Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E17 "Ourselves Alone"

It's a good thing we're nearing the end because I've about had it with this show.  I'm definitely finishing it at this point, and don't necessarily regret watching it, but I totally remember why I gave up on it when it was on T.V.  It's dour and slow, relying too much on dialogue, which is not its strength, and lately shying away from Summer Glau and the action-y bits, which are totally its strong points.

Cameron's left hand is glitching, which she discovers when she inadvertently crushes to death a pigeon that had been trapped in their house, which John had instructed her not to kill.  Sarah sees Riley for the first time since the wrist-cutting; Riley is weirdly smug - I'm not sure if the character is supposed to be or if this is just an odd acting choice.  Derek and Jess do some target practice and he asks her to help him snatch up a lawyer who might have some intel on Skynet/Skynet-to-be.  Jess reminds him that she's not here to stop the war - she's here to win it - but she reluctantly agrees to help out.  Sarah asks Cameron about Riley and they decide they should know more about her.  Cameron offers to go talk to the foster parents but Sarah says she'll do it.  Cameron goes out to the shed and slices open her left arm, trying to figure out what's wrong.  Riley peeks inside the shed and sees her.  She's freaked out but less so than a regular person would be.  Cameron hears her outside and, going to the doorway, sees her walk off, a considering look on her (Cameron's) face.

When John goes out to the shed, he thinks that maybe he could patch Cameron up and she pulls out some spare parts that she saved from some of the T-888 carcasses.  John is pissed that she kept those parts but she tells him that Future John told her to do it, just for this scenario.  Meanwhile, Riley goes to Jess, afraid that Cameron is going to kill her.  Jess: "If she knew you saw, you'd be dead already."  Riley says that she won't go back and Jess says, yes, you will, but I won't let anyone hurt you.  Sarah goes to see Riley's foster dad, who tells her that Riley freaked out on them, shouting about the world burning and bleached skulls.  Interest piqued, Sarah asks about the bruise on Riley's face and the foster dad gets defensive, telling her that he thinks John is a bad influence ... and the guidance counselor thinks so too.

Sarah gets the guidance counselor's number and arranges a meeting: the counselor is Jess, of course, who makes pointed comments, trying to rile Sarah up.  When Sarah returns home, she tells John that Riley told this guidance counselor all about John and Sarah and Derek, and Mexico, and the end of the world.  John insists that he didn't tell Riley ANYTHING but his mom doesn't believe him.  He says he'll talk to his girlfriend and Sarah says that maybe instead he should prepare himself for what's going to happen when Cameron finds out what Riley's been saying.

Riley comes over that evening and Sarah pounces on her, telling her that she owes John an explanation for all the things she's been telling people.  Riley insists that she hasn't said anything to anyone.  They are interrupted when a woman from DCFS shows up to chat with the Connors about Riley.  Riley and Cameron hide out in the shed and Riley is super-scared that she's about to get killed there and then.  After the DCFS woman leaves, John goes to the shed and asks Riley to wait for him outside.  He asks Cameron, "Were you going to kill her?"  Cameron: "I don't know."  John: "Since when do you not know?  This isn't your decision to make."  Cameron: "It's usually not a decision."  John: "Well, this time it is and it's not yours.  What's happening to you?"  Cameron: "I don't know."  Then John goes out to talk to Riley.  He looks at her pointedly and asks, "Is there anything you want to tell me?  Because tonight is the night for it."  He totally gives her the opportunity to say, "Yes, John, yes, I am a crazy person recruited from the future and sent back here to try to make you love me and get you away from your sister, who isn't a girl but is really a very scary pet robot, and the trouble is I actually kind of like you and I'm completely terrified that your pet robot is going to kill me," but what she actually says is, "No."  John's very scary robot sister and equally scary human mother watch them from a distance.

Derek is in Jess's hotel room when she gets back.  He's ready to move on snatching up that lawyer he's been stalking.  She drags her feet a little but agrees to meet up with him later tonight.  Later tonight, Derek waits at their meeting spot but Jess never shows up and the lawyer gets away.  Why does Jess never show up?

Because Riley has gone after her in her hotel room, shrieking that she figured out that Jess's plan all along was for John to care about her and then Cameron to kill her because that's the only way John would turn away from Cameron.  "How could you do this to me?  I trusted you, I loved you!"  And then they have a big ol' chick fight, wrestling and clawing and stabbing and kicking and bludgeoning.  Riley actually appears to be getting the upper hand until Jess grabs a gun she's stashed under the couch and shoots her in the chest.  Thus endeth Riley.  Can't say I'm going to miss her much.

That night, John finds Cameron out in the shed. He's worried that he hasn't heard from Riley but Cameron has something more important on her mind, literally.  She's installed a tiny explosive in her own head and crafted a detonation switch out of an old pocketwatch, which she gives to John.  She says that she doesn't seem to be fixable and is incapable of self-termination, so she's given him the means to terminate her if it ever comes down to that.  He seems more upset by that thought than by the fact that he can't find Riley.  But when he heads back up to the house, he sees another dead bird - ostensibly crushed to death, I guess - and wonders if Cameron is maybe right about this.

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Books, excuses, whatever

My apologies for the abrupt drop-off in posting: Mr. Mouse and I had to go out of town to a party and then to a wedding and we're only now just getting back into things.  I have more T:TSCC disks ready to watch - just need the time to do it.  I've been reading stuff too: I reread American Gods by Neil Gaiman on our travels - I adore that book and this time, since I bought it and don't have to return it to the library, I'm going to get online and start looking up all the gods and mythologies that I don't know, like Czernobog and Bielebog and Wisakedjak and Bilquis, just to namedrop a few.  I'm also re-reading Watership Down, which is one of my all-time favorite books ever.  I've got a new fantasy novel that I've just started and picked up two more at the library today, so things are moving right along.

I also recently finished Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed, which I read about on NPR.  They quite liked it; me, less so.  I liked the new world-building, the writing and story are fine, the characters are intriguing enough.  I just thought it should be funnier, or less funny maybe - it had some tonal issues.  Also, I didn't feel like I was able to connect with the characters very easily, probably because different chapters were written from the POV of different characters, but some characters got more chapters than others.  Martin can do it with his Song of Ice and Fire series because there's like 8 million pages in all those books, but in this 274-page novel some characters got short-changed.  This looks to be the first of a series, though, so maybe more time spent with these folks will help things along.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E16 "Some Must Watch While Others Sleep"

Oh joy of joys: we open with another Sarah voiceover, droning on about nighttime demons (witches, succubi, and the like) and dreams.  So this'll be a dream episode then.  I can hardly wait.

Sarah is in an industrial part of town, investigating Western Iron and Metal, a shop that supplied specialty metals to the factory (Calipa?  did we decide that's the name of the company?).  She calls John to check in - he's dismayed that she's not asleep since it's around midnight - and asks him to poke around online to see what he can learn.  She is about to break into the building when she is distracted  by a coyote ... and doesn't notice the masked man sneaking up behind her and Tasering her until she falls down, twitching.

And wakes up in a sleep clinic, electrodes stuck to her face.  She sits up as the nurse chastises her, saying they won't get a good baseline if she doesn't leave the electrodes on.  They're trying to figure out why she isn't sleeping (uh, stress maybe?) since it's been weeks since she's gotten any decent shut-eye.  The nurse says she'll be right back and Sarah hears a noise from the other side of the curtain dividing her room: it's her roommate, Dana, a pudgy, charming British lass who is afflicted with a sleep disorder, smokes, drinks, overeats and may also be a sex addict.  John pokes his head in the room: it's visiting hours and Sarah goes out to the courtyard to talk with him and Cameron.  Sarah frets that she should be out there, fighting against the rise of Skynet, but John says no, she's useless so tired, and he needs her to stay here and get better.  As the kids leave, Sarah notices an orderly with a coyote tattoo on the back of his next.

That night, electrodes in place, she dreams.  She's in a van, held captive by Ed the factory warehouse guard she shot.  "You're dead, I killed you," she says.  "And I killed you," he replies, "One of us is going to have to step it up."  Ed pulls the van over and climbs into the back with her.  There's lots and lots of talking, punctuated by Ed beating on Sarah.  He wants to know who she works for, who blew up their factory.  When she won't talk, he fills a syringe with some sort of truth serum and leans towards her.

Sarah wakes up in the clinic.  The nurse confirms that Sarah's insomnia and night terrors are psychological, not physiological.  Sarah says that therapy didn't work for her and she's not interested in drugs.  That'll make treatment more challenging.  When she and the nurse get back to Sarah and Dana's room, the nurse is upset to find one of Dana's cigarette butts and says she has to go file a report.  Dana comes out of the bathroom and she and Sarah talk about their respective nightmares:  Sarah's is being chased, naturally, and Dana's is burning alive.  "Do the bad guys ever catch you?" Dana asks.

Back to the van.  When Sarah opens her eyes, Ed lets her know that he undressed her while she was unconscious; he's seen all her scars, including the one from an emergency C-section, so he knows she's a mother.  Sarah quashes her horror at the violation and tells Ed that it was his own company that killed its people and blew up the factory.  Ed thinks she is being very dramatic.  She asks him what Diana (his wife) would think if she could see him now.  Ed gets angry at that, handcuffing Sarah and throwing her around.  She fights back, kicking him into the wall of the van.  He accidentally sticks himself with the syringe and slumps down, but not before pulling his gun.

Back at the clinic.  Sarah wakes up and checks on Dana.  She can't wake her and notices an injection site on her neck, which seems unnecessary since Dana was given sleeping pills at bedtime.  Sarah sneaks into the hallway and follows the nurse down into the basement.  The nurse lets herself into a room with an electronic keypad so Sarah can't follow her.  In the morning, the nurse notices that Sarah's electrodes are off again and asks her if she is a sleepwalker.  Sometimes, says Sarah.  The nurse is miffed that Sarah didn't mention this before.

John and Cameron go back to the clinic to visit.  Cameron asks questions about what it's like to dream: how do you know what's real or not?  "Sometimes you don't," admits John.  Sarah joins them and tells John that she thinks something's going on here at the clinic.  Her son thinks she's being paranoid, even for her.  She tells him that she's been dreaming about Ed.  John's like, what happened is okay - you were defending yourself.  "I'm not supposed to defend myself," Sarah says, frustrated, "I'm supposed to defend you."  The nurse comes over and tells Sarah it's time for a nap.

Back to the van.  Ed asks Sarah how Diana looked at his funeral.  They begin to talk, Ed answering her questions because he got stuck with the truth serum.  He tells her that his job is to kill people for the company.  She tells him that he was her first kill and he laughs, saying he figured a bad-ass gal like her had a high body count to her credit.  She tells him that she can help him and Diana get away from the company and disappear.  Ed is hesitant, saying that they'll track him down, but then he uncuffs her and lets her out of the van.  Sarah runs for it but it's a fake-out: Ed tackles her, dragging her back to the van.  Sarah struggles mightily and a siren starts to blare.

Back to the clinic, where the siren is a fire alarm: Dana is dead in her bed and on fire, ostensibly from a lit cigarette, but Sarah thinks otherwise.  In the morning, she calls John to update him.  He now thinks that maybe she should come home but she's determined to figure out what's going on.  Later, the nurse tells everyone that Dana is critically injured but not dead (Sarah silently scoffs), and gives the staff and remaining patients a pep talk.  She also gives Sarah a couple of diazepams to help her sleep because of the added stress of her roommate catching on fire.  Sarah palms them, not about to take anything this nurse gives her.

Back to the van.  Sarah is tied up again.  Talk talk talk, blah blah blah.  Ed figures out that it is her son whom she is protecting so fiercely, her son who is her accomplice.  He tortures her a little and she gasps that she won't call him - she'd die first.

Back at the clinic.  John shakes Sarah awake.  She's woozy, but called him when she woke up after the nurse gave her an injection while she was dozing off.  They go downstairs to the locked room in the basement and John easily hacks his way in.  The room inside is full of computers shows thousands of brain scans.  They search for Sarah's file and find it.  Sarah tells John to delete it: she thinks this clinic is a Skynet experiment where they are collecting tons and tons of data about humans.  Out in the hallway, an orderly tells the nurse that Sarah's electrodes seem to have come off again.  The nurse goes straight to the locked room and is unsurprised to find Sarah there, unsteady on her feet.

The nurse starts talking about "humans" (like she isn't one) and their weird dreams, then slams Sarah up against the wall.  Sarah crumples to the floor and the nurse kicks her viciously.  The nurse snatches up a computer tower and is about to crush Sarah's skull with it when John steps out from where he was hiding and shoots her.  She doesn't stay down long, though: when John and Sarah check her body, she rises up, grabs John's gun and shoots first him and then his mother.  Shoots them dead.

Back in the van.  Sarah comes to with a gasp, realizing that this is the real world and the clinic was the dream, brought on by Ed's truth serum.  She hears him on the phone outside, saying that "this is the one we want."  Frantic, she breaks her own thumb and pulls the handcuffs off.  When Ed opens the van doors, ready to kill her, she springs out and stabs him in the eye with that syringe.  Yuck.  They fight until she grabs the gun. "You're real!" she cried, "You're real, you're real!"  And then she shoots him in the head.

And to wrap things up, Sarah drives through the night, bloodied and battered, heading home, and her voiceover drones on and one about the witching hour and witches and demons and bad dreams and bad bitches.

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is quite possibly the best thing ever. Ever.

We pause in our interminable Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles coverage to spread the word about this delectable-ness:


I just read about this, which falls squarely in the "why the hell didn't I think of this years ago?" category, on NPR this morning.  It is just one more example of how bacon makes everything better: you take your regular ol' s'mores* - toasted marshmallow on slab of chocolate on graham crackers - and add some crispy bacon in there, probably between the marshmallow and the chocolate.  That is completely brilliant and I am totally doing this on our next camping trip.

Bacon s'mores.

*  NPR linked to this site here, which got all fancy-pants with homemade pig-shaped graham crackers.  That might be a little too Martha Stewart for yours truly but the little pig-shaped s'mores are about the cutest things you've ever seen.

Photo credit: NPR.  Oh gawd those look fabulous, even for indoor s'mores.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E15 "Desert Cantos"

Vigil.  Sarah, John, Derek and Cameron head out to Charm Acres, the created community where all the factory/warehouse workers lived.  They're funeral-crashing, hoping to talk to folks and learn more about the factory.  As they drive along, they pass a small pond with a bunch of dead cows lying around it.  Nobody seems to notice.  In the town square, large photographs of the dead workers sit on easels.  Sarah pauses next to the photo of the guy who shot her.  By the way, she's walking with nary a limp after last episode's gunshot trauma.

John meets a sour, sarcastic girl about his age, Zoe, whose dad worked at the factory.  She says that she picked out a suit this morning to bury him in.  Another boy, Henry, comes to get her for the candle lighting ceremony, giving John a dirty look: Henry likes Zoe but she's not buying what he's selling.  She tells John that it was nice to meet him and then goes to stand with her mother next to her father's photo.  Meanwhile, Sarah meets the wife of the man who shot her.  Diana (wife) is sad and misses her husband (Ed).  Also meanwhile, Derek bumps into a squirrelly little guy.

Service.  Sarah sits with her new friend Diana at the funeral service.  Diana talks a lot about Ed, how frustrated she was with the company (Calipa? is that the company's name?) that kept her husband on the job seven days a week.  Nobody in town dared complain when things were going well, but during the service Diana has had enough and stands up, shouting that there should at least be a representative from the company here to pay their respects to the dead employees.  She runs out and Sarah follows.  They talk some more and Diana says that none of the families knew what went on at the factory - whenever she would ask, Ed would just clam up.  Sarah notes that sometimes people just get caught up in things.  Diana pulls out a key ring, saying it seems to be to a storage locker but she's been afraid to check it out.  Sarah says she'll do it.  At the storage locker, there's furniture inside, and sports equipment, and what looks like bloody clothes.  When she goes back to Diana, Sarah says the storage locker was empty.

Out in the church vestibule, the squirrelly guy is on the phone with Catherine Weaver: his name is Walsh and she's hired him to track down one of the factory workers whom Weaver believes is still alive.  Back at Weaver's office, Ellison notices that most of the employees are wearing plaid; it's the anniversary of Catherine's husband's death.  Catherine comes out of the elevator and greets Ellison with a cheery (for her), "It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"  Ellison thinks this might be weird on the anniversary of her husband's death.

Processional.  Derek, having flatted Walsh's tires, offers the squirrelly guy a ride out to the cemetery.  Walsh tells him he's an OSHA investigator, trying to determine the cause of the explosion.  "So, what do you think about what happened?" asks Derek, "People say it wasn't an accident, something was going on up there other than heating and air conditioning."  His questions make Walsh even more squirrelly and the little guy hops out at the next light.  "Good luck with your investigation," sneers Derek.

Diana drives with Sarah to the cemetery, saying that she didn't know her husband at all.  Sarah is feeling a little conflicted because she likes this woman but she's the one who shot her husband.  Meanwhile, Henry drives Zoe, John and Cameron to the cemetery.  Henry is all cranky at the extra company and gets even more cranky once Zoe tells John about her ex-boyfriend Mike, whose family up and left Charm Acres without saying goodbye after some rumored issues with Mike's mom at the factory.  Cameron notices Henry's bitchface and pipes up: "Zoe doesn't love you the way you love her."  Infuriated, Henry pulls over and refuses to drive further.  John sees a cop heading their way so he jumps out, hauls Henry out of the driver's seat and stuffs him in the backseat, then gets in to drive himself.  Zoe announces that she can't deal with another funeral right now: "You want to see something really messed up?"  She directs them to the pond with all the dead cows, "One day they're here but the next they're just gone."  Cameron, checking out the carcasses: "Just like Mike."

Burial.  At the cemetery, they're now burying Henry's dad.  Zoe mentions to John that now everyone in town is rich because the company agreed to pay big time life insurance on its employees.  She also thinks the company wasn't doing HVAC; her theory is that it was a government project and the explosion wasn't an accident.  John gets his thinky face on.

Derek rejoins the rest of the Connor group at the burial and asks Sarah if she's learned anything more about that drone aircraft she thinks she saw when she got shot out at the factory.  "Not thinks," she snarls.  When Walsh leaves the cemetery, Sarah follows him since he doesn't know who she is.  He goes to a house in town and jimmies open a window, climbing in.  Sarah waits for a bit, then follows him.

After the burial, John talks with Zoe some more, asking if Henry is okay.  He tells her that his dad died before he was born, so he kinda knows what they're going through.  Zoe says, yeah, well, my dad is a pile of ashes so I guess we're both screwed.  John: "I thought you picked out a suit to bury him in?"  Zoe narrows her eyes and backs away, "Why am I even talking to you?"  She leaves quickly.  Cameron:  "She's not crying."  John: "She's not doing a lot of things."

Back at the office, Weaver and Ellison talk, Ellison sharing a story about how he felt when his father died - they had a difficult relationship but he still missed him.  He asks her how little Savannah is doing on the anniversary of her father's death.  Weaver's all, she's fine, then says, "Would you excuse me please, I'm feeling emotional."  With a completely flat affect.  Heh.  After Ellison leaves, she calls her assistant and instructs her to bring Savannah to her.

Wake.  John, Derek and Cameron sit down with their plates of funeral food in Zoe's backyard and rehash what they've learned.  Cameron notices that neither Zoe nor her mother ever look at the photo of Zoe's dead dad.  They observe the two of them for a little while and decide that no, Zoe's dad is not actually dead.  Cameron: "We should find him before he is."  Meanwhile, Sarah wanders through the house Walsh broke into.  It's totally empty, locked from the inside, and Walsh is gone.  She finds a secret door leading to an underground system of tunnels and rooms, with monitors from cameras placed all over town.  There are old pizza boxes too, indicating that someone has been spending a lot of time down here, watching.  Sarah also finds a fairly fresh smear of blood.

John makes his way upstairs to Zoe's parents' bedroom, searching through the bureau drawers.  Zoe catches him in there.  John: "Your father's alive, isn't he? Let me help you!"  Zoe's all, you can't!, and points to a camera in the ceiling.  Down below, Sarah wanders the tunnels, gun drawn.  She finds a ladder and climbs it, emerging through another trap door in Zoe's family's garage.  Derek calls her to see what's going on and she raps on the garage window; he turns around and sees her there.

Recessional.  Now Sarah, Derek, John, Cameron, Zoe and Zoe's mom are all down in the underground monitoring room.  Zoe's mom accuses them of being terrorist and Sarah like, yup, we kind of are.  Derek says that this video arrangement is like the work camps in the future, set up like that with cameras and humans watching their neighbors for the machines.  The Connor gang presses about what was going on at the factory.  Zoe's mom says that she didn't ask any questions about her husband's work, and she didn't ask any questions when he said he was going to play dead so they could escape.  Cameron pulls up some archived footage: Zoe's dad and Ed shooting Mike and his family.  Zoe is stunned.  John finds a pair of muddy boots: "Mom, I think I know where he might be."

As they head out to their car, Diana runs up and wants some answers about who Sarah is and what she's doing.  Sarah: ""Sometimes it's better not to ask too many questions."  Which is funny because she was just yelling at Zoe's mom for not asking enough questions about the factory.

At Weaver's office, she observes Savannah crying.  Drawing the little girl near, she tells her about her own father's death, but she's using Ellison's exact words about his dad and has clearly appropriated his story as her own, trying to comfort the little girl.  She asks Savannah what she misses about her daddy.  [Some of this I missed because the DVD skipped.  No biggie.]

By the time the Connors get to the dead cow pond, it is fully nighttime.  Walsh is there, dead on the ground.  Suddenly the pond starts bubbling and the drone aircraft that Sarah saw bursts up out of it.  They all stare, dumbstruck, as it flies away.  Where does it go?  It goes down the road a bit to where Zoe's dad is waiting with a semi truck.  The ship hovers, folds in on itself and lands in the trailer of the truck.  Zoe's dad closes the doors, climbs into the cab and drives away.

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E14 "The Good Wound"

Sarah wakes up in a hospital, hearing old dialogue from the original movie Terminator, with Kyle Reese telling her he loves her and she needs to get on her feet.  She rips the IV out of her arm and lurches from the bed, gasping in pain.  Vision Kyle extends a hand, helping her up. The sheriff's deputy on guard in the hallway hears breaking glass and barges into her room.  She is hiding behind the door and chokes him into unconsciousness.  Vision Kyle walks her out of the hospital and tells her that she needs to get the bullet out of her leg, and she should call "him" for help.

Meanwhile, John has called Derek in a panic, having brought the suicidal Riley to the ER.  Derek chastises him for bringing her in, saying that now psych staff, case workers and foster care will get involved.  Derek's proved right when the doctor tells John he'll have to hold Riley on a suicide watch overnight.  Sarah calls Derek and tells him about the warehouse, asking him to go out there and check it out, plus burn her car, wherever she left it.  After he hangs up, John asks: "Is this real this time?"  Derek: "I think the bullet in her leg is real."  John commences freaking out.

VISION KYLE IS ANNOYING.  A young doctor pulls into the hospital parking lot.  Sarah kidnaps her at gunpoint to get help for her leg.  They go to a motel.  Sarah is paranoid and defensive and Vision Kyle coaches her, telling her to let the doctor help her.  Sarah tells a story that alludes enough to being hurt by a man that the doctor has some sympathy for her; Sarah means the guy who shot her plus all the Terminators that beat her up, but the doctor thinks she means a husband or boyfriend.  There may be some over-identification going on here.

The deputies go through Sarah's car, wherever she left it.  It's covered in blood from her leg wound.  They get a call from the hospital, informing them of Sarah's escape.  The DVD skips here but I don't think I've missed much.  At the [other?] hospital, Riley wakes up to find John and Cameron at her bedside.  She is less than thrilled to see Cameron and pleads exhaustion so they'll leave.

Back at the motel, the doctor tells Sarah that she can't get the bullet out here - it's too close to the femoral artery.  She tells Sarah they'll have to go back to the hospital or she'll die.

Ellison shows up for his session with John Henry, who is putting together Transformer toys.  The A.I. is speaking with a much more natural affect than before.  They talk about God again.  John Henry then reviews all the bad deeds that its T-888 body did, which it learned about by Googling "James Ellison."  Ellison finds John Henry very creepy.  Later, he tells Weaver that he's not sure giving the A.I. access to the internet is a good idea.

The deputies have found the motel room, covered in blood and discarded medical equipment, but Sarah and the doctor are long gone, back to the hospital.  They sneak into the morgue, the doctor amazingly continuing to be sympathetic to abrasive Sarah who keeps waving a gun at her.  The doctor goes to fetch supplies, which gives Sarah and Vision Kyle a chance to chat some more.  Her leg starts bleeding again and she worries that she'll bleed out - it'll only take four minutes if her femoral artery gets nicked.  She calls Derek who tells her that Riley is turning into a problem.  She tells him that her leg is a problem.  Derek says that she's not to worry about John.

John Henry has requested Weaver's presence in the lab.  The A.I. tells her that it knows she's not human: she's made of metal, not the same metal as it's body, but metal all the same.  It knows this because it looked into her eyes and saw nothing there.  She tells John Henry that it is not to tell anyone what it knows about her.  The A.I. asks her what she is doing.  Weaver says that she can't answer that right now, but that everything she does, she does for it.

The doctor returns to the morgue, ready to operate.  She says that the pain will be bad enough that she needs to put Sarah under.  Also, she wants Sarah to hand over her gun.  Vision Kyle tells Sarah to stop effing around and let the doctor do her job.  Sarah gives up her gun and the doctor goes to work.

In the [other?] hospital, Riley's doctor tells John that Riley has gone missing.  John's all, we have to find her!  Cameron: No, we do NOT need to find her.  John asks Cameron what his future self would do about Riley.  Cameron replies that future John has more important things to do.  Meanwhile, Jess has popped into Riley's room and taken her back to her hotel.  Riley asks if she can stay with Jess, just for a little while since people are looking for her.

Out at the warehouse, people are packing everything up hurriedly, getting ready to bug out.  Then Weaver is there, stalking through the halls, killing everyone in her path.  It's compete pandemonium.  Weaver slices and dices, not even getting any blood on her stylish white dress.  She finds the demolitions materials in a storeroom and blows the whole place sky-high, including all the fresh corpses she made.  Ain't going to be nothing left by the time Derek gets out there.

Meanwhile, the deputies have listened to the recording of Abraham's therapy session/shooting. that Sarah had in her car.  They decide to call in everyone, FBI, ATF, etc.  Things are about to get complicated.  One of the deputies heads out to the warehouse but his car explodes before he can get in it.  It's Derek, who sneaks inside the sheriff's office, burns the paper files and steals their laptop.  He doesn't get that recording, though, because the deputy still has it.  Derek sneaks away and the deputies are all, we're going back to the hospital!

Oh fer chrissakes. Sarah and Vision Kyle continue to talk as she's under the anesthesia.  Blah blah blah.  This Kyle is nothing on Michael Biehn.  Sarah makes it through the surgery and is just starting to come out of it when Derek bursts into the morgue, looking for her.  Thinking he's the guy who abused Sarah, the doctor pulls Sarah's gun on him.  Derek has his own gun, of course.  Then a deputy charges in and points his gun at Derek.  OMG, do NOT shoot Derek before he's had a chance to take his shirt off again.  The deputy yells at the doctor to put her gun down but she refuses.  He calls her baby, and then he calls her a crazy bitch.  The doctor freaks out and shoots the deputy.  Derek rushes to Sarah's side as she wakes up.  As they get ready to leave, Sarah tells the doctor that she should blame the deputy's death on her.  The doctor is all, no, that wouldn't be right; I'll tell him he put the gun to my head and threatened to kill me - it wouldn't be the first time.

As the episode ends, Derek and Sarah drive towards the warehouse, dismayed to see the plume of black smoke rising above it.

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

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E13 "Earthlings Welcome Here"

Sarah drives through the desert, voiceover intoning about the 1400s.  I so don't care.  She's headed to a UFO convention, sitting in on an abductee seminar.  She's still obsessing about those three dots and is trying to follow up on UFO sightings.  At the seminar, she learns about a blogger called Abraham who was reportedly working with an indestructible metal, possibly the precursor to the metal that makes up the Terminator chassis (Note: what the plural of "chassis?").  Sarah wants to meet this "Abraham," but he disappeared six months ago.  She calls home to check in with John, who tells her to be careful.

Meanwhile, John and Riley are working on stripping off the wallpaper from John's bedroom.  She's a little distracted and she admits to him how she flipped out on her foster family.  Cameron pokes her head in, pretty much reminding Riley that she's keeping an eye on her.  Later, John notices a bruise on the side of Riley's face.  She tells him to drop it.

Flashforward to 2037:  Riley is in the tunnels, stealing food, nearly feral.  Jess, carrying a big gun, pulls her aside.  Later, the two women teleport into our time and go to Jess's hotel room.  Riley is fascinated, touching everything, sniffing things.  Taking a shower, washing what looks like decades-worth of built-up dirt, is almost a religious experience for her.  Jess brushes Riley's hair and tucks her into bed.

Now: One of the abductees, a tall, horsey woman, takes Sarah back to her Airstream trailer to show her photos and drawings of UFOs with those three dots.  Over a cup of chamomile tea, they map out a plan to track down Abraham.  They go to a diner where Abraham was reportedly spotted a few weeks ago.  Do we think this woman is Abraham?  We do.  When the woman goes for a pee break, Sarah has a weird vision of herself sitting across the table, spinning a knife, with something I can't read carved into the tabletop - NO FATE, maybe?  Sarah charges into the bathroom and demands the truth about Abraham.  The woman confesses that she is in fact Abraham and she's in hiding, living as a woman now.

Back at the office, Weaver continues to try to convince Ellison to tutor John Henry in all things moral; Ellison's religious faith and paternal demeanor make him the ideal teacher, she thinks.  Ellison is having trouble getting past Cromartie's face on the A.I., recalling the dozens of FBI agents the T-888 slaughtered before being scrubbed and installed with the John Henry intelligence.  He also worries about how powerful the A.I. could become.  Weaver insists.

Back at the Airstream, make-up scrubbed off and wig gone, Abraham still looks like a horsey woman and not the "Alan Park," he claims to be.  Whatever - willing suspension of disbelief.  Park had been at M.I.T. and was recruited by a mysterious company to work on that indestructible metal.  He and his coworkers were transported by blacked-out van to a secret location, so he doesn't know where the lab is.  After a while, he started getting nervous and asked questions about his employer.  Then his apartment got ransacked and his car brakes went out.  The next day Park cleaned out his bank account and went on the lam, but not before stealing a piece of that metal.  Sarah is like, okay, let's go get it.

Flashback to a few months ago:  Jess and Riley sit in Jess's car.  Riley wants to know why Jess picked her.  There's no time for answers now, however, as Jess pushes her out of the car so she can walk up to John for their very first meeting at the high school.  Now:  Cameron accosts Riley in the hallway, asking about her tattoo.  John comes up, wondering what's going on.  Cameron looks at him: "We need to talk."  Riley bails.

After church, Ellison tries to talk to his pastor, needing guidance.  But he doesn't even know where to begin.

Sarah and Abraham/Alan Park go to Park's storage unit.  They open up his safe but the metal is gone.  As they leave, a masked motorcyclist starts shooting at them.  Sarah returns fire but the gunman gets away unscathed.  Back at the Airstream, Park is freaking out, "Who are you? What is going on?"  Sarah snarls that Park is a liar and pulls out her gun: "Who are you working for?"  Later, after they've both calmed down a little, they talk some more.  It gets a little too soul-searchy and I'm bored.  Sarah wants to know about the lab Park worked in, but he'd been blindfolded in the van and can't give her anything.  Sarah looks down at a flier she took from the UFO convention and wonders if maybe hypno-regression therapy might help Park remember something.

Flashback to maybe a day or so ago:  Against orders, Riley shows up at Jess's room, saying that she's been kicked out of her foster home.  She's feeling sorry for herself and is thinking that maybe she and Jess could get an apartment together.  Jess slaps her - resulting in that bruise John noticed on Riley's face - and tells her to finish the job of getting John away from Cameron.

Now: Cameron tells John that Riley has been lying to them.  He refuses to listen to anything negative about Riley (why? she frigging sucks!) and goes back into the house.  Riley has locked herself in the bathroom and won't answer him.  Cameron busts down the door and Riley is on the floor, wrists slashed.  John gathers the unconscious girl up and glares meaningfully at Cameron.

Sarah takes Park, back in his woman disguise, to meet with a hypnotherapist.  She waits in the car, listening in on a bug and ducking down whenever a cop drives by.  Then she hears gunshots.  When she rushes into the therapist's office, both the therapist and Park are dead.  The gunman has gotten away.  Clearly Sarah is getting close to something.  Afterwards, she listens again to the recording, noting the details Park remembers about the drive to the secret lab: sounds, timing, etc.  She follows along in her car and manages to find the warehouse where the lab is.  She loads up her guns and heads in.

Ellison plays chess with John Henry.  The A.I. says it learned a lot from Dr. Sherman and the doctor's absence slows its growth.  Ellison is all, the doctor was worth more than just that.  Blah blah blah, God created everything and we are all God's children blah blah.  John Henry asks, "Am I one of God's children?" Ellison has to admit that the jury is still out on that one.

When Sarah enters the warehouse, there's a guy in the outer office.  Sarah pulls her gun on him and demands to know about the metal.  The guy says he's an A/C installer ... but then pulls his own gun and shoots Sarah in the leg.  They struggle and she manages to shoot him.  She drags herself outside - she really ought to try to stop that bleeding - and has another vision (?) of a weird, possibly alien ship hovering overhead.  She passes out.  Fade to white.

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E12 "Alpine Fields"

Good grief.  This one is waaaaaaaaay flashback heavy.  So annoying.  Makes me miss Lost.

Now: Derek is investigating a garage (?) when he hears screaming.  It's a very pregnant woman who has been shot through the chest.  Her teenage daughter is trying to help her.  Derek says that Sarah Connor sent him and he manages to put a tube down the woman's throat to help her breathe.  The girl says the cyborg shot her.  Derek: "So, how do you know Sarah?"

Six months ago:  Sarah and Cameron break into a house, telling the family living there that they've been targeted, their names are on a list that Sarah has.  Suddenly everyone is pointing guns at everyone else.  The dad, David, is Carlos Jacott, a three-peater from the Whedonverse.  The mom is Ann, who will be pregnant and shot in about six months, and the daughter is Lauren.  David wants to know what is going on.  Sarah gives them the Cliff Notes on the machines rising and killing everyone who threatens them in the past: apparently someone in this family is a threat to Skynet.  Cameron and Sarah force the family into their minivan and drive off.  The T-888 finds them soon enough and rams them with his pickup truck.  Sarah and the family scamper back to their house while Cameron and the T-888 fight.

Now:  Lauren notices the bar code tattoo on Derek's arm and asks him where he got it.  Derek: "From them."  Lauren tells him that the Terminator found them in Nevada and that her dad held it off while she and Ann ran for it.  It doesn't look like ol' David got away.

2037:  Derek disagrees with some plan his commander (the doctore from Spartacus) has to use a cyborg in fighting a bio-weapon.  Derek thinks he can go in and retrieve the sole survivor of that bio-weapon attack and see if the rebels can fashion an antidote or immunization from their antibodies (or something).  Okay, says the commander, but we don't know how long you'll have once you've been exposed to this bio-weapon.

Now:  Lauren tells Derek that it was her fault that the Terminator found them because she made a phone call to a friend.

Six months ago:  Sarah and the family make it back to the house.  David's leg is badly fractured so they splint it.  Sarah wants to know which one of them the cyborg is after.  David is a banker, Ann a housewife and Lauren is just a high school student.  Sarah goes full MacGyver, rigging the front door with a trap.  Lauren finds Sarah rummaging around in the garage and tells her that her dad is actually working with a tech company that does cybernetic stuff.

2037:  A gas mask-wearing Derek goes into the bunker that was hit by the bio-weapon.  Everyone appears to be dead - so why would any survivor still be in there?  He doesn't investigate too long, getting a little freaked out by all the bodies, and when he goes back outside, Jessie is there.

Now:  Lauren takes a gun and goes outside for some air.  When Ann wakes up, she scolds Derek for letting her daughter go outside alone. Derek rolls his eyes and says that Lauren covered for her mother when it was Ann who made the phone call that tipped off the Terminator.

Six months ago:  Sarah and Lauren finish the front door trap.  It comes out that Ann has been having an affair with neighbor Roger.

Now:  Ann's phone call got Roger killed.  (I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for her - she's pretty unlikeable.  And here's the thing: why exactly are we wasting time with these people?  Cameron got an episode so now Derek gets one?  Is this going to move the story forward?  We don't have many episodes left.)

2037:  This is the first time Derek meets Jess.  She caught an SOS and came to investigate.  Derek gives her a gas mask and they go back in, making it to the back of the bunker where there's a door.  Derek bangs on it.  Someone inside bangs back and the door opens.

Now:  Ann is getting worse. Lauren wants to go to a hospital but Derek says that until Sarah gets here - she's apparently off trying to kill this Terminator -  this is the safest place for all of them.  Lauren is all, if they couldn't kill the T-888 before, they can't kill it now.

Six months ago:  Roger is added to the mix and everyone squabbles, getting on Sarah's nerves.  Then Cameron gets tossed through the window, unconscious.  Lauren looks out the broken window and sees the cyborg.  David says that he's the one it wants and goes out to meet it.  The T-888 takes one look at him and determines that this is not the one it wants.  Ann 'fesses up that she's pregnant with Roger's kid and Sarah realizes that the Terminator is after the unborn baby.  Lauren hides in the closet as Sarah takes Ann to run for a car.

Now:  Derek says that they have to deliver Ann's baby daughter now.  Lauren is all, "Sister? Oh god, you're from the future."  Derek: Her name is Sydney and I knew her."

2037:  It's Sydney who opens the door for Derek and Jessie.  She says that their gas masks are useless since they're already infected.  They chat and then Jess gets really thirsty.  Sydney looks meaningfully at Derek - that's a bad sign.  The process is this: dry mouth, sweats, fever and shaking, lungs filling with fluid, death.  Jess doesn't have much time - in fact, she's already sweating.  The three of them decide to make a run for it back to base despite it being broad daylight out.

Now:  Derek tells Ann that her soon-to-be-born daughter has a natural immunity that will help cure a devastating disease, saving a lot of lives.  Ann likes the sound of that but her breathing is getting bad, plus the labor pains are really kicking in.  As Ann slowly fades, Derek and Lauren deliver the baby.  Ann lasts long enough to see her new daughter and then she dies.

Six months ago:  Cameron wakes up and helps Lauren out of the closet (literally).  Sarah and Ann run, chased by the Terminator.  Cameron drives up in an SUV and runs the T-888 over.

2037:  Derek, Jess and Sydney make it back to base, Jess fading fast.  Don't worry: she obviously gets saved.  She and Derek get adjacent hospital beds as they're treated for the disease, bonding as they get sicker and sicker.  Lauren is there too, working as a medic, and she thanks Derek for saving her sister.

Now:  Derek tells Lauren that she needs to hold on, to keep Sydney safe.  Lauren's like, but the machines keep coming, don't they?  Derek: I'm trying.  He asks her to come and stay with the Connors and, you know, she'd be a MUCH better match for John than ol' annoying Riley.  Derek calls Sarah and updates her. She got the T-888, so that's good.  He tells her that he invited Lauren to stay but when he goes back to get the girls, they're gone, already running.  He's disappointed but impressed with Lauren's gumption.

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