Desert Cantos

Episode Reviews (15)

Great
376 votes
8.4
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  • 9.0

    The investigation into the factory continues, link to Skynet established.

    By n00bKilla, Aug 20, 2010

    Finally everyone is on board with Sarah with regards to the strange factory, which was vaporized in the previous episode. I think that in this show a lot of episodes stand on their own, because Sarah is pretty agile, not feeling the ill effect of being shot in the leg. Our group attendant the funeral of the victims of the factory incident, but discover that something is not right. Apparently the man that shot Sarah did not perish. So they sniff, and sniff and discover a secret lab in that man's house, with a lot of monitors - looks like a guard station. Going further they find themselves at a swamp where "Skynet" ship emerges from and flies into a truck. Interesting, so we were the ones that actually produced those? Can't wait till next episode.moreless

    10 3

  • 8.0

    Sarah, John, Cameron and Derek investigate the company town connected to the destroyed factory while Weaver sends her own man into town in search of a potential survivor.

    By brad1981234, Aug 20, 2010

    Not the best episode thus far. This episode seemed to focus more on the drama of the families of the people who were killed in the warehouse explosion during last week's episode, than on the main storyline. Not that there wasn't pieces of the over-arcing plot present, just very small ones. This latest installment in the series did feature some lack luster action in the chase to find the lone survior of the tragedy. Sadly, Cameron seemed to have little or no part to play in this episode, which is a waste since Summer Glau is such a talented actress and the character she plays is an huge untapped resource/mystery. Hopefully the next episode will bring back the amazing action sequences we've become accustomed to and if we're really lucky we'll discover a little more about Cameron's shadowy background.moreless

    5 2

  • 7.0

    Slow but steady

    By entil2001, Aug 20, 2010

    Much like the previous episode, this installment takes its time getting to its point. That's good for fans of the show, who by now understand that the pacing is going to be measured if nothing else. That's not particularly good in any other sense, because it doesn't even try to give new viewers a hook to bring them to the table. This is reflected in the ratings, which will probably lead to a cancellation after this season is over.



    This episode is a slow boil, focusing heavily on the theme of coping with loss. After Sarah's ordeal in the previous episode, this makes a certain amount of sense. But in a way, it's an interesting smokescreen for the true purpose. It's not just how people cope with loss, but how revealing it is when they don't. Zoe's behavior doesn't fit, and it leads the Connor Gang to the truth about the "heating and cooling" company.



    More importantly, it vindicates Sarah and her decision to pursue the drones as a possible explanation for those mysterious three dots. The drone turns out to be a prototype to the hunter-killer drones that have been seen during the future war. It makes sense that SkyNet would run its development through the model of government black projects. The implication is that ZeiraCorp, run by Weaver, was the one running that show, and Weaver eliminated the human work force to protect SkyNet interests.



    This would appear to verify that Weaver is working to build the foundation for Judgment Day, which has not always been clear in the past. This still leaves open the question of why Weaver would bring in Ellison to teach John Henry human ethics. This may be explained by Weaver's own use of Ellison to better understand human emotional responses. Previous episodes mentioned that selected humans (Greys) were selected to teach terminators how to understand and mimic human behavior. Ellison seems to have been recruited for the same purpose.



    Where the previous episode seemed to touch on many ongoing plot threads, however lightly, this was focused on the mystery of what happened at the factory and the truth about what Sarah saw. While that continues to place the focus of the show on Sarah, as one would expect, it may have been a little too sedate. There is a vague sense that all of this is building to something substantial, but right now, it's not quite in focus.moreless

    2 2

  • 7.5

    My rating probably echoes the concensus about this episode. The episode was informitive, but something tells me it comes too late.

    By TinCan101, Aug 20, 2010

    After the events in "The Good Wound", this episode winds down and focuses on building up events for later. The series has had a few of these, but I thought this one in particular was a bit long-winded. The end made it worthwhile though and it's the only reason I didn't rate this a six.



    Sarah is clearly going through what John went through after his first kill. To my knowledge, Sarah had never killed someone before the man in the factor. Okay, he's not dead, but Sarah thought he was. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with her dreams. The constant hunting is really getting to her--something that's going to affect her to the end of the season.



    I'm missing Cameron. The last two episodes, she's only had a few lines. Summer Glau is one of the stronger cast members and Cameron is one of the most popular characters. At this stage the series can't afford to be holding their aces back.



    With the way Terminator is heading, they really need to pick up the pace. The first half of the season only had a few really good episodes in my opinion, the rest were just alright. They didn't really stand out. I don't know why the series did what it did this season. I can understand the desire to become less self-contained and less serialised, but they barely had any episodes that really dealt exclusively with the overarching plot. Shows that have similar formats to Terminator do this. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes to mind) I know the main plot AND style in Terminator is incredibly different and that's a good thing, but I thought this season would have had them looking for the Turk, but in the series it seems like they're forgotten about it. I don't even remember them mentioning it since the season opening. The only thing I can think of that can be called an overarching plot is what happened at the factory.



    Aside from the end, not a lot actually happened in this episode. We found out that the guy Sarah shot wasn't dead and that she wasn't having a delusion about the HK. Not much, but at least it's something.



    Another thing that doesn't really have anything to do with the episide, but with the series as a whole. I don't see Terminator being picked up for a third season and that's really disappointing. I hope that the season finale doesn't end with a cliffhanger like last time. It should leave the series open, but it has to have some kind of closure at the same time. That's just my opinion on that.



    I really hope the series picks up, because it's proved it can be a lot better than this episode.moreless

    2 2

  • 9.0

    Good show! Been better, but contains some important information, so hopefully the drama will add to the excitement of future action.

    By Dukershneid, Aug 20, 2010

    Spoiler alert: I'm confused as to why some reviewers think the "security guard" Sarah shot is still alive. The video they saw of him shooting Mike, the girl's ex, was recorded. I think Cameron found it while searching through the video feeds. The man driving the truck was the girl's father, who John deduced didn't die in the fire.



    Anyway, maybe I missed something, but I'm pretty sure the dude Sarah shot is dead, passed on, is no more, has ceased to be, has expired, he's a stiff, bereft of life, rests in peace, pushing up the daisies, his metabolic processes are now history, he's kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible!! He is an ex-security guard!!



    BTW, I thought this was a good episode. Not as exciting, or as active as, say, the previous episode, but I think if T2.5 fans are patient, they'll find that the slower, more informative episodes will pay off, as they have in the past. Hang in there, folks! This could turn out to be a wild ride!moreless

    2 2

  • 9.5

    A bit slow to start, but loaded with drama, and a shocking cliffhanger that begins to put together the puzzle.

    By CaesisKane, Aug 20, 2010

    The episode starts off at a funeral. Fun, eh? The whole crew is along. As you watch, you soon discover the entire EP is talking, exploring, and more talking. It may seem boring to some, but the episode does a great job at getting it's plot and idea across seamlessly. The episode is about the Connors visiting the funeral of those who died due to a building explosion in the previous episode. On the outside, the Connors were a mourning family, with Sarah as their Co-worker (a sandwich lady). In reality, the Connors are searching for any information they can get about the factory.



    As their investigation goes on, they discover NO ONE knew what was happening at the factory. Those who knew what it was were now all dead, ashes on the ground.



    The Connors race against time to uncover the truth before skynet's operatives can bury it forever. The ending will leave you wanting more.moreless

    2 1

  • 4.5

    Kinda mad at the moment....

    By NWAMan88, Aug 20, 2010

    im mad they canceled the show. I still gotta finish the 2nd season. I watched half of it. and my dvr didn't work anymore. So i got internet and I can finally watch it online...im drunk. I wish Fox didn't cancel this great amazing show. I loved it. its better than dollhouse which Got renewed for another season. I thin Terminator Sarah Connor chronicles should have gotten renewed. Terminator Bring it back...........its da **** and we need it. Terminator Bring it back...........its DA **** and we need it. Terminator Bring it back...........its da **** and we need it. Terminator Bring it back...........its da **** and we need it. Come on Fox...don't be ****moreless

    0 1

  • 7.0

    To much nothing

    By XooKey, Aug 20, 2010

    To much of nothing happened in this episode. I am far from ready to give up on this show because of a couple slow episodes. Too much time is spent at a funeral where not much happens except for finding out that one of people from the warehouse is still alive. Sarah talks with the widow of the man she shot while there and that shot here. Sarah follows the man that is looking for the man who is still alive into a house and finds a secret passage behind the staircase which leads down to a station for monitoring all of the families that worked at the warehouse. John figures out where the man who lived went and when they get there they find the man that was looking for him shot dead. All of the sudden from the pool of water springs some kind of spaceship in the shape of what Sarah has been obsessing about and it flies away. It arrives at it's destination where the man that lived is waiting with a transfer truck and the thing flies into the truck and he drives away.moreless

    3 0

  • 5.0

    There are times when I ask myself why I continue to watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    By screenagedkicks, May 04, 2009

    There are times when I ask myself why I continue to watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; they usually occur just after the latest episode has finished (legally) downloading and I'm faced with having to make the decision of whether to press 'play' on it or the newest instalment of Battlestar Galactica, which airs the same night. Invariably, Battlestar always wins. I subsequently tend to spend a few days pontificating, putting off the inevitable and when I eventually do come around to sticking the ruddy thing on, it's usually when I have at least one other thing to distract me. So perhaps it's slightly unfair that I deign to review the thing when I'm probably not giving it the level of attention that it naturally deserves. But then, if it bothered to actually be good, solid entertainment week in, week out, I'd be less swayed by other things. Hell, I'd be less swayed if it could muster up a quality episode every couple of weeks or so. As it currently stands, the show has been unquestionably lacklustre for quite some time, with even then one above average episode that I can remember, 'Alpine Fields', still being a distraction from the overall season arc. If the writing staff would dust themselves down and get on with it, I'd question my resolve to work through the season a whole hell of a lot less.



    To be fair to 'Desert Cantos', we do see a slight improvement in the quality of the writing this week, even if it is only because something actually happens. It's not much, granted, but at least it takes the show a couple of baby steps forward towards the inevitable climax of the previously disparate Connor and Weaver narratives. The family work together (which is incredibly refreshing to see) without any distractions from useless Jesse or even more useless Riley to acquire some additional information on the nature of the work going on at the mysterious warehouse that we first saw in 'Earthlings Welcome Here'. A mildly intriguing mystery ensues, in which it is determined that one of the supposedly dead fathers is actually alive, and the whole thing is paid off nicely with the sudden appearance of a drone from the bubbling waters beside a bunch of dead cows. There's also a welcome burst of tension imbued into proceedings when Sarah and John are wandering around the interconnected houses of the warehouse workers and particularly when Sarah uncovers the basement area with its unusual CCTV system and technology. Bear McCreary's music is perfectly pitched here and ensures that you're perched on the edge of your seat, unsure of both the fate of the character and the nature of what she will find.



    It's a pity, then, that this is where the good stuff ends. There is still far, far too great an emphasis placed on exploring the psychological make-up of the characters involved in the narrative and in 'Desert Cantos'' case, it's made all the more frustrating by the fact that it's people that we've never met before, are poorly sketched out in the dialogue, and that we therefore don't care about one iota, who are given the episode's undivided attention. I mean Christ on a pedalo, look how long it takes to actually get to the point where something interesting happens! We spend the first twenty minutes dancing around the obvious issue - that the Connors need some sort of lead - by essentially musing about how horrible funerals are. Huh. Well, there's a highly poignant observation if ever I saw one. Oh wait, but it wouldn't be realistic if they got the answers they needed straight away, right? Well, no, it wouldn't. So why not cut the slow-moving procession through every facet of the flaming funeral (the episode even predicates its structure on the stages of the thing for God's sake! It actually divides it up ON-SCREEN) and show us snippets of the thing? Dare to get us beyond the point of one minor plot development each episode and actually do something worthwhile with the story! And while you're at it, get a better casting director: the actresses playing the mother and child whose husband/father didn't die are truly abysmal. There are times in which they come across as if they're reading their lines off a Teleprompter; the most notable of which is probably the scene in the basement. Mind you, this is the show that cast Shirley Manson as its central villain so maybe that's too much to ask. She's cringe worthy again here actually, especially when she utters the ridiculous line "excuse me Mr. Ellison, I'm feeling emotional." You're telling me that any sane human being who was in contact with machines that talk exactly like this wouldn't cotton on to the fact that something was up? Pah!



    While this is something of an improvement on the dire 'Earthlings Welcome Here' and 'The Good Wound', 'Desert Cantos' still showcases many of the problems that are currently inherent in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It's far too slow moving and focuses its attention on tropes and characters that it's difficult to muster any interest in. The show continues to stare blankly at its navel, only occasionally choosing to look up to give its viewers a tiny snippet of something relevant to that pesky little season-spanning narrative that the cast and crew seem to have forgotten about. Things need to pick up fast if there's going to be any interest left anywhere in this programme: sadly, the synopsis for next week's episode indicates that Sarah will be visiting a clinic for help when she starts having nightmares. Again. I despair, I really do.moreless

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