In the penultimate episode ofÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles,Â storylines finally converge in the worst way possible. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Trigger Warning: For death/grief.
I donâ€™t even know where to start with this fucking episode.
Itâ€™s not thatÂ The Sarah Connor ChroniclesÂ is a particularly cheery show, or that I go into every episode expecting that Iâ€™ll get a happy ending. I know thatâ€™s not the case,Â and I find this showâ€™s emotional realism to be really refreshing. The stakes arenâ€™t ignored, and the cost is addressed, even if itâ€™s uncomfortable or depressing.
I suppose I assumed the core six cast members â€“ John, Sarah, Cameron, Ellison, Weaver, and Derek â€“ were all safe at this point. Okay, maybe not safe, but they were all so important to this showâ€™s narrative that I was certain theyâ€™d always be around to contribute it. But I have to remember that Derek told John that heâ€™d probably die for him, and I have to remember that this was the threat they all lived under. That doesnâ€™t make Derekâ€™s death any easier to handle. It comes completely out of nowhere, itâ€™s viciously sudden, andÂ thatâ€™s it. Just minutes after visiting his brotherâ€™s grave for the first time, heâ€™s shot by this new Terminator, and then weâ€™re watching him buried in the same cemetery full of John Does, and I NEED THIS EPISODE TO BURY ME TOO BECAUSE IT HAS KILLED ME.
In terms of the story, itâ€™s a harsh reminder of Skynetâ€™s brutality. Itâ€™s also brilliant in terms of building tension and terror. As soon as Derek dies, the pacing is thrown to the wind, and weâ€™re never allowed to feel comfortable again. I felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach and a nervousness in my chest for the remainder of â€œAdam Raised a Cain.â€ It wouldnâ€™t go away, and the writersÂ made everything worse. I got a sense that the final story arc would be the collision between Catherine Weaver and the Connors. I was excited! How could IÂ not be? Except this went in a direction that is a million times more upsetting than I could have anticipated.
The writers were well aware of this. There areÂ so many reveals and dramatic twists within this single episode, and itâ€™s astounding to me that this was just forty minutes long. It felt like it wasÂ hours, and I mean that as a compliment. A Kaliba Terminator infiltrates the Weaver household; Derek is murdered after the Connors come to rescue Savannah; ELLISON CONTACTS SARAH CONNOR; THERE IS A MEETING BEING ARRANGED BETWEEN SARAH AND CATHERINE WEAVERÂ and I simply cannot cope with this.
But itâ€™s not just plot twists that messed me up. I feel like â€œAdam Raised a Cainâ€ finally hintedÂ as to Catherine Weaverâ€™s role withinÂ The Sarah Connor Chronicles, at least more so than the last couple episodes did. Thereâ€™s that electrifying scene between Ellison and Weaver in the elevator where Catherine definitively states that sheâ€™s interested inÂ survival: Ellisonâ€™s and her own and John Henryâ€™s and Savannahâ€™s. Is she lying? I suppose thatâ€™s possible, but I donâ€™t seeÂ why sheâ€™d lie about that to Ellison. If sheâ€™s trying to save the world, that pits her against Skynet, doesnâ€™t it? She isÂ so certain that John Henry is the answer to this. WHY? WHO IS JOHN HENRY IN THE FUTURE??? Is he a weapon against Skynet? Is that why sheâ€™s been having Ellison teach John Henry ethics?
Even if thatâ€™s the case, thereâ€™s still a thin layer of ice holding everyone up. Catherine canâ€™t let Ellison find out who she is, and I think thatâ€™s one way the writers remind us that CatherineÂ is a machine. Even if she has some form of morality within her, she still reacts to the world in a calculating way. Hell, isnâ€™t that how she sounds when sheâ€™s telling Ellison about John Henryâ€™s worth to her? Humans are still largely pawns to her, and that includes both Savannah and Ellison. That, of course, makes her a complicated characterÂ and makes it harder to determine if sheâ€™s here for good or not.
But I suppose itâ€™s kind of silly to look at this conflict with a dichotomy in mind. Itâ€™s so much moreÂ messy than that. Ellison doesnâ€™t just have to deal with finding Savannah and getting her back; the LAPD have already gotten involved, and it proves to be mighty difficult dealing with them. Whatâ€™s the morality in that situation? Does he believe that the police can provide no help in locating Savannah? Or does his loyalty to Catherine Weaver override that? Itâ€™s clear that Sarah and John donâ€™t want Savannah to be yet another casualty in this war against Skynet, but, like Catherine, they use her as a pawn to get what they want. The whole thing is incredibly complicated!
Obviously, the final act of â€œAdam Raised a Cainâ€ makes that statement seemÂ silly. I really donâ€™t think that Ellison called the cops on Sarah. (I donâ€™t have a theory who did. Iâ€™M LOST.) But this is possibly one of the worst developments for this family. Sarahâ€™s face is all over the television, and everyone knows where she is, including the Terminator that is look for her and John Connor. Itâ€™s reminiscent ofÂ T2, isnâ€™t it? Sarahâ€™s more vulnerable than sheâ€™s ever been, and their resources areâ€¦ what? Cameron? Thatâ€™s it, yâ€™all, because LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE IS DEAD. I donâ€™t see them trusting Ellison, not after Savannah revealed that Cromartieâ€™s body is nowâ€¦ well, they donâ€™t know itâ€™s plugged into the Turk, but STILL. They have no reason to believe that Catherine Weaver is doingÂ anything to help them. Sheâ€™s an antagonist to them. So what do they do? Rescue Sarah? And thenâ€¦ keep running?
I donâ€™t even know, yâ€™all. â€œAdam Raised a Cainâ€ messed me up. I mentioned on video that this felt like a season finale; thatâ€™s how huge it was. Iâ€™m thankful that thereâ€™s at least one more, but only because Iâ€™m hoping to get some closure. There should be SO MANY SEASONS of this show. WHY HAVE Yâ€™ALL DONE THIS TO ME?
The video for â€œAdam Raised a Cainâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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