Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles Thoughts

For the last month I've been sitting on the first two Blurays of the Terminator television program, Sarah Connor Chronicles.  I think the Xbox is largely to blame for that, but I finally switched back to my Playstation 3 and started watching.

Honestly, I think this show is pretty dumb.  The humor solely relies on Summer Glau acting inhuman because she's a robot.  And the show comes off as shallow because it relies too much on the action which isn't all that good because it has a Television show budget.  The humor and the action try way too hard to live up to Terminator 2.

And the unforgivable plot device used in the pilot episode completely breaks the mythos of Terminator.  YOU CANNOT travel forward in time.  Only backwards.  I'm sure fanboys were completely up in arms on the Internet after that aired.  Messing around with time is a dangerous plot device that I think Terminator skirted by only allowing backwards time travel.

Even after that travesty, I continued watching the show because...  well, I had the discs and wanted to return them to Netflix.

But some goods things have come out of the show after watching the first six episodes.  After having some time to think about it, my opinion isn't as harsh as it initially was.  I'm still on record as saying it's dumb, though, so I have my bases covered...

Alternative Missions

In each Terminator movie the plot was exactly the same.  Skynet sends back an evil terminator back in time with the mission to (effectively) kill John Connor, the future leader of the resistance.  Future John Connor, sends back a force of good, whether it be a good terminator (Arnold) or a resistance fighter (Kyle Reese) in order to save John Connor's life from the terminator.

That's pretty much the plot of the pilot episode, but afterward they run into other terminator with missions that didn't involve killing John Connor what's so ever.  In fact, they weren't really even programmed to know what John Connor looked like.  So, Connor could walk right by one and it wouldn't ever matter.  Of course, if these Terminators realized that this is John Connor, they would kill him.

Anyways, for example, one such mission was to gather Caltec (?) Alloy which is the base material for creating the Terminator Endo-skeletons.  The mission was to gather this stuff, bring it to this specific location and await further instructions.  The Terminator completely this mission and stood by the door awaiting further instructions.  His wait instructions was something like this...

while(door not open && not interrupted) {    wait(15000); }

Honestly, no one would really be coming to this specific location until after the machine war broke out.  So the Terminator would be completely standing still there for 5 straight years.  That's computer logic for ya.

Time Travel Semantics

Traveling through time in the Terminator Universe will transport to a different time, but you'll be in the exact same position on earth.  I guess that makes sense.  That's also how it works in Back to the Future and other time traveling movies.  It doesn't work that way in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure though.

Survival Instincts

In the first episode, they "destroy" the evil Terminator and travel in the future 8 years.  But, what d'ya know, the Terminator actually survived, but has been beat to shit.  The Terminator lies in pieces around the scene at which he thought he killed Sarah and John Connor, but they really went into the future.  8 years later, they appear and the Terminator gets a second wind.

This Terminator, whom they've named Cromartie, has had its head blown off and flesh completely rotted away.  So he must find his head, but still blend in with humans.  He finds his head, but must create a new skin for himself.  So he finds some scientist and gives him the formula to create the skin.  So now he has skin, but he looks like the Toxic Avenger.  So, he finds a reconstructive surgeon to make him look like an actual person.

Rather than just going directly after John Connor, Cromartie is rebuilding himself and camouflages himself to accomplish his mission.  He realizes his limitations and must adapt.  I wonder if this is what the Terminators in the future realized after some time fighting the humans.  You can't win head on.  You need to deceive to conquer.  And even then it doesn't really work all that well.
____

Anyways, I'm excited to see how the first season ends.  Though, I'll probably be dissappointed.  I keep forgetting that the whole Terminator mythos is one that puts Action first, and other things second.  Hopefully, they'll keep building up the mythos with these little tidbits rather than trying to make "awesome" action sequences.

We'll see though...  The second season has already begun!




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