?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
09 March 2009 @ 10:21 am
T:SCC 2.17 Ourselves alone  
OMG STELLAR TV!

That was the most riveting hour of television I have watched in about a year. It was all so smart and had so much suspense. Real suspense of the I-totally-don't-know-who-is-going-to-wind-up-dead here kind of way.

Much squee is required... How chilling were the birds? There were so many things I loved about them, starting with the fact that we'd seen Sarah tell Cameron not to kill the bird when they first moved into the house. Seeing Cameron alone is rare, and seeing her talk to an animal was fascinating. Immediately it played as insight into the way Cameron views other living beings--humans--and how they confuse her with their illogical behaviour and fragility. Cameron's kill reflex has been discussed on the show already, obviously, and so even without seeing what this was building to, I was interested to see how she handled this situation. We've seen that she considers her 'story' to be one of killing everyone--but she tried not to kill the bird and it still wound up dead. I never guessed that by the end of the episode, the bird would be Riley.

What's going on with Cameron? My best guess is that this all stems back to her overriding her 'Terminate' instructions about John. That established a pattern where she could consciously override her programming. Since then she's struggled with her identity and while she may seem superficially the same has been behaving in less and less predictable ways. I think what we saw in this episode is that physically she's still very much a Terminator, and while she may wish to have 'free will' she still needs to overcome a physical predisposition to kill.

The episode ends with Cameron giving John the power to terminate her instantly if necessary. What a profound action on Cameron's part! She's forging the strangest of intimacies between herself and John. John is wary, suspicious and at times resists her overtures, but ultimately he accepts her gift and he doesn't reject her even though she might have killed his girlfriend and he knows it.

Also, he's not telling Sarah. He didn't tell her Cameron had been keeping parts from other terminators and I suspect he won't tell her about the termination button.

What is fascinating is that if Cameron hadn't been flawed, hadn't 'required' fixing, she would have killed Riley. 'It's usually not a decision' told us that. She is no longer receiving or responding to terminate instructions. Instead she has decisions to make--John tells her they're not for her to make, he's in charge. But what would cause him to kill her? If she turns against them, sure, yet her pure form--as a terminator--would have had deadly consequences for John too. It's a paradox.

Cameron revealing that John is 'ahead of schedule' initially elated me. I want him to beat FutureJohn! But then I thought about it more and if Cameron means it as 'you're closer to being FutureJohn', then it's actually quite chilling. Are the two Johns growing closer? Or is our John gaining something over him, changing away from him? That's what John himself asks in this episode--is it possible a) for John to keep secrets from Cameron and b) for him to know more than his future self. Cameron still thinks it's unlikely but given that she doesn't know everything, she can't rule it out.

There were so many chilling touches in this episode--like Riley reading the 'deadly to humans and domestic animals' label on the cleaning product. Riley was the 'mess' Sarah and Cameron were going to 'clean up' with deadly consequences.

It was equally chilling for Riley to see Cameron with her arm cut open so soon after she cut herself. Riley cut herself for attention and out of desperation. Cameron cuts herself with deliberate intent to fix, but the parallel is drawn... Cameron cannot directly kill herself like Riley could. But she cuts her wrists to try and get somewhere, to try first to fix and if that doesn't work to give the means of death into someone else's hands. Not so different from Riley... except that Riley fights for her life but loses.

Cameron says 'sometimes it's nice to have help' to John. This scene was juxtaposed with the one in which we see Riley not getting any help from the medical centre. Without a doubt, Riley was crying out to be saved, yet she wasn't able to reach out and trust John. Ultimately the Cameron-John relationship proved stronger than the Riley-John one. Jesse's training was too good--if Riley had been less loyal she might have opened up to John, admitted she was being played...

Instead she fled and took up her issues with the person who she loved more than John: Jesse. The raw emotion in the Jesse-Riley fight was amazing. Jesse believes everything she says to Riley, believes that she was making her a hero and that Riley should thank her. For Jesse, everyone dies, that's not in question: the question is how meaningful your death can be. Eariler Jesse told Riley to conquer her fear and remember the mission: that's Jesse, that's what she does. She blocks everything else out. Not just fear but love and human compassion as well.

Jesse is absolutely chilling. The revelation that she intended Riley to die shocked me. I hadn't intuited that far. I knew she didn't care for Riley, saw her as a disposable asset, but I hadn't guessed that she'd intended her to die from the outset. She lies to Riley, saying she won't let anyone hurt her--the complete opposite of the truth. It is Jesse herself who hurts Riley, puts her in this position and then kills her.

My ship
Oh my doomed, doomed, beautiful sexy ship. I loved seeing Derek and Jesse doing target practice together. With apples! Except they're not going to be 'apples', even though that was Jesse's line to Derek when they first met. All the seeds of destruction were in that scene. Jesse snarked at Derek about Sarah and Cameron ruling the Connor household. Derek challenged Jesse for progress on her own mission. They're going to fall apart and they're going to do so SOON, since Jesse ditched Derek and is now going to have to explain away the fact that she's been in a fight.


I haven't talked much about Sarah but I really loved her handling of the situation throughout. I liked that she quizzed Cameron on her thoughts about Riley and I like that she told John matter of factly that he better prepare himself for what Cameron would do. She is treating John as an adult who faces the consequences of what he's brought about. Instead of taking his place and railing at Riley, she pointed out that it was John who she should speak to and she gave the ground to John to deal with her. I like this shift in Sarah, not trying to protect him quite as much.


Poor clueless Derek, unaware of all this going on. I love that he's so completely the straightforward soldier here, continuing the mission regardless of 'distractions' and disappointed when others don't show up.

Tiny awesome Cameron/Derek moment? The both referred to Sarah as 'distracted' and Cameron let Derek take the lawyers research.

I loved the Sarah-Jesse scene.... ohh when this falls out it's going to be amaaaazing!
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on March 9th, 2009 07:30 am (UTC)
Their scenes were riveting!
the plucky young girl who helps the Doctoralissabobissa on March 9th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
T:SCC is such great TV! I wish more people were watching, because this show CANNOT BE CANCELED. But I agree, that was one hell of a way to spend an hour in front of a television.

Jesse is absolutely chilling.
OMG, no fucking kidding. She has rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go, but the completely shocking revelation that she had planned for Riley to be the sacrifice that saves John from Cameron just knocked me over. I'm no fan of Riley's (though I've always felt sorry for her), I was cheering for her during that fight I knew she couldn't possibly win. Poor girl. Now with Jesse's utter Evil with a capitol E showing, I'm thinking she is going to die and that Derek is going to have to be the one to do it, ya know, for the maximum emotional impact.

What is fascinating is that if Cameron hadn't been flawed, hadn't 'required' fixing, she would have killed Riley.
Yes! Cameron wins the fascinating character award this week. I swear I change my mind on who is the most interesting from week to week. Heck, I'll probably change my mind in five minutes. That's how complex and well thought out all these characters are. I am constantly amazed at how smart this show is. The excitement I;m having at the depth of storytelling in this show actually reminds me of how I felt about BSG back when I was first watching, which is both thrilling and sad.

I like this shift in Sarah, not trying to protect him quite as much.
It's subtle, but it's there. I'm actually digging how John's relationships with everyone have changed this season, and how he has changed. In some ways, he seems much more adult, and in others he seems to be playing the teenage rebel. He is taking charge more lately and Sarah seems to be letting him deal with the consequences of his actions on his own. Big step for Sarah.

Can't wait for the rest of the season! :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on March 9th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
I wish more people were watching, because this show CANNOT BE CANCELED.
Yeah, I do not understand why so few people are watching!! It's so much better than most shows out there!

I'm thinking she is going to die and that Derek is going to have to be the one to do it, ya know, for the maximum emotional impact.
I saw at least one person say they found Jesse more sympathetic now because she clearly believed what she said to Riley. I'm in a different position: I always liked her and found her sympathetic while also finding her completely cold and chilling. I guess I see her as a product of her experiences in the resistance in the future, being forged into a killing machine. She's the flipside of Derek and what she 'voices' is one aspect of the future. She represents the dehumanisation that happens when you fight such a nihilistic war.

The excitement I;m having at the depth of storytelling in this show actually reminds me of how I felt about BSG back when I was first watching, which is both thrilling and sad.
Yes! Me too! It's sad because I really did find BSG this thrilling once. It's sad, too, because so few people seem on board with T:SCC, whereas BSG still garners a big audience even now. But right now T:SCC is way more successfully showing people/factions with different interests and motivations as sympathetic. I love all the characters even when they're in direct conflict with one another. And wow, T:SCC does robots really, REALLY well. Cameron is mesmerising!

I agree that John is taking steps towards his adult self, even if some of them have read as classic teen rebellion. It's exciting to watch him shift and see Sarah react too.

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens! I think you may be right about Derek killing Jesse. *sniffs*
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Sarahbop_radar on March 10th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
There's also my suspicion that maybe this Jesse comes from a slightly different future that looks distinctly worse even than the one that Derek came from, so that might have something to do with how her personality evolved
Mmm, I like that theory and I think by textualising the possibility on the show, they've encouraged us to consider it a very real possibility.

maybe she's even right, and John's closeness to the Terminators is a problem - after all, how many humans get killed every time one of the "pet" Terminators goes rogue, right?
Absolutely! I can totally understand why people would be pretty damn wary of having Terminators onside, especially as we've seen that their reprogramming is unreliable. The fear of 'metal' is palpable and I am sure I would have it too in those circumstances. And if FutureJohn is being secretive and demanding people trust him despite accidents and death, then, yeah, I can see how some people would see that as a sign that he's no longer the best leader.

SUCH a good ep! I love this show soooo much.
Call Me OneTrackcallmeonetrack on March 9th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
This show is really getting good, isn't it? I've struggled with it and haven't been truly engaged all along, but I feel like it's finally coming into its own (just in time for Fox to cancel it probably...)

Cameron is my favorite and she's the only one I truly love (I find her far more complex than the human characters ironically). So I was thrilled with this episode (esp. after the long dearth of Cameron-lite eps). I might even be shipping Cameron/John just a little bit (though that's totally alissabobissa and lint183's faults!) and I'm absolutely loving the fact that she parcels out small bits of Future!John to Current!John. As if she knows how much he can handle at any one point. Maybe she does. Summer Glau plays the best humanoid machine I've ever seen.

Jesse is also fascinating though (and god she is gorgeous--I was almost distracted in all her scenes by her stunning hair and her lips). But I am so ready for things to blow up with her and Derek and for Derek to be a little more involved with the family than he has been.

::really might have to get a Cameron icon soon::
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on March 10th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
I might even be shipping Cameron/John just a little bit (though that's totally [info]alissabobissa and [info]lint183's faults!)
Hee hee! I'm not a shipper but I see how you could be, and I find their squee infectious too. I certainly felt sizzling tension of SOME sort between them this episode.

Summer Glau plays the best humanoid machine I've ever seen.
Yeah, and how! I find the show worthwhile for her alone. Though it's good to hear that it's hooked you in a bit more too--I remember you saying it wasn't really your thing. I'm obviously more of a Terminator nerd or something. ;)

Jesse, yes, unbelievably gorgeous and distracting--but also fascinating. I loooove her, she's just so intriguing. But I also await the fallout impatiently! I ship Derek/Jesse massivley but not in a want-a-happy-ending way, because this show is too successfully nihilistic for that.
Call Me OneTrack: Pilots!callmeonetrack on March 10th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
I'm not really huge on sci-fi/war/robot stuff (BSG is so the exception to my rule, but I like it IN SPITE of those elements) and not having seen any of the Terminator movies I had a really hard time grasping the timeline issues and paradoxes (mainly how the future that Derek and Jesse are coming back from could still exist if John is here in the past trying to change it, in a butterfly effect way.)

Mr. Taragel is a big sci-fi/fantasy fan though, so he's been watching and I have too. Am definitely more engaged by it now. And am excited for the coming weeks. Saw a Cameron-heavy promo vid and looks like there's good stuff ahead.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on March 10th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh, Cameron-heavy promo?! WHEEE! \o/ If it has to go 'out', I hope it goes out with a bang. :D
legendsinlove: tscclegendsinlove on March 10th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC)
I really love seeing how all the pieces are being put into place with Cameron and her malfunctions, John and his training/maturing, Sarah and her theories, Jessie and her mission, Derek and his divided loyalties. It'll be so awesome when it all comes to a head.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on March 10th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's fabulous! It makes my brain squee. *G* I loved your picspam, btw.
Ellielli on March 10th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
YES!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Yay!bop_radar on March 10th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
:D It's exciting, isn't it?!