Discussion for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

pythor writes, Anyone watching this? I didn’t see it in the reviews queue. I liked the pilot a lot, and the second episode wasn’t bad, either. We’ll have to see how it gets going, but with the writer’s strike, it doesn’t have any stiff competition. Also, it will almost certainly air all 8 filmed episodes, since they don’t have anything else to fill in with, even if the network wants to cancel it. Sorry this column is going up so late; real life got in the way of the author who intended to review it in detail.

18 replies on “Discussion for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”

  1. Cerberus7 says:

    Intriguing
    So far, I’m along for the ride. We’ll see where this goes. They really, really need to explain how that head made it through the portal, though. That one just nags at me. Aside from that, it’s got a lot of potential, and I’m willing to give it a fair chance. I’m also willing to drop-kick it if it turns into complete suck.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Intriguing

      So far, I’m along for the ride. We’ll see where this goes. They really, really need to explain how that head made it through the portal, though. That one just nags at me. Aside from that, it’s got a lot of potential, and I’m willing to give it a fair chance. I’m also willing to drop-kick it if it turns into complete suck.

      I agree with you. I got my enjoyment out of it when I saw River say ‘Come with me if you want to live,’ so I can drop it anytime now, but I’m in for at least one more episode.

    • Jethro says:

      Re: Intriguing

      They really, really need to explain how that head made it through the portal, though. That one just nags at me.

      It didn’t. River said they were in the same place, different where. Guy found the head while clearing up the demolished building or something.

      • hossman says:

        Re: Intriguing

        They really, really need to explain how that head made it through the portal, though. That one just nags at me.

        It didn’t. River said they were in the same place, different where. Guy found the head while clearing up the demolished building or something.

        no. at the very begining of the second episdoe, when showing the time bubble, and the three of them materializing in "the future" (aka: 2007) they clearly show the head materializing as well and bouncing off a car.

  2. quantaman says:

    Meh
    First I thought there were too many inconsistencies and dumb moves. For instance

    1. Our first introduction to River’s character (I hadn’t payed attention to the show so I didn’t even know she was in it) we see a machine that is able to mimic and manipulate human behaviour extremely well, a characteristic that vanishes once introductions are made. (the scene with the cop in the second episode for example)

    2. After the first fight where she takes down the opposing terminator, even after she catches up with the Connors, there should still be ample time to go back to the temporarily disabled terminator and finish it off. I’m wondering if that 120 second reboot is just for a disabling shock or if it’s going to be a device abused throughout the series (yay, we killed that terminator… but only for 120 seconds).

    3. So you took the time to send back operatives to build a time machine and a big gun inside a bank vault, you couldn’t have thought of a way to get inside the vault without staging a bank robbery and alerting the cops, along with our recurring villain, to your presence? (see point 1)

    4. The awkward scene after the jump involving a teenage boy, a really hot terminator girl, and his relatively young mother running around together naked for a while? Seriously I could see the naked requirement if you didn’t want to abuse the back story too much, but generally if there’s a guy and girl running around naked, and they happen to be a mother and son, I’d rather you finish the scene sooner than later. I know what Freud said but I don’t think you’ll get the teenage boy demographic that way.

    5. People jumping back from the future to help… I’m just hoping they keep the time travel to a minimum, among the films/shows that have attempted time travel the terminator franchise isn’t exactly the best at dealing with the whole contradiction thing.

    6. We never got any explanation where the rest of that terminator body came from the junk yard, was it thrown there after the explosion in the bank vault? Was it assembled by the head remotely? Was it planted there by the future for the purpose of that terminator? Is there an explanation that won’t make me cringe?

    Even without these issues (the 2nd episode DID have fewer issues than the first) there’s also the problem that I really didn’t find it particularly engaging. Maybe it will get better, afterall this is the network that gave us X-Files, Dark Angel, and Firefly so I guess I’ll try to stick around for another episode but I’m not particularly hopeful.

    • hossman says:

      Re: Meh

      6. We never got any explanation where the rest of that terminator body came from the junk yard, was it thrown there after the explosion in the bank vault? Was it assembled by the head remotely? Was it planted there by the future for the purpose of that terminator? Is there an explanation that won’t make me cringe?

      While i agree that "subplot" was a bit vague, i believe what we (are suppose to) see in those clips, is a guy finding the head in 2007 and taking it home with him. we then see the body climbing out of a pile rubble — i don’t believe this is a junk yard, as you say … i think this is the demolished bank back in 1998. The implication (to me anyway) is that after climbing out of that rubble and killing the guard and his dog, the body has been "laying low" until the present day when it it makes contact with the head and comes to find it. (it wasn’t until after my TV deleted the episode that it occurred to me there was some ambiguity as to what was happening in those scenes that warranted a second viewing)

      either way: the fact that the terminator is still "alive" at all is absurd for reasons outlined in my other post … let alone that (parts of) it came through time with them.

      • quantaman says:

        Re: Meh

        6. We never got any explanation where the rest of that terminator body came from the junk yard, was it thrown there after the explosion in the bank vault? Was it assembled by the head remotely? Was it planted there by the future for the purpose of that terminator? Is there an explanation that won’t make me cringe?

        While i agree that "subplot" was a bit vague, i believe what we (are suppose to) see in those clips, is a guy finding the head in 2007 and taking it home with him. we then see the body climbing out of a pile rubble — i don’t believe this is a junk yard, as you say … i think this is the demolished bank back in 1998. The implication (to me anyway) is that after climbing out of that rubble and killing the guard and his dog, the body has been "laying low" until the present day when it it makes contact with the head and comes to find it. (it wasn’t until after my TV deleted the episode that it occurred to me there was some ambiguity as to what was happening in those scenes that warranted a second viewing)

        Hmm, I might need to rewatch that scene myself, regardless I blame the writers for making that scene confusing for no reason. At least give us some expositional dialogue! Btw, that interpretations makes me cringe only slightly less than the explanations I gave.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Meh

      after all this is the network that gave us X-Files, Dark Angel, and Firefly

      Only one of which wasn’t cancelled early…

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Meh
      1. No, we didn’t see much of her – and what we saw shows she has been programmed to interact with HIM – everybody else is not relevant nor programmed.

      2. That assumes you can just switch them off.

      3. The villan was following them and would have gone where ever the went. And what does it matter that the humans know they are going there, the bank is going to more or less blow up anyway.

      4. They know its not real and so who cares.

      I guess I’ll try to stick around for another episode but I’m not particularly hopeful.

      It is what it is from the start, if you don’t like it now you probably never will.

      • quantaman says:

        Re: Meh

        1. No, we didn’t see much of her – and what we saw shows she has been programmed to interact with HIM – everybody else is not relevant nor programmed.

        Still seems like it would take more effort to artificially constrain that behaviour when other subjects were approached.

        3. The villan was following them and would have gone where ever the went. And what does it matter that the humans know they are going there, the bank is going to more or less blow up anyway.

        They had previously lost the villain, he only found them again because they made such a scene at the bank (if I recall he actually found them by watching the security camera feed from somewhere). Really points 1 & 3 strike me as the writers allowing a logical break because they wanted a particular scene (ie the emoting terminator and the big fight at the bank).

        I guess I’ll try to stick around for another episode but I’m not particularly hopeful.

        It is what it is from the start, if you don’t like it now you probably never will.

        Not necessarily, lots of shows get dramatically better the pilot/first half season, actors and writers learn characters better, less exposition required, more experience with what works, etc. If the show stayed as is I probably wouldn’t find it interesting enough to stick around, but there’s a pretty good chance it will improve into something I’ll like.

  3. Gaewyn says:

    So far… good
    I like how much they went into bringing the characters from the old familiar universe and story line into a new one. Using so many look alike characters and sets was awesome.

    Summer is doing a wonderful job with the acting. It’s nice to see her be the kick-butt individual still but a TOTALLY different character from her previous gig and pulling it off well.

    There are still the plot holes from the original terminator… so you can’t bring clothes or a gun but you can send a several billion part android of death through the time bubble?!?!?

    Even without the writers strike lack of shows I would still be watching it for now at least.

    I will say.. Summer has balls trying another show on FOX… either that or a death wish.

  4. hossman says:

    My comments from elsewhere
    I’ve already written quite a bit about this show with other people in email and don’t have hte energy to reformulate into a singular response, so pardon the cut/paste…

    my comments after i watched the leaked pilot last summer…

    very well done, good cast that works well together. the terminator "universe" gives them a nice canvas to play with, it will be interesting to see if they make the show truely episodic or if it will be more like lost/heroes. there’s a gimic the end of hte pilot sets up that i thought was kind of cheap and unneccessary, but admitedly it does give them a little breathing room and let’s them do some more interesting things with some of minor characters from teh pilot.

    after watching the final edit of the pilot…

    Watched the broadcast pilot tonight … the only thing that really stands out as being different from the preview pilot i watched back in May is that they tweaked nad recast the fiance she leaves at the begining of the show … it was "Tim Guinee" (still listed on IMDB) and now it’s "Dean Winters" … I’m a fan of both actors and i suspect the recasting was because of the tweaking and not hte otherway arround … Tim Guinee does (and did in the original pilot) the quiet, concerned, softspoken family man thing really well — Dean Winter on the other hand has a bit more edge to him, and his version of hte character definitely had that .. he was more "blue collar" in the walking up scene then Tim Guinee was, and more angry and aggressive when dealing with the FBI agent (plus the "biker jacket" was definitely a new twist on his character)

    Other then that, it was pretty much the same … there’s one or two little scenes i don’t remember being in the first version, but that may just be because it was a long time ago. lots of people online have pointed out that the score has been completley redone — i hadn’t noticed until until i read that but i immediately understood what they ment … the old version had music straight out of the terminator movies (filler i guess) which gave it a hard edge … the broadcast version was much more like firefly and battlestar gallactica … sweeping dramatic music that accented the characters as well as the action.

    and now wess you can see the "twist" in the lsat 10 minutes i was telling you about … the gimic that lets them basically do whatever the fuck they want, and rehash some old cliched sub-plots from a million other shows and movies. a bunch of people are saying it’s really brilliant and give’s them lots of directions they can take things … personally i think the show would have been interesting enough even without the gimic, i’m a little worried that know there will be too much going on, and things will start to seem absurd and implausible

    after seeing the second episode…

    i watched the 2nd ep tonight … 3 seconds into it i’m already dissapointed …fortunately teh episode *mostly* redeemed itself … but that initial dissapointment is something that’s clearly going to be a season long plotline.

    (stop reading if you haven’t seen it and want to be suprised)


    not only should that terminator have been vaporized by that crazy ass freaking plasma EMP rifle (because if it wasn’t going to be, then why bother building the gun? if the events of T2 taught the characters nothing it should have taught them that the last thing you want to do is leave robot parts from the future lying arround in ruble where people can find them) but then in addition to that gun doing nothing but seperating the heade form the body, the head gets caught in the time travel bubble and comes forward in time with them … are you fucking kidding me?!?! what happened to only organic(ly wrapped) stuff can travel in time?

    i also think they really needed a quick throw away line about Cameron being a model capable of healing minor flesh wounds of something … because with the exception of the liquid terminators none of the other models have ever been able to do that, and if they don’t establish it early, it’s going to seem pretty far fetched that she can just keep covering up all sorts of dings and dents with make up (anybody remember the bruce willis movie "death becomes her" ?)

    the plot was decent, particularly the parts with the ex-fiance and the old friend turned snitch … we had the obligatory "computers are way more advanced then you are use to" and "what’s 9-11?" scenes, but both were pretty lame (particularly the 9-11 scene… not so much when she says "what’s 9-11?" but when she’s doing the narration and they show the cholos explaining it to her … with freaking hand puppets?!?! you either need to end that scene with "what’s 9-11?" and let the audience speculate about her faking her way through the rest of and awkward conversation and eventaully finding out from Cameron (or a web search in a later episode), or you need to show her somehow magically convincing them that she was so freaking deep in hiding that she hadn’t heard about it after 6 years).

    other then that: i like the tone, i like the flow, i like the characters, but i’ve yet to see any value add (or potential value add) from the time travel gimic … not if they’re going to have the same terminator and the same FBI agent already on their tail in episode #3 … i could have understood if they were going to have other plot lines for hte first season (or half season) but if they’re going to pick up right where they left off then what’s the point?

    • quantaman says:

      Re: My comments from elsewhere

      other then that: i like the tone, i like the flow, i like the characters, but i’ve yet to see any value add (or potential value add) from the time travel gimic … not if they’re going to have the same terminator and the same FBI agent already on their tail in episode #3 … i could have understood if they were going to have other plot lines for hte first season (or half season) but if they’re going to pick up right where they left off then what’s the point?

      I think the idea there was they wanted to set the show in modern day, but if they did that John would be 23 and an adult old enough to defend himself thus breaking the premise of he show. The only way to get both is sending a 15 year old John into the modern day.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: My comments from elsewhere

      i also think they really needed a quick throw away line about Cameron being a model capable of healing minor flesh wounds of something … because with the exception of the liquid terminators none of the other models have ever been able to do that, and if they don’t establish it early, it’s going to seem pretty far fetched that she can just keep covering up all sorts of dings and dents with make up (anybody remember the bruce willis movie "death becomes her" ?)

      When the terminator looked at her in the second episode, its display said "unknown cyborg". I am under the assumption that perhaps the resistance has made a model or two of its own.

      -Joe

      • babasyzygy says:

        Re: My comments from elsewhere

        When the terminator looked at her in the second episode, its display said "unknown cyborg". I am under the assumption that perhaps the resistance has made a model or two of its own.

        Could be, but I just assumed that she’s a more sophisticated cyborg from uptime of the Terminators. One has to wonder how, unless the Time Travel tech is completely wiped out in every possible future fairly quickly, we don’t end up with a world completely filled with Terminators and Resistance Cyborgs coming downtime from all possible futures.

        I do have to wonder how much they’re going to directly address the fact that the Terminator franchise has multiple possible futures from different points in its timeline. Probably not at all beyond talking about the "new" future, but it would be cool if the Terminators and Good Cyborgs were coming from different futures.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: My comments from elsewhere
      I’m going to speculate a bit here,

      The guy who played the terminator in episode one is apparently only in episode 1 – they have hired another actor to play a character with the same name. So if that is the terminator perhaps that means it is a slightly more advanced modle which can regrow skin – it just happens to end up looking a bit different – so perhaps the Rivernator can do that as well – after all you’d expect some different versions between the one in T1 and T2 :)

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: My comments from elsewhere
        Didn’t Cameron say something about the terminators being able to commandeer skin from a living human for their own use? It was very brief, and I might be remembering this wrong, but she said that the "bad" terminators could do it, but she couldn’t.

  5. BuellBoy says:

    Healing
    ALL terminators are cybernetic organisms with living tissue over a metallic endoskeleton. Living tissue regenerates IF YOU GIVE IT ENOUGH TIME. So far, the only terminators we’ve seen in the movies didn’t last long enough to heal their wounds. Looks like Cameron will be with us for awhile, so she has time to heal up.

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