Mark Watches ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’: S02E15 – Desert Cantos

In the fifteenth episode of the second season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the team attempts to determine what the employees of the air conditioner warehouse really did, and they discover something EVEN WORSE THAN ANYTHING BEFORE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles. 

Trigger Warning: For discussion of death/grief

This show continues to be too much.

Catherine Weaver

Let me try to parse what’s happened here. Catherine Weaver sent Walsh to go find the one man missing from the Desert Corp warehouse, certain that he had information that she wanted to keep a secret. That was the whole reason for bombing the place: containment. (Which makes me think that she is working for Skynet.) Mr. McCarthy stole a drone from Desert Corp for his own reasons. Possibly as a whistleblower? Does he work for someone else? Is that company that owned the warehouse a subsidiary of something under ZeiraCorp, or is it something that will become Skynet? Was McCarthy’s job always “security”? How many people had he and Ed Winston killed for their job? WHY MUST THIS SHOW CONSISTENTLY TOY WITH ME?

So, I’ve got all of those questions I need answered, and clearly, this show is going to make me wait for them. (Which worries me. I hope this show got to make its own ending before it was cancelled. WHY WOULD YOU CANCEL THIS, IT’S GOLD.) Let’s talk about Catherine Weaver, who continues to perplex me for other reasons. What’s her motivation for trying to win Savannah over? Like Cameron, we can see how Catherine calculates her every move in order to manipulate those around her. While I think that Ellison might suspect her of deceiving him, it’s a slim chance. He may just think she’s odd. That’s not the case with Savannah, who can see right through her “mother.” She’s long known that this version of her mother is wrong. Perhaps this is why Catherine tries so hard to comfort Savannah whenever she is aware that she’s losing her. I don’t know if it’s out of any genuine feeling because I don’t know if Catherine has advanced to that point. (Well, I don’t know her endgame either. IT’S A PROBLEM.) Because of this, all of Catherine’s scenes are horribly chilling and frightening, particularly when she’s appropriating other people’s histories. She does that with Ellison here, stealing his story about his father’s death in order to get closer to Savannah. IT’S SO UPSETTING. But why? Why do all this? Why murder thirty people? Whose side are you on, Catherine Weaver?


I feel like a broken record because I need to praise the writing for “Desert Cantos,” and I just spent a good chunk of the last review doing this. But I can’t help it! While Sarah copes with her feelings over killing Ed Winston, we’re taken through the stages of a funeral and a wake. It’s a brilliant parallel for Sarah’s emotional state. What if she killed someone who was just defending himself? What if she ruined his widow’s life? As uncomfortable as it is to watch, it’s clear that Sarah has to ultimately be a pragmatist when it comes to her fight against Skynet. Diana Winston serves a purpose here, and as much as Sarah might want to comfort Ed’s wife, she chooses not to. She gets close to Diana for one purpose only: to get information. It’s brutal and unfair, especially since she piques Diana’s curiosity, and Diana will probably never get closure from it.

I think that’s an aspect of “Desert Cantos” that’s painfully real: this is an awkward, dirty fight. I loved that moment where John pointed out how fucking bizarre it is that their “mission” led them to crashing a wake. It’s certainly one of the weirder moments of the show, but the writers don’t ignore this. They’re well aware of that, as are the characters themselves. Plus, none of them are quite sure that Sarah is on to anything. They still think her obsession with the three dots is meaningless. EXCEPT HELLO HIDDEN BASEMENT HALLWAYS AND SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM AND EVIDENCE THAT WINSTON AND MCCARTHY MURDERED PEOPLE FOR THEIR COMPANY. (Whose name I didn’t catch, damn it! The preacher at the funeral said it, but it was too quick. Is that significant???)

And then we’ve got absolute confirmation that Sarah Connor was not hallucinating. She saw that drone; it’s real, and that is what they were building in the warehouse. What’s so upsetting, though, is that the lives of everyone in that desert town were ruined because of it. “Desert Cantos” doesn’t shy away from this fact, and the focus on Zoe specifically shows us how this whole secret war irrevocably changes anyone who is caught in the path. Even though she and her mother wanted nothing to do with this, they didn’t have a choice. Zoe’s father was a murderer, and she’ll be haunted by that forever. How to you rebuild your life after that? And in the case of the Connors, that’s not even an option. There’s no rebuilding. It’s just moving from one disaster to another.

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


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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