Sunday, March 29, 2009

Terminator: Brought To You In Part By DODGE, Grab Life By The Horns!

Terminator:TSCC: To The Lighthouse
Season 2, Episode 20

It's hard to believe that we're almost finished with this season. There's been some ups (fun in the future) and there have been some MAJOR downs (the somber-Sarah Quadrilligy). It's hard to keep faith that this series is going to be renewed with it's sagging ratings, but considering the amount of Dodge product placement in each episode how much does Fox really spend on this show? I can't wait to see a Dodge-branded T-800 endoskeleton.

All product placement griping aside, how does this episode stand up? Hit the jump to find out!

I'll cut right to the chase, it was a pretty damn good episode, but it's mostly set up for the finale stretch. The good news? We finally see the return of Sarah's ex-beau, Charley. The bad news? Terminator does it's best 24 aping by killing him off in the end.

Charley just couldn't catch a break on this show. First Sarah and John ditch him when they time-jump eight years into the future, then when he finally finds out that the duo aren't dead, Cromartie kills his wife! It's enough to make a guy despise Sarah Connor and become a crazy isolationist fisher. Charley is living in the titular Lighthouse, surrounded by perimeter alarms and Semtex charges he's waiting for something bad to happen. Of course, that "something bad" is presumed to be more killer robots. You just know as a soon as Charley tells John and Sarah about his defenses that they are going to be used at some point in the future and sure enough it happens.

Remember Sarah being told that she would die of breast cancer? Well, the whole reason that she takes John to see Charley (while Cameron and Derek empty the weapon storage in anticipation of the move to the new safe house) is because she's found what she believes is a tumor. She's never trusted Cameron and recent revelations regarding Jesse have made her regret trusting Derek. So, Sarah leaves to get an examination and of course everything goes to pot. All three groups (four if you include John Henry) are attacked.

Sarah finds that the "tumor" is in fact not a toomah but rather a transmitter. Of course, it all makes sense now, the somber-Sarah Quadrilligy actually had some purpose, as we flashback to Ed Winston (the guy we presumed was killed by Sarah in the fall finale, but actually was torturing her), realizing that the "tumor" is actually a transceiver.

It turns out that these simultaneous attacks are orchestrated by a mystery person who knows much about the T-800s. As I mentioned, John Henry is attacked too. A breach in his code from the Internet reveals that a second AI (this one expressly created by Cyberdyne and Miles Dyson) is attempting to communicate with John Henry.

The reveal of a software based AI, which we can presume is SkyNet, is intriguing since that is part of the Terminator mythos from T3. It also begs the question, if SkyNet exists what is John Henry? The first thing I thought of was the biblical story of Cain and Abel. But which AI is which? I think it's safe to assume that this second AI is not up to good, but whether or not John Henry will be able to avoid being corrupted by his "brother" is a question that I don't have an answer for.

In the end Charley is killed protecting John. When Sarah finds Charley's body we notice that his boat and John are both missing. Did John escape on the boat? It's possible, it's also possible that John was taken along with the boat by the attackers.

It's exciting that we once again have a main villain pursuing the Connor clan. Possibly even a modern day SkyNet. Glimpses of the future that we've seen seem to indicate that some of the terminators (the T-1000 seen in last week's episode in particular) are demonstrating their own agenda. Is it possible that in the future John Henry AND SkyNet command their own robot army? If that's the case, then John Henry may end up being an ally to John Connor. I'm just spit balling at this point. There are many questions waiting to be answered and I'm just glad that the show has become interesting enough on it's own that I want to theorize about those questions. I just hope that Fox will renew the series for one more season. Please Fox! Just one more!

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