T:TSCC 0206 – The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short

Yup. Yup. I was right. It was John that killed Sarkissian, not Sarah. The pieces fit (especially John’s attitude), and I thought that Sarah was lying (by omission) in taking the responsibility. I love it when I guess right (it doesn’t happen often enough).

I thought the determination by Dr. Sherman that John was behaving like the vets he used to treat was outstanding. John has had serious PTSD from the time that he made his first kill and was immediately hunted by an unyielding foe. A foe, ironically, he’s chosen to place his trust in.

That choice was probably the wisest one he has ever made. Cameron, basically telling Sarah that John needs the grounding that talking to a shrink (or “someone”, to give Dr. Sherman his due) could give is exactly the sort of saving that John might need. After all, this problem isn’t one external to John that others can handle, but one that John has to deal with himself. If he’s going to be a leader, he’s doing to have to get through this.

Speaking of handling external problems…is Cameron one bad-ass terminator, or what? Clearly a non-T100x terminator that is her size is not even a close match. I must confess, it was good to see this. With Cameron being able to best Triple-8s, any model less advanced shouldn’t be a contest. The bending of the enemy terminator’s endoskeleton into a pretzel was way cool, and a predictable solution for a terminator battle…especially if Skynet found that it had a shortage of Coltan to bolster the endoskeleton alloy. Broken parts might inhibit, but bent parts not only cause a loss of usefulness but can also be used against the attacker. Bravo.

I was particularly interested in the new terminator design feature of CPU self-destruction. I’d be interested in Cameron’s thoughts. I wonder when she was looking at the destroyed part if she thought about her own near-death experience. Had the self-destruct been incorporated into her model, then she’d be dead. No amount of petulant re-insertion by John would have saved her. Trippy stuff for a cybernetic organism.

Clearly the future is being changed, otherwise Skynet wouldn’t have had need to incorporate that advanced feature into a clearly inferiour model. As Jesse pointed out, metal was everywhere…not just from Skynet, but from future-John.

Ah yes. Jesse. What about her? Is she really an AWOL minion of John’s who just got scared? I’m not buying it. I wasn’t even buying it before the surveillance photos were revealed. I mean, all evidence to the contrary, the time portal isn’t something that you can simply stroll in and whisk yourself away to blue skies and green grass. Despite all the frequent-time-traveller miles that must be getting racked up with that machine from both sides, it clearly requires a lot of power in a location that isn’t transportable. Perhaps you send back your troops when you can as fast as you can, but I can’t accept that in the heat of battle you could get into this secure area and send yourself back.

But despite all of this fun stuff, the theme of the episode was mothers and their children. Sarah’s had to accept the fact that John is not yet the leader he is to become. In fact, this teenager is just a few steps shy of being a burned-out vet. Derek finally realized that even while still assuming that John was merely a witness to Sarkissian’s death and not the perpetrator.

Right now, Sarah’s problem is that she’s losing her perspective and flexibility when it comes to John. That was immediately apparent when she slammed the door on Cameron following their little second-story job:

Cameron: Not everyone needs protecting. Some need–
Sarah: We don’t know anything, yet.

Cameron, I think, is deferring to Sarah a bit because of her cyborgy abnormalities this season; but even so, she seemed slightly annoyed that Sarah was all but ignoring her. That’s Sarah’s weakness to this point: she thinks she’s the single best arbiter as to what’s best for John. She needs to start listening. The fact that she dominated the fake group session with Dr. Sherman shows that she’s a little over-the-top with the control freakishness at the moment.

Amazingly, Catherine is doing better with listening to her two adopted children. While she needs to maintain a convincing cover with Savannah, the daughter of the real (presumably deceased) Catherine, she recognizes that her lack of humanity/bonding is jeopardizing the situation. The solution: go to a shrink and watch videos. Clearly, by being attentive and following the advice of others, her situation improved rather quickly. If it continues as it is, or even advances just a little, Savannah might forget about her mommy before the crash.

Still, nothing compares to the “love” Catherine had for her little Turk. What a precocious young mind. Already bored because of a lack of a challenge, it’s taken to making jokes. Good catch on that, by the way, Dr. Sherman. What parent isn’t proud when someone tells you your child is gifted?

Because of events like this, I’m not at all surprised that John was willing to go the extra mile to save Cameron. She saves his life. Here we see it’s not only his physical life, but his mental one as well. Once she lost contact with the eavesdropping device, she immediately went to protect him. I am a little dismayed that she wasn’t as aware of her surroundings, else she would have picked up on the new terminator earlier. Even so, she still saved his life…again.

Ironically, this season it’s the humans that are increasingly cold and the (advanced) robots that are trying to adapt. John has clearly picked his side, and maybe that will help him retain that which makes him human. Otherwise, left to his mom and his uncle, he’d just be a robotic soldier. You don’t make good leaders that way.

I would like to see John being able to open up, really open up, to someone. I’m still thinking that the only one he can do that with is Cameron. She won’t abandon him. The fact that he used to talk to Cameron in the future shows that he depends on her for more than just bodyguard duty. As long as he gives some ground rules, she could be his best adviser and trusted confidant. Her agenda (so far as we know) is to help him. If he does something that is against that—trying to save a teenager from jumping off the roof, for example—she will intercede despite his protests. THAT, my friends, is a trusted adviser. More than Sarah and Derek, Cameron will try to take time to think things through.

There’s little doubt that John needs to talk to someone. Our new question as to whether the gun going off was a true accidental oversight or a suicidal cry for help will be fodder for the forums for weeks, I’m sure. My take? I think he loaded the gun to sort of go through the motions of suicide, but didn’t really consider it. The gun going off was unexpected. Thing is, he did put himself in harm’s way.

All things considered, while a little disjointed, this was a very revelatory episode. We have the question answered as to who killed Sarkissian. Some of John’s behavior problems are now more exposed and explainable. New friends/foes are in the mix. And we’re seeing that these premium robots aren’t anything like last year’s models.

On that note, thank you FOX for picking up the back nine so that TTSCC will have a full second season. There is a lot of good stuff here.

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