Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 9


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 17, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
391 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Sarah experiences deja vu when she has disturbing nightmares, meaning trouble for Sarah and John. Derek and Jesse look into a Skynet collaborator.

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  • The "evil Toby" (for you West Wing fans) appears as a notorious traitor from the future. But more seeds have been sown for the future and it doesn't look good for the home team.moreless

    It was interesting to see an episode where Derek and Jessee were the "A" story and the rest of the characters were in the "B" story. The conversation at the end where Derek posits that perhaps he comes from a future where he hasn't been tortured by Fisher but Jessee is from that future....doesn't bode well. Jessee came back from a later than Derek, so if the home team is changing the future - they might be changing it for the worse. I keep thinking of the promo for Terminator 4 which has John Connor saying, "This isn't the future my mother told me about."

    But, Derek still might have come from that future and he is a "Manchurian Candidate" good guy. Remember that old TNG episode where Jordy almost assassinates an ambassador through brain washing? Derek might have a hole in his memory. And what, pray tell, was Fisher typing into the system?

    Sarah's dream story was less interesting but not bad. John's relationship with Summer Glau's character is still underdeveloped. And will Riley show back up?

    Isn't the actress who plays Jessee the same one who did BSG Razor? All in all, good developmental episode, especially after 'killing' Cormorde (or however you spell that one). Of course, the T-2 terminator might find a way to bring him back.

    Until next week....moreless
  • Another slightly odd episode, but a good one

    I liked this episode, though it was another odd one. It was good to see Cameron and John together again. Cameron always seems more human around him, like she tries harder. Derek is still in a story all his own. I hope his storyline get integrated with the main threat of the story soon as the slip is starting to get distracting. I find it interesting that there is no Riley in this episode at all. I would think she would need some closure after the last episode. Overall, I feel the episode was very well done. It definitely peeks my interest as to what Jessie is doing and if they really are changing the future or just making sure it happens. I do not like the path Elison is on and hope he gets wise soon. As I mentioned I hope some of the plot threads start weaving together soon.moreless
  • This episode tries to look into what makes people tick.

    So, the theme of this episode was finding out what makes people or machines tick.

    Ellison is driven by the desire to understand his role in all this and to find a way to actively fight the coming Armageddon. He thinks by delivering Cromartie's body for analysis he'll contribute to that end, so he hides his actions from John. Trying to "fight" on his own as he wasn't invited to fight with the Connors.

    In the scenes with Cameron and John we see Cameron trying to understand feelings, emotions; testing them and herself really. As she says, she wouldn't be worth much if she couldn't feel them. That brings the question, worth much to whom? John, herself, the machines?

    Derek and Jessie's story revolves around a machine collaborator who has come back from the future. Derek learns about some missing weeks or months he has spent tortured by this individual as a subject to teach the machines to appear more human. Derek still can't remember this time but finally believes Jessie it really happened and then Charles Fisher (the elder) confirms it). Derek shows his understanding of people under extreme stress himself when he doesn't try to get the elder man to talk by torturing him directly but by doing this to the younger version of the man. He wants to get to the reason of Charles Fisher's appearance back in time and later wants to prevent him from coming into being as a traitor to humanity by killing the young man. But in both cases Jessie interferes and finally kills the old guy and shows a surprising lack of interest in what happens to the young one. They let that one go and future history repeats itself (how is that for a paradox).

    Again, they let someone who has learned about the future just go on his way, not trying to bring him in, not killing him to prevent him to becoming a traitor, nothing. Weird, to say the least.

    And still, Derek keeps his life and Jessie separate from the Connors, not really working together for their supposed common goal.

    And of course Sarah being ill goes into her own subconscious to figure out what makes herself tick. She even seeks out the psychiatrist again to help analyze her dreams but since she can't reveal her life she has to figure it out by herself. Ultimately it leads her to the blood writing in their garage (or whatever). So, some warning of some kind, but she and later John can't yet see what the three dots that were repeatedly in her dreams and she found on the wall later on, where all about.

    There is an unfortunate tendency in all people involved to "go it alone", keep things to themselves and thus to be integral in bringing about what they fear. Very human I'm sure, but in the face of what they know will happen if they don't prevent it and unite against the threat, still rather disturbing.

    So, I guess, the story is evolving at an accelerated speed it certainly makes me want to keep watching and at the same time frustrates me with people working more against each other than with each other. Guess, that's good television..moreless
  • So Cameron Likes music!

    Is not all about violence you know… I gave this episode a 8.5. I was almost giving this episode a 10 because it doesn't have bad stuff. But there is one thing that take that 10 away from this episode: This episode was predictable. (And it dosen't feel like a 9)

    I don't know if it was suppose to be a surprise when Ellison shows Cromartie's body to Catherine Weaver but I saw that coming since the moment John and Cameron did not find the body. But hey, the episode was pretty good anyway. Derek is doing something at least worth watching (finally!). And what about Cameron? She went beyond what I expected from her. Friedman needs to come up with a good explanation for all this, because she cannot simply be a normal terminator after all she has showed us (And yeah this is one of the good things). The whole old man from the future thing was not bad. And Sarah's nightmare scenes were interesting (Sarah Connor Chronicles?). Overall nice episode, that shows us that the future can be changed. Will they ever learn Cameron is always right about the people she beats up? (Old Mexican man from season 1, Ellison, Thief Kid) This is the 3rd time already.moreless
  • Errors in judgment

    After the events of the previous episode, one would expect things to settle a bit in this installment. And for the most part, that's true. It's a transitional episode that sets up the next direction for the season arc, but it's also a capable denouement for the confrontation with Cromartie. Sarah's band of merry men (and cyborgs) continues to deal with psychological trauma.

    Sarah is a mess, and I'm torn between being annoyed and being impressed. I'm annoyed because this occasionally swings too closely to genuine weakness, and as damaged as Sarah is in every incarnation, she's best known for honing that damage into battle armor. I doubt she was a blubbering wreck in the mental institution. Yet Sarah has had it together a little too much this season, and it's time that her grip on sanity slipped a bit.

    Cameron and John were on more conventional duty, charged with hunting down Cromartie's remains and destroying them. Cameron was back to her usual unsettling tendencies, switching back and forth between clinical brutality and uncanny human response, and looking damn good in the process. More interesting was John's error (or, more correctly, his lack of insight). Ellison completely fooled him, despite the torture.

    Ellison's resistance ties into Derek's experience with Charles Fisher, a collaborator from the future. Derek eventually persuades Fisher to admit his identity after struggling with the future as Jesse remembers it. Derek ultimately offers an explanation for his memory gap: perhaps he's from a different version of the future, since he and the Connors might have changed the timeline. That's certainly an interesting possibility.

    But what makes this such an interesting episode is the lack of success. John's mistakes are more obvious, and one wonders if Sarah or Derek might have noticed some subtle clue that John missed. Ellison's decision to take Cromartie's remains and hand them to Weaver will hardly end well. Surprisingly, Derek is just as mistaken; he believes Fisher when he says that his time in the past was a reward. Clearly, whatever Fisher did to bring about his own incarceration will factor into future episodes.

    I had mentioned in the review for the previous episode that defeating Cromartie should just be the beginning in terms of dealing with the psychological issues plaguing the Connors and their allies. This episode is a good sign that the writers are on the same page.moreless
Dorian Harewood

Dorian Harewood

Dr. Boyd Sherman

Guest Star

Adam Busch

Adam Busch

Young Fischer

Guest Star

John Kelly

John Kelly


Guest Star

Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen

Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This episode contains a classic causality loop. Fischer is recruited by Skynet because he was in prison for using his computer expertise illegally. His mission is to go back in time and commit the crime for which his younger self was wrongfully sent to prison, thus providing his motivation to work for Skynet.

    • Goofs: Derek uses his Motorola mobile phone to send a picture message to Cameron. This is impossible for two reasons: the model of phone he uses has no camera in-built to have taken that picture, and that model is not capable of sending an MMS message of any photo to another phone.

    • The Polaroid John found in former FBI Agent Ellison's home was of his mother, Sarah, and was taken while she was pregnant with John by a kid hustling tourists for money. She ended up buying the Polaroid because she admired his hustle, in the ending scene of the first film, The Terminator. Young John possessed the photo in Terminator 2, so how Ellison obtained the photo is unknown. In the future, John gives this Polaroid to Kyle Reese and tells him she was the best fighter/soldier he ever knew. Kyle keeps it as a good-luck charm, not knowing that John will later send him back in time to protect his mother and also become his father.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Derek: Some people, you can beat them and beat them, and they'll take it. Whatever pain you give them, they absorb it, like it was theirs all along, and you're giving it back to them. You see, deep down, they hate themselves, and they use that hate to eat the pain.

    • Sarah: I've had some bad luck with shrinks.
      Dr. Sherman: Well, you could stop calling them shrinks, that might help.

    • John: (about Cromartie) He's buried in a hole in the middle of the Mexican desert, and his chip has been obliterated. I think we're pretty ...
      Cameron: ... Safe? It's not safe.
      John: (to his mom) Oh, God, she's starting to sound like you.

    • (Sarah is vomiting at the side of the road)
      Cameron: Is she pregnant?
      John: Why the hell would you even ask that?
      Cameron: Kacey vomited when she was pregnant. (to Sarah) You're vomiting. It's morning. That's when it happens.

    • John: When we see something that's in pain or in trouble or whatever, we try and help it.
      Cameron: Empathy.
      John: Something like that.
      Cameron: But not everyone would turn the tortoise over.
      John: Nope. Some would just leave it there.
      Cameron: Some would probably drive over it. Crush it.
      John: Yeah, I guess they would. Is that what you'd do?
      Cameron: It didn't seem like much of a threat. We're not built to be cruel.
      John: Yeah, that's one for cyborgs.

    • John: How're you feeling?
      Sarah: How do I look?
      John: Like crap.
      Sarah: (takes the medicine John's brought her) Wish I felt that good.

    • Derek: Maybe I came from a future where it never happened, and now you've come from a future where it did.
      Jesse: Is that possible?
      Derek: Since I've been back here, I ... I've done things. I've ... I've changed things ... Maybe I changed the future. That's why we're here isn't it? To change the future ...

    • (Derek cuts Fischer's bond and hands him a burger)
      Derek: You hungry?
      Fischer: Not hungry.
      Derek: You a vegetarian?
      Fischer: No. I just … I don't know what's in that.
      (Derek takes a bite and hands the burger back)
      Derek: Cheeseburger's in that.

    • (Cameron is riding with her foot draped out the window)
      John: What are you doing?
      Cameron: Feeling what it's like to get away from it all.
      John: I don't think you are.
      Cameron: What do you mean?
      John: If by feelings you mean emotions, I'm pretty sure you still don't have any of those. And if by feeling you mean what it feels like to have the wind blow through your toes or your hair, (sighs) I'm pretty sure you can't feel that either.
      Cameron: I don't think you understand how we work. I have sensation. I feel. I wouldn't be worth much if I couldn't feel.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      New Zealand: December 3rd, 2008 on TV2
      United Kingdom: December 18th, 2008 on Virgin 1
      Denmark: January 16th, 2009 on TV3
      Brazil: February 10th, 2009 on Warner Channel
      Sweden: April 1st, 2009 on TV6
      Australia: May 8th, 2009 on FOX8
      Norway: August 15th, 2009 on TVNorge
      Germany: October 5th, 2009 on Sky Cinema Hits
      Finland: October 25th, 2009 on Sub
      Czech Republic: October 29th, 2009 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: September 9th, 2010 on Markiza

    • Adam Busch (Young Fischer) played the character of Warren on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who was a creator of life-like robots.


    • Blade Runner:
      In the movie Blade Runner, questions about overturning a tortoise on it's back are used during psychological tests to distinguish humans from replicants, who do not possess the same capacity for empathy.