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The more I watch it, the more I think to myself that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is just plain good fun. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, nor does it eschew all weightiness for pure frivolity. That, plus it has Summer Glau and Lena Headey (okay, and that kid from Heroes too). Even better, I feel like it’s moving somewhere. I’m not quite sure where yet, but it’s moving. I could do without the numerous end-of-scene twists that were present tonight though, one or two might be okay but it felt like they were coming every five minutes tonight.

Tonight, Sarah’s voiceover started with a story about how young John was prepared for the future by learning how to play chess. Ah, chess, that game that Andy Goode told Sarah his computer was rockingly good at a couple of episodes ago. Oh, and, speaking of Andy, he gave Sarah a call at the beginning of the episode as he wanted to say "hi" and tell her all about this computer chess tournament he was entering his new thinking computer in (the old one having been burned down by Sarah). Sarah just had to head down to Van Nuys to check out the possible next precursor phase of Skynet.

Did I mention that the winner of the tournament was going to get a military contract? Because, if I didn’t — the winner of the computer chess tournament was going to get a military contract. Yeah, Andy tried to just slip that one in there too. Now, were Andy to win, Cameron was pretty set on killing him. I guess it was good for Andy that his computer lost, Cameron still wanted to take him out (once a Terminator, always a Terminator) but I’m pretty convinced that Sarah could have talked her out of it.

That discussion never proved necessary as a mysterious stranger seemed to take care of the job before it became an issue. Sarah found Andy dead after the tournament, followed the mysterious stranger she had just seen leaving Andy’s room, and after one brief skirmish with Sarah, the cops were on the stranger and hauling him downtown for the killing.

John hacked into the police system and got some photos of the killer, including one that showed a tattoo barcode on the stranger’s arm — our murderer was the resistance fighter from the future who had escaped death at the safe house back near the start of the season. He was also one of future-John’s best fighters. Cameron believed the murderer’s mission to have been to wait for John and herself though, not to kill Andy, making his actions, in her eyes, questionable (I think she just wanted to do the terminating herself though).

John wasn’t the only one hacking the police system that day, a Terminator (not Cameron) was as well. This Terminator saw the picture with the tattoo barcode and got himself sent to jail by punching a cop. I guess he just wanted to be near the resistance fighter (out of admiration, perhaps?). Agent Ellison and Sarah Connor weren’t far behind, though they went to see the fighter by more normal means (Ellison legally and Sarah not so much, but at least through the front door). Fighter-guy told Ellison nothing, but informed Sarah that he didn’t kill Andy, that Andy was already dead when he got there. Then, in another end of scene jolter (what is that, five tonight?), our fighter gave his name as Derek Reese, Kyle’s brother (and therefore uncle to John).

For his part, Ellison wisely ordered Reese into FBI protective custody, but Sarah and company hijacked the truck during the transfer, getting there just before the evil Terminator (a T-888) showed up to pull a hijacking of his own. Shockingly, Cameron won tonight’s battle of the Terminators (I bet you didn’t see that coming). She did seem pained by killing a fellow metallic man though, and not just because the T-888 had managed to get a shot off into Derek before going down.

Derek’s injury necessitated real medical attention, not just what Cameron had to offer, so John went off to get Charley Dixon (Sarah’s one-time fiancé who had just confessed to his wife after a visit from our presumed new-look Cromartie that he had seen John) to help out with Derek’s injury. Will they succeed in saving Derek’s life? Will they fail? Wait till next week and find out!

A quote, a couple of brief thoughts, and a question:

  • John on Andy’s rebuilding his computer and rewriting the code from memory — "good code is like a good song in your head — it’s gotta come out." Frankly, I’m always much more concerned with getting the bad songs out of my head than the good ones.
  • I liked Cameron spending some time tonight with early robots at the chess tournament. It was like she found her great-great-great-great-grandparents.
  • During Cameron’s battle with the T-888, the T-888 lost his hand. Does this mean that Sarah, John, and Cameron have to go and find that now (we all remember what happened in T-2)? Ellison is currently in possession of the hand so it ought not to be terribly difficult to track down, but, I’d rather not see the series revisit old plots like that.
  • And now, the question… The show tried to bring back that whole dead girl from school storyline. To me, it felt like that part of the tonight’s episode was done solely to get the trompe l’oeil back onto the screen. I assume that they’re heading somewhere with it, but I don’t know that I’m quite intrigued enough to care. Thoughts? Does anyone want to see more of that?

What I’m sure you do want to see more of however is The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews, right?

Posted by:Josh Lasser