Review: "The Turk"

By Derek Russell of the SkyNext Podcast

I was a little disappointed upon first viewing of this episode. I was going through the usual “they can’t all be winners”, “we had to have some exposition at some point”, “hey, they’re showing the last 2 episodes of Chuck on NBC right now, should I switch over?”

I immediately went back and watched again and saw where I felt let down. I put too much lot in the last 2 weeks or programming. We’ve got to slow down and see the bigger picture, or rather, the arc of what this is season is going to be about; and this was our first real look at that. The time for setup was over, the time for this Chronicle had begun.


Sarah searches for a former Cyberdyne intern to check his ties to Skynet while John and Cameron attempt to fit in at their new school, under dire circumstances. And elsewhere, Cromartie begins his hunt for John Connor again.


Where the heck was Phil Morris? You can’t dangle Jackie Chiles in front of me during the credits and not deliver in this episode. The whole time I’m holding out for home video of Miles Dyson, a flashback, SOMETHING! Sadly, my cries went unheard. Who told you to put Phil Morris in the opening credits? I didn’t tell you to put Phil Morris in the opening credits. I find this arbitrary and capricious.

Moving on, great, great, great dialogue in this episode. Dekker really delivered his lines like they really HAD to be said. If his inflection or tone had gone any other way I don’t think the episode would’ve had the same feel to it. I really got the sense of heroism in his heart, the one you’re supposed to find in a savior but rarely do when they still don’t understand what it is they’re caught up in. Just because you see something, shoot at it, run from it, destroy it, and watch it return doesn’t mean you fully understand it. John Wirth did an amazing job conveying John Connor in this one. Thomas Dekker really upstaged everyone in sincerity and humor this week.

I’m also a big fan of Paul Edwards, he’s one of my favorite directors on Heroes and I love getting to see him mold something in different territory. His over-the-shoulder shots in “The Turk” really made me feel like I was almost in the scene, the conversations seemed more real, and now that we’re settled in to these characters, the humor felt more believable. This one had a real long opening too, I noticed. The credits don’t even start rolling around until the sixteen-minute mark.

I wasn’t really buying into the whole “school-drama” thing with John and Cameron though, and I think that’s where the episode lost me. I like that John wanted to save the girl that committed suicide, and I loved his speech to Sarah (as well as the one where he wanted to know about Andy Goode’s computer) but I felt like we weren’t getting the whole story. You ever feel like you didn’t fully get an episode of a series, then that season comes out on DVD and you’re watching the deleted scenes and there’s one clip from the cutting room floor that covers everything up? I felt like that. But upon multiple viewings, I felt like maybe we were supposed to be as much in the dark as John was. He was thrust into this school; this girl (who apparently had some sort of illicit affair with a school official?) is being persecuted throughout the hallways and Cameron’s just as lost as he is, even though she knows what the murals on the wall represent to a degree. I was just afraid we were getting into “One Tree Hill with Terminators” territory there for a little bit, and while I understand John is a teenager and has to deal with teenage emotions and situations, he’s also the leader of mankind and I don’t want him to have to worry about shaving as much as I do running. But I guess that’s why it’s called “The SARAH Connor Chronicles”. Though I felt there may have been too many Sarah-logues in this episode.

As far as Cromartie’s blood-rampage goes, I feel like we might have missed a little bit there too. The scientist he enlists to use his skin-developing formula needed more of a story, for me at least. I never even caught a name off of him, and while I understand he’s expendable and of very little use after Cromartie is ready to hunt again, I’d still like to know what led him there in the first place and why his memory banks proved him as the most worthy of the job. How do we know he didn’t invent the thing, McCoy? Doesn’t matter, he’s freaking dead.

As for the overall arc of the episode, Andy Goode, I don’t like him. He reminds me of someone I went to high school with and that makes me dislike the character a little bit. Because the whole time Sarah’s fighting with whether or not to kill him I’m screaming at my TV, “SHOOT HIM!” His description of the Turk made me wonder why he was so concerned with a rack of equipment that could play chess. He seemed like he could care less about it, so why should I want to worry about a learning embodiment of a computer that can’t walk outside of a hall closet? Andy’s keys being around his neck is to show how near and dear the model is to his heart, I can only assume, but he talks about it as if it’s a roommate that’s not been paying the rent on time. We see his shock and anger at the end when his house is aflame but that really didn’t make up for the lack of want of the thing throughout the other 41 minutes we were treated too. I’m hoping if we see Andy again, I’ll like him better, because I really want to and if he’s that invested in the Turk, I want to be as well.

Because if this is the start of it all, if the Turk and Andy Goode are the way things go south, and if Sarah can’t bring herself to do what needs to be done, we’re all sons of bitches.

I give “The Turk” 3 yellow bras out of 5.

Hear Derek Russell every week in the SkyNext Podcast!


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