Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles S2E22 "Born to Run"

Sarah sits in an interrogation chamber, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a stubborn expression.  A smug, slick FBI agent does his best to threaten her with Miles Dyson's murder, the bank vault explosion, the fire-fight at Weaver's house and Savannah's kidnapping. He tries to get her to give something up about John but Sarah is resolute: "John is dead."  The FBI guy tells her to think about it.

Hiding out at a motel, John is nervous, pacing.  Cameron tells her that they are safe.  She also tells him that she won't let him try to break Sarah out.  What he wants right now, though, is a computer to research shielded nuclear power sources - "Like mine?" asks Cameron - to see if being around them all the time might have given his mom cancer.  Meanwhile, the T-888 is alive and well and patching itself up.  And over at John Henry's lab, Mr. Murch is playing D&D with the A.I.  Weaver interrupts them and asks Murch how long it would take to disassemble the lab in case John Henry gets attacked again.  Murch thinks that would be a bad idea: any changes to the current hardware and software would change John Henry - he exists only in this exact set-up.

Ellison goes to visit Sarah, swearing to her that the cops followed him to the theater, that he wasn't in on it.  Sarah is still a little cranky about it all, understandably so.  He encourages her to tell the FBI the truth, the actual truth about the rise of the machines.  She reminds him that the last time she tried that she ended up in a psych ward.  She asks him where Savannah is and he tells her she's back with her mother.  "She's not safe," mutters Sarah.  Then she shouts "She's not safe!" directly into the CCTV cameras where the FBI guy is watching.  Also watching: John Henry, who has tapped into the feeds.

Sarah has asked to see a priest.  A specific priest, in fact - the one in whose church the Connors took refuge when Cameron was glitching in S1.  The priest is not sure why Sarah wanted to see him again.  She asks him if he believes in the devil, the actual devil.  She says that she believes that someone or something wants this world to burn.  He tells her that he has desperately been trying to understand what happened that day in the church.  Sarah says she'll explain it to him, and then she'll ask him to do something for her.

When Ellison returns to John Henry's lab, he is displeased to find the A.I. and Weaver watching Sarah on the CCTV feed.  Weaver tells him that she wants to meet John Connor since (1) he was at her house when Savannah was attacked, (2) his mother thinks he's a messiah and (3) he and his "cyber-companion" are somehow connected to John Henry.  Ellison protests that he doesn't know how to reach John.  "Well, I do," smirks Weaver.

The T-888 goes to a gun store and buys more guns.

Back at the motel, John asks Cameron how much weight Sarah has lost.  "She was healthy before you showed up," he complains.  Cameron says that her sensors would tell her if her core was leaking.  "But things do go wrong with you, don't they?" John points out.  They are interrupted by a phone call: it's the Mexican priest.  Sometime later, a dark-haired girl picks up a package from the priest's confessional.  When she walks out of the church, Ellison follows her.  She isn't Cameron because they're being sneaky, not showing her face.  Then there is a knock on the motel door.  When Cameron opens it, it's the silent, dark-haired Latina bad-ass from S1.  She has brought passports for John and Cameron.  She has also brought a message on Sarah's behalf: "Leave this place, do not think of her, do not come for her, leave."  And Cameron is to make sure John does.  When she gets up to go, she tells John, "We lose everybody we love." Cameron pipes up, "Hasta luego!"

After the girl has gone, Cameron checks out the window, remarking, "That's interesting."  Then she goes out and drags Ellison back inside.  He tells them that Weaver wants to meet them, that Sarah was going to meet with her.  He says that Weaver has a question for Cameron: "'Will you join us?' Do you know what that means?"  Cameron is all, no, please leave, Mr. Ellison, and I won't ask you again.  When Ellison has gone, John looks closely at his terminator and asks if Ellison upset her.  Cameron: "You said it yourself, John, I'm just a machine."

That night, FBI guy tries a different tack with Sarah: "I believe you.  I believe in time travel and killer robots and the end of the world ... I've had 38 phone calls from people who've met John Baum and Sarah Baum ... I want to help you and your son - help me do that."  Sarah: "My son is dead."  Well, it was worth a shot, I guess.

The T-888 breaks into the garage under Weaver's building and shoots the security guard.  Then, when Weaver herself has appeared to investigate, it tries shooting her.  It's puzzled when that doesn't work.  Weaver spikes the terminator and electrocutes it, and then brings its chip to John Henry.  Unfortunately, the chip is coated with a compound that renders it useless once extracted.  When Ellison then shows up to work, Weaver tells him that she is disappointed in the Connors' response to her overture.

John wakes up with a start because Cameron is sitting there, staring at him.  She tells him that he needs to understand how her hardware and software work.  She was designed to kill humans and even though she's been reprogrammed, deep down she still wants to.  "I need to show you something," she says, taking off her shirt, then her bra.  She lies down on the bed, on her back, instructing a bemused John to climb on top of her.  She pulls out a knife and tells him where to slice in, because if she's damaged, they should know about it.  The camera angle is close up, focused on their faces, John's hands and Cameron's body out of the shot, making this all look like sex.  John reaches inside.  "What does it feel like?" Cameron asks him.  "It's cold," he replies, shakily, "That's good, right?"  Cameron: "That's good.  It's time to go."

The Mexican priest gets a phone call.  The voice on the other end sounds like Cameron.  The priest then goes back to see Sarah with a message: "She's coming."  Out in the prison, Cameron strides through the hallways, shotgun in hand.  Officers fire on her, shredding her clothes and her face, but she moves on, unstoppable.  John Henry watches from his lab and, unbidden, opens the locks.  All the locks: all the prisoners, male and female, burst free.  By the time Cameron finds Sarah, she (Cameron) looks like hell.  They get out and jump in the car John is driving.  Sarah snaps, "I sent you a message." John: "Bad John Connor - so ground me."  Sarah wants to know how bad off Cameron is because it's time to go see Catherine Weaver.

Hilariously, Sarah and John cool their heels in the lobby for a while.  This gives John the chance to ask his mom if she's sick.  Ellison arrives before she can answer.  As they ride the elevator up to Weaver's offices, Cameron batters her way into John Henry's lab.  They look consideringly at each other.  John Henry asks, "Will you join us?"  Cameron pulls out her knife and closes the door.

Weaver takes over the meeting immediately: We have a common enemy against whom we cannot fight via conventional means.  She means Skynet.  Ellison breaks in with a WTF as an drone comes smashing its way in through the window behind Weaver.  She snaps, "Get down!" and morphs into a shiny metal shield, protecting the three humans from incineration.  "Run!" she growls, and they do.  She catches up with them in the stairway and tells them to go to the lab.  Sarah: "They're trying to kill my son."  Weaver: "No, they're trying to kill mine.  Your son may save the world but he can't do it without my son."

Down in the lab, John Henry is gone and Cameron's chassis is there, defunct, chip removed.  John is frantic, saying he's got to get her back.  Weaver checks the remaining computers and flips a few switches.  When John demands to know where John Henry is, she smiles and says, "Not where, but when."  John and Sarah gape as they see the Turk computer in the tangle of hardware.  Weaver looks at Ellison, "Are you coming, Mr. Ellison? To fetch John Henry?" Ellison stutters no, and she shrugs, "Then would you pick Savannah up after gymnastics then?"  The blue sparking time travel bubble begins to grow around Weaver and John and Cameron's body.  Sarah backs away from it, saying she can't go.  John pleads with her to come with him - I love you - but she won't do it.  "I'll stop it," she promises, and the lights flash and John and Weaver are gone.

They reappear in the future, in the tunnels, John naked and Weaver clad in clothes of her own devising.  John finds a coat and puts it on, and they start to wander the tunnels.  When a patrol finds them, Weaver disappears and the soldiers question John grimly.  After a couple tense moments, John is thrilled and overjoyed to see Derek, who of course doesn't know him - nobody yet knows the name "John Connor" as this is where that all begins.  To make this reunion even sweeter, Derek's brother, Kyle, John's father, walks up and it's his coat that John has appropriated.  And then, finally, walking up behind Kyle is Cameron, pretty and smiling - and I think she's still human at this point.  John's eyes go soft and he's speechless when he sees her.

And back behind them in the tunnel, as the time travel flash echoes and reverberates, Sarah's voice: "I love you too."

Thus endeth Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.  It finished strong, after I was about to lose hope in the Riley era, and I actually wouldn't have minded to see where the story would have gone from there.  Guess we'll never know.

Previously on T:TSCC

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