Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B- | Grade It Now!
Sleepwalking in Your Footsteps
After we're been reminded that Shirley Manson went all stabby at the warehouse, we get a title screen: VIGIL. I know these are like chapter titles, but if any show should, this one really needs to bring back the old action-television tradition of displaying the episode title. Like the A-Team: "Bad Day at Black Rock." That kind of thing.

Anyway, The Connor Crew are driving down the road in a ridiculously shiny truck and listening to the radio recount the carnage -- thirty-two dead -- at the Desert Canyon Heat and Air plant, and there will be a vigil in Charm Acres, which is an "enclave" for plant employees, and Sarah turns off the radio, because she's sick of listening to K-PLOT radio. She'd much rather play Travel Bingo. Anyone got a square with dead cows rotting along the road? Cross it off!

So the public memorial in Charm Acres consists of pictures of all the victims on easels, and the townsfolk are milling about, and Cameron tells us the old yarn about Native Americans believing that photographs steal your soul. "I hate funerals," says John. "I hate Skynet," says Sarah, like LET HIM BE BUMMED OUT FOR A SECOND, and then John is griping about how this doesn't seem like a good idea anymore, and Sarah tells him to go find someone to talk to, which is awfully helpful. They're there to find someone who knew what was going on at the factory, but John says anyone who knew anything about the factory is dead. "I'm not," says Sarah, and John gripes that Sarah must be "luckier," in a tone that suggest he himself doesn't feel so lucky.

Sarah wanders through the pictures, and then comes across the one of the guy who shot her. She stares at it. See, the trick is to look past the picture. Then the 3D image pops out at you! Or in this case, a flashback to an episode that aired so long ago it might as well be from the first MOVIE. "You'd never guess he had it in him," says Derek, breaking Sarah out of her trance. "I see it," she says. Sure, NOW you do, one bullet wound later.

John spies a dark-haired girl moping on a bench. I guess what with Riley attempting suicide and then disappearing, he's probably got some kind of toxic-relationship void to fill.

"Is this seat taken?" he asks. "Are you going to say annoying things?" she asks him. Almost exclusively, sweetheart. But what she's talking about are the things people say when they're grieving, like, "I can't believing this is happening," that kind of thing. Yeah, stupid mourners! John promises not to say anything like that, and introduces himself (she's Zoe, she tells him) and he sits down. She asks if he knows someone in Charm Acres, or does he just have a "thing" for "small-town, homey funerals," and he says his mom worked at the factory and came to pay his respects, only then she calls him a "stupid funeral crasher" all mock outraged. Then she complains about Cameron "creepily" staring at them, and in Zoe's defence, that is exactly what's happening, like maybe Cameron could be just a little less robotlike about it. Zoe points out her mom, and says her dad worked at the factory. Yeah, WHO COULD YOUR DAD POSSIBLY BE. Then she cheerily talks about picking out a suit for her dad to be buried in, and she picked a grey one, even though "Henry" thought it should be a black one, and then this "Henry" character happens to come over, looking like the rich bad guy's sidekick in an '80s teen movie, and he tells Zoe that they're about to do the candle-lighting, and John extends his hand to introduce himself, and Henry glares at him and walks away, which I can't believe doesn't just happen to John all day long. John asks if Henry is her boyfriend, and she says, "He keeps applying for the job. I'm just not hiring," and she says it was nice to meet John, and then she skips off to continue thinking she's up to star in Juno II: Annoying Quirky Dialogue on Patrol.

So then some guy at a lectern is reading that poem about not standing at his grave, because he is not there, and meanwhile everyone is still milling about, like can you actually pay attention to the MEMORIAL SERVICE? What's your problem? Derek carries a lit candle around and looks at people standing next to the pictures of their loved ones: Zoe and her mom stand next to some long-haired beardo guy. And Sarah is still staring at Winston. Derek looks at her, and then is momentarily distracted because he's bumped by -- hey! Max Perlich! Meanwhile, a woman comes over to stare at Winston's picture and talk about how he hated to have his picture taken. Sarah apologizes for being in her mourner's space or whatever but the woman tells her it's nice to see an unfamiliar face for once, because all she sees around are people who've lost someone. Sarah introduces herself (yes, as Sarah -- it's CALLED AN ALIAS, SARAH. Try one sometime!) and the woman introduces herself as Diana Winston. Then she asks if Sarah knew her husband. Sarah's all, "If by 'knew' you mean 'killed,' then yes!"

Title screen: SERVICE. Images of the deceased are projected on a screen (in this case, Eugene Miller) while the appropriate relatives approach the casket. And Diana tells Sarah that Gene used to project movies on his garage door for the neighbourhood. "I just went for the free beer," says Diana, and Sarah congenially says she's done a lot of things like that, and now Diana is crying because she can't remember the last movie she saw with Winston, and how sometimes she'd just leave supper in the fridge for him. Sarah tells her it was a hard place to work, which she figured out in just those few short non-existent months she worked there. Meanwhile, there's Max Perlich in the back, scoping stuff out.

His cellphone rings. It's Catherine Weaver, calling him "Mr. Walsh," asking if he's located "him" yet, and Perlich says it's proving more difficult than he anticipated, and everyone he's talked to thinks this person is dead, and Weaver assures Mr. Walsh that he isn't. And thankfully the walls of the corridor Weaver's walking down stay free of blood spatters (for now).

Walsh hangs up and then seems to take an interest in Zoe's mom and sits down in the same pew as her.

Meanwhile, Agent Ellison is noticing a couple of plaid-clad people, including Murch, that one Moby-looking scientist, who tells him it's not "company policy" or anything, just something that a few of them do as an homage. To lumberjacks? No, to Lachlan Weaver, because this is the anniversary of his death. "He was a great guy. He was a genius, funny as hell. They both were, back then." The elevator dings, and there's the currently non-genius, super-serious Weaver on the elevator. She greets Ellison and Murch, who both get on the elevator with her. "Beautiful day, isn't it?" she says, staring straight ahead as the doors closed.

Back at the service, Gene Miller is being eulogized by a guy who takes some time to thank Desert Heat and Air's parent company, the Kaliba group, not just for picking up the tab for the funerals and the flowers, but also for the "kindness and generosity" they've shown during this difficult time. Next to Sarah, Diana Winston closes her eyes and shakes her head and eventually stands up and erupts, "Is this all it costs to buy us? Flowers and a few kind words?" Everyone sits around looking uncomfortable while she asks if any of them has seen anyone from the company. And not just today, but ever. No one says anything, and Diana grabs her purse and stomps out. Sarah's not far behind. They're barely out the door before the minister says, "Let us pray." Derek, sitting near the back, looks over at Walsh who, like him, isn't exactly bowing his head in sorrow.

Outside, Sarah sees Diana sniffling on a park bench. I'm sure she'll respect the grieving process and not just barge on over -- oh, my mistake. She sits down, and Diana just opens up about how for the first six years of their marriage they lived in nine states, thanks to Ed's military career, and she was the one who pushed Ed to take the nice, stable job that would let them settle down: head of security for Desert Canyon

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles




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