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
8 hours ago