The Sarah Connor Chronicles season 1 episode 4 review

Ron catches up with the Terminator gang again...

Interestingly enough, before this week’s episode of the adventures of Glaubot 5000 and MILF, there was a little public service announcement reminding neglectful parents everywhere that there’s a little thing in TVs called a V chip that allows you to block shows of a certain rating, in addition to reminding parents of said rating system in case they’ve missed it over the past, oh, 11 years.

The highlight of the brief commercial, and the reason I bring it up at all, is because at the end of the PSA there’s a flying Terminator skull and an explosion, which suggests that people have been complaining about the violent content of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Either that, or this week’s episode, “Heavy Metal,” is going to be extra violent. Boy, I hope so!

John is struggling to come to terms with the death of a suicide jumper named Jordan from last episode that I don’t believe I talked about. I hadn’t figured that she’d be such an important part of John’s attempt to come to terms with his destiny, but apparently he’s really upset about the death and the fact he didn’t do anything to prevent it. Tthere are other, bigger problems than the death of some girl John didn’t know.

Cromartie’s back, and in a very X-Files feeling moment, he’s hanging out in a plastic surgeon’s office in the dark, looking through a list of head shots to figure out what the new actor playing him will look like… err, I mean, what his new face will be. Thanks to a bit of deus ex machine, Glaubot has gotten a DVD from the local news station of the naked Sarah Connor, and in it she discovers, in the background, is a flying skull of a certain evil Terminator. There’s the inevitable conflict between mother and son, and John convince his mother that running yet again won’t solve anything. Perhaps this meaningless person’s death has actually, gasp, changed John’s character into one more proactive?! The plan is to lay in wait for Cromartie to go to the port to pick up a shipment of stuff needed to repair his battered metal skeleton. Except… this isn’t Cromartie picking up the metal, it’s a different Terminator.

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Hey, it’s FBI Agent Ellison, and he’s more than a cameo this time, hot on the trail of Cromartie. That’s always nice to see.

John, through some rash decisions on his part, gets separated from his mom and Cameron, thus setting up the gist of this episode. He’s locked in the back of a truck being driven by a Terminator. That’s… probably not good. Fortunately, there’s a security guard for Sarah and Cameron to smack around and get information from. The truck’s going to an abandoned military depot. Since John is going there against his will, Sarah and Cameron have a hero to save.

We get some Terminator on Terminator violence, a speeding CGI truck off a cliff, and 530 potential Terminators worth of metal destroyed. All in all, this was a much better episode than last week’s, both in tone, action content, and shooting style. I guess I’m just not a huge fan of John in high school and the Glaubot’s attempts to be human. I don’t want her trying to comfort crying girls, I want her beating the crap out of other Terminators and throwing stuntmen across the room when she’s not wrecking trucks.

I think this series’ best feature, aside from Glaubot’s taut physique, is Lena Heady. She handles both the voice-overs and the action with surprising grace, and she really adds an extra layer of depth to the show with her performance as Sarah Connor. She’s been ripped for not being as buff as Linda Hamilton, but she doesn’t need to be that buff and it’s not like she’s slumped in a recliner drinking beer like I am. It’s a quibble, and one I can easily dismiss because she’s just so damn good in her role. She’s totally won me over, and is probably the biggest revelation in the series thus far, aside from the fact that action on TV still works.

Ron Hogan is really enjoying the lovely and talented Lena Heady’s body… of work on TV. Find more by Ron at his blog, Subtle Bluntness, and daily at Shaktronics.