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TV Recap: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Desert Cantos
Imagine my initial disappointment when I found out Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles had moved from its weekly timeslot to Friday night. (Television equivalent to a death sentence) I had a choice to make: maintain a weekend social life or continue covering the fight to save human kind? The choice was easy. But then my wife reminded me that we didn’t have anywhere to go tonight so I watched. Joking. T-1000’s couldn’t drag me away from this show.
Last week (had to TIVO because we were actually out with friends) the show returned with a vengeance. Sarah had found a secret, disguised facility (Desert Canyon Heat and Air) Skynet was using to manufacture robot parts and machines. She shot and killed one of their security officers but he wounded her in the melee. While Sarah fought to save her own life, Catherine Weaver (the disguised T-1000 commissioned to actually build Skynet) methodically destroyed the plant because of a security breach. I wish I had recapped this last episode because the scene where Weaver goes “flesh-piercing metal” all over the compromised factory workers and then blows them all to smithereens was the most true to any of the Terminator movies.
That leads us into tonight’s episode. The entire plotline follows the funeral for the workers of Desert Canyon Heat and Air. The Gang, as I now will refer to Sarah, Derek, John, and Cameron, go undercover at the funeral to find some answers about this mysterious place. Imagine for a second you are going “undercover” at a funeral. What goes through your mind in terms of disguise? I know at the very least I would chuck on a black suit or at least some kind of shirt and tie. Not this group. Staying true to their badass nature the Gang rolls into the funeral in full outlaw leather with menacing scowls. Hell, this is a day at work for this crew, but at least they still wear black.
Sarah makes nice with the wife of the security officer (Winston) she brutally murdered while John macks on Zoe, the daughter of a slain factory worker. Meanwhile Derek (man do I still love Brian Austin Green) follows around a suspicious looking cat who seems equally emotionless on this day of mourning. We find out that this guy, Walsh, is actually one of Catherine Weaver’s henchmen sent out to find a worker who had avoided Weaver’s death march through the factory. Terminators love to tie up loose ends.
One area in which the Gang excels, and I mean this is their true calling, is getting strangers to spill their guts. Sarah gets Winston’s wife to actually give her the keys to a secret storage facility Winston had been keeping. Imagine you attend a funeral for your mysteriously slain loved one. You meet a stranger who seems interested in your grief. What would you do? Hand over the keys to the kingdom? Spill family secrets because they are clad in leather? See what I mean? It’s a gift.
John hangs out with Zoe, makes friends and then is able to hitch a ride with her from the vigil to the burial. I know when I am mourning I just can’t wait for strangers to jump in my car so I can make small talk. Well they do and John finds out from Zoe that her boyfriend had sort of mysteriously disappeared. Seems his family used to work for Desert Heat and Air Conditioning too, but they started asking too many questions and promptly vanished. (A note to all you curious cats out there: Take it from someone who watches a ton of television. When you ask questions, you die)
Derek doesn’t have the same charm as the rest of the Gang. When he confronts Walsh about why he is attending the funeral, Walsh shuts down and basically jumps out of the car on the way to the burial. (Oh yeah they were somehow carpooling together) This means Sarah now has double duty and needs to follow Walsh. She catches him breaking into a house. She sneaks in behind him and finds a secret room in the house that has a viewing station showing camera angles of the whole town. Someone has been watching the folks from Desert Heat and Air Conditioning.
Now the Gang is at the wake. I have always gone to wakes before funerals but they do it a little different in Cali and it follows the burial. Up until this point, John has been a little suspicious of Zoe. She isn’t grieving like a daughter who just tragically lost her father. Cameron’s robotic instinct agrees and they conclude that Zoe’s father isn’t dead. He is the guy Catherine Weaver, and Walsh, are looking for.
Sarah gets the whole Gang, Zoe and her mom into the security station under the house. She explains that this is just like a Skynet operation, “People working for machines monitored by people working for machines.” Great quote. They watch a video of Winston and Zoe’s dad smoking Zoe’s ex boyfriend. Zoe’s dad was security and this guy needed dealing with. Zoe confirms that her dad is still alive and in hiding because he is scared. Who could blame the guy? If I knew Catherine Weaver was after me I’d be lamming it too.
The episode ends with the gang finding the body of Walsh on the roadside next to a pool of water. The water gurgles and out pops one of the Skynet machines. It flies down the road and is put in the back of a truck driven by none other than Zoe’s dad. Even though he looks legitimately evil and a little white trash I no doubt believe he is on the side of good. He has Skynet property now and most likely knows how to use it.
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