Friday, June 29, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E6 "The Tower is Tall but the Fall is Short"

This one was kinda talky.  Talky is not what T:TSCC does best.  But here we go:

Sarah and Cameron are rifling through someone's home office when they are interrupted by the homeowner, an esteemed child psychologist, Dr. Sherman, who also used to work with the armed forces.  His name was apparently written on their basement wall in that guy's blood (which I totally don't remember).  Anyway, the Connors want to know why Skynet is interested in this guy, so they make an appointment to see him as a family, Sarah and John and Cameron.  Cameron plants a bug in his office.  John, even knowing this, seems to  want to talk and makes a solo appointment.

Catherine Weaver is having a photo shoot at her office.  Her daughter Savannah doesn't want any part of it and when Weaver tries to insist in that warm, machine-like way she has, little Savannah pees her pants in fear.  Later, Weaver's assistant tells her boss about this miracle worker child shrink, Dr. Sherman.  The next day, Weaver's crack techie team calls her into the lab to notify her that the artificial intelligence they're working on is slowing down, acting out, playing with photographs instead to doing the tasks they give it.  Weaver is mightily displeased.  But she has mothering to do: she and Savannah meet with Dr. Sherman.  Sherman gives the little girl some toys to play with and notices that she picks out the one that indicates fear.  As Cameron eavesdrops via the bug, Savannah tells Sherman that she "wants her old mommy back."  Sherman takes this to mean that Weaver changed after the helicopter accident that killed her husband/Savannah's father.  He tells Weaver that her daughter is worried about losing her mother too.

Derek, out for a run, catches sight of a small, lithe, dark-haired woman.  She runs from him and he chases her, tracking her to a hotel.  "Jessie," he says.  "Hey, baby," she replies, and kisses him hard.  She tells him that John Connor didn't send her back and he asks if she's gone AWOL.  "I need a place to rest," Jessie whimpers, "When everything ends, I want to be here with you."  Loyal-to-the-cause Derek is troubled by this: "I don't want everything to end, Jessie.  Not again."  He leaves.

At John's appointment with Sherman, he's a little defensive. Sherman notes that John checked all the exits when he came in the room and asks him if he ever feels like running, escaping.  John, glaring at the lamp Cameron bugged: "All the time."  After the session, Sherman tells Sarah that he thinks Cameron may have Aspergers syndrome (ha!) and that John reminds him of the veterans he used to treat.  "That boy needs to talk ... to somebody," he tells her.

Weaver gets called back down to the lab.  The AI is still acting up.  When she returns to her office (apartment?), Savannah is watching a video of her real parents - her dad and her real mother, pregnant with her, whom Weaver is impersonating.  Meanwhile, Ellison is skulking around the building, getting curious about why he isn't allowed down in the basement.  He asks Weaver what's down there and she tells him they're "building something."

John wants to go back to see Sherman again, ostensibly to figure out why Skynet is interested in him but also because he really does need someone to talk to.  Sarah is hurt that he won't talk to her.  A little later, Derek tells her that John is depressed and does need someone to talk to - it's important.

Elsewhere in the city, another Terminator comes through, this time a red-headed waif.  This latest T-888 heads to Sherman's office where it kills his receptionist as she's heading to her car.

Weaver has Sherman come to her office, telling him that the AI she's working on is modeled on a child and it's refusing to cooperate.  She shows him the images the AI keeps playing with and he laughs, interpreting it as a riddle: Why is a math book so sad?  Answer: Because it has so many problems.  He says that if the AI were a child, a gifted one, he'd think that it was bored with what they're giving it and entertaining itself.  Weaver is intrigued.

Derek returns to Jessie's hotel room.  He's glad to see her.  They do it, athletically.  Afterwards, when he heads to the bathroom, she hides surveillance photos of him and John under the bed.  Is she a Terminator?

At John's next appointment with Sherman, he yanks the bug.  He starts to tell Sherman about the day that Cameron got blown up and those two thugs attacked him and his mother.  He wants to tell the shrink that he killed the guy but he can't bring himself to say it.  Meanwhile, Cameron is concerned about the static she hears from the dismantled bug and heads into the office building, right alongside the T-888 who is posing as a temp replacement for Sherman's receptionist.  The two Terminators recognize each other in the elevator and start fighting.  It's a weird fight, boring and with tinny clanging noise, not the usual crash and bang.  Cameron eventually kills the red-headed T-888 but sticking its stiletto heel through its eyeball and twisting it into a knot.

When Weaver picks Savannah up from her latest session with Sherman, she offers the doctor a job as a consultant to help her raise her petulant AI.  Unfortunately, with the bug no longer in place, the Connor gang misses all this - which they would surely be interested in.  In the closing scene, Sarah herself goes to Sherman and finishes John's story, telling the doctor that it was her son who killed the intruders in their home and that's why he's so damaged right now.

See?  Too talky and hardly any Cameron at all.  We learned some stuff, sure, including why John is so angsty (like we couldn't have figured that out), but not my favorite episode.

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

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