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"My entire existence was constructed by a sociopath in a sweater-vest. What do you suggest I do?"
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September 08 2008

Whistler the Terminator? Ex-demon Max Perlich makes a guest appearance alongside the ever lovely Summer Glau on the Season 2 premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

[ edited by Volo on 2008-09-09 03:18 ]

I think you mean Whistler ;). The season premiere was amazing, best episode of the series so far.
Actually, this was the last episode for me. I did like the stuff that John went through and the choices that he made. Aside from that I was bored and found the new plotline silly (ETA: you might say I thought it was "Garbage", wink wink). I don't think it's a bad show, but I'm just not that interested.

[ edited by jam2 on 2008-09-09 03:19 ]
I liked the episode. John's stuff was very interesting as they're handling his progression well. Summer was amazing in the scene where she pleads not to be shut down.

Ms. Garbage was pretty awful.

It was certainly a better start to the season than last year's premiere.
Thanks hitnrun017 for the catch...
I have to agree with jam2 tho...I wasn't enchanted with Season 1 (although the finale fight was kicka$$). Thought I'd give it another chance, but sadly, there wasn't much there tonight to change my mind.
I'm not so sure about Ms. Garbage either. (Love the band though.)
I agree with Volo and jam2. I simply can't care about these characters. Explosions, chases, and fight scenes just aren't enough to keep me watching. In fact, I turned it off 22 minutes into the episode.

I'll be happy to wait for "Dollhouse" to replace it in a few months.
Maybe J.J. Abrams' Fringe will keep us busy until the Dollhouse opens!
I love the characters on this so much, in fact, I put Cameron ahead of River. Could be just because I'm a long time Terminator fan. (I do put Firefly WAY before TSCC though, I just think Cameron is such a perfect character).
I thought the second season premiere was FANTASTIC!!! Seeing the Whistler was a nice bonus. I am so psyched for the rest of the season!
Ah! Now I get who this article is referring too. He's always fun when he appears in anything. I thought the premiere was great. Thought maybe rogue Cameron would be the story line for a while, but they managed to put an end to it pretty quickly. Still not so sure about Ms. Garbage. The urinal trick was just.... well, I'm sure there are a few fellas that aren't going to sleep so well tonight. ;P
I really want to like Terminator TSCC, but I'm just not feeling it. Summer Glau is cool and all, but not enough to save the show. And I'm sorry to any 90210 fans, but I just CANNOT buy David freaking Silver as a grizzled soldier.
Hmm. Doesn't seem like there are too many fans.

Shame - it's a good show. There was a lot tonight that made me glad I taped it instead of the season opener of the Green Bay Packers. (WE WON!! YAHOOO!)

There were many moments I really liked ("Chip integrity compromised," "John, please don't," the...walls literally have ears.) and there were some that certainly set the tone for the rest of the season.

Yeah, the redhead (Lead singer from Garbage, yes?) was...plastic. Her ponytail didn't even move! And...very...bland. But we'll see where things go. One episode at a time. I'm hooked.
I'm hoping for this show. The part with the first-season characters worked well. The corporate executive terminator isn't working at all, to me. I hope they know where they're going with it.
Well, her ponytail wasn't actually plastic, it was metal, so...
I just finished re-watching all of season one on DVD over the weekend, and most of my quibbles with that season seemed to do with pacing and they all but vanished on DVD instead of on TV.

I'm excited for season two to have started, but the season premier was kind of sloppy. The opening sequence was kind of artless, and the script took too many shortcuts.

Honestly, the only thing I thought about the urinal move was "oh, look, they decided to get cutesy and thereby completely yank me out of the story".

By no means would I write off season two based on a single starting episode. BUt having just gone through season one in a weekend marathon, the degree to which this episode didn't match up was kind of glaring.
I just finished watching season three of Buffy, so this is a timely bit of news. Whistler or not, Max Perlich will always be a weird amalgam of Rune and Brodie to me.
Yeah he's always Brodie to me first.
Liked the episode loads, and I'd just finished re-watching the season, too, so different strokes and all that. Kind of expected Max Perlich's character to die, based on the creepy send-off he got. Who knows, maybe he did, especially if he visited the men's room.

The explosions and chases in this ep were more because it's the premiere ep, I think, and they want to keep the action crowd interested. Not that they're ever going to get rid of the action, but I doubt it'll be as amped up as it was this time. Most of the character stuff was loaded into the back end, with obvious emotional repercussions from whatever happened in the room (Attempted rape of Sarah, ended by John killing the guy, maybe? Or Sarah breaking her don't-kill-humans rule in front of her son?), combined with whether Cameron 'crossed against the light' by overriding her own programming. I'm roped in for the long haul.

[ edited by shambleau on 2008-09-09 07:32 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2008-09-09 07:34 ]
Whistler the Terminator?

Whistler's Mother?
The problems: Terminators don't need mothers to call out to their sons, they can mimic anyone's voice. How, exactly, did John repair a Terminator chip from the future when he wasn't in some lab but in a scrap yard? And, last but not least, did they really want to establish John as someone who would put an unsubstantiated personal feeling above the mission of making sure he stayed alive?
We don't know that he DID repair the chip. Her programming was still saying 'terminate' after John put it back in. The override could have come from Cameron, not John. I think it's clearly meant to echo Katherine's comment earlier about how rare it was to find a computer like the Turk, that could rise above its programming.

As for the unsubstantiated personal feeling, you could go several ways with that.

1.He was wrong, his decision a result of being shook up over all that had happened. In that case, that doesn't establish him as anything, other than a still immature teenager, which we already knew.

2.He was right, because trusting his instincts is what will make him a great leader, not a fear-ridden momma's boy. Staying alive is not enough, he has to develop the ability to lead.

3.He was both wrong and right. He took a tremendous risk he shouldn't have, but it was a necessary first step.

On the mimic thing, I got nothin' :)
I enjoyed the episode, despite all its many, many problems. Maybe I was feeling overly tolerant last night. Dunno.

I didn't like Shirley Manson at all -- her acting, her appearance, or her character. If I had had a thingy that records viewer reaction when her character appeared on screen, it would have flatlined at the bottom.

The mimic thing -- yeah, a problem.

The urinal transformation -- puts a whole new spin on Marcel Duchamp's notorious Fountain, with its dual male/female associations.

And I agree that Cameron's override was foreshadowed by the line about the Turk's ability to override its programming.
They missed an opportunity with the urinal- but you know, they always have to have the evil baddie talk to the person she is going to kill. I'd have preferred a bit more personal attention there. :-) But as a guy, I'd cringe at it as well.

I like the show, and have since its inception, and this was a good action beginning. It's a good point about John fixing the chip- if indeed he did, since when he inserted it at first Cameron had her "terminate" message come up, only then to be overridden. Which means, of course, that it is still there, sort of like Angelus, ready to come out when needed. Cameron is still the best part of the show, John the worst. And Summer looks astonishing.
I really enjoyed it. I think this season has major potential, I'll definitely be watching this show through out.
I was pretty pleased with the season premiere. I like the change in John's character, and what they've done with Cameron. Second to Summer though, my favorite character is still Derek, who I hope will have an interesting storyline this season (and since I never watched 90210 as a kid, I'm fortunately not saddled with that comparison ;).

The mimic thing could be explained by the damaged chip (though that would be a bit of sloppy writing on their part).
I adore Shirley Manson but her acting chops made me think "I wish they had made her a terminator" every time she was on screen.
Loved Summer's performance, the staple gun was a nice touch.
I loved when Cameron was pleading for her life. Summer pulled that off quite well, managed to hold the tears in when everything about her face said that a river of them should be flowing.

I didn't find Shirley Manson that bad, but then again since she's a Terminator she's allowed to be wooden. If she were playing an actual human I probably would have had problems.

The whole mimic issue: I kind of thought part of the reason was Cameron forcing Sarah to be part of the act, trying to f*&$ Sarah all up inside. Since Cameron seems to be developing a form of emotions it seems logical to me that she could now look to mess with someone's psyche.

[ edited by TiffintheOK on 2008-09-09 14:42 ]
I really enjoyed the premier. I considered that Cameron should have just mimiced Sarah, but she probably calculated that John would expect that. Torturing Sarah and getting a genuine scream might be more effective.

My only problem with the episode was the bit of choppiness at the beginning. They didn't show how Sarah and John managed to take out the bad guy. It might not have been noticeable, except that they kind of made a big deal about how "horrific" it must have been for John. I kept expecting a flashback to show Sarah getting all murderous, but it never happened.
I also just finished re-watching the entire first season, and I thought this was a very good season 2 opener. An observation: really good shows often have relatively weak season openers. Something to do with needing to pull in the "only in it for the action" viewers, so those of us who are in it primarily for the character development, story arc and acting, sometimes feel short changed.

I'm very invested in this show, unless something changes drastically, I'm probably in for the duration.
I did think Shirley Manson was pretty bad, even if she was "supposed to be" wooden (or metallic). :)
The opening sequence was sloppy. The jittery, blurring effect used with the Connors/Badguys action was quite distracting. I get the feeling that it was an 'artistic' choice of the season 2 premier Director not to copy the smooth slo-mo style the season 1 finale Director used with the FBI HRT massacre. Either that or they were trying to hide some screwup in filming. Too bad too, because the HRT scene was far more effective.

On the plus side, the original song they used in the opening scene was friggin awesome. Listening to the words as they tell the story of Samson while watching the action, you could readily see what they were trying for. Probably would have worked if they hadn't gotten cute with the jittery slo-mo camera effects.

Liking too the biblical allusions they continually touch on. Sarah Connor as 'Virgin Mary' figure and John Conner as the obvious Jesus Christ figure. The continual references to Judgement Day and Armageddon, both in the Series and Movies. Cameron asking Sarah if she believed in the Resurrection after herself being resurrected. Not to mention the music choices they've made...Johnny Cash's 'When The Man Comes Around' for the HRT scene and the 'Samson and Delilah' song for the Season 2 opener both draw directly from the Bible for their inspiration. And, of course, John cutting off his hair...which, in a backwards way, touches on the Old Testiment Samson and Delilah story after which this episode was titled. I imagine in the Terminator Universe, the number of the Beast is 1010011010.

P.S. Dunna know why ya'll are hating on 'Ms. Garbage'. It seems to be the same kind of unjustified hating that folks direct at Dawn. Now, I loves me my Shirley Manson and she's done nothing to deserve your disdain. Sure, she might not be all that attractive, but she still be one sexy, sexy woman. I, for one, welcome our new T-1000 Overlordess.
Few more thoughts:

Anyone else find the voiceover in the beginning very boring and much too long? I've got a feeling they were doing it for the benefit of newcomers, or to recap what we learned last season, but..."Sarah Connor, mother to John" yada yada made me want to hit MUTE.

Didn't the movie Terminator ask Sarah to call out to John?

I really did not like the stilted opening sequence. I can't get FOX in all that clearly, and all that herky-jerky camera stuff made it very hard to follow. I wonder if they were trying to make the audience "feel" how slow Cameron was moving.

I think Cameron has an agenda, other than protecting John.

Now we've got...three Terminators? Two definitely bad and one borderline. Is "Ma'am" looking for Cromartie to terminate him for failing in his mission, or to reprogram him?
I've never really been exposed to Shirley Manson before this, I just thought her acting was awful.
Manson is a fine singer in the band Garbage, and is a strikingly attractive woman, though the close ups here are beginning to show her age a bit. I hd no problem with her; acting is not her forte, and I suspect she will get better as the season goes on.

Samson and Delilah is a classic standard, never done better than by the Grateful Dead. The version here was a bit sterile imho. But I still like it.
I actually didn't mind Shirley Manson so much as the fact that they wrote a vengeful "pissed off" Terminator. That final moment really made me feel they'd lost touch with what the franchise is about.

BTW, sounds like Shirley Manson singing the opening song. Do we know? The credits don't say.
For an episode directed by David Nutter, it was not stellar to me, as a returning S1 viewer, but maybe that's for how slow it started. I agree that the fighting montage was waaay too long, and felt even longer with all the slow mo. I guess they were trying to reintroduce the show and bring in new people, so it went heavy on the Terminator F/X and action? It mostly felt like one action scene after another to me.

Why not hire an actor who can you know... act instead of a musician-singer? Real trained actors can do all kinds of accents, even Scottish ones if that's the draw of Shirley Manson.

Summer was in some of the best moments - the 'don't kill me, I'm switched' scene and the 'test before burning' scene. I'm glad to see John's character is developing, but they need to pace his transition or he's going to be a hardened killer machine before the end of season 2. There needs to be some emotional fallout by him after his first kill besides a new haircut (imho).
I actually thought Shirley Manson was doing another accent to start with (she sounds different on the phone when we first see her) but by the end she'd just totally reverted to Scottish. I guess if she's replacing a real business woman then there's a justification, otherwise I don't really see why a Terminator would sound like they're from Edinburgh, especially given that they're meant to blend in (and they're, y'know, not in Edinburgh ;).

Didn't like the opening scene, it seemed like they were reaching for the artistry of the swimming pool scene from season 1 and missing the mark. Liked the leg though, they keep throwing in the little nods and it was appropriate given that she'd gone bad. Cameron begging for "her" "life" was very nicely played by Summer even if it maybe opens a few plot-holes WRT her very non-naturalistic acting the rest of the time - i'd really like to see some sort of explanation for that in the text (Josh Friedman's idea that she deliberately acts more like a Terminator to reassure Sarah works for me, even a couple of lines between Cameron and John would resolve it).

Not brilliant all in all but not terrible either IMO, reservations about Manson aside - both the acting (not great but it's early days yet) and the idea of a T1000 enemy, apparently with feelings - they still have the ingredients for a decent season.
In a scene in the season 2 opener, John "Connor" stumbles out of the L.A. River under the 6th street bridge. Who can tell me where they have seen this exact location and camera angle used in the Buffyverse? I left a hint in this comment.
Funny you should bring that up Randy, because the moment they started down that long tunnel to the river I recognised it, from Naked Gun!

I guess when every TV show and movie is shot in LA you're going to run out of original locations sooner or later.
The LA River could've been a bit of subtle foreshadowing of the T1000's appearance too (them both featuring pretty heavily in Terminator 2).
I'm so happy this show is back. Summer was amazing, as usual. There wasn't enough Derek and too much Manson, but other than that, I loved it.

This is an action show with a little family drama thrown it. Maybe some folk are just expecting too much from simple entertainment. Or they just like to nitpick. *shrug*
I watched the first season on dvd and I wasn't really a fan until I saw the last episode. I'm kind of afraid to get too emotionally involved in it because, Fox, you know, but I'm looking forward to seeing every week. And Summer is great.
Actually, I'm quite hooked onto FOX at the moment. They have all the shows I want to watch.

The opening scene was a bit long, but I liked the disarray our characters were in because we were in it too. And it seems they're going to stay like that for a while. I really enjoyed John in this scene. His character is set up to take some very interesting turns. The fact that he disobeyed his family and put her chip in, with that look, got me. It was an "I'm not playing your shitty game anymore" kind of look.

I am curious how much Cameron's pleadings with him took effect. In Season 1 you can clearly see his likeness towards Cameron... Derek even mentions/complains in the future about John keeping them around & how he only trusts Cameron (who is a Terminator). So when she pleads with John (now), is she doing this because she knows his feelings (well, obviously I just answered my own question). Sometimes I wonder if John would choose humanity over terminators... doesn't always seem likely- he gets along with them more than he doesn with family.

I'm also really happy that they reminded us that it's still his birthday; I'd completely forgotten. Now may he be forever doomed like Buffy on this special occasion. ;)

Fav characters- Cameron, John (rocketing since S1), Derek (really mixes it up), & Sarah (I'm looking forward to seeing her break). Then the others.

Question: Why the hair cut?

I'm guessing it's supposed to demonstrate his emotional turmoil, but over what? The possible rape? The murder of S-dude? Cameron's pleadings? The fact that once things "look" good, everything goes to hell? Which straw broke his back?

Was it a "I've had enough" milita-style cut? I think it was more of a "severely depressed, upset, border-line 'losing it'" look.

It's funny how we're more interested in the side characters than we are with Sarah. She hasn't been given the depth (yet) like Buffy had.
It's funny how we're more interested in the side characters than we are with Sarah. She hasn't been given the depth (yet) like Buffy had.
korkster | September 10, 23:30 CET

I'm more interested in all the other characters than I am in Sarah, because I think she's actually the least interesting character on the show. I just don't buy her as being tough enough to do everything she's supposedly done, I don't think Lena Heady plays that aspect of the character very well.
Love the show overall though, in spite of this. And I think it's been apparent for a while that, title aside, Sarah isn't the "main character" in the show. John is.
Yeah, but is that because John is the center of Sarah's world? The focus of her life? Even before he was born??

It's like my mom- before she became "mother", she was this completely different person; every once in a while, I get a glimpse of that person. Will we see that with Sarah?


In the preview for next week, we see Cameron running through a ship corridor wearing a pseudo-hospital gown. Does this look like River & Firefly to anyone else?

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