Tonight’s episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles started off with so much promise. It began by constructing a single larger story from multiple points of view — we got a little of "Sarah’s Story," and then a little of "Cameron’s Story," and a little of "John’s Story." Eventually, even though they kept throwing up those titles (and adding Ellison and Cromartie to the mix), they’d almost completely abandoned that narrative style, and consequently I’m not even going to start with it in this recap.
Everything began this evening with Sarah making it quite clear to John and Cameron just how much she disliked Riley. John didn’t want to hear it, but Cameron understood the importance of John’s not going soft due to a woman, so she tried to use her own feminine wiles to end John’s fling with Riley. Cameron headed up to John’s room, dropped her jacket on the floor before going inside, and lay down on his bed. As you know, Cameron looks like Summer Glau and John’s a teenage boy, so the theory wasn’t a bad one. They had a little chat and nothing sexual happened, but by the end of their talk John kind of looked at Cameron, seemed to like the idea that she was going to spend more time with him (which she had promised), and acknowledged that he shouldn’t be seeing Riley.
Silly Cameron, she bought John’s promises. She didn’t realize that to truly have John in her power she had to disrobe a little bit more than she did. Simply taking off a jacket and lying down on a boy’s bed doesn’t cut it in this day and age. As soon as Cameron left John, he instantly called Riley and let her know that he was on his way to see her, but definitely not in a "we have to talk" kind of way, John even had a packed bag with him as he snuck out of the house.
By the next morning, Riley and John were on a bus for Mexico and they arrived there just in time for the Dia de los Muertos festival. Now, I would have figured that John would be smart enough to know that in his world, with evil killing machines from the future following him, anything involving the word "dead" was something to be avoided. Killing machines have a definite sense of irony, offing someone during the Day of the Dead festival is totally up their alley.
Trouble of course came, but not of the "killing machine from the future" variety. You see, John had wanted to show Riley where he lived in Mexico back in the day. Genius idea. Apparently it never struck John that no matter how much he and his mom try to keep a low profile, the death and destruction that follows them is always a tad louder than they would have it be. So, John was recognized down Mexico way, and the nice man with the digital camera who recognized him wanted tons of money for the pictures of John and Riley that were on the camera. John might have paid, but Riley got into a fight with the man first and found herself arrested while John ran out the door and into the night.
Chivalry may have been stunned momentarily, but it didn’t die because after the commercial John was in the police station talking to the cops. At the police’s request, John left a message for Uncle Derek and then tried to get his mom too. Her voice answered, but she failed to respond to the Connors’ new code. John hung up and was tossed in the slammer. Naturally, he busted out with Riley about 20 seconds later.
As for Sarah, well, after Cameron assured her that John wouldn’t be seeing Riley anymore (they didn’t yet know John had run away), she was kidnapped by Cromartie. She was knocked unconscious by the Terminator and woke up in the back of Cromartie’s car. She quickly realized that as it was a convertible she could flip herself over the seat back, across the trunk, and out of the car. Fat lot of good that did her, she was all trussed up and Cromartie just had to stop the car, get out, and toss Sarah in the trunk.
She tried to free herself from there, but ended up with part of a Coke can in her hand once the car restarted after a brief stop (the can had been carelessly left there by some unthinking individual). The car also ended up with a few bullet holes in it, but luckily for Sarah, when the trunk finally opened, it was Ellison and John who were there, not Cromartie.
How did Ellison get there? Well, he got a tip from an agent buddy that John Connor had just been booked by the cops in Mexico. Ellison got to the police station in Mexico just ahead of Cromartie (not that he knew Cromartie would be there), and Cromartie showed just prior to John and Riley’s escaping. Cromartie missed young Connor while he was busy taking out the cops.
On their way out of the police station, Ellison, John, and Riley just happened upon Cromartie’s car (rather than taking whatever transportation Ellison had used to get there), which is how they found Sarah in the trunk. I can’t pretend to understand how they lucked into Cromartie’s car, but I did instantly know that the metal man wasn’t going to let it, or them, go without a fight.
Itching for a showdown, John, Ellison, Sarah, and Riley all headed straight back to John & Riley’s hotel room rather than leaving town. Happily for the good guys, the cavalry, in the form of Cameron and Derek, were already in Mexico. I guess the producers felt like Mexico was the perfect place for an Old West-style final showdown with Cromartie.
Ellison managed to sucker Cromartie into following the ex-federal agent into a church, and the Connor bunch managed to get enough firepower on Cromartie at once to take him out. Sarah promised Ellison at the end of the episode that she’d bring something back down to Mexico to destroy Cromartie for real and true later, but they did at least pull and destroy Cromartie’s chip. That might actually mean that he’s gone for good, whether or not they make back down to Mexico to burn the Terminator husk at a later date.
Thoughts and questions:
- Apparently John has a tell when he lies, but Riley didn’t get to divulge what it was before they got too busy with the police.
- I, for one, will miss Garret Dillahunt (Cromartie). I think he was a great bad guy and that brings us to our question of the week — how about you, are you happy to see the story move on from Cromartie, or do you already sense a little empty space in your heart?
The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews – where Cromartie lives on as long as we all choose to believe in him.