Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 17

Ourselves Alone

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 06, 2009 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
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  • Look, I *know* we can't expect this show to be an action-packed thrill-seeking roller-coaster ride week in, week out but this is just getting ridiculous.

    Look, I *know* we can't expect this show to be an action-packed thrill-seeking roller-coaster ride week in, week out but this is just getting ridiculous. The writing staff have been dancing around the same minuscule, uninteresting plot points for about half the season now and frankly, it's wearisome. If it weren't for the possibility that Thomas Dekker might get his kit off any second, I'd stop watching the bloody show. 'Ourselves, Alone' takes the psychoanalytical bent that's dominated every episode since 'Earthlings Welcome Here' and tries to inject some originality by aiming the microscope at Cameron instead of Sarah. Um, nice try guys, but you're not fooling anyone. She kills a pigeon, panics a bit about her motor-neuron reflexes and um, Riley dies. Oh wait, did something actually happen? Jesus. Get. The. Hell. On. With. It.
  • Cameron suspects that Riley sees her cutting through her own skin to repair herself. Sarah finds out information about Riley making her, and John, suspicious. Derek is on a mission to capture a new target, while Jesse is forced to make tough decisions.

    Excellent episode, reavealing motives and objectives of characters previously in the dark. More importantly, Riley's role in the story is revealed and compromised as - finally - is part of Jesse's mission in the present. John remains in the balance between his sympathy for Riley and belief in Cameron. We are being prepared for a climax, and could therefore describe this episode as both revealing and pivotal in the series. The few remaining episodes of Season 2 are expected to make significant revelations and we hope to see John take more action against the future war. Derek seems to be the only one really focused on his mission, with Sarah and John struggling to understand and resolve the problems that arise with their hearts, rather than with remorseless actions.
  • Finally something interesting

    Much, much better episode than the last few ones. I suppose we all knew the past few eps were leading up to a huge event but they were less than interesting. I almost did not want to wait around for this ep but patience won out. I got a good ep out of it with a huge twist. Although I was wanting to see Jesse get taken out, the end result capped off a good episode. It was worth the wait and once again interested to see how this turns out. Reactions to Riley's death should be intense and significant.
  • A return to form for the series. Sarah meets Riley's foster dad and guidance counselor for some answers. John wrestles with his feelings for Riley and Cameron, knowing that they could compromise the fight against Skynet.

    Finally, the Sarah going insane arc is over. It's not that I didn't enjoy a trip into her psyche over the past few episodes, but it just felt a bit superfluous in the scheme of the show. Especially knowing that this may be the final season of the show, it would be nice if they kept the pace up. **SPOILER ALERT**

    We find out in this episode that Riley's role in John's life was to die at the hands of Cameron, thus turning him against his metal companion. I thought it was very cleverly written, with Jessie posing as a guidance counselor and selling Riley down the river. The start of the episode was also well done, with Cameron inadvertently killing a bird that she wanted to free. This was later juxtaposed with Riley and Cameron, leading to a very suspenseful scene. What would Cameron have done if John didn't intervene? We are starting to see some real character development from a character that we thought was programmed to protect John and nothing else. She appears to be learning more and more behind the unknown logic that can dictate human decisions: emotions. Between wanting John to help her, and then giving John the locket that could destroy her, Cameron is becoming a more interesting character that I hope gets more attention in upcoming episodes.

    The sexual tension is still there between Cameron and John, and I am wondering how long it will be until we see something on that end. With the Sarah going crazy arc over for now, hopefully they will go down the Cameron/John's relationship route. This episode put the show back on track for the rest of the season. I only hope that the show makes it to a third season, because I think things are getting set up very nicely for some crazy robot action.
  • Another one bites the dust

    After the poorly-received trilogy of character-driven episodes focused on Sarah, the writers return to the larger canvas with this episode. In essence, this is the beginning of the final leg of the season, as events begin to spiral out of control.

    Riley's suicide attempt was just the beginning of trouble for the Connors, because it happened in the Connor home and after Riley's freakout with her foster family. Those chickens come home to roost in this episode, and they coincide with an interesting new malfunction for Cameron. It looks to be quite a rough time. Riley's death is going to bring external and internal pressures that have been lingering in the background for quite some time.

    Externally, the Child Services investigator seems like a minor threat, but anything that brings unwanted attention to the Connors is a disruption that cannot be tolerated. Riley's death is only going to throw more suspicion on them, especially given the coincidental timing. Considering how many times Sarah has wanted to move on and escape potential detection, this is just another such trigger. Internally, the Connors have every reason to believe that Cameron was the one who killed her. John, particularly, has reason to suspect Cameron, given her admission that something unexplained is happening to her.

    Jesse's plan was rather brutal in its simplicity, and while it didn't quite work out in terms of the details, the end result works in her favor. Cameron is the most likely suspect under most circumstances, and Derek has never told the Connors about Jesse. In fact, the only person who might have a reason to suspect Jesse is Derek, and right now, he has no compelling evidence to connect Riley's death to her. (Her absence from Derek's mission, of course, is the likely starting point for his inevitable investigation.)

    The pacing in this episode was still a bit slow and methodical, much like the previous episodes, but the momentum of the plot was more than enough to overcome that slight drawback. The pieces are moving into position for one hell of a conflict to round out the season, and Riley's death is likely to be only the first among many.
  • Riley's secret floats closer to the top, and Cameron glitches out again.

    I absolutely LOVE Cameron, flaws and all. When she tries to set the bird free, only to squeeze it to death, I felt so bad. She's finally beginning to experience some human emotions, especially empathy. It started when she turned over Agent Ellison in his house, like the turtle. She tried to be nice but her hardware malfunctioned. She's been saying that she doesn't know a lot of the time. This is further proof that she is beginning to analyze her actions from a moral standpoint, and less like a terminator. When she confronts Riley in the shed, she honestly has no clue what she is going to do, and I personally find that amazing. she is defying her natural programming, and second guessing decisions that she would usually make in an instant. The true climax was when she gave John the power to kill her. She is willing to die to protect him, and it goes beyond her Terminator duties. I can't wait to see what she'll do next.
  • Finally, I really good one after some stinkers.

    I was very impressed with this episode after a few rather crappy ones. We finally see more advancement of the "John loves Cameron" storyline. Several scenes of them interacting with each other and talking about issues. Watching Cameron repair herself was really cool. It helps re-emphasis the fact that she is a killer cyborg, not a girl, which is very important to remember when watching her interact with humans. For instance, when Cameron is interrogating Riley in the garage. The acting was quite good in this one, too: a lot of emotion and effort to make it believable. I really liked Derek at the bar.
  • Unusually thrilling.

    Opening with some terrific cyborg effects (Summer Glau operates on her own arm in the same way Arnie did in the first Terminator), this episode reveals the full nature of the Riley-Jesse plot strand and it's pretty cool. The hurling of Riley into the plot hasn't worked because the audience knew there was something more going on immediately but it took several months for the writers to confirm that. Her first reveal should have come much sooner, perhaps in the first of her episodes, definitely by the second. The timing of the first reveal makes no difference to the full reveal in this episode. It culminates in a rather good fight where two minor characters battle and you genuinely have no idea who will emerge the victor. Because of that, it is unusually thrilling. Good stuff.

    This Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, The episode contains unpleasant cyborg scenes, strong violence.

    For more bite-size reviews of TV, anime, games and movies visit my blog at misterslimm.wordpress.com.
  • Terminator falling in love while two girls pull each others hair. yawn....whatelse is on

    Is this suppose to be a SciFi Action show? While we watched the terminator fall in love, the girls are beating each other up. Are the writers on strike again? This show has the opportunity to bring amazing machines from the future and do things we can't even imagine but instead we get to watch a lame hair pulling scene between two girls (I actually saw something like that once in high school) The other thing we got to watch was alot of facial expressions. The kinda stuff you see on shows like 'young and the restless'. The basic format is talk, talk, facial expression with some music, commercial. anyways, use the fast forward on this episode.
  • riley is gone

    i think that this episode helped bring the show back on track a bit. I was glad to see Riley go, i didn't like her character. I think that the storyline about riley and jessie coming back from the future to pull John away from Cameron was weak. I was glad to see some closure to that. Cameron having more technical difficulties was interesting, and i hope they go somewhere with that idea. I enjoyed this episode, and am looking forward to the next, i do think that the writers could have/should have worked the Riley/John storyline out a little faster, but at any rate, it's done, i'll take what i can get.... i really do love this show, glad to see Reese and Cameron playing a larger part in this episode than the last...
  • sarah and john and cameron and riley talk for 38 minutes. riley and jesse chickfight for another 4 minutes. thats all. nothing happens with the story.

    I thought they were gonna try to save the show with some episodes as fun as the first season, but now all they do is to stick around the house and talk about their feelings :S its getting more of a girl show all the time. characters are getting more and more lame, even cameron. ý have no idea why two future chicks were even in the show. so one wants other to make john fall in love with her so cameron kills her and john hates machines? that could've been told in 3 episodes, not 15. and it would save us all those teary drama that has nothing to do with the show. and cameron is acting lie a tamagochi, not a terminator.

    it was nice, but i think they should cancel it or fire the writers or something. i can't take anymore boring character drama.
  • Something really good..

    After couple of episode what have been disappointing to me, then this one was much better.. and maybe because other felt little off, this one felt so much better.. so sorry if you do not think that way..

    I liked that there was development, something was going on. We did finally get what Jesse is doing - she is trying to get a wall between Cameron and John and using Riley.. so that Cameron would kill Riley.. I imagined that they are after Cameron.. but that Jesse wanted to let Riley be killed.. I did not imagined that of her.. but as we see - she is ready for everything. Why, I wonder..

    Also I liked it all with Riley. The way she tried to build a bridge again and by every step Jesse was there.. and then she took up her courage and tried to kill Jesse.. I did not see that coming either..

    And what is wrong with Cameron? That seems to be interesting development.. specially that bomb thing..
  • Much...much...better. I was getting a bit worried after last week but Terminator:TSCC got back on track with a major turn of events with an on-going sub-plot.

    It actually looked for a minute like Riley would unexpectantly take out Jessie but the more likely scenario happened. Jessie even suceeded a bit in her mission with John wondering about Cameron. Is this all leading into the movie as history and the future seems to being changed as we watch.

    A terminator with a nervous twitch? Interesting. But Cameron proved her loyalty to John with her "off" stopwatch gift.

    Riley ends up reading Jessie pretty well toward the end. What Jessie's mission will be now will be truly interesting because she has lost her (at least) initial mission and is going to leave Derek pretty mad. Hopefully Derek's doubts that this Jessie is his Jessie will deepen. It is a good sign that he wanted to compare Judgement Day dates. It at least shows that he has not forgotten that this Jessie seems to be from an alternate future from his own.

    No sub-story this week regarding the T-1000 / John Henry. Obviously, these two storylines will need to come together.

    I wonder if like Jericho, they'll film a closer ending and an open ended ending of the season. I still am not optomistic about renewal and it will be frustrating if it ends like Journeyman did - with no resolution.

    Until next week,
  • Getting more lame each episode; they should not try to be poethical and silent. It does not work for terminator...

    Terminator is an action series and it should not try so hard to be poethical and artful. It should be about action and fear.
    In this episode nothing happend that couldn't have been told in a few minutes. It seems the writters have no ideas and they try to expand the few they have as far as possible.
    I hope the finale will be more exciting and finally give some answers as this was very rare up to now.

    It is so good to know that a new movie is coming out that is seems to be going in the right direction with this franchise.
  • Arghhh! Terminator finally gets good again!

    Everything surrounding Riley, Jesse, Cameron and John finally comes to a head this week and there was a proper Riley/Cameron showdown this time, not like that pansy one they had before the fall finale!
    I loved how the little problem with Cameron's hand developed into a huge problem by the end of the episode the special effects team really need to congratulate themselves because Cameron's exposed arm metalwork was superb and totally in keeping with everything seen in the Terminator movies.
    The dialouge was also spot on and Cameron's evolution is also in the spirit of the movies whilst at the same time setting a new bench mark for sci-fi characters.

    There was a lot of twists and turns that I did not see coming a mile off: I did not realise Jesse would turn out to be the guidence councillor nor that her ultimate goal was for Cameron to kill Riley in order to be the ultimate betrayal to John and make him turn against her. Brilliant!

    The fight between Jesse and Riley was one of the best I have seen in the show and yet it involved no machines! It did look like Riley would kill Jesse for a while (which may have made more sense for the character but would not have progressed the show) but in the end Jesse retrives her hidden gun and shoots Riley! And although I was one of the people that really hated Riley right from the beginning I really did feel sorry for her, she said she loved Jesse and yet Jesse just wanted her dead. Still it made far more sense for Riley to die.

    The last scene between Cameron and John was amongst the most touching and well played of the series; Cameron has been tinkering around in the shed for hours and hands John what looks like a pocket watch that she says she has made for him. It turns out that the locket contains a trigger switch to an explosive device that Cameron has implanted in her head so John can use to kill her should she go awy again since Terminators are not capable of self termination. Another dead bird outside reminds John just what Cameron is capable of.

    Wow. More of the same please Mr Friedman!
  • Cameron and more Cameron - even with programming faults she's more fun than a dozen Transformers. Riley's abortive mission dictated by Jesse finally reaches the breaking point.

    This will be a classic Terminator episode. All the teasers and talk was about Cameron's ongoing software problems, leading me to think we were going to see her act out in some berserk way, but in the end, she was quite under control, just threatening. The story had an excellent balance of time and dialog for all the major cast members, despite having six of them playing major roles.

    So Mr. Friedman's reveals about the rest of the season begin to be carried out. The discovery of Riley's origin, her relationship with Jesse, her attempted suicide - all increased her threat to the Connors to the breaking point. Most fans probably expected her to meet her end at Cameron's hand, so it was an interesting surprise to see how it really happened.

    Child Protective Service's involvement in Riley's case, the caseworker's knowledge of Sarah and John, plus Riley's disappearance - well, it all points to a major move for the Connors and Derek. And in this real estate market! They'll have to stay in the metro L.A. area...how about...Azusa? Palmdale is definitely out.

    Special effects deserve a mention - Cameron's self-surgery scenes were so well-done I could not detect where her left arm really was located. New viewers (hope there were lots of them!) would have no difficulty realizing who/what Cameron is. And her threats to Riley were just tense - finally leading Riley to realize that she was being set up - by Jesse, who will now be in jeopardy.

    Any decent continuity in the next episode should have Derek acting on Jesse's failure to show up for his ambush of the attorney. And she will have a major cleanup project in her apartment, including disposing of a body and hiding lots of broken furniture. Unless the scripts call for her to successfully elude the consequences, she will be facing Derek, who will realize how treacherous she has been. That makes her the best candidate for dead cast member number 2 of 3. I suggest Cameron as the best choice for taking out Jesse, although Sarah could be motivated, too, deceived as she was by Jesse's manipulative impersonation of the school counselor. Good script surprise!

    The best-written scene was the confrontation between Riley and Cameron in the garage - the entire dialog should be quoted. Finally some star time for Ms. Glau - it's been too long. She plays that cold, factual cyborg so well - no anger, no revenge motive, just simple survival for John. And Mr. Dekker puts out one of his best performances of the series, toning down the antagonism between Sarah and him, trying to support and protect Riley while pressing her for the truth, and finally beginning to see Cameron in a new light, as she offers him the means to terminate her, if necessary. Of course, how could he know if the hot button would really work as she claimed?

    "Ourselves Alone" should make everyone happy. A turning point for John - as Cameron verifies - he's exceeding expectations. The probable beginning of the end of the Jesse story arc. A chance for the writers to bring the entire family back to unity of purpose. The end of the Riley distraction for John, and I don't think the producers will have him wallowing in grief for long. Still a chance that John, Sarah, and Derek will all suspect each other in the death of Riley, but if that happens, I hope it won't extend over more than one episode.

    Nothing on Weaver-Ellison-John Henry this time. That story arc should now begin to bear on the Connors, and I'm ready for that. Cameron - Weaver battle, anyone? Re-run rating for "Ourselves Alone" - B+.
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