The new Connor house is some rundown, unassuming place on the outskirts of town (although I get the sense the entire town is outskirts) and John stomps in and doesn't say a word to Sarah, who's painting a wall, before going into his room.
Sarah barges in, and finds her son listening to Incubus, which understandably makes her concerned. I hope "we don't listen to the overwrought vocals and lyrics of the lead singer of Incubus" is one of the family rules. She starts picking up his room, and he finally rips off his headphones and complains that this is a hick town. More so than West Fork? "We've been in worse places," she says, and he gripes that he's got all the wrong clothes, and that he needs to get different shirts, and everybody wears cowboy boots. "I hate cowboy boots," he whines. Looking at her, presumably to see her reaction, he bitches that the computers are "from the fifties." "'Their computers'? I thought we agreed," she says, suddenly pissed. He protests that they "changed his class," and she says the last thing they need is for him to get caught hacking. He complains about knowing the rules because they're tattooed on the inside of his eyeballs, which sounds kind of excessive, so she softens and asks if he met any pretty girls. He says he didn't, and in defense of Summer Glau, that means one of four things: he's a) very forgetful; b) very gay; c) very hard to please; or d) holding out on his mom. John and Sarah smile at each other, because she gets that he's holding out, and he knows she knows.
Know who else thinks this is a hick town? Agent Ellison, judging from the disdainful look he gives the truck sent to the small airfield, driven by a deputy who says, "The sheriff's detachment'll hustle you around on your business here, whatever that is, he didn't say." "He doesn't know," is Ellison's only explanation. The deputy nods and stares off into the distance, because it's like that, and that's the way it is.
Cameron quietly sits next to John in a science lab. John watches her before speaking, and tells her he lied yesterday, about his dad selling insurance. "He's dead. He was a soldier. He was killed on a mission." Cameron says she's sorry, and the floodgates really open up as John says he has to go home right after school, since his mom's "really uptight" and he's all she's got. "Thank you for explaining. It'll be our secret," she says, and then smiles, which manages to set off the fire alarm -- no, wait, it's the school bell. The teacher strides in and curtly says, "Mr. Ferguson is ill today. My name is Cromartie." A girl snottily asks if that's his only name, like "Madonna," and Cromartie deadpans, "Madonna? Why? No," and the class titters. Not that they aren't still planning the usual pranks for subs (of course, they'll abandon any such plans in few minutes). Cameron does not laugh, but stares at Cromartie, who sits and starts calling attendance. As he reads down the egregiously non-alphabetized list, he also, unseen by the students, stabs a letter opener into his thigh and pulls it up his leg. "Cameron Phillips," he says, and has to repeat himself before Cameron, still staring, says, "Here." Next on his handwritten list is John Reese: "Do we have a John Reese?" he asks, reaching into the jagged slit in his pants. John raises his hand. "Excellent," says Chrome Artie (TM Vaeran), who withdraws a handgun from inside his leg and starts firing. The way the kids react, you'd think the students had never had a substitute teacher shoot at them before. Chrome Artie, now striding into the rows of desks, fires a few more shots, but Cameron very deliberately stands in front of John and takes the bullets, and falls. John stares at her for a few minutes, before diving through a classroom window. Chrome Artie slowly follows, and the students all get a nice look at his leg's working machinery through the rip in his pants. Chrome Artie pauses. "Class dismissed," he says, before continuing on. I'm amused that the Witty Quip programming seems to override his Kill John Connor programming.