Derek is... OMFG... dead
A month ago if anyone had suggested Derek could be killed off, I would've said no way. He's core cast and a beloved character — he's safe. Well, I know better now. NO ONE IS EVER SAFE. Recently, though, there was talk of a major male character death and there was also news that Brian Austin Green had signed on to do a pilot for another series. That changed everything. He might indeed be killed off. So going into this episode, I knew it could happen, but I still didn't really expect it.
That was... just... awesome and horrible and everything in between. For pure shock value alone, I absolutely loved it. LOVED it. It's one of those moments that I had to hit the jump back button on the DVR remote four times. If I'd simply waited a few seconds, I would've seen the hole in his head, but my immediate reaction was "Holy shit! Wait, where did he get shot?" So after watching him round that corner a few times, I finally let it play through and saw that he was quite clearly dead. Wow.
You know what really surprised me? Fan reaction. I expected more outrage than anything else, but no. Well, there was some of that — there were fans denouncing the show as "ruined" and calling for Josh Friedman's head on a pike (what else is new?), but largely the reactions were the same as mine. I can't believe they killed off Derek. I can't believe they killed of Derek *like that*. I'm so sad to see him go, but damn, what a gutsy way to end a character.
I guess his story did come full circle. He killed Andy Goode which led to Catherine Weaver getting the Turk, which she used for John Henry, who the Connors just found out about. But from a character standpoint, I think he had a long way to go and I'm sorry he'll never make that journey.
I loved the dialog between Sarah and Derek at the cemetery.
Derek: I thought my brother buried out there counted for something between us.
Sarah: Well John counts for more and you keep too many secrets for my taste.
"The Good Wound" seemed to be paving the way for Sarah and Derek to come to terms finally and find a common ground. But looking back now, I think the significance of Sarah blurring Kyle and Derek in her mind was actually the build-up to her letting go of the connection to Kyle that Derek represented. His arrival had brought Kyle back in a way, but she'd been right about him all along. Even though he was family, he couldn't be trusted. He lied to Sarah the first time he met her. Future!John hadn't trusted him enough to tell him about Kyle. He didn't have Kyle's kind eyes. So once Sarah realized Derek sold out John for Jesse, his blood connection to Kyle and to John became meaningless. In simple terms, Derek was nothing more than a thread to a 25-year-old memory. He wasn't Kyle and he never would be.
Sarah and Derek had awesome chemistry and I'll miss that terribly. Their tension made for some great drama and now that he's gone I'm mad that evil Jesse's idiotic storyline interrupted it all. Scenes between Sarah and Derek were much too few this season and the trade-off wasn't worth it. That's my one major complaint about this season: Fuck Jesse and Riley and that stupid story that went nowhere. Derek's redemption was false. John's growth was forced. There were so many ways to play those beats that would have been better than the Gossip Girl plot of manipulating John's love life. OMG. So. Bad. Yes, I'm a little bitter about that — like season 2 of Lost bitter.
Had to get that out. I'm better now. I ran a test. Everything's good now.
Sarah goes to her guns
One of my favorite moments in the series was back in "Dungeons & Dragons" when Charley leaves. Cut to Sarah cleaning her rifle and that awesome hug between mother and son. It was such a beautiful sequence and said so much without a single word of dialog. Anyway, what's apparent from that is that Sarah goes to her guns when she's upset. And the first scene we get with Sarah after Derek's death is everyone sitting silently in that warehouse with nothing but the sound of Sarah fiddling with guns. Of course they'd just had a shootout with a machine, so there's a logical reason to be loading weapons too, but it's the character beat that's important. She turned to the guns. I love that.
Ellison, you big fucking idiot
He's going to have a hard time explaining killer robots to Weaver? He thinks he can protect Savannah from a machine? Are you fucking kidding me?
If there's one character who I DO NOT want to see survive this season, it's Ellison. I think I'd even take Riley and Jesse back if it would guarantee Ellison's demise. I'm not going to go into all the reasons I hate him because I think they're pretty obvious, but mostly it's because of that enormous fucking high horse he lives on. I don't just want him to die, I want him to die the idiot that he is, but with a split second moment of realization about what an idiot he is right before Weaver spears him like a damn kebab.
Will I get that? No, probably not because Cameron wanted to kill him and John wants to kill him and I'm pretty sure Catherine Weaver has just about had enough of him too. So now an Ellison death feels too obvious and expected and therefore shouldn't be expected. I really hope I'm wrong, though. I do not want Ellison to get to be a good guy after all this. Also he and Sarah have zero chemistry so I don't want him to be the last adult standing that she can ever interact with. Charley's dead. Derek's dead. Ellison needs to join them in the great beyond. Die, Ellison, DIE!
She's lost weight
Um, what? So Sarah goes to the doctor because she finds a lump in her breast that turns out to be a transmitter, but she actually does have cancer and hasn't a clue? I am not amused. I like the cancer hanging over Sarah's head. I don't like the idea of her actually having cancer, though. I don't want a Sarah who can't kick ass. And no matter how slow progressing her cancer might be, if she's already losing weight, she'll be a goner in no time. One thing Sarah can't spare is weight.
Maybe she doesn't have cancer. Maybe Cameron is simply reading the signs wrong. "Self Made Man" established that Cameron can detect cancer or at least is very attuned to the signs. But if weight loss is the only symptom, that's not much to go on. We also know Sarah's been nauseous lately (or at least she had been at the time of her doctor visit). Nausea and weight loss still have like 1000 causes. I vote no on cancer for Sarah. NO — unless it's leukemia that can be cured by a transfusion of terminator blood. Then she can get it because nothing would fuck Sarah's mind more than being saved by the very thing that's forever trying to kill her son.
The other possibility is that Cameron's playing some angle with John. We know she thinks humans are John's problem — he cares. I wish we'd see a bit more of this caring side as a balance to the angry young man we see 90% of the time, but I'll take her word for it. The caring is in there somewhere. Anyway, Cameron seems to think it's best if John is alone (more end of season foreshadowing, I think) because in the timeline she comes from, it's how future!John ends up. So when she mentions that Sarah was going to ditch him and then hints at cancer, perhaps it was to push her agenda (of John being alone). She may be trying to plant the idea in his head that he can't rely on his mom. Cancer would make him worry — care more — but it would also probably make him start doing more on his own, thinking his mom is less able. I don't know, that's all I can come up with for that strange conversation between Cameron and John.
Perhaps in this story, you are God
I like this whole brother thing — that two computers sharing the same code base would be like the two humans sharing the same genes.
In terms of the episode title and Cain and Abel story, it would seem that Miles Dyson is Adam since he created the code. But he was dead before it actually became part of John Henry or his brother. Since my theory is that Danny Dyson carried on his father's work, he's responsible for the code they share, so he would be Adam. I think the obvious answer to the "which one am I?" question is that John Henry is Abel because he's "favored by God" (taught morality by the Bibical Ellison). If so, John Henry is not long for this world. That makes sense because the new AI would then be the focus of next season.
But Weaver telling John Henry that "perhaps in this story, you are God," throws in a twist into it and I'm not sure how to take it. With parallels between John Henry and John Connor and parallels between John Henry and the other AI and parallels between John Connor and Danny Dyson, anything could happen. And I'm a little scared.
Fugitive Sarah Connor arrested
FUCK. I knew that was going to happen in this episode because of the spoiler photo of the TV screens in the store window that was released a few weeks ago. But I didn't know how it would happen and it still sucked. The big question is who ratted her out? Whoever it was knows she is Sarah Connor and knew where she was going to be or at least that she would be with Ellison. I'm putting my money on John Henry and here's why:
- John Henry was told by Weaver that Savannah's survival depended on his.
- He feared Sarah Connor may want to destroy him because he has Mile's Dyson's code in him.
- Therefore, John Henry believed Sarah was a threat to Savannah.
- To ensure Savannah's survival, John Henry ensured his own survival by getting Sarah Connor arrested.
That's logical, right?
What makes this such a big deal is that now fugitive Sarah Connor is known to be alive in 2009 Los Angeles. The implications of that are bad. Very bad. Not only will she have cops and feds after her from now on, but her face is freshly plastered all over the news. So much for talking to landlords or posing as an investor at a tech start-up. She's going to have to live in the shadows to stay in this fight and I'm not sure how much fighting she'll even be able to do from the shadows. At the very least she'll have to go into hiding for a few months until the heat is off after she busts out of there.
The other problem of course, is that getting arrested gets her in the system. Sure, that database could be destroyed from a nuke on judgment day, but it could just as easily survive. And from a story standpoint, the record of her being arrested in 2009 is more dramatic if Skynet knows. Machines will come calling; they'll be looking for her to find John. I think that's why we had the set-up in "To the Lighthouse" that Sarah and John would be separated at the end of this season. She's going to have to put some distance between herself and John for his safety.
Savannah & John Henry
Is Savannah not the cutest little girl ever? And her friendship with John Henry is just plain lovable. Who didn't freeze frame her in-class chat to read it?
But here's what struck me in this episode. The water cooler terminator showed up at Weaver's house to kill Savannah. Assuming Kaliba is doing Skynet's bidding, that means Savannah is a problem for Skynet. In other words, she's important. Ellison was also a target before too, so he's also important. The one thing they have in common is that they're both helping to mold John Henry. What I think it really comes down to is that John Henry is a big-ass problem for Skynet.
The way they're swinging the axe of late on this show, I do worry Savannah won't survive. I'd be sad about that because, well, she's cute and she's a kid and it's fucking harsh to kill a kid. So I have a wacky theory that Savannah will end up in Sarah's protective custody. Maybe when she flees, she'll take Savannah with her.
Oh here's something: That terminator was after Savannah, but outside the movie theater he seemed to be intently watching Sarah get arrested. I'm not sure I understand the change in his focus. Savannah was standing there with Ellison, so why did he divert his attention to Sarah? We know all terminators on other missions have a KILL JOHN CONNOR default if they were to find out who he is. But the only ones to ever go after Sarah in this series are Cameron and Cromartie — machines who were already after John. Curious.
I am smitten with the water delivery terminator. I know he killed Derek but he is one handsome machine.
"Heaven has a hardware problem." That was an awesome line from John Henry. You gotta love his logic.
I know John Henry is a super computer, but how the hell could he have possibly gotten the number to Sarah's cell phone?
Why wasn't Ellison arrested? That investigator was rather suspicious of Ellison anyway and then he comes walking out of the movie theater right after fugitive Sarah Connor. I don't think the cops would be inclined to believe that was a coincidence.
That shot of John looking at the TVs in the store window at the end is just gorgeous. I may even have to make a John icon.
Um, we're in 2009 now? So season 2 went from November 2007 until sometime in 2009? I understand that the show wanted to catch up to present day, but they could have solved the problem rather easily by altering the date on the construction sign after the time jump in the pilot. But instead, we get massive unexplained lapses this season. Anyway, since Serrano Point is slated to go online in August of 2009, I'll assume we're sometime before that and when season 3 starts, the show will be set in August 2009.
I really have no big theories about the finale. I'm expecting Cameron to bust Sarah out of jail (and hunky terminator to make it not so easy). I'm expecting a flashback to the future in which we find out the story of the creepy basement. I'm expecting Zeira Corp to go BOOM. I'm hoping for an Ellison death. I'm expecting the kill switch Cameron gave to John to come into play. And I'm expecting Sarah to hit the road sans John. How all that is going to happen, I haven't a clue. What else might happen, I haven't a clue. I'm excited, I'm nervous and I'm really really scared. Not knowing if there will be another season makes this finale very important.
Please don't leave me, show.