The fall television season is back upon us, and once again, here we are recapping your favorite superheroic television shows, and as luck would have it, that's going to start off with the second season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Let's just start off by saying that I loved this show when it premiered last season, and I've been waiting for the new season ever since the final frames of the season one finale, What He Beheld.
So, when last we saw the Connors and Cameron, Cameron had gotten herself blown up in a jeep, John was having what is arguably the oddest sixteenth birthday ever, complete with visiting a younger version of his father and his uncle while accompanied by his uncle from the future, the team had gotten their hands on a HD that would lead them to the Turk after violent dealings with a gangster named Sarkosian, and Cromartie (the Terminator who has been hunting John all season) had laid waste to an entire FBI strike force during a beautiful visual sequence - but then for reasons unknown he let Agent Ellison live. So, now that we're up to date, let's dive into this week's episode.
Episode one, titled Samson & Delilah, begins with us seeing Cameron's 'body' laying in the wreckage of the jeep. A quick trip through her memory banks shows that she noticed Sarkosian plant the bomb. Despite the damage to the vehicle, Cameron seems mostly unharmed, although her internal diagnostics say that her chip has been 'compromised.'. As John and Sarah try to rush outside to save her, Sarkosian and his goon bursts in to attack them. The battle-damaged Cameron makes her way back inside the house to see Sarkosian and the goon beating and threatening John and Sarah, and tearing the house apart to regain the Turk's hard-drive (which is found under the bed). Cameron easily dispatches of the goon, although she inadvertently triggers a fire that will consume the house while doing so. She comes upstairs to find that John has managed to free himself and take down Sarkosian. However, as she sees John and Sarah, we get a view of her HUD, and we see that she has reverted to her original programming to kill John. She raises the gun she took off Sarkosian's goon, but before she can fire, the flammable liquids from the lower floor of the house explode, knocking her off her feet. John and Sarah escape out the window ass the scorched Cameron starts to come back into the room.
(It's worth noting that all of the above scene is done in silence, most of it in slow-motion, to the song Samson and Delilah. It was beautiful.)
Meanwhile, we cut back to Agent Ellison and Cromartie, where we again see Cromartie walk away instead of killing Ellison. Charley Dixon, Sarah's ex-fiance and paramedic arrives on the scene, and after concealing himself from Cromartie, makes his way to Agent Ellison. Charley is, unsurprisingly, stunned at the carnage he sees.
Ellison and Dixon allow the authorities to believe that the man Cromartie is now impersonating (and who is now dead) was the one responsible for all of this, since, as Ellison explains, it's the best explanation that will be believed and won't cost more officers their lives.
John and Sarah are fleeing the house in a stolen minivan, and Sarah's concern for John distracts her and gets them into a car wreck. John injures his leg getting out of the car, but the two still flee from the accident - to the anger of the other participants. Meanwhile, the battle-damaged Cameron continues her pursuit.
Charley hears about the fire at the Connors' house and diverts his ambulance to the site. He goes and finds the bodies of Sarkosian and his goon, and is worried at first, but then realizes that John and Sarah aren't there. He goes back to his ambulance and finds Derek (disguised as a fireman) hiding in the van. Derek tells Charley that Sarah and John are "long gone" and he briefly explains the dealings with Sarkosian and the HD (which he had retrieved from the house). Charley's radio relates the news about John and Sarah's accident, and Charley and Derek rush off to the site.
Meanwhile, we see Mr. Walsh, who has his hands on the Turk itself. He's speaking to an unknown red-headed woman about the device, and arranging the pick-up. She calls for a meeting of the department heads (of what corporation we still don't know, but we can assume it's sinister.)
Cameron, damaged though she is, goes into a hardware store to repair herself (using staples and baby wipes). She sees Charley's ambulance which has arrived at the accident site, and is now pursuing John and Sarah. Cameron follows the wounded Connors, who are trying to figure out where they can get off the street and into hiding. They end up going into a small Spanish chapel to hide, interrupting a baptism in the process. Sarah asks the priest for sanctuary and a place to hide, and for some reason he agrees to it.
Derek and Charley are delayed in finding the Connors due to traffic, where Derek taunts Charley about why he's helping them and following the Connors. After all, Sarah left him, and he's now married. Cameron, meanwhile, is having better luck tracking them on foot, since she can follow the blood they're dripping.
We cut back to our red-headed executive, who is now paying off the man who brought her the Turk. She looks down at the throng of humanity below, commenting on how disorderly humans are as a whole, comparing them unfavorably to computers and machines. The red-headed woman makes an oblique comment about finding a computer that is able to say 'no'. Walsh, who looks nervous during this whole interaction, is given a slightly ominous warning by the woman as he leaves.
Sarah is trying to talk to John about everything that has happened since the explosion. John doesn't want to talk to Sarah about it, but Sarah insists on engaging him in it. John has, very unwillingly, come to the realization that with as much knowledge as Cameron has about them, the only solution is to destroy her. He's not at all happy about this.
And meanwhile, Agent Ellison is being debriefed by his superiors about the massacre. They're convinced he is hiding something about what happened, and they put him on six weeks leave. And they ask if he is willing to testify to his after-mission report, on threat of perjury.
Cameron, meanwhile, has tracked the Connors to the chapel, and enters the building in order to find them. The priest asks if he can help her with anything, but utterly denies that John and Sarah are there - even when Cameron asks for her "mother and brother". She tracks the trail of blood to a booby-trap rigged by John and Sarah that shorts her out. The Connors race her reset timer to try to regain access to her memory core, and unfortunately run out of time. They flee before Cameron gets back to her feet, and again she resumes her pursuit.
John and Sarah carjack another vehicle, and despite a series of unfortunate and unlikely obstacles, try to get away from Cameron. For her part, however, Cameron manages to get ahead of them, and she punches their vehicle, knocking it over. Cameron approaches their vehicle, where John is pinned and Sarah is unconscious. Sarah tells John that he needs to go and leave her to Cameron - after all, if Sarah dies but John lives, the Resistance still has a chance. John flees as Cameron reaches Sarah. Cameron tries to get Sarah to call to John, and then tortures her when she refuses. Realizing that John won't come back, Cameron knocks Sarah unconscious (again) and resumes her pursuit. She finds John inside a warehouse, where he is hiding behind some crates.
Waiting for her to pass by him, John escapes into one of the semi-trucks, which he hotwires in an attempt to escape. She finds a wrench to use as a weapon, but notices his attempts to hotwire the truck. John nearly runs her down, but before he can do so, she throws the wrench at his head. At that point Sarah drives another truck into the building and pins Cameron between the two vehicles.
John scurries out of his truck and starts again trying to pull out Cameron's processor. At this point, Cameron begins pleading for her life, begging him not to destroy her. She says that she has run a test, and that the attempts to kill him weren't her, and she's "fixed now." It's an oddly emotional sequence coming from a machine - she even says that she loves him, and the he loves her. At Sarah's insistence, John still pulls the processor out of Cameron's head, and she deactivates.
Derek and Charley make their way to the warehouse where they find John and Sarah and the now inert Cameron. John is sitting by himself, somewhat traumatized. Derek, asking if John saw everything that happened, goes over to comfort John. John tells Derek about the fact that he knows that Cromartie killed so many people because of him. Derek tries to tell John that he needs to accept that Cameron is deadly, but John is adamant about the fact that he needs to fix her, and that Cameron is special. He built her, after all.
Sarah tries to be motherly, telling John that she's proud of what he did today. She acknowledges that maybe he could fix her, but that she can't risk losing him. John, coldly, tells Sarah to burn her and get them the hell out of here.
When we next see them, everyone is in Charley's ambulance, Cameron's form is on the stretcher, and John is working on repairing her chip. Sarah tries to tell John that everything Cameron said was a trick - they aren't capable of feelings, after all. John tells her that he knows all of that already.
The ambulance takes our heroes to a dump where they prepare Cameron's body to be destroyed. John re-inserts her control chip, and asks for the flare to ignite the body. But then instead of igniting her, he tells everyone he's sorry, reactivates Cameron and grabs a gun off her body to keep them away from them. Cameron looks to John, and her first words are "Are you here to kill me, John?" He asks her the same question in turn, and then when she says "no", he hands her back the gun, and asks her to promise.
We see her HUD again, and see that her chip is still damaged - the termination order for John remains active. But we then see her override the termination order, and she returns the gun to John, saying that she promises. Something is definitely unique about Cameron, and she may just have been telling the truth when she told John she loved him. John and Cameron get out of the car and he torches it, setting up a very obvious visual metaphor as John and Cameron are on one side of the vehicle while Sarah, Derek and Charley are on the other.
Agent Ellison stands outside of his home, looking at things warily, when Cromartie arrives. Ellison tells Cromartie that he will not lead him to the Connors, and if that is why he was left alive, that Cromartie should just kill him now. Cromartie walks off, cryptically saying "We'll see."
The red-headed woman meets with the board of directors to announce the formation of a new division that will draw from each area of the company. She makes it clear that this isn't up for debate, and announces that the new department will be named "Babylon" and will change the world.
Derek and Sarah are talking in the kitchen where Sarah is making sandwiches for everyone. Derek tells Sarah that Charley has left, commenting on the fact that he really does have a life. Sarah goes into the chapel to find Cameron looking at the crucifix. Cameron asks Sarah if she believes in the Resurrection, and Sarah says she doesn't have much faith. Cameron also tells Sarah not to let John bring her back again, if she ever goes bad again. Sarah goes over to the bathroom where John was at to try to explain herself, though John pretty much tunes her out. We then see that John has given himself a rather harsh, military style haircut.
Finally, we go into the executive bathroom where the head of the AI division, Mr. Tuck, is complaining about their new boss. The other division head leaves, at which point we see one of the toilets morph into the shape of the red-headed woman. Yeah, it turns out that she's a T-1000. She kills Mr. Tuck, rather unapologetically.
So, a heck of a way to start of the new season. A new villain appears, Cromartie remains active, Cameron's loyalties can no longer be trusted, and there is all sort of tension between the Connors. I think we're in for a heck of a ride. Be back here in seven when Automatic for the People airs.