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10 September 2008 @ 07:11 pm
T:SCC 2.01  
WOW.

I have been fidgeting in my seat at work all day, waiting to get home and watch this, and it did not disappoint. In fact, the season premiere immediately reminded me two of the reasons why I loved the first season so much: it did not take the path I expected, and it was completely action-packed.

I had expected Cameron to be more damaged by the bomb blast. However, I was delighted that she was immediately back on her feet, because she makes the show for me. And until John pulled his emo!kid rebellion, I was really getting into the idea of having her as this season's villain. Having said that, I think the show stayed really well grounded and believable in having the plot unfold the way it did. In different hands, this plot would have been dragged out over at least a couple of episodes, but realistically there was no escape for John and Sarah in the state they were in.

I may be in a minority, but I initially believed Sarah killed Sarkissian. I think it's just wishful thinking though! I sort of would prefer it if she had, as I had a few issues late in the first season with the implication that Sarah wasn't quite as tough as she seems/makes out, and this would have been a good way to offset that impression. Also, when she was getting kicked around, I really wanted her to be the one to fight back, not John. I think it would have caused interesting tension between her and John. Having said that, his silence and withdrawal also make sense if he killed Sarkissian himself--and of course regardless the angst was piled on massively by what happened subsequently with Cameron.

I love Cameron but I really did think her 'dying' words were a trick. And the 'I love you' did seem like manipulation, clear and simple--and I believe it was, even if she was fixed. I think intelligent Cameron appealed to John based on human behaviour patterns in the best way she could think up. And I think he knows that. John's angst this episode arose from a tension between logic and emotion--logically he knows what he must do and he knows why, emotionally and instinctively he rebels against it.

While I don't ship John/Cameron, I fell a little bit in love with him for being so determined to give her a shot at life. It was UNBELIEVABLY STUPID and on Sarah's behalf I was screaming at him not to do it, but I also found it courageous and beautiful. He's such a kid, and yet also a budding hero. The conviction combination of both aspects in the one person is an impressive thing for this show to pull off. And I continue to like the fact that on this show, the male lead is emotional and intuitive and the female lead is colder, hard-edged and logical. Yes, still a sucker for gender reversal. ;)

So John's intuition paid off. Cameron is fixed. Somehow. I can live with that, though it's a bit handwave-y. It was cool to see her override the termination programming and makes me even more intrigued about what makes her different from other terminators. I loved that she told Sarah never to let John do that if she went bad again.

Poor Sarah! That was one hell of a bad day. I know it was John's birthday and I should feel sorry for him most of all, but actually it was Sarah I ached for at the end. Her speech through the door to him was really moving and what struck me is that she spoke to him adult-to-adult, not parent-to-child. She's honest about her limitations and she tries to signal to him that they need to accept what's happened has happened. John was so defiant, angry at his mother for wanting to torch Cameron, but I do believe that he understands why she did so at some level. He may be acting out the rebellious teen at the moment, but he loves Sarah really, just as she loves him. Right now it's just very hard to deal with the reality of where their roles have forced them--for both of them.

I am indifferent to Shirley Mansun's character so far. She wasn't awful but she didn't blow me away, and that speech about people crossing the road was a bit too cliched super-villain for this show, I thought. I'd quite like to be able to stake people through the head at work when they pissed me off though. *jealous*

I continue to dislike Reese and like Charlie.

Cool new credits!
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
 
Cris: T:TSCCduskwillow on September 10th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
I also think John killed Sarkissian. They focused on him trying to free his hands several times, I think he freed himself first. And like you said, it explains how he acted after it.

I think intelligent Cameron appealed to John based on human behavior patterns in the best way she could think up.

Agreed. But it was still so weird to hear.
I mean, I love Cameron, she's my favorite character. And she always does things you don't expect, like with dancing last year. But she is a machine. So this whole John/Cameron thing is making me feel a bit uncomfortable, because depending on where the show plans to take that connection/relationship between the two it can end so badly.
That being said, it's just so fascinating and I can't wait to see more and see how it unfolds!
I love this show so much!

I'd quite like to be able to stake people through the head at work when they pissed me off though. *jealous*

lol
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
But it was still so weird to hear.
I found it really, really creepy. And like you I have conflicted feelings about it--Cameron is fabulous, but she's still a machine and I can't 'ship' them. But I do like what John said about 'she saves my life'. She means something to him because she does that. There's something special about her.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I like the layers and ambiguity too. I never see this show from only one character's perspective and it can be a bit dizzying, but it's also what makes it great.
The First Evil: TSCC - Cameron - Sunny-Serenityasta77 on September 10th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
And until John pulled his emo!kid rebellion, I was really getting into the idea of having her as this season's villain.

It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure they could sustain Cameron as the Big Bad for an entire season. They have created an interesting dynamic in that John was the one who saved her, but it's Sarah's choice to destroy her that she agreed with. Which makes sense if her mission is to protect John Conner. And I'm curious to see if it's Cameron (who is unable to harbor hard feelings) who works to reconcile John and Sarah. I believe they will have a tense relationship for some time.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think they could have sustained it either.

They have created an interesting dynamic in that John was the one who saved her, but it's Sarah's choice to destroy her that she agreed with. Which makes sense if her mission is to protect John Conner.
Absolutely! I love her as Protectress and I was a bit uncomfortable with her resurrection until that moment--but when she said that to Sarah, I felt that gave confirmation that she was back to her true self. And I like that John's reason, at least his stated reason, for believing they had to give her another chance was that she saves him. It gives his (very emotional) decision a pragmatic aspect which it desperately needed.

I'm curious to see if it's Cameron (who is unable to harbor hard feelings) who works to reconcile John and Sarah. I believe they will have a tense relationship for some time.
I agree. It seems like John's going to be growing up this season--his haircut signalling a move into adulthood. And I think Cameron's definitely going to be a bridge between mother and son, whether Sarah likes it or not.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
OH NOES! Truly?! You like Reese? He's the only character I really don't like, though I will still be fascinated to read your take.

The others are all about equal in my affections, but Cameron is what keeps me hooked, though that doesn't mean I always 'side' with her emotionally. I think inherent suspicion of her is one of the things I find most fascinating in the show.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 11th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
I see that Derek does bring that... I just don't like him. I think a big part of it is the actor, who doesn't do anything for me. And then the character is so gruff and inhuman. I need him to be humanised a little bit, maybe?

it's pretty clear that being a soldier from that age has ... made him not quite right in the head, yes?
Yes. Not in a way I have really managed to get 'into' yet though. Just in an 'I'm a really angry guy' kind of way. I may be knee-jerking slightly against his hyper-masculinity... I don't like that he views Sarah as a light-weight and feel really defensive on her behalf.

Perhaps it will just take some time... he didn't actively annoy or bore me in this episode (and he has before), so I feel like I could be won round... Oddly I did really like the episode that focussed on his story, and I do like his narrative purpose, I just don't find him charismatic.

John took a while to grow on me too, but I'm impressed I like him as much as I do now. Teenage boys aren't an easy sell for me (except in FNL!) but he's got some redeeming characteristics.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee smilebop_radar on September 11th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
And I don't want to be all dissin' your favourite character because I know that can be sad-making (awwww, icon of sad!). I am glad you explained why you like him and I know I will be thinking more on this. I want to rewatch season 1 when I get the DVDs (winging their way to me across the seas, I hope!) so who knows? Perhaps I will find more to him. I mainlined the season a while ago and perhaps he just got lost in the mix of awesome from other characters.

To me, it comes across as his being very much her subordinate
That had not struck me and will give me a different way to think about him, I think.

I do think Sarah needs Derek and Cameron to do what she cannot
Mmm, see I think part of it for me is that I want Sarah to do it herself. That's why I really wanted/hope that she killed S. not John. Apparently the podcast suggests she did. I can understand Sarah baulking, but I want to know she could do it if she had to, without passing it off conveniently to someone else who she can demonise. Though one thing in Derek's favour is that she can't demonise him the way she does Cameron. Interesting.

I loved the fic! Great rec--thank you! He seems very popular in fandom (or at least on my f'list) already, so there's obviously something there for a lot of people that I'm missing.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 12th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
LEEEE! I still love him the best
Good to hear! ;) (My heart still thuds when I see him!)

I’ve always believed that Sarah was totally capable of killing in John’s defense
Same. I agree it should be a big deal for her, but on the other hand, I can see her being very pragmatic in the short term after it happened and her priority being pulling John along and getting him out of his funk state. I find it believable she'd digest the killing later, and at the end of the ep when she talked to him through the door, I felt like she was trying to be there for her son, but the subtext was that she had a lot to process too... I guess I read her as swallowing her own stuff in order to be a good parent first and foremost. But it could go either way.

I think Sarah needs to not be all “we don’t kill people!” and then have Cameron and Derek do all the terrible things that need doing.
Yeah, that was my worry. But I have faith in show--I think they'll get around that.

but I honestly don’t blame anyone for being both terrified of her potential for harm and disconcerted by her lack of affect :P She really IS a very scary robot!
Hell yeah! I looove Sarah's distrust of her, as well as the way she makes it very clear that the alliance with Cameron is a wary one.
Alexandra Leaving: Bauer - The golden key girlalexandral on September 10th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I love Cameron but I really did think her 'dying' words were a trick. And the 'I love you' did seem like manipulation, clear and simple-

Oh, most definitely. But John was so buying it. The-geeky-programmer-in-me just loves this scene. It was clearly a behaviour of self-learning artificial neural network. She noticed a blink of response from John to the particular voice pitch she displayed ("so human" one) and she kept using it more and more and than she remembered "I love you" bit from the times she and John were watching the other terminator's brain. So GREAT!

The override of termintor programming is a bit difficult to believe, but I am a believer.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
She noticed a blink of response from John to the particular voice pitch she displayed ("so human" one) and she kept using it more and more and than she remembered "I love you" bit from the times she and John were watching the other terminator's brain. So GREAT!
Thank you for putting that clearer than I could. That was what I felt as well. I think John responded to her words against his will. He's a kid, he's a teenager, he has complex feelings for her... I guess he had to overcome his 'programming' in order to be able to turn her off. And he went against his mother's conditioning in turning her on again... so there's all sorts of interesting parallels there. :)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on September 10th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
I agree with almost everything you said here, but of course I have to comment more in depth.

I may be in a minority, but I initially believed Sarah killed Sarkissian. I think it's just wishful thinking though! I sort of would prefer it if she had, as I had a few issues late in the first season with the implication that Sarah wasn't quite as tough as she seems/makes out, and this would have been a good way to offset that impression. Also, when she was getting kicked around, I really wanted her to be the one to fight back, not John.

Yes, I agree. In fact, until I read several people's commentary I assumed she had been the one to kill him, and that it marked a turning point for her character--a good one, I think, because we've been shown that she's tough, smart, and a survivor, but I think she needs a little more ruthlessness.

Having said that, his silence and withdrawal also make sense if he killed Sarkissian himself--and of course regardless the angst was piled on massively by what happened subsequently with Cameron.

Yes, it was thinking about the way John reacted later in the episode--and his desperate determination to save Cameron--that made me think he was reacting to his own actions earlier in the ep.

I love Cameron but I really did think her 'dying' words were a trick. And the 'I love you' did seem like manipulation, clear and simple--and I believe it was, even if she was fixed. I think intelligent Cameron appealed to John based on human behaviour patterns in the best way she could think up. And I think he knows that.

Yes, yes, yes!! I think she must have been fixed, at least mostly, or she would have killed John there and then, but she's clearly manipulating him as well. And can I just say, Summer Glau continues to just completely shine in this role. I can't believe how good she is.

John's angst this episode arose from a tension between logic and emotion--logically he knows what he must do and he knows why, emotionally and instinctively he rebels against it. While I don't ship John/Cameron, I fell a little bit in love with him for being so determined to give her a shot at life. It was UNBELIEVABLY STUPID and on Sarah's behalf I was screaming at him not to do it, but I also found it courageous and beautiful. He's such a kid, and yet also a budding hero.

I just had to quote all of that because YES YES YES YES YES.

I think the only thing I disagreed with about your review is I kind of liked Reese better in this episode than I ever have before--maybe because I liked his snarky interactions with Charlie. (Hah! When they inevitably kill off Charlie's wife, I will probably be slashing them in my head).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
good one, I think, because we've been shown that she's tough, smart, and a survivor, but I think she needs a little more ruthlessness.
Apparently the podcast says she killed him. Yays! This is what I want to believe. I agree that she needed an extra kick of ruthlessness, and I like the read on John's behaviour that it gives if she did. That implies that he was shocked at her action (perhaps the brutality of it?) and that his silence was probably the silence of someone who knew that there'd been no other way out of the situation but who was still upset about it. Then his flash of anger when he said he knew they had to kill Cameron... that could be reflected anger at Sarah ('I know you had to kill him, but it still makes me mad'), adding an extra layer. Plus, he could feel bad that his mother had to do it herself--which explains why he so determinedly persisted with shutting Cameron down initially despite her emotional appeals.

Summer Glau continues to just completely shine in this role. I can't believe how good she is.
She's unbelievable! I never 'got' her before as an actress, but in this role I fangirl her MASSIVELY. She makes one hell of an action hero.

I kind of liked Reese better in this episode than I ever have before--maybe because I liked his snarky interactions with Charlie. (Hah! When they inevitably kill off Charlie's wife, I will probably be slashing them in my head).
Mmm. Now that you say that, I think I didn't find anything he did in this episode really annoying. Which is progress! But beside Charlie he just ... pales. I love Charlie to bits. When he came up and had to check the bodies? *heartthud* I've worked out I'm a sucker for that actor because I found him endearing even when he was playing an asshole on 30 Rock. So I can't claim to have any grand meta reason for preferring him to Reese.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
AWESOME! I would prefer to believe Sarah killed him. Thanks for letting me know. I didn't know there were podcasts for this show. May have to tune in. Though where I will find time to do that, I do not know... arrgh!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
Same.
Laura ☂: tscc: cameronstarryeyedmagic on September 10th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not really sure Cameron really is fixed. It's more she...chose not to be bad. Which is kind of mind blowing in and of itself.

I think at first her saying ILU was total manipulation but somewhere during her pleading I think she was telling the truth.
And then when she was told to terminate John she ovveride that command herself which was telling.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 10th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah... the choosing not to be bad thing is very odd and intriguing. I want to know more!

I think I find it easier to believe that she overrode her programming to terminate than I do to believe that she loves John. But having said that they kind of amount to the same thing.
Laura ☂: tscc: johncameroncutestarryeyedmagic on September 11th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Yea, I kind of see it as the same thing. That she overrode her programming to terminate because she loves John.

Even though it makes no sense that she would have any real feelings, especially feelings that convince her to make a conscious decision...that's apparently what happened. :O
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 11th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Mmmm... I think I find it too hard to believe that they are really 'feelings'. But I think there's something extra in her, perhaps her experiences with John in the future, that mean that her primary principle IS to protect John, even when her baselevel progamming says otherwise. I guess you could say she's become self-aware enough to recognise when she's being driven by her unconscious ('terminate' command) and she self-corrects because she's got a higher purpose.

The deliberate parallel to the resurrection of Christ in this episode was also, of course, intriguing, and I must think more on it.
Laura ☂: tscc: johncameronclosestarryeyedmagic on September 11th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
I agree, although I also don't know if "feelings" are actually impossible. I mean, it's a sci-fi show. A T-1000 can turn in an Alex Mac type liquid and move around at will. Robots are taking over in the future...haha. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm sure they could come up with a logical explanation for pretty much anything.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 12th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
Yeah... that's true. I guess until they do explain it, I'm running with previous canon--which indicates feelings are out of the question. That said, I've been thinking that Shirley Mansun's character displayed some very human aspects (including pettiness and mannerism) so it may very well be that we'll learn that they have evolved emotions.