T:TSCC 0210 – Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point

First thing…I’m not going to mention jumping or anything to do with Selachimorpha. I’m sure there will be dissenting factions who think otherwise, but apparently that’s nothing unusual in the terminator universe.

Good Intentions, Roads, Hell

Like the rest of the humans, Jesse has turned out to be one that is trying to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. She says that she’s come back in time, “To stop her. I’m here to save him.” She fears what twenty years with Cameron will do. Well…maybe avoid that pesky little Judgment Day you seem to be so in love with preserving.

From recent blogs, y’all know that I’d speculated that Jesse might have been part of a schism that broke off from John because he and Cameron had gotten too close (and without reading any spoilers about this, either…yay for me). I don’t doubt that she’s well-intended, just misguided. I think there was some collateral damage among the resistance due to John’s affiliation with Cameron, but I think John might be taking a longer-term view of things. Sometimes as a war leader you kill one to save ten, or sacrifice dozens to spare thousands. You spend the soldiers to rescue the civilians. But in order to do that, you have to keep a close council; you don’t let the fodder know their purpose in the grand scheme lest they tip your hand.

If Jesse is right, then what do they (i.e. she and Derek) hope to do? Do they think that by destroying Cameron it will save John? I think it’s unlikely. It’s humans like them that depended on John to save them in the future. I think they are still blinded by their fear of the gleam of endoskeleton, instead of focused on trusting the instincts of the man who got them beyond summary extermination.

Loyalties

In the end, I think Derek’s loyalties will always tilt toward John, even with Cameron by his side. Why? Because Jesse continues to withhold information. Little things like the fact that Riley is a human infiltrator sent from the future to steer John away from Cameron’s influence and to supply Jesse with intel. How will that play out? The obvious way would be for Riley to either slip or break and spill the plan to John. Just as likely would be for Cameron to overhear something that Riley said (like the “carrots and apples” thing when she started wooing John in “Automatic For the People“) and know that Riley is not of this time. In the end, I think Riley’s lack of callousness might save her. She’ll eventually side with John, I think, and this alliance will take down Jesse and perhaps seriously wound John’s relationship with Derek.

One thing’s for certain. Cameron will fight to be John’s protector. That fight might lead her to kill someone John doesn’t want killed because he doesn’t have all the information. What saves Cameron is that she’s heeding future-John’s orders, not now-John’s, so even if now-John protests, Cameron will continue her mission for as long as there’s a CPU in her head.

The Steel Endoskeleton Man

Well, maybe the CPU doesn’t necessarily have to be in her head. Cromartie, excuse me…John Henry seems to be doing just fine with rack after rack of servers wired into his noggin.

I have to admit, the instant I saw Johnmartie sitting there, I just about lost my lunch. Having John Henry, who has speech recognition, using a speaker to give it voice output is creepier than a cyborg—a repaired(!) cyborg—as the primary UI? Seriously?

If Weaver’s pet Ellison has any functioning brain cells at all, something about which I’m very dubious, he will hie on over to the Connors, beg forgiveness about taking Cromartie, and tell of how a terminator is now connected to a massively parallel artificially intelligent server farm. He knows that the Connors are fighting the terminators, and he knows why they are fighting Skynet. If this doesn’t scream to him that he’s totally screwed things up, then there is no hope of him being anything more than a T-1001’s pet. What an idiot.

You Want Chips With That?

Not that Sarah is the sharpest bowling ball in the closet, either. She hands over a half-million dollars and doesn’t even let Cameron do a quick scan of the chip before letting the money get away? Really? Is that the level of competance we expect from Miss Gale? Well, maybe not Dorothy so much, but it’s about par for the course for Sarah. (Are they ever going to run out of Oz references…didn’t Sarah read John any other books?)

It was very satisfying, though, to see Sarah finally get to kick some ass. If you recall, back in “Queen’s Gambit” Sarah dispatched Derek without too much trouble…and Derek is supposed to be one of John’s future bad-asses. Maybe Sarah is the best fighter John knows (great at the fighting, sort of sucky at the killing). It’s good she has that going for her, because as a strategist, she sort of comes up short.

The entire plan for getting the server chip so that Xander could install his program made no sense. Initially, the Air Force would not be concerned with the size of computer necessary, only that the software performed. They could have had a frigid basement filled with racks of servers all dedicated to running this program, and the boys in blue wouldn’t have minded. (Of course no one would ever think of getting the software to run first before making things nice and small…no…wait…) But never mind that. Xander is the prize. He believes that his software will work, just as Andy believed his would work. Andy was right, why not Xander? I’m thinking that there might be a big fat well-paying position over at ZeiraCorp for a techno-genius skilled in AI research.

Techno-gripe

I’m sort of wishing that the prop guys would start putting together the exotic tech so that it looks like exotic tech. First there is the Turk, which is little more than a hard-drive tower. At a minimum they could have alternated hard drives with piggy-backed circuit boards and a scattering of jumper wires and interface cables.

The chip in tonight’s episode was little more than a joke. It looks like a prototyping adapter. If nothing else, use a real CPU.

This is just a personal thing. I worked in tech for too long.

Everyone in L.A. is From the Future

(You know, come to think of it, it would explain a lot about the city of angels.)

I’ve creebed about this before, but there are too many convenient future people revolving around John’s life. I thought Derek was brilliant. I was willing to accept Catherine as well a small merry band of fuzzy little terminators popping up from time-to-time. But Jesse, and now Riley…it’s too much. There needs to be a little less direct attachment to post-JD. I mean, thank heaven for Kacy. She’s just here. (If she gives birth to a little girl and names her Riley…I might just go all Sarah Connor in my commentary.)

I want the creative staff to focus a little more on storytelling and be a little less enamored with the plot devices. There are more than enough in play at this point that mucho material could be mined for information.

Hyper-alloy Siding

This episode had a lot of flash, but was mostly about one thing: choosing sides and how bad humans are with that. Ellison chose ZeiraCorp, and I think now regrets it. Is a change coming? Jesse is choosing John w/o Cameron, but that seems to me to be unsound. Derek is choosing Jesse because she seems to be choosing John…but I think he still has reservations. Riley, I think, is starting to choose John over her mission. Akagi chose his son over himself…and nearly got them both thrown out a window. John, to his credit, chose his mom, whom he supported and then hugged after her long day.

And before I end, just one more little cool but ever-so-slightly creepy moment from Cameron: “It’s the hardest thing to get right. Hair.” This was one for Cameron and the audience as no one in the room would get the “Allison From Palmdale” reference. It reminds us that Cameron is still a very scary robot (with a dry sense of humor).

Where will this all lead? To a tragedy of errors where John will be separated physically, and perhaps emotionally, from Cameron. This might just set the T-1001 on their tails and some serious decisions will have to be made at that point. Don’t count on some of tonight’s alliances to be lasting ones. The only ones who have been true are Sarah, John, and Cameron. The rest are just stones on a Go board stuck in atari.

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