I LOVED IT. So much goodness in this episode and it totally had a season 1 feel to it. Every character was involved and every character felt perfect and true and, my God, likable (how long's it been?). All the stories overlap, but Sarah is at the center. That's my idea of a TSCC ensemble. It's how the show works best and it's what's been missing for a lot of this season. As much as I LOVED LOVED LOVED our recent Sarah arc, I would trade that for an entire season of this kind of episode (assuming of course that I can't actually have an entire season of Sarah-centric episodes).
• Sarah & Derk tension - yay!
• Sarah & John being mother & son - yay!
• Sarah/Charley angst - yay!
• Cameron being unintentionally smart-ass funny instead of flat one liners - yay!
• Cameron & Derek tension - yay!
• Pancakes - yay!
• Leaving that fucking house behind (I hate that house) - yay!
• Charley dies - very expected but sad anyway :(
• Cyberdyne - yay!
That whole scene with Sarah and John in the car was so fun. Sarah was relaxed and happy for the first time since, um, the time jump, I think. John didn't seem to know what to make of his mom acting like that. It was great. Also, nice touch with the transmitter screwing up the radio.
Nitpick: Actually this is more than a nitpick... Sarah does not drive Chevy Suburbans, she drives Jeeps! I noticed this Chevy a few eps ago, but I let it slide thinking it was some temporary advertising deal and she'd have a Jeep again soon enough. When they're blurring out the logo, though, there's no ad deal. That Chevy better fucking blow up and get replaced with a God damn Jeep.
As much as I was hoping for Sarah to get laid before Charley died, I was really satisfied with how their time together went. The tension between them was perfect and I totally LOLed at the bread and peanut butter comment. Yeah, he was still pissed at her about Michelle. But Sarah wasn't there for herself — she was there for John and it was such a touching moment when she clued Charley in about the cancer. Lena gave such a beautiful performance, I totally teared up. Despite his anger, he really did still care about her — that hug between them was wonderful. Sarah so rarely gets comfort from anyone, but Charley was there for her when she finally let it out. Oh and I loved the story about the diner (always knew they met when she was working at a diner).
It was very cool to find out that Sarah had set up that house after Michelle died. Not only was she sort of taking care of Charley in his grief, but having that house (that neither Cameron nor Derek knew about) was a nice contingency plan... "That's my mom, she always plans ahead."
"It's my fate... there's nothing I can do."
I realized something extremely cool about that scene. Sarah is working to change John's fate, yet she accepts her own fate very readily. Future!John, however, doesn't accept her fate. Just as she's trying to change John's fate, future!John is trying to change her fate (Cameron jumping her over her death). I love that SO MUCH.
Those were awesome and sweet and told us a lot. Sarah leaves John alone, but then he finds her...
"I won. I was alone and you couldn't find me. That's the game, right?"
I was immediately reminded of the Sarah-John talk in "The Demon Hand":
Sarah: I'll always find you.
John: I'll always find you.
I think we're setting up for Sarah and John to get separated in the finale but he'll find again her first thing next season.
Even with the underlying cancer worry, it was a shiny spot of normal in the middle of chaos and misery. And short-lived as it was, it was much needed.
Transmitter in Sarah's breast
I gotta pat me and life_on_queen on the back for figuring that out ahead of time. I still say Kaliba implanting Sarah at the warehouse makes way more sense than Winston doing it in the van, but he certainly had the best opportunity so I can live with that. I was freaked out enough that he was checking her out while she was unconscious and now we know he stuck a transmitter in her breast. The dude was a total evil bad guy perv and I'm glad she blew his brains out. But... Why am I feeling a little uneasy about Sarah saying she's been feeling nauseated recently? Please tell me it's just the stress and worry about cancer and that Winston didn't inject her with some future virus or something.
Nitpick: Since when do you go in for a breast examine and leave your shirt on under the gown, (especially if you're getting an ultrasound)? Also, that doctor was way too okay about the idea that it was a transmitter, that Sarah had a gun and that Sarah was going to zap herself.
John gets away, Charley dies
As soon as Sarah saw the boat was gone she immediately knew John was safe. I was so glad of that. Of course, she thought Charley was safe too, but we all knew he wasn't. I'm sad he died, but I'm relieved it wasn't drawn out. He died protecting John and that's a fitting end for him. If I'm not mistaken, Charley was firing a Ruger Mini-14. I have one of those. Mine's way more badass, though — A-Team style! :)
Derek told Cameron he wouldn't have given up the location of the safe house, but she says it's happened before. So we now know for sure what we've all suspected — that Cameron knows about the creepy basement and that Derek gave up the location of the bunker. I still hope Cameron wasn't personally involved in that because it's too obvious, but it's really looking like she was. Maybe we'll get an interesting twist on it though.
Jesse's miscarriage is back in play. I still don't like that story line, but I do think this is more evidence that Jesse's not dead and that Derek will eventually go looking for her (next season probably).
What's up with that quick reboot? Was the voltage too low to cause a full shut-down of her system? Or is there some other reason? It felt like it was an intentional parallel between Cameron and Sarah (low voltage zaps causing temporary effects that they recovered from in time to take out an enemy), but I'm not sure what the point was of it was. The guy who zapped her seemed to be getting instructions from John Henry's "brother". Interesting that the brother told the guy that he got the endo schematic and info about chip removal from his "brother". Ruh?! That means he got it from John Henry, but how does John Henry have endo schematics, info about electrocuting a machine to shut it down and info about chip removal?
John Henry's "brother" / Kaliba / Weaver
So there's another super AI out there working with Kaliba that Catherine doesn't know about? I thought Catherine owned Kaliba (though I assumed she owned it under a different persona). It certainly seemed like she was pissed off at her own employees for being careless when she heard that unsecure call John Henry picked up on in "The Good Wound". Now I'm really confused. Is Kaliba a competitor? If so, why would she be so concerned about them being lax with their own security? And why did she care about killing every single employee? I'm even more curious now about Zoe's dad (the guy with the drone). Before, I thought he'd taken off with the drone as a way to secure his own survival (kill me and you'll never get your drone back kind of thing). But now I'm thinking he just got it safely out of there to take it back to Kaliba.
The roving back door
John Henry got hacked because of a roving back door that allowed a worm to infiltrate him. Now we know what old!Fisher was up to when he installed that in those government computers in "Complications":
"This system allows user access to all primary military industrial computer systems... Why would you install a roving back door into those computer systems, one that we can't dismantle so far?" - Fed agent to young!Fisher
It seems old!Fisher was working for JH's "brother" and I think the goal is to jump start judgment day. Why it needs John Henry for that, I don't know. You'd think this new AI could just do it, but maybe it's not powerful enough on it's own and it needs to merge with JH to take over military computer systems. Or something like that.
When Jesse dodged the question about judgment day, I figured hers was very soon. But now I think it's like right around the corner! If that AI succeeds in controlling JH, judgment day could be imminent. The only solution to this (as soon as the Connors learn what's going on) is to destroy John Henry. And his AI "brother" will probably be next season's focus.
I'm so happy to see the name back in the story. I never liked that Cyberdyne was seemingly dropped. It's always been Cyberdyne that developed Skynet and always should be. Also, that name will REALLY piss Sarah off, won't it? So what's up with this link to Miles' work at Cyberdyne? Didn't they destroy it all? Didn't Derek & Co. investigate Cyberdyne leads and didn't Sarah follow up and find the now dead Andy Goode as the only link? Well, they focused on former employees... not family. When we found out last season in "The Turk" that Danny Dyson was off at college, I fully expected he was studying AI and following in daddy's footsteps. I hoped anyway. And now I'm getting excited.
John lost his father because of future war being played out in present day and the same is true of Danny. Mirrors. Parallels. John is going to save humanity and maybe Danny is about to destroy humanity. I doubt he's an evil mastermind siding with future machines against mankind. I think it's more likely he was seeking a connection to the father he lost and loved the same kind of work. Maybe this Cyberdyne thing won't lead to Danny Dyson, but I think it would be hella cool if it does. It gives us Sarah and Terissa parallels. It gives us John and Danny parallels. And it keeps Cyberdyne alive in the story.
There's lots going on now and everything is so brilliantly connecting. As much as I've disliked so many separate storylines this season, it's nice to watch it all converging. What an awesome episode. Can I have more please :)