Finally, we see why having a Terminator in the shape of Summer Glau might pose some strategic advantages, in a scene that either made you go "hubba hubba" or made your skin crawl... or maybe both. Last night's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was one of the most action-packed yet, but it was also one of the most psychotic, which made for an all-around good time, despite a few flaws. Spoilers ahead! After the episode aired, fans asked the producers, in a live online chat, whether it would really a good idea for a human to sleep with a Terminator. "But it's Summer Glau!" responded writer Dan Thomsen, as if that settled the issue. It was certainly interesting and jarring — are we supposed to think that John's weird snuggly moment with Cameron was what drove him to run away with Riley to Mexico, to get away from all the insanity. Speaking of insanity, producer Josh Friedman also admitted, in that live chat, that he thinks it's dumb for John to hang around with Riley. Actually, I can see an argument for it: Riley will probably be dead anyway, in a year or two, when Judgement Day hits. So it's not like it'll make that much difference if she dies a bit early, in the next Terminator-related shootout. John should just go around having as much fun as he wants, with any woman who wants him, because they'll all be dead soon. It's the one situation where you can be pretty sure you'll never run into your ex again. But yeah, John is an idiot. Conveniently idiotic, in this case, since he would have been dead if he hadn't decided to take that impromptu road trip. This is one episode that probably doesn't stand up to too much close examination, since you'll start to ask why the evil Terminator (known to us humans as Beastwizard) kept Sarah Connor alive when her usefulness was almost certainly over. (I suppose it's just possible he could have used her as bait, or a distraction, for John. But that didn't really work last time, did it?)
It's basically an action-movie episode, and it works super well in that capacity. I really loved the Rashomon-esque thing where we see the same events from a bunch of different perspectives, including Summer and Beastwizard. And the last third of the episode is just basically shooty shooty drivey shooty churchy shooty shooty boom. Which is always a good time. Although how many church showdowns does that make now? I feel like John Woo should sue. I'm really hoping we're going to get some awesome payoff with the "Cameron's chip has damage" storyline, which came up again last night. Is Cameron getting all seductive and foxy because of chip damage? Is robot sex just a firmware malfunction??
Also, it was great to see Agent Ellison finally team up with the Connors. He's slowly gone from being one of the show's least interesting characters to becoming this fascinating, tragic, cynical religious guy. He and Sarah should totally get together, they have way more romantic chemistry than she has with Charley. And finally, I'm trying not to feel a tad cheated about the episode's "big death." I really didn't expect it to be Beastwizard, and I'm not even sure he counts as a big death exactly. I was really hoping it would be Riley, since that would have made sense within the context of the episode, and it would have removed the show's weakest subplot.
I will be sad not to see Garret Dillahunt doing that weird sardonic robot-with-a-mean-streak thing, but what more were they going to do with his character? How many more times could he have almost gotten John and then missed? According to the producers, we'll see what "Skynet's next move" is, now that its latest assassination attempt has failed. The other bad news is, Terminator's ratings stayed flat last night, with around 5.2 million viewers tuning in. Doesn't bode well for when the show moves to the Friday night death slot, along with Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Friedman put a bright face on the move, saying he's happy to be partnered with Joss.