FOX is going for it. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
has been a pleasant surprise since it debuted in January. It certainly hasn't been a half-assed attempt to cash in on a popular franchise. FOX and the Terminator
team are truly attempting to expand the mythology of Terminator
and they've done a pretty good job so far. Tonight's episode was a big step forward for the series as, for the first time in Terminator history, we got an extended look at Terminator's
apocalyptic future, thanks to a flash back to the future from Derek Reese as he struggles for his life.
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The episode begins with Sarah recounting her first meeting with Kyle Reese and his words of warning. Steve helps to save Derek Reese. Derek wants Cameron out of the room. Dixon is amazed by the damage inflicted upon Derek. And, then...wow: it's a flashback (or flash forward) back to the future. Derek is recounting his time as a resistance fighter.
Derek and Kyle Reese are in some sort of underground bunker. This happens as Kyle Reese had already been to the past – he has Sarah's picture. Derek and Kyle are summoned up to the outside world. It's an apocalyptic ruin, the world. Pretty realistic looking (good work, FOX!). A monstrous bomb/jet/cannon is being led somewhere by a bunch of huge robots. The men don't know what it is. Kyle runs out and gets bombarded by flying space craft. Then, Derek is caught from behind by a terminator.
Now, we're back in the past. Dixon talks about how it's been eight years since she left him, and that he didn't believe all the things the authorities told him. Sarah says that she didn't want to leave him.
Back to the future. It looks like Kyle and Derek have been captured. They're all chained up. He gets knocked out by a terminator.
Sarah tells Dixon everything, with Cameron and the terminator's endo-skeleton as help. Dixon needs a beer. He's trying to let it all sink in. Dixon wish they would have told him everything eight years ago.
Back to the future. Derek and Kyle receive their bar code tattoos from the terminators. Derek and Kyle are still being held in an abandoned house. There's talk of a secret weapon. Another prisoner talks about a room in the basement – they hear music coming from somewhere.
In the present, Derek starts puking up blood. Dixon has drained his lungs, but Derek needs a lot of blood. It's a 200-1 shot for a donor, but John insists on being tested.
Back to the future. Derek watches as the huge cannon thing gets airlifted somewhere.
Sarah tells John he took a big chance...but it worked out. Sarah talks about how Derek and Kyle look similar, except for the eyes.
In the future, Derek begins unscrewing his chains from the ground with his bare hands. The stranger imprisoned next to him is Andy Goode. He confesses to building SkyNet. Crazy. He calls himself the Devil. He says he was part of the group – there were ten or fifteen of them – that built SkyNet. Andy cries and ask for forgiveness. Then, Derek is taken away by a terminator. He is taken down to the basement. This is where the music is coming from – it's a creepy little piano ditty.
Cameron cuts off a bunch of Derek's skin. John's blood matches. Derek wakes up and starts asking where Kyle is. He starts yelling manically.
Back to the future. Derek is led out of the basement, woozy and drugged up. He is chained back up. Another big white light travels above their heads. Later, the prisoners wake up and find that the terminators are gone. They are still chained up, but an ax has been left for them. They escape and start walking around outside. Nothing is there.
Dixon thinks that Derek is John's father – he tells them that Derek is actually John's uncle.
Back to the future. The escapees go back to their old bunker. Everyone is gone. Derek finds a metal case belonging to his brother – all that's inside is a burned up picture of Sarah. A team shows up, led by Bubbles from The Wire (sweet!). They tell them that SkyNet came, but most got out. Kyle found some sort of research facility – he went in for a couple of days, then came out and ordered his men to blow the place up. Then Kyle disappeared. After hearing this, Derek demands that he be taken to see John Connor.
Dixon goes out back and sees the endo-skeleton that Cameron is destroying. Cameron explains her being. She sets fire to the skeleton. Dixon is freaked out.
No one will tell Derek where his brother has gone. He sees Cameron in a big bunker. This is where Derek learns that they have begun re-programming terminators to work for them. Later, Derek is woken up by screaming. A male terminator has entered the barracks and started gunning people down. He's about to kill Derek, when Cameron shows up. She explains that the terminator was re-programmed, but somehow went bad. They don't know why.
Sarah makes it clear to Cameron that she is not to touch Dixon. He is not a threat. Cameron, for some reason, is secretly keeping a part of the fallen terminator.
Derek is in the clear, according to Dixon. He just needs to take it easy for the time being. Sarah tells Dixon goodbye. That they can't see each other. Dixon gives Sarah the card to the FBI Agent who came and saw him. They have an emotional goodbye.
Sarah and John hug in silence.
Back in the future, Cameron tells Derek that John wants to see him. She opens a security door for him. Behind it is the time travel machine. He wakes up in the present to John's face.
Derek tells his team that by using the machine, they can fix everything. We then see them show up in LA in the present. Bubbles is there, as are two of the guys who were imprisoned with him.
John tells Derek the truth about his brother. How he died saving Sarah. How he was a hero. He doesn't mention the John's uncle thing.
They then show what really happened with Andy Goode – Derek did shoot and kill him.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)