The Connor Crew needs to get back the severed hand of the T-888, lest authorities reverse-engineer the technology involved to create Terminators, in that awesome time-loop paradox, wherein it's the technology from the future that causes the actual invention of the technology, one of those things that if you think about too much, you will start to bleed from your ears.
The hand, though, isn't part of Agent Ellison's official investigation, because everyone already thinks he's crazy enough, so he's investigating this more or less on his own. He tracks down Dr. Silberman, who is now known as Dr. Silverman (and Earl Boen's streak comes to an end), and -- this is nice for him -- his hair has grown back! He's gone kind of cuckoo for cocoa puffs, and ties Ellison to a chair and jams a knife in Ellison's leg to make sure the unlucky agent isn't actually a Terminator. Ellison shows him the severed hand, and Silverman is all, "Great -- this means I have to kill you to death," and sets fire to his own house. Sarah's the one who saves Ellison from the fire -- he sees her, but judging from his bible-study group participation during the denouement, it's possible he thinks it might have been a hallucination. Whether he's coming around or not, you don't screw with Agent Ellison: he has Dr. Silverman thrown in the nuthouse.
Meanwhile, Cameron tracks down Dmitri Shipkov via his sister, who's a ballet teacher. In an amazing coinicidence, Summer Glau is a ballet dancer herself, which must have come in handy. Dmitry owes some men some money, and Cameron gains her ballet teacher's trust, and then finds out from Dmitry that he stole the Turk and sold it. After getting the contact info, she reneges on her promise to help, and Dmitry and his sister are killed. So she's not exactly the Terminator version of The A-Team.
Oh, and John discovers that while his mother was incarcerated in a mental institution for her anti-Skynet activism, she signed away her parental rights, and he cries like a baby about it, because I guess she hasn't demonstrated time and time again what a ferocious mama bear she is. Fortunately, they work it out by the end of the episode, which I hope means he won't be sniveling all through next week's finale.
It's late at night. A motorcycle cop pulls her bike down a side street, parks, and dismounts. She removes her helmet. It's Cameron in disguise, right down to the mirrored sunglasses. I just...wow. There's been a dearth of action heroines in a different sexy disguise every week since Alias went off the air, so I hope this continues. Anyway, Cameron quickly identifies the primary generator and sticks her arm into it, shutting it down. She looks out the window as the lights of Los Angeles blink off, block by block.
Next, Cameron pulls up to a police station affected by the blackout, taking advantage of the darkness and confusion to make her way easily down to evidence storage. (Something tells me that a simple power outage doesn't actually reduce police stations to utter chaos like this, but never mind.)
While Cameron makes her way through the stacks of boxes, Sarah strolls through a columbarium, and her voiceover babbles on about the destruction of the T-888, specifically in comparison with Andy Goode's cremation. Must fight urge to fall asleep.
Back at the police station, Cameron somehow identifies the box with the T-888 evidence file, and notes the name of the last person to have custody of the evidence: Ellison. Cameron checks the box. There's nothing in there she wants.
"Ashes to ashes," says Sarah, who is now going on about how part of her died a long time ago with Kyle Reese or something. She's found Andy's ashes. "Part of him lives on in John. If that's not a soul, I don't know what is." Well, that's actually sperm, Sarah.
In the Connor Compound (it's light out now), Derek's sleeping on the couch, hooked up to an IV. Sarah watches him, and then tries to check his bandage. Derek, startled awake, grabs her wrist, and then relaxes as he realizes who she is. He asks whether they've found Dmitri yet, and Sarah says no. "Put the machine on it," he suggests. Meaning Cameron, I suppose. Unless they have an implausibly super-functional microwave.
Into the kitchen now, where John wants to know if his Unky Derek is going to stay with them. "Let's see if he lives first," says the always-sentimental Sarah. Cameron strolls in, still wearing her officer's outfit. "And somewhere, a naked cop lies bleeding in an alley," says Sarah. Certainly wouldn't be the first time, hey? Cameron says she couldn't get the hand because the FBI has it. So Sarah wants John to play hooky so that they can find it. John's reluctant: "The feds have it now. I can't help. Besides, 'absent' gets me on the radar." He gets up and heads out the door. Cameron, however, is more than willing to play hooky, so Sarah assigns Cameron the task of finding Dmitri, and suggests starting with his sister, who's a ballet teacher. "You might want to change," suggests Sarah. Please do! And if the ballet-teaching sister lead doesn't pan out, I hear Dmitri's other sister is a French maid.