Official Discussion Thread - Alpine Fields (possible spoilers)

  • Avatar of m00nshadow

    m00nshadow

    [21]Dec 9, 2008
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    I just read all the posts up til now. It seems that this is a love-it-or-hate-it episode. It did feel confusing and unsatisfying to me. I've watched it twice through, so I'm not saying I hated it, just that it didn't seem to add anything new, except still more characters, like they don't have enough of those yet. I suppose I am more attracted to the less traditional, riskier episodes, like Alison from Palmdale, or Mr. Ferguson.
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  • Avatar of robotchurch

    robotchurch

    [22]Dec 9, 2008
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    I didn't like it very much. It was one of those cheap episodes with nearly no budget.

    Pointless Story, and nearly all of the more interesting cast was completely missing.

    I suggest that season 2 now had enough low budget episodes. This is also a good thing.

    With the money they have saved, the remaining following episodes should be very high-budget (I hope).

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    Leppie

    [23]Dec 9, 2008
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    Can someone explain the time line for me? How did the Sarah stuff happen 6 months ago but they found the family's name on the bloody wall? And it seems like Derek does not know about them so....confuzzled.
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    VixenofVenus

    [24]Dec 9, 2008
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    Well, I see the timeline question as one of two ways to be viewed:

    A) When it says Six Months ago, they meant very early after the guy came back and wrote on the wall which was also when Derek discovered Jesse was back and he began not hanging around the house as much ... which, I can't really blame him for, Jesse may be nuts, but she's sexy-nuts

    B) When it says Six Months ago, they meant the current timeline, so right after the last episode took place, but when we see Derek helping the girls and them killing the T-888, that's actually six months from NOW.

    Either way, it really doesn't matter since nothing in the episode really hinges on WHEN it takes place in relationship to the overall storyline. But I guess you could infer that six months or more have passed since the guy from the future wrote on the wall ...

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  • Avatar of Kim245

    Kim245

    [25]Dec 10, 2008
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    Didn't love this one. It seems many of the episodes lately have had problem of the week type formulas, rather than a nice season story arc which i think suits the show better.

    anyway, seems like us Aussies are living sweet post Judgement day... or every so slightly better than America town.

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    BoogerHeadRat

    [26]Dec 10, 2008
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    Hmmm. Horkiller…

    …wasn't that Sarah Palin's nickname in high school or am my confusing her with Laura Bush? Either way thank you for expressing yourself. I will try to leave lots of asterisks at the end of this posting since you might have run out after your last post.

    My, looking over what many people have written about this episode being out of sync with the central plot kind of makes me want to say, "Hey Folks, you know this isn't a soap opera like the Young and Tasteless".

    It's a weekly series and there should be some room for the authors of this marvelous story to create an environment where they can develop characters and think up new plot twists away from their central theme. This isn't an overhaul of some old classic but a storyline that has to reinvent itself as it goes along. Yeh, we all know the basic plot from the movie trilogy but by the very fact that it involves time travel in order to change the expected future means anything can happen. To make that believable the scriptwriters need the freedom to experiment with the battle for Mankind's future happening on a number of levels. Who really believes the machines would drop all their eggs in one basket with the idea that if they kill John Conner they win. If machines were that dumb they'd be running FEMA.

    As far as it being one of those 'cheap episodes' please remember that good drama doesn't always depend on exploding cars or heavy CG effects for it to be good. The character development in the last few episodes has been incredible as Cameron struggles with her evolving concept of what humanity is while Sarah seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown over the dots. Even the question mark hanging over Derek and Jesse seems to come to light as we get some insight into their futurepast.

    I don't mean to slam anyone for their critiques but PLEASE allow the writers some freedom without whining too much.

    So. Good episode by me. I loved the wonderful, effortless acting from Samantha Krutzfeldt as Lauren. The interaction between her and Derek set a dark and pensive tone for what life must have been for people in that post Judgment Day future. And of course I winced at seeing Cameron getting thrown through that window. It hurt the same way it does when you see you quarterback limping off the field after getting sacked. I was really glad to see her get revenge against the triple eight by driving like a typical female. And I can't help but agree with Don_Moltisanti's post about the anticipation of the looming showdown between Cameron and Riley. It's gonna be vicious.

    I have faith it will be a good season finale.

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    Edited on 12/10/2008 7:40am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of ebony_kunoichi

    ebony_kunoichi

    [27]Dec 10, 2008
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    netgoddess wrote:

    I thought the storyline was pretty decent. I like how Derek saves the baby's life and how that ties in to his future. He fully understands the impact of saving them. It also shows how he meets his girlfriend (I forgot her name)

    I really enjoy plots where they deal with the time travel aspect and show bits of the future and of the past. It was pretty clever. Do you call it a flashback still if it was in the girl's future and in Derek's past?

    It's kinda funny how the annoying dad character was not actually the target even though he was doing something with cybernetics.

    Sarah is awesome as always. I thought that Cameron's role was too small. She didn't say much and we didn't get to see her take down the T888

    I really liked the androgynous girl's character. She was super sexy. The "I was looking at lesbian porn" line cracked me up.

    I now have fantasies of her and Summer making out in an ottake (LOL, I can dream right?) Yeah, I know I'm hopelessly bi...

    Still, I'm looking forward to some more episodes with Ellison and Weaver and the Turk-Cromartie. Still not sure how Cromartie got repaired seeing as half his head was blown off.



    you naughty vixen!!!!

    I thought this episode was a great look at the future and any episode with Derek in it is always, always, a plus.
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  • Avatar of arter666

    arter666

    [28]Dec 10, 2008
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    Interesting episode, I always like the future elements, plus they don't waste time with useless stuff and dialog when they are doing those.

    Nice to see general Perry from the future again, good character.

    This episode had a lot of Derek background and feelings in it. I believe that the time he was holding the handgun outside the bunker was

    the event where he was considering suicide. Wasn't obvious but the writers hinted at this. Loved Lauren, a girl who had her stuff together in

    a family in ruin. Dad wasn't bad. He did banking with the computer company, but didn't appear to know anything technical.

    The timeline works best if the plus 6 months is ahead of where we are now in the other episodes. Can't be sure of what year it is in this show.......

    So Derek received the vaccination against the bio-virus in the future before he came back to the present. Someone mentioned that maybe he

    gave the baby a low dose contamination when he held her and thus helped her become immune. Great time loop if so.....

    I also don't know why the family didn't try to leave while Cameron and the other terminator were fighting. Seems Cameron could have delayed him enough during this time to get to the other cabin / road. Cameron gives up alot of size and leverage to the other terminators and her track record is mostly losses in straight up fights.

    Would have liked a little more dialog from Cameron, but Summer probably needed a shorter shooting day.....

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  • Avatar of therealcromar

    therealcromar

    [29]Dec 11, 2008
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    Useless trivia: this isn't the first time Carlos Jacott (who played the dad) has pointed a gun at Summer Glau. He played the fed in the first episode of Firefly. Adam Baldwin made a Firefly reference on Chuck last week, I wonder if this one was intentional too?

    I loved the concept of this episode and most of the scenes. The only thing I didn't like was the sparse action in the "6 months ago" part. I imagine this was a budgetary issue, as I'm sure all of the future scenes in this season were quite expensive, and the fall finale will probably have a huge action piece as well.

    That aside there were a lot of really fantastic moments this week. Lauren was one of the best one-episode characters we've seen so far, very strong and intelligent. I loved the red herring with David's "job", it showed that it's not easy to figure out exactly what Skynet is up to (just like the chip episode). I admire the fact that the show has expanded the scope of the story to let us know that John is not the center of the universe. I know they have been doing this slowly over the course of the series and I think they've really gotten there now. There are many other targets and objectives; sometimes our heroes win, sometimes they lose.

    I've noticed that for the second half of the season they've had each episode focus on one or two characters and ignore the rest. Last week which was all about Cameron with a short John B-Story but no Derek or Sarah. Both of those characters got a great deal of growth there. Before that we had Ellison, Weaver, and Cromartie receive all of the attention. This week it's Derek and Sarah's turn. I think this is a pretty daring and unique strategy. Most TV shows have quotas for their characters to ensure that everyone has a certain amount of screen time and lines, often shoehorning characters into stories that don't necessarily need to feature them.

    With the Shield off the air this is now my favorite running series. It has a great blend of ongoing serialized storytelling with one-off adventures. Yet, nothing feels like a wasted week. No matter where the plot goes, the writers find a way to help us learn more about the characters and progress the story.

    Edited on 12/11/2008 12:26am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of theterranaut

    theterranaut

    [30]Dec 11, 2008
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    @Horkiller:

    Actually, Horkiller, I think you have missed the point- the affair was central to the plot, and here's why;

    The mother and her lover create a child that has certain genetic characteristics not present in the mothers existing

    child, namely a resitance to a certain disease. Had these traits been present in the older sister's genetic makeup,

    then it could well have been she who became the "JD Shapely" that saves the human race from the metal's bio-weapon.

    But it was necessary, plot-wise, that the child be genetically different from her sister- hence why she has a different father.

    Nothing to do with prurience.

    regards

    tt

    Edited on 12/11/2008 7:21am
    Edited 3 total times.
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  • Avatar of m00nshadow

    m00nshadow

    [31]Dec 11, 2008
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    No, that's wrong. Every sibling gets about half of the same DNA, unless they're identical twins. So she didn't need another father. It seems to me the point of the affair was to provide Mom with the strong motivation needed to break the no-phone rule and call the real father.
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    ebony_kunoichi

    [32]Dec 11, 2008
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    About the DNA, its obvious that something in the dad's DNA allowed for sydney to be born immune to the virus. So yes they needed different fathers. The terminator was trying to kill mom and not the other daughter. The terminator had a target and the oldest daughter was not immune.
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  • Avatar of theterranaut

    theterranaut

    [33]Dec 11, 2008
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    Hi M00nshadow,

    Great theory, very thought-provoking. I take your point about the affair having another side.

    But it wasn't strictly necessary to the plot for the phone call to be to the lover; I think the

    father could have been left in with little significance to the overall plot.

    But there's definitely a genetic bent to it as well- why else would the older sibling need to

    wear bio-protective gear, if she too carried this immunity?

    You are correct in what you say about sibling DNA, of course, but introducing a wild mutation

    into a herd is often done in breeding, simply by using a different parent. I felt the scriptwriters

    echoed this in the lines about rabbits and their resistance to myxomatosis- "only takes 1 pair to

    survive" etc.

    cheers

    theterranaut

    Edited on 12/11/2008 10:51am
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  • Avatar of VixenofVenus

    VixenofVenus

    [34]Dec 11, 2008
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    m00nshadow wrote:
    No, that's wrong. Every sibling gets about half of the same DNA, unless they're identical twins. So she didn't need another father. It seems to me the point of the affair was to provide Mom with the strong motivation needed to break the no-phone rule and call the real father.

    Somebody needs to take High School biology again ...

    Actually about 99% of all humans have the SAME DNA sequences, it's the last 1% that sets us appart as individuals. Anf from that 1%, there are literally millions of millions of different combinations. For a SINGLE genetic trait though, if one parent is a carrier for the trait, there is a 25% chance of a child being born with the trait, and 50% if both parents have the trait ... but only if it's a dominant trait. If it is a recessive trait, even if BOTH parents have the trait recessively, there is still only a 25% chance of a child being born with the trait.

    In the case of a genetic anomaly though, such as one which causes an immunity to a certain disease, the odds of it happening are astronomically small. Look at it this way ... how many people do you know who are born with a natural immunity to a certain deadly disease??

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  • Avatar of netgoddess

    netgoddess

    [35]Dec 11, 2008
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    ebony_kunoichi wrote:
    netgoddess wrote:

    I really liked the androgynous girl's character. She was super sexy. The "I was looking at lesbian porn" line cracked me up.

    I now have fantasies of her and Summer making out in an ottake (LOL, I can dream right?) Yeah, I know I'm hopelessly bi...

    you naughty vixen!!!!

    LOL I guess I am...but hey my nickname isn't VixenOfVenus so maybe she deserves the title instead

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  • Avatar of m00nshadow

    m00nshadow

    [36]Dec 12, 2008
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    Meeouch. Well, that totally missed the point of what I said, which was just that she didn't need to have a different parent to be genetically distinct from her sister. And there's a simpler reason for why the writers added the affair to a pretty messy plot. It motivates Mom to conceal the pregnancy at the beginning, and to make her deadly phone call at the end.

    Second, immunity to a specific infectious disease is not something anyone is born with; that's not how it works. The immune system responds to exposure to "bugs" by trying out different antibody combinations until one works, or it kills you. Whether or not a single person develops immunity to a particular antigen is always a crap shoot, so technically they could be identical twins, and one could become immune and the other one could kick the bucket. Not that underlying genetics are unimportant. Obviously, Sydny probably does have an unusual, perhaps unique, genetic capacity to make just the right antigen. If so, it's just as possible that it's an original mutation as inherited.

    Bottom line: For the writers' purposes, it doesn't matter if it's her mutation, or just incredibly rare.

    VixenofVenus wrote:

    m00nshadow wrote:
    No, that's wrong. Every sibling gets about half of the same DNA, unless they're identical twins. So she didn't need another father. It seems to me the point of the affair was to provide Mom with the strong motivation needed to break the no-phone rule and call the real father.

    Somebody needs to take High School biology again ...

    Actually about 99% of all humans have the SAME DNA sequences, it's the last 1% that sets us appart as individuals. Anf from that 1%, there are literally millions of millions of different combinations. For a SINGLE genetic trait though, if one parent is a carrier for the trait, there is a 25% chance of a child being born with the trait, and 50% if both parents have the trait ... but only if it's a dominant trait. If it is a recessive trait, even if BOTH parents have the trait recessively, there is still only a 25% chance of a child being born with the trait.

    In the case of a genetic anomaly though, such as one which causes an immunity to a certain disease, the odds of it happening are astronomically small. Look at it this way ... how many people do you know who are born with a natural immunity to a certain deadly disease??

    Edited on 12/14/2008 7:19am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of VixenofVenus

    VixenofVenus

    [37]Dec 14, 2008
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    m00nshadow wrote:
    Bottom line: For the writers' purposes, it doesn't matter if it's her mutation, or just incredibly rare.

    Totally true. And correct about the "born with immunities" bit too ... while that isn't the way immunities to disease work, it has been found that certain genetic lines (or families), both animal and human, have a tendency toward certain traits, including a stronger or weaker immune system, one which is better suited for fighting off a disease (in which case, they would then have antibodies to viruses which they have defeated and those antibodies could help treat others with the disease. Though just having an isolated antibody does not guarantee treatment).

    The best examples are how when large herds of cattle or sheep are exposed to a disease which will wipe out a certain percentage of the herd, those that survive are often related to one another genetically ... farmers/ranchers with long vision who can afford to not sell those survivors will often breed those lines heavily then, because it may mean a stronger herd in the future.

    The same could be said about Sydney ... what if her mother and father (the genetic father), both come from genetic lines with a naturally adaptive and strong immune system? Isn't it possible her immune system were then even stronger? Of course, this doesn't really matter for the storyline ...

    And yet, in some ways, it does. The argument originally started because some people were miffed about the morality issues which came up (during a fairly violent TV series, none-the-less), and the idea that the "cheating wife" factor was just unneeded for the storyline. Except that, it was included for a few reasons:

    1. It keeps with the traditional bleak view of humanity which is common throughout the Terminator Universe. There are two kinds of people in the Terminator Universe ... those who are good, and those who are morally corrupt. There are no real, BAD HUMANS in the Terminator Universe. Even the SINGLE "SkyNET" collaborator we have seen was not necessarily a BAD GUY, he was only serving SkyNET as his ONLY way of staying alive ... because he knew that the only way for him to stay alive through Judgment Day was to serve SkyNET, be rewarded by being sent back, and then frame his younger self for a crime so he'd be in the prison and survive J-Day.

    2. While cheating on a spouse is a BAD thing, it doesn't make you EVIL. It just means you are human, fallable. And in her case, she believed she had good reason, her husband was working a lot, keeping things from her, doing illegal deals involving cybernetics behind her back, etc.

    3. Partially, I think the writers wanted to comment on American culture somewhat ... the idea that it seems like "everyone is cheating on their spouses". It is true statistically that divorce rates in the United States are at an all-time high and more and more families are single-parent families rather than the traditional nuclear family ... and this is a part of our culture, a part which the Connor's also might not fully understand given the "time-jump" forward.

    4. To those who don't fully understand the science of genetics and biology, it would make sense that a child that was only a half-sibling would be fairly different genetically.

    5. This, in my mind, is the MOST IMPORTANT reason why the "cheating" was included ... a large portion of the characters' efforts were spent on discovering WHO the T-888 was after. Sarah kept drilling them for information about their lives trying to figure out which one was the target. Now put yourselves in the wife's shoes ... would you immediately blurt out that it might be you because you're carrying another man's child? No, you'd think it was either your husband or your daughter or yourself, or maybe this lady with the gun really is crazy. An extramarital love child is something you'd want to keep secret as long as possible ... only to be revealed if absolutely necessary. And actually, I don't even think she had CONSIDERED that the baby was possibly a target ... Sarah had to figure it out. In order to keep the tension going in the show and make it mysterious, yet since there were flash-forwards to Derek where the wife was VERY pregnant, we were all clued in (though not overtly told so), that the target was the unborn child ... THAT is why the cheating was actually IMPORTANT to the storyline. Though any of the other four reasons I listed also work ... IMO.

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    danharr

    [38]Dec 15, 2008
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    Good episode nice and dark as always funny how some complained about it being dark as if the show is smiles and rainbows any other time. I could't believe the woman called her lover after all they went though but whatever and I loved how the past and future came together and as others have mentioned it was nice to see where Dereks girlfriend came from. Good action packed and engaging episode very nice leading up to the finale.
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    EJamison

    [39]Dec 22, 2008
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    I just got around to watching it. It was a pretty good episode, although a bit confusing. And I'm disappointed that Cameron didn't have more lines.

    I had to go back to the beginning to remind myself how the sequence of events got started. A small flaw might be a flaw that is common to a lot of shows. The timing seemed too convenient. There was a lot of stuff written on the basement wall and I don't know what focused Sarah on the "Alpine Fields" part just in time to get to the family when the terminator was after them. If she had been a few hours later it would have been too late. Unless I'm missing something.

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  • Avatar of m00nshadow

    m00nshadow

    [40]Dec 23, 2008
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    I'm guessing that explanation is on the cutting room floor, but here's a possible scenario: The terminator killed the housekeeper at their home, and that generated a news item including their name, Fields, and the word Alpine. Maybe they lived on Alpine street? Sarah or John finds it online, and manages to find out where they vacation, and get there one step ahead of the terminator. But it is lame that there's no explanation at all.
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