In the eighteenth episode of the second season ofÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the group begins to turn against Cameron, and Jesse reflects on her role in the war against Skynet. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of death/dead bodies, and grief.
Everything is so messed up SO MESSED UP.
HOW DOES THIS SHOW CONTINUALLY DRAW OUT THE TENSION IN EVERY SCENE WITH JOHN HENRY IN IT? WHY DOES CATHERINE WEAVER PERPETUALLY TERRIFY ME?Â IS ELLISON GOING TO LEARN THE SECRET JOHN HENRY IS KEEPING FROM HIM???
Iâ€™m just so into this story, and there are definitely times when I wish the writers would focus on it a little more. Weâ€™re so close to the finale, and the main characters have never figured out how much influence Catherine Weaverâ€™s had on events. (Which is also to the credit of the writers; weâ€™ve managed to haveÂ so many interesting and exciting stories over the course of these last 27 episodes without the two major storylines ever intersecting in a big way.) But itâ€™s just so satisfying to see Ellison grapple with the monumental task of teaching John Henry ethics. Iâ€™m now convinced that Catherine purposely ignored her daughterâ€™s request to play and hide-and-seek, all so that sheâ€™d wander off and eventually find John Henry. Catherine is just soÂ giddy throughout the scenes with Henry, and itâ€™ll never be comfortable to watch. You can tell that she has no real concern for Savannah and is instead fully captivated by the ways in which John Henry is growing.
But why? I still donâ€™t understand this! If John Henry is truly blossoming a conscience, then what role does he play in Skynetâ€™s future? Why would Skynet need a moral machine? I DONâ€™T GET IT. At this point, I also think itâ€™s just a matter of time before John Henry spoils Catherineâ€™s plan, which would inevitably lead to some sort of confrontation between Ellison and her. Ellison teaches John Henry the negative ramifications of keeping secrets, and so Iâ€™m guessing heâ€™ll realize that thereâ€™s a risk in keeping Catherine Weaverâ€™s secret.
And Iâ€™ll explode when that happens, yâ€™all. THIS SHOW IS SO TENSE.
Iâ€™ll say this: I appreciate the emotional complexity of Jesse as a character. Stephanie Jacobsen is a gift here, able to play Jesse inâ€¦ what? Two timelines? Or is this the Jesse we know in the current timeline? I still havenâ€™t figured out which version weâ€™re seeing, though I feel like this might explain why sheâ€™s on the mission she is on. Clearly, something happened to her in 2027 that would motivate her to be as callous and heinous towards Riley. Thatâ€™s not to say anything in her past would justify the extended abuse and manipulation of Riley. It doesnâ€™t work that way. But even in the few glimpses of the Jesse we get in 2027, she feels different. Less cold. More willing to trust.Â What happened? Why does she trust Queeg so much, but now despises Cameron? (Shout out to Chad Coleman, who is a phenomenal actor, yâ€™all. His work onÂ The Wire is an EXPERIENCE.)Â Whatâ€™s in the box??? What was so important that John Connor would send his fellow Resistance fighters RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF THREE TERMINATORS??? (Is that the same model that we saw in the torture sequence last season???)
Iâ€™m a mess.Â Iâ€™m a mess.
The bulk of â€œToday is the Day, Part Iâ€ covers the inevitable development post-Rileyâ€™s death: everyone suspects that Cameron executed Riley because she posed a threat. Goddamn it, I knew it! Jesseâ€™s manipulation is so layered, yâ€™all, and itâ€™s terrifying to think how far sheâ€™s gone to cover her tracks. She sowed discontent in the Connors, played Riley so that sheâ€™d do exactly what she needed, and then she gets in a fight to cover the injuries she got from her spat with Riley. By the end of this episode, Iâ€™m left wondering if sheâ€™s pulled it all off, and it certainly looks like thatâ€™s the case.
Itâ€™s unfortunate, then, that all the tiny things thatâ€™s have unsettled everyone about Cameron are now being used against her. While the future John Connor may have indeed instructed Cameron to save parts for repairs, thereâ€™s no way she can prove that. So she ends up looking like a liar. The show had already established that Cameron could lie to John Connor, and now itâ€™s proven to be aÂ disaster. Of course, Sarah canâ€™t ever discount any threat posed to her son; sheÂ has to believe them all. That makes Cameronâ€™s behavior suspiciousÂ all of the time, and I feel like Sarahâ€™s on a dangerous precipice here. I would not be surprised if Sarah finally took out Cameron in order to protect John. That would fulfill Jesseâ€™s mission, but hasnâ€™t itÂ also been established that Jesse is from a different timeline, one that ultimately doesnâ€™t come to fruition? Time travel,Â you hurt my brain.
Even if thereâ€™s high stakes at hand, â€œToday is the Day, Part Iâ€ is still grounded in the sort of emotional exploration that makes this show so compelling to watch. JohnÂ is terribly conflicted by whatâ€™s happened. Heâ€™s heartbroken that Riley is dead, and heâ€™s probably blaming himself for her death, too. So when Cameron takes it upon herself to â€“ more or less â€“ troll John in front of Rileyâ€™s foster father, all so that heâ€™ll believe sheâ€™s still alive, itâ€™s particularly gutting for John. Did she do this out of a need to convince him not to go to the police? Or was that Cameronâ€™s way of telling John that she reallyÂ did love him? Thatâ€™s left unsaid, but it was obvious that John was DEVASTATED by what Cameron did to him.
Gods, yâ€™all, that scene at the end with her body in the morgue is just soÂ awful. Itâ€™s raw, itâ€™s uncomfortable, and itâ€™s a perfect demonstration of the sort of life John will eventually have to live: a lonely one. As Cameron says, everyone â€“ including John himself â€“ is a risk to John Connor. There are an innumerable number of factors that could lead to his demise, and heâ€™ll never get a chance to outlast them. Itâ€™s a never-ending battle complicated by time travel. Itâ€™s a life that heâ€™ll proudly charge into at one point, but we still havenâ€™t seenÂ how that decision comes about. Heâ€™s still on the precipice himself, and we donâ€™t know if Jesseâ€™s interference has irrevocably changed the timeline.Â For the worse.
WHAT AN UNFAIR CLIFFHANGER. Oh god, I need more of this show, which makes me sad because there are only four more of these left. 🙁
The video for â€œToday is the Day, Part Iâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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