This strange episode fleshes out (constructs?) the backstory of several characters, and raises some intriguing questions.

Title: “Earthlings Welcome Here”

Cast and Crew

Director: Felix Enriquez Alcalá
Writer: Natalie Chaidez

Lena Heady as Sarah Connor
Thomas Dekker as John Connor
Summer Glau as Cameron Philips
Leven Rambin as Riley
Dinah Leney as Eileen
Richard T. Jones as James Ellison
Stephanie Jacobsen as Jesse
Michael Hyatt as Barbara
William Stanford Jones as the Pastor
Shirley Manson as Catherine Weaver
Garret Dillahunt as Cromartie/John Henry
Rebecca Creskoff as Anne

Synopsis

Summer and Riley confront each other as we learn more about Riley’s past. Meanwhile, Sarah goes to a UFO Convention to learn more about the three-star symbol, and meets a researcher-turned-blogger with a mysterious past of her own.

High Point

Sarah’s personality drives much of this episode, and what we see can be unpleasant. Arguably, her actions draw out Eileen into harm’s way, and her hardened soldier’s approach recalls more than a little the automaton’s autism exhibited by Cameron. Both make decisions we might consider inhumane.

Low Point

For someone who fears assassination attempts, Eileen trusts armed, soldier Sarah very quickly. Then again, the episode hints that there may be more to Eileen’s background than we realize.

The Scores

Originality: 4/6. The uncertainties of this episode suggest several interesting directions for this series. No one is as they seem. Of course, this will only prove worthwhile if the writers know where they are going, and that is not always the case on television.

Effects: 4/6.

Story: 4/6. This episode features a couple of strong, character-driven plots. Even the Riley plot works fairly well. The main plot ends with a problematic cliffhanger.I understand dramatically why Sarah enters the warehouse alone immediately after locating it, but tactically, it makes no sense, and she knows better. Surely she would return at another time, with reinforcements.

Acting: 5/6. This episode features an excellent guest performance by Dinah Leney, and strong acting by several of the regulars.

Production: 6/6.

Emotional response: 5/6.

Overall: 5/6.

“Earthlings Welcome Here” receives 33/42.

Lingering Question

I’m not who they think.

I’m a waitress.

What is the relationship between Eileen and Sarah? The story hints that Eileen has more in the past than has been revealed, and may have already connected with Sarah.