In the sixth episode of the second season ofÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I CAN BARELY BELIEVE THIS SHOW IS REAL. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles.Â
Trigger Warning: For discussion of PTSD/trauma, suicide.
THIS SHOW IS TOO MUCH OH MY GOD. Seriously, this wasÂ so good, yâ€™all. Introspective, boldly emotional, thrilling, and COMPLETELY UNSETTLING. Where do I start?
Who knew that a mother learning to be affectionate with her daughter could be so utterly horrifying??? I think itâ€™s to this showâ€™s credit that theyâ€™re keeping Weaverâ€™s motivations such a huge secret becauseâ€¦ well, it createsÂ this. We are constantly uneasy when weâ€™re watching Weaver at work because we never quite know if sheâ€™s this seasonâ€™s big antagonist or if sheâ€™sâ€¦ something else? Itâ€™s hard for me to see her as any sort of ally or force for good because of how pervasively creepy she is. With the recent casual reveal that Catherine has a daughter, Savannah, matters are only made worse.
Itâ€™s clear now that the helicopter crash was the actual infiltration point, and Savannah confirms that. Thatâ€™s the point where she becameÂ terrified of her motherâ€™s behavior. (So, sheâ€™s not a mini-Terminator. PHEW.) The show brilliantly mixes in multiple therapy sessions with Dr. Sherman to explore the traumatic past of many of these characters. In Savannahâ€™s case, sheâ€™s frightened of her mother, and Catherine knows that if sheâ€™s going to stay hidden in plain sight, sheâ€™ll need to do better. She canâ€™t have anyone suspecting that thereâ€™s something wrong between her and her daughter. So sheÂ studies old tapes of Catherine Weaver. Oh god, it reminded me of the way Cameron studied Allison, yâ€™all. ITâ€™S SO CREEPY. Even though Savannah is thrilled that her mother is more affectionate, I couldnâ€™t help but feel immensely uncomfortable about what was happening. JUSTâ€¦ WHY IS THIS SHOW DOING THIS TO ME?
It also looks like Dr. Sherman is going to be part of the team, which confuses me. Not from Catherineâ€™s perspective, that is. It makes sense to bring on a psychologist who could examine the Turkâ€™s own development. But if Dr. Sherman is destined to help Skynet come to fruition, why the hell was that Terminator dead set on killing him? Seriously, nothing makes sense in Catherineâ€™s storyline, and itâ€™s tormenting me. BUT WHO CARES, BECAUSE THE FIGHT IN THE ELEVATOR BETWEEN CAMERON AND THE OTHER TERMINATOR IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THIS SHOW HAS EVER DONE.Â EVER. OH MY GOD. I canâ€™t get over how bizarre the choreography is between Terminators, and Iâ€™m so thankful theyâ€™ve stuck to the mechanical style for them instead of going with something more fluid. Itâ€™s brilliant.
Derek / Jesse
So much of â€œThe Tower is Tallâ€ relies on this idea of trauma and tolerance. How much can a person take? Are some people expected to be tougher than others and is that fair? I think you can see that in the Connorsâ€™ story, but I wanted to talk about both of these characters and how that relates to them. Jesse isÂ a fascinating character (even before her duplicity is revealed) because thereâ€™s a direct parallel to John Connor within her characterization. Well, not just John either. We find out that Derek also was suicidal at one point, and Jesse inadvertently saved him from that. Both of them have been dealt so much trauma over the years, and itâ€™s really great that the writers are letting them unpack it in this manner. Of course, itâ€™s hard toÂ truly talk about Jesse because the last image of her in this episode reveals that sheâ€™s lying about her mission. If thatâ€™s the case, how much else is she lying about? Did reprogrammed Terminators really take out half of a bunker? I donâ€™t want to believe her story about wanting to spend time back in 2007 with Derek; thatâ€™s clearly a cover. (And one heâ€™s falling for.)
So what gives? Sheâ€™s not a Terminator, so whatâ€™s her deal? What possible mission could she be on that would require her to stalk John and Derek for days on end? Who is she gathering intelligence for?Â Why am I turning into someone who distrusts everyone on this show? Itâ€™s your fault. YOURS.
JUSTâ€¦ HOLY HELL. Look, I think one of the big reasons I enjoyed â€œThe Tower Is Tallâ€ so much is because it validated the idea that both Sarah and JohnÂ needed therapy. No matter what Sarah intended with her relationship with her son, John didnâ€™t feel comfortable being entirely honest with her. And itâ€™s now true, based on the final scene, that the reverse applies as well. John occupies a frustrating and confusing space in the world because, as Iâ€™ve mentioned before, heâ€™s between identities. Heâ€™s John Connor, but not quiteÂ the John Connor that is savior of mankind years into the future. Itâ€™s a lot of pressure to be put under, obviously, but thatâ€™s compounded by the many horrible things heâ€™sÂ already experienced. From the violence, to the constant threats on his life, to his need to compartmentalize his experiences, to his longing for normalcyâ€¦ itâ€™s a lot. Itâ€™s a lot for one human to be asked to deal withÂ and have no way out.
So I loved that the show put him in front of Dr. Sherman and then gave him an outlet to begin to talk about the myriad of problems that heâ€™s had. Itâ€™s not easy for him because in addition to the monumental task of unpacking all of the trauma heâ€™s gone through, HE CANâ€™T ACTUALLY TELL THE TRUTH. Unless he somehow gets a therapist thatâ€™s totally aware of the upcoming apocalypse, heâ€™s shit out of luck. And yet, he tries. He tries to explore his own notions of agency and self-worth. He tries to open up about how he feels stuck.
Does it work? I donâ€™t know think a couple therapy sessions are enough for John. Hell, neither did Dr. Sherman. Iâ€™m hoping that theyâ€™ll continue since Catherine Weaver has recruited him to work with her. Perhaps that means weâ€™ll see him more frequently. Because the truth is that John hasnâ€™t dealt with the most traumatic part of his life yet.
He was the one who killed Sarkissian, not his mother.
GOOD GOD, WHAT IS THIS SHOW DOING TO ME.
The video for â€œThe Tower Is Tall but the Fall Is Shortâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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