Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 7

The Demon Hand

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 25, 2008 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
594 votes
  • John learns a secret about his mother, Cameron learns ballet, and the missing hand is found and destroyed.

    The Demon Hand is a much revered episode in the TSCC universe. Personally, I have sort of a love/hate relationship with it. It represents much of the greatness of TSCC: deep characters, amazing dialogue and acting, and intriguing themes. On the other hand, to me, it also represents much of the weaknesses of the series: elongated melodrama, overly ambiguous if not meaningless discussions, and once again a lack of commitment to moving the story forward. I am not even including the fact that the series' greatest asset is also ignored because we get almost no interaction between John and Cameron at all; they spend the vast majority of the episode separated. I will allow that it is acceptable to have them actually apart for one episode, especially considering they spend most of the next episode together. There are absolutely fantastic scenes in this episode though. The first part with Cameron dressed as a motorcycle officer is obviously a homage to T2, and that is fine. Any part with Cameron is a good part. The following scene with Derek and Cameron at the breakfast table is a great scene. Derek's hatred for Cameron at this point is almost overly stated. Why? We don't know. In fact, as it turns out, there really is no reason for it. She is a machine, true, but so is a gun, and he has no problem with them. Ultimately, the writers used Derek to cast more and more doubt around Cameron. They would continue to do this and in a variety of ways for the remainder of the series. Personally, I always thought it was stupid. The entire Terminator mythos is based on John being the key. If Cameron were on the wrong side, she would have simply killed John by now. She hasn't. In fact, she has saved his life, and Derek's, multiple times by now. It is simple logic.

    Though Thomas Dekker shows tremendous acting in the key scenes, the whole Sarah-gave-John-away storyline was overly dramatic and somewhat annoying to me. The woman spent 3 years in a mental hospital. Her giving up rights allowed John to stay in one household with one family. It made complete sense. Give the woman a break. She didn't stop being his mother by signing a paper.

    The subplot involving Cameron connecting with the Russian's sister to find him was an excuse to display Summer's ballet skills in the show, nothing more. The whole thing could have been handled in one scene. Cameron walking away to let the Russian and his sister get murdered was tough to watch. The writers constantly jar us by flip-flopping scenes where Cameron acts human or acts like a machine. Apparently the Russian killers are in the practice of walking right by witnesses when murdering people in broad daylight. Of course, they could not have let her go. They would have had to shoot her too. But logic is thrown aside so that the writers can make their point. Cameron is a machine; we should all get it by now.

    Okay, Dr. Silberman has gone crazy. Apparently, he couldn't rationalize a couple unexplainable sights away by claiming he ate a bad sandwich or something. I like the Bible being quoted as much as the next person, but the "hand of God" discussion was silly, frankly. I think it was supposed to be profound. I did not find it so. This did represent a turning point in the Ellison character though. We now know he believes Sarah and is a likely ally. So, I guess I can't say this episode accomplished nothing.

    The final scene is the best scene in the episode and is a classic moment for Terminator. Yes, it allowed Summer to showcase her ballet talent. However, the key to the scene was Derek's reaction: horror and sadness. As mentioned earlier, this was another example of the writers showing Cameron acting human only scenes after brazenly being a machine. They will continue to build her paradox. Personally, I love the scene for everything mentioned, but really, the dancing hardly fits into her character at this point in time. I think without the scene where she allows the Russians to be murdered, this scene would have been more powerful.
  • great episode

    Sarah Connor breaks into FBI agent ellison's apartment and discovers a large file about her during her time in the mental hospital. Cameron goes undercover as a ballet student at a studio where she can find a man who is connected to the development of turk. Agent Ellison goes to the mental institution where Sarah Conner was once a patient. This leads him to Dr. Silberman who was Sarah's psychiatrist. The writers came up with a really cool episode, this episode goes back to the past, the scenes were fixed to allow lena headley to become a part of the past which was once played by linda hamilton. the scenes were well made and fits in with this terminator remake.
  • While looking for Sarah, Ellison runs into an old friend of hers.

    Ellison took the Terminator's hand from LAPD evidence and is keeping it in his freezer! Sarah, not realising it might be there, looked around and took one of the video tapes of herself in the mental hospital. John, probably driven by curiosity, took the tape into his room and watched it. The specific tape was of her relinquishing her parental rights over John, probably the reason she took that specific tape but imagine how it looks to a teenage boy, who has one parent in the world.

    When he finally comes home, he ends up confiding in his uncle.

    Silberman has come to believe Sarah's story and actually tortures Ellison! Ranting about religious signs, he actually talks about the day Sarah broke out of the hospital and talking as if Sarah is some sort of messiah, he is prepared to kill Ellison to protect Sarah. Silberman apologises to Sarah for doubting her and she repays the apology with a well deserved punch. She retrieves the hand and Ellison survives. In a very fitting move, Ellison has Silberman committed, in the same room Sarah was in.

    Cameron finds Andy's partner who admits rigging the chess match so the Turk would lose, so that he could sell it. Cameron shows a shocking lack of interest when she walks out on the partner and his sister, not even caring as they are killed while she descends the stairs.

    Very sweet scene where Sarah explains her actions on the tape to John. It was the day she escaped.

    Gotta say, Derek is incredibly hard to like, he just doesn't have Kyle's sweetness, but his bizarre relationship with Cameron is intriguing. Loved the look on his face as he watches Cameron dancing. Summer, being a dancer in real life, is incredibly graceful.

    Very interesting and touching episode.
  • Great thoughts

    I really most say you do not expect so much emotions and deep thoughts in serie like this but it really looks like this is standing on it - the way the whole concept of robots.. what they are.. are the human and can the feel or believe, have faith.. and that dancing.. It was beautiful.. But I think most of the storylines I loved the Sarah's and John's storyline.. the way that tape.. she decided to give up her parental right and let him be adopted.. And the way Jogn reacted to it.. That she was ready to give up.
  • Very Very Good!

    This episode was brilliant in my opinion, it just had plenty of action, and also let us furthur into the story behind characters and also the overall story line in general.

    Its good to see that we, the viewers, are getting let into mroe of the story and were getting a better idea of the characters in the show. This episode definately developed the characters alot, moreso than other episodes we have seen.

    All in all this episode gets a 10 out of 10 from me, and im sure that most people will agree that it was another brilliant episode from the show.
  • agent ellison tries to uncover the truth of the hand

    the turk was sold to someone else and the robots hand was taken by agent james ellison. ellison goes to the mental hospital where sarah was held and tries to get some answers from someone who worked there when sarah was there. i can't remember his name, but he captures ellison, thinking hes a robot (like sarah said), and cuts hus leg open. then he sets the house ellison is in on fire. sarah save him and the guy that locked ellison in the burning house is put in a mental prison! lol. also, cameron goes to find out where the turk is and lets 2 people die
  • Review

    My faith in this show was lacking after a couple of average episodes, but this episode is likely going to be my favorite when this nine episode order is all said and done. You never need some big police chase to make your show worthwhile. You never need something breaking down walls and blowing up buildings. This episode was just really well written and helps to reinforce certain aspects of the show. The entire storyline with Cameron in this episode was great. Showing how she completes a mission, but doesnt help the two people and instead lets them get killed. Only to perofmr ballerina lessons in her room to end the epsiode. What does that show us about her character? John learning that his mother signed him away was a great plot device. A lot of references to the second Terminator movie, which helps put many things into perspective. Ellison really shined in this episode in his scenes with the crazy old man who used to interogate Sarah. Reese was okay in this one, but I just dont prefer his character to the other guys we got. Overall though I would say fantastic episode which gave us a lot of background and new information.
  • really good episode.

    terminator just keeps on getting better. this episode does a good joob of leading up to the finale. cameron and derek aparantly know each other. so that may lead to some problems. i thought the scene where they were eating and derek is like, i know you dont need that. and cameron takes a bite of pancakes. that was really cute. im glad they brought back the doctor for sarah.just didnt think it would turn out that way. great suprise there. sarah having to save her enemy. but she didnt know he was her enemy. so... i thought it was so ironic that the doctor ended up going to his hospital. also, john learns that his mom was going to give him up. though after she singed those papers he broke her out. i can understand her decision, but i dont see why he was so mad. if he was in her position then...

    the cameron ballet thing was cool. glad they could add some of summers natural talents into there. i thought it was weird how she just let them die. but like she said, it wasnt her mission.
  • No better

    Again the writers of this series has to pinch scenes off Terminator 2, the female terminator dresses up as a motorcycle cop - think back to the liquid metal terminator t2 - she does this to try and find out where the hand of the terminator destroyed in previous episode is located.
    The FBI agent has the hand, he traces Sarah Connor back to the mental institution then the physchologist who had her interned in T2, he now believes in Terminators. I won't let on about the ending, but for a show that is shown in an adults time slot it is sadly lacking in a lot of areas.
  • Logical Crap

    Why don't writer does not care about scientific details. Episode was a good one but one detail disturbed me. Because i want e series to be totaly logical and bond to science.
    How could a O rh- mother (Sarah Connor) can have a child AB Rh- (John Connor) . This is a science fiction serie. Keep an eye on details. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . .
  • so good!

    Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Good
  • This show is amazing!

    The style of this episode has slight of a different feel compared to previous episodes. The introduction of Dr Silberman was brilliant and I think the actor Bruce Davidson pulled of the performance of his career. The way he recalled Arnie saying "Come with me if you wanna live" was brilliantly delivered. Also very good tie-ins with T2. But the standout performance was again Ms Summer Glau. Every scene she was in was captivating and the last scene with her performing ballet with Derek watching was just too beautiful to watch. Never in my life I would've expected the franchise to go this route and to make it so believable too. The music, the timing, the voice-overs...just a gem. And I can't praise Summer Glau enough. What an incredibly talented woman. I hope she'll get to do a lot more beauiful things in the future.
  • Great addition to the season!

    I thought this was another great episode to the season! although, the Terminator hand part has built up for a few episodes now, and i thought more would come of the hand in the show, not just retrieve it and burn it! could have put more storyline involving the hand and it getting into the wrong hands (no pun intended), with someone using it for new technology, that would have been good!

    I liked the way the mental hospital scenes were filmed again with Lena as Sarah this time to go with the flow of the show, and i also liked Silverman's reference to Arnie and the T-1000, he was perfection and the face of Mercury, nice touch! :D

    I was also wondering when a Summer ballet scene was going to show up, this seems to happen in every show she is in, i know she is good at it so why not impliment it into the show, and this was implimented good, as she has great ballet skills and for her to use them as a way for the show to progress Cameron's human side shall we say was very well done! the look on Derek's face at the end was priceless!

    It's good to see tht the school scenes seem to have gone now, well not completely but not as many school scenes have appeared in the past 2-3 episodes, i think we don't really need to see the school anymore, as this was probably just a way to show that John needs to go to school in order to stay off the radar, and it was a way for us to see Cameron get used to her what seem to be new emotions, now we know these things, all we see now is John leaving the house for shool, and returning home later! unless the school becomes an integral part of the story somehow it will probably stay this way with just John leaving and coming home! unless he gets tracked down by a Terminator at school again of course, but this has already happened so i think it will be unlikly that it will happen again!

    At the beginning of the show i seriously thought the Police Terminator was a bad model of Cameron, i think this was the way it was supposed to feel, until we see her return home, this was also i thought a nice node to Terminator 2 and the fact that the T-1000 also took the identity of a police officer and traveled on a Police bike to blend in! :D

    I am liking this show more every episode, and i am looking forward to more, shame it is ending the season so soon though! fingers crossed it will get picked up for a 2nd season!
  • A very strong transitional episode

    After the revelations of the past few episodes, one might expect the narrative to slow down a little. Fortunately, the writers were operating with little or no slack in the line, so even a transitional episode like this one is fairly intense. This is more of a character-based story, setting the stage for the fireworks to come with the (premature) season finale.

    Since the beginning of the series, Agent Ellison has been hunting down Sarah based on her apparent crimes, but more and more information has led him to question his assumptions. At this point, he actually believes that Sarah is on to something, and he's taking steps to do something about it. That leads to a situation that fits rather well into the franchise continuity.

    Bruce Davison is the go-to guy when it comes to the slightly deranged, and his portrayal of Dr. Silverman certainly fits the bill. He brings an innate intensity to the role, and the scenes between Silverman and Ellison work beautifully as a result. It's hard to imagine that Ellison could have any doubts after this experience, but he is also left with the impression that keeping the secret of the apocalypse can drive a person mad.

    Sarah becomes aware of Ellison's interest, and ends up grabbing a videotape of her experience in the mental institution. It just happens to be footage of her decision, just before the breakout sequence in "Terminator 2", to sign away parental rights. John gets his hands on the tape, and his reaction is heartbreaking. It appears to be resolved by the end of the episode, but it might have been more interesting to leave John with a desire to find someone else to bond with, instead of his mother.

    That would place Derek Reese and Cameron in powerful positions. Derek doesn't know that his brother Kyle was John's father, but John already treats him like beloved family. John has a desire to find something trustworthy in Derek, even though he's still a complete stranger. On the other hand, he has some measure of trust in Cameron, and she has already demonstrated an ability to connect with John on some level. Her cruel pragmatism gets in the way, but for now, John has been willing to believe that Cameron is acting in his best interest.

    That may not be the case, of course, and Cameron already shows a dismissive attitude towards human life. She gets the information regarding the Turk, but in the end, she has little concern for anyone's survival. Her decision to walk away, without hesitation, from cold-blooded murder speaks volumes. Yet she also seems more capable of absorbing human psychological traits, such as the emotional aspects of the ballet dancing (a nod to Summer Glau's personal talents). Derek has reason to hate and distrust her, but the ballet dancing seemed to inspire a mixture of wonder and terror.

    The stage is now set for the season finale. There's little chance for resolution in the final two episodes (four more were originally planned before the writers' strike forced a premature production shutdown), but several plot threads should come to a head. Unfortunately, the ratings continue to slide, and that does not bode well for a second season. That would be a shame, because the producers and writers clearly have a vision for the series and a passion for the franchise.
  • Nice twists

    I liked this episode until the last minute (later)... the plot is thickening, Cameron really _is_ a machine and behaves like it... scary. Not the romantic notions I could have hoped for between her and John, but then... how would that fit into history to come.

    I have a hard time fitting Kyle's brother into the picture as well as "the new" Doctor "Silberman". Dr. "Silberman's" behaviour can actually be defended, whereas Kyles brother needs a lot of explaining to be accepted.

    One thing that I really found disturbing though was the religious note in this episode... how we humans are all capable of communicating with God (mysterious being, red.).... I mean... "O_M_F_G".

    Sarah said in the conclusion:

    "There are things that machines cannot do! They cannot posses faith, they cannot commune with god"

    Now... I would like to have ANY one prove to me, that they have talks with God???... and I don't mean all the usual clairvoyant healer talk.... I want a RECORDING of that conversation!!!

    That last scene simply ruined the episode for me... it was all well until that moment :-(((

  • Dr Silberman now uses Rogain, Derek and Cameron admit that they know each other, and Sarah made a bad mom decision way back before she broke out of the mental hospital. Basically, a drama episode, but a good one.

    I'm glad they brought back Dr Silberman, but why couldn't they have used Earl Boen? I mean, if he can do an episode of Family Matters, then he can sure as heck do the role he is famous for. Anyways, the guy did good, but there is one complaint, which is the one complaint I have about this episode. They could have made Dr Silberman's hair look more like Earl Boens.... basically bald. Other than that, it was well done.

    Instead of taking how the T2 experience affected Dr Silberman in a comical sense like in T3, they make it much more serious in this. Basically, he believes everything Sarah ever told him, and is now alittle crazy himself. I mean, If I had to listen to the end of the world story for many years, and then saw proof of it, like in T2, I would be alittle nutty as well. Also, it appears Terminators are pretty darn good at ballet.
  • An amazing show.

    Never before has a TV series captivated me like this one has. Perhaps it's because of my love for the Terminator series. I can say, The Sarah Conner Chronicles is the perfect companion to one of Sci-Fi's greatest series. This episode was so well written, I was overwhelmed by it's poignancy. Cameron is slowly becoming more and more human as the series progresses, but she never ceases being a Terminator. Her encounters with the ballet teacher were well scripted. Another stand out quality of this episode was the acting. It was great to see the character of Dr. Silverman back. Cannot wait for the season finale next monday! I really hope it doesn't end there.
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