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Sarah Connor Chronicles Fodder

Review: Sarah Connor Chronicles - 'Allison From Palmdale'

Allison-Palmdale.jpgThis season of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" seems to be about defying fan expectations. Not only did we get an unexpected look at Cameron's origin this week, we also got a juicy piece of new information: There are Terminators who want to make peace with humans. I didn't see that one coming. Oddly enough, Cameron announced this just minutes before giving her human counterpart, Allison, the death blow. Cameron might be a machine, but she's also becoming wildly unpredictable as this series progresses. I look forward to watching the character evolve, and I have no doubt that Summer Glau is up to the challenge.

Glau's excellent performance in this ep should put to rest any questions about her range as an actress. Watching her switch from cool and detached to lost and terrified was intense. She took center stage playing the roles of Cameron and Allison, a young resistance member imprisoned by SkyNet, or some robot-making faction, in the future. It seems Allison was close to John Connor -- so close that Cameron was created in her image in order to infiltrate John's camp and kill him. How that would bring peace is unclear. I'm still a little fuzzy about the notion of dueling Terminators with different agendas. It reminds me of the Cylon war on "Battlestar Galactica," which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've been down that road already.

This week's B-story did little more than set-up a few things that should pay off down the line. Sarah drove the very pregnant Kacy to the hospital and met Kacy's "baby daddy" Trevor, a police detective. Trevor's badge made Sarah nervous (she's still wanted for murder), but it looks like he trusts her. He asked Sarah to stay the night with Kacy, who's more than a little nervous about raising a kid with a homicide detective. The two neighbors bonded over baby talk, and Sarah admitted the truth about John's father. Well, not the whole truth. She did tell her that John's dad split before his birth, but she conveniently left out the fact that he's a time-traveling soldier from a post-apocalyptic future. That's probably for the best.

The real meat here was in the Cameron story. It seemed clear that Cameron has Allison's memories of being captured and questioned by SkyNet. How or why she has these memories is unclear. Also, why did these memories suddenly come flooding back? The memories had Cameron convinced that she was Allison, which lead to some fine scenes with Glau dealing with this identity crisis. After bonding with a "street kid," Jody, the confused Cameron had a great confrontation with John, who might be regretting bringing her back to life about now. Getting a glimpse of Allison's mom was a nice touch.

Will someone please pour a few hundred gallons of liquid nitrogen on Shirley Manson's Weaverbot already? I get that she's manipulating Ellison for some evil purpose, and she probably stole the real Weaver's life and kid, but I really don't care. I'd rather see Ellison alone on the hunt for the Connors again. Anyone with me here?

This episode opened up a lot more questions, especially about Cameron's loyalties. Still, it was one of the best episodes of the series so far, and it delivered a fine story and left me wanting more without feeling like it's going nowhere (you listening "Heroes" show runners?). Again, let's hope that Fox doesn't pull the plug. One site is already reporting that the series might get cancelled as early as this week. I'd hate to see another great genre show get nixed so early in its run.


- Is Cameron evil again? The ending was pretty ambiguous on that point.

- How do you feel about a possible Terminator on Terminator war?

- Why was Allison "chosen" by John and SkyNet in the future?

- Where was Derek? We didn't get a glimpse of him at all in this ep? I doubt he was busy helping Charlie move.

- Riley was also absent. Are you happy about that?

Posted by Mike Moody on September 30, 2008 4:54 PM
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I think the whole thing about there being a faction of Skynet that wants peace was just a pretense used by Cameron so that Allison would be more likely to cooperate. I could be wrong, though.

-- Posted by: Spinal Meningitis Got Me Down at September 30, 2008 5:46 PM

The problem is Fox puts it on the air competing with Monday Night Football.

Move it to Tuesday...and ratings will climb.

-- Posted by: J at October 1, 2008 1:55 PM

I really enjoyed this episode, but it did raise a lot of questions. Not sure what to think of Cameron's identity crisis. Is this how she'll become a human? Weird and interesting.

-- Posted by: pooper scooper at October 1, 2008 3:59 PM

I was pleased to see Summer Glau being given a chance to do more than just be an emotionless machine. My husband and I love this show and we are really ticked that Fox isn't giving it a chance. But that's typical of Fox.

Thanks for breaking down the episode tho. It was a lot of information to take in during one watching!!

-- Posted by: JoJo at October 1, 2008 8:44 PM

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