Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All in the Family on 'Chronicles'

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Sarah: “Field trip.”
John: “I call shotgun.”
Cameron: “I call 9 millimeter.”
Got that?

Oh, and don’t forget the chess board.

And toolbox.

With pliers, please.

There is never a dull moment on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

We have the good guys. We have the bad guys. The good guys are seemingly outnumbered, fighting the uphill battle of all uphill battles whilst trying to blend into a world that doesn’t know there is a battle going on at the moment.

And yet, it isn’t always about the man v. machine dilemma.

Sometimes, it’s just about the regular human stuff.

Like grief.



Past catching up with the present.

The conscientiousness we talked about last week.

And so, we remember Andy Goode – the Supergeek in charge of building the too-good-for-its-ownself-going-to-become-Skynet chess computer (TURK) that Sarah destroyed the other week (read: burned down Andy’s apartment)? Well, once a geek always a geek, Andy rebuilds the whole thing from scratch and enters it in a computer v. computer chess contest where the grand prize is … wait for it … a military contract.

Time to really terminate Andy.

Whilst it would seem Cameron’s got dibs, we get our first true glimpse at a resistance fighter sent back from the future by Adult John Connor (good to know Terminators aren’t the only ones already here prepping for battle). Resistance fighter Derek (played nicely by Beverly Hills 90210 alum Brian Austin Green) crosses paths with Sarah over Supergeek Andy, and each is fully aware of the other’s identity.

And boy, that is an understatement.

Turns out Derek is a Reese boy. You know, as in Kyle Reese’s brother – the father of John Connor and the guy with whom Sarah’s one-night stand essentially changed our world?


Can I just say the T:SCC producers are up there (at least on my list) with the Damages folks in terms of how ingeniously they incorporate such precious detail into their storylines whilst not giving away the whole store at once.

Anyways, turns out Derek is pretty hard-nosed. As in, anti-machine – which includes Cameron. But Cameron bails him out anyways, kicking some serious arse against the T888 terminator out to get Derek. (This week’s high-powered sequence was a nice homage to the infamous helicopter/SWAT truck chase from the film. Although there was no helicopter, there was plenty of Sarah driving all out whilst Cameron and the T888 duke it out in the back of the truck.)

Classic Cameron: she finally gets the T888 pinned down and calls for the toolbox to surgically remove the “brain” chip. Jigsaw (of Saw legend) should take notes.

Unfortunately, even with Cameron’s protection, Derek does get fatally wounded. With his hatred of all-things machine running pretty high, he has no interest in being treated by Cameron.

Except he’s John’s uncle.


Something not familiar to the Connors other than between mother and son.

He must be saved.

Sarah demands it.

Re-enter Charley Dixon - Sarah’s former fiancé from 10 years ago, the sweet, handsome paramedic that she up and ditched so she could begin the fight to save the world (shameless side note: if things don't work out with Sarah, Charley and the whole save the world from machines thing, can we send him over to Cold Case? There’s a homicide detective over there in serious need of having her heart revived). Anyways, we recall John had an intentional run in with Charley the other week after they got settled in present day given Charley had become a father-like figure to John in the short time he had been with Sarah.

Awww, so sweet.

And handy.

Of course, he’s under suspicion by Special Agent Ellison for the possibility of harboring our trio of fugitives. But it turns out Charley may only just be beginning to get back into the picture.

And that is a good thing.

This is what I think the show is doing so well: it is not just 50 minutes of explosions, gun fights, helicopter chases “with all matters of remorseless pieces of metal” (Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) destroying the bazookas out of one another.

It’s the truly human elements you can wrap your heart and mind around.

The fight to save the world continues ...

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX. You can also watch full episodes online. Just visit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up (or re-watch!)

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