FinaleWatch: 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles'

Thomasdekker_scc_240_002 I think we can all admit that " Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" has had its share of ups and downs this season. For every heart-stopping murder of a main character, we've gotten an episode where nothing, absolutely nothing, occurs. As for the season finale, while it didn't tie up all the loose ends, it certainly was pulse-pounding.

As it turned out, last week's big arrest scene was no dream, Sarah was still in jail when we opened tonight's episode and she was being interrogated by Joshua Malina who desperately wanted to find the other Connor, John. Weird. Why would the guy from "Sports Night" want young Connor, who was certainly an accomplice, but not the mastermind? Sarah was obviously the main culprit behind the things that Auldridge (Malina) wanted to arrest her for, why would he want her to give up the small fry and what would she get out of doing it?

Great question, glad you asked. Auldridge knew that the future had to be fought; that machines from the future wanted to rule the world. He even knew about time travel. He claimed that he wanted to help Sarah and John. I was on the fence as to whether or not he was telling the truth, it would explain why Auldridge wanted to meet John, but he could also have gotten info from Sarah's hospital stay, extrapolated, and have been playing her.

John started the night wanting to find out about shielded nuclear power sources -- you know -- Terminator-type power sources. He had this swell notion that being around them could cause cancer (John would later learn that Cameron wasn't leaking nuclear anything). I ask you, if being around a Terminator did cause cancer is that the sort of thing John would really want to know? Did he need another reason to dislike Cameron? And, were his suspicions accurate, would future John have had Terminators at his side on a fairly regular basis?

Those were all questions John didn't get to delve into -- he didn't even get to research the nuclear power thing -- because he got a call from the Connor's personal minister, the same one (as I recall) whose church they stayed at when Cameron was all evil at the beginning of the season. Funny, I didn't realize that protecting them that one time made the father their shepherd, or even that they had a shepherd, but I guess men of the cloth help where they can, and here he helped with money for John. Too bad Ellison was following the father and then followed John, he was on a mission from Weaver to bring them in.

Ellison delivered a cryptic message during his visit, one that implied that Weaver was the liquid metal Terminator who refused to join John in the future, but Cameron acted like she had no clue what Ellison was talking about. It's also possible that Weaver was legitimately asking for another Terminator's aid, but that's not how I read it.

Not buying Ellison's lines or the fact that Sarah wanted them to not try and save her, Cameron went to the jail to rescue Sarah, it was all so original Terminator reminiscent, except where the Terminator was trying to save Sarah this time out. John knew all about Cameron's actions, he was driving the getaway car, which they took straight to Weaver (even though Cameron was missing part of her face). I like to call that "racing towards the climax," and boy did they get to it quickly at that point.

Cameron went to see John Henry and gave him her chip; the flying machine from the desert tried to kill John, Sarah, Ellison, and Weaver; Weaver protected the humans revealing her true metal nature; John Henry leaped to the future; Weaver told everyone she had been building something to protect the world from Skynet; and then John, Weaver, and Cameron's body leaped to the future too, only Cameron didn't make it because without a chip she didn't have whatever animate part is required to make Terminators be able to travel in time. Whom did John meet in the future? Derek and Kyle, and Derek claimed to have never heard of John Connor. Even Cameron was there (she may or may not have recognized him). It was like a big, awesome, future-family reunion.

And that people is what you call a climax. Oh sure, you could add the implication at the end -- the producers did -- that Sarah later opted to follow John into the future (I'm saying she definitely did), but even before that it was just a plain fantastic ending.

I've been very up and down on the show this year, but after that ending, I'm crossing all my fingers and toes for a third season.

Odds and Ends:

  • Cameron told John tonight that down deep she still kind of wanted to kill him, something about it being the basic function of a Terminator and the reason for their creation. Then she took her top off. I'd like to tell you she was created well, but it's not a cable show.
  • Me, I liked the ending, I thought it was an outstanding cliffhanger. I can imagine a world however where people wouldn't. So, what did you think? Was it good, bad, or ugly?

The TV and Film Guy's Reviews - we'll never forget you, John Connor.