Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E10 "Strange Things Happen at the One-Two Point"

Ellison is woken up in the middle of the night by a digging noise coming from his backyard.  It's Cameron, probing with a piece of rebar, looking for Cromartie's body.  She tells him to go back to bed.

Sarah and Derek break into "Dakara Systems" (the logo of which is three dots in a triangle formation, which Sarah will start seeing everywhere and obsessing about over the course of this episode).  They pull all the hard drives out of the desktop computers.  Afterwards, John checks all the hard drives but there's not enough there to concern him - it's not the Turk, because that would need a dedicated server-farm to support it.  Sarah thinks they need to explore this further and when John expresses concern that she's pushing too hard, she snaps at him.  In the morning, John reports that Dakara is looking for start-up cash to built a server-farm.  They should probably investigate that and he's got Sarah's cover story all ready for her: a rich divorcee looking to put some money into a tech start-up.

Derek lets himself into Jess's hotel room and finds her poring over those surveillance photos of him and the Connors.  He demands an explanation.  She says that she was sent back to separate John from Cameron because in the future, John is beginning to make bad decisions, depending on Cameron too much.  "She's in control.  If he spend the next twenty years with her, how bad will it be then?"  Derek waves his gun around (not a euphemism) and says he needs to think about this.

Ellison reports to Weaver's office and sees a body bag being wheeled out: it's Dr. Sherman, who was "accidentally" cooked to death when he was working with the Babylon Project's A.I. during a recent black out - when the power went out, the A.I. redirected all emergency power towards maintaining its servers, allowing the ambient temperature elsewhere in the lab to rise to unsurvivable temperatures.

Sarah and Cameron dress up and have their interview with Father and Son Akagi, who own Dakara Systems.  The son, who's the computer genius, is a little odd.  The office is in some turmoil because of last night's break-in which has set them back in their software development for an A.I. for the Air Force.  Before the theft of the hard drives, Akagi Sr. says they would have needed $100,000 and a couple of weeks to finish the project; now, he needs ten times that and a miracle.  Back at the Connor house, Sarah tells Cameron to collect enough cash to get the Akagis their miracle.

Oh bite me - it's Riley time.  John stops by Riley's foster home and tells her that there's nothing he can say to her that would explain Mexico.  "You don't have to explain," she says, "You could just sit here with me." "Sorry," says John and leaves.  Later, Riley goes shopping and meets up with ... Jess!  "There are a lot of mirrors in this world," mumbles Riley, "I don't think I can do this anymore.  What if I want out?" "You can do this," says Jess, "You have to do this."  So either Riley is a human sent back from the future to get close to John, or she's a cyborg sent back from the future to get close to John.  Either way, Jess is her handler.

Sarah goes back to see Akagi.  He has found the miracle he needs:  the Japanese team who won the chess tournament (at which the Turk was stolen) has offered to lease out their supercomputer chip, which will get Dakara what it needs to meet its Air Force deadline.  It'll cost them $1 million to lease the chip, though.  Sarah looks both smug (because she thinks this has to be connected to the Turk) and nervous (because that's an effing lot of money).  Later, she and Cameron go through their stash of diamonds: it'll take all they have to put together that $1 million.

Ellison goes down to Weaver's lab and asks a tech about the A.I.'s relationship with Dr. Sherman.  The tech scoffs that the A.I. couldn't have know that it was killing him.  But that it would be creepy if it did.

Sarah and Cameron have a fancy dinner with the Akagis and the Japanese chip-lender guy, Mitimoto.  Cameron wins the table over by offering a toast in Japanese and listening to Akagi Jr. ramble on and on about computer stuff.  Finally Sarah has had enough and tells Mitimoto to hand over the chip.  She, Cameron and the Akagis go back to the office and check out the chip: it's no good, an older model refurbished to look like what they needed.  They've been duped - and the Connors have lost all their money.  A distraught Akagi promises to get Sarah's money back - except that Mitimoto is Yakuza, so that's a bit of a problem.

Back at her foster home, Riley starts to freak out at her foster parents and the other foster kids in the house: "It's all going to burn and you're going to be nothing but bleached skulls! You're all dead!"  Her foster mom tries to soothe her and Riley lashes out, pushing her away.

Ellison reports to Weaver that he thinks the A.I. might have intentionally killed Sherman.  She says he should just ask the A.I. itself, instead of talking to lab techs.  And, by the way, the A.I.'s name is "John Henry."  Ellison goes back down to the lab and starts asking John Henry questions.  The A.I. can communicate with images and also binary code, "1" for yes, "0" for no.  Ellison asks to see what happened to Sherman and the computer runs the security footage.  Ellison asks John Henry how it felt about killing the doctor but the A.I. hasn't been taught any morals so it doesn't care.  Ellison chastises Weaver and her techs for not teaching the machine to value human life.

Sarah, Cameron and Derek break into Mitimoto's place, guns drawn.  Turns out he's not really Yakuza but an actor hired by Akagi to help fleece Sarah out of her cash.  Sarah is PISSED OFF.  She goes back to Dakara Systems and kicks the shit out of Akagi Sr. as Cameron holds Akagi Jr. hostage.  "Who are you working for?" she demands.  But he wasn't working for anyone, just after the money and trying to provide for his son.  Cameron fetches their purloined money from under Akagi's desk and they leave.

Derek is back at Jess's hotel room.  He tells her that John is actually his nephew, making her only the fourth person to know this secret.  He says that he is here in this time to do whatever it takes to stop Skynet so if there's anything else she's been keeping secret, it needs to come out now.  She says no.  I don't trust her.

The next morning, Riley shows up at the Connor house.  I find her slightly less annoying/more interesting now that I know she's a spy.  Riley, to John: "I reject your rejection [of me].  You wanna take a walk?"  He grins, because he's a teenage boy, and goes out with her.

Weaver tells Ellison that she's not qualified to teach John Henry morals, or the Ten Commandments, or whatever Ellison thinks the A.I. needs to learn - would he do it?  She takes him back down into the lab where they've got Cromartie's body wired up to the John Henry A.I.  The machine greets Ellison and is extremely creepy.

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

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