Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
The Terminator

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"I'll Be Back."
We open in a bluish-hued wasteland of rubble and twisted metal. Los Angeles, 2029, the title tells us. Seems a little optimistic. Bluish lasers shoot by and an airship hovers overhead, shooting its own laser beams. In the Los Angeles of the future, tanks roll over roads paved with human skulls, which seems sort of impractical. Giant cyborgs stomp and shoot. A human runs and ducks and seems to get blown up. We are informed, via a blocky computer-ish font, that "The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind had raged for decades [which, assuming "decades" means at least twenty years, means we have at best two years left before your laptop eats your head], but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight..." The opening credits feature the cast presented with an old-school block cursor, while the larger letters of The Terminator float and overlap behind, the way they always used to an action movies. This usually signifies "ass-kicking." You can't read these letters right now, but they will be revealed to you in a manner which will make you go "whoa!" or "yeah!" Usually this involves a sound effect like a big "clang," but when the opening title reveals itself, I have to admit that it did not make me say "whoa!" or "yeah!" From the deadly flying technology a scant 22 years hence, we open on a garbage truck that whirs and wheezes and slides its prongs into a Dumpster in Los Angeles in 1984. It's 1:52 AM, and the driver is annoyed when his truck suddenly dies on him. Either that, or he's pissed that he has to have the stereotypical garbage man's unlit cigar butt permanently wedged in his jaw. "What the hell? Goddamn son of a bitch!" he says, rather mildly. Jiggling the keys proves futile, and then when the flashing lights and bright blue bolts of electricity start flying, he gets his hat blown off and hightails it out of there. When the special effects die down (they're due over on the set of Ghostbusters), a naked California governor is crouched on the pavement, looking like he's about ready to set himself in the blocks for the 100-metre dash. Given his nudity, we're talking at the original Olympic games here. He stands up slowly, and looks around, then strolls over to look out at the bright lights of Los Angeles. You can't help but wonder, Does he still have that ass? Nearby, some...whaddaya call 'em, punks, are showing an alarming disrespect for a pay telescope. They're amused to see the naked man striding towards them. Swinging Johnson or not, anyone built like Schwarzenegger is probably not someone I'd antagonize, even if my hair is spiked and Smurf-blue, and I appear to have some sort of tire track running up my face. They joke that it must be laundry day, and Arnie makes conversation by repeating everything they say (as on a first date, this demonstrates he's listening!). Then: "Your clothes. Give them to me. Now." Response: "Fuck you, asshole!" And the switchblades come out. It ends badly for the punks, especially the one who managed to at least wing Arnie. Arnie thrusts his arm into the punk's chest and rips out his heart. Or some internal organ. Whatever, that's not a proportional response! One of the punks finally realizes that surrendering a jacket is preferable to being eviscerated.

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

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