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18 September 2008 @ 07:16 pm
T:SCC 2.02  
Finally grabbed time for T:SCC this week.

I loved the premiere but it kind of pushed things pretty far in terms of believability (particularly with the Shirley Mansun character, who makes less and less sense the more I think about her) and in terms of the shippiness between Cameron and John. This week was a reassuring return to realism for me.

Is Cameron pissed off with John for resurrecting her? That's awesome! John's new haircut gets my tick of approval, but I entered familiar ambivalence regarding his adolescent angst. On the one hand, I kind of want to slap him and tell him to pull it together and focus on the real issues. On the other hand, I find it believable and way less irritating than it could be. It helped that I really liked Riley. She felt like a very real teenager, and her scenes with John were very strong.

Cameron is completely awesome and I loved her in this episode: touching the pregnant belly to connect with the mysteries of human life or playing pool shark in the bar... it was all great. Of course she rocks most of all as an action hero. I could watch her kick butt and blast the frak out of people all day. *happy sigh*

It was Sarah who really carried this episode though. Finding out she died (or was going to die) of cancer was one of the most powerful parts of season 1, and revisiting that idea in this way was really creepy. I was left pretty anxious: will the power plant have given her cancer? It didn't feel like there were a lot of 'wins' out of this ep for our little band of heroes.

Is Charlie really leaving? :(( *wobbly lower lip* I hope not. I like him.

Lots of great Cameron-Sarah moments in this. Yay! I'm really glad they showed Sarah's residual anxiety arising from Cameron having malfunctioned. Cameron is so hard to read and in many ways Reese is right: she is all wiring, and she could just 'go wrong'. That's been proven. Sarah's fears are two-fold though, because she also wonders if she herself is a 'ticking time bomb'. I liked that Cameron drew the parallel between them, even though it doesn't hold up to close analysis. Cameron 'going off' would result in the deaths of others, Sarah 'going off' would result only in her own death. Or would it? On the other hand, neither of them predict the future, but the evidence on the table is stacked against either of them managing to play protector(ess) or hero much longer.

I loved that both Sarah and Cameron had their lines down pat: 'car accident!' I also liked that their information gathering was on par. Sarah's manipulation of Greenway was pitch-perfect. Cameron was more direct and obvious but she too gathered useful evidence (I loved her 'I hacked into the computer system and read his notes' moment--for all that Reese and Sarah tried to ignore it, that was very useful recon). The fact that they make such a great team reflects well on both of them. It says a lot about Sarah that she can match Cameron's machine-like focus, and it says a lot about Cameron that she's managing to have come-backs for Sarah's most human appeals.

Aaaaand .... that's about as much as you'll get from me in the way of thoughts this week, I'm afraid. Work's been driving me mad and I need to leave emotional/squee space for the Smallville premiere tomorrow night. ;)
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: busybusy
 
 
 
Cris: T:TSCC - Sarahduskwillow on September 18th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
Is Cameron pissed off with John for resurrecting her? That's awesome!

I think she's also a bit worried. When she warned him that "they" might not like it I thought she meant the resistance, since John showed weakens by saving a terminator.

I also like Riley so far. Though I thought it's a bit strange that she had no problem going with someone she just met to his new house, and then spending the night there. Does that kid have no parents?
I loved John's smile at the end when she called. :)

Sarah stood out to me in this episode. She knew that she might die of cancer, yet she didn't hesitate to go through that room to get to Cameron and other terminator. While Derek made a frustrated face and went around. Heh. It just showed how dedicated she is.

I also hope we'll see Charlie again.

Also, all the talk about how the ratings are bad is scaring me. :(
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 18th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
When she warned him that "they" might not like it I thought she meant the resistance, since John showed weakens by saving a terminator.
Oh, good call. Yes.

I thought it's a bit strange that she had no problem going with someone she just met to his new house, and then spending the night there. Does that kid have no parents?
Heh. I have seen a few people comment on that, but I didn't even think about it. She totally seemed like me as a teen. I presumed she'd called home at some point... I guess as the only child of a working parent I can relate to floobing around on your own and kind of winding up odd places. I'm always more weirded out by the 'regular' kids on TV with functional families and parents who expect (and get!) them 'home by 10'. ;) Who is like that in real life?!

It just showed how dedicated she is.
Yes! I love that Sarah was very obviously the central hero again in this episode. She is just wonderful.

The ratings are bad?!! Eeek! I do not want this show to end!
The First Evil: TSCC - Group - Resilientsasta77 on September 18th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
It helped that I really liked Riley. She felt like a very real teenager

ITA. I also appreciated that they didn't hire a size zero supermodel. Of course, this is a series that hired an actual pregnant woman to play a pregnant woman! So, putting aside the scary robots, perhaps they are going for realism. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 18th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
*nods* She was so believable--I really appreciated that. Also, the people at the nuclear power plant really looked like people that might work at a power plant. It's small things, but I appreciated it. ;)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on September 18th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
You know what I loved about the whole "car accident" thing? How well it shows how damn prepared that whole family is, all the time--they may be fighting now but when it comes to facing the external world, they're a united front.

And like you, I really liked the Cameron/Sarah parallels they drew in this ep. If you think about it, really, cancer *is* a kind of programming misfiring that can completely transform you, so I thought it worked really well--especially since it's a threat hanging over both of their heads.

I actually have more sympathy with John's teen angst than pretty much any other teen action hero, ever, because John really hasn't ever *had* a chance to have a childhood, or a life; it's been all mission, all the time since he was a kid. (The only heroes I can think of that have had such a sucky disciplined childhood are the Winchesters, and I've already seen debates over who was a worse parent, Sarah Connor or John Winchester).

I mean, clearly John needs to stay in the game to save the world, but I felt like a little teen rebellion was only normal, especially given the events of the previous week. Plus on one level he's right: when is he going to get to live his life, if not now? Certainly not in the future. Really this poor kid has more weight of destiny on him than even Clark, because he knows the probable future.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on September 19th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
How well it shows how damn prepared that whole family is, all the time
*nods* It was shown so well in each of them using it perfectly in the different settings they were thrown into. It was watertight!

cancer *is* a kind of programming misfiring that can completely transform you
*nods* It was a great parallel to draw. This show is really good at subtly asking what the difference between machines as advanced as Cameron and humans really is:
- what's the difference between feeling love and Cameron overriding her programming for John? (doesn't it amount to the same thing?)
- what's the difference between having wiring that can misfunction and having an organic body that can turn against itself?
I find this show is so much more successful at suggesting these ideas than BSG, and consequently it has me really hooked in to the conceptual side of the terminators and what they mean.

I actually have more sympathy with John's teen angst than pretty much any other teen action hero, ever
Good call. I probably do too. This week was a bit frustrating for me, but even this week I was terribly fond of him and really do sympathise.

I've already seen debates over who was a worse parent, Sarah Connor or John Winchester
You are kidding me?! Do not get me started. Do not ever link me to those! *starts fuming on Sarah's behalf*

I felt like a little teen rebellion was only normal, especially given the events of the previous week
Yes... I think at first I felt it was mistimed and that was my main gripe with him. It's totally natural that he want a 'normal' life but I was caught up in thinking 'god, John, you (possibly) just killed someone and you endangered the entire world last week! maybe you should think about that'. However when I thought about it, it actually seems completely believable that that's exactly the time when he would escape into 'why can't I just have a normal life?' territory. So the realism of it wins me back.

when is he going to get to live his life, if not now? Certainly not in the future.
Another good point I had not really considered. Plus, Sarah sent him off to school with the argument that 'normal' was what he needed right now. She can't really complain when he acts like a normal teen in response. ;)

I got caught in Sarah's pov in this ep, I think, but I do have a lot of sympathy for John, and little moments were wonderful--like his 'she's not the picture type' and discovering his bedroom was a little kid's.

I really appreciate the restraint they show with John's character. He could be so annoying so easily!
Nora Norwich: jdm/janorwich36 on September 19th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Hey, I'm ready to rumble in defense of John Winchester's parenting, if it comes down to that. (This scene, in my icon? Seconds before he literally went to hell to save Dean's life.)

Ok, I don't know how serious I am about that, because even though both of them were raising their kids as weapons, (a)Sarah has a much more concrete reason to be doing so and (b)she did not, as far as we know, leave her kid in lots of random motel rooms while she hunted things. (Though how long was he in foster care because she was committed? I really need to rewatch the films so I remember the backstory better).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 19th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
Bring it!

Sarah has a much more concrete reason to be doing so
Yes, yes, she really does.

Though how long was he in foster care because she was committed?
I am not sure how long, but I'm also not sure that she can be held wholly responsible for that. I don't think being committed as mentally ill is the same as failing to provide appropriate parenting while present as sole caretaker for that child.
Nora Norwich: john and deannorwich36 on September 19th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
Yes, but the reason she was committed was (unless I am misremembering the film, which I very well could be--it's probably been over ten years since I've seen it). If they committed her because of her fears about robots from the future taking over, she was the one who released that information to someone--and in that sense she's very similar to John Winchester, in putting her (his) kids in jeopardy because s/he must fight this war that no one else believes is real, precisely because no one else thinks it is real.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 19th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Argh, we're both arguing from vague memory--this is going to be tricky! Perhaps we should do some canon fact-checking to settle it. ;) (I think it's transparently obvious and make no secret of the fact that I launched into this argument on emotional grounds without fully being on top of canon for either show! *g*)

I had recollected that Sarah got arrested for 'terrorism' and then they incarcerated her because she was talking about a future in which robots take over the world... I still don't see how it is her fault that she got held as 'mentally ill'. Also, given the extremity of what she confronted (robot sent back in time to kill her, knowledge that robots destroy all of humanity) I think it's understandable she went through a phase of trying to make people listen to that. It did result in her being absent from John, but I don't think she knew that going in. Whereas if Papa Winchester was leaving his boys in motel rooms, he was making a conscious choice to do so.

I guess for me the sticking point is that the two causes are not equal.

(And I confess that my dislike of Sam and Dean as people/characters also plays a part: Sarah, despite the odds, has raised a boy I admire so much more as people than them--she scores a lot of points with me for that. But of course my own taste is influencing that view.)
Laura ☂: tscc: cameronstarryeyedmagic on September 18th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts, I pretty much agree with all you have to say.

Except...I didn't really like Riley only because she felt kind of forced. It was kind of like she had the words "LIKE ME" tattooed across her forehead, haha!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 19th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Don't all teens? ;) I think she felt forced because she was forced--with John. Her overtures at friendship were gauche and awkward, which is exactly why I found her believable as a teenager.
Banana Cavebanana_cave on September 19th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
I loved the whole "car accident" line. It was great! I'm not sure how much I like Riley yet.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: FNL girlsbop_radar on September 19th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
I seem in the minority in liking her. That's ok. I kind of like brash awkward characters. ;)
Banana Cave: Chuck: Weirded Outbanana_cave on September 19th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
I don't think she is anything beyond average teenager yet. I just think it was stupid of John to bring her home after knowing her for one day. He should know better.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on September 20th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Well, he should, yes, but he was clearly in rebellion mode. Which given the traumatic events of the previous episode, I think is believable. Frustrating, yes, but very human. I think he was using her to escape from thinking about the big issues facing him. I thought the scene of him in the school corridor was very good at conveying just how isolated John is by his knowledge of the future and the burden of responsibility he bears, so while I do find it foolish, I can understand why he'd hide from that for a while.

Also, he's clearly power-struggling with Sarah and it was a way to make a point.