So what seems like reality is the dream and what seems like the dream is the reality. That messed with my head completely. And I loved it because it all made sense in the end. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Desert Cantos might have been just an okay episode, but the story arc from Earthlings to Good Wound to Desert Cantos to Some Must Watch has been incredible.
I never did like that after all the time the show spent on Sarah not killing, they ultimately threw her into a situation where she had to kill or be killed in Earthlings Welcome Here. It felt like a bit of a dirty trick to me — a cheap and easy way to put blood on her hands without any need for moral justification. But it turns out Winston didn't die then. This time, however, this time she fucking killed him. Our girl ain't playin' any more. Sarah could have walked away. She could have knocked Winston out, tied him up. She could have done a lot of things. But she put the gun to his head and she pulled the fucking the trigger.
Not killing that kid in the bowling alley almost got John killed. And this time it wasn't just a normal person who inadvertently knew where they lived. This time it was a very bad man, working for a company that was building "the end". He'd done his job very well and gotten info about John from Sarah, which made him an undeniable threat. So she iced him. And I don't think she's going to lose any sleep over it.
Sarah was fucking hardcore
My God. She fucking bit her fucking wrist and fucking broke her fucking thumb to get free of those cuffs. And then she fucking shot Winston point blank! HARD-FUCKING-CORE. Yeah, I'd say the desert transformed her. After all that time she spent with Kyle in Good Wound and him telling her she's not "one of them" and trying to get her to pull back, I really did not expect hardcore Sarah (certainly not this level of hardcore) to come out the other side. But damn. She did. She's the coyote now. And I like it.
Going back to Sarah and Kyle from The Good Wound, we've got:
Sarah: I'm not strong enough. I'm gonna die.
Kyle: It wouldn't be the first time.
I think that refers to her transformation in Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep. Sarah wasn't strong enough to NOT kill anymore. When she killed Winston this time, it killed her. That was the moment of transformation. And that's why Kyle showed up in Good Wound. He'd changed her life before. So when she hit that crossroads again (and we knew from the duality of Earthlings that it was coming), she conjured him up.
She'd been waitress Sarah, then crazy hardcore Sarah. Then, during that 2 years of thinking "it's over", she fell in love, lived sort of normal and recaptured some of waitress Sarah. And she's been struggling with the duality ever since the pilot — not wanting to embrace the hardcore crazy. I think what may have pushed her was Alan/Eileen in Earthlings...
"How many people dare to live the life they dream of, face their real fears about who they really are?
...their deepest, truest selves?"
I think Sarah now believes that waitress Sarah isn't the real Sarah at all, but that the real Sarah was always the warrior. And just like the people that "killed" Alan Park, Kyle gave her a gift. He gave her the the life she would've been scared to lead. So she killed the "normal", but it was really more about embracing her deepest, truest self.
That's why in the dream in this episode, she was so insistent that John destroy all traces of her profile in the computer. Sarah isn't holding onto who she used to be anymore. She wants it gone... completely. She's never going back. She told Charley in Dungeons and Dragons that she's not trying to change her own fate, she's trying to change John's. She means it. Sarah's on a one-way journey now.
"The enemy is like a weed. You leave any part of it underground and it'll pop right back up when you least expect it. You gotta kill the root... or in this case, the seed."
Winston was talking about John, but this very clearly applies to stopping Skynet. This is why Sarah has only been delaying judgment day. Skynet is a weed and she's been leaving parts of it underground. She needs to kill the seed. She needs to kill John Henry. But just like you have to go through Sarah to get to John, you have to go through Catherine Weaver to get to John Henry. I think we're heading for one hell of a season finale.
Winston was either being a total perv or he wanted to get a look at the damage he'd inflicted on Sarah with the gunshot to her thigh and happened to notice the other scars. Or maybe he just wanted to know what kind of badass chick he was up against so he checked out her body for battle wounds. It was a creepy fucking moment, though, when we realize her jacket is off and her pants are unbuttoned. Sarah was quite clearly creeped out too, but she recovered very quickly. And obviously the significance of him finding a c-section scar was that it let him know she has a child who's probably 15-20 years old.
But what's up with this emergency c-section thing? We can't be sure we actually know the true story of John's birth, but if the meat of what Sarah told Kacey in Allison from Palmdale was true, then her water broke while on a hike in the jungle in Central America, she gave birth with nothing but a bottle of dark rum for the pain and she hitched a ride on a chicken bus afterwards. Maybe that's a made-up story. Maybe Sarah gave birth to John in a hospital like a normal person and had to have an emergency c-section. Or maybe the story she told Kacey was only the half-truth and she had an emergency c-section at some makeshift hospital in a small village in wherever she was in Central America.
My problem with the story she told Kacey being a lie is that it's too out of the ordinary. If you tell someone you had a child while on a jungle hike in Central America, you can pretty much assume questions will follow. It would be a terrible lie to tell. If you want to cut off a topic because you're hiding something, you tell a run-of-the-mill story and people easily fill in the blanks on their own. So that got me thinking about an alternative...
What if Sarah told Kacey the truth and that c-section scar was from another child that Sarah had? I warned I had a wacky theory. Actually, I should call this one a crackpot theory. hehehe. Anyway, here comes (and BTW, I've apparently driven people to the brink of madness with this theory, so tread carefully or your head might well explode)...
Sarah had a second child at some point when John was too young to remember. It was a daughter and she gave it up so that she could devote 100% of herself to John (and also so the daughter could live a normal life, rather than spending her life running from robots). We had the parental rights story last season. All the baby references this season. The trouble with Cameron ("I don't want to talk about her" at the shrink's office - maybe Cameron is a constant reminder to her of the daughter she gave up?). And let's not forget what Ellison said about John in the pilot episode... "a Luke Skywalker type". And what did Luke Skywalker have? A secret sissssssster.
To piece the daughter into the story, I'll suggest that she's very important to the resistance and Cameron's real mission is to find out about her.
That wasn't so bad was it? Did any heads explode?
I find it both amusing and disturbing that Sarah's concerns over Cameron are manifested as Cameron walking around in her undies and making better pancakes. So she's worried that the cyborg is both stirring up lusty thoughts in John's head and being a better mother to him? Yikes. No wonder Sarah's so messed up!
We know John wouldn't talk to Sarah about killing Sarkissian, no matter how hard she tried to get him to. In the dream, there was some very cool dialog reversal between them:
John: Are you talking about the guy at the factory? The one who shot you? The one you shot?
Sarah: We don't talk about that.
John: We can talk about anything.
Sarah: No we can't.
A bit later in that conversation, there's this:
"I'm not supposed to defend myself. I'm supposed to defend you."
This pretty well sums up Sarah's mindset. Whenever anything happens to John, she feels guilty about it. I've said before that John could run out into the street yelling "I'm John Connor, come and get me metal!" And when a terminator showed up, Sarah would feel like it was her fault. But more specifically, I think it goes back to John killing Sarakissian and blaming his mother... "why didn't you protect me from that?" She believed she'd killed Winston, but rather than being upset about that in itself, what weighed more on her was that it was in self-defense, not in John's defense. I think She looks at John killing Sarkissian as her greatest failure.
He killed Sarkissian because she couldn't get out of her plastic strap cuff in time. Clearly Sarah is never going to let that happen again. When she heard Winston on the phone talking about her son, she was going to get out of those metal handcuffs no matter what. The coyote is going to protect it's cub this time, even if she has to bite off her own paw to do it.
People in the dream — Dana, the doctor, Hector:
Hector was Sarah's inner strength. Despite how kind and gentle he seemed, he was the coyote in her that she needed to let come out. "You have to take control of the dream." Well, what she thought was the dream was the reality, but the point was made. She took control of the situation.
I think Dana was Winston. He'd quit smoking and was eating sunflower seeds as a result. Dana was trying to quit smoking, had an eating disorder and her boyfriend brought her sunflowers. Also, she was believed dead from fire, but was apparently still alive, just as Sarah had believed Winston was dead, but he was very much still alive. And when Winston fell on his own needle, that's when Dana got the shot from the doctor.
The doctor is kind of confusing. She had pearl earrings like Sarah had noticed on Winston's wife, but she was also the captor in a way. She was the one trying to keep Sarah at the clinic — the one that gave her the shot. She was keeping tabs on Sarah's brain, creating an extensive profile, just as Winston was using his interrogation methods to learn about her. And in the end Sarah thought the doc was dead, but she wasn't.
So I'm thinking Dana and the doctor both represented Winston. The roommate was his human side — the one Sarah was able to talk to. But once she burned up, Sarah was forced to deal with the doctor — Winston's manipulative, evil side. And clearly there was a major link between Sarah putting the gun to the doctor's head and yelling "what are you?" and then yelling "you're real!" when she put the gun to Winston's head. Whatever. I think I suck at dream analysis, but it was fucking cool.
ETA: On second thought, scratch that part about Dana. She was Sarah. That's why Sarah asked her name immediately in the dream ("naming things gives people power over them"). She was trying to control herself. There was also the smoking reference, the nightmares (Dana burns up in her dreams like Sarah has in nuclear nightmares), her penchant for younger men (we just saw young Kyle in Good Wound), and while Dana was under the influence of the injection, Sarah was trying to figure out what the nurse was up to. That was Sarah closing herself off while she turned the tables on Winston and got information about his bosses and his job. When Dana burned up, that was Sarah's escape attempt. But Dana wasn't dead — Sarah didn't escape from Winston. Or something like that. ;)
One last thing
Sarah's done a fair amount of bluffing in this series, but she's not bluffing anymore.
Winston: I shouldn't expect anything less from a girl who used a cross-dresser and a hypno-therapist to find us. You know, I gotta admit, I didn't see that one coming.
Sarah: You won't see the next one coming either.
And he certainly didn't see it coming when she stabbed him in the eye with that needle!
In Mr Ferguson is ill Today:
Cromartie: The first time we met, you tried to kill yourself.
Sarah: You're right. This time I'm gonna kill you.
And she did.
In Vick's Chip:
Sarah (to Derek:): Lie to me again, I'll kill you.
Derek better look the fuck out when Sarah finally finds out about Jesse!
I'm sure I could go on and on and on about every little detail of this episode, but I think this is enough... for now, anyway ;)