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Today, Josh Levs from CNN plead with Fox to keep Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. All signs point to this show being canceled and there has been a fairly substantial outcry from critics and fans alike to keep Sarah and company around for another season. This writer cries with them. That being said, I disagree with a portion of Josh's commentary especially concerning the ending to last season.
Josh claims that John and Catherine Weaver's jump to the future acts as a "fresh start" to the series should it come back. While in the future, the two happen upon Kyle Reese (John's soon-to-be father), Derek Reese (his soon-to-be uncle) and Cameron (soon-to-be protector). Some, like Josh, may see this as a new beginning; full of promise and intrigue, while I see it as quite the opposite. In fact, if anything, this ending is probably the perfect way for the series to finish. Consider the implications:
- This jump in time explains how John begins leading the resistance. It eliminates the pesky problem of how John survives J-Day (something Terminator 3: The Rise of a Stupid Movie tried to explain), how he sets forth the series of events that ultimately lead to his birth (sending Kyle back in time to protect his mother), and explains his vast knowledge of the human resistance and machine network. Hell, he has had folks jumping back in time his whole life feeding him the info.
- Where exactly does the story line go from here that the upcoming movie won't cover? When I first wrote about the series finale I said, "This season ending cliffhanger has so many implications I can’t even begin to formulate them all now. Let’s wait on the network decision and hope." In retrospect, this statement was probably folly. I don't think the finale teems with said implications. If anything, the finale gives us very little to go forward with. Does it give us a lot to think about? Absolutely. Does it provide various avenues toward intrigue? Not really. Terminator: Salvation, by all accounts picks up fairly close to where the show leaves off. John Connor leads the resistance and while Catherine Weaver's presence is a bit problematic, the answers far outweigh the questions. John and mom couldn't stop the future. Which leads me to :
- The "family drama" angle. Levs argues perfectly that Terminator: TSCC is more an excellently executed family drama than it is a sci-fi vehicle. I totally agree and have written before how Sarah's love for John drives much the show. I won't try and paraphrase his rationale because I can't do it justice, but his argument for family drama is sound. That being said, one of the great interplays of Terminator: TSCC was the dilemma of "who protects John?" Was it Sarah or Cameron? Man or machine? By vaulting John to the future, the producers have made a choice: robots over family. Catherine Weaver is now the guardian with Sarah totally out of the picture. End of story.
Look, no bigger Terminator fans exists than this writer. I love the franchise, love this show, do not want it canceled, and beg Fox to bring it back. A good show is a good show no matter what. But if this in the end, I think Sarah, John and company left us in a good place as fans.