Mark Watches ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’: S01E03 – The Turk

In the third episode of the first season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah must wrestle with a heavy moral choice when she locates a possible source for Skynet’s technology, while John copes with his own restrictions in getting involved. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of suicide, bullying, and body horror/gore.

I’m super confused about that one plot, but hopefully, a future episode sheds light on what the hell I just watched. LET’S TALK ABOUT THINGS.


There’s an aspect to this largely bewildering plot that I can relate to more than most: keeping one’s name out of the papers. That seems like a strange thing to be able to empathize with, but my mother was so paranoid about my birth family finding my brother and I that she used the same logic that Sarah and Cameron do here. It’s a complicated story that I still don’t quite understand after all these years, but I do understand how jarring and upsetting it was to be pulled out of things and denied a chance to pursue certain interests because it might risk attention. I remember having to quit Mock Trial because of it. I remember my mother telling me not to do too well in Cross Country or Track because my name might get printed in meet results, and then we’d be found. I think this played a huge part in my desire to not hide myself or limit myself, and LOOK AT ME NOW. My entire life is on the Internet, is anyone surprised.

Does “The Turk” handle this issue well? I’m not so certain, particularly since the apparatus the writers use to present us with John’s moral conundrum is someone else’s suicide. It feels crass, especially since the focus isn’t on the girl who was bullied and killed herself, but John’s development. Which isn’t to say that we should not question how John should and should not get involved! I think that’s a super important thing for this show to examine, but this? Like… what were those paintings??? Who is IDAN? Why make multiple of them and hint at something like this and then kill off the person who it directly affects? Oh god, there could be an answer to this in a future episode, but I don’t feel like it’s unfair to say that John’s story in “The Turk” is pretty confusing and abrupt, especially since most of the plot concerns someone else.


It’s definitely entertaining to see Cameron do her best to try and assimilate into human culture, so I do find it quite amusing that she’s doing this within the framework of high school. Sometimes, she’s quick to adapt, but for the most part, when she’s not dealing with anything directly related to protecting John Connor, it’s clear she’s out of her element. She observes and then tries to mimic, but she doesn’t understand context. She doesn’t understand how the slang word “tight” (WHICH I HADN’T HEARD IN LIKE 15 YEARS, OH MY GOD) works, nor does she comprehend gifts. But she got eyeshadow right!!! I WAS VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT, SHE LOOKED STUNNING.

Andy Goode

IT’S TYLER FROM THE MIDDLEMAN. Who isn’t on this show, I swear!

Sarah’s plot over the course of “The Turk” is an ambitious one, especially since it’s framed by all the references to the creation of the atomic bomb. It’s also a direct parallel to the events of T2, so I was pleased that Tarissa Dyson played a small but vital part in this. She’s a part of the fabric of this universe, and this story relates to her. That’s that fear at the heart of Sarah’s moral struggle: Is it right to kill someone for something they haven’t done yet? While I was very pleased with how Dyson’s story unfolded in the film, I also knew that Andy’s could not unfold the same way. He couldn’t haven’t truly understood the stakes at hand because his work was so far from the end result. Y’all, he built a computer that could play chess. The Turk is not at the same level that Dyson’s work was on, so I hardly think he would have understood how his computer would bring about the end of the world. So Sarah had to take this slowly; she had to determine if there really was a possibility that he was a key to Skynet’s development, and then she had to make a choice. Could she really kill him over this, no matter how sweet he was?

It’s agonizing to watch, and it doesn’t help that Hines plays Andy as super charming. (Not that that negates the whole moral conundrum thing. If he was an asshole, that still doesn’t necessitate his murder.) Sarah constantly has this possible future in mind, and must weigh all her actions against it. Is it worth it to take the risk and eliminate Andy? Is she protecting John or simply destroying another life? IT’S TOO REAL, Y’ALL. And this is the kind of shit Sarah has to think about all the time. She makes a compromise at the end of “The Turk,” choosing to destroy Andy’s computer and burn down his house instead of killing him. But is that a permanent solution? And how can she ever know if what she’s done actually changed the future? It’s not like she’s in a video game and she’ll suddenly get a notification that her mission was completed. This is an ambiguous, wide-reaching disaster, and she has to take it one step at a time.

Detective Ellison

Okay, I’ll echo what I said in the video for this: He is not going in the direction I thought he would. While he’s still interested in solving these cases, his skepticism of Sarah Connor’s story is not at the forefront of his scenes. No, he seems even less interested in taking her down and far more interested in figuring out what the fuck is going on. Every new crime scene confuses him further because none of the details ever match up. Still, he tries hard to stay in control, even though he’s still a number of steps behind everyone else. I was super pleased to see Carlos and his crew on screen again, and that scene in Carlos’s house was ELECTRIFYING. What’s fascinating to me is that neither party – not Carlos nor Ellison – actually has any idea what they’ve gotten wrapped up in. WILL THEY EVENTUALLY FIND OUT???

The Terminator

I think the easiest way to justify the scientist’s behavior in this episode is to assume that he was so transfixed by the solution to his human-skin-growing experiments that he ignored all of the EXTREMELY OBVIOUS RED FLAGS that would have sent most of us running screaming from that Terminator’s presence. For example: greeting the doctor by lifting him into the air by his throat. PROBABLY A RED FLAG, SIR. We didn’t see much intimidation beyond that, so, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that was enough to convince the man to work with this stranger wearing filthy clothes covered in blood and a mask that obscures his entire face.

That’s a lot to assume, but SUCH IS LIFE. This episode not only shows us that Cromartie is still on the search for John Connor, but that he may have just gained the knowledge of how to grow human skin for future Terminators. Right??? He has the equations, he watched the doctor, he knows how it works, AND THIS CANNOT POSSIBLY END WELL. It’s also gross. SUPER GROSS. ENDLESSLY GROSS. Everything is so messed up, y’all.

The video for “The Turk” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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