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Born to Fail - part 1

It's been a week now and after my fourth viewing of Born To Run, it doesn't make me miserable anymore. I guess I finally desensitized to what I disliked and that freed me up to think about the rest. I've got gripes and grievances, nits to pick and sundries to poke. But there are good moments to talk about too (and lots of speculation to be done).



I'll show you my shielded nuclear power source if you show me yours

If Cameron's power supply was damaged, wouldn't John have cancer too? Even so, if she believed it could be leaking radiation, why the hell would she let him touch it? And she really had to be laying down and he had to be on top of her to get to it? Please. That scene just didn't add up. It was either a really flimsy setup for Jameron cheers or it was a weak manipulation by Cameron that worked because the blood had left John's brain. I tend to think the latter. Since we just had the Jesse story wherein she spent all season trying to win future war by messing with John's love life, I really hope we're not going to find out Cameron was doing the same. But right now, it's looking that way.

Regardless, to try to get us to the point of John choosing to throw away everything to follow Cameron through time, we needed something like that — a moment of intimacy to push him from being unsure about his feelings for Cameron to deciding he loves her and can't live without her. So forced and awkward as it was, John checking out her breasts, climbing on top of her and slipping his fingers in her, um, sliced open chest, served a purpose.

Massive points for the not!sex cleverness of the scene, though it was disturbing on many levels. From the sadomasochistic not!foreplay with the knife to the "that's good, that's perfect" intensity of John realizing Cameron isn't the cause of mom's cancer, one thing is clear: that boy needs some therapy! I don't think John actually wants to fuck his mother, but the blurring of Cameron and Sarah was clear...

In Charley's house in the pilot, Sarah was sitting on John's bed, watching him sleep. He jolts awake, tells her it's freaky when she does that and asks, "what's going on?" She tells him they have to go.

In the motel, Cameron was sitting on John's bed, watching him sleep. He jolts awake, tells her not to do that because his mom used to do it and he hates it. Then he asks, "what's going on?" Not!sex happens and she tells him it's time to go.

Aside from the squicky similarity of those scenes, the other significance is that they both ultimately lead to a time jump.



The time jump

While the jump has the potential to push the story too far from its roots (and jackknife a giant puh-lease on the already congested time travel highway), it's also an interesting way to explore the what if scenario of a future war without John Connor. So I didn't mind the jump and I'm actually curious to see how it plays out. What I did mind, though — what I absolutely hated — was the way it happened:

John ditched his mother, who he believed had cancer, and bailed on trying to stop the apocalypse so he could jump to the future with some liquid metal he'd just met (whose motives were questionable at best and who was verbally bitch-slapping his mom all over the place) to pursue his one true love: a computer chip. I can't cheer that. I can't be wowed by that. I can't even pretend to enjoy that. It's fucked up and I'm not okay with it. Sarah, however, was okay with it. Um, what?

When John got aroused by touching Cameron's icy cold heart power supply, I should've known this wouldn't end well. I realize he's only 17 and doesn't always have the best judgement. He makes mistakes and acts rather impulsively and irresponsibly at times. I get that. In fact I like a flawed John Connor. I like that the show didn't present him as this perfect teenage kid that's ready to take on the role of saving the world. But we've gone through a lot with him this season and throwing away everything his life has been about felt like a major step backwards.

We sort of circled back around to Samson & Delilah, but instead of John being unable to let Cameron go because he viewed her as a better protector than his mom, this time he was unable to let Cameron go because he loves her. The mother/lover blurring was getting thick anyway, so I'm glad it's over. I think I'm glad John finally came out of the closet as a cyborg lover and moved out of 2009. And it was fun that he moved in with dad. Check the final voiceover line in my faux S&D script from last August ;)

I'd like to think the reason Sarah let John go is because she figures he's better off with Cameron in the future than alone in the present watching her die (just like when she took him to Charley). I'd still have a hard time with that, but at least it would carry some emotional weight. The other possibility is that Cameron's attempt to manipulate Sarah with "humans are the problem" actually sort of worked. When she was stepping out of the bubble, though, she said "John, we can't." We can't. Sarah didn't want him to go, didn't think he should go. So that pretty well cancels out any notion that she was thinking he'd be better off leaving — better off being away from her.

In "Samson & Delilah", Sarah told John "Maybe you could fix her. I know you want to try, but I can't let you." And we know how that ended up. In "Today is the Day pt1", she told Cameron she'd thought about taking her out with Derek's sniper rifle but she didn't because John would never have forgiven her. So maybe the desperation in John's voice when he said, "he's got her chip, he's got her," made Sarah realize she'd truly lost him to Cameron.

I still don't know if Sarah thought John loved Cameron or was bonded to her like family or what, but at the very least, Sarah understood that John had a powerful attachment to her and there was nothing she could do or say to come between that. So she let him go and she stayed behind to carry on the fight alone. It doesn't work for me, but that's all I can come up with so far.



Without John, your life has no purpose

The series started with Sarah telling John she'd stop Skynet and she reiterated that as he was leaving. So she still has a mission, still has a goal, still has a purpose and that's why she stepped out of the bubble. But what happens to Sarah when she doesn't have her son to fight for anymore? John has sort of been Sarah's moral compass. How could she raise him up to save humanity if she gave up her own in the process? So she's been fighting the good fight for his sake. She has "participated in the miraculous and the terrible and through it all... maintained a moral and good soul." (mostly)

She'll continue to battle Kaliba and work to stop judgment day, and with John gone, I think we can be sure she'll throw herself into it like never before. Cancer or no cancer, you know the woman will fight on until she collapses. But will she still be fighting for John or fighting for humanity or will she just be fighting because it's all she knows? Will she start to believe, as Ellison said, that she's got nothing left to lose? "There's always something to lose," though. I think that something is her soul.

Here's bad news...



Sarah and John failed

Sarah never did stop Skynet and John never did lead the resistance. There was no John Connor when the resistance was formed. He vanished off the face of the earth in 2009 and didn’t resurface until 2027(?). And since it's a post-apocalyptic world, we know judgment day happened. It gets worse. With John at one end of the timeline and Sarah at the other end of that same timeline, it's a closed system. The future IS set now. It's a done deal... They failed.

Assuming judgment day is still set at April 21, 2011, Sarah might spend the next two years running from the law, protecting Savannah, looking for Danny Dyson, and battling Kaliba. But whatever she does has already happened at John's end and it failed to stop the apocalypse. John not leading the resistance might not be a failure. Whoever did form it might be doing an awesome job. I really doubt that, though. I think we're likely to find out that this future is hell and the resistance is losing.

Can their failures be erased? Of course. But only if John jumps back. That would free up the path to an unknown future again. In the meantime, we'll be spending time with Sarah doing things that ultimately don't matter and we'll be spending time with John maybe learning things that won't matter until he comes back. So, cool or not, I think it's likely to be a short stay.



Cause and effect

I got deep into time travel once before and settled on multiple timelines (multiverse) in TSCC. I'm still inclined to think that's what we have going on, despite a few discrepancies in the show. Jesse and Derek established the existence of multiple futures, which I translate into multiple timelines. But it's possible the writers are using some sort of single timeline theory in which anything can happen. I hope not because that gets a little Back to the Future hokey. But I do think we've hit a point where we need to know. When you hurtle John Connor into future war, it's time to set some ground rules.

With characters at both ends of the spectrum, we'll see the result of everything that happens in between. From Sarah's perspective, anything can happen, but from John's perspective it's all history. Sarah won't know what became of John after he jumped or know the future effects of her actions. But John may learn a bit about what his mom did after he jumped away in 2009. By giving us both stories, it could be that we'll sort of get a real-time view of Sarah's impact on the future. In other words, we might get to see the cause of what John sees and the effect of what Sarah does. I don't think that's a long-lasting way to tell a story, but it could be interesting in the short term.



One possible future, I don't know tech stuff

I've seen a lot of speculation that John has jumped to a point before he became the leader of the resistance. Also that the out-of-focus teen John behind Derek in the time chamber in "Dungeons & Dragons" was an actual reveal of how old future!John really was. That's incorrect. This is an alternate future, not one that's been hinted at and not a precursor to what we already knew. Here's why:

- In "Dungeons & Dragons", Cameron told John that he spent 6 years in a Skynet work camp with Kyle from 2015-2021. We learned in "What He Beheld" that Kyle was 8 on judgement day (2011), so that would've made him 12 when he and John first got captured. Kyle in this current future is a grown man.

- In "What He Beheld", Derek told John that he celebrated his (John's) 30th birthday with him. That would mean Derek couldn't be sent back on his time travel mission for at least 13 years. And Derek is certainly not 13 years younger right now than what we knew him to be in 2007 (he'd be about 18 years old if he was). [NOTE: It's been said there was a script error in D&D and Derek was actually supposed to have said he'd celebrated John's 40th birthday with him.]

- In "Goodbye to All that", Derek said Martin Bedell helped John form the resistance. Clearly the resistance is already formed.

As for when John is, we can use Allison as a marker. She was probably born in 2008 because her mom was pregnant when Cam called her in "Allison from Palmdale". And she's what, about 18 now? So I'd estimate John to have landed in 2026 or maybe 2027. (2027 seems most likely since all future events we've seen have been set then.)

John could stay, join the resistance, work his way up the ranks and maybe one day lead the fight. But it would take a long time and it would absolutely be a different story than what we've heard to date. I don't see that happening. Aside from believing Sarah's story is a dead end until John returns, the biggest drawback to him staying in the future is it essentially splits the show into two separate stories: John's and Sarah's. And since she won't have any clue what he's up to, it wouldn't exactly be The Sarah Connor Chronicles anymore. Don't even start with the "it's not about the title character anyway" comments.


I've got lots more to talk about but I'm just going to stop here for now.



Comments

( 122 comments — Add a comment )
the_narration
Apr. 18th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Lots of good analysis here.

You're right about the timelines, of course. As soon as John time jumped forward he created a new timeline in which he had vanished into a time portal in 2009, ergo he never led the resistance. Which I guess does mean that Sarah isn't going to have any luck at stopping Skynet until somebody from the future (doesn't matter who) jumps back and alters the course of things. Unless there are things besides time travel that can create branch points, but then there'd be so many futures that traveling into one would be meaningless....

....Anyway, it doesn't seem Sarah is going to stop Skynet (until John jumps back with some info from the future she can use), but she's probably a big part of the reason the resistance is doing so well in the John-less future. She's got the same inside information and skillset that FutureJohn would originally have had that made him the leader of the resistance.

I'm not sure anything can ever make me buy Sarah letting John go into a time portal with just a T-1001 for company. It's just so antithetical to everything she is. And so... stupid. If the other end of that time portal was Skynet HQ, that'd be checkmate.

The John/Cameron not-sex was... off-putting.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 18th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Actually, John jumping forward didn't create a new timeline. Only backward jumping does that. Since (normally) the future hasn't happened yet, timelines don't really exist forward. They only exist behind you (which is why the future is normally not set). John merely jumped ahead and now sees what everything from the last ~17 years led to. And since he didn't exist for those last ~17 years, one of the significant things is that no one knows who he is.

But I totally agree that it would take someone jumping from that future (or later) to 2009 in order to break Sarah free of the timeline that now goes all the way to 2026/2027 (or whenever John is). The show seems to break timelines to the known future when a backward time traveler does some that changes what their future had been (such as Derek killing Andy Goode, which wiped out the Billy Wisher he knew from his future) rather than merely arriving in the past.

So I figure this timeline, where John Connor ends up being a nobody, was created by something that a backward time traveler did that caused John to make that choice to jump ahead. Maybe it was the water cooler terminator's attack on Savannah, which created the series of events that led the Connors to the moment of the time jump choice. Heh - didn't meant to get all time-travely.

Yeah, I don't just don't buy Sarah letting John go like that. I have a really hard time with John's choice too, but Sarah accepting it was too much for me.
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roxybisquaint
Apr. 18th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
When she said "we", I took that to me "we" (she and John). I think what it ended up meaning is "we can't both go or who will stop Skynet?" What that boils down to for me is that there's work to do and skipping ahead to find Cameron isn't part of that. But he went and she didn't try to stop him and it bothers me a lot.

John's a determined kid ("he's a strong boy with strong opinions" - "don't know where he gets that from") and I have no doubt he was going whether she did or not. But it was the worst possible moment for Sarah to let him go without a fight. I know the whole thing played out in like 20 seconds, but there was time enough to say more before giving up.


schmacky0
Apr. 18th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
"I don't think John actually wants to fuck his mother, but the connection between Cameron and Sarah was intentional..."

Yeah.. Josh has made it quite clear, through the series itself and interviews, that he's quite interested in the whole Oedipus angle..
roxybisquaint
Apr. 18th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
It was certainly thick in that scene :P
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bobmacpharson
Apr. 18th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
First off, can someone explain the exclamation points? (Not!Sex, Future!John?) I think I've seen them in various blogs as if it's some commonly accepted Terminator grammar. Who came up with that?

When I first watched the episode, I didn't have a problem with Sarah staying. Now that I've read a few reviews that DO have a problem I can see why, but ultimately I don't have a problem with it because it was a decision made in about 10 seconds where there were no real good choices. Sarah didn't want either of them to go. I think when she stepped out he was hoping he might follow her. By the time it was clear that he wouldn't it was either jump back in at the last second or make peace with the whole thing.

Likewise, John probably knew he was making a dumb choice but Weaver was forcing him to make a decision quickly. He's still sorting out his feelings for Cameron, but it was a choice between "never see her again" and "leave now and hope Weaver's plan doesn't suck."

Both characters may have made the wrong choice there, but I can't blame them for bad decision making given the circumstances. And I think the storytelling options that this ending opens up are so huge that I'm willing to roll with it.

Characters are largely defined by their relationships to other characters. John by himself is not John with Sarah is not John with Cameron. So far, John and Sarah have always been predominantly defined by their mother/son relationship. I think the "Without John, you are nothing" is a point they'll be directly addressing. What DOES happen to Sarah Connor when you take away her primary motivation? Is her life meaningless, or does she find something new to define herself by?

-


Random note: Lately I've felt that the proper name for this show would have been "The Connor Chronicles." A) It rolls off the tongue better, B) it fits better with the story that is really worth telling. This is not the story of a mother. It's the story of a mother's relationship with her son. It also helps with the POV character issue. I suspect the audience is loosely divided into the generation that saw Terminator when it first came out, who are now parents, and a newer generation of young adults. The former may identify better with Sarah, the latter with John.

Some other bloggers expressed frustration with Sarah's "failure." I can see how, if Sarah was your POV character this ending may have sucked royally. I'm a 22 year old male, John Connor pretty much directly represents me here, and the ending was extremely John-centric.
motoki
Apr. 18th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
re: I think the "Without John, you are nothing" is a point they'll be directly addressing. What DOES happen to Sarah Connor when you take away her primary motivation? Is her life meaningless, or does she find something new to define herself by?

**

Good point. So far Sarah has been defined by John by all of her adult life and half of her entire life, since she was that 18 year old waitress.

So what happens when you take John out of the equation? Does she have a purpose, does she exist outside of him and preparing him for the future. Well of course she does but it's been so long since Sarah outside of John has been a priority or even a thought for her I don't know how she would function. What direction she'd go in.

It seems she'd throw herself into stopping Skynet/Kaliba, because ultimately her purpose in John WAS to stop Skynet, so even without him I think she'd just find another way to get to that purpose.

I'm not so bothered by her letting him go. I think figuratively and emotionally she had already done that anyway when she brought him to the Lighthouse and then even morseo when she ended up in prison. That he broke her out if anything to me only cemented that John's an adult and will do what he wants regardless of what she says or thinks. Part of being a parent in learning to let go.

But Sarah failing? That bugs me. A lot. Because ultimately it is her story primarily, I feel.

Now if we get anymore of the show, it will be bifurcated with a John story in one time, and a Sarah story in another. And while I am curious to see where Sarah goes, I wish there was a way to do that without having it predetermined that she fails.

Is there a way the past might not be set? In some weird, crazy, quantum, multiple fluctuating realities way I actually think it could be possible, but that gets so uber complicated and mind boggling I don't think the really want to go there.

So what we're left with is Sarah connor failing. And the only simple way to fix that is John coming back. That being the case, I agree with Roxy, the stay needs to be a short one. John gets the Ghost of Christmas Future and It's a (not so) Wonderful Life and all that business, learns from it and comes back.

But I don't like that it takes John to 'fix' the track that Sarah's on. I want Sarah to fix Sarah. :-/
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cospinol
Apr. 18th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)

"If Cameron's power supply was damaged, John would have cancer too. Even so, if she believed it could be leaking radiation, why the hell would she let him touch it?"

I think it was about trust really. She knew it wasn't leaking, but John needed to see for himself.

"Since we just had the Jesse story wherein she spent all season trying to win future war by messing with John's love life, I really hope we're not going to find out Cameron was doing the same. But at this point it's looking that way."

I'm not buying the manipulation angle. Yes, at some point Cameron wanted to get closer to John and was manipulating his feelings. But that last scene I read quiet differently.

First, she begins by telling him she a murdering terminator and that she might kill him someday. If she so wanted him to fall for her wouldn't she be telling him the exact opposite?

Second, she actually breaks the moment by telling John they need to go. She didn't let him take it further, which could have happened.

No, I think it's like she tells Sarah. John has to be alone. The way he cares for people, Cameron herself included, is dangerous as she sees it. IMO, she leaves in part because she doesn't trust herself with him fully.
bobmacpharson
Apr. 18th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this is pretty much how I saw it. I think there's still a form of manipulation, but ultimately she's trying to turn him into Future John, not keep him fixated on her.

She leads him into an intimate moment, then abruptly ends it (with the knowledge that her inside is "cold," the opposite of what we associate with passion). This helps reinforce for him that she is not human and a relationship is not possible, but still leaves him with enough confused emotions to follow her into the future, where I assume she and Weaver have a kind of "lesson plan" set up.
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johnnypate
Apr. 18th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Personally I'm quite happy so far that the time travel shenanigans can be made to work, though it only really works according to my hypothesis if future!John jumps back to the exact same time he jumped from (in which case the time bubble used means the future is not set because of timeline branching and John and Sarah can stop JD). That will make the story-telling from either Sarah's (which, I assume, really ought to be the point of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles") or future!John's POV somewhat challenging I envisage. I think you and I broadly agree on this, I guess I have more faith in Josh Friedman - which I admit may be completely misplaced. Future!John's erasable history isn't entirely disposable tho because it could be very important character development even if the future disappears into another timeline with a time jump. Also, he might bring significant characters back - like Allison rather than Cameron. Only the eternal now actually ever exists anyway.

Apparent inconsistency in the various future timelines don't matter, excepting in cases like Allison's and Derek's ages (let's call her 16 which is, I believe, meant to be John's age). After all, there are a plethora of branching timelines due to, at least, the time bubbles. Allison and Derek's ages do work though, it seems to me. (John could have jumped into a timeline where T2 ended with John and Sarah dead instead of the T1000 being defeated but we have so little information to go on at this point that many things are possible.) It is possible future!John will find out more about how the time travel machine works in a way that resolves a lot of these issues - though magically fixing it all by having the time machine work as required for the plot, rather than the plot follow the logic of time travel, will be disappointing for me.

I read the time bubble scene differently - it was Sarah who stepped back out of the time bubble and left John, not the other way around. Obviously, this gives me a completely different interpretation of what was going down (which I won't bother with re-iterating unless you're interested). It did occur to me, reading your post, that Sarah could have said "we" because she is pregnant with Charlie's child! I'm not betting on that one but it would be a fascinating development, for sure.

The Jameron powerpack scene I thought extremely interesting. Particularly since John clearly retained such emotional attachment to Cameron after such an "in depth" demonstration of her being a robot in a way he couldn't romanticize away. I think it's a fascinating, and plausible, insight into the human mind that says an awful lot about how inappropriate emotional attachment can exist. I seem to be very much in the minority in being wierded out by the hentai robot sex stuff and that is an observation that matches the real world, not just John Connnor. I suppose what I liked so much about that scene was that it was disturbing on so many levels. Awesome.

Random points of note: I liked the Cameron rampage thru the prison reminding us of T2, thought that worked well. Cameron's final message, reference to T2. The eel being a part of the Weaverbot - could be very significant in S3 plot developments.

I really liked "Born to Run." As an honest-to-goodness finale because there is no S3 it works for me, bearing in mind there was no way to dot all the `i' and cross all the 't.' It leaves S3 wide open in a way that looks challenging for the writers to match my expectations, which makes me excited about seeing an S3 and if they can hold it together (in a manner BSG signally failed to do, for instance).
johnnypate
Apr. 18th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
BTW Roxy: "Can these futures be - erased..."

The futures aren't erased. I don't buy the single timeline hypothesis, it's completely inconsistent with everything we've seen in all except the first "Terminator" film and then James Cameron clearly decided he was not accepting that when he gave us T2. T1 Kyle's JD was in the nineties, erase that and therefore you have to accept the timeline rewrites its own entire history and therefore nothing counts anyway.

John jumped in Weaverbot's (and/or maybe JH/Cameron's) timeline or even into a completely another one given we don't know how the time bubble tech works.

In the final analysis, the only timeline that has to matter is Sarah's, it's "The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The one thing Kyle did know was the future was not set. What that seems to imply is that you're trying to spawn a better alternate future via a time bubble. What "Self-made Man" shows us is that the further back you go in time the harder it is to not blow things completely (go too far back and, for instance, your future includes a nuke war between USA and USSR before Skynet can be built, due to something you did - and what's left of the human race is back in the stone age and possibly heading for extinction in spite of the lack of Terminators).
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cj2017
Apr. 20th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
Jumping on board a little late thanks to managing to miss this update completely...?!

That scene just didn't add up. It was either a really flimsy setup for Jameron cheers or it was a weak manipulation by Cameron that worked because the blood had left John's brain.

It was so utterly shoe-horned in, that it felt like a desperate plea for a S3 to me, but I like the idea that Cameron has been manipulating John since the get-go, because every move she's ever made on the poor lad has been to further her own aims. I can't see the logic in Future!John sending back a cute-arsed robot to seduce his teen self (well, unless Future!John's even more of a tit than Present!John) so I reckon Cameron's particular F!J's dead and Cam's sent herself back to work everything to her own scheme. The "join us" thing is her idea, the seduction is her idea and she has an end game. We'll just probably never get to know what it is.

I can't cheer that. I can't be wowed by that. I can't even pretend to enjoy that. It's fucked up and I'm not okay with it. Sarah, however, was okay with it. Um, what?

If the writing for the Connors is okay with being that poor, then I am perfectly okay with adopting the "la la la, I'm not listening" approach to viewing the end scenes. You stick your fingers in your ears (as opposed to doing that and covering your eyes for the motel scene) and pretend that nothing is going on until the credits roll or Uncle Derek appears, whichever makes you happier. Because any attempt at fan wanking that makes my head hurt.

I still don't know if Sarah thought John loved Cameron or was bonded to her like family or what, but at the very least, Sarah understood that John had a powerful attachment to her and there was nothing she could do or say to come between that.

You mention John needing therapy, I recommend: Slap therapy. It's when you open your palm and whack someone around the head until they come to their senses (believe me, many a time have I been tempted on a shift!) I wonder what the rest of the writing staff thought of this scene. They took so much time and effort carefully constructing believable characters arcs for Sarah and John. They retconned John into a sensible, intelligent, mature, potential future leader. They gave him lessons to learn about being "human" and valuing humanity. And then in five minutes Friedman allows him to chase into an unknown future, following an unknown terminator to find a piece of metal with a freezing cold soul. Oy.
Yeah, yeah, I know we're heading towards let's all play happy families with the metal and bond and that's the way to save humanity. I'm just not on board with that, and Weaver's actions up to suddenly coming across slightly more cuddly in the finale, did nothing to persuade me she has humanity's best interests at heart.

And since she won't have any clue what he's up to, it wouldn't exactly be The Sarah Connor Chronicles anymore. Don't even start with the "it's not about the title character anyway" comments.

Well, the back 9 certainly has been. They've given us some awesome Sarah stories of late, which is why the pounding her character took at the end of this one was such a disappointment. Maybe it was a sop to Fox ("look, we're going to focus on John now, we're going to make it a love story, we have more cool future stuff, please don't cancel us!") maybe it was a sop to the Jameronians, maybe Friedman really did think he'd written something cool. Lots of people agreed with him. I personally hope that - if we do get a S3 - he leaves the writing to the guys and gals who made the back 8 (well, 7, I'm gonna take Desert Cantos out the mix!) so bloody stunning.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 21st, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
I reckon Cameron's particular F!J's dead and Cam's sent herself back to work everything to her own scheme. The "join us" thing is her idea, the seduction is her idea and she has an end game.

That's what I think too. the future we've seen of Cameron before isn't the one John is in now. But there was definitely something odd about future!John in it. I agree with you that future!John was dead and Cameron was completely running things while pretending she was acting on his orders. So she tried to work a deal with liquid metal (Weaver) and when that failed, she sent herself back to make things work out differently. But then Weaver sent herself back to make things work out differently too. So the mysterious "will you join us" plan is on. I think it's bad news for humans, though.


You mention John needing therapy, I recommend: Slap therapy.

LOL. Yeah some of that might help. Sarah pretty much lets John get away with every screw up, relying on him learning the lessons of his mistakes. But he clearly doesn't always. Never trust the metal! "They can feel things. They don't know love." "People matter." The boy really should listen to his mom more. but he got suckered in by Cameron. Bad John Connor!


the pounding her character took at the end of this one was such a disappointment.

Yeah that hit me so hard. It was just so OOC for Sarah. She was in a very difficult situation — watch John go alone or go with him and skip out on trying to stop Skynet. But at least if she'd been trying desperately to talk him out of it all the way until the moment he left, I'd feel a lot better about it.
bobmacpharson
Apr. 20th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Random Livejournal questions (I'm fairly new to livejournal), apologies for asking here but I'm not sure where else to.

1) is there a way to expand the entire comments section at once? It's getting annoying to have to expand each individual section as the thread gets longer

2) is there a way to easily sort out the newest comments? At the beginning of the day it's easy to just search for Apr. 20th or whatever, but by the end of the day it gets confusing.

Again, apologies for asking here. And also thanks for providing such a great place for terminator discussion. The forums I normally frequent are full of "Hot hot cameron!" and people who just don't seem to get the depth this show has.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 20th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
I find the collapsed comments thing really annoying too, but I don't believe there's any way to expand all the comments. Once it hits a certain point, it automatically collapses them. it can also be really confusing to figure out sometimes which comments are replying to which comments.

I'm not sure if you can see all the same options that I can underneath the comments, but there are a few ways to alter the view aside from individually expanding each comment:

If you hit "Thread" at the bottom of a comment, it'll show you that comment plus all its replies. If you hit "Parent" below a comment, it'll show you the one immediately preceeding (that it was in reply to).

Another way to expand a single collapsed comment is by clicking the subject next to it (even if it says "no subject"). That will take you to just that comment (expanded) and from there you can hit Parent to go up or Thread to go down.

Alternatively, you can use the links in the email notification (I'm assuming you're getting emails when someone replies) to get a complete view of a single discussion thread. If you click "View the thread starting from this comment" at the bottom of the email, it'll take you to the full hierarchy of comments of that specific discussion.

Hope some of that made sense!
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bobmacpharson
Apr. 21st, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
I've been pretty stressed of late (I'd say embarassingly so) regarding Season 3 or lack thereof. A few thoughts/questions:

1) First of all, you've all pre-ordered the Season 2 DVD, right?

2) Second of all, what do you think the best way to get new people into this show is? The problem I've been facing is drawing line between not bugging people enough to get them to actually watch it and bugging them so much you sound like a manic, ravenous fanboy/gal. Much as I love being a geek, I have to admit that listening to other geeks rave is infuriating when you aren't already interested in the same thing they are.

It's helped a bit that I've already got a few people at school interested and those people have all attested to how great it is, but it's a slow show to get into for most people (the people here who fell in love at Gnothi Seauton non-withstanding). Most people I talked weren't seriously amazed until Season 2, and I'm trying to decide whether to recommend new people just start at Season 2 and then rewatch Season 1 if they're into it, or if the things that make Season 2 great hinge on having watched from the beginning.

(There's also the issue of "If they have to work through Season 1 first, it may be too late before they start watching Fox/hulu episodes, if it's not too late already.")

3) Does anyone know what the actual difference between Hulu and Fox.com ratings are? How much do either of them matter? How much does view count matter vs single viewings from multiple IP addresses? I suspect both companies keep that information fairly hidden to reduce ad fraud but I'm hoping someone here knows something. I've been running through the episodes on both Hulu and Fox a few times each now and I'm worrying that at some point I get labeled as potential ad fraud and actually start hurting the process.

4) Any thoughts on what would be the optimal way for them to approach Season 3 in terms of ensuring enough permanent viewers to remain profitable? I'm sure if they actually TARGETED the target audience instead of promising ACTION ACTION ACTION BADASS BABES WITH GUNS they'd get more permanent viewers. I'm also unsure how exactly you'd target the target audience. Some of the most fascinating things about Season 2 to me were Weaver raising Savanah and the fact the Cameron and John's relationship is NOT stereotypical soap opera. How do you pitch that in a 30 second commercial?

Rumors claim that Warner Bros is approaching Syfy with the show, and that a sticking point in the negotiation is creative control, with Syfy wanting them to be more episodic. I can't even think how you could turn the show episodic given their current arc.
bobmacpharson
Apr. 21st, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
I think the main issue with season 2 was that it was chopped in half, but there were three separate stories each dragged in the middle. Part of good story telling is knowing how to break up your piece in to proper chapters. Heroes has been pretty good at this (even as they get worse and worse at actual plot, scripting and acting). Heroes Season 3 was broken into two volumes with self contained stories that ended and began dramatically.

Fortunately Season 3 lends itself well to this. I can easily see a first act focusing on John in the Future and Sarah in the past that ends with them reunited, kicking off a new mission for the latter half.

I'm not sure how Season 2 should have been done differently. People here seem to like the Kaliba arc, but elsewhere that's almost universally seen as the weakest part of the season. I agree that several episodes focusing on Sarah Connor were crucial, but I think it could have happened in a way that didn't impede on the... well, frankly, more popular characters.

I think some of the singleton episodes could have been pushed further back, and Today's the Day could have functioned as an Act I finale, and then have the Kaliba story be Act II, instead of trying to weave them together. The Kaliba story in general felt too vague and drawn out to me. The whole 3 dots thing in particular always struck me as lame, and even seeing them at the end did nothing to reassure me the whole thing wasn't in Sarah's imagination. Some random computer has three dots on it? And those 3 dots aren't part of any kind of advertising campaign to help us find it? Gee, random guy from the future! Thanks!

So... yeah. Thoughts?
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Roxy Bisquaint

Roxy Bisquaint...

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