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Sarah Connor Chronicles Fodder

Review: Sarah Connor Chronicles - 'Goodbye to All That'

Goodbye-That.jpgIf I were John Connor I think I'd blow my brains out. Seriously, I just couldn't take all those nice people dying in my name. I guess that's why I'm not destined to save the world from evil machines and he is. Let's just hope John can make it past 16, and all that pre/post traumatic stress anxiety, to become the leader he's supposed to be.

This week we watched as John enrolled in a military school to protect one of his future generals, Martin Bedell, who's being hunted by a T-888. Derek had a lot of flashbacks to the future in this episode. (Is it me, or is he the most plagued person in this series? Even the image of a deer sends his mind racing back to the battlefield.) During the flashbacks, we learn that Bedell saved Kyle Reese's life, and the lives of 40 resistance fighters, by sacrificing himself during battle. This, of course, also means that he saved John's life by protecting Kyle.

So that's, what, at least four innocent people this season who have died for John Connor? I don't know if Season One John could've handled all this blood spilled in his name, but Season Two John seems to have thicker skin. I liked watching John dress in mini-fatigues and fire semi-automatic weapons in this ep. I think we need these tough guy scenes every now and then to remind us that he's more than a whiny teen with a crazy mom. It was great to see the kid showing up the military brats with his weapons skills and battle tactics. This is a John Connor who I buy will grow up to be Christian Bale tough -- or at least Nick Stahl tough.

Also playing it tough this week -- finally -- was Derek Reese. Sending John and Derek on a mission together was a great idea. Not only did these two get the chance to talk more about John's pops, Kyle Reese, but they worked together to stop a Terminator without Cameron's help. I loved watching Derek's admiration for John. Remember, a much older John is his commander in the future. Brian Austin Green does an excellent job playing out the dichotomy inherent in his character. He's John's guardian, but he's also his devoted follower. His "We all die for you" moment was heartbreaking. Time travel sure can create some complex relationships.

Sarah mostly stayed away from the action again this week after a quick confrotation with the T-888. She and Cameron acted as babysitters for another, much younger, Martin Bedell targeted by the same Terminator. I get that these Terminators want to be thorough with their murdering and all, but why can't they do simple math? In his search for the right Martin Bedell, this silly T-888 targeted a thirty-something man, a teen, and an eight year old kid. Couldn't he narrow it down a little more?

I didn't really care for the babysitting story line. The scenes with Sarah trying to comfort little Bedell did make me wonder about what life was like for John when he was younger. Was Sarah the warm, loving mommy he needed, or did she keep her emotional distance from John like she did with little Bedell? Those are probably important questions here; much more important than "will little Bedell finish his book report on time?".

Cameron was back to her steely self this week. Watching her "charming" way with kids was funny. Still, it's obvious that she hasn't quite recovered from being blown up. I didn't like that look she gave John at the start of this ep, and she conveniently showed up at the military school after all the action went down. Maybe someone should take another look at her busted brain chip.

Weaver sent Ellison to the power plant from "Automatic for the People" to investigate the averted meltdown. We got a possible allusion to Judgement Day in 2009, the date an "automated system" will take over the plant, and It looks like Ellison is getting closer to tracking down Sarah again. I'm a little concerned about his faith in Weaver. I'm afraid that the more he works with her, the more he'll come to trust and believe in her. That would be bad, seeing how she's into killing power plant managers with her liquid metal tongue. Weaver is obviously paving the way for SkyNet to come online, but I'm still not enjoying her arc. Maybe it'll pay off once she eventually meets the Connors. She seemed intrigued by the possibility of two Terminators fighting in the power plant. I guess she doesn't know about Cameron, Sarah and John's presence in this timeline yet. Lucky for them.


- Do you think Cameron arrived at the school before or after John and Derek took care of the T-888?

- Did you buy John as the future savior of all mankind in this ep?

- Anyone else love the tar pit of death the boys set up for the T-888? I'm looking forward to more creative Terminator death scenes.

- Riley and Charlie weren't around this week. Do we want them back?

- Do you miss Sarah's opening and closing narration from Season One?

In other news:

Fox just launched "Ambush," a massive mulit-player online (MMO) game based on "Sarah Connor." You can play it here or download it for your iPhone or iPod Touch here. You can play as a resistance fighter or as a Terminator to fight or protect SkyNet. I think I'll opt for the flesh and blood character. Playing as a Terminator just seems wrong.

Posted by Mike Moody on October 7, 2008 12:04 PM
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I think John Conner was among the 40 resistance fighters that Martin Bedell help save in the future, so he did give his life for John Connor. While I think it is hard for people to believe that the younger Connor will emerge as the leader of the resistance, imagine what would it for an individual take on such a mission. I think that the John Connor of the future is who he is because he has spent a lifetime preparing for the war with the machines. Look at Bedell, he becomes who he is because of the intervention by Connor and Reese. I think the writing team is taking a sort of Biblical approach with how they present Connor's destiny. It reminds me of the story of how Jesus was told at a young age that he was God's son and that he would have to sacrifice himself for mankind. While I am no theology scholar, it not hard to understand the correlation. It appears that while Sarah and Derek are doing whaetever they can to prepare John for the war, he is still trying understand what he will be fighting for.

-- Posted by: Jaime E. Galvan at October 7, 2008 1:21 PM

I'm with you, Jaime. There's definitely a biblical approach here. It's a big part of the show's ethos and I really think that's what makes it so good...You know pre- and post apocalyptic stuff, except here the horsemen are cyborgs. On top of it, you have adolescent drama (the good kind. Party of Five kind.)And the humor of course. This show has some of the funniest stuff on television. What's cuter than a teen cyborg saying "that's tight." There, there, Cameron. Gooood robot.

-- Posted by: Conan the barbarian at October 7, 2008 3:38 PM

Would you consider those innocents martyrs?

-- Posted by: Leslie Castro at October 7, 2008 3:42 PM

I found this episode kinda weak to be honest. The whole second half I was thinking two things:

One, Sarah and Cameron essentially kidnapped young Martin and now they're helping him with a book report? I'm sorry but that kid would have been crying his eyes out for his real mommy and Sarah was not doing the right thing by holding him. The bits about her trying to be a mother to him struck me as completely hollow as a result. I was agonizing over the boy's poor parents.

Two, how stupid was the faculty at the military academy not only to admit John and take on Derek as a teacher with no real background check but then let them stay up all night on a stakeout with live ammo and mines, putting all the students in mortal danger with a flimsy at best plan.

I know this is a fantasy sci-fi show but the writers ask way too much of their audience to suspend disbelief just for the payoff of yet another Terminator getting his head blown off at the end. How many Terminators have been sent at this point anyway? One a week? 10, 20 a million? I'm losing count and losing faith in this show.

Also- why are they living in a million dollar house up in the Hollywood Hills with neighbors they talk to? That's about the most conspicuous they could possibly be. They should be on in island in the South Pacific or out in the desert with a squad of Sherman tanks and a bunker. Hello Terminator- BOOM- next. Rant off...

-- Posted by: John Dexter at October 8, 2008 11:15 AM

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