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
8 minutes ago