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Terminator: TSCC / Season 2


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I'm resurrecting this thread from its long slumber because after the Terminator: Dark Fate trailer dropped, I looked and saw that Josh Friedman (the TSCC showrunner) helped with the story for Dark Fat

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Amazingly enough, season 1 was not bad at all. I had very, very low expectations but I was thoroughly entertained by it. My wife even went ahead and got the season 1 DVD set. We'll definitely tune in for season 2. Maybe it will gain some popularity with the hype over the upcoming Christian Bale movie. ?

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Considering how they got ****ed because of the strike and so didn't have a real season finale, I thought the season was excellent.

 

Unfortunately, I've heard that they're planning on less serial stories and more "self contained" stories. When asked why, the show runners said "because we want to." Not a good sign. :(

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They still have all the **** with Cameron getting caught in the exploding jeep, what kind of Terminator she is, The Turk, and the russian guy that has it, to take care of.

 

Relax people.

 

Personally, I hope they don't kill Derek Reese.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You missed a great ****ing episode! That was awesome. Love the T2 nod when the car in the drainage ditch thingy. But the best part was the creepy assed **** Cameron was saying trying to convince John not to pull her chip. She almost had me going. Creepy.

 

Another great bit was the very beginning, the way they cut it together with no sound, just music.

 

The convo between Unkie and Firedude was interesting and bizarre at the same time. It almost sounded like Unkie was trying to talk Firedude outta helping. Hey! Dumbass! Talk **** to him AFTER you find your peeps and he patches them up, huh? :no:

 

Love John in this one. He's starting to take charge and the hurt look in Mom's eyes when he just tossed the gun back to her after ACTUALLY BRANDISHING IT AT HER was ****ing awesome! Still can't believe he drew down on his own momma. Not good, junior. Not good at all. :lol:

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Spoiler summary:

 

Like, seriously spoiling. You can probably watch the episode on fox.com tomorrow or Wednesday, but here it is anyway. The rest of y'all please feel free to chime in on all the nuances I know I've overlooked. I hadn't planned to churn out anything like this tonight, so this is 100% off the cuff.

 

...

 

Cameron wakes up from the jeep explosion. Obviously she survived, 'cause we've seen Terminators suffer far worse. She has serious scars on her face and has to yank out a piece of automotive debris that's stuck in the back of her skull.

 

Meanwhile inside the house, Sarah and John are being roughed up by the two guys who came to repo the Turk (the super-chess-playing computer's hard drive), shot entirely in jerky slo-mo so we can listen to an entire new song by Shirley Manson and/or Garbage from start to finish. Cameron eventually enters and tosses one of the goons around into unconsciousness. By the time she comes upstairs where the real action is, Sarah and/or John have already killed the other guy offscreen (nice touch).

 

From Cameron's POV, her onboard display pops up, scopes out John, and a new order is given: "TERMINATE". She aims her pistol at John.

 

Before she can fire, a damaged gas furnace behind her explodes. Sarah and John dive through the window as the rest of the house explodes. They steal a car and flee, then promptly begin bickering and stop paying attention to the road. They plow into another car and mess themselves up even more. They limp away, leaving the car and the other ticked-off driver. They locate the nearest Catholic church and interrupt a baby's baptism to ask for sanctuary. Literally.

 

Meanwhile, in the fancy building elsewhere, Detective Ellison remains where he ended last season, standing helplessly amidst the corpses of twenty FBI guys and looking down the barrel of Cromartie's gun. Ellison closes his eyes for a moment, then opens them and awaits the inevitable.

 

Without explanation, Cromartie lowers his gun and walks away. Reinforcements eventually arrive to clean up the scene. Ellison later turns in his full report, seems just a little odd to his superior, and is given six weeks' forced paid leave.

 

In a faraway skyscraper, the lucky spare toadie who made off with the Turk drive when no one was looking is played by Max Perlich, formerly of TV's Homicide: Life on the Street. He's aged poorly and reminds me of Superman's pal Bibbo. He delivers the Turk drive to new series regular Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage in her very first professional acting role. (Hence the gratuitous music-video opener.) Her character is a Scottish redhead who heads a large mysterious company that uses computers in some capacity. We know she's evil because her eyeshadow is troweled on and her ponytail appears to have been tightened with a winch.

 

Cameron eventually emerges from the rubble of the house explosion and heads to a nearby convenience store, where she cleans herself up with a box of Baby Wipes and uses a staple gun to fasten on her torn flesh. Then she's back on the trail of the Connors.

 

Unca Derek Reese poses as a fireman to sneak onto the house cleanup scene and hooks up with Paramedic Charley. They agree to team up and eventually stumble across the Connorses, who cleaned up real nicely but're now a little concerned about the newly homocidal Cameron that's now stalking them. My memory wavers here a bit as they talk and talk and talk.

 

Cameron picks up their blood trail and follows it to the church. The preacher won't talk. She doesn't behead him as I expected; instead she walks up to the baptismal font and stares into it absentmindedly. She sees a small piece of machinery lying at the bottom and reaches into the water.

 

IT'S A TRAP! From a sideroom, John flips a switch and sends 1.21 gigawatts of current (give or take) through the water, prompting Cameron's system to shut down for two minutes. He scrambles to pry open her skull and pop out her CPU, but his tools are small and inadequate. With roughly fifteen seconds before reboot is complete, he an Sarah abandon hope and bail. A few seconds later, Cameron arises, shuts her headflap, and stalks anew.

 

Outside, Sarah SUV-jacks some poor guy at knifepoint and they burn rubber. She drives down a giant sewer tunnel all dashing action-style...only to run into Cameron at the other end in front of a concrete embankment. The SUV does a magnificent somersault and lands upside-down. Once again the Connorses are messed up real good, but Cameron's down for a few, too.

 

(Momentary digression here to note that this episode was directed by reliable SF-TV vet David Nutter, who among other projects also directed the first and only worthwhile episode of The Bionic Woman, which, too, had a stellar crash scene. Dude knows his car-wreck porn.)

 

John and Sarah awaken. Sarah screams at him to run. He pauses...then actually does. Cameron shambles in the direction of his flight. Sarah wanders into her path, but is slapped aside. John enters a half-empty warehouse and creeps among a few delivery trucks. Trying to be quiet, he sneaks into the cab of one and tries to hotwire it.

 

Cameron opens the door -- SURPRISE EMPTINESS! Sorry, wrong truck. Oh, the suspense. She grabs a nice, heavy wrench from the driver's seat and moves on to the other truck, conveniently walking in just such a way that she's standing directly in front of the grill, rather than approaching the door on the side, even though the trucks were parked parallel and several feet apart. To get the angle thatthe script requires, she'd've had to do this sort of meandering U-shaped path, kinda like those Family Circus panels where Jeffty wanders the neighborhood in random zigzags like a drunken sailor and --

 

...sorry. I'm overthinking it. Anyway. Cameron stands squarely in front of the truck as John struggles to hotwire it. She chucks the wrench through the windshield, narrowly missing him but disturbing his concentration. He finally hears the ignition turn over...just as his mom drives yet another truck through the warehouse wall and collides with his truck head-on, with Cameron firmly trapped between their engines so she can't move her limbs. Amazingly, this collision does not mess up either John or Sarah, even though it looks worse than the first crash (but not the second one).

 

Sarah refuses to let up on the gas, leaving the pedal on the floor, keeping her tires spinning and keeping Cameron pinned. John jumps through his broken windshield, whips out his tools, and proceeds to finish what he started -- the tunnel through Cameron's skull to her CPU. Just as he's about to flip the final li'l hatch, Cameron finally starts talking to him...and begs him not to turn her off. She says she's run an internal diagnostic and repaired the problem.

 

He falters. Sarah screams at him. Cameron's voice rises as she swears she's okay now. He flips the hatch. She all but screams at him in panic that she's okay and he shouldn't do this and she loves him.

 

That last part is when he snaps out of it, and yanks the CPU from its chamber. Cameron goes limp.

 

Sarah, John, Derek, and Charley reconvene on what passes for the Connor home. Everyone's cleaned up and no longer limping. Hurray for paramedics! The decision before them seems obvious: even if Cameron can be repaired, she's not worth the risk. She has to be destroyed -- set fire and melted down like the Terminator from the early part of last season. Problem is, is John on board? He says he is, even while he's scrubbing dirt and carbon scoring off her CPU and staring into the distance.

 

They drag Cameron somewhere at night, toss her atop an abandoned car, douse her in flammables, and wait for John to light the flare that'll end her existence.

 

SURPRISE! He drops the flare, scurries up to Cameron, and slaps her CPU back into place. She wakes right up. John points his gun at them and orders them all to stand back. Understandably, they all freak out.

 

Cameron turns to John. To prove his mad repair skills, he passes her his loaded gun and waits.

 

She looks at it. She passes it back to him, handle first. Several long seconds later, everyone starts breathing again.

 

Tension resolved, everyone heads back to the church again. Cameron sits in the sanctuary and looks longingly at their hanging crucified-Jesus sculpture. She asks Sarah if she believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Yes, really. A primetime show was allowed to mention Jesus without it being an epithet or a show set a hundred years ago.) Cameron bemoans her lack of faith-based programming. (Yes, really.) Sarah kinda scoffs and confirms she doesn't much believe in anything, no doubt 'cause bad things happen to her, which of course means the universe is evil or meaningless or whatever. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the writers were sketching parallels between Christ's rebirth and Cameron's...I dunno. Her reinvention as a good Terminator? Her rising above dire circumstances? Her return from being shut off? Her hope of redemption in the eyes of the Connors? Maybe we'll see.

 

Before they part, Cameron also advises Sarah: the next time her original programming restarts itself, she needs to be taken down. Without hesitation. Sarah doesn't disagree with her.

 

In another room, John gives himself a really crappy haircut, possibly to assert his manhood or something, or probably because Thomas Dekker got a new haircut over the summer break and isn't ready to give it up yet.

 

Charley finally excuses himself and goes home to the wife he says he loves. Why he's still helping Sarah out when they're not together anymore, Derek continues to wonder.

 

Meanwhile, for some reason, Det. Ellison meets Cromartie at the scene of their earlier confrontation. Ellison's finally figured out why he's still alive: Cromartie thinks he'll lead him to the Connors. Ellison swears it ain't happening. Cromartie's response: "We'll see." And they part company without another word.

 

Epilogue: over at EvilCo, Shirley Manson announces to her assorted department heads that she'll be transferring many of their best employees to her own personal purview to begin a top-secret project called "Babylon". She actually explains to them that this word is in the Bible, just in case any of these highly paid engineers has never read a book or seen a TV show.

 

The department heads are not happy. Two of them share their mutual grievances in the restroom. The second guy exits, while the first guy -- the loudest complainer in the meeting -- approaches a urinal and prepares to do his business.

 

Before he can unleash drop one of his number one, the urinal transforms before his eyes. As he backs away in fright, it shimmers, turns amorphous and metallic and flows to the floor. Then it regroups, arises, and transforms yet again...into Shirley Manson.

 

She takes a step and points at him.

 

Her finger hardens into a steel spear, telescopes out and skewers him through the head.

 

To be continued.

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