Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 8

Vick's Chip

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 03, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
551 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Unwilling to trust any Terminator, Derek searches and finds the T-888 brain chip Cameron hid. When John accesses the data on it, he finds a potential way to stop Skynet and change his future by sabotaging a computerized traffic system. However, Cameron will have to trust her fate to John, because if Derek has his way she will not come back from the mission. Elsewhere, Cromartie looks through school records in search of John.


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  • One of these things is going to kill you someday.... Yeah, it won't be this one.... Great stuff.

    In this episode the writers got back to the greatest asset of the show: the intriguing relationship between Cameron and John. As he had been doing since his entrance, Derek tries to cast more doubt on Cameron by finding the chip she had been hiding. So, Cameron's secret shown at the end of Dungeons and Dragons doesn't last very long. In fact, she is maybe too honest with John when he questions her about lying to him. All through the episode Derek and Sarah use Vick's memory to draw comparisons to Cameron, trying to convince John not to trust her, never ending behavior that would become tiresome by the end of the series. John not only remains steadfast in his loyalty to Cameron, he is clearly shown to have feelings for Cameron in the final scenes, including the epic scene where he strokes her hair before she awakes on the bed. The battle within John between seeing Cameron as a young woman or a machine or a perfect hybrid of both is probably as well shown in this episode as anywhere in the series except for the final episode. Clearly, the warnings of Derek and Sarah are beginning to more and more fall on deaf ears.

    As usual, there is a sense of dread associated with any Cromartie scene. His systematic stop at John's school was treated rather blithely considering the danger it represented. I liked how John and Cameron agreed to not tell Sarah about it though, more evidence of John leaning more to Cameron's side and away from his mother. That lean would become total by the final episode of the series.

    Only Cromartie's part leads into the Season 1 finale. Otherwise, most the show sets up the Season 2 premiere.moreless
  • great episode

    Derek goes through Cameron's stuff and finds a brain chip that Cameron kept from being incinerated. John finds a way to get an interface to connect with the chip and watch the video files stored in it's memory. Cromartie goes to a school and finds the school records with any boys 15 to 18 who might look like john connor. This episode is awesome, so much is shown in this episode. The writers made this episode exciting, the scenes were so well made, the actors were great. Each scene had something very interesting in it. I can't wait for the next episode.moreless
  • Skynet's agents in the present are working hard to hasten its emergence.

    Derek, completely unable to trust Cameron, searches her room and emerges triumphantly having found the Terminator's chip that she kept. John confronts Cameron about whether she lies to him and she openly admits she does. Reviewing the data on the chip shows extremely disturbing information – Vick was an advanced infiltration unit – it was married! All business of course, Skynet business, a grand plan involving a traffic monitoring system that doubles as a surveillance system.

    Cromartie starts checking on high schools and ends up at the right school. Luckily, a simple switch with John's new friend and Cromartie goes away. John is dismayed by her throwing his friend in the path of Cromartie and Cameron, though sometimes extremely literal, is starting to learn to act human, improvising, making small talk, keeping secrets, winking.

    Continuing with the chip, they witness the execution of Derek's men. Why were his men following the wife, Barbara, and Derek didn't know? For that matter, why wasn't he there the night they died? It does clear Cameron, it just followed Sayles back to the safehouse. Derek is starting to worry me, he has a lot of secrets. I didn't agree with Sarah's decision not to tell Derek about Kyle, now I realise it was the right decision, I just don't trust him. It feels like he's got an agenda we don't know about.

    The traffic control system seems to be a bigger problem than anticipated – it not only blocked the virus, it set off an alarm. Derek wants to kill a couple of unconscious security guards?!

    What Cameron warned of happened, Vick reactivated. Shut down in time, it still gives John a dangerous idea – plug Cameron into the traffic system and let her destroy it from the inside. Still suspicious, Derek warns against trusting her, maybe she's Skynet. He makes a very valid point – in T3, we saw that Skynet, a sentient computer program, used the internet to spread. What's to stop Cameron doing the same thing?

    Derek, seeing an opportunity to destroy Cameron, takes her chip but John, as always, defends her and insists that she can be trusted. Their plan works and creates the worst traffic jams in L.A. history. I've always worried about John's bond with Cameron and his actions after restoring the chip – gently stroking her hair – doesn't reassure me one bit. When she wakes, he jerks his hand back, looking guiltily as hell.

    Sarah confronts Derek – who is completely immodest despite being naked in the shower – and tells him she knows he killed Andy. The chip shows that Vick really did kill Barbara, once she ceased to be useful.

    An informative episode which introduces troubling new ideas – how much can we trust Cameron and Derek, just how deep are John's feelings for Cameron and what else does the future Skynet have planned as it has agents here who are specifically furthering its goals?moreless
  • Great

    Very good episode, and great buildup to the series finale, it has been a short season, but definately one to remember, this show is brilliant.

    This episode had lots of action, and really left us thinking about characters such as Cameron, is she really good or bad, is there some evil lurking deep down inside of her.

    Also there was definately no shortage of twists and turns and always had us on our feet.

    It has to be given a 10 out of 10 from me and in all honesty, this show has kept up the quality from the pilot, which doesnt happen often in alot of new shows.moreless
  • You get the feeling that season ending is coming

    This episode really had that feeling that now the stage is set for big events and they are happening. First the chip.. what they are getting off that and realizing quite a lot what is going on. And ofcourse there is still the matter of trust between Derek and Cameron. And it does sounds to be interesting. Like when they took off her chip and he hold it on his hand - a change to crash her forever.

    And ofcourse the way everyone is starting to lie to everyone. First John learning that Cameron does lie for him if she thinks it will protect him. And that thing with the police officer.. sending John's friend there. And not telling to mother.. and I am still not sure how Sarah got that Derek killed Andy.. but.. one question answered - we knew who did it.moreless
Kristina Apgar

Kristina Apgar

Cheri Westin

Guest Star

Edoardo Ballerini

Edoardo Ballerini


Guest Star

Karina Logue

Karina Logue

Barbara Chamberlain

Guest Star

Garret Dillahunt

Garret Dillahunt


Recurring Role

Brian Austin Green

Brian Austin Green

Derek Reese

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The close-up shot of John putting Cameron's chip back inside her head is actually a reversed shot of taking the chip out of the head: you can clearly see a wisp of hair sliding tight over the chip between the pair of tongs. If there is a wisp on the chip on the immerse it would rather go into loops than be stretched like a rubber band as we can see it in this shot.

    • Nitpick: When everyone goes to the hills of Los Angeles to look for the woman, Cameron holds up an actual photograph to match the topography. Why go through all the trouble of printing the picture from the chip when she is able to store the image in her memory just by looking at it? After all, moments ago, we saw Cromartie do this when trying to match the image of John with the guys in the shower.

    • The description upon how to remove her CPU Cameron provides matches the one given by Schwarzenegger's character in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (extended edition) into detail.

    • The video game the kids are playing is Halo 3 (chapter The Road), developed by Bungie Studios for the XBox 360. This is one of the best selling games ever.

    • After John takes out Cameron's chip, you can see that she is still breathing, which would be impossible, because her system is shut down. It is possible that her organic replication systems would still need to be maintained so there may be a back-up processing unit that tends to the needs of her basic physiology in the event of a shut-down.

    • John programs the virus without knowing which operations-system the target computer is running on. Correctly he says, that the computer is not accessible from the outside (as it should be for a vital system), so there is no way he can know about the operating system. Later, when Sarah uploads the virus to the computer, it starts automatically from the USB-drive. In general, vital systems do not allow auto-mount drives to be attached. In the end, the virus fails. This is very logical, since John might have simply picked the wrong operating-system to write the virus for.

    • When Sarah confronts Derek in the shower, the Japanese hiragana on his chest is Mitou meaning untrodden (to go back over one's course; retrace).

    • Derek refers to John being killed in the future by a Terminator. This may be a reference to an event described in Terminator 3 in which it is said that John will be killed by a T-101 (chosen because of John's memories from the 2nd movie) before the robot is reprogrammed and sent back to protect him before Judgment Day.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • John: (Sees Cameron) You scared the hell out of me. How long you been sitting there?
      Cameron: A little while.
      Cameron: (about the video) That was effective. What he did, when he touched her lips.
      John: Effective?
      Cameron: I could see that she liked that.
      John: What are you doing?
      (Cameron shows him her fingernails.)
      John: No. When you say things like that, what are you doing?
      Cameron: Just making conversation.
      John: Since when do you just make conversation?
      Cameron: I don't know. It just seems like something I should do.
      John: Having Morris impersonate me with that cop was also something you should do, no matter what happened to him?
      Cameron: Yes. But it wasn't a cop. It was Cromartie.

    • Cameron: (John cutting her chip out of her head) Two centimeters left. One centimeter down. Cut a semi-circle with a diameter of twelve centimeters.
      John: Is it okay if I'm off by a couple centimeters?

    • John: So, do we do this a lot in the future? Sneak around in the dark?
      Derek: We do this a lot.

    • Derek: (about Cameron) What I'm saying is what I've been saying, John. She can't be trusted. No matter how she acts on the outside we have no idea what's going on in there.
      John: Well, I could say the same thing about you.
      Derek: Who showed you my safe house? She did. Who else knew about it? Nobody. Where are my men? In the morgue.
      Cameron: I didn't give the T-888 the safe house location.
      Derek: Prove it.

    • Sarah: (about chip) Where'd you get this?
      Derek: Her room.
      Cameron: Why were you in my room?

    • Derek: (Holding Cameron's chip) I want you to hear this in no uncertain terms. Someday, one of these things is going to kill you.
      John: It's not gonna be this one.

    • John: (learning that a new traffic system is part of Skynet) Oh, I guess when they say you can't fight City Hall, they really mean it.
      Derek: Well, whoever said that didn't have as much plastique as we do.

    • Cameron: (referring to the deceased wife of the T-888) I don't understand your need to find her. She's dead.
      Sarah: That's because you don't value human life.
      Cameron: But she's not life, she's just a body! Bones and meat! (Sarah glares at her) Was that bad to say?

    • John: Look, since you obviously have no clue how to read this garbage, would you mind making a Seven-Eleven run or something? Pick up some burritos, chocolate milk. It'd mean a lot to me.

    • John: How the hell do you keep your brain organized?
      Cameron: Not like yours.
      John: No kidding.

    • Sarah: I just finished going through the first set of files you grabbed. Only understood a third of what I read.
      (Derek is brushing his teeth)
      Sarah:You've been doing that for 20 minutes now. With my toothbrush.

    • Student: Uh, happy pizza day!
      Cameron: Thank you. I had two slices. Do I look fat?
      Student: Still good!

    • Sarah: I used to be her.
      Derek: Huh?
      Sarah: The waitress. I used to work in a diner.
      Derek: I can't see that at all.
      Sarah: I had this regular, Tracy, she had two beautiful kids. She left her husband, moved her kids to L.A. To get 'em into show business. I'd bring her eggs every day and I'd hear what she said to them. That they had bad skin or crooked teeth, one lie after another. I swear sometimes I understand why they drop bombs on us.

    • Student: There's a cop in the principal's office. He wants to talk to your brother.
      (Cameron looks at him and starts moving in closer)
      Student: Is he hiding? Does he have stuff in his locker? Wait, he's not a narc is he?
      (Student is scared)
      Cameron: I'll make sure John gets this.
      (Student stutters)

    • Morris: I have no clue what happened to you in Kansas. But your sister's a genius and I've got nerves of steel.
      John: Huh?
      Morris: We got that cop off your back, and I've never felt more alive!

    • Derek: There shouldn't be a wall here. In the future, there's no wall here.
      Sarah: Meaning?
      Derek: Meaning we need to blow it up.

    • Cameron: We should be very careful with Vick's chip.
      John: Yeah, that's the understatement of the century.

    • Sarah: It didn't work.
      Derek: We should just blow it.
      Sarah: We can't go back there. What are you gonna do, take an axe to every traffic light in town?

    • Sarah Connor: (Closing narration) So much danger in this world is hidden behind masks. We tell our children stories of good and evil, while knowing is not that simple. True evil doesn't give us time to fight, or to be afraid. We keep our heads down, never bothering to look behind the masks. And in doing so, we resign ourselves to terrible fates we can never see coming.

    • Cameron: The roast should have been removed from the stove 18 minutes and 27 seconds ago.
      Sarah: It's fine.
      (Sarah looks at the burned roast)
      Sarah: All right, not exactly fine.

    • Sarah Connor: (Opening narration) All of us wear masks. They can be worn out of love and the desire to remain close to those around us, to spare them from the complicated reality of our frayed psyches. We trade honesty for companionship and in the process, never truly know the hearts closest to us.

    • School Teacher: Look me in the eye and tell me you've never smoked a little marijuana.
      (Cromartie looks at him completely seriously)
      Cromartie: I've never smoked a little marijuana.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Matt McColm (Vick) has another tie to the Terminator franchise: he was an uncredited stunt double in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: April 8th, 2008 on Channel 9
      United Kingdom: April 10th, 2008 on Virgin 1
      Russia: April 18th, 2008 on Ren-TV
      India: April 29th, 2008 on Zee Cafe
      Sweden: June 16th, 2008 on TV3
      Denmark: June 20th, 2008 on TV3
      Czech Republic: August 21st, 2008 on Prima
      Norway: October 13th, 2008 on TVNorge
      Poland: December 18th, 2008 on TVP1
      Finland: December 29th, 2008 on Sub
      Slovakia: July 29th, 2010 on Markiza

    • Richard T. Jones (Agent James Ellison) doesn't appear in this episode, although he is featured in the opening credits.

    • This episode had a special air time of 8:00 PM, being the first of two new episodes to air this night. This is part of a two part season finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.