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Terminator: Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point

Strange things indeed. Another strong episode with some pretty shocking moments. And a fantastic reveal at the end!

This week's theme was all about getting played. Nearly all our main characters were or are being hoodwinked in one way or another. Sarah got played by Akagi. John is being completely snowed by Riley. Jessie still seems to be putting one over on Derek. And poor, deluded Agent Ellison was victimized by Catherine Weaver.

Sarah's part of the story was the least interesting to me this week. It was painful to watch her invest so much energy and money into this company when we knew it was a waste of time. Although, seeing her slowly lose it at the end was pretty intense. When she went off on Akagi it was almost like seeing T2 Sarah. One second she's controlled and tough, and the next she's borderline psychotic. The whole Connor team is spiraling out of control. More and more they seem to be their own worst enemy. Meanwhile, the rise of the machines approaches. I'm very curious to see where the writers take things from here.

The reveal that Riley is, in fact, a human from the future sent to manipulate John for some ulterior motive was pretty shocking to me. At first, it totally seemed to come out of left field. But on further reflection, it does kind of fit with what we've seen so far. She's always been a bit of an oddball, and when she first showed up, I often wondered if she had some secret agenda. After all, she approached John. And she's shown some major nonchalance in the face of all the strange crap that surrounds John. I chalked it up to her being a rebel drawn to the weird loner, but it also fits with her being a plant. I guess in the end, I was more thrown by her sudden, weepy, "you're all gonna die!" behavior. It just didn't fit with what we've seen from her before (although I did kind of like her spiel about the poster of the fish being captured by a bear).

My biggest question with Riley is what the heck is her real mission? Is she trying to get some kind of information from John? Or is she just supposed to be his human connection? Did they send her back to become his girlfriend and confidant so that his closest ally will be human and not metal? Is there more to it than that?

Based on Jessie's conversation with Riley, it seems that she may be playing a similar role with Derek. I got the very strong impression that she doesn't love him at all, and is manipulating him for some larger purpose. (Or maybe she does love him, but is still manipulating him.) For what, I don't know. To stay somewhat close to the Connors maybe? I have my doubts about what she told Derek about her true mission, and think that her ultimate endgame still remains to be seen. On the re-watch, I found myself wondering if Riley’s tale of the fish and the bear is a clue that she and possibly Jessie are working for the metal. She’s the fish caught by the bear, and the other fish don’t notice or care.

Which brings me to Agent Ellison, Ms. Weaver, and John Henry. That was one hell of a reveal at the end. On the one hand, I was completely freaked out by John Henry and what it means for Skynet. On the other, I'm thrilled that they found a way to keep Garrett Dillahunt around. Catherine's story about the legendary John Henry was the perfect lead in to that moment. Very nice parallels with Agent Ellison's story, only with him in the John Henry role. He stopped the machine, but he can’t stop progress.

Other thoughts:

I was completely rocked by the murder of Dr. Sherman. I enjoyed his interactions with the Connors and was hoping for more. I knew that he'd likely end up dead at some point, but wasn't prepared for something so sudden and off-screen.

Cameron looked fantastic in her dinner attire.

It was nice to see John reaching out to Sarah. His efforts didn't really help matters in the end, but she's going to need that connection more than ever, if she's going to regain some stability.

Final rating: 4 out of 5.

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

3 comments:

  1. Hi Jess,

    I enjoyed this weeks episode too. One thing that did jar a little....if Cameron could tell the chip was fake simply by looking at it, then why did they hand the money over without her giving it the once over? You'd think that a cursory inspection should have been carried out, what with the amount of money being involved.

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  2. Solid episode. I´m starting to feel sorry for Riley. She is being played by Jessie and she has feelings for John. Something tells me that this does not end well.

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  3. "Go back to bed !"

    Opening a double parenthesis here : no more season 2 intro that you hate and yes indeed, Cameron does walk heavily.

    Powerful ending indeed.

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