In the fifth episode of the second season ofÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a T-888 targets one of Johnâ€™s future friends and allies. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
This is a slow burn of an episode, one thatâ€™s largely about small bits of character development than anything else. AND THEN IT DESTROYED ME IN THE END BECAUSE THATâ€™S WHAT THIS SHOW DOES. Letâ€™s discuss!
I donâ€™t get it.Â I donâ€™t understand it. Clearly, Catherine Weaver needs something from Ellison; why else would should recruit him for this? Except IT DOESNâ€™T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE. Why would she send him back to the Serrano Point plant? She was lying about knowing about the Terminator who infiltrated that place, right? Thatâ€™s my guess, but then any theory IÂ might have about her role here completely falls apart when I try to examine it. If her goal is to ensure Skynetâ€™s existence in the future, then where does Ellison fall into this? If she can just imitate any human ever, why use Ellison? Is she using him to clean up any potential messes? Why does she refer to him as an â€œavenging angel?â€
Iâ€™M SO CONFUSED. And yet? 100% into this storyline. I do wish it got more screentime because I love seeing Richard Jones act across from Shirley Manson. PLUS, I NEED ANSWERS.
OH, SARAH CONNOR. Sheâ€™s always been deliberately cold, closed off from the world because the world could kill her. So watching her interact with the young Martin Bedell is a treat, mostly because Lena Headeyâ€™s acting isÂ out of this world. Plus, this kid is a constant surprise; not only is the actor talented, but his character brings out elements of Sarah Connor that we donâ€™t really get to see.
Granted, itâ€™s a very strange situation, one that Sarah wasnâ€™t quite ready to deal with. She wanted to save the other Bedells from certain death, but she didnâ€™t think sheâ€™d have to babysit the kid she technically kidnapped. Martin isnâ€™t exactly an easy kid to handle, but heâ€™s also completely in over his head. Thereâ€™s that heartbreaking outburst halfway through this episode where he vocalizes his frustration with his uncompleted book report, and Yâ€™ALL. Itâ€™s a clear demonstration that heâ€™s struggling to understand the real weight of what heâ€™s going through. Some strangeÂ creature is out to kill him and may kill his parents. So, despite that Sarah is a stranger, he ends up looking up to her for support.
And Sarah responds, brilliantly so, and thereâ€™sÂ almost a sense of normalcy to her interactions with this kid. For the briefest of moments, we can imagine what it would have been like for her to live in a world without constant danger.
But thatâ€™s not the world she lives in, and the same goes for John Connor.
I admit to feeling like a lot of the earlier scenes at Presidio Alto to be slower than Iâ€™m used to from this show. But I do think thatÂ has to be the case here, since this is mostly a waiting game. As Cameron and Sarah deal with the T-888 up in LA, Derek and John are patiently preparing for the inevitable appearance of the Terminator who will try to kill Martin Bedell. And unfortunately for them, the Martin at Presidio Alto isÂ the Martin from the future. On top of that, just being on the grounds of the academy triggers constant memories of Martin in the future.
While I appreciateÂ any glimpse into the future, itâ€™s important that those scenes established Martinâ€™s unwavering courage. Like John Connor in the present time, the future gives us a characterâ€™s endpoint. When we meet Martin Bedell, heâ€™s not much like his future self. Even worse, he confides in John that heâ€™s ready toÂ skip school and run away with a girl heâ€™s fallen for. Itâ€™s because of this that John becomes further crushed by the weight of destiny, AND ITâ€™S SO SAD TO WATCH. Seriously, Martin, no one understands wanting to run away from everything more than John. So why does John have to push Martin in a direction thatâ€™ll put him in danger? Why canâ€™t Martin choose a different path in life? Why do they have to accept certain aspects of the future?
Right, becauseÂ Martin sacrificed his life to save John Connor. So if he doesnâ€™t save Martin, Martin wonâ€™t save him later, and mankind dies. Itâ€™s a remarkably grim and distressing end to this episode. Yes, itâ€™s important that Martin Bedell did something heroic, but how does that feel if youâ€™re John Connor? How do you cope with the fact that you keep hearing stories about people dying for your benefit? Thatâ€™s not an empowering thing for John; itâ€™sÂ mortifying.
But itâ€™s the life he has now.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Simply put: that whole sequence where Martin and Sarah read from that book while the T-888 hunts down the real Martin Bedell is stunning. Incredible. Brilliant. Goddamn, the writers on this show are SO FUCKING GOOD.
The video for â€œGoodbye to All Thatâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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