Saturday, April 4, 2009

Profound Lessons from a Kidnapping in The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I said here last week that The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been getting better with every episode, and last night's Episode 2.21 was really better than just about anything previously on the series, and may be one of my favorite hours of television this season.

The kidnapping of Savannah - played just perfectly by little Mackenzie Smith - sets up an extraordinary sequence of scenes and conversations. John Henry (who I finally am beginning to agree is no Cromartie - that is, he may be good) tries valiantly to save Savannah. They have a great Terminator logic and bright little girl conversation. But John rescues her, and proceeds to also have a remarkable little talk with her, in which he learns about John Henry. Catherine Weaver's response to all of this is also highly instructive.

She reveals to Ellison that she cares as much about John Henry as her "daughter" Savannah. She recovers well, explaining to Ellison that John Henry could be crucial to Savannah's survival, which may well be true.

Now, we well know Catherine would care more about John Henry, the special Terminator, than about her human daughter who is not her daughter. But what's now fascinatingly unclear is what Catherine ultimately wants for the world. Until last night, I was sure she was bad. Now ... perhaps she's nurturing John Henry to be a good Terminator? Which would mean, what - John Connor in the future sent her back, on yet another variant of the saving the world mission? I still can't quite buy it, but the fact that I'm even contemplating it shows how good last night's show was in shaking up our assumptions.

One event which left no ambiguity was the death of Derek. He died with his boots on, defending Savannah and John from a Terminator. He was one of my favorite characters on the show. But to be consistent with what the show is all about, good brave people must die.

Sarah, who may have cancer after all, is captured at the end of the show - probably the result of Catherine's treachery. So we look forward to next week's season finale with Cameron as John's sole defender.... She was certainly in top form taking Terminator bullets in the chest for Sarah and John last night (but she should have destroyed the new bad Terminator, rather than just throwing him down the hill).

Should be good. And I'm rooting for another reason.

See also 2.1 Cameron's Back ... 2.2 Firing on All Cylinders ... 2.3 Who, Truly, Is Agent Ellison? ... 2.4: Meet Allison ... 2.5: Unpacking the Future ... 2.6: Terminator Mom, Human Daughter ... 2.7: The Saving Robbery and Cromartie ... 2.8 Perspectives and Death ... 2.9: An Idiot's Guide to Time Travel in The Sarah Connor Chronicles ... 2.10: Riley Lashes Out at Facebook ... 2.11: Cameron Meets A. E. Housman and Andre Bazin ... 2.12 Sarah Connor Chronicles in Triple Time ... 2.13: Space, Time, and Blogging in The Sarah Connor Chronicles ... 2.18: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the Life of Riley ... 2.20: Sarah Connor vs. Death in Two Forms

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