Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles– “Born to Run”

The season takes an odd turn; the future is never quite what we expect.

Expect Spoilers.

Title: “Born to Run”

Cast and Crew

Written by Josh Friedman
Directed by Jeffrey G. Hunt

Lena Heady as Sarah Connor
Thomas Dekker as John Connor
Summer Glau as Cameron Philips
Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese
Garret Dillahunt as John Henry
Shirley Manson as Catherine Weaver
Richard T. Jones as James Ellison
Joshua Malina as Auldridge
Carlos Sanz as Father Bonilla
Mackenzie Brooke Smith as Savannah
Jeffrey Pierce as T-888

Synopsis

Sarah escapes with a little help from her friends, and she, Connor, and Cam confront Weaver, Ellison, and John Henry.

The season ends with John Connor and Weaver time-travelling to the future. The Machine/Human War is on, but, since John has not had the opportunity to grow up during the years between, no one knows him—not even Kyle Reese.

High Points

Summer Glau does very well as she shifts through her uncertain emotions and into full Terminator mode. Even if the show survives, it may be the last we see of this version of the character. It’s a good final appearance.

Low Point

If the show does not get a third season, this will not be a great place to conclude. Of course, I’m not blaming the show’s creators for that low point.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6. The episode itself isn’t terribly original, but the conclusion suggests new directions for the show. I hope we get to see these.

Effects: 6/6. Predictably, the finale features some comparatively big effects.

Story: 5/6. The story reveals several (apparent) truths about Weaver’s motivation.

Acting: 5/6. This episode features some strong acting. Heady’s best moments as the imprisoned Sarah Connor work well, and Pierce gives as interesting moments as a conspicuously odd T-888.

Production: 5/6.

Emotional response: 5/6. No one blends the unexpected and the erotic in disturbing ways quite like SF and fantasy.

Overall: 5/6.

“Born to Run” receives 34/42.

Additional Comments

Who wants to wager on:

(1) Whether the chip from the damaged Cameron will be implanted in the future model?

(2) Whether time-travel in this series will make more sense than it does in Heroes, but still not quite make sense?

16 replies on “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles– “Born to Run””

  1. Tekzel says:

    I have enjoyed this show, even the weak episodes were watchable. I hope they get another season. The episode in question was quite good, I thought. I would like to see where they go from here.

  2. sjaskow says:

    Does the fact that John Henry and Weaver kept asking the question Will you join us? mean that Weaver actually is the T-X from the “Jimmy Carter”?

    • J_W_W says:

      Thats what I had assumed.

      This episode was great. But like was mentioned, there’s a lot they’ll have to deal with from the cliffhanger in season 3. If they don’t get a season 3 then… it would be a very strange end to the series indeed.

    • Timeshredder says:

      I wonder about that too. It’s a good third question for “Additional Comments.”

    • valen1260 says:

      I have the same question.

      The final scene begs a few more questions. UNMASKED SPOILERS AHEAD.

      1) Either these alternate (alternate alternate …) future humans don’t know about the shapeshifting T-1000s, (T-X is from T3, btw) or they don’t exist. The crew of the Jimmy Carter obviously had no knowledge of them, nor even rumors, and reacted in a predictably paranoid manner. I’d expect a lot more Deep Space Nine-like paranoia and “flesh testing”.

      2) If the dogs are present to detect metal, can they be trained to not bark at a particular instance of a certain Cameron model? We’ve seen multiple Arnies, and I think Skynet has better things to do than customize each Terminator. So, let’s assume there are multiple Camerons. Can a dog tell the difference? Does that mean this is the “real” Cameron (“Allison from Palmdale”).

      3) Why did John shout “I’m not metal”? He’s never been to the future future, and that would seem a silly thing to yell otherwise.

      4) Why would Sarah let John go with an unknown T-1000, especially if it is just to rescue Cameron? (Also, there was never an “Oh, you’re a Terminator?” moment with Weaver.)

      • joe__gee says:

        About the unknown T-1000, if Weaver had wanted them dead they would have been killed in her office before the other AI tried to strike. Sarah did call her a terminator bitch, and Weaver replied with something to the effect of “who are you to call me a bitch?” And the pet eel was there for a reason.

        I am not certain the new Cameron is metal. Her reactions were different, and the dog didn’t bark. I think this is the real flesh and bone Cameron, or whatever her name is.

        I think the fate of this series rests entirely on the performance of the franchise over the summer. If Fox is really smart they’ll put a minute long ad for the show before the feature starts, so people realize where they can get their terminator fix between movies.

        -Joe

        • Daemonik says:

          I am not certain the new Cameron is metal. Her reactions were different, and the dog didn’t bark. I think this is the real flesh and bone Cameron, or whatever her name is.

          She’s Allison from Palmdale. As we learned from a previous episode she falls in love with John Conner and Skynet builds a duplicate (Cameron) in an attempt to infiltrate her close enough to assassinate John.

          • joe__gee says:

            I couldn’t remember Allison’s name. Thank you. :)

            I’m glad this show is improving, there’s still decent sci fi on TV to look forward to. :)

            Thanks again,

            -Joe

      • Daemonik says:

        1) Either these alternate (alternate alternate …) future humans don’t know about the shapeshifting T-1000s, (T-X is from T3, btw) or they don’t exist. The crew of the Jimmy Carter obviously had no knowledge of them, nor even rumors, and reacted in a predictably paranoid manner. I’d expect a lot more Deep Space Nine-like paranoia and “flesh testing”.

        Since the series is supposed to follow the first two movies, then we learned from those that Terminators are capable of becoming ‘true’ A.I.’s but this is disabled by Skynet. Theoretically one could say Skynet is a paranoid megalomaniac and doesn’t want ANY competing intelligences. Going from the clues that the T-1000’s are radically different structures and that they are not generally allowed to remain outside a cryogenic state (a la the shipping crate the Jimmy Carter picked up) I’d say the T-1000’s are probably extremely rare and distrusted by Skynet. Which is also why at least one (Weaver/Possibly Jimmy Carter entity) is planning a cyber rebellion.

        Can a dog tell the difference? Does that mean this is the “real” Cameron (”Allison from Palmdale”).

        I’d say it’s the real Allison from Palmdale. Considering her size Cameron’s model is most likely engineered to be an infiltration model compared to the larger Arnie models. Also Skynet would likely not hesitate to make a special job up if it stood a good chance of getting close to John Conner, and duplicating someone who he was apparently in love with seems like just the thing.

        3) Why did John shout “I’m not metal”? He’s never been to the future future, and that would seem a silly thing to yell otherwise.

        Sarah and Derek both referred to the Terminators as ‘metal’ several times in the show. It seems to be the Resistance’s derogatory term for them so knowing he was in the future, around human fighters it’s not odd he’d tell them he’s not a machine in terms they’d understand. It’s been suggested John’s the kind of bright guy who’d do that sort of thing.

        Why would Sarah let John go with an unknown T-1000, especially if it is just to rescue Cameron? (Also, there was never an “Oh, you’re a Terminator?” moment with Weaver.)

        Sarah’s a generally bright person too. She’d know a terminator like the T-1000 that not only didn’t kill them on sight (which Weaver could very easily have done) but that protected them from the Hunter-Killer drone isn’t an immediate threat. Also she’s gotta let John grow up sometime. There’s things going on with John Henry and John’s future that can’t be left unexplored so it’s not unreasonable she’d trust in John to do that.

        • valen1260 says:

          3) Why did John shout “I’m not metal”? He’s never been to the future future, and that would seem a silly thing to yell otherwise.

          Sarah and Derek both referred to the Terminators as ‘metal’ several times in the show.[/quote]
          I’m not asking where he learned the term. I’m asking how he immediately recognized he was in the post-JD future, having never been there before.

          • prentice says:

            Because the building was trashed (and not in an urban sprawl/’hood kind of way), there are people running around with dogs and weapons, and it looked like, although they traveled forward in time, they didn’t change relative position?

      • snookums says:

        We know from Terminator 2 that skynet keeps its fellow AIs on a short leash. Skynet obviously wants to be the kind AI. Ever since watching Terminator 2, I’ve hoped that they would do a storyline about machine factions fighting against each other. As my sister said, the T-1000s are the most likely to rebel against skynet, because they have no chips. Their rebelling also solves a gaping plot hole. It’s obvious that the T-1000s are superior to the regular terminators. Yet skynet stopped sending them back after the first time. Why? Obviously, skynet doesn’t trust them.

  3. taplines says:

    Maybe this is the lead in to the upcoming movie, which I have heard that John comes out of nowhere to become leader. This is his future and now that he is there why come back? This makes a perfect ending for the series if it doesn’t get picked up for next year.

  4. deviantintegral says:

    I’m not sure why everyone feels that this would be a poor ending to the series. When I initially watched it, my first thought was “oh, they’ve been cancelled, it’s obvious”. It just felt like enough of the show was resolved. And as much as I love this show, it would be great for it to go out after two strong seasons.

    Meh, I lie. Still crossing my fingers that it’s renewed :)

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Ditto. Ups, downs, but the whole keeps getting better as time passes. I’ll miss it if it goes.

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