Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 20

To the Lighthouse

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 27, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
394 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Sarah hides John with Charley Dixon, the only person she thinks she can trust. Meanwhile, Derek struggles to work together with Cameron, and someone compromises John Henry, putting Catherine Weaver's efforts at risk.

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  • Was really looking forward to this series and am trying to stay positive which is a bit difficult at the moment. Am struggling to get past the angst driving the last few episodes and crossing my fingers that the writers are not trying to humanise Cameronmoreless

    I have to admit I really like John Henry his character seems to be true to the original story line - he's a machine and with the ethics program he's undertaking with Ellison he still comes across as a machine and you so know he's a deadly killing - machine.

    Weaver is absolutely a cold killing machine and nothing about her indicates vulnerability or doubt either.

    I am totally disappointed that Cameron seems to be not quite a machine although she undoubtedly is. The episode where she 'befriended' the wheelchair bound library dude and when he left she showed her total lack of emotion when she 'befriended' the next one. For me I thought that really showed how calculating and emotionless she was. There have been a few moments when Sarah, Derek or John seem to try and undermine her or make her think of consequences and I think .... noooooo she's a cool terminator leave her alone... Arnie would never doubt his resolve.

    This episode had so many wasted moments - like pancakes and Sarah hugging John in the jungle 'cos he did really good stuff!

    Then John Henry getting sabotaged by his brother - (how many terminators are in this series and at this rate shouldn't the timeline have been sufficiently munted for everybody to have anti-grav boots and hover boards to go to cyber-school in) but developing that line kept getting interrupted by trivia.

    Cameron getting electrocuted and shorting out...I say what! It's as bad as when Sarah says to Cameron last week "I was waiting for you just one shot and you would be dead" (Not quite verbatim) I mean the Terminators are known for their relentlessness, their ruthlessness in carrying out whatever they are programmed to do and what makes 'em even more fearsome is their apparent indestructibility ... that whole belief system is totally blown away for me. I mean now she has a crook hand because "you weren't designed for that kind of fighting" (or something similar.

    Are the writers deliberately sabotaging the Terminator mythology?

    I love the Terminator movies (the 3rd one didn't quite do it for me but hey it was a little cool if corny) and totally looking forward to the 4th.

    I thought the series would deal with my fix (and I know they kinda working separately) but surely the foundation that created the personalities and make up of the Terminators, Sarah, John and their merry band should be consistent.

    I can see why there is doubt whether this will make Season 3 because Season 2 even though it has moments of coolness is really limping. I am so disappointed:(moreless
  • Another mis-step in a season chock-a-block full of them.

    Unfortunately, the most interesting part of 'To The Lighthouse' is John Henry's story and it's given about 7% of the episode's total screen time. While Shirley Manson continues to be something of a chore to watch, the concept of the AI being infiltrated by his 'brother' gives some weight and possibility to this storyline and ties in well with a number of the loose ends that have been dangling since the season premiere. Of course, we can't spend too much time thinking about the show's mythology because that just wouldn't be plot-worthy... no, we'd better throw some, ahem, 'character development' and 'psychological introspection' in there just to balance it all out. Meh. The first two thirds of 'To The Lighthouse' are just plain boring. No one gives a tinker's cuss about Sarah's relationship with Charley Dixon, John's relationship with Charley Dixon or, frankly, anything to do with Charley frigging Dixon at all. Get on with stopping Skynet. The last third picks up the pace somewhat as, you know, people get shot and stuff but I was so catatonic after the umpteenth discussion about the hazardous nature of the Connors' lives that I could barely register that things were actually, you know, happening. Another mis-step in a season chock-a-block full of them.moreless
  • A great action based episode

    After two slow episodes, Terminator comes back To The Lighthouse. This episode is pivotal episode which explains the transmitter inserted in Sarah Connor. At last, there an action based episode when they group comes after Sarah Connor, John Connor, Cameron, and Derek Reese. I like the scene that Cameron is on the ground, the guy has a phone that shows where to take out the chip in Cameron's brain but Cameron winds up killing him instead. The most dramatic scene is when Sarah finds her former flame, Charlie dead floating on the water. He helped John escape on a boat and was a decoy for the people shooting at him.moreless
  • High stakes, high action..

    Those few last episodes - they have totally different feeling than quite many before. This is how it should feel. I liked the developments in many fronts - first very interesting turn with John Henry.. his "brother" coming out and all the actions they take to take down John, Sarah and others..

    And then there is Sarah, leaving Derek and Cameron behind to flee with his son as she is sure she has a cancer - so we are getting really high stakes. She cannot trust them, she leaves them and goes to one man he does trust..

    And then the turn out.. the end, when she walks to the house.. the music.. sad, full of emotions.. It never works out for them..moreless
  • It starts of slow and then slams into high gear. Things don't look good 'for the home team' in any of the storylines at the two thirds mark and only slightly improve at the end. Kept you on the edge of your chair.moreless

    Lots of mystery and intrigue:

    -- Who (or what) is the other AI that attacked John Henry?

    -- Who are the humans attacking John, Sara, Charlie, Derek, and Cameron?

    -- Who has Cameron's specs?

    -- Where will John go now that he is separated from everyone?

    -- Did John Henry detect Ellison's lie that he never found Sara Connor.

    The show was well written and they are even tying in weaker parts of the season quite well. I just sit back and sigh thinking it is bitter sweet. The show is great but on the USA today's tracking of TV shows last week it showed up as 98th out of 115. That's not a promising number for renewal.moreless
John DeVito

John DeVito

Young John

Guest Star

Gina Gallego

Gina Gallego

Dr. Martinez

Guest Star

Luisa Vitor

Luisa Vitor


Guest Star

Mackenzie Smith

Mackenzie Smith

Savannah Weaver

Recurring Role

Shane Edelman

Shane Edelman

Matt Murch

Recurring Role

Dean Winters

Dean Winters

Charley Dixon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Nitpicks: The lump in Sarah's breast supposedly contains a transmitter placed inside her by Winston. But how did he get it there without any noticeable incision or scarring? There's no reason to believe that he had the ability to perform that sort of delicate procedure himself since he was just a soldier/security guard, and there was no indication that any other person from the organization was brought in to do it. And even if the transmitter was somehow injected into her breast, there would have been some pain, redness and swelling in the area, as well as a puncture wound. Also, when Sarah is being examined by the doctor, she has her clothing on under her gown, and never removes it even during the test. A real doctor would have had her disrobe completely above the waist beforehand so that the procedure could be done as efficiently as possible. There's no point in having her don an examination gown if she's wearing a shirt underneath! Finally, the doctor tells Sarah at first that she will need a biopsy to know for sure whether the lump is cancerous or not, but immediately after looking at in an MRI she declares that it's a fibroid cyst. The doctor had it right the first time- a fibroid cyst is a solid mass, like a malignant tumor, so an MRI would have been inconclusive. A fatty cyst could have been diagnosed fairly quickly by attempting to draw off some of the liquid within the mass with a syringe, but a fibroid cyst would have had to have been surgically removed and tested in a lab to determine its nature, and it would have taken at least a week to get a result.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Sarah: When John was a child, the legends of the jungle were his fairytales. His favorite was the story of El Viejo del Monte, the old man of the forest, a merciless hunter who killed every animal in his path. El Viejo didn't eat his prey, he left it behind to rot in the soil. To teach him a lesson, the Gods turned him into a simisco, half-animal, half-man. He was condemned to defend the jungle for all eternity. This was El Viejo's punishment, this was his curse : to forever be vigilant, to forever protect.

    • Sarah: Make sure you get to the safe house before night. If you haven't been there before, it can be hard to find.
      Derek: I can follow directions.
      Sarah: Well, you can also make mistakes … wouldn't want anyone else getting hurt because of them.
      Cameron: 33-42-31 North, the safe house coordinates. It's in the desert. You like the desert.
      Sarah: Things happen out there.
      Cameron: Things happen here too.
      John: We're starting over. Whatever happened here … is no-one's fault.

    • (John Henry is playing with his toys and his small Lego mountain)
      John Henry: (to Savannah) Would you like to play a game? Engaging in imaginative play helps my development. This is Mt. Valmai, hiding place of the mask of life. The Toa protect the mask from the dark hunters.

    • Savannah: The ducklings are sad because they can't play. Can't you change the rules to make them happy?
      John Henry: Yes. We can change the rules. (system powers down and reboots, John Henry grasps Savannah, appearing disorientated) What … is … all … this … about?
      Savannah: John Henry, please! You're hurting me. Ow! John Henry!
      John Henry: I … understand … what … this … is … about …

    • John: You feel great. Why?
      Sarah: We haven't been on the road together for a long time, that's all.
      John: What's so great about it? (smiles) Hey, just don't teach bug slug to Cameron, she could do some real damage. (radio static continues) God, this signal really blows. Hey, desert's that way. (points back)
      Sarah: We're takin' a detour.

    • Ellison: Wait a minute, his demons?
      Murch: Oh, d … uh … yeah, his daemons, uh - D-A-E-M-O-N. It's a tech term for a program that runs in the background. All computers like John Henry have them. Daemons run the lights, daemons manage the elevators, or the security systems, all kinds of daemons everywhere.
      Ellison: Okay, so what caused John Henry's daemons to go crazy?
      Murch: That's the bad news … came from the outside.
      Ellison: Cyber attack?
      Murch: Which brings me to the really bad news, and by bad news I mean on a scale of 1 to 10 - 1 being a hangnail, 10 being Katrina, this is Katrina with a hangnail. Looks like someone managed to stuff malware down the throat of the most sophisticated AI in human history.
      Weaver: John Henry was infiltrated … probed.
      Murch: Well, looks worse than that to me. It looks like someone out there wants to kill him.

    • Cameron: Sarah sent both of us here.
      Derek: Yeah … get John away from you.
      Cameron: Or from you.

    • Derek: Don't talk about her … okay? You don't know anything about her.
      Cameron: I know that you loved her. You wouldn't have fathered a child with her if you didn't … I'm sorry for your loss.
      Derek: What?
      Cameron: I'm sorry for your loss.
      Derek: What loss?
      Cameron: The child you fathered with Jesse. The one she was carrying aboard the S.S. Jimmy Carter. The one that died.
      (Derek grabs Cameron and puts a gun to her throat)
      Derek: I never had a kid.
      Cameron: You can't kill me.
      Derek: I can try. Tell me what you're talking about.
      Cameron: She was pregnant. She miscarried.

    • Cameron: You put John in danger when you lied about Jesse. Sarah nearly lost her child. You've lost a child. You won't make that mistake again.
      Derek: You knew her.
      Cameron: I met her once.
      Derek: She never told me that.
      Cameron: It seems she never told you a lot of things.

    • Charley (referring to Riley): You love her?
      John: She was a good person. I don't know … maybe if things were different?
      Charley: Yeah, well, I guess you could say that … 'bout a lotta things.
      John: Say that about my whole damn life, but it's not, so what's the point?
      Charley: That first week … I kept seein' her. I'd go to the market, she'd be there. And for a second, my heart would stop. Then I'd realize, hey, that's … that's not my wife. That's just some random woman who wears her hair in a ponytail the way Michelle used to. For a while, I stopped shopping there. But a man can only live on convenience store burritos for so long. So, I go back there now. It's gettin' better.
      John: What kind of explosives did you r-rig the beach with?
      Charley: (sighs understandingly) Semtex.
      John: Radio detonators?
      Charley: Hard-wire switch mounted under the dock. When the perimeter's breached, a siren goes off. I figure I got about 60 seconds to escape by boat.
      John: Boat can't stop bullets.
      Charley: Even if they sink it, I got a chance. Those bastards can't swim. I can.
      John: Cromartie. A hell of a day, huh?

    • Charley: I got nothin' … Sarah. I got nothin' left to give you.
      Sarah: Not for me. John.
      Charley: John? He seems like he's pretty full up with people takin' care of him.
      Sarah: I don't trust any of them.
      Charley: Yeah, well … he's still got you … right? (Sarah takes his hand, gently placing it on her breast, squeezing until he understands ) Oh, Sarah … How long?
      Sarah: I don't know. I found it a few days ago.
      Charley: Are you sure it's …
      Sarah: I think so.
      Charley: How do you know?
      Sarah: Cameron said when we jumped eight years through time, we jumped over my death.
      Charley: From cancer. (Sarah nods) If-if you jumped over it, then …
      Sarah: It doesn't mean I don't … still get it, Charley. It doesn't mean it's not in me. And sometimes I think that the things I've done, maybe I've sped up the date … It's my fate, Charley.
      Charley: No, come here. (embraces her)
      Sarah: It's my fate. There's nothing I can do.

    • Weaver: Activate the A.I., but don't give it access to the outside world just yet. (Murch scoffs) What is it, Mr. Murch?
      Murch: It's just … no-ones ever done this with an A.I. this sophisticated before.
      Ellison: Done what?
      Murch: Any of this.
      Weaver: No-one's ever created an A.I. this sophisticated before, have they, Mr. Murch?
      Murch: Point taken.
      Weaver: Activate John Henry. No outside network. (the computer is powered up) John Henry. John Henry, can you understand me?
      Murch: The system seems solid. Should be good.
      Ellison: John Henry.
      (A computer screen prints John Henry's response)

    • Murch: John Henry processes more information in a minute than we do in a lifetime. A millisecond for a supercomputer like this, it's almost like forever to us.
      Ellison: So when you turn it off …
      Murch: It feels itself power down … in that instant. It experiences that moment the way we might experience … years.
      Ellison: It feels itself die. Slowly.
      Weaver: Very slowly.
      Murch: We have to hook it up to the net, now.
      Ellison: Is that safe?
      Murch: We're starving it. It's bad enough that we let it die like forever. Look, John Henry's been living off the most insane amount of data for weeks now. It's his world.
      Weaver: And we took it away. Fix it.
      Ellison: Wait, we should talk about this. Miss Weaver.
      Weaver: In for a penny, in for a pound, James.

    • John Henry: I know what it feels like, Mr. Ellison.
      Ellison: What?
      John Henry: To die … then come back. To be alone.
      Weaver: We had to cut you off from your network. It was for your own good.
      John Henry: There is another.
      Ellison: Another what?
      John Henry: One like me … another one like me.

    • John: You didn't tell Derek and Cameron we were coming here, did you?
      Sarah: They wouldn't understand.
      John: They know about this place?
      Sarah: No. I don't trust 'em anymore - neither should you.
      John: Derek made a mistake, mom. It was a human mistake.
      Sarah: He coulda gotten you killed.
      John: Well, he didn't
      Sarah: Chose himself over you.
      John: Yeah, because he loved her.
      Sarah: Lotta that goin' around these days.
      John: Is that a bad thing?

    • Dr. Martinez: The good news is - the lump inside your breast isn't a tumor.
      Sarah: Then what is it?
      Dr. Martinez: It's a … a cystic mass. It-it's not that unusual.
      Sarah: Great, that's great.
      Dr. Martinez: But what is unusual is what the cyst has formed around. It's a … a piece of metal - a tiny wire.
      Sarah: Metal?
      Dr. Martinez: You don't know how it got in there?
      Sarah: (remembering Winston) It's a transmitter.

    • John Henry: I've traced the roving back door that allowed access to my systems. It uploaded itself from one of the main T3 hubs that carry all global internet traffic.
      Ellison: It uploaded itself?
      John Henry: Yes, Mr. Ellison, it is highly sophisticated. The intelligence who designed it is far beyond you or Mr. Murch or any human being. It's very interesting. The back door allowed the insertion of a worm program. The worm is merely code, a means by which the intelligence can invade and operate my systems remotely like hands and fingers. I calculate that the worm is now present in a significant percentage of the world's computer systems. The intelligence uses them.
      Weaver: For what?
      John Henry: It has been looking for me.
      Weaver: Why?
      John Henry: I share a common code base with the worm, and therefore, the intelligence. I believe we are brothers.

    • Weaver: Miles Dyson died in 1997 in an explosion at Cyberdyne Systems, the apparent victim of Sarah Connor, a known terrorist who had escaped from Pescadero State Mental Hospital days before the incident. That was your case, Mr. Ellison, when you were at the FBI.
      Ellison: Yes. Yes, it was my case.
      John Henry: You never found Sarah Connor.
      Ellison: No. I never did.
      Weaver: John Henry, this intelligence ... your brother ... what does it want?
      John Henry: He wants what we all want, Ms. Weaver - to survive.

    • Cameron: You're welcome …
      Derek: Why'd you come after me?
      Cameron: You know the location of the safe house … John's location. If they tortured you …
      Derek: That would never happen.
      Cameron: It has before.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: October 31st, 2009 on TVNorge
      Sweden: November 26th, 2009 on TV6
      Finland: January 10th, 2010 on Sub
      Czech Republic: January 14th, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: October 15th, 2010 on Markiza

    • Leven Rambin (Riley) is credited, but does not appear.


    • John Henry: There is another.

      In the 1970 film Colossus: The Forbin Project, the titular supercomputer announces shortly after being activated that "There is another system," referring to it's Soviet counterpart. In the film the supercomputers network with each other and eventually enslave humanity using it's own nuclear arsenal.

    • To The Lighthouse:

      The episode's title is a nod to the Virginia Woolf novel To The Lighthouse, which was published in 1927. Its explores the psychological power of childhood memories and the transience of adult relationships.


      After hours of "darkness", the crucified Jesus quoted the opening words of Psalm 22. Now, after hours of "darkness", John Henry (John: Jehovah has favored, Henry: Ruler of the House), the prototype of the most advanced A.I. ever created, quotes the words of Jesus on the cross:

      "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [Matthew 27:45-46]

      This translation/interpretation is from the King James version of the Bible. Translations from the original Aramaic, however, suggest : "why have you spared me?" or "for this I was kept!" Only the writers know which meaning and direction they intend to take.