Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 11

Self Made Man

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Dec 01, 2008 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
440 votes
  • Riley tries to reach out to the armored John yet again, while the truly armored T-babe shows us what her sleepless nights are really like as she battles a Terminator 90 years in the past.

    This focused on the triangle between Riley interrupting the John and T-babe that will be more prominent in the future and delving into the failing attempts of Riley to get closer to John, of John to let anyone close, or of T-babe to feel emotion.

    This was a well written and wonderfully constructed episode. Here we have 3 or actually 4 attempts that further elaborate more aspects of these characters and how this is timeless. Riley seems more disparate than in previous episodes -- a character which was once strong and vibrant and that faced off against a terminator is actually so shattered and completely broken that future caught up to her and beat her down. Meanwhile, T-babe is facing her past and her programming in dealing with another terminator. Her humanity that viewers may think be growing is shown yet again to be stagnant as the librarian ultimately gives her a failing report card. And far beyond that, the past T-888 is so set in his ways and his programming, that he seems to act beyond reason to fixate on a unique place and unique target... the specific definition that he maintains probably says a whole lot more than anything else... there were countless other ways attack the same situation... a different place? an earlier ancestor? another time? It is not unreasonable for SKYNET to kill a parent but Terminators don't seem to revise their programming and so that may say something about the creative and mechanics and logic of ALL terminators.

    So while T-babe and her past T-888 incarnation march on relentlessly so does John. Ultimately it all seemed to focus on a major tread in the episodes John and T-babe in the future and why Riley was sent back... her mission has not ever succeeded or will it ever? how likely is it that T-babe can alter her programming when T-888 was so fixated? so as any Terminator can it ever. Riley attempts to penetrate John's armor and both it and T-babe emotions remains undented.

    No episode is a 10 (there can always do better -- unless you've seen next weeks or next years episodes -- please) so my top score for an episode 9.5. It is the mechanics of how the episode furthers how far Riley desperation progresses, or how sad I am that T-babe has always been more machine than babe, and more ultimately how future, past and present can possibly distort each other if they can.

    Finally, if I want to guess and be a SPOILER: as far as past and future proceed, I think T-babe was talking about suicide herself and later she was honest in explaining it was like a ticking bomb was inside her... I also remember the last time she had access to a Terminator CPU... she tried to keep it. If she is broken she may want to survive? This episode may have little impact or much more than we yet know.