With a bullet lodged in the flesh beside her femoral artery, a deluded Sarah Connor struggles to live. Kyle Reese is present as a ghost in her delirium, urging her to push on. John anxiously awaits news regarding his girlfriend’s recovery, and Derek starts some fires in an attempt to cover Sarah’s tracks.
This episode begins with a wounded Sarah Connor waking in a hospital bed. She looks up and sees a ghost: the long-dead father of her son. "On your feet," Kyle Reese commands. After inspecting her Gun-Shot Wound, Sarah pulls the IV-tube from her arm, tries to stand, and falters.
Kyle moves in, puts out his hand, and utters the words that have tingled the spines of Terminator fans for twenty years: "Come with me if you want to live."
And because it is what we have come to expect of her, she takes Kyle’s hand. It looks like she wants to live… After rendering hospital security unconscious, Sarah begins to limp through the hallways speaking to someone only she can see.
"Call him," Kyle orders, and after a moment Sarah realizes that he wants her to call his brother, Derek.
Derek and John sit quietly and await news on Riley’s recovery from an attempted suicide. Derek scolds John for having brought her to a hospital, but John stands by his guns. "I made the decision," he states, sounding like the leader he will one day become. A doctor informs them that Riley can’t be released or visited, but that she’ll pull through. Derek gets Sarah’s phone call and she tells him about the warehouse in the desert where they’re building metal, the three dots she’s been chasing, and the Jeep that has her blood all over it. She tells Derek to burn it all. John wants to join Derek, but Derek tells him that he has to stay at the hospital now. After all: he made the decision. Later, John exchanges a few words with Riley in an attempt to comfort her. Even Cameron offers that she is worried about Riley. Riley explains that she is tired, and John leaves with his cyborg buddy. John turns to Cameron and asks her what his future-self would do in this situation. Cameron tells John that "future you has more important things to do."
"I’d Die For John Connor"
Kyle warns Sarah that the bullet is still in her leg and she has to get it out. He tells her that she and John are all his brother have. "John is all any of us have," Sarah states coldly, reminding us why she goes to such lengths to protect her son. A blonde woman steps out of a parked car and opens the trunk. Sarah puts a gun at the small of her back and asks: "Are you a doctor? I’m a patient." For much of the episode Sarah is reluctant to take the gun off of the doctor, who gives Sarah no reason to distrust her. In fact, Kyle has to constantly remind Sarah to ease up, that the doctor is only trying to help.
The doctor begins by acknowledging the scars covering Sarah’s body and asking "who did this to you?"
Sarah: "A man… He always finds me."
The doctor nods in understanding. "What’s your name?" she asks.
Sarah lowers the gun a bit and answers the question. The doctor asks Sarah about her son, to which Sarah replies: "There is a strength about him."
From the corner of the room, Kyle’s ghost nods and whispers: "I’d die for John Connor." Which we all know to be true. In the same breath Sarah echoes: "I’d die for my son."
Sarah passes out of consciousness, and dreams of Kyle uttering John’s message to her: "Be stronger. You must survive, or I’ll never exist." Sarah is confident that she is going to die and tells Kyle so. He tells her that it won’t be the first time, but she doesn’t die: she wakes up.
Eventually the doctor earns Sarah’s trust, and though Sarah initially disagrees, she finally consents to sneaking into the morgue where adequate surgery can be performed.
Meanwhile, authorities are putting together the pieces of the puzzle: a bloody jeep, an escaped gunshot victim, a doctor who failed to show for rounds, and a motel room where it looks like someone who had a bullet in their leg was seeking off-record treatment…
Agent Ellison converses with John Henry, who, in the custody of Catherine Weaver, is playing with action figures to develope his motor skills. Henry learns from Ellison that man was created in the image of God. Henry feels that God should have used more ‘ball-and-socket joints’ when creating man, as they allow for more productive movement. He demonstrates this with his action figures. Ellison expresses concern for what John Henry will become, now that he has access to the internet.
Later, Henry tells Weaver that he knows she is made of metal. He looks into her eyes and sees nothing behind them. Weaver does not deny Henry’s accusation. She leaves him by saying: "Everything I do, I do for you."
Jessie helps Riley escape from the hospital, and allows the girl to stay at her place for an hour or so. John discovers that she is missing a few scenes later. He turns to Cameron and says that they need to find her. Cameron replies: "No we don’t."
"Did Reese do this to you?" the doctor asks Sarah. Sarah realizes that she’s been deliriously talking to Kyle Reese(who the doctor cannot see) and the doctor has missapropriated Reese as the source of her distress.
"No, Reese is John’s father and he’s dead." Kyle casts his eyes at the ground, and Sarah calls his brother.
Derek tells Sarah that John’s girlfriend is a problem but not to worry about the boy. Sarah returns to the task of getting the bullet out of her leg.
Somewhere in the desert there is a warehouse and everyone inside of it is dying. Catherine Weaver walks through the halls with hands that morph into razor blades. She uses them to disembowell, slash the throats, and eviscerate the tummies of every living being she comes across. She asks her final two victims where they house their demolition materials. In the next scene she is exiting the premises which explode around her. As the flames consume her body, it melts into an amorphous figure before her features realign and solidify. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she’s the sort of Terminator we were introduced to in T2: Judgement Day: a T-1000, or Liquidator. Either way, she sends the place sky high.
Somewhere else, the authorities decide to move in and check out this warehouse somewhere in the desert. Before they get too far an explosion sends them running to the bloody Jeep. We come to find out that Derek is hard at work, covering up Sarah’s tracks. With the Jeep in flames, Derek turns to burning photos in a trashcan, and then heads off to get Sarah…
….who, in a dream, is standing with Kyle in front of a sad looking apple tree. Kyle tells Sarah that this tree was a marker, and he used it to pass notes to his brother. Kyle digs up a box at the roots of the tree, and opens it up to find a picture of Sarah. The two kiss.
Derek enters the morgue and the doctor pulls Sarah’s gun on him, certain that he is the man who’d hurt her. Derek pulls his gun on her, and they share a good ol’ fashioned stand-off. Sarah gestures to Derek and mumbles: "Reese". Having learned that Kyle Reese was dead, the doctor is reluctant to lower the gun. A third gun is drawn by an entering hospital guard, Alvin, who seems to know the doctor too well.
"Felish, put the gun down," the guard orders in no friendly way. It becomes clear through their dialogue that Alvin is also a man who has put the hurt on a woman before. Apparently Alvin and Felicia had a violent history. Felicia puts a bullet in Alvin’s chest.
Felicia asks Sarah if this man is the father of her son. Sarah shakes her head. The guns are lowered.
Later, Sarah tells Derek that she wants to offer an explanation about his brother and John. Derek points out that he doesn’t need one, and both turn their heads in the direction of a rising pillar of black smoke, which seems to be coming from a building in the middle of the desert…
I’ve gotta say: a warm, bubbly sensation fizzes in my tummy every time I hear those iconic words: Come with me if you want to live. This can be attributed to the fact that these words are always followed by intense action set against the backdrop of a heart-warming mother-son conflict tale. What made this installment interesting for me is that while Sarah Connor’s struggle typically hinges upon what happens in her son’s future, this episode delved more into her own past, re-introducing the Kyle Reese role and exposing her reliance on a character who hasn’t been present for 16+ years. The way they pumped him back into the story suggests that perhaps Kyle has always been with Sarah, and maybe John has the strength of two parents behind him: one who can offer her voice and touch, the other who can only offer his steadfast, unyielding guidance. An episode like this begs it’s viewer to consider the role of the single parent, who is charged with the responsibility of being both parents in one. This is the very case in this episode: Kyle and Sarah work together to keep Sarah alive, so she can continue to protect their boy.