Last night's episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles featured Battlestar Galactica's Stephanie Jacobsen. And perhaps in her honor, it was the most BSG-esque episode of the pre-apocalyptic robot-fighting show so far. That was both a good thing and a bad thing, as the Connor clan worked out their issues with the help of a friendly therapist. I want you to consider this recap a safe space to discuss major spoilers, below. So this week, everybody was in therapy — but at least in Brian Austin Green's case, it was physical therapy. And the scenes between BAG and Stephanie Jacobsen really did feel sort of BSG-ish, especially because both characters are having a sort of crisis of faith and wallowing in despair and trauma over the end of the world. This is probably the first time we've really seen Derek Reese interacting a lot with someone else who's come back from the future, so it really is like two veterans getting together. The most intriguing thing about the BAG-BSG sequences was the idea that the future John Connor is getting more dependent on machines, maybe because the present John is becoming so reliant on Summer Glau's Terminator. Future John has put reprogrammed Terminators into every major bunker — and every now and then, one of them goes haywire and kills a bunch of people. Meanwhile, the latest Terminator that Skynet sent back in time has a chip programmed to self-destruct if tampered with. It makes you wonder if the Connors are slowly but surely losing this game of temporal chess. I really, really hope we get more development of that idea.
Meanwhile, the show's therapist plot was the cue for more mopey acting from Thomas Dekker, but at least this time around he felt like he was getting somewhere. It turns out that John Connor is still dealing with the trauma of killing the skeezy Russian gangster in the season opener. Honestly, if we'd dealt with this in the second episode, instead of having some unfocused sulking for a few episodes. As it was, I felt like I'd just watched some episodes out of order. But at least, now it feels as though the emo-John Connor storyline is going somewhere — plus of course there's the whole controversy over whether John was trying to shoot himself when that gun went off. (I don't really think so, though.) And honestly, the stuff with Shirley Manson and her two children was pretty great. I liked the parallel between Shirley mothering her flesh-and-blood "daughter," and her trying to raise baby Skynet. And then the parallels between Shirley being a crappy mom and Sarah Connor being a crappy mom. As great as that borderline-abuse clip we ran before was, the rest of the episode pretty much lived up to it. (Although I don't know why Shirley didn't just get her kid a mountain of kiddie antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills and call it a day.)
And then there was the elevator fight, which was silly and loopy — and I'm not sure two Terminators really would have stopped fighting just because there were witnesses — and yet it was still awesome. Especially the robo-pretzel way it ended. I have to say, one reason I root for this show to stay on the air is so Summer Glau will get to do more killer robot acting, instead of going off and starring in some probably very silly ballet with Joss Whedon.