My wife put it perfectly tonight when she said, “This show is probably less about the fight against the robots and more about one woman’s struggle to save her son and maintain her sanity knowing the end of the world is coming.” Maybe she should be writing these things. Admittedly, there are two ways to view this show. One is to view it in the way my wife sees it: a show about a mom and her pain. The other is how I believe the majority of viewers want to see it: a tour de force careening towards the end of the world. I think the writers are aiming generally for the former when the latter is clearly the way to go. I have been frustrated with this show to say the least. In fact, I have already written a pseudo-manifesto which I hope to post in tandem with this recap. Terminator: TSCC is on a slippery slope as far as I am concerned. Once it starts sliding, it may be the end.
Tonight’s episode, “Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep,” was aptly titled. I watched so others (like my wife almost) could doze off through the middle. I know I am harsh with this show. I compare it to a parent who wants the most from their child. The promise is there. The talent is there. But the kid just isn’t meeting full potential gosh darn it.
This episode is split into two parts: Sarah awake and Sarah asleep. Episode starts with her following a lead from the Skynet facility she tracked down two episodes ago. She heads to a metal supplier and factory but before she can get in is tazed by a masked man and dragged into the back of a van. Oops, seems that was just a dream as she wakes up in a sleep clinic. She checked herself in because the ZZZ’s just aren’t coming. She is in the clinic to determine the cause of her sleep loss. It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out why Sarah can’t get any shuteye. She has the literal weight of the world on her shoulders.
From here the episode jumps back to her dream where she is being interrogated by none other than the guy she killed in the Skynet factory a couple of weeks ago, Winston. He wants information and goes to any means necessary to get it. He questions, abuses, gets physical, and even plays sympathetic in order to find out who helped her blow up the facility and who she is working with. (sidenote: Sarah didn’t blow up the factory, Weaver did, and this brings into question who this guy is working for)
Back in the waking world Sarah figures out the clinic isn’t your standard sleep center. There is some shady stuff going on her and the head nurse is getting creepier by the second. Nurses always start off so nice and then just get meaner and meaner. I know because my sister is one. Sarah is on to this clinic and, lo and behold, we find out the place is controlled by Skynet. The electrodes hooked up to the patient’s heads are actually mapping brainwaves. Clever, clever robots. Sarah and John break into the lab with the brainwave data and are confronted by the nurse. She’s no Clara Barton. She’s a terminator and she shoots and kills both John and Sarah. What?
The writers caught us dozing. The sleep clinic had actually been the dream and the van interrogation was the real deal. Sarah hadn’t killed the guy in the warehouse and he wants answers. In fact, he is waiting for Sarah to lead them to John. This is a nice reference to Terminator 2 where the T-1000 wants Sarah to call out to John. She tells Winston, as she told the T-100, that she would die before she gives them her son. Sarah overpowers Winston, kills him for real this time and is able to escape. We are left to wonder who Winston is working for and with. It clearly isn’t Weaver as Sarah would already be dead (as would Winston). This may be the beginning to the larger resistance.
All in all this was another disappointing episode. We need the action to pick up a bit because ultimately that is what this show is: all about action.