Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

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Daniel: B- | Grade It Now!
Forever Young

Cameron's having flashbacks -- well, I guess they could also be called flash-forwards -- to a time when she was an actual human running from the Terminators. Her name was Allison Young, and as she does some grocery shopping -- while John makes yet another trip to an electronics store for yet more computer equipment, because he buys more than a Best Buy rep -- things like barcodes trigger a minor meltdown.

She bumps her cart into a pile of watermelons, and can't even remember her name, instead holding up a wad of bills when the police officer asks her for identification.

While in the pokey, she meets Jody, who's not so much interested in befriending Cameron as she is in befriending Cameron's fat wad of money. Luckily the store owner decides not to have Cameron charged with, um, knocking over watermelons? I guess? And Cameron's released from jail, tagging along with Jody since she can't seem to remember she's not Allison Young but an unstoppable killing machine.

Sarah, meanwhile, takes the thirteen-months-pregnant Casey to the hospital because she's having "spicy taco pains." Sarah reminisces about the birth of John -- hiking in South America, no anesthesia but a bottle of dark rum, cigars and a hitchhiked ride on a chicken bus afterwards, John's father by her side (?) -- while Casey says ominous things about how can she be expected to protect her son from the world if she can't even protect him when he's in the womb.

Agent Ellison visits with Catherine Weaver again because he's still considering her job offer, but he's nervous because the last time he went after the crazy killing machines from the future, twenty people died. He thinks the machines are evil, while she warns him not to anthropomorphize them too much. She talks about her late husband dying in a helicopter crash, even though he had 700 hours in that exact machine, because he panicked, she says. Machines still need humans to tell them what to do, she says.

John tracks Cameron to the police station, where he learns Cameron went off with Jody, a street kid from the boulevard. While he frantically asks up and down the street for her, Cameron's chowing down at a fast-food joint with Jody, who's laying out her whole sordid life story, illustrated nicely with a confrontation with a raging asshole yelling about Jody stealing his laptop. He wallops her in the face, and Cameron steps in, only by offering cash, disappointingly, instead of offering a boot up his ass.

Agent Ellison meets with his ex-wife -- played up as a big reveal but telegraphed from the start -- who's also an FBI agent, and asks her to run a check on Catherine Weaver for him. His ex-wife's amazing "crucifixdar" tells her he's not wearing his, and she tells him not to blame himself for what happened (the agents being killed, not their marriage).

Jody is surprisingly sticking around, although she does give Cameron grief for giving up the cash. "Sometimes you gotta take a punch," is her advice, which she retracts once she thinks she's figured out that Cameron's a victim of domestic violence.

The two of them head to a halfway house, where Cameron mixes up her interview with a counselor with her interrogation at the hands of Terminators, and just when you think the apocalypse can't get any worse, it turns out that Allison Young didn't get the mountain bike she wanted for her birthday, because everyone was dead (which also meant that the producers of My Super Sweet 16 decided to drop Allison from an upcoming episode). Cameron/Allison in the present wants to call her mom in Palmdale. Mrs. Young answers but, as she tells the counselor, she doesn't have a daughter. "Not yet," she adds, rubbing her pregnant belly. She notes that "Allison" is a nice name. Nicer than T-900, anyway.

Sarah? She's still hanging around the hospital with Casey and Casey's baby-daddy Trevor, who's been in and out of the picture (after being in and out of Casey), waiting on the test results on Casey's baby (he's fine).

Also negative -- the results of Ellison's ex-wife's search on Catherine Weaver. But at least she got tell the new husband about James' troubles, so they can be patronizingly concerned about him. Oh, and the report says the cause of the helicopter crash was mechanical failure.

John finally tracks down Cameron at the halfway house, where Cameron, her memory having been fried, doesn't recognize him. John hilariously thinks that if telling her he's her brother doesn't work, she might respond to being told that she's a machine from the future. Cameron shoves him against the wall, and it's only after she demonstrates that she's more than capable of defending herself that the useless halfway-house guard steps in to kick John out of the house. Meanwhile, in the future Cameron remembers running from her captors, only to wind up caught again, and coming face to face with the Terminator version of herself.

"I'm not your enemy," says Robo-Cameron. "I want to get to know you." Her method of making small talk is to say the humans are all going to be hunted down. Except some of the machines -- like her -- want peace. And she wants Allison to tell her where John Connor's camp is.

In the present day, though, Cameron's memory is starting to come back. She remembers being an infiltrator, infiltrating the human resistance, and tells the counselor she's going to hunt down John Connor. "And put his head on a pike for all to see." The counselor puts the cap on her pen. This session is over!

Oh, it's all coming back to Cameron now: "I want to get to know you," she tells Jody. Just in time, too, because the counselor shows up at Allison's room, police in tow, only the girls are long gone.

Ellison goes back to see Weaver, whose cute daughter Savannah is in the office, which ought to be a dead giveaway in that Terminators mark Take Your Daughter To Work Day on a totally different day from humans. Ellison tells Weaver the report says her husband died due to mechanical failure, which is not what she told him. Catherine asks him which one he thinks is true, and Ellison says if he had a daughter, and she wanted to know what happened to her parent, he'd want to make sure the official reason is the reason he'd want her to hear. "I think you saw what you saw," he tells Catherine. "Just like you saw what you saw," she says. Well, she would know. She can turn herself into a urinal. He's in!

Cameron and Jody break into a house where Jody says she babysat five years ago -- except she told Cameron that she only came to L.A. two years ago. And they steal jewelry -- some of which matches a necklace Jody gave Cameron earlier, only she said she got it in a thrift shop in Echo Park. The truth is, this is Jody's house. The problem is, Cameron hates being lied to.

Future Allison finds that out, as she tried to send Cameron to John Connor's camp without the bracelet that serves as ID for humans. Allison gets her neck snapped, and Cameron takes the bracelet anyway.

"You lied to me," says Cameron in the present day, which Jody chalks up to being from L.A. Turns out Jody's just a spoiled rich kid breaking into her parents' home to steal some stuff, planning to leave Cameron to take the blame. "You lied to me," says Cameron, grabbing Jody by the neck.

John bursts in to find Cameron standing over Jody's crumpled body. "What did you do? Is she dead?" he yells. Jody starts to cough. "Apparently not," says Cameron, but they do have to go. Her memory appears to be back -- and she's still able to lie to John about a couple of the details of her misadventure.

We wrap up Sarah's snoozefest of a storyline with her admitting to Casey that John's father wasn't with her when John was born; that was just the way she wished it was. "That's the saddest thing I've ever heard," says Casey, which is kind of mean to say to a neighbor who barely knows you who's spent the whole day in the hospital with you.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles




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