Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.22 "Born To Run"
Let me just say that my reaction to the previous episode was absolutely stunned. Everything from the abrupt killing of Derek to the capturing of Sarah blew my mind, and I couldn't process it clearly afterwards. I didn't know what to think. But I'm assuming we were meant to feel that way, because in the lives of the Connor family everything happens in a flash; deaths are sometimes sudden, there is no nobility to it other than boom, you're down and gone. Getting caught by the law was something that they, Sarah in particular, had been running from nearly the whole two seasons so it would make sense that she'd be re-arrested for her crimes, past and present. This also sets up for John to really make a stand and try to live up to his title as John Connor rather than standing in the background, which we've seen him take on that role in the previous episodes. Slowly but surely, he is becoming that John Connor prophecized as the savior of the human race.
This finale left us with that defeated yet uplifting feeling all at once. John is feeling helpless, his mother has been arrested and held for serious criminal charges while he and Cameron are wanted as well. But in spite of her warning for him to stay away and just run, they both returned for her. He could've just up and left, leaving his mother to take the blame because she is trying to protect him, but he doesn't leave her side and she doesn't leave his. And that's the truth.
However in the end, they both separated. It's interesting because throughout their entire journey it's always been about them sticking together as a family, but it's also been about getting John ready and prepared for the future to come. Somehow I think that, with the technology aside which might be causing Sarah's illness, she understood that she can't always be there for him. So she stepped out from going forward in time and said to him "I'll stop it", meaning she'll find a way to stop the Apocalypse from happening. It's a nice homage to the pilot episode of the series, when John told her that he couldn't become this messiah everyone is telling him he'll become and that she had to stop it so he didn't have to carry that weight. But we know that John has been trained and has the knowledge and skills to be as efficient as he'll become, and he's proven that in this season. It's time for him to step up, and Sarah will try her best to prevent it.
The finale had many strong points in regards to their mother-son relationship. They've never been completely on the same page and had their differences of opinions and methods, even difficulties which is, of course, is to be expected within this parental and child bond. But they're still family, and even with this separation they are still bound together. I think it was quite symbolic of a mother letting go of her son, now becoming into his own as a man.
The Terminator Mythology Lives On
What makes The Sarah Connor Chronicles unique, in my opinion, is this is an expansion of the universe seen differently from the films, but it's still part of that mythology. We have the relationship between mother and son, how they got along and how John Connor grew to understand his role, and we also have the strong mytharc involving Terminator models; Cameron, Cromartie, John Henry. The films will probably never mention them since this is strictly for the show, but it does give more insight and just a nice way of expanding the story in television format.
The finale gave us some answers regarding Catherine Weaver, the T-1000 protoype Terminator that shapeshifts by liquifying itself, and the role she's been playing the entire time. While there are still questions revolving around her character, especially since there is that question of "will you join us?" being repeated between the Terminators and with future!John, as witnessed in the flashforward clip with the Jimmy Carter. If the show isn't renewed we probably will never know whether she is trustworthy or has other alternative motives, though I did like how they left it open for us to speculate that ourselves. Whether her mission was the build such a device that John Henry could operate along with sending herself and John into the future once again, thus setting everything into motion, or something else entirely. We do know that Weaver's John and Sarah's John were meant to save the world, but maybe they have different notions on how the world is to be saved. Who knows? We probably never will, unless it gets renewed or there's expanded commentary about where they wanted to go with that.
There's also the mindtrip about John actually being transported through time and into the future, where the name "John Connor" has never been heard until just then. This makes things interesting, and complicated, regarding the timeline.
Understandably, the show had to alter some things from the films to fit their own created mythology, this also means the shift in timelines. The series pretty much discards T3 and probably wouldn't make sense in continuation with the new film, Terminator Salvation. Which is why the show is special in its own way.
Needless to say, I liked this development of John having to be transported into the future because he no longer has to live under the pressure and burden of becoming the legendary John Connor, he now just has to worry about being John Connor that includes the training, the knowledge and skill-set he had before time-jumping. Seeing him in the end, coming into that realization that had he not time traveled John Connor would never had become to be, and he's amongst friends. Derek, his father Kyle Reese, Cameron even though it's not really Cameron, but the human version before the metal took her form and before he reprograms her to become Cameron. Amongst friends and family, maybe that's where he truly belongs. To become that savior.
This also means that the entire mythology hadn't been about saving the world, but it's for the future of the world and of mankind, and had John not gotten that training and knowledge from Sarah, having to live that life and knowing all he knows now, there would be no hope, no salvation for the human race in the future. That is what was so important that John could understand and carry that burden. Ending on a bittersweet note that yes, he still has to carry out that plan of action, he now has more people to talk with about doing this and this is what creates the resistance against the machines, and how he'll manage, somehow, to save the world. However that'll happen, we have yet to understand and even with the films there will be that bittersweet note of devastation, desperation and hope.
Noteable Moments from the Finale:
++ I think I should comment on that John/Cameron scene. I loved it. ♥ It was morbid yet kind of sweet, having him cut into her bare skin and feel underneath to her metal endoskeleton, it shouldn't have been hot and yet it was. Obviously the show wouldn't go as far as having them officially hook up -- but this was just as good of a scene, if not better, as that. Still makes me wish they would've kissed though, like a final trade-off before them taking out the Big Bad and having her becoming damaged in the process, but that scene? Totes makes up for it. And did y'all see how John wasn't freaked out even if hesitant? Makes me believe he had grown so attached to Cameron that the notion of possibly having a relationship with a machine wasn't that bad of an idea. I also think because future!him sent back those models to make him understand that not all machines are deadly, even at their core when they are killers their reprogramming can be set and they can be protective and trustworthy. I think he did love her, now as he does then, and Cameron did love him.
++ I do think that machines not having emotions was greatly expored here. Not really resolved but it's so obvious that Cameron was developing human emotions. Her being upset and bothered by what Ellison said, her saying that she loves John, her feelings towards John in general. The development that she isn't just some cold-metal killing machine, but had been reprogrammed to feel human as well.
++ The makeup department did a tremendous job with making the half-human, half-machine of Cameron. Poor Cameron, all damaged. :(((
++ The repeated "I'm sorry John" message was heartbreaking. Makes me wonder what she was sorry about, repeating what she was programmed to stop from happening? Hmmm.
++ Out of all the episodes with Weaver, I think I loved this one the best. I liked how we got a lot more development and interaction with her and the Connors, and hell, even her saving the Connors was absolutely priceless. It made me really rethink a lot of things, and it made my mind s'plode with questions after that. It makes me sad that if the show doesn't get renewed we won't be getting more of her.
++ John Henry is love, okay people? Although I am wondering whatever happened to him, and if Cameron's chip lives on inside of him and if he transported forward in time? Answers people, we needs them.
++ I'm kind of puzzled about Ellison. Didn't he seem rather unsympathetic in regards to what was happening, 'cause normally he'd have a gut-reaction to many things, but he either didn't seem very trusting of Sarah despite all of what he knew she knew and witnessed and even what he, himself, witnessed. Idk.
++ The jail break sequence was kind of awesome. Leave it to John and Cameron to formulate a plan of action to get Sarah out from a highly secured prison facility like that. Plus Cameron + machine gun = hawt.
++ THE SILENT CHOLA GIRL RETURNS! :DDD Without being so silent this time, she finally speaks. I love her and I loved that they brought her back for the finale. Rly. Tying up everything from the past two seasons, love.
++ I think I cheered with utter glee with seeing Derek again. I mean honestly, going into the future they would totes have to bring him back, because he hadn't died yet. Same with Kyle, and human!Cameron. I mean, it was bittersweet of a reunion because they don't know John but...it's better to start off with a clean slate instead of being looked up to like a hero, he can now become that hero. ♥
Overall Thoughts of the Finale and the Series
I've thoroughly enjoyed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ever since it premiered last year mid-season. The premiere blew me away and despite a few lackluster parts here and there, overall it was a fantastic ride that I really wish didn't have to leave this soon. But the finale was a completion of what we've seen, a perfect example of having a bittersweet cliffhanger that is satisfactory to the overall season that still leaves hope for more to come from this mythology, since it is timeless and neverending. There are still some rumors going around whether it's been canceled or not, whether the set has been torn down from FOX studios or whatever.
Having your show discontinued is heartbreaking, everyone knows this, but if this is the end I'm happy they ended it on this high note. Most shows that get canceled hardly get that chance and, in my opinion, this was an excellent way to go out. I would like more expansion of how John does in the future, more questions being answered, but I'd say if they were to leave it as it is I'd be perfectly okay with that. I'm a fan of the Terminator films so this show has been a major treat in giving us an alternative look at that universe and expanding that mythology and paying respects to the creation of such a timeless story.
Needless to say, I will miss seeing Summer Glau, Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey on my television screen together, and best luck to them all in the future.
By the way, Harper's Island is perhaps my newest obsession right now. It's a murder-horror-mystery television event and it's completely got me tuned in. Plus, Katie Cassidy! ♥ I love that girl so much. Amongst other people I know from various of shows, of course. I love pretty people being amongst other pretty people I know. Hee. I love the suspense of it. What can I say? I love "whodunit" mysteries with added suspenseful twists. I am such a horror junkie, like whoa.