Sunday, March 29, 2009

'Chronicles' Ode to Charley

'Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles' Returns for Season 2By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Charley Dixon: R.I.P.

Thank you, Dean Winters.

The real Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles has finally stood up.

Bummer that we now have only two more eps in which to wonder: a) if season two is the last we'll see of the series; or, b) if we will be set-up for a third season. After lamenting the show's demise into mediocrity for several several mid-season eps, it's given us four solid episodes in a row. With Charley's return this week, it got even better.

Even if he didn't make it out alive.

Strangely, I was okay with that - which is a rarity given I genuinely DISlike when my fave characters meet their maker.

But Charley died protecting John - another sign of his devotion to the Connors.

And why he has always been one my favorite characters in the series.

He was the best thing to ever happen to Sarah and John. He believed in them wholeheartedly, cared for them genuinely, even bought the whole end of the world ticket - give or take a tense confusing moment or two, which included the death of his wife. To me, it was like having Kyle Reese around - a reminder of what is good and right with both Sarah and John, but also a reminder of the curse of their fate.

But Charley disappeared for most of this season.

And that was a mistake.

As we saw with this episode, it would've been better had he stuck around. We might have been spared the drippy dopey Sarah John Riley Jesse Tangentland route.

Charley wasn't a tangent.

He wasn't an unnecessary character.

He wasn't out of place.

He challenged Sarah.

He understood John.

He had depth.

He suffered.

He remained loyal, understanding and dedicated to the Connors.

He was, indeed, one of the very few people they could truly count on - and he didn't even come from the future.

I'm sorry that he won't be around anymore, but given the show's questionable status about being renewed, I find it fitting he was given a honorable death.

Now, there were other key elements in this week's ep that are setting up the finale quite nicely: John Henry went a little haywire after being hacked into from an outside source (read: there's another JH out there thanks to good ol' Myles Dyson's work); Derek and Cam having a heart to heart (okay, not really) about the fact Jesse was pregnant with Derek's baby in the future and miscarried upon her return from the doomed voyage of the Jimmy Carter; Cam going to rescue Derek after being tracked down by thugs working for the second JH (we think); Sarah realizing that whilst she doesn't have breast cancer as yet, she was implanted with a transmitter back during her kidnapping (you know, the confusing ep about what was real and what wasn't)

But really, this ep was about Charley for me.

And putting a great character to rest.

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX. You can also watch full episodes online. Visit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up (or re-watch!)


John said...

I also liked Charlie, but I don’t think it was a mistake to have him absent most of the season. All the Sarah and the three dots plots were a total waste and Charlie might have prevented them had he been there, but I can see him becoming another tangent – probably better than 3 dots, but still an irrelevancy.

If Charlie were just one more guardian for John Connor, like Sarah, Derek, Cameron and even Jesse (in her own twisted way), then he adds too little to warrant the screen time. If he and Sarah start to become a couple again, I am not interested and wouldn’t buy it. You are right about his acceptance of the unbelievable Connor story. He did come to believe it and that showed something. I am not sure quite what, since, in any real world, the story is impossible to believe.

But beyond his acceptance and his sacrifice, first of his wife and then of himself for the cause, what more could he really add to the story. He had the air of a red shirt about him ever since John tracked him down post time jump.

The presence of another intelligent computer, not from the future, is a very interesting twist – at least potentially. It makes the presence of John Henry more interesting, since it opens (to me at least) the possibility he (JH) will be an ally in fighting this new threat.

The Cameron/Derek story was also interesting. Of course, these are two interesting characters (when one is not mooning over his future/past girlfriend) and their joint mission to protect/help JC, while not trusting each other creates a lot of potentially interesting stories.

Now that the show has gotten back on track, I really do worry about its future. There was a time, not long ago, when I wouldn’t have cared too much if it were cancelled. Now I really want the show back for another year (or more).

Anonymous said...

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