and is nearly immediately visited by Cromarty.  Holding Lazlo by the throat, Cromarty checks the resemblance - it's perfect - then snaps Lazlo's neck.

John wants to charge right in and fight the new Terminator but Sarah and Cameron think that's reckless.  When the two women get in the car, John wriggles through an open window of the warehouse to plant a tracking device on the truck carrying the alloy.  He gets trapped, however, and is still in the truck when the Terminator drives off.  An armed guard catches Sarah and Cameron peeing in the the windows and pulls a gun on them.  Sarah walks up to him, hands up, and asks, "Have you seen a dachshund puppy?" and then beats him into unconsciousness.  Awesome.  It's too late, though, as the truck and John are gone.

Back at the house, Sarah is panicking as Cameron tries to track John's cell phone.  On the truck, John is also panicking a bit but still manages to bash the guard's head in with a chunk of alloy.  His attempt to pick the lock is less successful.  Sarah and Cameron go back to the warehouse and pound on the guard guy some more until he agrees to drive them to the army depot where the alloy is being taken.  On the way there, the women leave the poor guy standing in the middle of a mine field.

When the truck pulls into a bomb shelter at the army depot, John is able to sneak off and hide, where he watches "Carter," the Terminator, kill the men who were helping him and then seemingly shut down as the blast doors close.  As Carter just stands there, John finds a phone and calls his mom, who is right outside with Cameron.  Cameron confirms that it'll take Carter 15 seconds to reboot from his "stand-by" mode once he is triggered awake.  Sarah tells her son to open the blast doors and then run.  One problem: the key to the doors is around Carter's neck.  John manages to get the key without waking the Terminator and gets the door open.  He and his mom drive out in the truck while Cameron fights with Carter.  They lock him in behind the blast doors - where he will presumably go into stand-by again, as the closing doors seems to be his trigger - and drive away.

Ellison pays Lazlo/Cromarty a visit at Lazlo's apartment.  He tells Lazlo/Cromarty that someone may be trying to steal his identity - why would someone steal my identity? wonders L/C - and leaves a business card with him.  Surprisingly, Lazlo/Cromarty just lets him go.

Cameron sends the truck and its alloy cargo off a cliff and into the ocean; she secretly keeps one bar of the alloy, however, and looks at it that night in her room.  John sits down to try to finish his homework that night.  His hands are shaking - it was a big day.

Note:  I think this show is finally starting to find itself, inserting some small, subtle humor in this episode:  when Sarah tells the guard guy he can leave if he can get past Cameron, the guy advances on the girl confidently ... and then there's a cut to the guy driving them to the army base, giving Cameron  terrified little sidelong glances and Cameron just gives him a tiny smile.  And later, Sarah, watching John struggle to get the truck into gear while Carter advances on them, says “If you’re going to save the world, you’re going to have to learn how to drive stick.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - S1E3 "The Turk"

Sarah pages through the SkyNet intel retrieved from the dead freedom fighters' safe while John and Cameron go off to school.  They have to walk through a metal detector to get in, which of course Cameron sets off; John tells the guard that she's got a metal plate - a big one - in her head.  Here's an issue I have: in E1, Cameron was a very natural-acting girl but now, just a couple of episodes later, she's way more stilted and Terminator-like.  What's that all about?

Sarah visits Teresa Dyson at Miles's grave, showing her some photos to see if she recognizes anyone who might have been interested in Miles's Cyberdyne work.  There's one guy Teresa knows: Andrew Goode, who interned at Cyberdyne some years ago.  Teresa asks if Andy's going to have to die too and, when the answer is "maybe," tells Sarah to make it count then.

The reassembled and masked/hooded Terminator breaks into a hospital and steals a lot of blood bags.  Later, it breaks into the apartment of a British-accented scientist and gives him a complicated formula.  Once he gets over his fright, the British scientist is fascinated and thinks that yes, yes, he just might be able to grow muscle tissue and skin from this.  The Terminator tells him to get on it.

Sarah finds Andy Goode working at a cell phone store.  She buys three phones from him and he asks her out.  Sarah has zero sense of humor and can barely flirt, but she agrees to dinner and even shaves her legs before heading out on the date.  In another part of town, Agent Ellison pays Carols (Enrique's nephew) a visit to ask about why he and his uncle spoke on the phone three times the day Enrique was killed.  Carlos isn't interested in talking to the feds, however.

After dinner at Andy's apartment (who does that, goes to a guy's house for dinner when you only ever talked to him in a cell phone store? Bad ass Sarah Connor does, I guess), Andy proudly shows Sarah this fancy computer he's built, "The Turk," which is a chess-playing computer that sometimes seems to think for itself.  Andy thinks it's pretty damn cool; Sarah, of course, is slightly disturbed but plays it cool.  She does notice movement outside the window but when she runs out to check, she can't see the guy hiding in the trees watching her.  We can't really see this guy either but he does have a barcode tattooed on his forearm (like the dead freedom fighters did) so I'm thinking this is the fourth guy who got away.  Later, John interrogates his mother about the Turk, although she can't answer all the technical questions he has.  John, computer genius/hacker that he is, is frustrated.  Cameron, ever practical, notes that Andy will have to be killed.

At the British scientist's apartment, the tissue growth solution is ready.  The Terminator disrobes down to his metal chassis - which the scientist takes in stride remarkably well, considering THAT'S A FRICKIN' SENTIENT KILLER ROBOT THERE IN FRONT OF HIM - and climbs into the bathtub full of the red goo.

Flames fill the night sky and Sarah watches from a hiding spot in the tree as Andy watches his house - and the Turk - burn to the ground.  She has a small smile because she thinks she's solved the problem without having to kill anyone.  Time will tell, I think.

Ellison and the cops are investigating at the British scientist's apartment: the scientist is dead, his eyes torn out, and there is blood (or bloody solution) all over.  And then EEEEEUUUUWWWW!  In a flashback (?), the Terminator rises up out of the tub, dripping with the solution and covered in new flesh.  And the British scientist guy watches excitedly, then helps to slice the Terminator's eyelids open.  The machine's decidedly non-human eyes glow red and now we know how the scientist ended up losing his.

Previously on T:TSCC / next time on T:TSCC

Monday, July 4, 2011

Are you guys watching Misfits?

Because, seriously, you should be.  It's a British Heroes  that doesn't at all (so far) suck, plus sex and nudity and lots of swearing and, in the first episode, complete with a 28 Days Later-esque rage-zombie.  Doesn't that sound like so much fun?

The premise is this: a disparate group of young people (early 20s, I guess, since none of them are in high school) are given community service sentences for various crimes and meet up at a London (?) community center.  As they and their probation officer head outside to paint some park benches, a strange and violent storm rolls in, dropping huge chunks of hail.  The storm also hits them with a bolt of lightning and when they all wake up, they've got various superpowers, which seem to be based on things they regret about their lives.  Hijinks ensue, people die and we're off to the races.

Seriously, I'm not going to tell you any more than that because you really should watch it yourselves.  The main characters are well cast: multi-racial, with multi-socioeconomic backgrounds, interesting body types and faces, and strong (and in some instances, difficult for the non-Brit to understand) accents.  These aren't your typical too-gorgeous-to-be-real Hollywood actors: they could be real people.  The show is not for children as it's violent and bloody, full of f-bombs and fairly graphic sex - not quite True Blood level but close.  But it's also very funny in places.  Things do not work out for our characters - things are difficult for them and are not solved in one episode - nor are we told everything about all of them all at once.  I think it's way fun.

Misfits is a British import and is found on Hulu, with new episodes being dropped every Monday.  Go check it out.