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Terminator: The Turk

This was another episode that balanced great material with no-so-great material. Sarah’s story was once again the highlight of the episode for me. Even though the voice over monologues were seriously heavy-handed in pointing out the analogies between the development of the nuclear bomb and Sarah’s current situation, I liked seeing her internal conflict play out. Her nightmare from the beginning clearly showed that she’s struggling not only with whether or not to kill the possible Skynet creators, but with her fear that even if she kills them, it won’t be enough. I think if she could be sure it would stop Judgment Day, she would kill them all in a heartbeat with little regret. But she can’t be sure. What if she can’t change the future? Can she really bring herself to kill a man if there’s no guarantee that it will end the impending holocaust? The answer at this point is apparently, “No.” In the end she just destroyed Andy’s research, instead of killing Andy. Will it be enough? Even if she had killed him, would it be enough?

As usual, Lena Headey was outstanding in this episode. Sarah’s internal struggle played out clearly in her eyes and body language, and I really enjoyed watching her story unfold. I really didn’t know what she would or wouldn’t do. And I didn’t know what I thought she should do.

I didn’t really care for the “John and Cameron go to school” B story. It makes sense that John should be in school, but these scenes were awkward and distracted from the main story. It seemed like a lot of boring crap to get through just for the “John wants to start being the hero he’s supposed to be” ending. And Cameron really shouldn’t have such a hard time fitting in at school. She managed to portray herself as a perfectly normal girl in the pilot (which they fully acknowledged in the dialogue). Why is she now struggling with simple things like “find an empty desk and sit down”? Some have argued that she was only programmed to behave that way to get close to John, and that part of her mission is now complete. But logically, she should still be able to act normal. It just seems like a huge disconnect to me.

I’m liking the Agent Ellison parts of the story. It is nice to get the law enforcement perspective from a somewhat sympathetic character. Sarah, John, and the assorted time travelers are leaving a trail of bodies and chaos everywhere they go. I like seeing some of the fallout from that. Watching Agent Ellison slowly try to put the pieces together and find the truth is fascinating.

I want to repeat everything I said for the last episode regarding the Cromartie “reboot.” Only this time, I want to add an “Ew! Ew! Ew!” and a “Gack!” I wish they had stopped with the bathtub full of blood, because that was gross enough. I seriously did not need to see Cromartie with his malformed new skin emerging from the blood. I got the gist of what was happening without the unnecessary graphic visuals. Every once in awhile, it is good to leave something to the imagination.

Final rating: 3 out of 5. Once again, great Sarah material counterbalanced by boring John material and completely gross Cromartie material. Plus the voiceovers for this episode really were trying too hard to connect the metaphorical dots for us.

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the DVD documentaries BEFORE this episode. Big mistake : a) there has been such an extensive discussion about spoilers recently on these pages and b) after that, it felt less "intense".

    Loving more and more the score of the show though.

    Hey ! I know that guy ! Brendan Hines played in the Middleman. Hey ! I know this girl ! Caprica's Alessandra Torresani.

    Jess, agreeing with you on everything you wrote. And they sure gave us a new meaning to the expression "blood bath". (And suddenly, I'm thinking of a falling bathtub from the 1st season of Breaking Bad...)


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