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Terminator: Self Made Man

This episode did not work for me. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really enjoy it either. Overall, it felt too disconnected from the main story, and it largely focused on characters we've never met before and may never see again.

While I liked learning what Cameron does with her nights (delivering doughnuts, researching medieval siege weapons, and practicing her human interactions), her search for Myron Stark's true mission and her efforts to help her "friend" weren't terribly entertaining. The "flashbacks" to the 1920s felt off tonally, and I didn't really care about what Myron Stark was up to. In the end, his mission appeared to have no relevance to the overall story; it was just an evening's diversion for Cameron. I suppose the future governor targeted by Stark could come back into play somewhere down the line (the writers have a knack for doing that), but for now, it felt like a one-shot "night in the life of Cameron" episode. ("Data's Day," anyone?)

The Riley and John portion of the story was also less than compelling, but it didn't annoy me as much as usual. It was pretty similar to the boring teenage angst stuff we typically get with them, but now that we know Riley's not what she seems, it adds an intriguing undertone to all their interactions. I find myself watching more closely and trying to figure out what she's really up to. It is all very puzzling. It does seem like she's trying to get John to become more emotionally attached to her, but I can't figure out why. If Jessie's story is true, I guess Riley's efforts would make sense to me, but I'm more convinced than ever that she's working for the metal. ("I like shiny things.") And I can't figure out why they want John to be bonded to Riley. Just to cause a rift between Cameron and John? Maybe so that Riley can influence him in their favor, unlike future Cameron.

I missed the other main characters this week. We barely saw Sarah, and we didn't see Derek, Ellison, or Catherine Weaver at all. After last week's jaw-dropping reveal of the new John Henry, I was bummed they didn't touch on that part of the story at all.

Final rating: 2 out of 5. Can we get back to the main story, please?

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

9 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree with your rating. I enjoyed the episode to some extent, but I kept thinking the whole thing with Stark was going to go somewhere. And then it didn't seem to. What does that future assassination have to do with the Connors? If it turns out to be a really cool connection, though, I might forgive them.

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  2. You missed (or maybe you didn't, but you didn't mention it) that the 3 stars that the Terminators use to figure out what time they're in are the same pattern that Sarah has been seeing over and over.

    I wonder if they've been inserting these before they addressed it?

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  3. I did miss the thing with the 3 stars, which is a cool connection. Good catch.

    I'm thinking that's not what Sarah's dots mean, since it doesn't seem like the blood dabs could be precise enough to reveal star coordinates. (Or maybe it is. Who knows?) I do like that they repeated the pattern. I wonder if it just a nod to Derek's comment in last week's episode that you can start seeing the pattern in everything if you look hard enough?

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  4. Wow, I have to disagree with everyone. I don't know if that is shocking or not.

    I really liked this one. I like 'one-shot' episodes. I agree that the flashbacks were off (tonally, as Jess said,) but I just didn't care. Putting the puzzle pieces together was fun. I had two problems with the story though.
    1. The beginning. She randomly catches a peek of a photograph of some metal? Boo-urns. (And it would be nice to know where they were. It must have been a pretty big library to hold all that stuff.)
    2. The end. God, it has only been 3 days, but there was a continuity problem with Cameron showing up at the library again that REALLY bothered me. And I can't remember what it was.

    Anyways, I think the 3 dots WERE Sarah's 3 dots.

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  5. I did think of "Data's day" when I first saw this episode. But isn't it a little early for filler episodes? The show's only 24 episodes old. So I'm still hoping we get some future payoff from this story (*crosses fingers*).

    I thought the Cameron part of the story worked. Cameron's such a great character; I can't help but be fascinated by her.

    The Riley part I liked not so much (and I'm quite fond of Riley). The whole John and Riley story made little sense to me. After last weeks surprise ending, they follow it up by having them go to a party...and playing some games? Err....okay then.

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  6. I really enjoyed this episode a lot. More than I've enjoyed the past 5 episodes. The whole episode I kept thinking that watching Cameron interact with some random dude is way more interesting than anything the rest of the cast can offer up.
    I think this wasn't just a one shot, but more about giving us some extra insight into Cameron's interactions and development.
    You can directly contrast the (attempts at) bonding between Cameron & Random Dude and Riley & John.
    I also loved the uneasy scene between Cameron & John at the end.

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  7. I agree with the review. This episode felt weird to me and a bit pointless. And the flashback did not work.

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  8. Quoting you : "Data's Day," anyone?" LOL

    Talk about a "meh" situation. On the positive side, Miss Glau shined. And that's about it. Oh, and her walk seemed heavier than usual. Probably older floors.

    LOL at the hickey. (first kiss : about (?) time) What do you know, another reference to the Wizard of Oz.

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  9. Plus, Myron was played by everyone's favourite Bit Part Actor, Todd Stashwick. :)

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