Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles spent no time catching its breath in last night’s second season finale. Is it safe to say that Terminator is officially the most action-filled series on television? It just doesn’t stop, and it all looks pretty good for being on a television budget. It’s not hollow, either, which is actually the most important part. Action without underlying substance is a recipe for disaster, and Josh Friedman has imbued the Terminator characters with real and unexpected depth. Anyone who continues to hate on this show (and I know you’re out there) is just being stubborn. It’s not perfect, but it’s the rare genre series that delivers what the viewers want nearly episode. Yesterday’s Terminator season premiere could very well have worked as the second part of last year’s finale, as it picked up exactly where the finale left off. But, let’s get to what everyone is discussing on this fine morning – the end of the episode twist.
Shirley Manson’s casting felt a bit peculiar. The Garbage lead singer had never acted in TV or on film prior to Terminator. It’s exceedingly rare that someone with such a lack of experience is cast on a major network series. Yeah, she is Shirley Manson, famous in her own right, but it still felt like a bizarre risk. Now, it makes a little more sense.
Shirley Manson plays Catherine Weaver, the CEO of Zeira Corp. She also happens to be a T-1001 terminator. Robert Patrick, in Terminator 2, played a T-1000. Weaver is an upgrade, and as we saw at the tail end of the premiere, she has that crazy liquid terminator thing going. She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with, and is likely to be the main villain of season 2.
While it may seem like the Terminator writers are somewhat jumping the gun on the series here, introducing the most advanced terminator the franchise has early in the second season, I like it. The series takes place after the events of Terminator 2, so Sarah and John have already come in contact with a T-100. It won’t be new to them. The added wrinkle, of course, is that Weaver has a public persona as CEO to keep up. It’s an important one, as she will be probably be shepherding along the inception of SkyNet. In the meantime, the Connors know nothing of Weaver. They don’t know she has the Turk, and they certainly don’t know that there’s another terminator out there. It’s also not clear what Weaver’s specific orders are, if she even wants to kill Sarah and John.
There were some rough spots – I wasn’t a fan of the slo-mo opening sequence – but the Terminator premiere was more or less satisfying, and the final twist was fanboy-level awesome. Good start to what should hopefully be a great season.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)