Of Skynet, Terminators, and Those Darned Connors

Several items surrounding the Terminator franchise, specifically the TTSCC edition, have been bouncing around my brain. None of them is really worthy of a full post, so I thought I’d just dump them here.

Not Enough Machines

Thinking about the sequence of events of chronoportation that Skynet has employed, it dawned on me that the original plan to kill Sarah Connor was a good one. She only barely survived. For the second attempt, sending back the T-1000 to kill whiny-snot John makes little sense. It introduces a whole slew of new variables into the mix. The better plan would have been to send back the T-1000 to the same time as the T-800 was destroyed. This allows Cyberdyne to get the terminator chip and arm to ensure the necessary causality loop, while also having a fully functional terminator going after a wounded and unprotected Sarah.

Instead, Skynet uses a scatter-shot approach. Now, if it had been initially programmed to use Monte Carlo (i.e. random) attacks in order to zero in on a probable solution, this sort of makes sense. It would be in Skynet’s nature to use randomness in the timing of terminator arrivals in order to increase the odds of catching a necessary Connor off-guard.

Skynet’s Information Blind Spot

Skynet has a weakness in dealing with John Connor: it doesn’t know who John Connor is (i.e. his importance) until after the Century Work Camp escape, otherwise it would have killed John Connor and/or Kyle Reese. Even if Skynet is instructing every terminator is sends back in time to leave information in a secure location to inform Skynet of changes in the timeline, Skynet is not receiving that information (if at all) until after the CWC escape.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I’m very curious as to how the events in TTSCC have altered the future. Skynet is still sending back terminators (apparently inferior terminators), so the goal to prevent Skynet from being built and averting Judgment day has not been achieved.

The biggest mystery concerns when Judgment Day is, now. Every one of John’s troops that he sends back should be totally debriefed as to the condition of the future world from which they came. If the Connor Cadre doesn’t even attempt to discern what sorts of effects their actions are having, then what’s the point? They could destroy the Turk (which I still don’t believe becomes Skynet), and still not have the result they are shooting for. Because of a temporal butterfly effect, even a small action could have very significant effects later.

Time Machine

One thing that’s interesting is that the time machine wasn’t invented or built by Skynet. At no point SFAWK (so far as we know) has Skynet even attempted to build a time machine in the past as John’s minions did with the one in the bank vault (assuming, of course, that Cameron was telling the truth). Logically, Skynet would build on in the past if only for an information conduit.

Also Sprach Cameron

Cameron lies…about important stuff. She admits it. That makes Cameron a total mystery. We don’t know whose side she’s really on, though it does appear that her side is at John’s side. We don’t really know if she is based on Allison Young or if it was a psychotic CPU false “memory”. We don’t know if she was lying about being part of a rouge faction of terminators. Basically, except for a demonstrated loyalty to John, we know nothing. Was she sent back by John (or someone else after John’s death), or did she travel back in time on her own? Is she the descendant of the Turk (my theory)?

It seems to me that the only way to get some resolution is to have a story with Cameron and Derek where some things get explained.

Is John’s Special Talent His Luck?

Based on now-John’s actions, and how Cameron describes a little of how future-John acts, it seems that unsound rashness is a constant of his character. It seems that he stays alive due to luck. His luck doesn’t seem to extend to those around him, but for John himself, he simply gets lucky.

Don’t get me wrong, clearly John learns tactics and stuff, but if (as Kyle said) he learns that stuff from Sarah…well, given the stellar track record Sarah has, it’s no wonder John has to rely on luck to survive.

Did Cameron Run a Test?

Cameron: Please, John. Please. I’m good now. Listen to me. I don’t want to go. I’m sorry. That wasn’t me. I’m fixed now. I ran a test. Everything’s perfect. You can trust me… I love you! I love you, please. I love you, John, and you love me.

While I’ve previously made the argument that John could have cleaned away some minor short to Cameron’s CPU after the desperate plea for survival above in “Samson and Delilah“, did Cameron actually get fixed. I mean, Sarah rammed her pretty hard into the other truck. That impact could easily have made a correction, to which Cameron would run a diagnostic.

I don’t think that happened. Cameron telling Sarah to not let John reactivate her shows that however much she may or may not love John, that supercedes any personal desire to stay “alive”.  Still, that expressed love was pretty darned raw. Even if damaged Cameron was accessing anything to try to trick John, that emotional core had to come from somewhere. Was it from Allison or Cameron or simple desperation?

BOLO

Sarah and John Connor are both wanted but presumed dead for the L.A. bank robbery/destruction. Cameron is wanted for the bank robbery. Sarah is wanted in connection to the death of Miles Dyson and the break-in at Cyberdyne. Sarah is also wanted for assault and escape from Pescadero State Hospital. Derek Reese is wanted for multiple murders and escape from federal custody (for which Sarah and Cameron may also be wanted).

How is it that none of these people are in prison? After the death and destruction they leave in their wake, surely someone smarter than Ellison (i.e. just about everyone) should be able to catch at least one of them. Fingerprints, people. The Connor Cadre are hardly careful about not leaving fingerprints. The only exception seemed to be when John opened the safe in “Gnothi Seauton“. This group is remarkably dense when it comes to modern forensic science. I’m guessing it’s John’s luck that protects them.

The Scots Terminator

I keep getting this little niggling voice in the back of my imagination that says that Catherine isn’t a Skynet minion. Holding to my view that the Turk leads not to Skynet but to Cameron, what if Catherine is actually a protector…not of John Connor or humanity, but of Cameron? Her search for other terminators via her pet Ellison isn’t to incorporate them into her project, but to ensure the safety of those pieces of the puzzle that need to be in place for Cameron to eventually come into being (…so she can replace Skynet in the future?)

Yeah, I don’t really buy it, either, but it is definitely an interesting scenario given the scant information we have so far concerning Catherine’s objectives.

More To Come?

These thoughts were just the ones at the forefront of my brain. There are others. I’m sure y’all have some, too. Please, feel free to scroll down and post comments on anything I wrote here or some thoughts of your own.

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