By Derek Russell of the SkyNext
I believe it was my senior year in high school, I was in Latin
3 and taking one of the final tests of the year (one of those you
really, really didnt care about). I came to the fill-in-the-blank
section where we would have phrases or sayings in Latin and have
to translate them to English. There it was. Gnothi Seauton.
I could not remember for the life of me what that was. Know
Know Yourself. That had to be it. Game, set, and match. Next
day I got the test back. Know Thyself. Fifteen points counted
off. Where was Sarah Connor to remind me?
Now in 2007, the Connors search for their new lives as trouble
looms close at hand. There are Terminators a-plenty, most dont
even know what John looks like, but theyre all programmed
to kill. Sarah visits an old friend to get their new identities,
but puts her choice in the wrong place when he sends Sarah to his
nephew, who reveals that his uncle is an informant who has turned
around and intended to report Sarah to Agent Ellison. John has disobeyed
Sarahs orders to stay home and sought after Charley Dixon,
who finds John in his home. In the midst of all this, an enemy from
the past, Cromartie, seeks his finished body, among other things.
Lets just get one thing out of the way; a lot of people missed
the opening seconds of this episode. If you did, its okay
youre not alone. If you did catch the opening montage,
you noticed the time jump at the end of the Pilot in a different
light. This new shot of the portal was from the hood of the car,
and included the cybernetic skull of Cromartie jumping through the
rift. If youll go back and notice, when Sarah shoots him in
the safe, his head is removed from his body. A lot of people think
that his head was just in the rummage from the bank, as was his
body, but this simply isnt the case. The head made the time
jump, even though it was not of organic material. At least, thats
the way I see it. I dont know what the meaning behind this
is or how it happened. But hell, it looked cool. And Cromartie fighting
his way through Los Angeles as a ski-masked hobo, equally cool.
In an episode that I thought was going to have to deal mainly in
exposition (due to the budget of the pilot, and its fast paced
storyline) I was thoroughly pleased. The explanations were purely
laid out with the chases, explosions, and double-crosses.
Lena Headey continues her strong presence as the matriarch of the
family, but the wind is quickly taken out of her sails this week
when Cameron (Summer Glau) tells her that their time jump to the
year 2007 was necessary because of Sarahs death in 2005. Now
that is an interesting factor and a nice nod to T3 fans, as that
is said to be the cause of Sarah Connors death in the 2003
film. Sarah doesnt have a whole lot of problems with jumping
after this fact is stated, it seems.
Another theme of this episode, besides identity, is time-lag.
This is Johns phrase for the feeling he and Sarah have after
their jump. I love that, the humor theyre able to tie into
these storylines amaze me. Josh Friedman, I tip my hat to you again
sir. And if Im disappointed in the next few weeks by episodes,
I will eat that hat. Its a really cool Cloverfield hat so
please dont make me consume it.
The meat of this episode lies in figuring out who you are. Sarah
says to Cameron that there has been so many identities, so many
names, so many lives, she doesnt know who she is anymore.
Cameron simply reminds her, Youre Sarah Connor.
While that may have one meaning for a Terminator, it has a different
one for Sarah. Its a good reminder, and one she needs in this
time of confusion that is 2007.
Some cool things to mention; the confusion that is Cameron. What
is she!? I mean, we hear her tell John that shes different
in the pilot, now we see a view of her from another Terminator that
scans her revealing shes an unknown cyborg. What
great television, I mean John sent this robot back from the future
to protect his mother and his younger self, so obviously there is
something special about her. That will be one of the journeys this
show takes us on, I hope. The whole thing about her touching
John after he snuck out of the house. It looks weird to us to see
a Terminator come off that way. But when shes actually scanning
John because she senses something is wrong with him? Brilliant!
She tells Sarah everything thats going on with him at that
very second, his heart rate, temperature, etc. Of course that makes
Sarah ponder the question, Can she do that to me? She
interrogates Cameron on her abilities but Cameron quickly shuts
down her line of questioning by telling her shes not a CAT
scan. Obviously, Sarah is still distraught by the news of her past-death
and wants to know more about it.
I love the Wizard of Oz references sprinkled throughout. Im
of the mindset that there arent really new ideas in Hollywood
anymore, so when a tried-and-true genre like the Terminator can
make references to a cinema classic, I love it. The whole thing
about Sarah reading it to John over and over when he was a kid,
and the family choosing the last name of Baum (that of Oz
My biggest complaint with this episode? Why were it and the pilot
not streamlined into a 2 hour premiere? They flowed so well together,
they really could have been aired the same night and probably got
some more people watching! Im anxious to see what The
Turk brings, though my friend Steve feels as if it has the
sound of a bookie that breaks thumbs, Ive got high expectations
for the next several weeks.
Gnothi Something-or-other gets 5 out of 5 flying monkeys.
Derek Russell every week in the SkyNext Podcast!
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