Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 19

Today is the Day (2)

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 20, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
439 votes

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Episode Summary

Jesse's mission takes a turn for the worst, which results in unexpected consequences for Sarah, John, and Derek. Meanwhile, Sarah deals with Cameron and John makes a very important decision.

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  • The two most solid entries in the series

    "Today is the Day" parts 1 and 2 are such a great insight into what could have become of TTSCC could have become had it not been given the classic "Fox Treatment", cancelled in it's prime before it can hit its apex.

    No, this episode isn't jam packed with action, it's more story and character, a glimpse into Jessie's past and how it intertwines with both Derrek and Cameron.

    The writers did a great job with exploring the idea of time travels effects on the past and the individuals storyline. Derek concludes that Jessie, well, isn't his Jessie, not from his future. She's not the girl he loved, for she would never be so cold and ruthless.

    Very interesting and I highly recommend.moreless
  • How d heck can I watch the episodes?????!!!!!

    How am I gonna know I can't watch
  • The arrival of John Connor

    This episode is not only full of resolution, but also marks the arrival of John Connor as a fully realized character. Previous to this point, it was easy to dismiss John Connor; he simply wasn't yet convincing as the leader of the future human crusade. Much of this episode could be seen as a retcon, but given how careful the writers have been since the pilot, it's entirely possible that this was the intention all along.

    In fact, John's confrontation with Jesse nearly overshadowed every other aspect of the episode. I was so amazed by his demonstration of resolve, how well he had been keeping his cards so close to vest, that I was practically ready to download the entire second season and rewatch everything right then and there. John was so specific about his reasons for recognizing who Riley had to be that it should be easy enough to find those moments from those earlier episodes.

    The writers have been taking their time with John, and while that has been frustrating at times, this is the right kind of payoff. It also serves to highlight the problem with all of this time travel and timeline manipulation. We simply don't know which "version" of the future everyone is from, and that means assumptions could be very, very wrong.

    What we now know (after many hints) is that Jesse doesn't come from the same version of the future as John's father. John's father came from a future where John was winning the war. In Jesse's future, John is too close to the "metal", and this is leading to a slow but steady defeat. And to that the loss of an unborn child, and it's no surprise that Jesse would want to drive a wedge between John and Cameron.

    It's not entirely clear which version of the future Derek comes from: a hopeful future in which John is winning, or a desperate future where John is out of his depth. And it's quite possible that there is a decision point that leads to one or the other, something that has yet to be revealed. All things being equal, one would expect that it has something to do with someone we already know: Sarah, Derek, or Cameron. It may be that this will come into play before the end of the season.

    The titular last voyage of the Jimmy Carter does more than just provide a basis for Jesse's motivations. It might also prove out a theory that I've had since the beginning of the season. Could the T-1000 seen in the Jimmy Carter, the one that John was trying to forge an alliance with, the same one that has become Catherine Weaver? If so, then it lends much credence to the theory that Weaver represents a splinter group within SkyNet. It would explain why Weaver wants to incorporate human ethics into the aborning John Henry, despite her bloodthirsty ways.

    Right down to John's final emotional outlet in his mother's lap at the end of the episode, this was easily one of the best of the season. It gives me great hope that the season will end on a high note. Even if the series comes to a premature end in a few short weeks, the writers have outdone themselves.moreless
  • Good stuff, showing promise for the season (and possibly the show)'s final run.

    While the 'cliffhanger' at the end of 'Today Is The Day' was perhaps the most depressingly rubbish since Doctor Who's 'Dragonfire' (Jesse sits in her apartment and THINKS! Yeah! That'll bring viewers back next week!), the second part of this 'mini-movie' holds up against its predecessor and maintains the satisfying levels of tension and suspense that Miller and Stentz managed to deliver last week. Granted, once again, it's mostly in the 2027 scenes, but given that these make up a significant proportion of the episode, that'll do me. I'm not entirely sure that I buy John's awareness of Riley's deception; it smacks far too greatly of a retcon, given that we have had absolutely no hint of any suspicion in the previous instalments, but given that it leads to Dekker's best scene in the show's two years, I'll let it slide. Brian Austen Green is pretty damn good too as he gives his treacherous love interest the 'bon voyage' she truly deserves. Good stuff, showing promise for the season (and possibly the show)'s final run.moreless
  • I could feel John's desperation at the end of the episode. All that weight on his arms, finally being the leader and letting himself to break and cry just shows the kind of leader he's becoming.moreless

    How accurate can machines be, how limitless (if that word exists... if not you guys know what I mean) can they become. How can a kid become the leader of humanity... how can learning to become that leader teach us to become humans. That's exactly what this episode is about... this episode and the whole concept of Terminator. How can our lifes be so terrifying weak (Symbolized in the metal's so called "daughter")?? This shows two parts of a coin... or we lead or we get played with. Sacrifice is also touched in this episode... losing the beloved for a greater good is just far away of my feelings and I know that I'm not the only one. After more than 20 episodes I can finally say... this show is awesome!!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Derek: I'm really sorry, John. She was a good kid. She didn't deserve what happened to her.
      John: Few people do. How long do you think you could survive …with Cameron … if she wanted to kill you … face to face?
      Derek: What kind of weapon do I have?
      John: Your fists, and your elbows, and your fingernails and your teeth.
      Derek: Against her? Those aren't weapons.
      John: No, they're not.
      Derek: You already know the answer to that, John. If she wants me dead, I'm dead.
      John: She wants you dead, you're dead.

    • Dietz: You want to, uh, let us little people know what's in the box, or is it classified between you and Queeg?
      Jesse: It's between Queeg and Queeg. I don't know a damn thing.
      Dietz: And that doesn't bother you, metal keeping secrets from skin?
      Jesse: No, it doesn't - not even a little.
      Dietz: Well, it should - and not just a little, but a lot.
      Jesse: We were sent to pick up the box and bring it back. So, we're picking up the box and bringing it back.
      Dietz: And one of us should know why. One of us, not just one of them.
      Jesse: One of us knows, his name's John Connor.

    • Sarah: You went to see the body. You shouldn't have done that.
      John: It was a risk, I know.
      Sarah: I don't mean the risk. You shouldn't have to remember her like that. That's all.
      John: There were things I needed to see., and that I had to understand.
      Sarah: Do you understand them now?
      John: I think so. I'm sorry I doubted you.
      Sarah: John.
      John: No. Not you. (looks at Cameron) Her.

    • Jesse: Dietz, what the hell did you do?
      Dietz: Could be anything in there - a machine, a bomb, anything. All right, and we were just gonna run it right through the front door to Serrano. Now at least we know.
      Jesse: Of all the stupid things …
      Dietz: Stupid? Stupid is taking their word for it. (points at Queeg) For anything! I'm not afraid of that thing.
      Jesse: Well, then, be afraid of me.
      Goodnow: Guys.
      Dietz: (holds out his bar-coded arm) You spend … any time … in a work camp, Commander?
      Goodnow: Guys.
      Dietz: You don't get to tell me anything, and neither does the metal.

    • Sarah: What was the name of that hippie town we were in before, uh … before Nebraska? Garb-something.
      John: Garberville.
      Sarah: Right. Well, that was a culture shock, going from hog farmers and good old boys to pot growers and kids names Sequoia.
      John: There was only one Sequoia. There were three Sages, though.
      Sarah: I felt bad for you when we left. You just started making friends. Fitting in.
      John: Fitting in? I was getting in fights every day.
      Sarah: Well, you won those fights.
      John: That's one way of lookin' at it. I hated that town.

    • (John Henry is painting his small "monster" toys)
      John Henry: But it's the detail work I find the most interesting. It challenges my fine motor control and there are so many choices. The eyes, for example, the window to the soul. They're the window to the soul, I read that.
      Ellison: That's what they say.
      John Henry: Then I should choose my paint more carefully.
      Ellison: It doesn't matter, John Henry. It's a statue, it's an object. It doesn't have a soul.
      John Henry: It has eyes.

    • (Ellison rises to go home and prepares to switch John Henry off)
      John Henry: Please don't. My monster is incomplete.
      Ellison: The eyes. What color did you want to use?
      John Henry: Blue.
      Ellison: (sitting back down) All right. Pass me one of those. Let's get this done.
      John Henry: Mr. Ellison?
      Ellison: Yes.
      John Henry: Does this make us friends?

    • Dietz: He could be metal and we wouldn't even know if ...
      Garvin: You want to see metal? I'll show you metal ... (picks up food tray)
      Jesse: Hey! Hey! Enough!
      Dietz: You're right, Garvin. It's not you. (confronts Jesse) You're not the one who spends all day locked in a room with metal.
      Jesse: Stand down, Dietz.
      Dietz: I knew you were a metal lover. But maybe, you're more than that. Maybe you're one of them. Just like that little metal bitch that follows Connor everywhere.

    • Sarah: Why are you here?
      Cameron: Protect John. Hunt Skynet. Stop Judgment Day.
      Sarah: But why are you here? Right now, with us. John sent you here from the future. He sent you away, away from him. Maybe you should think about that. Maybe you should think about why he didn't want you around anymore.

    • John Henry: Mr. Ellison is our friend.
      Weaver: Yes, he is our friend.
      John Henry: Are you going to kill him?
      Weaver: Mr. Ellison has proven himself to be a capable and loyal employee. But he's still a human being.
      John Henry: Human life is sacred.
      Weaver: We have to be prepared for any contingency.
      John Henry: What contingency would that be?
      Weaver: Humans will disappoint you.

    • Jesse: You really want to do it this way?
      Queeg: I don't understand, do what?
      Jesse: As XO and ranking human on board this boat, I am relieving you of command - on suspicion of compromise to your programming. Please move away from the controls, Captain. (Queeg complies and stands) Submit to chip extraction. The chip tech will decide what to do.
      Queeg: Chief of the boat, escort Commander Flores to her rack, she's ill.
      Jesse: I gave you an instruction, Captain. You must comply.
      Queeg: My mission order overrides standard behavioral protocols. You have no authority on this boat.

    • John: If you pretend not to know me, I might shoot you in the head. We owe Riley the truth, don't you think? We owe the dead that much.

    • Jesse: Where is she? The metal?
      John: If she were here, you'd be dead. You know that. Would you please gimme your gun? You're not gonna shoot me. You know I've been running from the machines my whole life. They tried to kill my mom before I was even born. And when I was twelve, they sent one after me. I was a kid. I was stupid, I didn't know what it was all about. Both times, (scoffs) future me sent someone back to stop them. The first time it was a soldier. His name was Kyle Reese, and he died saving my mother's life. The second time it was a machine. I used to wonder why I did that, why I took that chance. I don't wonder anymore. Human beings can't be replaced. They can't be rebuilt. They die and they never come back. You know it wasn't Derek who told me, if that's what you're wondering. He loves you, you know, Derek. You and me, we're the only things he has in this world, the only things. He's like Riley in that way. See, she made mistakes, small things, sometimes - a word or a phrase. Carrots and apples. I'm guessing that's yours. When we were in Mexico, she heard my real name, she ignored it, but a man took my picture and she destroyed his camera. She put herself between me and a machine that was hunting me. So one day I realized, she wasn't treating me like John Baum, she was treating me like John Connor.

    • Jesse: You saw her. I'm sorry.
      John: Yeah, everybody says that. The thing is … this is all my fault. I knew Riley was in trouble. I didn't help her. I should've, but I didn't. I knew what she was. I didn't try to stop her.
      Jesse: You wanted it to be real
      John: Or maybe I wanted to win?
      Jesse: You didn't want to be John Baum, you wanted to be John Connor.
      John: That's just the thing, isn't it? I am John Connor. Go, go.
      Jesse: Just like that.
      John: Just like that. If I have to live with this, so do you.
      Jesse: Would it have worked?
      John: What?
      Jesse: If the cyborg had murdered the girl, or if I could've made you believe that she had?
      John: Would I have sent Cameron away? Would I have killed her? No.
      Jesse: Well … it's a damn shame then. It's a damn waste.

    • Jesse: The liquid metal thing inside the box, it came to me before we escaped and it gave me a message for John Connor. For him, not for you.
      Cameron: Telling me is the same as telling John.
      Jesse: Dietz was right. Who the hell is running this war? What the hell are we fighting for if telling you is the same thing as telling Connor? You're a damn machine. You're not the same. It's not the same. Fine, to hell with you. You tell John Connor that the metal monster said the answer is no. What does that mean, huh? Hey, tell me. If the answer is no, what was the question?
      Cameron: "Will you join us?"
      Jesse: What?
      Cameron: That was the question - "Will you join us?"

    • Derek: Billy Wisher was my best friend. He was in my squad, we fought together. We saw things you can't imagine. He was like my brother and I loved him. But it turns out I never really … knew him. His real name was Andy Goode, and back here in this world he created a computer program, a program that becomes Skynet. So Andy Goode is dead, and Billy Wisher is dead too - because I killed him. I came back here and I killed him. He was my brother, and I loved him, and I killed him. And I did it for Kyle …and John, and I did it for you.
      Jesse: Derek …
      Derek: Shut up.
      Jesse: Please …
      Derek: Shut up!
      Jesse: You have no idea, you have no idea what they took from us.
      Derek: Stop it, just stop it. I don't even know you. I don't know who you are.
      Jesse: I'm Jesse. I'm Jesse!
      Derek: You're not my Jesse. You never were. John Conner said to let you go. I'm not John Connor.

    • John: What do they think of me? In the future, what do people think?
      Derek: (sighs) Well … If you're asking if … people agree … with everything you do, of course not. If you're asking if everybody loves you … love's a lot to ask for. You can't do what you do and … expect everybody to agree, or to love you.
      John: And what is it that I do?
      Derek: You lead.
      John: And they follow.
      Derek: We follow. We rise or fall on your shoulders. Humanity rises … or falls. But we're always watching.
      John: For me to make a mistake?
      Derek: For you to be human.
      John: Did you do it? Did you kill her?
      Derek: John Connor let her go.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: October 24th, 2009 on TVNorge
      Sweden: November 19th, 2009 on TV6
      Finland: January 3rd, 2010 on Sub
      Czech Republic: January 7th, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: October 15th, 2010 on Markiza

    • Featured Music:
      "New Messiah" by Dead Heart Bloom (as Jesse and Derek have their showdown in the parking garage)

    • Working Title: "Last Voyage of the Jimmy Carter"
      According to Fox's production blog, "Today Is the Day" was originally going to be a one-hour episode. However, after shooting completed on it, the writers determined too many things were left hanging and went back to the writer's room to tie up what dangled. What came out of the room required reshoots in the first hour as well as the addition of a new second hour. In order to keep the two productions straight, the second hour was temporarily named "Last Voyage of the Jimmy Carter." Unfortunately, Fox's press office sent out releases using this title, so some sites and newspapers list this as an actual or former title when it never was sanctioned as such. Although the writers had toyed with other two-part episodes, this turned out to be the only one of the whole series.


    • Alien:
      This episode's plot in similar to the movie Alien. In both, the crew of a vessel bring aboard an unknown object at the behest of another. The object turns out to be a ruthless killing machine which kills one of the crew before disappearing into the air ducts. The strong female lead is at odds with an emotionless robot and ends up killing him due to the crews expendability. Eventually the remains of the crew escape and the ship is destroyed in an explosion.

    • Jesse: (to the liquid "metal") Who are you? What do you want?
      This references J. Michael Straczynski's award-winning television series, Babylon 5 (1993-1998). Jesse's two questions evoke that show's central overarching conflict between two ancient races of beings : the "Vorlons", who consistently ask members of younger races "Who are you?"; and the "Shadows", who always ask "What do you want?" The different questions reflect a philosophical polarity between two worldviews, with "Vorlons" favoring authoritarianism and "Shadows" preferring the creative destruction of free will. Use of the two questions on T:SCC, and the aborted secret meeting, suggests the possibility of two unaligned factions of Terminators with conflicting philosophies.

    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
      The liquid-metal Terminator making a negative movement of a finger is a reference to the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which the T-1000 played by Robert Patrick makes the exact same gesture.