After all the hubbub in recent weeks, it’s somewhat of a surprise to see Fox quietly announcing the full-season pickup for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Just last week, the show was given a sign of hope when additional scripts were ordered but now the full complement of nine episodes have been ordered bringing the full season total to 22.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Monday night series has seen only modest ratings in a tough time slot. Just 5.7 million viewers saw the most recent episode which sounds like a lot but in television terms is not.
Details will be formally announced Monday. Speaking of tomorrow, the show’s blog has a post from Denise Thé, who wrote the episode and says, “’The Tower’ is the first of our episodes to be directed by a woman – the very talented Tawnia McKiernan. In the episode, Cameron fights a female Terminator – our first female-on-female Terminator fight. It’s a knock down, blow-your-hair back, jab-your-eye out (literally) fight scene. Be sure to watch closely – the arm and leg twists are not special effects! It’s also the first peek at The Turk since Samson and Delilah. The first insight into Weaver’s relationship with her daughter, Savannah. And at long last… the first time we address the mystery of who killed Sarkissian.”
Mission Briefing From Fox: John and Derek infiltrate a military academy in order to protect an integral member of the future resistance. Meanwhile, Weaver’s first assignment for Ellison takes an interesting turn of events when he discovers a specter from his own past.
“Goodbye To All That” marks the third episode in a row that has taken a cue from [[[Lost]]] with an emphasis on a character-centric rather than plot-driven episode. Not to say that this episode was poor necessarily, but once again, the driving story of Season Two is at a bit of a loss. There are some threads being tied together to weave some semblance of an underlying threat, such as Ellison’s building momentum and the bloody writing on the basement wall in Casa de Connor.
It’s the latter of those two that informs the main plot of this episode. A Terminator comes to town looking for Martin Bedell, a man who will grow up to become a key resistance fighter and personal ally of John’s. There are two potential targets, and the Connors divide themselves on gender lines. John and Derek pursue the Bedell currently at a military academy, which they learn of by deciphering one of the bloody messages on the wall. They then infiltrate the military school, posing as a student and as an instructor respectively. Right off the bat, there’s something inherently off about John and Derek being able to join the military school’s ranks so readily. You’d like to think that their application process for accepting students is a bit more rigorous than “Well, he’s a good kid, let’s give him a free three week trial,” but that’s what happens for John. And in Derek’s case, not much more than a “Hey, you look tough, we got an open instructor slot for a week and it’s all yours!” Kind of ridiculous.
The episode’s character-centric stuff stems from Derek, giving Brian Austin Green his first real moments to shine as an actor this season. He gets a lot of stuff to play with this round as certain sights and moments trigger memories of his from the future. There’s one particular moment that was very touching: Derek pauses in the woods while scoping out the military academy, and locks eyes with a deer. It was nice to think for a bit that the writers cared about this character enough to give this future man a moment where he’s out in nature, realizing just how much he’s lost in the war yet to come. Of course, the writers couldn’t maintain something that subtle, and later bring up that exact deer moment to say that Derek and his brother Kyle killed a deer once. Alas, such is [[[The Sarah Connor Chronicles]]].
Note: Click here to relive the past episode! This Week’s Operation: “Alison from Palmdale”
Cameron, whose been malfunctioning lately, goes amnesiac in a grocery store while having strange visions of the future. A woman identical to her in the future, named Alison Young, is captured by Terminators and interrogated about the whereabouts of John Connor. Eventually, Alison comes into contact with Cameron, who is trying to infiltrate John’s rebel camp. When it becomes clear that Alison won’t comply, Cameron breaks her neck.
In the present, Cameron begins to think that her name is Alison from Palmdale, California. She’s befriended by a troubled girl named Jody, who takes her to a halfway house. Cameron calls Claire Young, Alison’s mother, but she’s actually still pregnant. Later, Cameron leaves the halfway house with Jody, where John finds her and tells her what she really is: a killer robot from the frickin’ future. Cameron realigns her identity, but still decides to run away with Jody. They break into a home which turns out to be Jody’s, and Cameron realizes that Jody was going to leave her behind for the cops to take the blame. John shows up just in time to prevent Cameron from killing Jody. As they’re driving home, Cameron lies to John about a necklace she got from Jody, implying that her malfunctioning days are far from over.
Meanwhile, Sarah keeps Casey company at the hospital while doctors check on her pregnancy. Sarah meets Casey’s LAPD boyfriend, Trevor. Elsewhere, Agent Ellison accepts Catherine Weaver’s offer to join Zeira Corp to find and disassemble Terminators.
With the second season of the Terminator spin-off television series The Sarah Connor Chronicles kicking off in September on FOX, the crew over at TV Squad tells us that the network will be airing all of the first season episodes this August to get viewers ready for Season Two.
The network is going to run a marathon of the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles starting on Sunday, August 10 at 9pm. Then the other episodes from the first season, in order, will air at 9pm on August 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 24.
The two-hour second season premiere then airs on September 8 at 8pm.
I caught the first episode of this series and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It appears as if FOX is really banking on this series , so it could be worth the catch-up time before the second season’s premiere. Heck, the more we can do to convince networks that there are alternatives to "Reality" TV programming, the better — and the more we get to see of Serenity star Summer Glau, well, that’s pretty decent, too.