Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 9


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 17, 2008 on FOX

Episode Recap

Sarah finds herself in Mexico at the town of Dejalo, staring down at the site where Cromartie was buried, but the grave has been dug up and is empty. Sarah is wearing a pink dress, while Cameron, also wearing a dress identical to hers, stands nearby watering a cactus. Suddenly, more cactuses emerge from the ground, growing rapidly into silvery, spiky shapes that resemble the liquid T-1000s. John suddenly appears standing in front of Sarah, with his back to the silvery cactuses. As Sarah backs away from this bizarre scene and collapses weakly to the ground, the cactuses embrace John from behind in a vise-like grip.

The next moment, Sarah wakes up from her dream, inside the SUV, where John is driving. She requests him to stop the vehicle, as she feels car-sick. Stopping the vehicle, Sarah immediately opens the door and throws up on the ground. John brings her a bottle of water, while Cameron asks what's wrong with Sarah. John feels Sarah's head and finds her burning up. Sarah assures them she's fine, but Cameron thinks Sarah's pregnant, which annoys John, asking her how she thought of this. Cameron explains that Kacy has the same symptoms, like vomiting and burning up, when she's pregnant. Sarah thinks it's a bug she caught when she ate unclean food. John tells her that they will be home soon afterwards, and helps his mother up. As Sarah gets up, she finds a small overturned tortoise underneath their vehicle. She picks it up and places it on the ground beside the road. The three then get back in the vehicle and drive off.

Later back home, Sarah wakes up from her rest, as John arrives with medicine. Sarah asks him how she looks, and John replies she looks like crap right now. He then feeds her some medicine. Cameron brings some re-hydration fluid, and tells Sarah to drink one cup every half hour or after she vomits again. Sarah tries to get up and John stops her, asking her where she intends to go. Sarah says that they have to go back to Mexico and destroy Cromartie's body. As the chip is already destroyed, John thinks that Cromartie is dead. Sarah thinks they should incinerate the body as it's the only way to be sure. John reasons that with the chip obliterated and Cromartie's body buried underneath the Mexican desert, they would be… "Safe?" Cameron finishes John's reply. "It's not safe." John thinks Cameron is starting to sound like Sarah, but Sarah says Cameron's right.

While driving, Derek receives a call from Jesse, telling him to meet her and bring a gun. Later, Derek calls out for Jesse, as she waits inside a warehouse. He asks Jesse what's happening, and she tells him that while she was eating Chinese food in a restaurant, she spotted a man called Charles Fischer. Derek does not recall that name, while Jesse gets exasperated and opens a nearby container store. Inside, she introduces Derek to Fischer, a man sent from the future and supposedly works for the machines. He is tied up and gagged on a chair, as Jesse adds that the man is going to die.

As John drives, he watches Cameron sticking her bare foot outside the car window, and asks what she's doing. Cameron thinks by doing this, she feels she can get away from it all. John believes she's talking about feelings and emotions, which she doesn't have any of those. If Cameron was thinking of feeling the wind through her toes and hair, John is pretty sure she cannot feel any of those either. Cameron replies that John does not understand how she works. She says that she has sensations and can feel, and she wouldn't be worth much if she doesn't.

In the warehouse, Derek wants Jesse to explain everything to him again. She tells him that Fischer's a Grey, a human traitor working for Skynet. Jesse thinks Derek ought to remember Fischer as he supposedly saw him in the past. When Derek remains uncertain, Jesse tears off the tape on the man's mouth and demands him to tell Derek who he really is, at gunpoint. The man claims that his name is Paul Stewart, and tells them to look at his driving license. He claims that he's not who Jesse thinks he is. Jesse calls the man a liar, while he shouts that it's a mistake. Derek tells the man he should be safe right here if he helps him.

The man explains that he repairs watches for a living and owns a shop in Pasadena. He tells Derek and Jesse to look through his license to confirm this if they don't believe him. Jesse asks the man, who she insists on calling Fischer, what he's doing back here. The man corrects her with his supposed name, and explains that he was looking around for a second-hand watch. Jesse goes up to him and slaps him hard with the back of her hand. She believes that he's lying and wants him to tell the truth. The man keeps claiming that he's Paul Stewart and lives in Blackburn Ave, while Jesse says he's Fischer and works for Skynet. He denies Jesse's accusation, which causes her to move forward, intending to hurt him, but Derek pulls her back.

Derek goes up to the man and asks if he's supposed to know him. The man says that Derek doesn't know him, and he doesn't know Jesse or whatever she's talking about. He tells them that he's not Charles Fischer. Derek brings Jesse outside the container. He tells her to make sure that the man inside is the one she claims to be. However Jesse is very sure, and asks Derek if he doesn't trust her. Derek explains that he does not mean to distrust her, but he caught four of the Greys and still remembers who they are. Jesse says that they couldn't find Fischer as he was too valuable to the machines and was kept hidden from sight. Jesse asks Derek if he doesn't remember, while he reasons that if the man inside is confirmed to be the one she thinks he is, he's going to deserve whatever's going to happen to him in the room, but not before he reveals who he is and what he's doing here. Derek wants to hear the man say who he is. Jesse says she will make sure the man does.

Sarah wakes up in bed and notices a baby monitor on the table next to her. She hears whispering from the device and gets out of bed. As Sarah approaches the door to the kitchen, she is revealed to be wearing the same dress in the previous dream. When she enters the kitchen, she finds the room has turned into a nursery, with a lot of empty hospital cots. Upon inspecting carefully, the cots are far from empty, revealing three small tortoises nestling in each one. Sarah finds the nearest cot to her empty. Turning around, she sees Cameron sitting in a rocking chair and feeding an unseen infant. Suddenly Sarah appears next to her, as Cameron looks up and smiles at her. She gets up, revealing to be holding a tortoise with both hands. Sarah reaches out with her hand to receive the tortoise, but Cameron moves past her. She goes up to Cromartie and gives him the tortoise, as the terminator looks at it and back at Sarah.

Suddenly, Sarah finds herself pointing a gun outside the house, at night. She watches her reflection on the window and returns inside. In the kitchen, Sarah ponders over something, as she looks at something she drew on the notepad. On it are three black dots that look like the position of the tortoises in the cot she saw in the recent dream.

In Mexico, John and Cameron dig up Cromartie's gravesite. The only thing they found is his boot. John says Cromartie's body is gone, but Cameron thinks it's not possible as they already destroyed his chip. John replies that the terminator didn't walk out of here but he's gone. He knows there's only one person who knows about this, and is crazy enough to dig Cromartie up. He and Cameron get back into their vehicle.

Meanwhile, Derek enters the container with a lunch bag and cuts off the man's arm bonds. He then hands him his lunch, a cheeseburger. The man says he's not hungry, which prompts Derek to ask him if he's a vegetarian. The man says he's not sure what could be inside his food. Derek tests his food by eating a piece of it. The man asks Derek where Jesse is, and he replies she's out. He reiterates to Derek that he's not the man who Jesse thinks he is. He claims to fix watches, and tells Derek that he used to be an engineer but his work got old, so he went to learn watch repair. He asks Derek if he's been to Switzerland. In response, Derek comments on the man's nice story, not convinced that he's telling the truth. The man asks Derek if he doesn't believe him. He then asks Derek if Jesse is his girlfriend and if he loves her. Derek tells him that it's complicated. Upon hearing this, the man chuckles and says he knows complication as he's a watch-maker. He tells Derek that people do crazy things out of love, but he thinks that Jesse's insane. He says Jesse claims to know him and Derek is supposed to know him too, but Derek doesn't look like it. Derek notices an intricate round tattoo on the man's arm. He smiles at the man and takes off his jacket, asking him where he did his time. The man denies it but Derek insists that he did. The man explains that it's a clock tattoo he had made, as he fixes watches. Derek replies that the clock tattoo has no hands, which means life sentence. The man retorts that if he had a life sentence, what would he be doing back here? Derek says he will figure it out, and slaps away the man's food, telling him that lunch is over. He reties the man's arms.

While driving back, John notices Cameron changing radio stations for a trendy one. Derek calls Cameron and wants her to do something, but she ends the call. Derek calls again and wants to talk to her privately. He sends a photo of the man to Cameron and asks her if she recognizes him from anywhere or from her memory banks. Cameron replies no and asks who the man is. Derek explains that the man may be a guy he knows. Cameron comments that the man looks hurt and Derek tells her not to worry about it and ends the call. John asks Cameron who the caller was and upon learning that it was his uncle, he asks her if Derek or his mother is okay. Cameron says they are okay and tells John not to worry about it, giving him a smile.

Sarah visits Dr. Sherman at his clinic. She tells him that it's possible that she has an emergency. Sherman remembers that Sarah came to his clinic asking for help for John's condition over a month ago. After the therapy, he never saw Sarah or the rest of her family again until now. He tells her that she can make an appointment with his assistant the next morning. Sarah insists on a session as she's here now, but Sherman tells her to make an appointment and he will see what he can do. Sarah tells Sherman that she is suffering from flu and she could not sleep. When she does sleep, she has these weird nightmares and also experiences sleepwalking. Sherman asks where Sarah headed to when she sleepwalks. She tells him that she was chasing someone or being chased. Sherman understands this but asks her where she went. Sarah replies that she went the hell out. Sherman relents and tells her to come into his office.

John and Cameron wait in their car opposite Ellison's house. Cameron tells John that there are many things that she doesn't understand, like the overturned tortoise that Sarah turned over back in Mexico. John says Sarah was helping it, but Cameron wants to know why. John explains that's what humans do, when they see someone in pain or in trouble, they help it. Cameron thinks it's empathy and John confirms this. Cameron says that not everyone turns the tortoise over; John replies that some would just leave it there. Cameron says that some would even drive over and crush it. John asks her what she would do. She replies that the tortoise doesn't seem much of a threat, and they are not built to be cruel. Both of them watch Ellison parking his car and returning home, and then they get out of their vehicle and follow after him.

Ellison enters his house only to be strangled by Cameron, who holds him up and throws him onto the couch. Cameron throws aside the table, as John tells Ellison that Cromartie's body is gone. Ellison says it's impossible, but John says that he's the only one who knew where they buried it and they have to destroy it. Ellison asks who would want the body, but Cameron grabs and throws him onto a corner of the room. She says Ellison's lying, but John says that she doesn't know that. In response, Cameron grabs Ellison again and throws him onto the table, shattering it, and starts strangling him. Ellison pleads to both of them that he doesn't know anything. John says he's telling the truth and to let him go. Cameron says that she can find out for certain but John insists her to let Ellison go. He apologizes to Ellison, as Cameron turns him over and then leaves. John stays around and notices a photo of Sarah, in the debris of the furniture, taken when she lived in Mexico, and takes it.

Meanwhile, Jesse brings a hooded and tied-up man to Derek and Fischer. She announces to both of them that the man will tell them who Fischer is. She tells Derek she got the proof, as she reveals a red birthmark on the second man's neck. She goes over to the first man and reveals the same mark on his neck like the first, though it looks darker, and then punches him. Later, Jesse tears off the tape on the younger man's mouth, as he pleads to her and Derek not to hurt him. Jesse says it's up to the older man, and the younger man asks who he is. Jesse asks the young man who he is, and he replies that his name is Charlie Fischer. He does retrofitting as a service technician in the SRF, and then tells them that he doesn't know what he's doing here.

Jesse in turn tells the older man to tell the younger man who he is. The older man remains silent for a few moments, and then replies that he already told them who he is. He says that this is all a crazy ploy to trick both him and the younger man by Derek and Jesse. He shouts to Jesse and demands to know what she wants from him. Jesse goes over to the older man and beats him up, demanding him to tell the truth, while Charlie Fischer cringes from this scene.

Later, Derek and Jesse get into a heated argument about what Charles Fischer is doing back here in the past. Derek thinks Fischer is AWOL like her, while Jesse denies this, and tells him that the man was sent back by the machines for a reason. She whispers into Derek's ear and tells him to beat the hell out of the man and get him to talk. They go back inside the container and Derek picks a set of pliers from the toolbox. He goes over to the younger Fischer and calmly removes one of his fingernails as he screams, to both the older man's and Jesse's horror. He proceeds to remove another of his fingernails as young Fischer pleads with him. Derek apologizes and continues to remove it and Fischer screams. The older man tells Derek not to hurt the boy. Derek tells the older man that some people, when they are beaten up, they can take it. All the pain that you give them, they will absorb it. He says that people use hate to eat up the pain. He continues saying that the good ones love themselves once, but at the end of the day, the young man is like kids playing in the park. Derek is about to tear off another of the younger Fischer's fingernails when the older man tells him to stop, and says he is Charles Fischer and to let the young Fischer go. Young Fischer says this is all insane, but Derek ignores him and asks Old Fischer what he's doing here and if the machines sent him back.

Old Fischer says that the machines didn't send him back and he isn't on a mission. Jesse interjects that nobody comes back without a mission. Old Fischer says that coming back here is a reward for him. He explains that when the nuclear bombs were dropped, he was locked up in Pelican Bay under solitary confinement. He says that if he hadn't been in prison, he would not have survived Judgment Day. But once the machines got him, it was either he teach them everything he learned inside, or say goodbye. Derek asks what he learned, and Old Fischer tells him that he learned what makes people tick. In response, Jesse throws him to the ground as Derek pulls her away.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sherman gets the details from Sarah about how she got the dreams from a fever after something she ate in Mexico. He asks her what she's doing in Mexico, and Sarah lies that she was on a vacation. Sherman asks her if she suffered any trauma during the time he didn't see her, like a crisis in the family. Sarah says they should be talking about her dreams, but Sherman says that without knowing details of her life, he isn't sure what he can tell her. But he can tell her that dreams mirror a central conflict in life. He guesses that the central conflict is her son. Sarah confirms this, and Sherman asks if there's any conflict with her "daughter". Sarah says it's different with her and feels that she doesn't even need to talk about her. In response, Sherman asks why Sarah is even here. To him, she looks like she came in and pretended to talk about her dreams. She refuses to talk about John and Cameron which, to his opinion, seem like her obsession with the three dots is all about. There's nothing much he can do if all she wanted to talk about are those dots. Sarah is unable to think of anything to say. After moments of silence, Sherman gets up and tells Sarah that nothing much is going to happen around here until she starts getting honest with him.

Meanwhile, Young and Old Fischer look at each other inside the container alone. After a while, Old Fischer says the young Fischer seems surprised. Young Fischer is not convinced about Judgment Day and the machines, and Old Fischer tells him he has no idea what he does. He asks Young Fischer what the hardest decision he ever made, citing the girls he's planning to date and getting time off from work for his grandfather's funeral, for instance. He tells Young Fischer that if he thinks he knows who he is, he doesn't have a clue. Young Fischer instead asks him if he can't tell Derek and Jesse everything. Besides, he seemed much safer here than he is. Old Fischer asks if he feels safe.

Jesse tells Derek that Old Fischer is playing on them, making them think he's weak. Derek asks how she knew and Jesse insists that she does. She says that even though Derek does not remember, she knows Fischer is the worst of the traitors out there. She wants him to die very badly, and doesn't want to care what his mission back here is. Derek asks Jesse what Fischer did to her. She tells him that there was a riot in the bunker, and took out most of the command, including children, leaving the remaining people to be captured by the machines. A flashback shows Jesse strapped to an operating bed. In voiceover, she explains that the machines took the prisoners to this place. Fischer was there, talking to the terminator endoskeletons outside the room looking in. He was teaching them how to "talk" to people, how to get information from people, and how to beat people. She felt it was a perverse theater with Fischer teaching machines instead of humans. Derek asks how long the experiment went. Jesse replies it was weeks or months. Fischer would inject drugs into the subject and starve them, talking to him/her for hours, days, just to break him/her up. Derek asks how she got out but she doesn't know as he never told her. Derek is stunned to hear that he supposed to know this but doesn't remember. Jesse tells him that it wasn't her Fischer got, but Derek himself. In a flashback, Derek is screaming in pain inside the operating theatre. Jesse gets emotional, saying that she can't believe Derek doesn't remember. Derek is unable to absorb this revelation.

Later, he storms back into the container with Jesse, formally introduces himself to Old Fischer on his name and rank in the Resistance, and then starts beating him up. Old Fischer says he isn't on a mission but Derek says he doesn't care and continues punching him. Old Fischer says Derek remembers now and he had wondered how long it took for him to do that. In response, Derek tells him that he doesn't remember at all, but Jesse does, so it's good enough for him. At this, Jesse starts to flow tears from her face. Old Fischer asks Derek if he wants to kill him, but Derek says not him and then points his gun to Young Fischer, intending to kill him, but a gunshot rings out and Old Fischer is killed, fired by Jesse. Young Fischer is relieved and keeps thanking Derek and Jesse, as Derek is shocked by Jesse's action.

Sarah calls out to John from the couch as he returns home. She shows the notepad with the three dots to John and asks him if these things mean anything to him. She tells him that she keeps seeing them in her dreams so it must mean something. But John doesn't know anything and instead tells Sarah that she's sick from chasing robots. He tells her that they couldn't find Cromartie's body. Sarah immediately thinks of Ellison but John tells her that he's sure he wasn't the one who took the body. She thinks that seeing Cromartie in her dreams must be connected to something, but John says it's only a dream. Sarah tells her son that she led Cromartie back to him, when she let the remaining member of the robbers live. She knew what to do but she didn't do it and let him go, which led to Cromartie finding him. John tells his mother that they aren't murderers and she's not one. Sarah tells John to tell this to the boy, and she's sure he's dead. In the meantime, they have to continue searching for the body.

Meanwhile, Derek finishes burying Old Fischer's body and gets into the car, where Jesse is waiting. They talk about having let Young Fischer go, as they think he won't be the monster in the future which they hope he won't. Jesse asks Derek if he doesn't remember any of it, not even a flash. Derek doesn't remember anything, while Jesse tells him that Fischer was a topic they often talked about back there. Derek supposedly talked often about how Fischer treated him and how he was going to find him one day, to the point of obsession. When Derek doesn't respond, Jesse thinks it was a trauma that he blocked. Derek tells her maybe, maybe not. He thinks that this event may have never happened to him, but Jesse says she was there. Derek comes with a theory that maybe he came from a future where it didn't happen and Jesse came from one where it did happen. Jesse asks him if that's possible. Derek explains that since he came back here, he has changed things, in effect changing the future. He asks her if this isn't their objective, changing the future. Jesse asks him if there's a version of the future where they aren't together. Derek replies no and takes her hand with his.

Later, Young Fischer goes back to work, entering a high-security area using bio-metric scans, which confirms him to be a sub-contractor working for SRF Systems. Upon entering, he is approached by FBI and DHS agents and is requested to come with them. In the interrogation room, Fischer is told that he supposedly broke into the building 2 nights ago using unauthorized access. Fischer denies ever doing that but the DHS agent says that computers never lie, showing him a list of log-in names with his name on that time period. A flashback shows Old Fischer accessing the scan which confirms his identity as he enters the high-security area. The DHS agent tells Fischer that the system allows his access to primary military industrial complex computer systems. Fischer says it must be a mistake as he only does retrofitting. In flashback, Old Fischer does some reprogramming on the computer systems. In the present, Fischer is told that "he" was installing a roving back door into the systems, one that the authorities can't dismantle so far. He denies having done all this, while the DHS agent notices his bruises and the fingernail injuries and asks him to explain it. Fischer does not know how to explain it, but the agent tells him to try.

A car pulls up to Ellison as he waits at a secluded train depot area. Catherine Weaver steps out of the car and asks him what he's going to show her. Without a word, Ellison opens his trunk and shows Cromartie's body to her. He tells her that they need to know how they work, how to fight them. Elsewhere, Young Fischer explains in vain to the DHS agents as they search through the container he was held captive in, now cleaned of evidence. He is later locked in solitary confinement, a foreshadowing of what he will become, as Ellison says that history must not repeat itself, not if they have the power to stop it. "It is up to us now," Ellison tells Catherine, "The two of us." Catherine smiles. "Yes, it is." she says.

In her latest dream, Sarah, wearing the same pink dress, climbs down Cromartie's burial site, which seemed even deeper than ever before. She opens a door set inside, to find herself entering Sherman's office. Confused, Sarah asks Sherman what she is doing here. Sherman tells her that he doesn't know. He tells her it's a waste of time as she lies and lies. Sarah repeats his words, and Sherman asks her if she has things to do. Sarah confirms this, and Sherman turns back to the book he's reading. She says she should get back to work.

After waking from the dream, Sarah goes to the basement, holding a torch. She highlights Sherman's name with the bloodied messages the deceased Resistance member left previously. As she looks around, she finds the same pattern of three dots she kept seeing in her dreams, next to Carl Greenway's name.