First reaction: OMG I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEM! By which I mean Jesse and Derek--I am totally shipping the hell out of them now--they are awesome! :D Of course, they are Doomed and caught on opposing sides, but that just makes me ship them even harder. I found the Fischer plot in 2.09 extremely compelling and the inclusion of Jesse in this season has made me like Derek a lot more. I side with him simply because I know and trust him, and that works well. Especially in 2.10 when Derek confronts Jesse's spying. She did have more to tell him, and I'm very glad that he said 'don't push it' with her. This whole problem places Derek in the hardest of positions. Because he can see Jesse's point, at least somewhat. He feels some of the same hesitation and revulsion that she does about John's intimacy with metal. He saw John take the most dangerous leap of faith in Cameron earlier this season.
I do not trust Jesse, and she was really creepy with Riley, but wow, I find her so charismatic and compelling as a character! And since I distrust Future!John too, I am somewhat swayed by her argument. I love John in this timeline, but who knows how he will turn out? We don't really know and it's hard to imagine how he couldn't turn out warped and bitter and strange after all he's been through. But ohhh, Derek!
And ok, I now really want to see Cameron get clued on to this whole thing--we know she is suspicious of Derek and made a point about him not being around much. Does Sarah not question where he sleeps?
Riley! I am so glad there turned out to be more to her, though I had long ago stopped thinking there was. The timing of the reveal was excellent, because the whole Mexico plot line cast her in the complete 'innocent bystander' role so successfully that we were deceived. But this also makes a lot of sense. She pursued Derek persistently and when she didn't demand answers about Mexico I felt something was 'off'. Her behaviour is a little too accommodating, and now we can look back and remember her trying to coax John into talking more about himself. Also, it is interesting to see her played off against Cameron. Both are proxy 'girlfriends'/confidants, even if the sexual aspect is not played up heavily. Jesse feared his closeness with a machine and through Riley provides him with a real human alternative. She even offers 'dating advice': 'he's a guy' when Riley says he ran away. I still really like Riley and find her an even more interesting character now. Her flipout at her foster parents was cool to watch.
I love that there are so many powerful female characters in this show! And now we have Jesse's agenda up against Sarah's up against Weaver's.
I wasn't big on the whole Sarah-dream thing last week, and I don't know what I feel about her continued obsession here. But at least this week her costuming was better! She and Cameron looked amaaaaazing undercover and it was great that she got to be an action hero as well in this episode. Her wondering around in a smock in a dream is not my idea of a good Sarah episode! ;) Not mad on her obsession with three dots either.
Having said that, I found 2.10 compelling and there were many small aspects that I really liked--I found the father and son duo strangely sympathetic. The father would do anything to look after his child, even lie to him and deceive him--is that a parallel or contrast to Sarah? It's certainly interesting in a season that has seen Sarah and John under immense stress. But where Sarah has unquestioning faith in her son's destiny (perhaps easier to do so, knowing the future!), Agagi lacked faith in his son, finding him strange. Still, both parent-child pairs need to bridge a communication gap.
Weaver still annoys me with her strange artificial manner. Ellison is still proving disappointingly dense where she is concerned. I have despaired of him ever getting a clue. He is freaked out by John Henry but does nothing about it, makes the situation worse. And eeek, Cromartie!JohnHenry at the end was the creepiest of all. They leap from pictures as language to a human shaped body and direct speech?!! Eeek!