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09 October 2008 @ 06:39 pm
Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.05  
Well I'm kind of surprised that Sarah Connor Chronicles won the poll, but am happy to oblige. :) (Although I'm going to have to chatter about the other shows at SOME point!)

This wasn't my favourite episode of the season, I must admit. I watch the show for the women, Sarah and Cameron, and this was episode focussed more on John and Reese. However, it was intriguing, and I found myself liking Reese more than I have previously.

The scene I liked best was the one where he shouted down the annoying little military pipsqueak who thought counting kills was a game. You could see that it challenged Reese to see all these young men training for a war they knew nothing about: on the one hand it brought back memories of the real war for him, and on the other he felt a disconnect with them training/playing at something that wasn't real yet. The difference in tone between him and the students was very marked.

I am finding the dynamic between John, Reese and Sarah very interesting. John is taking more leadership this season, acting independently and openly challenging Sarah. Reese is in an awkward position--he supports John, but answers to Sarah. Sarah staved off an argument by agreeing to let John go on this 'mission', but it feels like only a matter of time before another scenario arises in which she's less willing to agree with John's judgement.

The emotional burden for John just keeps deepening and deepening... I think he may have guessed that Martin died for him before Reese told him, but it didn't stop the impact of hearing it. John resists the idea that everyone just plays out their allotted roles to support his future self, and to know they had just persuaded Martin to stay and follow the destiny that would ultimately lead to his death must be hard to face. Reese has no such qualms, yet he says 'we all die for you'. He's one of the ones who will/would lay down his life in the greater plot of John Connor's destiny--and he has less problem with it than John.

It's hard for me to imagine how this John, our John, will become the hardened leader of the future after seeing all these stories and sacrifices up close for so many years, especially given how sensitive he is. He does seem to be closing off from people (his mother especially) more than before, and there is bitterness in answers like 'I've got to' (when asked if he believes it all matters). I think there's a strong streak of nihilism in John--it's pretty hard to believe it really does matter as much as Reese and Sarah assert that it does, yet he has no choice but to do so. He'd like to wake up and have that taken away--of course he would--but instead he must go on facing the burden of responsibility, which he's constantly reminded that he's not ready to fully undertake yet. I'm going to find watching him hardening more and more pretty damn difficult because I like the emotionally open young boy version of John so much.

Ellison confuses me! I am not in his headspace at all. Does he realise he's being played? How can he not? I'm beginning to think he's not very bright because he stood out like a sore thumb in that factory bar, yet he seemed genuinely surprised that the bartender picked him as a cop. Now he's seen Sarah involved, will he begin to question things? Will he be smart about it? I'm not loving Weaver: I'm still more confused by her than anything else. That plot better firm up a bit ... I feel the suspense is weakening for me simply because it's opaque at the moment.

It seemed like little!Martin was meant to echo John... Sarah spoke of other Sarah Connors dying before Skynet found her, here is a young boy who may have been killed because Skynet thought he might be connected with her own son. She rescues him in part to assuage her own guilt. She takes on the role of 'mother' for him while he's in her care, and he looks to her to do so, acts like a son, though is quick to point out that she's not very good at it. The moment where he thanked her was very powerful for me--Sarah doesn't get thanked, her own son doesn't thank her. And she may not be great at traditional mothering but she is trying to protect and save John, time and time again. It was clear that that moment meant a lot to her, even if the words didn't come from the real John.

Did they deliberately dress little!Martin in Dorothy-like blue and white check? It seems like it. I wasn't sure what to make of the Wizard of Oz parallel at first, but I did like that they used a book with a young girl protagonist but had the male reader identifying with her. And also, of course, John is Dorothy.

I guess there are two good witches: Sarah and Cameron. Silver is definitely more of a 'Terminator'-verse colour than ruby. And very obviously Skynet, personified this season in the female form of Weaver, is the 'wicked witch'. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's companions were all-important, and this episode was very much about those that will stand (and fall) beside John as well as about John himself. They have their own journeys, seek their own fulfilment (Martin wanted to follow his 'heart'--tin man?), but ultimately they are Dorothy's companions because she's the main protagonist. The tension between their role as individuals and their role in a particular narrative is what was explored here, and there's no easy resolution. Ultimately they'll always be both an individual and someone playing a certain part in a bigger story.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
 
Call Me OneTrackcallmeonetrack on October 9th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
I admit I'm not the most attentive watcher of this show (and last night's ep had me dozing off during some of the middle portions, as I too am more a fan of the women--well Cameron really--than anything else). But did they ever before link The Connors' pseudonymous last name of Baum to L. Frank Baum before? Because when I first heard it last week I immediately thought of the author and I was glad to see that paid off this week.

Young Martin was written as the most trusting kid in the world (it stretched credulity for me), but his interaction with Sarah was sort of touching (esp. the Thank You moment).

I also admit to being completely confused by the time-jumping/chronology of the backstory of Kyle Reese and when he came from the future to the present (or past?) to father John and how in the flashbacks last night he was this young guy (Jonathan Jackson has to be in his late 20s) ostensibly following his (older?) son's orders in the resistance. My husband insists it makes sense, but I'm not so sure. Maybe you need to have seen the movies. At the very least, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Vacuum state of peacebzoppa on October 9th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
But did they ever before link The Connors' pseudonymous last name of Baum to L. Frank Baum before?

Since I literally read recaps of the first 5 eps yesterday, I can tell you they did in the second ep. Cameron tells John that one of his favorite memories of his mother was her reading The Wizard of Oz to him in Spanish. Later, they use the name Baum as their alias.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee not a herobop_radar on October 10th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
You're right about young Martin--very trusting. I actually had to rewatch to work out why the hell he WAS that way. But I think Cameron's straight-talking may have played a part. I also think his anxiety about his book report was repressed anxiety about the whole situation. But even so.

As for the timeline, yeah it does make (more) sense if you've seen the movies. The original timeline may help you clarify things. Terminator timelines get complicated! But yes, the basic premise is that future!John sends Kyle back in time to protect Sarah, and Kyle ends up fathering John.
Vacuum state of peace: poltergeistbzoppa on October 9th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
I want you to know that you, and your poll, prompted me to read through twop recaps until I found the ep that I fell asleep during, so I can properly catch up. Turns out I fell asleep during 1.5, but I'll soldier through and marathon a bunch of eps this weekend.

I miss TV :(

How are you doing?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex fascinated with youbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
HEE. Well, thanks... I think? :)

I'm doing not bad. Cheery but overwhelmed by TV! You?
mahaliemmahaliem on October 9th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
That plot better firm up a bit ... I feel the suspense is weakening for me simply because it's opaque at the moment.

I feel the same. The subplot is becoming less interesting to me because I don't know what the main point of it is. It seems to me that Weaver may have made a mistake in killing the nuclear reactor manager directly after Ellison tells her about him. Ellison spent a long time in the FBI and I would find it hard to believe if he doesn't at least wonder about that.

Pure wishful thinking follows -
Since I love the Ellison character, what I'm hoping for is that Ellison now trusts no one, not even Weaver, so he's playing things very close to the chest (which is maybe why the subplot feels a bit vague?) I want the nuclear reactor manager to have been some sort of test that Ellison was giving Weaver, which she failed. That Ellison has become so changed and hardened by the massacre he witnessed, that he has lost all hope of salvation to the point where he is willing to use the manager as a pawn in the game.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
Weaver may have made a mistake in killing the nuclear reactor manager directly after Ellison tells her about him
She's so random! I found her completely rash in doing that and I don't really understand how she can get away with these killings... surely someone would start to suss on that people keep dying unexpectedly around her? Perhaps Ellison will be the one to bring her down--I'd certainly like to think that he's playing a long game.

I want the nuclear reactor manager to have been some sort of test that Ellison was giving Weaver, which she failed.
That would be so coooool! (But I didn't get that sense clearly from the show. At least not yet. Here's hoping!)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on October 9th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
It's hard for me to imagine how this John, our John, will become the hardened leader of the future after seeing all these stories and sacrifices up close for so many years, especially given how sensitive he is. He does seem to be closing off from people (his mother especially) more than before, and there is bitterness in answers like 'I've got to' (when asked if he believes it all matters). I think there's a strong streak of nihilism in John--it's pretty hard to believe it really does matter as much as Reese and Sarah assert that it does, yet he has no choice but to do so. He'd like to wake up and have that taken away--of course he would--but instead he must go on facing the burden of responsibility, which he's constantly reminded that he's not ready to fully undertake yet. I'm going to find watching him hardening more and more pretty damn difficult because I like the emotionally open young boy version of John so much.

Yes--I agree that the hardening of John will be hard to watch. But that's one of the central conflicts in the series, surely, and not just John but also with Sarah: how can they maintain their humanity while making the hard choices they're going to have to make to save humanity.

I'm not quite sure what's going on with Ellison, either, but I am hoping that he's not just being played by Weaver. It's hard for me to think he is--he's a very smart man, and has been an investigator his whole life. And surely the murder of the nuclear power guy will clue him in, if he isn't already beginning to figure it out?

What did Weaver call him? Something like an avenger, but with more biblical overtones? I can't remember the specific word. It made me wonder why on earth she chose him, and what *her* game is, besides of course taking over the world.

You know, I didn't think the "thank you" from Marty actually was representing John (Does any parent really expect to be thanked by their child? Parenthood by definition being a thankless task) as much as the other people she's saved along the way. Because usually people just think she's crazy, or they've experienced collateral damage (like Charlie) so even if she saved *them* they still blame her for the destruction of their normal life/their loved ones. Marty may be the one person she's saved who didn't experience loss from his encounters with the Terminators that got projected onto Sarah.

I mean, I agree that in some ways he does represent an idealized John (a child she can save without dooming to a life of destiny, for one thing)--and Sarah is luckier than John, in that. Her Marty, unlike John's Martin, will not have to die for the sake of John Connor.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
he's a very smart man, and has been an investigator his whole life
I agree but I see no evidence of his smarts recently! Perhaps he is, as mahaliem suggests, just playing his cards close to his chest, but I feel as a viewer that I'd like to be let in on his thinking a bit more to understand that plot.

avenger, but with more biblical overtones
Avenging angel I think. That did make me do a double-take. In one way I saw why she'd chosen him--the 'enemies closer' reason. And maybe she just used that term to play to him--because he'd surely like to get some redemption for what happened. But given that she's very fond of Biblical references, perhaps there is more to it.

much as the other people she's saved along the way
You could be right... I think it doubles for everybody--the way she said 'I haven't heard that... I don't hear that' suggests it's universal. However, Martin was such an obvious stand-in for John in other ways it was hard not to see it as the thank you from her own son--and no, I don't think any parent, or Sarah, ever expected thanks.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
Ohh, yeah, I've been enjoying aycheb's posts on SCC very much indeed.