When is Judgment Day?

When exploring the world of Terminator, specifically Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles (TTSCC), you have to bump your head against the elephant in the room: Judgment Day (JD).

In T2, JD was scheduled to occur on August 29, 1997. According to T3 (which is not cannon for TTSCC), JD was postponed by the events in T2 to July 24, 2004. However, the date that we’ve been given in TTSCC as the scheduled time for JD is April 19, 2011 (great, my 50th birthday…well, at least there will be fireworks).

Since TTSCC began, various entities: the Connors, Cromartie, Catherine Weaver, and more have conspired to alter or ensure the inevitability of certain futures. Here’s the problem I have with this tactic: not a single one of them will know if or when anything that they do works.

Let’s say that John and Cameron scare some nerd enough that he doesn’t accept a job at MegaTechCoInc or some such tech firm. That one change, and only that change, ensures that JD doesn’t happen. And the Connors will know this…how? No one from the future will travel back in time to tell them since there is no need since JD didn’t happen. So, since they don’t know that they’ve managed to avert JD, the Connor Cadre continue to try to prevent JD and instead ensure that it happens because they subvert their own successful effort.

See, the MacGuffin is nothing but vapor. JD is a moving target based on what each of the various players does at any point in time. The aftermath of one episode could have it just a year away, another more than fifty years away, and another at yet some other random time. The tragedy is that no one does any debriefing of time travelers to find out what their future was like. So they are all the blind leading the blind. All trying (and apparently succeeding) in altering the future, but not knowing the outcome.

So…when is JD? Well…as long as it happens after I get my presents, it can still be on April 19 for all it matters.

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