T:TSCC 0107-0109 – The Demon Hand; Vick’s Chip; What He Beheld

0107 – The Demon Hand

So, I’m totally down with the hotness of Cameron going all Robert Patrick in the cop get-up. The thing I don’t get is how, when she shoves her hand into the dynamo, that the organic covering isn’t all shredded off. I get that her endoskeleton is tough, but that’s still just meat on the outside and it was put into a grinder.

Sometimes an episode has a lot of compelling things, but there’s just not quite enough to tie everything together. Certainly the Ellison/Silberman stuff seemed so far away from the rest of the episode. It was like someone directed that part while someone else directed the Connor stuff.

I was wondering if/when we’d get to see Summer’s dance background brought obviously to the fore. I thought it was a very good use of her skill. It must be tough to be a prima ballerina and have to dial it to seem a little mechanical, and also a little too perfect in balance. Still, with Summer’s training, it’s hardly surprising that she can do some Russian. Given her Firefly experience, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some Chinese at some point.

At the end of the show, with Cameron dancing for no apparent reason…just to dance. Whether it was pride or vanity to be “less mechanical” or if it was to find out if her dancing would allow her to discover “the hidden language of the soul”. Seeing Derek be all confused…that sold it.

But with the beauty, we still see that Cameron is still, in her essence, a terminator…letting Maria and Dimitri be whacked by the Russian Mafia guys without a gram of doubt or remorse. It would almost be humorous if it wasn’t so chilling.

Still, in many ways Cameron is a lot more human, at least from what we’ve seen, than Reese. Gah…what a total robot bigot. None of the other resistance fighters seemed to be so narrow minded, why him? Was he brainwashed specifically to sow doubt about any terminator fighting on John’s side?

Still, he does seem to care about John. I think he’s stupid about it…a semi-auto pistol against a terminator? Really? But even though this John isn’t his John, it still seems like he’d willingly give up his life if it meant John could live. Heck, he’s already demonstrated that.

I do have to admit, that the scene with Derek, Cameron, and the pancakes was a hoot. When she ate the pancake and then did the eye thing that said, “Satisfied?” Day-um.

Derek: You might have fooled them, but not me…. I know you.
Cameron: I know you, too.

Even given the events of “Dungeons and Dragons”, it’s clear that there’s more to the story between those two. Hopefully some of the pieces of this puzzle will be put into place before too long.

And then there was that whole thing at the cabin. I like that Ellison was drugged…for an FBI agent, he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. While I could have dispensed with the biblical mumbo-jumbo, I did like the threads of Ellison’s subplot that connected with the events in T2. In a way, it almost make the TV series seem more real…like it’s playing out to things that actually happened. Weird, I know.

It was definitely nice that Sarah could extend the olive branch and accept Silberman’s apology. After all, he was quite the schmuck. True, she accepted after coldcocking him and stealing the cyborg hand that had been missing since “Queen’s Gambit”, but she did accept. And…then she saved Ellison from the den of fiery death. He should so stop trying to track her down now. You know, be the bigger man.

It was delicious that Silberman found himself back at Sarah’s old room at Pescadero…except this time on the other side of the locked door.

An OK episode, but seemed every so slightly disjointed. I’m hoping for a little more focus. Perhaps I was spoiled by the previous two outings.

0108 – Vick’s Chip

Cameron lies. Whoa.

John: So how often do you lie?
Cameron: When the mission requires it.
John: Do you lie to me?
Cameron: Sometimes.
John: About important things?
Cameron: Yes, important things.

While this sort of dovetails into Cameron’s saying in “Gnothi Seauton” that she listens to John…future John, and not this John, it’s still a bit of a shocker. We’ve seen Cameron take the Coltan, which was apparently either not found or not recognized for what it was, and the CPU which she was caught with. Clearly, if her mission was to destroy John, she could kill him at any time. She doesn’t need all of this subterfuge. The only thing that makes a lot of sense at the moment is that she operating according to future-John’s instructions.

It seems to me that a lot of what Cameron is doing is trying to guide John to learn the things that he needs to know when Judgment Day arrives. If he learns them now, instead of after the war starts, then he’ll be that much farther along. After all, if she didn’t know what was on the chip, why steal it? I’m not buying the vague, it could have important information…she’s definitely holding back something. Then, when John is trying to access the chip, she knows the power parameters, but her only help into how information is organized is that it’s different than for humans? It seems a lot like she’s watching John to guide him into understanding how to manipulate terminator CPUs.

I don’t get why John has any method of outside world access attached to the computer with Vick’s chip. Stuff could go very very wrong, but if it’s completely localized, the solution is just a power switch away. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I did like how they tied together Derek’s experience of living in the L.A. underground with the caper of trying to infect City Hall’s computers.

For me, the kicker was the whole Cameron infiltrates the ARTIE network with her brain. Derek gave voice to my thought that this could be how Skynet gets started. Not being quite as paranoid as Derek, I don’t think it would have been by design, but by accident. As it didn’t seem to happen, apparently we were both wrong. Cameron is still on the side of the good guys.

It’s interesting to see that Cam and John seem to have affection for one another. I don’t think Cameron enjoys having her CPU removed, but trusts John—after all, this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. That he shows his trustworthiness in stopping Derek from “killing” Cameron (which Cameron saw) only reinforces the bond.

Derek [holding Cameron’s CPU]: I want you to hear this in no uncertain terms. Someday one of these things is gonna kill you.
John [taking the chip back]: It’s not gonna be this one.

The thing I couldn’t help but notice: Cameron’s chip is different than Vick’s chip.  Look:

Vick's CPU

Vick's CPU

Cameron's CPU

Cameron's CPU

There is quite a world of difference…one is clearly Intel and the other AMD :-) (I’m just not sure which is which.)

After watching the scenes with John and Cameron and her chip…it’s hard not to root for these two. I’m not sure I’m down with some human/mechanical loving, but there’s definitely some love issues sparking between the two of them. I’m OK with that: one sentient being to another. John’s life might preclude romance, so he should at least get something that is “real”—even if it’s the trust he has with a machine.

0109 – What He Beheld

While a few scenes really grabbed me and sucked me in, a lot of this episode just didn’t really resonate with me. The Agent Ellison storyline just isn’t doing it for me. It’s slow. Yeah, 20 FBI agents got totally masacred by one itty bitty little terminator, but the slow-mo arty music method it was done pretty much made me shift in my seat hoping it would be over soon. This was one of those times that doing it straight might have been more effective. At least that would have worked better for me.

The Sarkissian storyline was only a little better. Again, this felt a lot like there wasn’t a lot of method to the madness. Cameron punching in the wall because it would be faster than trying to get through the door was the only aspect that I enjoyed at all.

Way better was John and Derek. After a few weeks of Derek being all metal-hating, he finally showed some humanity: he took John to the park on John’s birthday to let him see Derek, some twenty years younger, playing ball with his younger brother, Kyle: John’s eventual father. That it wasn’t an accident and that Derek put the pieces together himself added up to one of the best moments in the series so far. I mean, that was one heck of a unique birthday present.

And, depite the pain that was in their future, I think it was a comfort for Derek as well. Seeing his younger self with his brother, both still untouched by the violence to come, gives Derek a much needed image: an image of what they are fighting to preserve. Every hour of this idyllic life they can give to young Derek and little Kyle is such a gift. I know I’d fight harder for it.

It was almost cute how Sarah managed to dupe John into thinking she’d forgotten his birthday. Honestly, as much as she paws her son, it’s amazing he got out of the womb at all. There is no way she would ever forget such a momentous day.

Speaking of which: what about poor Cameron? She seemed kind of disappointed that she might not have a birthday; although the prospect of having a built-day seemed to offer a little comfort. I don’t think Cameron has any desire to be human (she’s not STTNG’s Data), but I think she does want to belong. John is her “family”, and she seems to want to have things in common with him.

Even with her existential teenager angst, Cameron still finds time to fold up a bad guy and stuff him into the truck of a car without being seen. Say what you will, but Tin-miss is good.

I really liked that moment Cameron had with the Chola after their mission to derail Sarkissian. (You’ll notice that the Chola never speaks, but her eyes and body speak volumes.) Cameron asks, “Do I have to kill you, now?” The Chola’s eyes spoke both of “Puh-leeze” and “I’m already dead.” There’s little doubt that she expect to be capped. When Cameron checks the slide, it’s hard not to expect that to be followed by a gunshot. Instead, she hands the Chola the gun and then gets out of the car. I’ve read some comments about how people think Cameron expects teh Chola to off herself, but I think it’s more like a gang thing: you had our back, now you’re with us. You can protect yourself, and we trust you not to use the gun against us. There is a lot that was said and unsaid, but I’m pretty sure the Connors have an ally.

And they might need her…what with Cameron getting all blown up and everything. I have to say, I didn’t see that coming at all. Even though it wasn’t intended as such, that was a hell of a way to end a season. It even made up for all of those boring Ellison bits.

Now on to season 2…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: