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A: The creepy basement from D&D

Q: What do Weaver, Derek & Andy Goode have in common?

"Sleep is the perfect cover. Your mind's still active but you don't remember a thing."

Before actually seeing Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep, I was sure the whole sleep clinic thing was going to be a Skynet research facility messing with people's brains during sleep and it would eventually lead to whatever happened to Derek in the creepy basement. Obviously the episode didn't turn out that way and the sleep clinic itself was just a dream. But that line Sarah says when she's freaking out in that room in the basement of the sleep clinic is, I think, still a hint at what happened to Derek.

When Derek was taken down to the creepy basement in the flashbacks in Dungeons & Dragons, I think he was drugged into a sleep state and the liquid metal (Weaver) extracted information from him and implanted information in him.

About a year ago, I came up with a theory that Wisher had been brainwashed into believing he invented Skynet and was also implanted with the urge to confess it to Derek. It's a long and convoluted theory, but I'm still holding onto bits and pieces of it because I'm sure I've got some things right. The basic idea behind part of the theory is that Andy wasn't the creator of Skynet, but a hindrance to it (Andy wanted to understand his AI, not just rush the advancement of it). So Skynet wanted him removed from the equation to accelerate its development.

The reason my theory was so thin is because it hinged on Andy being brainwashed to confess to Derek and Derek being brainwashed to want to do something about it. But for any of that to work, Skynet would have had to know that Derek would get sent back in time (and how could it know that?).

Now, however, it's looking a little more possible. With what we've seen of 2027, future!John may not even be around (maybe even dead) and Cameron, who John confided in, seems to be running things. That means she may have been the one to send Derek back. We also now know there's liquid metal in 2027 (that I'm quite sure is Weaver) that Cameron has attempted to form an alliance with. Maybe they eventually meet and Weaver learns enough info that she formulates the whole plot for Derek to kill Andy. Maybe Weaver convinces Cameron to send Derek back or maybe Weaver just finds out Cameron is going to send Derek back.

I'm still not quite sure how it all fits together, but I think whatever happened to Derek (and Wisher) in the creepy basement must've involved sleep-induced brainwashing techniques that resulted in Wisher confessing to Derek and Derek going back in time to kill Andy. And I'm thinking Weaver was behind it all. In present time, Weaver seems to be accelerating the development of Skynet and she was able to do that because she acquired Andy's Turk to develop as she saw fit. It's all too much of a coincidence.


( 32 comments — Add a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
I like your theory Roxy, it's a good one. The reservations I have about it conceptual from the POV of moving the plot and characters forward (which would be the writer's mistake, not yours).

Firstly, a theory of mine for you to think about:

The Terminators - both in general but anyway in the case of Weaverbot T100x series, should logically be networked wirelessly in some way, unless they've been sent back in the past and have to work autonomously, obviously. So even if it wasn't the actual Weaverbot liquid metal in the box that shouldn't actually matter from the POV of knowledge the players have in the situations that arise. The Weaverbots are a very interesting case actually, much closer to being at the status of something genuinely alive, IMHO. (I wonder if JF made a mistake in not making Cameron a T100x liquid metal Terminator, what say you?)

Bear in mind that future events are scenarios and not actual in Sarah's timeline. The talk between Jesse and Derek in "Today is the Day (2)" actually makes that crystal clear.

There is some interesting symmetry in the idea that humans can be programmed and will have to break their programming. It could turn out, for instance, that Cameron follows that kind of journey from the other side: Cameron breaking her programming to become human, Derek breaking his programming to regain his humanity.

The problem I see with it is, if humans can be programmed by Terminators then the only difference between them and Terminators is that they break more easily and you can't build a new one. This really isn't a satisfactory difference, both in terms of philosophy and emotional payoff of the characters and their development, IMHO.

There is a particular flaw in your logic here, in that if Weaverbot wanted the Turk to fix for herself then Billy Wisher / Andy Goode and killing him is pretty much irrelevant once Weaverbot gets the Turk. Your elaborate Derek / Wisher programming scenario appears to be logically unnecessary for this particular purpose. The Weaverbot just has to get hold of a "good enough" Turk. Having Derek back as a loose canon to kill Andy is a positive disadvantage in that case.

Yes, coincidences only happen in real life. Fiction has to make sense. Comments over at the official Terminator blog suggest the writers have plotted this out in the considerable long term in broad brush ways. I'm sure they have planted clues, at least starting towards the end of S1 after they found their feet.

I think you're on the right lines here, definitely. A slightly simpler explanation, which I'd find more satisfactory, is that the Terminators are primarily extracting information so's they can make Cameron-style infiltration units. "Alison From Palmdale" hinted at a much deeper level of modeling of a human personality than would be expected from a generalised case. It could mean that, for instance, a Derek or Billy Wisher Cameron-class Terminator could pop up. It could certainly mean the Weaverbot (and Cameron) may have considerably more information than they currently reveal. However, knowledge of a future scenario is of limited value when you're back in the past because, "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."

Simplifying your theory as I suggest then ties together D&D and AFP and leaves Derek as an autonomous agent - which I would think kind of needs to be the point of humans vs machines.

What remains to be seen is what will be revealed in the next 3 episodes and if that gives any hints of a Season 3 or attempts to reach clean slate status.

(BTW, a comment on the TSCC official blog from a guy who has Blu-ray claims you can see Derek crying as he watches Cameron dance in "The Demon Hand." She did save his life once, after all. I'm hoping to have a marathon Blu-ray session with co-conspirators when S2 Blu-ray is available in the UK.)
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC)
BTW, you need to re-watch "Dungeons and Dragons" - it appears Derek actually met and spoke to future John and multiple other characters saw and talked to future John. In Derek's timeline, future John was alive at least until Derek jumped back in time.

It's still possible that, whatever was the case in Derek's timeline, in Cameron's timeline future John was dead and she was pretending he was alive.

Right at the end of "D&D," Derek gives Billy Wisher a look, whilst he is saying (he and three members of) his team were to go back in time and "fix things," that suggests future John told him who Billy really was and that Derek's primary mission was to go back, kill Andy Goode and destroy the Turk and everything associated with it.
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
It's only implied that Derek met with and spoke to John, but we don't know for sure. Cameron could have acted as the go-between, pretending to be relaying info to and from John to Derek.

I never got the impression that future!John told Derek about Wisher. Unless future!John was behind the whole creepy basement thing, there's no way he could have known about that unless Derek told him. Wisher's confession to Derek seemed to me to be the first time he'd ever confessed about his true identity.

I went back and forth on the nod between Derek and Wisher, thinking it was either a couple buddies exchanging a hello or it was an acknowledgement that that Wisher and Derek had a pact that when Derek went back in time, he'd kill Wisher's younger self. I eventually settled on it being a greeting between them, though, not a pact about killing Andy Goode.

BTW, when it comes to season 1, there's nothing I missed. Interrpretation can very, but I've watched those episode so many times I think I could quote entire scripts ;)
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
It must be your medication Roxy. I checked it out right now. It's as clear as day - in hindsight - watching the scene at the end of D&D what Derek was thinking. I'm bemused that you can't see it.

Derek: `...We can fix all the mistakes.'
Soldier: `How are we gonna do that? Reece, how are we gonna do that?'
Reece looks across at Billy Wisher.
The very last scene in D&D is Derek assassinating Andy.

You are paddling way deep in that well-known river in Egypt if you put another interpretation on it.
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well, you say clear as day. I still say it's implied, but left with enough ambiguity that it's proof of nothing. Yes, Derek had every intention of going back and killing Andy Goode, but I don't think it's clear as day at all that either future!John told Derek to do it or that Wisher himself told Derek to do it. I think Derek kept that bit of info about Andy to himself and killing Andy was his own private plan. I could be totally wrong and you could be totally right, of course, but I flat out disagree that we have proof either way about it.
Mar. 27th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC)
The evidence is, indeed, entirely circumstantial.

I just remembered another loose end we need a theory for: who was the assassin on the motorcycle in "Earthlings Welcome Here?"
Mar. 27th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC)
I feel sure the biker assassin was Winston. Here's why and how:

Winston was head of security for for Kaliba's metal factory where Alan Park had worked. Alan had put his things in storage and then gone into hiding. Odd that someone was just waiting there for Alan to show up at the storage facility wasn't it? Just like Winston waiting at Western Iron & Metal when Sarah showed up there.

I think it plays into the To The Lighthouse theory I posted. Just like I think Kaliba implanted Sarah with a tracking chip, I think they did the same to Alan and the other people he worked with. But that tracking device had a limited range and until Alan came back into town to go to the storage facility (he hadn't been back to there since he went into hiding), they couldn't find him. As soon as he was in range, they picked up the trail and Winston was waiting to take a shot when Alan came out of the storage unit.

We already know Kaliba was extremely secretive about their operations. They were running Desert Heat & Air as a front, they had the entire company town monitored with surveillane cameras. So I don't think it's too much of a leap to believe Alan and his coworkers, who were working on the actual development side of things, would have been monitored even more closely than the regular warehouse workers.

Winston knew how Sarah found Desert Heat & Air. When he had her kidnapped in Some Must Watch, he said:

"I wouldn't expect anything less from the girl who used a cross-dresser and a hypnotherapist to find us."

Alan Park had been successfully hiding as Eileen up until the point they went to the storage unit, so I think a tracking device explains it all. That's how Winston found Alan there (and saw Sarah for the first time) and how he found and killed Alan at the hypnotherapist — he picked up the trail again when entered town to go to the hypno-therapist (and would've seen Sarah again, dropping off Alan).
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
It's a good theory. Maybe we'll find out in "To the Lighthouse." According to your theory the Derek-Cameron face-off somehow ends with them going to find Sarah, John, and Charley and getting mixed up in some kind of Kaliba assault on that location.
Mar. 27th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
One more bit of speculation.

I think the Derek-Cameron face-off probably happens in the weapons storage unit before any of the Kaliba craziness begins. Then later, Cameron helps Sarah get away from Kaliba people/machines and Sarah heads off to Charley's to check on John and Cameron heads off to find Derek. But Cameron ends up electrocuted and loses Derek's trail. That would leave Derek in the hands of Kaliba to get interrogated and I bet that would lead to flashbacks of... creepy basement from D&D!

I think that concludes all my spec ;)
Mar. 27th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
I think you're stretching a bit there Roxy but we'll know shortly... though since the title is a reference to Virginia Woolf's novel, it may be we'll need to keep our wits about us figuring out what is really going on. It's possible Derek and Cameron vs Sarah, John and Charley form some kind of parallel storylines. Even without Jesse in the picture, there are multiple agendas playing out.
Mar. 27th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
Me, stretching? LOL. Wouldn't be the first time. :P
Mar. 28th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
After action report: three parallel tracks - John + Charlie, Sarah, Derek + Cameron. Did Cameron make oblique reference to "Dungeons and Dragons" in her comment re Derek under torture?

I reckon Sarah's crazy contributed to Charlie's death - if Cameron and Derek had been around he would have stood a much greater chance of surviving. However, I think Charlie wanted to die right there and go out fighting.

Cyberdyne! So were those goons - they weren't Terminators, they were human - just hired mercs or is the Cyberdyne AI owned (well, notionally anyway) by Uncle Sam and those men being Government Agents of some sort?

We saw the three dots anyhow.

(Summer/Cameron gets shinier every time she's on the screen. I wonder if Derek will let Cameron wear Jesse's jacket? Her current one has bullet holes now.)
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
How can you pin Charley's death on Sarah when she had no clue she had a tracking device planted in her? She ditched Cam and Derek because she didn't trust them (and I think rightfully so) and she thought she might be about to get a death sentence form the doctor. So she took a temporary detour to let John reconnect with Charley. It was a human moment and didn't have any obvious risk.

I suspect all those Kaliba goons are greys.
Apr. 1st, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
See Roxy, this is why you couldn't be in charge. They're being chased by killer robots from the future. Has nobody got that bit yet?! You take the best allies you can in that kind and she's not going to get any better.

The Greys hypothesis is amusing but, sadly, unsupported by the facts.
Mar. 31st, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
*slips quietly in*

This is what I think about that scene, too. And I need to stop reading now, because there are too many spoilers for me in the comments.

*slips quietly back out*

Edited at 2009-03-31 05:19 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Hee. Yeah be careful around here until you're all caught up!
Mar. 27th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Hmm - something else just occurred to me... I agree with your theory, btw, that John is dead up in the future, at least in Cameron's timeline (though I don't think he's dead in Derek's timeline, actually, it makes sense Derek's seen something different than the others have)...

Josh Friedman has gone to great lengths to humanize the temrinators, to prove they can have sex and be complex and have issues, and the return of Cromartie (or whatever the heck is going on in that clip the Writer's Blog posted that you saw) implies heavily that they can get more complex as the show goes on -

What if Cameron watched John die, calling out to his mother, and she really is in love with him? What if she couldn't deal with the fact he didn't love her back (at least in her mind) and she developed a psychotic schism in her mind where she started talking to John even when he wasn't there? If so, she THINKS he sent her back to save his mom, but she just can't rectify the gap inside her programming, so she's taking orders from a John that no longer exists. Sortof Machine-MPD - she thinks he's real, but he's not, so she's effectively running the resistance. (The irony there would be thick.)

Also my roommate thinks that submarine-liquid-metal-possibly-Weaver thing was with the SkyNET schism described in Allison from Palmdale, if so, I hope so, because that makes things way more complex.
Mar. 27th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
If future!John is dead, I'm inclined to think Cameron killed him by accident and going back in time was her way of trying to set things right. I can't go along with the idea of Cameron loving John - certainly not love in the human sense. I think her "love" for John is a devotion to her purpose. Just like Sarah, without John, Cameron has no purpose.

In the future, Cameron's purpose could have been to carry on John's mission — keep the resistance running. But when things started to fall apart, she sent herself back to find John and and change the course of things enough that it'll prevent the future!John death. If I run with the idea that Cameron is the reason he died in the future, then her plan could be to teach him everything about machines now that she taught him later so that she won't be needed later and she can do something to force him to destroy her (which would save his life).

I've been assuming Weaver is a rogue. I think she went back to beat Skynet to the punch by developing the super AI ahead of schedule. She's shaping the future her way, trying to create free-thinking metal rather than programmed metal like Skynet did. I think Weaver was sort of Skynet's own Skynet. The same way man inadvertently brought about its own doom through technological development, Skynet's own technological advancements led to the creation of liquid metal. But it was so advanced that it became free-thinking. And Skynet saw that as a threat to itself, so it boxed up the liquid metal.

But the fact that the box was guarded by reprogrammed machines and John (or maybe Cameron) knew where it was contradicts the idea that Catherine was created by Skynet. So I'm not set on the idea yet. It could be that it was John and/or Cameron's creation, but I haven't worked out anything for that theory yet ;)
Mar. 27th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm. I don't know, I think Cameron is more developed (no pun intended ;)) than any other terminator model. I really believed her in that scene, I really believed she thought she loved him. Now whether what she thinks and what is real are the same thing is a whole other story, but I believe that she believes it. I don't think she's responsible for his death, though that would also fracture her, so I could be wrong. I still think she's broken in the future and talking to a John that's not really there, possibly even talking to his corpse.

One thing that's always bothered me about season one - Derek said, over and over and over, that "One of these things is going to kill you one day." He said it with FEELING. He meant it. Maybe I was wrong about John not being dead in Derek's future.

I agree with you that Weaver is rogue. But I don't necessarily think that your idea on that contradicts the show - if Cameron was right and there are multiple factions of Terminators working against SkyNET (Which I SAVOR the delicious irony of that), then the timeline could be simple - She turned rogue, tried to hurt or replace SkyNET, SkyNET said "NO!" and somehow trapped her in the box, then one of the other factions busted in, thinking Weaver was winning, they find her in a box and they tuck and run, blasting their way out.

I do not for a second believe that the terminators in that room with that box were reprogrammed by John Connor. They were either SkyNET or they were a rogue branch of terminators like the ones Cameron described. If John (or Cameron if he's dead) wanted to make peace, he'd want to make peace with the rogue element rebelling against SkyNET, not SkyNET itself.
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Oh good call on Derek's season 1 line! I'd forgotten about that. I doubt he actually has any knowledge of such a thing, but the show tends to throw us lines like that to plant the seeds of future storylines. I think this might actually lend credibility to my theory that Cameron kills John.

Actually, the line John says to Derek right after: "it won't be this one," plays against my theory. So maybe John just gets killed by another machine that he reprograms that goes bad and Cameron witnesses it.

The terminators guarding the box couldn't have been Skynet programmed or they would've killed the soldier coming to get the box, not helped carry it for him. So either they were part of a rogue faction (though I still think Catherine is the lone rogue) or they were reprogrammed by John.
Mar. 25th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
John being dead sounds really cool theory. Maybe it was Cameron who is left in charge and nobody knows. Cameron might have went back the first time, not only to protect him but learn what makes him work as a leader in the event he dies.

I don't understand the derek Brainwashing thing yet. Maybe they were only taking genetic samples. Do you think the same crappy/rubber skin terminator was the same that brainwashed Derek?
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
if future!John is dead, I think it leads to the notion that Cameron sent herself back in time. Obviously at least part of her mission is to protect John and help fight Skynet to prevent judgement day. I think we can believe that much mission because we've seen evidence of all of it. But she clearly has a larger agenda.

And now I'm formulating a theory on that agenda... oh there will be more posing later. :D

I seriously doubt it's supposed to be the same 600 series rubber-skinned terminator on the oil rig as in the creepy basement house. There are duplicates.
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
I'm rewatching it.
The "the answer is no" could mean that John was contacting the rebel terminators instead of skynet?

John Henry talks about finishing his "monster". Perhaps John Henry created the rebel faction as an offset of skynet - just for fun.
Mar. 25th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
I mean from the submarine episode, who carried the suitcase
Mar. 25th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I love your theories :D

I do like the idea of Derek and Andy being brainwashed to the ends you describe. I'm still convinced the basement has something to do with Cameron, but I'm lacking on any real theories for why.
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the chopin music is what really links Cameron to the creepy basement. We know from Allison from Palmdale that Allison's mother (I think) loved Chopin and so Allison loved it. And that probably means Cameron (in the future) listened to it a lot to get into character as Allison. But because everyone's assumed for so long that Cameron was in the creepy basement, I want it to not be that ;)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Interesting idea — that John knew about Fisher and didn't want him to go after him. I can't imagine why, though. Of course this goes against my idea that future!John is dead, but at the moment, I think that still qualifies as a wacky theory. I'll have to think on your idea.
Mar. 25th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
This would somewhat explain why we have never seen Futuah! John and would be a pretty big mind-f. Plus it would tie into the general sense of malaise that we have had especially in the second half of the second season, everybody questioning who we are really fighting. It is just cyborgs serving humans fighting cyborgs killing humans.
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's the mind fuck aspect of it that draws me to the idea more than anything else. But there also seems to be a lot of setup going on about future!John... Cameron saying he should basically live without human connection, Sarah saying "what kind of life is that?", and we've got John now starting to think more about (and question) who his future is.
Mar. 27th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Holy Moly.
My theory:

I've been trying to figure out why on EARTH Weaver would keep the little girl alive, because it makes no real sense. She could've explained away Savannah's death with the same crash that killed her husband if she'd arranged it properly.

The redhead woman Weaver stabbed on the Jimmy Carter is Savannah. (Oh and definitionally Weaver = the liquid metal on the sub, but that's probably obvious.)
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
Re: Holy Moly.
I don't think Savannah was in the crash that killed her father. Weaver still could have made sure Savannah met with an unfortunate accident if she wanted to, though. My only guess at to why she's kept her alive is to have a human child around to learn from maybe.

I really doubt Petty Officer Goodnow was Savannah. I do agree that the liquid metal on the sub was who we know now as Weaver, though. I think she's a one-of-a-kind creations, just like the T-1000 was in T2.
( 32 comments — Add a comment )


roxy burglar
Roxy Bisquaint

Roxy Bisquaint...

Is self-indulgent. Over thinks everything. Tweets too much. Looks really good in these jeans. Wants to eat butterscotch. Makes herself laugh. Obsesses about aging. Does some crunches. Lives with two ghosts. Procrastinates daily. Measures once, cuts twice. Hates Foo Fighters. Drinks lots of coffee (keep it coming). Puts spiders outside. Brings balance to the force. Draws a perfect curve. Enjoys dark chocolate. Bangs on the drums. Always gets in the slow line. Orders from a menu. Hopes to be reincarnated. Speaks fluent Sarah Connor. Cooks tasty crack theory. Loves a good storm. Dances like a dork. Picks some locks. Tips well. Refuses to share the popcorn. Dreams about the future. Ignores the clock. Sings off key. Has a superpower. Shoots the paper bad guys. Needs some eyeliner. Goes to bed at dawn. Can't resist good smut. Quotes movie lines. Eats whipped yogurt. Lets the story tell itself. Maintains a rich fantasy life. Knows all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe.

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