Author Topic: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete Second Season marathon  (Read 28350 times)

Offline Achim

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Another thing that bugged me is that first they to spoil the suspense by giving certain information "accidentally" too early (who is the terminator after...?) just to give us an entire different solution later; it felt cheap.

Erm, no. At that point, we know (from the now-frame) that Lauren's father is already dead and that the terminator is still after pregnant Anne and Lauren.
They cold have made the "past" segments more suspenseful if they hadn't revealed that so early. Also, there was the scene from the future where they show Lauren giving Derek the injection, therefore making us think it's her the termonator is after and then it turned out the mother. While the switch is cheap, it's nothing new, again it would have made the cabin scenes more exciting if they hadn't revealed a target so early.

Offline goodguy

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2x13 Earthlings Welcome Here
Synopsis: At a conference on UFOs, Sarah gets a clue that puts her on the trail of the three dots.  Riley has second thoughts about her mission.
My Rating:

And thus begins Sarah's quest into the desert. Her first guide is a woman who was a man, whose transformation was caused by circumstances out of his control, but who embraced them to free himself. His transformation is both a mirror and a question to Sarah. Beautifully done. And even if a little too on the nose, I really liked the small flashes of Waitress Sarah and Warrior Sarah.

But what I loved most about this episode was Sarah driving towards the desert warehouse while listening to Eileen/Alan's recording. Wonderfully shot (the sprinklers hitting the car window, just one example), with an excellent score, vaguely foreboding something inevitable, and with the slightly strange tone of Eileen's voice, culminating in that chuckled "I'm a waitress" as Sarah packs the explosives. That was breathtaking.

As Achim noted, the back-story of Riley and Jesse was handled almost en passant. A tunnel scene, a hotel room scene, a car scene - that's it. Elliptical story telling at its finest, fleshing out the characters and their relation with a few words and gestures. And now here she is, out of her depth. Jesse slaps her around, Cameron is on to her, paradise doesn't look so bright anymore.

Ellison didn't sleep after Weaver showed him the monster in the basement. But he still carries on, talks to John Henry about God's creation and human life being sacred. Yet what's left behind on Sarah's path seems to be only death.

"Checkmate. I win. Would you like to play again?" That's the Terminator plot in a nutshell.

So the episode ends with two major characters bleeding to death - and an UFO? Those who watched the original airing had to wait two months for the next episode. Bummer.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 02:56:36 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline Achim

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So the episode ends with two major characters bleeding to death - and an UFO? Those who watched the original airing had to wait two months for the next episode. Bummer.
You think people really believed an UFO arrived there....? That thought didn't cross my mind for a second.

Offline goodguy

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You think people really believed an UFO arrived there....? That thought didn't cross my mind for a second.

Well, not of the alien variety. But it wasn't clear if Sarah was haluzinating or if it was real.

BTW, sorry for the slow progress. I will most likely catch up to 2x14 tomorrow.
Matthias

Offline Achim

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Well, not of the alien variety. But it wasn't clear if Sarah was haluzinating or if it was real.
Let's say, I hope I was right on my assumption that it was a trick of her mind.

Quote
BTW, sorry for the slow progress. I will most likely catch up to 2x14 tomorrow.
No worries. I have a week off because of the Lunar New year and happily watch other stuff (like my all-in-one-day Lord of the Rings marathon).

Najemikon

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BTW, sorry for the slow progress. I will most likely catch up to 2x14 tomorrow.
No worries. I have a week off because of the Lunar New year and happily watch other stuff (like my all-in-one-day Lord of the Rings marathon).

LoTR? One day? Good grief, man!  :o 12 hours of viewing... whoa!

Offline Achim

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LoTR? One day? Good grief, man!  :o 12 hours of viewing... whoa!
It was quite good actually. I got up "early" and watched the first one with a bit of breakfast at the start, second one involved lunch and third one dinner :laugh: Basically it was 9-22 :shrug: Since it's 6 DVDs the breaks came very naturally.

Especially to someone like me this has some sort of advantages, like I can't forget easily what happened in the previous film, allowing for noticing a lot of connections where story carried over that I may have missed before (I never read the book and seeing the films a year apart is not helpful either).

Offline goodguy

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2x14 The Good Wound
Synopsis: Gravely wounded Sarah is guided by the image of John's father, Kyle Reese. Weaver moves to protect John Henry.
My Rating: -

And Sarah's desert quest continues with Kyle Reese taking over as her guiding spirit. There is of course the immediate task of survival, but the episode is called "The Good Wound" for a reason. It is one that makes you stop, consider your life choices, as Derek said in 2x05 Goodbye to All That.

Sarah thinks she cannot stop, but Kyle responds that she is not one of them. Them being the machines of course. I was reminded of that scene in 2x12 Alpine Fields, where Lauren's mother says to Derek "Your from the future, like them." And Derek, whose self-hating side we already saw when talking to Fisher in 2x09 Complications, just agrees "Yeah. Like them."

It is Sarah's more vulnerable side that gains her the help of the doctor, Felicia. I didn't mind the abusive angle they played with Felicia, but the ending with the sheriff was a misstep. I guess the writers (or the network) wanted some resolution to that storyline, but not only was it severely overdone, it also took away from that final moment between Sarah and Felicia, where Sarah takes it all back (Was anything you said the truth? - I got shot.)

But otherwise the scenes with Sarah and Kyle where beautiful done, drawing back to small pieces of the T1 dialogue and a touching reversal of a T1 scene, when Kyle looks at the many wounds on Sarah's body.

Dillahunt as John Henry continues to be hilarious and creepy. Ellison has to face some follow-up questions for all his talk about God. John Henry has caught onto Weaver's secret and lets her know in a complete non sequitur that was brilliantly done. Weaver channels Sarah via Bryan Adams (Everything I do, I do for you). Then she goes on a rampage that, like in the power plant case, achieves something what Sarah was set out to do.

After Riley is removed from the hospital from Jesse we get to see that she has way more attachment to Jesse than John, something Jesse rather dislikes. Are we still missing pieces in the puzzle about them?

I think it is a handler and informal operative thing. Riley's attachment to Jesse is understandable, and Jesse deliberately plays it, much like an abusive relationship. She wants Riley to be close to John, but she also wants to maintain the hold she has on her.

BTW, Achim, I have also watched 2x15 and 2x16 now and I will post comments later.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 05:30:31 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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2x15 Deset Cantos
Synopsis: The Connors investigate the company town connected to the destroyed factory and find something startling. Weaver searches for a survivor of the explosion.
My Rating:

Quote from: Josh Friedman about this episode:
If you enjoy watching Weaver slaughter thirty people in one episode you’re obligated to go to their funeral in the next.

While I can understand that from both a conceptual and ethical viewpoint, this episode was a bit of a let down after the previous strong run. I would go as far as saying it is the weakest episode of the season.

I liked that Sarah had to face the wife of the guy she shot at the warehouse, but the girl with the obnoxious boyfriend was merly a plot point, not very engaging. Too much X-Files stuff, dead cows and all. The basement confrontation of our unhappy terrorists with the "sleepwalking" townspeople was a nice note, but felt forced all the same.

It is good that Sarah's hunch was proven right, but on first viewing I was a bit worried about the drone thing. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that the worry was unwarranted. The guy Weaver sent to investigate is dead and at least one person and a piece of technology from the warehouse is still around.

A slightly above average episode that clarified a few things and set some plot points in motion, but was rather unsatisfying as far as the characters were concerned.
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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2x16 Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep
Synopsis: Night terrors at the sleep clinic: Sarah's disrupted sleep patterns lead to a shocking discovery.
My Rating:

Starting with Sarah's VO, there are a lot of clues in this episode as to what is real and what isn't, but the editing constantly enforces a different view. It is easy to dismiss this as a cheap twist, but we are meant to see this with Sarah's eyes and she doesn't know for a long time. Also, the episode loses none of its impact upon rewatching; it almost requires it to fully appreciate the subtleties. Amazing work that ends the string of Sarah-centric episodes on a high note.

With this view, I'm in the minority. Tom and DJ Doena have already expressed their dislike of this particular arc on this forum, although I'm glad that Achim has enjoyed the first half of it. I'm curious whether that enjoyment continues or if he joins the rank of the naysayers.

For an action show about killer robots from the future, continuing the Sarah psychogram after a two-month break certainly was a risky thing to do. IIRC, the show lost a lot of viewers at that time, but I'm certainly thankful they sticked with it, even if it meant cancellation. Don't get me wrong, I like the robot action as much as the next guy and I enjoy a good scifi-arc, but ultimately that's all secondary to me.

Anyway.

Sarah's journey into the desert started with a story about transformation and in a way that's what happened to her, for better or worse. She joins the rank of the killers, but she does it consciously, and that long moment where she pulls the trigger will haunt her forever. Maybe she would rather die herself, as she has said repeatedly during the last episodes. But she would die only if it could save John, not because she is tired of the endless fight, not because of the fears and the self-doubt she has. Like Riley, she makes her wrist bleed, but it is an action of strength and endurance, not of giving up.

In those clinic dreams her fears play out, both the little stuff and the ultimate one of seeing John getting killed and her to die in vain, unable to prevent it. That is the one thing that can never happen, that is the one thing that focuses her; dreams are just dreams and fears are just fears, she is strong enough to deal with them.
Matthias

Offline Achim

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It is Sarah's more vulnerable side that gains her the help of the doctor, Felicia. I didn't mind the abusive angle they played with Felicia, but the ending with the sheriff was a misstep. I guess the writers (or the network) wanted some resolution to that storyline, but not only was it severely overdone, it also took away from that final moment between Sarah and Felicia, where Sarah takes it all back (Was anything you said the truth? - I got shot.)
Reading your comments made me realize just how ambiguous Sarah's line actually is and it's up to Felicia to pick her interpretation (ultimately leading to the intended the result, obviously). On the one hand "I got shot" could say, that she was wounded and hurt and everything said was just to please the doctor and make her continue. On the other hand, it could mean that she didn't lie, as having a near-death experience would make lying pointless.

Quote
BTW, Achim, I have also watched 2x15 and 2x16 now and I will post comments later.
Good, now you are two ahead. I will start soon with the next disc and then go rather quickly through those five episodes, putting me one or two ahead when I am done with that.

EDIT:
BTW, I will leave for a short trip 95 days) on next Saturday and am now contemplating whether I should try to finish off entirely before that or leave the last disc (3 episodes) for after my return (which would just give me enough time before another shirt trip (3 days) to Hong Kong...
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 09:35:33 AM by Achim »

Offline goodguy

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BTW, I will leave for a short trip 95 days)

Well, see you again in May then. ;)

on next Saturday and am now contemplating whether I should try to finish off entirely before that or leave the last disc (3 episodes) for after my return (which would just give me enough time before another shirt trip (3 days) to Hong Kong...

I may be able to match you in completing the series during the next week, but I cannot guarantee it. There are currently just too many things affecting my free time that are outside of my control.

Matthias

Offline Achim

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BTW, I will leave for a short trip 95 days)

Well, see you again in May then. ;)
:laugh:
Got me there.

Hit the "9" key before the Shift, it seems... While I am sure it was clear: it's unfortunately 5 days only. Then again, 95 days of vacation does actually sound like "too much" :hmmmm:

Offline Achim

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15. Desert Cantos
The Connors investigate the company town connected to the destroyed factory and find something startling. Weaver searches for a survivor of the explosion.

My comments:
The fist half of the show had me bored to tears; too much funeral, too little plot. Around mid-point however the story picks up pace (Cameron finds that the girl John's been talking to is lying, Sarah finds an "evil underground lair"). At the end our party of four realizes that Skynet is way ahead of what they could have possibly imagined, leaving me the viewer quite amazed about that as well. I'll agree with Matthias' review that there is a (relatively) a lot of plot covered and some questions answered, but all that got ultimately in the way of the character development (in an unhealthily unbalanced fashion, I mean).

There is however two lovely bits in there regarding Weaver. The first one when she is having a conversation with Ellison and she gets a little upset because he uncovers her lack of sensibility on the anniversary of "her husband's" death (since it shows her she is is not maintaining a good cover). The even better one is when she interacts with "her daughter", trying to bond and creating an emotional connection. This is something she obviously lacks ability and is therefore an important issue to her. I found the exchange regarding her daughter sitting on her lap a very nice touch!


(because boring us for half of the show)

Offline goodguy

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There is however two lovely bits in there regarding Weaver.

I agree. Recovering from her lapse with "Would you excuse me. I'm feeling emotional." was both hilarious and a believable thing for her to do as far as Ellison is concerned. And then she repeats Ellison's words about his father verbatim to Savannah. She tries very hard, but doesn't get it right (reminded me of the "Cow's blood" comment to the therapist).
Matthias