T:TSCC 0203 – The Mousetrap

I’ve mentioned in another post that I don’t think that Sarah is all that stellar at long-term planning. One of the most classic military strategies is divide and conquer. The Connor/Reeses certainly did a stellar job of letting Cromartie do just that.

First, let me get a couple of terminatory gripes out of the way. I guess we are supposed to assume that the triple-8s are experts at strategy. Barring a tracking device we were unaware of, Cromartie would have had to follow Charlie and wife out of town when there was no outstanding reason to do so. He also would have had to scope out the desert hideout near a cell tower, get the equipment to piggyback on the cell tower so as to tap into the call, and have to get back to L.A. to kill John before he can be thwarted. From the first NM ambush in the pilot, he knows that Cameron is a cyborg, and knows her name, so the message intercept from Sarah alerted him to Cameron being there…though he didn’t seem to be anticipating her.

And speaking of Cameron. How is it that Cromatie has time to stage an elaborate trap, drive from the desert to the pier, and get that close to John before she’s even found her charge…even though she was ordered to watch him? Pretty weak. The only thing I can think of is that she had to truck the exposed computer equipment back to Casa de Baum before it was lifted by some opportunist (not that that ever happens in L.A.).

And in spite of those huge gaping flaws, I enjoyed this episode. Cameron’s analysis of household movement was the sort of non sequitur that I’ve come to long for. I can almost see next summer with Cameron in her painter’s overalls and cap doing the sort of paint job that most pros could only hope to approach. Or, she’d be covered in paint.

I’m also ashamed to admit that I wanted Cameron to force John’s location out of Riley…you know, with deadly force. It’s not that I care much about Riley one way or the other, but it would be so in character for Cameron as Riley is an unaccounted for security risk (unless it turns out that she isn’t a liability in one future). I think it would also have given Cameron some protector cred as she clearly dropped the ball this time.

When Cromartie dove into the ocean after John, I was fairly certain that the “sinking like a stone” aspect of his physique would take hold. I know they aren’t exactly buoyant, but these advanced infiltrators can’t be outlandishly heavy otherwise they could easily be discovered. Given how fast we’ve seen terminators run, I’d have thought that they’d have some swimming ability. Some might ask why Cromartie jumped after John even though he knew he would sink, but clearly the goal was to grab John and take him down with him.

Should Cameron have dived in? After all, both Cromartie and John were under water, and Cromartie was just “this close” to snagging John. If Cameron was there in time to see that, wouldn’t her mission directive compel her to jump in, even knowing that she’d sink, if only to free John?

Stepping away from the action…how about that meeting between the T-1001 and Ellison? Some people might be saying, “Did you see that? Weaver drank water!” Honestly, I didn’t see that at all. I saw a T-1001 raise a glass to it lips, tilit it until water touched them, and then put the glass down. I noticed that Ellison noted this as well. Not a sip was taken, though the illusion was very good.

Still, I think the find-the-machine aspect intrigued Ellison so much that this little detail was soon forgotten. It makes me wonder if he senses the trap. After watching all of the tapes of Sarah in the loony bin describing how Skynet gets built, I’d think that a seemingly intelligent FBI agent, like Ellison, would suspect that this company might be a Skynet stepping stone if it gets its hands on another machine.

It does raise an interesting point: The T-1001 doesn’t know the locale or how to contact the other Terminators that are lumbering about. What a coup, though, if she gets her hands on a CPU, eh?

For our heroes: you all need to set up a rotating code that Cromartie is unlikely to guess. Also, set up innocuous code words or phrases or sounds that indicate true information from a warning. Ask Cameron, I’m sure she’s already been informed of the need. And about that…note to Sarah: when it is obvious a terminator trap is being set into motion, confer with Cameron; she doesn’t have to guess at how a terminator thinks, she can give first-hand knowledge and methods.

John needs to come up with some sort of acceptable story that allows Cameron to hang around even when he’s with Riley. Let’s say that accident that put the metal plate in her head made her a little clingy…she means well and won’t get in the way (too much). Something like that. At this point having John ditch the protector validates Cameron’s observation in “Automatic for the People“: he can’t be trusted.

All-in-all, an enjoyable hour but not one filled with too much substance. I think we need to get into the Connor/Skynet arc stories soon and not endure so much setup. I recognize that it’s a tough balance, but just how often can our heroes cross paths with Cromartie before he gets lucky? Though L.A. is big, it’s not that big.

Oh, and RIP Michelle Dixon. I’m sure you were a nice lady who didn’t need to get caught in the middle of all of this. Don’t blame Sarah…blame Charlie. Despite repeated warnings to stay away and not contact these walking targets, he keeps doing it anyway.

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