Sunday, April 12, 2009

'Chronicles' Terminates it Second Season

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer


Goodbye, good luck, and thanks for the memories, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

Can't say it hasn't been fun.

Can't say part of me doesn't wish for you to be back for a third season.

But all good things must come to an end, and it's taken me a couple of days to process how I really feel about the second season finale of T:SCC - knowing it really feels more like the "series" finale.

Let it be said I am, if nothing else, happy how it all went down: Catherine Weaver ending up being a good machine, rescuing John into the future. John Henry off with Cameron's chip. Sarah back to being a fugitive. Ellison having a DOH! moment of all moments. The machines trying to now kill John AND take out Weaver's establishment given they're on the same side.

And even if I still do think last week's episode was the best of the season (alongside "Allison From Palmdale"), I'm relieved to see the T:SCC folks go out with a bang, not a whimper.

And this, I think, is all a show can hope to do when its future fate is so uncertain - no pun intended.

We really don't want it to get cute, try and do too much or pull a WTF moment from The Sopranos. We want a sense of closure, a bit of unpredictability, a bit of knowing there's still something left on the table that we'll always wish we knew more about. But mostly, we want to feel the show gave it their best shot as they went off into that good night so that if it really IS the last we see of them, we'll remember them well.

That said, this IS a tough thing for a show to accomplish. Some do it brilliantly, others not so much. I think T:SCC succeeded, and my only gripe is that we could've perhaps cut to the last 10-15 minutes of the finale and gotten the gist.

But it IS those last 10-15 minutes that will linger, and they will remind us how much potential is still left with the premise of the series.

We learned so much about what was really going on with Catherine Weaver (or the Shirleymeister, as we had affectionately been referring to her here at PTR given Shirley Manson was superb throughout this season). I loved the fact she ended up being a good machine, sent back to help build and study a computer infrastructure that will aid in understanding what will end up becoming the enemy of mankind, thus, potentially being of help to John Conner. This was a fantastic twist. And yet, I can't help feel had they not waited until the end to spring this on us - perhaps explored this angle of the plot more actively than the Tangents Formerly Known As Jesse and Reilly - maybe a third season would seem more certain.

We saw Cameron in her last moments of devotion to John AND her last moments as being a machine. Enough.Said.

But perhaps most poignantly, we saw the "rescue" of young John to the future so that he is reunited with Derek, his father and Cameron - rather, Allison - at what would seem to be the beginnings of the war against the machines whilst Sarah remains behind to try and continue to fight to stop the start of Skynet.

These last string of episodes reminded so many of us why we watch, and what we loved most about the show from the get-go. And the finale did give us a strong sense of finishing it in the same humdinger way that it started.

In the end, it really was another beginning.

Which is what finales do best.

If you missed the second season finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, isit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up.

6 comments:

John said...

It was a great ending.

I wonder if Weaver was always supposed to be good, or if TPTB switched that when they saw parts of the season weren’t working. I ask because for a “good” robot, she killed a lot of innocent people including Savannah’s parents.

Also in Jesse’s earlier flash forward, the liquid metals turned down joining John Connor and now they are asking him, via Cameron, to join them.

Why are the liquid metals siding with humans? Is it to eliminate the regular robots who they view as the biggest threat and then turn on the human remnants?

I really do want the show to return. I am just not sure what the show will be if it does. Will we have parallel stories in the now with Sarah and Ellison and the future with John, etal.? I don’t want any characters going back and forth in time like they are taking the subway.

I understand the reason for Cameron giving her chip to John Henry, but I also wonder if TPTB want a real live Cameron for a romance with John. If they go that way, they better deal with the fact the human Cameron will be very different from the robot flavor.

The finale (season variety hopefully) was as dramatic (or maybe more so) than the pilot. It really does reinvent the series.

RichE said...

OK, now I'm more confused than ever, and that's saying something!

So I was on the right track when I raised the question of the Shirleymeister being a good robot. But then what about the liquid metal that went into her leg? Wasn't that part of the craft that crashed into the office? Does that mean it just merges with any similar material around it? Or was it part of the Shirleymeister in the first place? Was the crash part of a set up to get Sarah & John to go along with next parts? And why, when taking on such a big long lump of liquid metal did the Shirleymeister not change in shape at all? That was quite a chunk extra of mass to take on. She could have gained... errr... something!

Also, why when the Shirleymeister and John went into the future did the Shirleymeister go through naked? She wasn't wearing real clothes before hand! Nice humourous touch with her suddenly morphing clothes though. And how come Cameron didn't go through? Terminators can go through. That's how the Shirleymeister came/went and Cameron got to modern day LA. Not to mention the various Terminators that came after John, not least amongst them Cromartie.

What did the ending tell us? Derek's apparent lack of knowledge of name John Connor: real or just a part of the general denial that the humans do to protect John? The presence of Kyle: that puts this time period prior to him going back to save Sarah (first Terminator movie). Is that the real Allison or is it Cameron?

Why did Cameron give JH her chip. What could he that should couldn't? She is clearly far more advanced than he is.

Time travel is being to grate in TV shows, they can just do what ever you want regardless of the normal effects on the timeline. See Lost. Even Damages flashforward stuff can be annoying.

They really tried to give some of the fans what they wanted with the "what does it feel like" scene. Dollhouse fans too.

Anyway. Not sure if the show is coming back or not. I won't be surprised either way. If not then congrats to everyone involved in making 2 good seasons.


RichE.

John said...

My guesses at some answers:

> “But then what about the liquid metal that went into her leg?”

My guess is that it was part of the shield she erected to defend them and it was just coming “home”.

> “And how come Cameron didn't go through?” and “Why did Cameron give JH her chip. What could he > that should couldn't? She is clearly far more advanced than he is.”

By the time of the time jump, Cameron was no longer working. Her body had taken a lot of punishment during the jailbreak and she wasn’t 100% before that. With her chip gone, she was just of spare parts.

As to why she gave JH her chip, my theory is they as two separate robots (JH and Cameron) they weren’t very useful. John Henry was permanently tied to the computers, so he was a prisoner and very vulnerable. Cameron’s body was shot (literally and figuratively) and so not fully functional. By giving her chip to JH they form one working robot. And since it is her chip, the merged robot will have her instructions to protect John Connor and be better ability to do so.

> “What did the ending tell us? Derek's apparent lack of knowledge of name John Connor: real or just a >part of the general denial that the humans do to protect John? The presence of Kyle: that puts this time >period prior to him going back to save Sarah (first Terminator movie). Is that the real Allison or is it >Cameron?”

As to last: It had to be Allison. The dog was friendly with her and the dogs don’t like robots and are used to separate the human from the metal.

As to the other questions: I think by jumping to the future the John Connor, the savior of mankind, never happened. Either there is a different leader or humans are still losing. Then of course there is no reason for Kyle to go back to protect Sarah and thus father John Connor and Derek never went back either.

This brings up the whole time travel paradox mess. No one can unravel that, hence the paradox. I do agree that time travel should be used very little, if it is used at all. In the first movie time travel brought the players together and then was irrelevant. It wasn’t too important in the second either, other than as a way to get everyone together. The TV show has used it a lot more as a plot device and I don’t like it. I hope the show returns (but doubt it will, unless SyFy picks it up), but want them to cut back on the time travel, not amp it up.

RichE said...

Thanks for answers John.

I've figured out what the extra "metal" was. In a shot just before we see the large fish tank shatter. Last week we saw the FBI agent tapping the glass of that tank, it contained an eel. So the eel was "metal". Perhaps it some sort of extreme dieting for T-1000s. Simply shed the weight :-)

I still don't get why Cameron's body, other than as a plot device, couldn't be transported to the future. I know that clothes can't go through but Terminators clearly can do. The Shirleymeister naked/clothed thing was purely for comedy value.

I'd somewhat forgotten that JH was a Terminator body. Giving him Cameron's chip would make him work as designed again. Like swapping your PC hard disk to another computer and it having all your files on.

I saw Allison/Cameron with the dog and wondered if "metal" would act like that. However, Cameron has shown some reasonable human traits and I thought "she" could just have been acting more human so as to cause fewer problems to those around her. I'd forgotten about the "dogs not liking metal" thing.


RichE.

John said...

Accordingto Ausiello the show has been cancelled.

A real loss. I wonder how much those three weak episodes after its return cost it?

bluestocking said...

Wish it wasn't cancelled, but it was more like "The Jesse Chronicles" in certain parts of this season, than the SCC.

The season finale was nothing short of amazing.

"But then what about the liquid metal that went into her leg?”

My guess is that it was part of the shield she erected to defend them and it was just coming “home”."

Actually, the liquid that went into her leg was the EEL (referenced in last week's episode).