Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 15

Desert Cantos

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 20, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
376 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Sarah, John, Cameron and Derek go in search of clues connected to a factory that has been torn down. Weaver sends a man to the same place to look for survivors.

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

    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
  • 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.

    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
  • Not much happening

    Ok.. it looked maybe little filler or just badly balanced episode as the ending did promise something and maybe it was something major but so far.. the road leading to it was really weird, not much cathcing and far from being fascinated.

    The scenery of the funeral itself was not too bad - it continued where it was left at midseason break.. and on that light previous episode seems little pointless but ok.. it had it's beauty too.

    I think there was nothing I liked so much to mention or nothing I did not liked to mention but in the end it just felt like another hour pass.. not too badly past but still.. no emotion.. no excitement..moreless
  • Slow but steady

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

    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
Alanna Masterson

Alanna Masterson

Zoe McCarthy

Guest Star

Adam Wylie

Adam Wylie

Henry Douglas, Jr.

Guest Star

Susan Floyd

Susan Floyd

Stella McCarthy

Guest Star

Mackenzie Smith

Mackenzie Smith

Savannah Weaver

Recurring Role

Shane Edelman

Shane Edelman

Matt Murch

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (18)

    • John: Is Henry Going to be Okay?
      Zoe: Henry Smokes a lot of weed.

    • John: (when they crash the wake) What's the point?
      Derek: You know what the point is. Your mom thinks that factory was linked to Skynet.
      John: Yeah, and you think she's nuts.
      Derek: Doesn't mean I think she's wrong.

    • Zoe: Am I crazy, or is that girl creepily staring at us?!
      John: (embarrassed when he sees the girl is Cameron) That would be my sister.
      Zoe: I don't like that.
      John: Uh, no, no reason to.

    • Weaver: (completely deadpan) Would you excuse me, Mr Ellison? I'm feeling emotional.

    • Cameron: Native-Americans believe that when their pictures are taken, their souls are stolen and locked in the photograph forever.
      Derek: I think you're safe.

    • John: God, I hate funerals.
      Sarah: I hate Skynet.

    • Zoe: So, you know somebody in Charm Acres, John? Or are you just a sucker for a small town, homey vigil?
      John: My mom, uh, worked at the factory. So she, uh, you know, came to pay her respects.
      Zoe: So you got dragged along.
      John: Little drag, also some push. It seemed like the right thing to do.
      Zoe: Stupid thing to do, if you had a choice. Did you have a choice? Funeral crasher. Stupid funeral crasher.

    • John (referring to Henry): Is that your boyfriend?
      Zoe: You know, he keeps applying for the job. I'm just not hiring.

    • John (referring to dead cows): What's killing them?
      Henry: Idiots with guns.
      Cameron: No bullet wounds.
      Zoe: What are you, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?
      John: Maybe it's the water?
      Cameron: You'd think people would've picked up on that.

    • John: So, you think what - that somebody sabotaged the plant … and killed all these people? Your father?
      Zoe: It wasn't an accident, John. Moo.

    • Sarah: Skynet's here, Reese. I can feel it. (Derek chuckles) What?
      Derek: You called me "Reese" again. That's what you used to call him, isn't it? Kyle? You know, maybe you should try to let him go.
      Sarah: Maybe you should.

    • John: Is Henry gonna be okay?
      Zoe: Henry smokes a lot of weed.
      John: You know, my father died before I was even born.
      Zoe: Yeah, well, my father's a pile of ashes somewhere, so I guess we're both screwed.
      John: I thought you picked out a gray suit to bury him in?
      Zoe: Why am I even talking to you? You don't know me. You don't know what I'm going through. Stop trying to make it seem like you're some kind of sensitivity expert. You don't know anything.

    • Cameron (referring to Zoe): She hasn't looked at her father's picture since we've been here … not once. Neither has her mother.
      Derek: Yeah, and?
      Cameron: If you had a photo of Kyle Reese, you'd look at it, wouldn't you? Maybe there's something I don't understand.
      John: He's not dead.
      Derek: That's a big leap.
      John: Let me repeat what she said : if you had a photo of your brother, would you or would you not look at it?
      Derek (Derek looks at the two women): He's not dead.
      Cameron: We should find him before he is.

    • Derek: We're at a wake … a fake wake.

    • Stella McCarthy: Now, you think I'm sad, that I am pathetic, that I'm what … that I just sleepwalked my way through all of this. Well, maybe you're right, maybe I looked the other way. Well, we all did, every one of us. And maybe that's not what you think you would do, but that is what most people do.
      Zoe: Mom, you don't owe them this.
      Stella McCarthy: So there's no plant now, no plant, no Charm Acres. But it is a lot of insurance money, enough for my family to get lost and start over. So I didn't ask any questions. Why would I start now … when we are so close?

    • Sarah: You may not like asking questions, but me, once I get started, I can't stop.

    • Diana Winston: Look, I deserve the truth. I opened up to you.
      Sarah: Sometimes it's better not to ask too many questions.

    • Weaver: You know, any time you want to see your father, we have videos.
      Savannah: It's not the same.
      Weaver: Why?
      Savannah: I can't sit on his lap.
      Weaver: Come, sit on my lap.
      Savannah: (climbs on its lap) Your lap is cold.
      Weaver: I know.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Guest stars Max Perlich and Adam Wylie both guest starred in multiple episodes of Gilmore Girls.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: March 12th, 2009 on Virgin 1
      New Zealand: May 13th, 2009 on TV2
      Australia: June 19th, 2009 on FOX8
      Norway: September 26th, 2009 on TVNorge
      Sweden: October 22nd, 2009 on TV6
      Finland: December 6th, 2009 on Sub
      Czech Republic: December 10th, 2009 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: September 30th, 2010 on Markiza

    • The town used for the funeral scene is the same set used for Gilmore Girls.

    • Throughout the episode, several messages are shown on screen. They are the words Vigil, Service, Processional, Burial, Wake and Recessional to mark the stages of the funeral.