Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E8 "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today"

I'm not sure how the episode title fits, but this is one of the better eps I've seen.  Maybe it's the telling the story from the different viewpoints, I don't know.  I did want a little more Cameron though.

Sarah's story:  Sarah is working on the framework for a homemade safe out in the yard as John and Riley say goodnight.  Mother and son exchange some words about Riley: If you care about this girl, leave her alone.  Cameron strolls up after John rolls his eyes and leaves, and tells Sarah that even when John isn't listening, he's always listening.  She promises to talk with John about Riley.  Now Sarah rolls her eyes.  The next morning, Cameron tells Sarah that John won't be seeing Riley anymore.  Sarah replies that she doesn't like Cameron's influence (but who among us really thinks John is giving up his girlfriend?).  "You got what you wanted," says Cameron.  She leaves and Sarah works on installing her safe in the floor.  Suddenly Cromartie is there, grabbing Sarah by the neck and dragging her upstairs to John's room.  John isn't there and Sarah doesn't know where he is.

Cameron's story:  From an upstairs window, Cameron watches John and Riley say goodnight.  She tells Sarah she'll talk to John about the girl.  That evening, she goes in to see John, shedding her ever-present jacket and wearing nothing but a skimpy tank top through which her hot pink bra is showing, short shorts and her boots.  She lies down on the bed with John, telling him that he's bringing danger into Riley's life: "You do stupid things sometimes ... you should explain that to me."  She also says that she understands that being John Connor can be lonely, and that they've talked about that in the future.  "So what about Riley?" she asks.  "I know," says John.  The next morning, after telling Sarah that John won't see Riley anymore, Cameron heads out to a secret bunker Derek has established so that she can replenish the house's weapons.  Derek is annoyed that she's raiding his bunker when he set it up with his people for his people.  Cameron blandly asks him where he's been lately and he reminds her that he doesn't have a bed at the Connor house.  (Well, that sucks. Way to look out for your brother-in-law, Sarah.)  Derek gets a phone call: it's the alarm code from John, letting him know he's in trouble.  Derek and Cameron take off.

John's story:  After Cameron leaves his bedroom, John grabs his jacket and backpack and calls Riley, saying he'll be there in a few minutes.  He sneaks out of the house without anyone noticing.  The two of them take a bus to a little town in Mexico where John spent some formative years.  Riley asks if Sarah knows about this little field trip and John's all, no, don't worry about it.  She wants to know why they've come here but John doesn't want to talk about himself.  At dinner that night, however, a local recognizes John and calls him "John Connor."  John panics and he and Riley try to run, but the cops grab Riley and John won't abandon her.  The cops take them in and tell John that if his parents come to pick him up, they'll let him go with just a warning.  John calls Sarah but won't speak when she answers, instead pressing the buttons on the phone in some pre-arranged code sequence.  Then he does the same to Derek's phone.  The cops lock him and Riley up, saying they're going to run John's aliases through Interpol.  Later, Riley begs one of the guards for a phone call of her own, saying John is scaring her.  When the guard unlocks the cell door, John grabs him, pulling him into the bars and knocking him out.  He tells Riley, "If you see daylight, you run, no matter what."

Sarah's story:  Cromartie has Sarah taped up in the backseat of his convertible.  She pulls her feet free and throws herself out of the car.  Too stunned to run, she can't fight back when he pulls over, grabs her and stuffs her in the trunk.  Some time later, she manages to get her hands free when the car stops.  There's a big ruckus, and lots of gunfire.  When the trunk is opened, Ellison and John are there.  Ellison: "Sarah Connor? I need you to come with me."

Ellison's story:  Ellison is out for a run when his cell phone rings.  It's an FBI agent, a former coworker, who has flagged the Mexican cops' Interpol search on John Connor.  Ellison goes to Mexico.  He tells the cops that John matches the description of a fugitive in an old case of his, even though the ages don't match up (because of the time travel thing the Connors and Cameron did back at the start of this series).  He also tells them that if John is who he thinks he is, he's in danger.  Too late: Cromartie has made his way down there too and Ellison sees him through a window just before the T-888 starts shooting up the place.  The escaping John and Riley run past Ellison, who grabs John and tells him that he's here to help.  They run outside, jump in Cromartie's car and all three drive off as Cromartie chases them through town, shooting everyone.  They hear a noise coming from the trunk of the car and pull over, releasing Sarah.  The four of them abandon the car and run for it as Cromartie stalks through the town.  Regrouping in John and Riley's motel room, Ellison tells Sarah that although Cromartie has been watching him, he came down here to help.  John tells Riley that she needs to go home now.  Riley doesn't understand just how dire things are.  Sarah calls Derek for backup and when he answers, he tells her that he and Cameron are already in town, over at the jail.

Derek's story:  Derek and Cameron watch the absolute mayhem in town.  Cameron says that Cromartie is here and she walks into the jail, looking for John.  She will not be deterred, saying she can't let anything happen to John.  Derek gets that call from Sarah.  Where the hell's Cromartie?  (And, for the record, Derek didn't get much of a story here.)

Cromartie's story:  At the jail, he asks politely to see John and then just starts shooting - only cops, none of the prisoners.  He picks up a semi-automatic on the way out of the jail and watches in Terminator-vision as Ellison, John and Riley steal his car.  As Cromartie walks through the bloodstained and deserted town square, he sees Ellison ducking into the church.  The T-888 follows Ellison into the church where it finds the former FBI guy praying.  Ellison: "Have you come to repent?"  Cromartie: "I'm looking for John Connor."  Derek and Sarah start shooting at Cromartie from their positions on the roof.  Cromartie fires back and then in walks Cameron with a big-ass shotgun to rip pieces out of Cromartie's chassis.  Part of his skull is blown off, damaging his chip, and he drops to the floor, twitching.  Everyone surrounds him - Sarah, John, Cameron, Derek and Ellison - and John delivers the coup de grace.  You know, that seemed way easier than it should have been.

As they bury Cromartie, planning to come back later and burn out the evidence, Sarah tells Ellison that they all shouldn't travel back to L.A. together.  And he should just pretend that she's still dead.  And then what, wonders Ellison, who lost his marriage and his career the last time he thought she died.  Sarah realizes that he wants/needs an explanation and all she can tell him is that this is all she has, surviving and running and keeping John alive.  She says she's sorry for what Ellison's lost but she can't offer him any more than that.  Sarah takes Cromartie's chip and starts to crush it with the butt of her rifle.  Then she starts to get a little hysterical, moaning and shrieking as she pulverizes the chip.  Everyone stares until John gathers his mother into his arms, holding her as she sobs.  Ellison looks at all of them and just walks away.

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


  1. Mr Ferguson is the teacher Chromartie replaced in the first episode. He was "Ill" that day.

  2. Ah - gotcha. Thanks ... and thanks for reading and commenting!