Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 7

Brothers of Nablus

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 03, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
399 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Connors get robbed, which puts them on high alert. Meanwhile, one Terminator gets very close to John, while another Terminator terrorizes Agent Ellison.

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  • Painfully underwhelming.

    Um. Is that it? Really? After a ludicrously pant-wetting teaser in which Ellison is confronted by a Triple 8 version of himself, who is then slaughtered by Cromartie, 'Brothers of Nablus' proceeds to do absolutely diddly squat in its remaining forty one minutes. The primary drive of the narrative is about the Connors being burgled, for Christ's sake. They spend the entire episode running around after a bunch of snot-nosed thieves and no one actually gives a damn. There's this whole other little story thing going on too, in which Cromartie hunts for John and almost, you know, kills him, but it's so bogged down in psuedo-psychological character examination and nefarious navel gazing that it loses all of its potential drama and significance. Painfully underwhelming.moreless
  • Things are starting to boil to the surface

    Another great Terminator episode! Things are really starting to boil to the surface. The relationship between John and Sarah is starting to come to a head. Derrek is . . . doing things only Derrek know about for reasons only Derrek knows about. The story line between him in Jessie is very tangential right now and I hope there is a good reason for her to be on the show. Cameron is showing more signs of thinking like a human and not want to be nag (no body likes a nag). Riley is back and causing more familial strife. Overall a very good episode. I deducted half a point for weird editing that kept making me think I'd missed part of the show!moreless
  • Filler episode…Nothing to remember here at all.

    I don't know if I am the only one who thinks that last night episode was a filler episode. Cromartie is acting stupidly right after showing us how smart he can be. This is not a good thing. The truth is nothing happened. Ellison was in jail, now he is not. The Connors got robbed; they recovered what was stolen from them. Derek is doing nothing. The only thing you can say about this episode that is relevant (a little bit) is the fact that Jhon is acting like a spoiled brat more than he should…. Those things that he said to Sarah and Cameron…. Not nice. The point is that the episode did not change a relevant thing. Well maybe Cromartie now knows where they are but that's all.

    I gave this episode a 7 anyway because I am a fan of this show. But this episode does not deserve it. BTW… Sorry Riley Fans but I think she is annoying.moreless
  • Danger in doorstep

    So.. that terminator is after Cameron as her picture got into the system and that girl who got her into her house to steal behind her parents.. he finds her and she is ready to help - some unfinished business for both of them but it gets scary and John almost is caught in supermarket but it gets even more exciting when he knocks on their door.. but Riley thinks she can handle it.. and did I mentioned that they get robbed? What a twist.. just that happens and and they get too much.. Cameron kills everyone but Sarah lets one go.. and ofcourse terminator finds him.. great cliffhanger ending.moreless
  • This moderately interesting episode has two main story lines - one concerns Cromartie's increasingly dangerous pursuit of the Connors; the other continues Agent Ellison's close encounters and his arrest on a murder charge.moreless

    Ellison answers his door, which is smashed in to reveal his replicant, aiming a gun at him as he is pushed to the floor. But first a rod, then a hand smashes through the replicants chest, and it falls to the floor, presumably deactivated. Behind is Cromartie, who tore out the replicant's control module, as he says, "You will lead me to the Connors." That's a strange piece of dialog- the terminators are totally rational, and only indulge in trivial conversation when necessary to cover their identity. Why would it want Ellison to know it's objective?

    Shortly after, the police come to Ellison's home and arrest him for the murder of Peter Meyer, but we know he didn't and doesn't know the man. Ellison is identified in a lineup as the murderer, and is interrogated. From the questions, we surmise that the Terminator who almost killed him had appeared in the usual way from the future, and had to kill Meyers moments after his time-travel trip. We get no further background on this Terminator, nor why it was sent back to kill Ellison. And no one, including Ellison, questions this further. Weaver comes to see Ellison in jail. "Thank you for believing in me," he says. Her reply - "What good is faith if we don't use it?

    Sarah, John, and Cameron return to the house - it has been robbed, but the perps have gone. She discovers that the alarm system was turned off, by John, so Riley could leave via the window. Again, a self-indulgent act by John puts them in jeopardy. "Canada, we should move to Canada," says Cameron. Ms. Glau gets little dialog in this episode, but every line is somehow memorable. Sarah calls Derek about the break-in, but he does not reveal that he is with Jesse. Once more, a member of the team is letting everyone down, and given Derek's hidden agenda - fun with Jesse? - he has little room to criticize John for his immaturity on security of the family.

    At the youth shelter, the counselor has a photo of Cameron, and this somehow appears on the monitor screen of Cromartie's car - he's on the cruise looking for them. He comes to the shelter, showing her a photo of Cameron. But Jody, Cameron's companion from "Allison," sees him with the photo - he claims to be her uncle. Jody blurts out that John Baum is her brother, and she identifies him in a photo too, so now Cromartie smiles - he has obtained valuable data. Both John and Cameron share in the blame for this serious security breach - and now they should question Cameron's decision not to kill Jody. Jody then offers to search for Cameron with him, seeing a chance to get some revenge for Cameron's attack, but she does not think Cromartie's strange ways to be frightening. When Jody finally tires of the search and demands to return to the shelter, he simply shoves her out the door onto the street. This girl now should have enough experience with this group of folks to stay far, far away!

    Knowing that their stolen diamonds would have to be fenced, Derek locates a dealer, and takes Sarah and Cameron to confront him. The fence, Moishe, chatters about the theft and and eye for an eye, mentioning the Brothers of Nablus, so here we get the episode title reference, from a story about revenge, in Genesis 34. He shows them a tray of diamonds, which Cameron analyzes, identifying some as belonging to the Connors. Derek manages to keep her under control but demands the name of the seller - he gives them the name Walter Ostrowski, who works out of Toluca Lake. Derek and the others hear also the name Jesse, but Derek lies to Sarah, saying Jesse was someone who came back with him, and was killed. Again, this quick discussion left me dangling, as I could not understand how-why Jesse was having dealings with a fence.

    Sarah and Cameron go to the Ostrowski's dental office - he tries to escape but Cameron is way too quick, ripping off his car door and grabbing him by the throat. "Tell Moishe I'll pay him," he pleads, thinking they have been sent by the fence to retrieve an unpaid debt. When Sarah detects that he had no part in the burglary, they return to the fence, Moishe, Cameron threatening him with a pistol. The Ostrowski character involved a lot of dialog and scenery for a dead-end plot line, but TSCC leads you this way when everything seems so significant. Then we realize all that script was throw-away arbitrary side lines. Keeps your mind bouncing around, sometimes in a futile attempt to keep up with the story.

    Moishe now fesses up - the head thief was Tristan Dewitt. "You killed Bardo!" (the store guard) he says. Cameron retorts, "Not yet." I like the utter lack of pretension in her dialog, but it means she'll never be a successful politician.

    Sarah and Cameron meet Dewitts' parents, who are willing to talk about their wayward son, as long as they're not calling in the police. But this scene, too, is of a couple throw-away characters, as are the four perps. Since Sarah and Cameron learn little but the possible location of the thieves, the whole "Meet the Parents" scene is rather unnecessary.

    Cameron summarizes Genesis 34 - the Brothers of Nablus. "Your kind of story," Sarah remarks. "Yes, my kind of story," Cameron replies. Sarah then receives a call about a charge on her credit card, and they head to the scene. Somehow Cromartie has that same information from credit card services (how did he know about the burglary?), so he continues on their trail.

    Sarah and Cameron find the thieves at a bowling alley, as the three young burglars fantasize about making their own film. Cameron gets to repeat that often-used Terminator line, "My jacket, give it to me," as she pulls a gun. After they give up the credit card, Cameron shoots them all dead - "They knew where we live." We can see that Sarah has little stomach for such cold-blooded murder, so she goes in search of one other member of the gang, finding a young man huddled in a men's room stall, terrified. She warns him to say nothing about these events, but lets him go. Sarah is now making her own mistakes, and endangering them all. But she is human, and should we not see some difference between her and Cameron?

    John then heads out for shopping with Riley, barely missing Jody and Cromartie - she brought him to the grocery where Cameron was arrested. There's a bit of contrived tension here when they walk along adjacent aisles, but just miss seeing each other.

    Cromartie next finds Kacy's house, asking about his niece (Cameron). She tries to delay him, but John and Riley have just arrived from the store, when Cromartie comes calling. In the most tense scene of the episode, John sees it's Cromartie, he is instantly in a panic, grabbing a shotgun, but Riley remains rather calm, opening the door, and trying to deflect him. Now I have to wonder if Riley knows more than she lets on - is she so familiar with the Terminators that she feels confident in handling them? Or is she just ignorant of the threat? Cromartie barges in, searching, while Riley follows him around and John barely avoids detection. "Thank you for your time," he says as he leaves.

    Derek returns to Jesse's apartment, finding her sunning at the pool. Moishe was dropping her name, but she seems unconcerned. Why does she know him, and why is is Derek not suspicious of her? They look at the peaceful life by the pool, as if it can never be for them, but there they are.

    Ellison's still in jail - the eyewitness is interrogated about the killing of Meyers - his statement seems far-fetched, and the detective presses the man, whose story of a Terminator appearing of course is going to sound far-fetched. The detective knows more than he should, and the witness is disgraced and discounted. This leads to Ellison being released from custody because the witness was not credible. But the interrogator is not what he seemed to be - outside, he becomes Weaver - that's a nice little shock. It's a low-cost scene - there's no real morphing special effects at all, just a film cut. But having this transformation take place on the street in view of others is not credible - no self-respecting Terminator would take that risk.

    Derek and Jesse meet at Moishe's place, taking all the diamonds.

    Outside Ellison's old home, he watches his ex. inside with her new husband, until she comes out to talk. He wanted to see something familiar, and she invites him in, but he refuses. This brief scene is intended to show us more about Ellison, but it's purpose is pretty thin.

    Sarah and Cameron return home, Sarah insisting that John can't bring anyone to the house again, especially Riley. Cameron says simply, "She's a security risk." John continues his rebellious attitude, angrily throwing back "She never tried to kill me," an accusation against Cameron. "My job is to protect you," Sarah hisses at him, while he is still angry that she did not protect him from killing Sarkissian, surely his first direct experience with death, and it is a nightmare for him.

    Ellison comes back to see Weaver at the office suite. She talks about the witness report, and knows there was a twin of Ellison. "I think I'm being tested," Ellison says, followed by Weaver noting parallels with the Biblical story of Job, and in this modern-day version of someone losing everything but his life - who spared Ellison?

    In the finale, Cromartie finds the bowling alley and the last surviving burglar - the young man, who tells him about the credit cards. Cromartie promises that she (Sarah) won't kill him, but it's apparent that he will learn more about Sarah and Cameron, as evidenced by his other-worldly smile. It won't take much coercion of the young man to learn where the burglary took place, so we have to expect the next episode to feature a re-visit by Cromartie to the Connors.

    "Nablus" has some character development, but for the Connors, it's mostly backsliding into decisions that risk their security - and all are involved. Their near-discovery by Cromartie is evidence of their human frailties - a desire for companionship by John, a desire for mercy by Sarah, and a desire for love by Derek. For Ellison, there's much to contemplate - his inner self is difficult to discern, so subtle is his performance in this episode, but he continues to be drawn into the sphere of Weaver, which still puzzles me - it all seems like a huge risk to hobnob with Cromartie after Ellison has seen the capabilities of these machines. Does he have his own hidden agenda - it has to be more than just curiosity? Terminators coming back to impersonate him...does this mean Ellison is a key figure in the fight against Skynet? But Weaver seemed to know about this, so that indicates she is of another Skynet/Terminator faction. It's getting deep, hope I can keep up. Re-run rating C+.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Sarah, John and Derek leave the diamond shop after identifying their diamonds, the street level door stays open, leaving the shop with no security.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • John: You're pissed off because I found someone I actually like spending time with and it's not you.
      Sarah: You think I don't want you to have a normal life?
      John: No, I don't.
      Sarah: Hey, we didn't choose this, John. It chose us. And there's nothing either of us can do about it. My job is to protect you. And you can hate me as much as you want, but I will keep doing that as long as I'm here.

    • Ellison: Miss Weaver. Thank you for believing me.
      Weaver: What good is faith if we don't use it?

    • Sarah: That's why we're here, running a collections agency for your fence?
      Derek: Why we're here is because our security system didn't work. Why we're here is because that boy behaves less like John Connor and more like John Baum every day.
      Sarah: That boy, my son, has been through more than you'll ever know.

    • Cameron: (referring to Riley) She's a security risk.
      John: Really? She's never tried to kill me!

    • Cameron: No one likes a nag.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      New Zealand: November 19th, 2008 on TV2
      United Kingdom: December 4th, 2008 on Virgin 1
      Denmark: January 2nd, 2009 on TV3
      Sweden: March 19th, 2009 on TV6
      Australia: April 24th, 2009 on FOX8
      Norway: August 1st, 2009 on TVNorge
      Germany: September 28th, 2009 on Sky Cinema Hits
      Finland: October 11th, 2009 on Sub
      Czech Republic: October 15th, 2009 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: August 26th, 2010 on Markiza

    • Sarah's voiceovers are once again gone having only been back for one episode. Josh Friedman revealed in his podcast for "The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short" that it was writer Denise The's idea to re-introduce the voiceovers and that he wasn't too keen about the idea of bringing them back. That's most likely the reason why they've disappeared as quickly as they came back.

    • Garret Dillahunt and Leven Rambin return after a three-episode absence.


    • Brothers of Nablus:

      The episode's title is a reference to a story from Chapter 34 in the Book of Genesis of the Bible. In it, Jacob's daughter Dinah was raped by Shechem, a prince of Nablus. Shechem then fell in love with Dinah. Shechem's father bargained with Jacob for his son to marry Dinah. Jacob agreed on the condition that all the men in Nablus become circumcised. Three days later, while the men of Nablus were still in pain from the circumcision, Dinah's brothers rode into the city and killed all the men.