Sarah's three-dot obsession is taking her to such unlikely places as a Simpsons convention, where she stares at the liver spots on the scalp of Mr. Burns, and then to a UFO convention, one of those places where "experiencers" talk about getting probed, and believers tell people not to believe anything they read in newspapers but to believe everything they read on sketchy crackpot websites. She's there because of an exhibit on "California drones," which seem to feature the three dots. The authority on the California drones is one "Abraham," a blogger who vanished mysteriously six months ago, but a woman, Eileen, at the conference tells Sarah she's got some information. Sarah is the only one surprised to find out Eileen is actually Abraham (real name Alan) in disguise, and he tells some tale of working on a secret government project involving strange metal technology, but when he started blogging about it, his life appeared to be in jeopardy. He's got some sort of proof stored in a safe, only it's gone when he and Sarah go to retrieve it. Worse luck, someone on a motorcyle almost Uzis them to death. They go to a hypnotherapist so Alan can remember the directions to the secret lab, only he and the therapist are killed. So Sarah, who was naturally recording the hypnosis session, follows the directions and they lead her to a windowless warehouse where the sole employee claims to be an air-conditioner installer. Then he shoots Sarah. She ups the ante by killing him, and weakly crawls outside where, perhaps drug-induced, perhaps delirium-induced, perhaps cancer-induced, she sees the three dots on the underside of what looks an awful lot like a Hunter-Killer.
Hey, why wasn't Cameron along on this mission? Oh, that's right: she had to protect John who was PAINTING HIS ROOM and arguing with Riley over the mysterious bruise she's suffered. We see flashbacks that place Riley in the future as a Dickensian orphaned waif recruited by Jesse (who gave her the bruise by smacking her when she wanted out of the infiltration of the Connor Clan -- her assignment is to keep John as far away from Sarah as possible). Cameron's really suspicious of Riley, but she could just be acting bitchy because Riley didn't bring her a Peachy Keen smoothie. Ellison is getting to know the new Chrome Artie. Weaver wants him to teach Chrome Artie right from wrong, so Ellison plays chess and talks religion, which is a great move. Who ever gets worked up over misinterpreted religious teaching? Oh, and I checked. "Fall finale" actually means "criminally boring that may make you not miss us during two months off."
Oh, terrific. The "previously on" scenes tonight are very Riley-centric, which can only mean one thing: the episode following suit. So I'm already in a crabby mood as we kick things off with Sarah starring in an SUV commercial and blathering on about some explorer named Cabeza de Vaca who was captured and then learned his captor's ways and became a healer and was freed, and I could probably learn all about this over on the H channel, but since I am watching a show about killer robots from the future, I'd much rather people start making with the bullets. I know it's going to relate, and I know it's all deep. I can get deep and relatable elsewhere.
So Sarah's going to a UFO convention, and there are reasonable looking displays of things like alien skulls, because yes, I'm sure alien visitors will one day prove to have our exact same bone structure except for the size of the cranium.
And a woman at some crackpot seminar is talking about the world being pulled out from under her feet, and some woman standing at a lectern with a cheap poster that says "Flying saucers have landed" on it. "I don't know what's real and what's not," she says. The woman at the lectern says what "Eileen" is feeling is very common among "experiencers" such as her. Yeah, not knowing what's real and what isn't? Sounds about right. And then the woman asks "miss fly on the wall" (that would be Sarah Connor) what she's doing here, and says there have been reports of UFOs with a pattern of three dots, and she needs to know what it means. "It's important to you," says the lecturer, because those are some amazing deductive skills. "I've been having nightmares," says Sarah. "Are they nightmares or are they memories?" asks the lecturer all mysteriously, and Sarah, instead of saying, "No, they're NIGHTMARES!" just says her son's lost faith in her. "He's never doubted me before," she says, and the lecturer says if there's something they understand her, it's doubt.
Elsewhere, some other basement-dweller is pontificating about the "California drones" that have been spotted all over the state. The pictures are of some kind of circular craft that he claims is some alien thing, and Sarah says, "Alien, not military?" and the guy says these things are far beyond the capability of the military. How he knows this, given that he and the rest of the conspiracy freakshow there assume that the government covers everything up, I have no idea. Another diagram suggests the three dots are centre points of three different parts of the spacecraft. He tells Sarah about the "Abraham blogs," which were written by someone claiming to be a scientist working on some secret government project involving some kind crazy metal that could withstand fire and explosions and gingivitis and whatever else. Sarah asks where she can find Abraham, and Buddy says he posted a few times and then disappeared. "Think someone killed him?" she asks, which turns Buddy to stone because now he thinks she's just out to watch the freakshow, and he has a temper tantrum and goes stomping off.