Terminator: Brothers of Nablus

This episode did not inspire me to write much. I’ve been pondering it for a few days, trying to decide what to put in my review, but my reaction pretty much boils down to, “OK, what’s next?” This one basically served as another transitional episode, building from previous events and moving pieces into place for action to come in future episodes. I think it worked reasonably well in that regard, but it was nowhere near as good as last week’s episode.

One thing the episode did do well is show how the Connor "family's" relationships and secrets are sabotaging their war against Skynet and putting their safety at risk. John’s ongoing relationship with Riley (and Cameron not telling Sarah about it) led to the house being robbed and to Cromartie nearly finding them. And now that Cromartie has seen Riley, she’s likely to become a pawn to use against John. Cameron’s time at the halfway house and her attempted murder of Jody (which I don't think Sarah knows anything about) also contributed to Cromartie finding the Connors. Sarah’s inability to kill the kid in the bathroom at the bowling alley (and lying to Cameron about it) has helped Cromartie even further. Even Derek’s secret relationship with Jesse will almost certainly lead to trouble for the Connors. I’m not sure what her angle is yet, but her decision to kill Moishe seems designed to keep Derek in the dark.

I actually thought Agent Ellison’s story was the most interesting part of the episode this week. At first, I thought he was having some kind of dream. But based on later events, it seems that the terminator double for him was real. That raises all kinds of questions. Why would Skynet send someone to replace Ellison if he’s helping Catherine with her project? Is this something she knew about or does it raise warning flags for her? Is it a sign that he’ll turn back to the Connor’s side somehow? And why would Cromartie be working against Skynet? Just because his primary mission is to kill John Connor, and he believes that Ellison will lead him to the Connors? Or is there some larger split going on here?

Other thoughts:

It was good to see John and Sarah finally confront (at least partially) his murder of Sarkissian. I have long suspected he was angry with her for not protecting him in that moment, and it is good for him to finally say it to her. Maybe they can start to deal with it.

I appreciated the time the writers spent showing the toll all of this is taking on Agent Ellison. The scene in the car between him and his ex-wife was very powerful. I look forward to seeing where all his doubts and regret lead him.

I thought that Casey recognized Cromartie as George Lazlo (since she was a caterer for one of his terrible movies). I was surprised she didn’t say as much to John. Of course, maybe she just didn’t have time and it will come up in a future episode.

Final rating: 3 out of 5.

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

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well as usual, I agree with Jess' overall assessment of the episode. Not bad by any means but not much there to ponder. As far as the agenda of Catherine, Cromartie, Jesse, Skynet, Cameron et al., well you can’t identify the players without a scorecard and none has been provided. There are definitely more than two teams in the game. Who they are and their various affiliations are quite unclear at the moment. Personally, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I love Catherine but she still really creeps me out. For a machine, she seems to be awfully interested in the concept of faith. Her comment to Ellison “what good is faith if you don’t use it (I don’t think that is the exact quote but that was the spirit). Also, her interest in machines that cross against the light makes me think she is not an obedient little T1001. She is a bit of a hot dog – morphing back into Catherine in plain sight. The woman has style.
I also love Cameron’s one liners: “Nobody likes a nag” and in response to Moishe’s query as to whether his henchman is dead “Not yet”. Which leads me to ask whether Cam come back and killed Moishe? She does prefer a tidy resolution. It appears that Jesse killed him but maybe she found him already dead and decided that having Derick think she killed him could work to her advantage. Just a thought; probably not correct.
Sarah should leave the wet work to Cameron. I mean you just knew that sparing the kid in the bathroom was going to come back and haunt the Connors, probably sooner rather than later. I really don’t want Sarah to turn into a cold blooded killer although I suppose letting Cam do the killing would amount to an act of omission vice commission but still.
On a negative note, in January, Fox is moving T:SCC to Friday nights to air before Joss’s new series Dollhouse. Friday is the death slot, especially for quirky shows from Fox (Firefly, Wonderfalls) so the writers better have an end game that can be inserted on the spur of the moment or we might end up with a bunch of unanswered questions when the axe falls.

Jess Lynde said...

On the other hand ... FOX doesn't have a whole lot going on on Fridays at the moment. And ratings expectations probably aren't that high. Maybe a sci-fi block that gets moderate ratings will suffice and they'll leave it alone. I like the idea of having these two shows together. Combined with Battlestar Galactica on Fridays at 10:00 (I hope), I'm looking forward to having my Sci-Fi Fridays back!

(I'm choosing to think positively for the time being, in spite of getting burned with Firefly and Wonderfalls.)

Anonymous said...

Jess,
I hope you are right. Certainly T:SCC, Dollhouse and BSG make for a great night. I just remember what they did to Firefly (episodes out of order and not all shown) and Wonderfalls (cancelled after airing only four of the thirteen completed episodes). The expectations for Friday are not that different now than four years ago. I just hope that we get a satisfying resolution to the story, even if we have to buy the DVD sets to see it.

Anonymous said...

I found this episode a bit average, to tell the truth. It has good parts but the whole was messy. And maybe that has to do with the fact that John is not an interesting character,imo.

celticmarc said...

So many questions indeed.

"We should move to Canada !" Yes, people ! Come north of the border, this IS a safe haven ! That line made my day...

celticmarc said...

Firefly and Wonderfalls. And Dollhouse. Three cult TV series that ended way too soon. Good thing that Fringe's move to that dreary night did not kill it. Well, kinda.