Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E18 "Today Is the Day Part 1"

Note:  This episode was just called "Today Is the Day" and the next episode, "Part 2," was "The Last Voyage of the Jimmy Carter."  They changed it on the DVD because, I guess, "TLVotJC" was kinda of dumb.  Gotta agree with them there.

In these two episodes, we get to see exactly why Jessie hates the machines so much via flashbacks to her past, which are actually in the future.  In a nutshell, because this is the Sarah Connor Chronicles, not the Jessie Whatshername Chronicles: Jessie used to be second in command on a rebel submarine (the USS Jimmy Carter), serving under a T-888 captain, Queeg.  She trusted Queeg, "he's a good bloke," despite Derek telling her that no, he's not a bloke, and no, he can't be trusted.  Captain Queeg has mad sub-handling skillz but he's also got secret orders: to pick up a package for John Connor himself.  When they get to the pick-up location, the package is handed over by a T-888 and two metal-only Terminators.  The package contains one of those liquid metal Terminators which gets loose (and freaks the shit out of the submarine crew as they have apparently never seen one of these before), morphs into a crew member and starts racking up a body count.  When Queeg refuses to back down on his order to deliver the "package" to John Connor, Jessie shoots him in the chip and scuttles the sub after loading her remaining crew onto the escape pod.  The liquid metal Terminator manages to escape too.  And that's why Jessie really, really, really hates the machines.  (BTW, all the flashbacks are spread out over both episodes but I don't see the point in dragging it out any further so you're getting it all in Part 1.)

In the non-Jessie-flashback storyline, Sarah has decided that it's time to move again.  "Seems like about time," snarks John, heading out to the garage to tell Cameron to hide all those Terminator spare parts she's got lying around.  Meanwhile, after dumping Riley's body somewhere, Jessie goes to a bar and picks a fight with four Navy aviators, thus giving her an excuse for all the cuts and bruises Riley gave her.

Sarah learns about Riley's body being found, fished out of the river by the police.  She tells John as gently as she can, but she assumes that Cameron is the one who killed the girl.  John's first thought is that Cameron did it too.  He asks her about it and she says that she didn't do it.  He reminds her that she's lied to him before.  Cameron says yes, but she's not lying now.  John struggles mightily to keep it together.

Derek has to bail Jessie out of jail and is rather displeased about it, what with being a fugitive and all.  He frets when she won't tell him why she picked a fight with those guys.  As he bandages her hands, he gets a call from Sarah, letting him know about Riley.  He too assumes that Cameron did it, but he gets a little suspicious when Jessie tells him, adamantly, that it is not for him to kill the machine - John has to do it for himself.

Savannah Weaver wants her mother to play hide and seek with her but Catherine counsels patience instead and blows her off.  The poor little girl starts to wander around the office and, like magic, doors open in front of her, hallways light up for her, leading her down to the basement lab where John Henry waits.  It is all Very Creepy.  John Henry just wants to play, though.  Some time later, Weaver shows up in Ellison's office to tell him that Savannah is missing somewhere in the building.  They go to see John Henry, because he knows everything that happens in the complex.  He knows where the girl is but he wants them to play a game with him first: he'll think of something, they'll try to guess, and if they get it right he'll give them a clue as to Savannah's whereabouts.  Ellison is outraged that the computer would keep a secret like this from them but Weaver, terribly, creepily, is eager to play the game, fascinated with how the A.I. is growing.  Ellison gets angrier and more frustrated, both with the computer and with his boss.  They finally guess enough correctly to figure out that Savannah is hiding in the helicopter up on the roof.  It is horrible how Weaver beams with pride at John Henry but is so cold to her "daughter."  Afterwards, Ellison returns to John Henry's lab to more calmly express his displeasure with the A.I.'s secret-keeping.  John Henry tries to understand what he/it did wrong.

While packing for the move, Sarah comes across John and Cameron's stash of Terminator parts.  She's COMPLETELY pissed, about the parts, about what happened to Riley.  John tells her that he believes that Cameron didn't do it and he's going to figure out who did.  First, he goes to Riley's foster home, playing dumb in front of the foster dad, until Cameron calls the house, using Riley's voice, so the foster parents won't worry about her absence.  She breaks from the plan, however, and asks to speak to John on the phone, including telling him that she/Riley loves him, which freaks him out to no end.  Afterwards, he tells her to piss off for a while: he's got somewhere to go and he's going alone.

When Cameron gets back to the house, she finds Sarah burning up all the spare Terminator parts.  Sarah tells her that she had considered waiting for her with Derek's sniper rifle and thus wiping out 50% of her problems with one shot.  But she didn't because John would be so upset.  Cameron's like, yes, this is all about John - we're all a threat to him: Skynet, you, me.  Everything he cares about makes him vulnerable and the only way for him to be safe is for him to be alone.  Sarah: "What kind of life is that?"  Cameron: "John's life, someday."

Poor John, meanwhile, has broken into the morgue and found Riley's body.  Steeling himself (and Thomas Dekker is doing great work here in these episodes), he looks at her injuries, particularly noting the damage done to her hands and fingertips, which are pretty much shredded.  He tells her that he's sorry but he still doesn't cry.  (He does, however, appear to be leaving fingerprints all over the morgue drawers - hope this doesn't bite him in the ass later.)

... To be continued!

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

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