This week’s episode features three temporal settings, lots of Sarah and Derek, and too little Summer Glau.

Title: “Alpine Fields”

Cast and Crew

Director: John Enborn
Writer: Charles Beeson and Bryan Spicer

Lena Heady as Sarah Connor
Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese

Summer Glau as Cameron Philips
Thomas Dekker as John Connor
Garret Dillahunt as Cromartie
Fay Wolf as Lila
Shirley Manson as Catherine Weaver
Garret Dillahunt as Cromartie
Samantha Krutzfeldt as Lauren
Carlos Jacott as David
Oren Dayan as Mike
Rebecca Creskoff as Anne
Haley Hudson as Sydney

Synopsis

In the past, Sarah and Cameron try to rescue a family targeted by the Machines. In the present and the future, we learn why the family has been targeted, and we gain some insight into Derek’s character.

High Point

Despite some choppy pacing, I thought this episode did a good job of gathering together the disparate plots in different times. The pieces fit, Jetée-like, together.

Low Points

Given that the situation is “well beyond Dr. Phil,” it seems odd that Sarah, after all her experiences, driving away from danger of which she well knows the severity, would get herself distracted by the Fields’ squabbling.

Is it a script problem, an acting problem, or a directorial problem that the guest characters seem so blasé about the fantastic events?

The Scores

Originality: 3/6. It works, but anyone familiar with time-travel fiction won’t find this episode particularly original.

Effects: 5/6. The settings and effects were simple but effective, and they helped create a suitable atmosphere.

Story: 4/6. I enjoyed the story. It’s yet another choppy episode, however, which won’t appeal to everyone.

Acting: 4/6. In particular, I thought Samantha Krutzfeldt shone as Lauren, and we also received some insight into Derek Reese’s character. Acting from the others was mostly average. The fragmented script can work against the performers. And, of course, Glau stands out in this series, and this particular script downplays her character’s role.

Production: 5/6.

Emotional response: 4/6.

Overall: 5/6.

“Alpine Fields” receives 30/42.

Lingering Question

Shouldn’t the Terminators be better at identifying one another? And why did it take this one so long to get to the cottage after taking out Cameron?