I Married A Terminator!

Terminator's rules for keeping the romance in your marriage: Always think about the other women you've strangled during a tender moment, so she'll see the fire in your eyes. Keep her wine-glass full at all times. Do the finger-lip thing, women love that. The best part about the "I Married A Terminator" scenes from last night's Sarah Connor Chronicles is that Summer Glau's Terminator is taking seduction notes. Which is the main reason the show needs a second season — to see Summer put those lessons into action. At the prom.

Basically, last night's first episode was all about how it takes a Terminator to teach humans the violence behind tenderness.

The Sleeping With The Enemy sequences, where we see through the eyes of a random Terminator who's married a woman in order to get access to the traffic-light system she's beta-testing, were incredibly well done, and super disturbing. And I loved the chat between Lena and Brian Austin Green about whether they'd know if they were married to a machine. It turns out that faking a marriage, even a rollicking sex life with ocean cruises, is way easier than impersonating an FBI agent.

When we've seen through a Terminator's eyes before, it's usually been just a sort of "Kill The Mutherfucker (Y/N)" screen with a grid framing their squirmy victim. But this was way more sophisticated, just like the "infiltration model" whose vision we were seeing through. It definitely lent a bit of weight to the Terminators=Cylons thing the show is starting to have.


The first hour of last night's two-hour Terminator: SCC finale was pure sleaze. From the dorky goth boy who shivers as he talks about crowd-surfing at a Bjork concert, to the double shower incursions (first Garret Dillahunt's Terminator and then Lena Headey both walk in on boys in the shower and stare at them) it was just all kind of crazy. And the moment where John Connor cuts Summer Glau's head open and lovingly rips out her cyber-brain was actually weirdly tender and sweet, and yet ridiculously sexual. (And then when Summer reboots, she catches John giving her the post-coital moon-eyes.)

The second hour was mostly just another one of the show's random who-has-the-chess-playing-computer episodes, where there's a lot of running around and spy drama. I hope the show gets a second season, but I also hope it isn't all about the chess program and which random gangster has it this week. It's already starting to get a bit silly. And wasn't Skynet (the super computer which takes over the world in the future) supposed to be a miiltary project? I know, I know, the military buys the chess computer or something. It's just a bit tenuous.

There were two awesomely random bits in the otherwise serviceable second hour: the Johnny Cash music playing over the lingering ballet of the Terminator tossing dead FBI agents into the swimming pool. And the scene where Brian Austin Green takes his nephew, John Connor, to see John's dad (and BAG) as kids, playing ball in the pre-apocalyptic sunshine.

Altogether, the two episodes back to back made a pretty strong argument for giving the show a second chance next fall. And since the show squeaked into second place behind ABC and did well among 18-to-49-year olds, it's looking a bit more optimistic. Fingers crossed!


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Annalee Newitz

@gabelle: We love Jezebel, but io9 watches this so you don't have to. So think of it as Jezebel outsourcing to their nerdier sisters.