In the fourteenth episode of the second season ofÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I honestly canâ€™t fathom how amazing this show has gotten. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles.Â
Trigger Warning: For discussion of suicide, domestic abuse, body horror/blood/gore.
You know, I found it challenging to talk aboutÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles over the holiday week. A lot of people, particularly those I havenâ€™t seen in some time, were curious what I was writing about. (And yes, a good deal of my close friends donâ€™t actually read my stuff with any consistency. It doesnâ€™t bother me, and I usually find it refreshing since I donâ€™tÂ have to talk shop with them.) It was fairly easy to gush about things likeÂ Star Trek or to groan and hold my head in my hands when I talk about howÂ Supernatural has pulled me in without any care in the world. But then I would say that Iâ€™m watchingÂ this show, one no one has apparently seen, and Iâ€™d hear the same thing: â€œHow can you have a whole show about the Terminator movies?â€
You have no idea.
Thereâ€™s a literary quality toÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles that I find hard to pin down at times. I think you can see that aspect in an episode like â€œThe Good Wound.â€ The writers take ambitions concepts and lofty narrative devices, and they try their damnedest to give us something that doesnâ€™t feel like anything else weâ€™ve seen. In particular, the dreamlike sequences in this episode are something that normally might only work in a book. Thatâ€™s not to say theyÂ donâ€™t work here, but itâ€™s something that is hard to pull off in a purely visual medium. Plus, this show could have been nothing more than a long action sequence. While I findÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles to be endlessly terrifying and shocking (HOW DO THEY KEEP DOING THIS), thereâ€™s an equal attention paid to the emotional drama as well. AndÂ that makes this show stand out. Thereâ€™s such a deep respect for the ongoing emotional serialization of these characters in the writing of every episode.
Itâ€™s simply a pleasure to watch this all unfold.
I still donâ€™t necessarily trust Jesse; sheâ€™s proven herself to be so dedicated to her mission that sheâ€™ll do anything to succeed at it. Unsurprisingly, that means she sees Rileyâ€™s suicide attempt as a sign of disrespect towards her. LIKEâ€¦ REALLY???Â REALLY? Way to make everything about yourself. Despite that Riley appears to agree with Jesse about her intentions here, I donâ€™t know that I believe this is the case. I think that Riley was clever enough to reference Jordanâ€™s suicide in order to dispel Jesseâ€™s suspicion and criticism. But there was so much we saw prior to the attempt thatÂ wasnâ€™t for Johnâ€™s benefit. She genuinely had a breakdown that had nothing to do with manipulating John any further.
So what is she going to do next??? Keep up her deceit? Tell John the truth? She doesnâ€™t seem to like Cameron at all, but sheâ€™s also not exactly willing to keep up this mission anymore.
Ellison / Catherine Weaver
HOW IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING. Okay, one thing at a time, becauseÂ HOLY SHIT. First of all, Garrett Dillahunt is justÂ unreal as John Henry, and in â€œThe Good Wound,â€ he manages to find this unnerving balance between childish wonder and his growing intelligence. He plays with Bionicle toys while talking to Ellison about the failures of Godâ€™s creations. He regurgitates the fictional history of those toy characters while questioning Ellisonâ€™s faith. ITâ€™S SO DISTURBING TO WATCH. But itâ€™s also a sign of how quickly John Henry has been able to learn aboutâ€¦ well, anything he wants. His curiosity is without boundaries, and thisÂ upsets Ellison, particularly after John Henry demonstrates his ability to put together the details of the case that ended Ellisonâ€™s career. (And he does so in a matter of hours.)
But letâ€™s be real: the true spectacle in this episode is Catherine Weaver. I continue to be unable to determine what sheâ€™s doing here in 2007, and I have to give the writers their due. How have they been able to keep me guessing for so long??? Even though itâ€™s obvious she retaliates against the factory that Sarah nearly discovered because someone was too â€œchattyâ€ about what they were doing, I still canâ€™t figure outÂ what this has to do with her ultimate goal or what that goal actually is. If that factory posed a risk to John Henry, then it makes sense that she, like Sarah Connor, would eliminate that threat. But if theyâ€™re working with coltan, the very metal she was made of, why would she destroy something that inevitably led to her own creation? Is she possibly workingÂ against Skynet? WHICH DOESNâ€™T MAKE SENSE BECAUSE SHE BASICALLY IS SKYNET, AND I DONâ€™T UNDERSTAND.
Holy shit, that scene where she executes everyone in the warehouse is terrifying. TERRIFYING.
Lena Headey is a gift to humanity, and you cannot convince me otherwise. While I do have a lot of lovely things to say about Laura Reganâ€™s portrayal of Felicia Burnett, itâ€™s Lena who holds this entire story together. Her acting is one of those things thatâ€™s hard to wrap your mind around because I absolutely believed that she was in immense pain. I believed that she was openly hallucinating glimpses of Kyle Reese, and I believed that she was struggling with her trust for Felicia. I didnâ€™t question a single aspect of this whole story. Whatâ€™s so fascinating is how Sarahâ€™s toughness actually works against her at some points, so her subconscious (through Kyle) reminds her that ferocity wonâ€™t get her through every situation.
Hell, even the hallucinations are brilliant. At no point does â€œKyleâ€ ever provide Sarah with information that she doesnâ€™t already have. His guidance is part wish fulfillment (since she desperately wishes that he was there by her side to help her along this journey) and part bravery and courage. Sarah is the one who gets herself through the mental aspect of this. As for the physicalâ€¦ bless you, Felicia. Itâ€™s amazing to me that this character â€“ who gets her own story within Sarahâ€™s â€“ sees Sarahâ€™s fear and recognizes herself in it. She sees a woman who is in extreme pain and covered in blood, and instead of questioning the details, she does whatever she can to help her. While I do understand Sarahâ€™s lie at the end of the episode (sheâ€™s protecting John by lying about his existence), I do think that these two shared an experience thatâ€™ll always be meaningful for them. Felicia saw her own abuse at the hands of Sheriff McKinley in Sarah, and it enabled her to finally fight back against him when he threatened her again.
I know I said that Catherine Weaver wasÂ the spectacle here, but itâ€™s hard to be hyperbolic aboutÂ any part of this episode. Itâ€™s all so fucking good. Itâ€™s well-written, thrilling, compelling, and it constantly surprises me. As I said in the introduction, itâ€™s hard to believe that this show is real. And yet, here I am, utterly destroyed by it.
The video for â€œThe Good Woundâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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