Be prepared for the biggest spoiler yet this season!
Strange Things Happen At The One Two Point is both a Chinese proverb about the game Go, and the title of episode 10 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And having just watching it, I’m in need of even more proverbs and psychotherapy, because my brain may have just exploded!
Not only did the events in this story entirely freak me out, I’ve now gone to that paranoid place where just about anything can happen, and in this show it might very well do so.
It starts simply enough with Agent Ellison waking in the early hours to find Cameron using a section of rebar to probe for the body of Cromartie in his back lawn. She doesn’t trust him and her view isn’t paranoia. What she and the others don’t know is about Ellison’s relationship with Miss Mimetic Polyalloy herself (Catherine Weaver), the AI that she’s been building and the involvement of Dr. Sherman in that project.
Missing that piece of the jigsaw, Sarah and Derek are raiding the software company where they think the AI that becomes SkyNet is kept, except they’re entirely wrong. Part of the problem is that having seen the bloody three fingerprints on the wall, Sarah is now seeing them everywhere. She’s clue crazy, and pretty soon, so are we. They appear as ‘go’ counters, in a company logo, and there are even spots of blood on Sarah’s face. They’re freakin’ everywhere!
When Ellison goes to see Catherine Weaver, he’s told that an electrical power cut over the weekend has caused the death of Dr. Sherman. But more accurately, the ‘Babylon’ AI, who gets the charming name of John Henry later on, killed him when it decided to withdraw all electrical power from the rest of the building to keep itself operational throughout the blackout.
Agent Ellison interrogates the system to find out if it killed him intentionally, or accidentally. It seems that it realised he’d die, but didn’t think it really mattered, making it an obvious candidate for the job of SkyNet.
This is all good stuff and keeps the bigger story arc rolling along, but mixed in here are two scenes that blew my mind entirely. The first provides some explanation for the appearance of Jesse, and her highly suspicious actions. Derek finds the photos she’d taken of John, Sarah and Cameron and gives her 30 seconds to explain. We then get the revelation that she wasn’t sent back by John, but by a group of unhappy fighters who think in the future John starts to make bad judgements, and they decide the bad influence is a future Cameron. So she’s here to take this Terminator out! Eeeek!
If that put me into a mental spin, almost the very next scene completely shot me out of the sky in flames. Jesse then meets….Riley, and they’re not strangers!
The second noodle musher is that Riley and John didn’t meet by accident, and Riley knows exactly what a Terminator is, because she’s from the future also. At this point my jaw was on the ground floor while I was lying face down upstairs!
It seems that Jesse is her ‘controller’, and Riley was chosen to infiltrate and get close to John, except she’s getting emotionally involved now she’s this close.
Had these reveals not occurred, then maybe the final scene where Ellison goes to talk to the AI would have had more impact. By now I was far too distracted by these events to fully appreciate the reappearance of entirely repaired Cromartie, who now goes by the name of ‘John Henry’.
I better get my therapy well organised for this weekend, so I’m more rational by the time the next part of the story comes along!
Read a review of the episode 9 here.