Monday, March 3, 2008

Terminator: Vick's Chip/What He Beheld

Tonight concluded the season, perhaps the series, of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. If the show were to stay away forever, it'd be a shame. While it took a long time to get it's feet, the show has really started to blossom into something special, something really entertaining. And, to be honest, having an hour-long drama that usually has just four people as a focus is a bit of a rarity in today's primetime landscape. Bear with me, as a ton of stuff happened, so there is a LOT to recap.

Recap: Vick's Chip: Cromartie continues his search for the Connors, which includes him raiding a high school shower room, because he is that creepy. Cameron spots the T-unit in school and makes John's Bjork-loving friend Morris pretend to be John, throwing Crowmartie off the trail. John is freaked out that Cromartie is in town and makes Cameron promise not to tell Sarah. Cameron agrees with a wink. Derek dug around Cam's room and dug out Vick's computer chip, which is like a brain. John builds a computer to read the chip, which provides clues to the show's entire mythology, so of course we can't read most of it. Computers separate their memories into categories, instead of in one fluid motion, like humans supposedly do. The computer gives us a narrative of Barbara, Vick's loving wife who programs a seemingly unstoppable traffic control program that will serve as the nervous system of Skynet.

Derek brushed his teeth for 20 minutes with Sarah's toothbrush. Ew! The search for Vick's wife, Barbara, turns up a Jessica Pick, who was a treat to the program, and thus was killed. Derek and Sarah go on a mission to upload a virus to the program. After proving that Sarah is capable of acting like Sydney Bristow, we find out the program rejects all viruses and makes it the coolest program ever, ya'll. Derek's plan is just to "blow it up," as it his plan for just about everything, which doesn't work out so well all the time, does it, Derek? Anywho, they ulimtately shut the program down by uploading Cameron's brain into a traffic light, which then overpowers the program and destroys it. (Which, if that program were essential to Skynet, doesn't that mean they kind of, sort of, WON?)

Other things: One of Derek's men was involved in the traffic program plot, which got his men killed, and not Cameron. John almost got the T-888 to re-program itself, via Dial-up on his Blackberry? I don't know. And later, Sarah walks in on Derek in the shower and doesn't make out with him, which makes no sense, because they are two good-looking people, he's in the shower, and it's a TV drama! The recipe is all there, but, the showmakers show restraint? Goodness, folks! Or maybe Sarah doesn't jump Derek because she knows that he killed Andy Goode. "You lie to me again," Sarah warns. "I'll kill you." Also, Sarah is not a great cook, and John apparently does not know how to take a roast out of the oven.

Recap: What He Beheld: We spent about 4 minutes doing previouslies for the entire series, no joke. On April 21, 2011, Derek and Kyle Reese were playing baseball when Judgment Day happened. Their ages? 8 and 15. (Which would mean a lot on Lost, but, on this show? Probably not so much.)

Sarkissian is the man who now owns the Turk, and he has people watching the Connor Crew all over. He is a snazzy man with great line delivery. He revisits the shady people who gave Sarah the new false identities and pretty much kills them. In return, Cameron kills one of his men while on a field trip to a science museum. (She also agreed to be Morris's date to prom. Morris is stoked.) All while wearing this very weird Flinstone-y shirt (pictured) that was fashionable... never?

Long story short: Sarkissian dies, Connor Crew gets his hard drive and a new lead: a cashier at a WiFi cafe who turns out to actually be Sarkissian, while suave guy was some kind of decoy. Charlie gets a visit from Ellison, who babbles stuff about Revelation and pretty much pledges allegiance to Sarah Connor.

Ellison also figures out Cromartie has been posing as an F.B.I. agent and gets a team to take him down. Cromartie, being a T-unit, is unstoppable. So we get this hilarious scene where we see FBI agent after FBI agent getting tossed into the pool, with Johnny Cash playing on the soundtrack. And a scene with multiple deaths should not make me giddy, but that scene was so well done I can't help but smile. (I'm very dark, I know.) Ellison's partner appears to maybe be dead also. Cromartie is about ready to kill Ellison, and Ellison is ready to accept fate, when Cromartie takes another look and decides to spare Ellison's life and move on.

Meanwhile, John worries that everybody will forget his birthday, but nobody does, so maybe he should just shut. UP. (Just a suggestion.) Derek's birthday present is bringing John out to see the young Kyle and Derek Reese. Which is creepy, since John is what, 15? And Kyle Reese was 5, meaning that John got to see his dad, in flesh, only he was OLDER than his dad, and, ew! Thanks for the creepy present, DEREK.

In the end, Cameron notices the real Sarkissian right before she turns her Jeep on and IT EXPLODES. And that's the cliffhanger. Which would be thrilling if we didn't already know from the pilot episode that T-units can withstand vehicular explosions quite nicely.

What worked: Having multiple storylines with real, deep character interests. Guys, these two episodes rocked. When this show premiered, I wouldn't have necessarily recommended it, but if it comes back for another season? I'm definitely making everyone I know watch it. The show has become this good, ya'll.

What didn't work: John worrying about his birthdays. I'm sorry, but there have been what, a dozen people sent back through time to try to kill or save this kid, and all he can worry about is his birthday? What a loser!

Lines that I laughed at:
Sarah: "Have fun at school. It's pizza day. I read the newsletter." (exits.)
Cameron: "Isn't pizza day tomorrow?"
John: "Yeah."

Kid: "Happy pizza day!"
Cameron: "Thank you. I had two pieces. Do I look fat?"

Also, every time Cameron quips "That's tight" in that deadpan delivery, I crack up laughing. Whatever Emmy Summer Glau qualifies for, please, nominate her this season!

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