Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 2

Gnothi Seauton

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 14, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
780 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Sarah contacts an old friend to acquire new aliases for her and John. In the meantime, John leaves safety to find Sarah's former fiancé, and Cameron attracts the attention of a new friend. FBI Agent Ellison discovers that Sarah is alive and that one of his enemies is back.


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  • Overall, the 2nd series episode was a very strong follow up to the pilot. More of the characters and their secrets get revealed, with the action toned down but not absent altogether.moreless

    Sarah's voiceover declares "Know thyself" and the episode pretty much revolves around the exploration of her character. Sarah shows her protectiveness, to the point of paranoia, with John, her trust in old friends, and some already building trust issues with Cameron, having it out with her in one scene, leading to Cameron's big reveal that part of the reason they jumped ahead in time was to avoid Sarah's death. This explains why Cameron, who obviously has it in her programming to destroy Skynet, didn't simply jump to 2007 in the first place. If she would have, John would have been there, an older John who may not have matched up as well with Cameron, but Sarah would not have been. Not only does this explain much of Cameron's plan, as far as the time jump goes, but it also introduces the threat of death over Sarah, a threat that will linger throughout the entire series. Sarah's reaction to the news of 9/11, and the shows handling of it altogether, was very well done


    John has little to do here, except get in trouble. Again, being much portrayed as a fairly normal 16 year old boy, he rebels against staying in an empty house, (with no internet!), and checks out the town even though it is a risk. His eyes understandably light up once he sees the new IT toys that are at his disposal in 2007. His reaction to Cameron touching his neck is part discomfort, part confusion and part pleasure. Again, reminding us that in his eyes Cameron is not just another terminator. Him watching her leave and her subsequent look back to him would become a priceless moment in the series archive.

    Cameron herself, once again, reveals the biggest secrets while provoking the most mystery. Her imitation of the girl leaning against the car showed even early on, before her chip was damaged, her curious drive to learn how to be a regular female human. Her words to Sarah that she obeys the orders of "future John" is a huge reveal in the show, impacting the series throughout. Yet, for all her strange behavior, I love how Cameron reminds us of what she is with her near termination of the police officer, (great acting enabled us to see exactly when she decided in her head to kill the officer), and her shooting of Enrique at the end, which turned out to be the right move.

    At the same time, this episode also introduced much of the debris that would eventually weigh down and nearly overload the series. Quite suddenly, there are other resistance fighters around, also back from the future, and even other terminators, each with their own mission. The over-use of time travel would eventually dilute and confuse the central conflict, IMO. Cromartie's reconstruction was far-fetched, but did well to establish the beginning of a central antagonist.

    Some other small issues that didn't really detract from the episode:

    Sarah dated Charley in Nebraska. Why is he now in LA? How convenient.

    Why does John attack Charley when he visits him? Kind of stupid.

    Cameron would have known, as shown two episodes later, what bodies were human and which were cyborgs just by looking at them. And yet, she was surprised when the cyborg attacked her. Made for good TV, but didn't make any sense.moreless
  • What happened? From hero to zero in one day. An excellent pilot followed by dull, dull, dull......

    Down hill like a parachutist in freefall.

    It made the fatal mistake of being boring. Dull does not attract viewers! Bland plot, what happened: They got some IDs and we learned more about what future John does to stop Judgement Day. I think the writers are lucky they get what they do, if they produce stinkers like this they deserve a pay cut! Anyway, I hope it improves next week as it would be nice for Summer Glau to be in something that doesn't get cancelled.

    BTW Somebody in a previous post wrote that Cameron had changed from the pilot and become more cyborg-like in this episode. The reason for this is probably because they reshot a lot of the pilot AFTER this episode was filmed to make her appear emotionally more 'human'. Hence in this episode she is similar to how she was originally concieved (she was presumably meant to grow more human as the series progressed).moreless
  • Headless terminator nearly destroys the series in it's 2nd episode. Hopefully the writers just messed up and are not really this stupid.

    Headless terminator nearly destroys the series in it's 2nd episode. Hopefully the writers just messed up and are not really this stupid. I mean did they even bother to watch the movies? The head can't travel through time without skin, the head can't power up since the power unit in terminators is in the torso. the body was never found in 8 years? the body can see without a head? give me a break, my 8 year old niece said "that doesn't make sense". Hopefully nothing like this will happen again and we can just forget this ever happened. One more episode with a 1000 plot holes might make this one jump the shark.moreless
  • A respectable followup to the already successful Pilot episode.

    Whilst not as explosive as the Pilot episode character development seems to be the key role of this episode, voiceovers of Sarah help to give an insight into her feelings of their situation whereas John is shown to feel trapped, alone and wanting to break free from his shackles of the future.

    Interesting points to take note from this episode are from the scene where Cameron leads John and Sarah to a hideout, where 4 resistance fighters from the future have congregated with a stash of guns, money and fake ID's. When they are confronted by a Terminator which has murdered 3 of these 4 people, Cameron throws both him and her out of the window. When the Terminator looks at Cameron his HUD attempts to identify her, but the dialogue states "unknown cyborg, evaluate mission."

    This follows on from the conversation between Cameron and John in the Pilot episode, which hints that she is different than any Terminator seen before. Near the end of this episode we also see a shot of a person hiding behind a gate, with the same barcodes on his arm as the people found dead in the hideout.moreless
  • Starting new life

    In so many ways this one looked like a starting.. maybe not pilot even is some way this episode did felt like it is the first one.. but the whole concept of chaining identities.. who is who in the end and the mask the have to wear and those little secrets they have.. plus Cameron who in so many ways is weird and manages not to say the things others would consider important.

    And John.. he going to search the past, that man and learning what has happened with him on those years.. or Sarah and her hold friend.. in so many ways future is so hard to take.moreless
Tony Amendola

Tony Amendola


Guest Star

Jesse Garcia

Jesse Garcia


Guest Star

Omid Abtahi

Omid Abtahi


Guest Star

Sonya Walger

Sonya Walger

Michelle Dixon

Recurring Role

Dean Winters

Dean Winters

Charley Dixon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Enrique Salceda is the man Sarah, John, and the male Terminator visited in the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day for supplies, guns, and a truck.

    • Cameron tells Sarah that she dies of cancer. Though not considered part of the series continuity, a scene in Terminator: Rise of the Machines features John stating that Sarah died of cancer 3 years after the second movie.

    • The address to the computer store was "1337" pronounced "leet" (substituting letters for similar looking numbers), hacker wannabe slang for "elite".

    • Charley and Michelle Dixon live at 8223 Paper Street, Sherman Oaks CA, 91372.

    • In the first episode, Cameron is nice, has a personality, and is able to be in a much more human like character. That has been completely removed in this episode. She acts robotic and on-point.

    • Sarah chases Cameron and the T-888 on a motorcycle and succeeds in intercepting them before running the bike into the T-888. What isn't clear is how she knew where to go as both terminators were out of sight before Sarah came out of the building and commandeered the motorcycle.

    • Goof: When Cameron is battling with the other terminator they both go out the window, hitting the wall of the adjacent building and falling to the ground. Look carefully as they hit the wall and you can see it move.

    • Goof: Enrique refers to a boxer called "El Finito" and Sarah instantly translates that as "The Finisher." While Ricardo "Finito" López is a real, legendary Mexican boxer, Sarah's translation of his nickname makes little sense. Out of context, the word could mean "slim" if translated from Spanish and "finished" if translated from Italian, which is it's real origin, but not "The Finisher."

    • Goof: When Sarah is pretending to be an irate stepmother in front of the police officer, she asks if he does domestic complaints. Cameron is looking directly at her. The camera angle then changes to show the officer, and Cameron can be seen turning her head to her left to look at the cop. The angle changes back and suddenly Cameron is again looking directly at Sarah.

    • Goof: The bank was destroyed when Sarah, John, and Cameron time traveled to 2007. There would have been investigations by local authorities, the FBI and others before the site was cleared of debris. Remarkably, it seems that no one thought to confiscate the headless terminator body for further investigation and research. Instead, it gets sent to the scrapyard.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Sarah: (voice-over) A wise man once said, "Know thyself.' Easier said than done. I've had nine aliases, 23 jobs, spoken four languages and spent three years in a mental hospital for speaking the truth. At least when I was there I could use my real name. Through it all, I've always known who I am and why I'm here. Protect my son. Prepare him for the future. But lately it's gotten harder to control. Even as I try to help John find firm ground in this new world, the battlefield shifts beneath our feet. Maybe it's all catching up to me. Maybe if you spend your life hiding who you are, you might finally end up fooling yourself.

    • Sarah: I... I guess I'm still... I don't know.
      John: I've been calling it time-lag.
      Sarah: What?
      John: It's like jetlag, but for time travel.
      Sarah: Time-lag... Yeah, that sounds about right.

    • John: (staring into the fridge while on the phone) So look, Mom, there's no turkey.
      Sarah: Turkey, it's in there John.
      John: No.
      Sarah: Just move the food around and the turkey will reveal itself to you.

    • Cameron: (to the occupants of the car that just hit her as she pulls her head out of the shattered windshield) Please remain calm.

    • Sarah: Why jump at all? Why not stay in the past? I had seven more years to get ready. To get him ready.
      Cameron: No, you wouldn't have.
      Sarah: Why not?
      Cameron: Because you died. Two years ago. December 4, 2005. You died.

    • Sarah: So if I'm such a great fighter, how was I killed?
      Cameron: Cancer.

    • John: (playing around with his voicemail) You've reached the future leader of mankind. It may take me a little while to get back to you, but leave a message anyway.

    • Sarah: Were you gonna kill that cop? Don't answer that, don't want to know. We need rules. Are you supposed to take orders or something like that?
      Cameron: I do. From John.
      Sarah: From John. So, if I tell John to forbid you...
      Cameron: Not this John.
      Sarah: Not this John. Aren't they the same?
      Cameron: Not yet.

    • Sarah: (voice-over) I cannot imagine the apocalypse. No matter what Kyle Reese told me, or others who have come back. I cannot imagine three billion dead. But I can imagine three thousand. I can imagine planes hitting buildings, and I can imagine fire. If I would've witnessed it, if I would've been here, I'm sure I would've thought the end was near. I'm sure I would've thought...we have failed.

    • Cameron: John has a high level of stress.
      Sarah: Genetics are a bitch.

    • Enrique: (phone message to the FBI) Perhaps you think I was retired, yes? That I did not have my ear to the street? If you return my call, I believe I may have something of interest to you. Muy expensivo but of great interest. El Finito will not disappoint.

    • Sarah: (voice-over) 'Know thyself and thou shall know all the mysteries of the Gods and of the universe.' That's quite a mouthful. My version is this: 'Know thyself because what else is there to know.' People hide secrets. Time is a lie. The material world can disappear in an instant. It has and it will again. Our identities change - our names, the way we look, how we act and speak. We're shape-shifters. There is no control, no constant. No shelter but the love of family and the body God gave us. And we can only hope that that will always be enough.

  • NOTES (6)

    • In Latin America, this episode was translated as "Conocete A Ti Mismo", which means "Know yourself", or "Know thyself", like Sarah says at the closing narration.

    • This episode was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award for Outstanding Stunt Coordination.

    • Star Richard T. Jones (Agent James Ellison) and guest star Dean Winters (Charley) were given "And" billing for their appearances.

    • This episode, along with the "Pilot", was leaked on the internet before it aired in the USA.

    • International Air Dates:
      Hungary: February 10th, 2008 on Rtl-Klub
      Australia: February 19th, 2008 on Channel 9
      United Kingdom: February 28th, 2008 on Virgin 1
      India: March 18th, 2008 on Zee Cafe
      Russia: March 28th, 2008 on Ren-TV
      Sweden: May 12th, 2008 on TV3
      Latin America: May 13th, 2008 on Warner Channel
      New Zealand: May 14th, 2008 on TV2
      Denmark: May 30th, 2008 on TV3
      Czech Republic: July 10th, 2008 on Prima
      Norway: September 1st, 2008 on TVNorge
      Poland: November 6th, 2008 on TVP1
      Finland: November 17th, 2008 on Sub
      Slovakia: July 8th, 2010 on Markiza

    • Crew Additions and Clarifications: Josh Friedman (Developed for Television by), Jill Danton (Produced by), James Cameron (Based on Characters Created by), Gale Anne Hurd (Based on Characters Created by), Robert Hall (Special Make-Up Effects Created by), Almost Human Inc. (Special Make-Up Effects Created by), Fotokem (Film Processing by), Zoic Studios (Visual Effects by), Panavision (Cameras by)


    • Title:

      Gnothi Seauton is Ancient Greek. It's an aphorism and means "Know thyself." It was carved into pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the most popular Oracle of the Greek world.

    • Enrique: I live free.
      This is an allusion to Tony Amendola's previous role as Bra'tac on Stargate SG-1 where he frequently said similar lines.