UFOs, tats, and an AI program wants to play a nice game of chess. What could go wrong?
One Girl, One Cyborg, and One Guy
I’m going to start with the “B” story, the one with Riley, John, and Cameron. Once again, I and the fan community had little trouble figuring out that Riley had been a tunnel rat post-JD and that Jesse recruited her to come back in time to serve as a distraction to lure John away from Cameron’s influence. Because that was telegraphed, that really didn’t give us much new information, just a confirmation.
Still, Jesse’s nefarious plan does seem to be working. John seems to like spending time with inquisitive yet secretive Riley. This leads to him, once again, being dismissive of what Cameron has to say about the situation. I don’t think that there has been a single time during the series when Cameron has said that someone was lying that that someone wasn’t, in fact, lying. I also don’t think there has been a time (maybe one that I’m not recalling at the moment) when the Connors have all but ignored that warning. As a Cam-fan, this is getting damn frustrating. If once, just once, they would treat Cameron as a sentient being instead of a toaster, perhaps they’d actually be able to defeat the nascent Skynet.
If someone does have an understanding of Cameron, it’s definitely Riley. While I don’t think that Cameron has any data of future-Riley, Riley certainly has information about Cameron. While I don’t think that Riley even witnessed Cameron in the future (they didn’t exactly travel in the same circles), she’s certainly gotten an earful from Jesse by this point. Also, Riley will have grown up with an unambiguous fear of what a terminator is. Both her and Jesse reflexively flinching at a dog’s bark show how ingrained that fear/caution is.
I have no doubt that Cameron’s interest in Riley(‘s tattoo) is what drove Riley to her little act of desperation in the Connor’s bathroom. Living in the world that Riley grew up in, coping with a terminator nearby would be difficult enough, but when it was clear that some sort of targeted interest had been generated…clearly there wouldn’t be many options. Post-JD, I’ve got to think that suicide isn’t uncommon when terminators come a-hunting.
If you put yourself in Riley’s position, there is little doubt that John’s terminator has made you a target. It might not kill you right away, but it’s only a matter of time before something not good happens. It had been a bit of a game before, but Cameron’s “desire” for a smoothie, and the stare when she left…not good. Riley tried to keep up her cover, but Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt crossed her face a number of times when Cameron spoke. Then during the tattoo exchange…well, I’ve got to give Leven a lot of credit: see looked scared out of her mind. The minute twitches clearly broadcast an urgent desire to run away very very fast. Cameron suspects that Riley knows what she is. That makes Riley a threat. I don’t think Riley wants Cameron to think of her as a threat.
Interesting choices for a Cameron tat: two hunters, one solitary and one social. I guess it’s up to John which Cameron is forced to adopt.
Of course Riley wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Jesse. Jesse is a user. Riley might not realize it, but Jesse recruited a tunnel rat because she was expendable. Get the plant in with John enough so that when the tin-can was forced to kill the interloper, it would force a wedge between John and his protector. My hope is that Riley is going to squeal. If not about Jesse in particular, then about the plan in general. Clearly Jesse doesn’t have Riley’s interests in mind. Riley is nothing more than a tool to her. Jesse apparently sent Riley out to do the job without a good means for Riley to maintain contact. I think Riley is starting to get that she’s been hung out to dry. Her best chance to survive it will be to start blabbing. Will she?
Round Thing, Round Thing, Round Thing
Speaking of blabbing…Sarah and Alan sure talked a spell. A good spell. Lots of talk.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m OK with Alan’s relief that the side-effect of going into hiding was getting to realize his transsexual side. Good for him (as Alan) or her (as Eileen). But it doesn’t exactly move us forward in the story. Some of the information that was disclosed…that was interesting. Mysterious metal, shadow organization…that is intriguing.
Unfortunately, all we got was a secret installation with an armed guard that was little more than an excuse for Sarah to get her first kill…which, again, wouldn’t have been necessary had her out-of-the-context-with-her-reality morality not gotten in the way, again. Yeah, the guard would have still ended up dead, but perhaps Sarah wouldn’t have gotten shot and (presumably) captured. I’m still hoping that at some point she’ll actually make a good decision.
One good decision would have been taking along some backup. With Cameron keeping watch over John, that would naturally have meant Derek…assuming he could get away from schtuping Jesse for long enough. There was no indication that any action had to be taken immediately. Plenty of time to pull together the squad, do some surveillance, and maybe know what you are getting yourself into before you get into it. But no…Sarah goes in with no plan and little inclination to do harm if necessary. I actually cheered when she got shot…and that should never be the case with one of the shows heroes.
So, the “A” story of the UFO stuff pretty much left me flat, although I am interested in learning more about that (proto-type) HK that Sarah saw.
Orange Barrels to Hell?
As for another element technological: we get a computer that whats to play a nice game of chess (which never seems to go well in the long term). Weaver’s pet Ellison almost developed a backbone this episode what with not wanting to have anything to do with the instrument responsible for the death of 20 FBI agents and a fair amount of creepiness. But then he’s reminded of the baby that his wife aborted (which caused his marriage to fracture)…which logically leads him back to Catherine’s basement.
I’m scared about what Catherine’s pet Ellison with do in his attempt to teach John Henry morality, being someone who has embraced the apocalyptic view of Revelations and all. I’m not sure singling out humans as being sacred is a good starting point. I think a general rules of society would be a better start—you know, things like crossing with the light, flipping over helpless turtles, not launching a global thermonuclear strike. You know, the small stuff.
I’m still confounded about whether John Henry leads to Skynet. Shoot, at this point I’m not even sure that Catherine is a Skynet minion. She could easily be an ally of Cameron and her possible rogue faction. If the Turk leads to John Henry, why can’t John Henry lead to Cameron and/or Catherine? Not all roads lead to Rome, or in this case, Skynet. But I’ve talked about that before.
Overall, some important information was learned and some confirmations received. It’s still peripheral stuff, but at least it will provide some fodder during the next two months when no new episodes will be in the offing. I’ll still be making TTSCC posts and probably a few podcasts during the break. Just because we are in a pause doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to discuss so don’t be shy about dropping by.
As always, if you have anything you’d like me to write or talk about, feel free to let me know in either the comment section or by dropping me a line.
And if you have the time, check out The 10 Best TTSCC Episodes (through 22) and make your choices in the poll at the end of the blog.