Terminator: What He Beheld

Another great episode this week. I loved the title --- it fit well with the religious overtones associated with the impending apocalypse and could easily apply to multiple characters. “He” could be Derek, Agent Ellison, Charlie, and possibly even Kyle or John, but I think it fits best with the first three.

Based on the opening sequence with young Derek and Kyle witnessing Judgment Day, “he” would work well for Derek. I thought it was a great idea to once again give us a taste of Derek’s perspective by showing us his future/past. It helps to understand him better, even as we witness him slowly losing his humanity. Derek’s actions in the alley behind Sarkissian’s bar were absolutely chilling. Yes, he saved John’s life, but he likely scarred that poor little girl for life, even though he did cover her eyes. Perhaps a child witnessing a murder doesn’t seem like a big deal to Derek, considering what he saw his young brother experience, but damn. Absolutely cold-blooded.

“He” also fits very well with Agent Ellison, based on everything he’s seen to this point and his showdown with Cromartie in this episode. What a confrontation! I loved the way the “arrest” scene played out, showing the carnage from underwater as body after body was thrown from the apartment. Especially paired with Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around.” For a show that’s in many ways about the visceral thrill of bloody, butt-kicking action sequences, it was a bold choice to focus on the horrific results of the face-off with Cromartie as opposed to the action itself. Perhaps it was a budgetary consideration, given the scale of the slaughter, but I appreciated the different perspective. I also appreciated the attention to the effect of the massacre on both Ellison and Charlie. I’m so pleased that the series hasn’t lost its focus on the emotional toll of events on the characters.

In that vein, there were several fantastic scenes between John and Derek this week. What started as a funny scene with the two guys waiting in the car, while the ladies attended to the meet with their contact, became so much more when Derek turned to the topic of Judgment Day and how you would explain such a thing to an 8-year old. “How do you explain it?” “You don’t.” Well played by Brian Austin Green. And then there was the scene at the playground. Hands down, this is one of my favorite moments of the series thus far. What a wonderful gift for John and a great way to reveal that Derek knows about Kyle being John’s father. I cried (not that it takes much with me).

Other Thoughts

I was shocked (but glad) that Cromartie didn’t kill Ellison. It doesn’t seem to make much sense. I suppose in that moment, Ellison was no longer a threat to the mission, so Cromartie didn’t need to kill him. But it doesn’t seem like a good move for the Terminator.

So what was the deal with the girl from the Enrique’s nephew’s place? Did Cameron give her the gun to kill herself? Or to protect herself? Very odd.

As for the very end, I liked the twist that the bartender was Sarkissian, and that now he’s after Sarah and crew. I very seriously doubt that Cameron is dead. After all, in the first movie, Arnold’s Terminator emerged from flaming truck wreckage ready for action. I’m sure she’ll emerge functional, but maybe in need of some flesh repairs.

Where do we go from here? Can’t wait to find out.

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5. Great episode and a strong finish to the first season. I know when I first saw it, I was completely bummed that the series may not get a second season pick-up. I’m so glad it did!

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

1 comment:

celticmarc said...

Oh my. Sublime. On a few levels.

We start with white roses; we end with red ones.....powerful symbolism. And the obvious cross on the wall and Mary on the car's dashboard.

"Happy birthday !" Wow, quite a gift. Wow. Quite a pool scene. Wow. Let me add that up to my anthology museum.

"Your sister is dark bro !"

And it literally ends on a bang.

Very interesting (and short !) season; beautifully accompanied by your reviews. Blissful reading; thank you Jess.