Terminator: TSCC Recap: To the Lighthouse
With the deaths of loved ones behind them, the Connor crew split up. Sarah and John take refuge with an old friend, while Derek and Cameron take a moment away from each other’s throats and point their guns in the same direction.
Sarah packs some bags and thinks back to when John was a child. His favorite stories were his mother’s jungle stories, particularly the tale of El Viejo Del Monte: Old Man of the Forest. Del Monte was a hunter condemned to the jungle for all eternity. As his story goes he would kill every animal he encountered but not to feed on their meat, or warm himself with their furs. Instead, he would leave his prey to rot. His lust for blood was his mark, and each carcass he left behind was a lesson to those who crosses it explaining what God had turned Del Monte into: half man, half animal. Some considered him a protector for he preyed upon predators. It was his curse to be vigilant forever.
As if a character in her own tale, Sarah remembers wandering through the jungle with her son, training him for the life he’s bound to live. She pushes through dense foliage, and he struggles with his young body to keep up.
Sarah is pulled from her thoughts by that same boy- who is now a young man. John enters and says: “We have to go.” The Connor crew--back to four--is gearing up. Sarah instructs Derek to take Cameron with him, and meet at the safe house at night. She and John are going to the desert. Derek nods silently, perhaps still bent over pulling the trigger last week. Pushing a thorn into his side, Sarah asks Derek to confirm that he understands the orders. She accuses him of causing mistakes, an allusion to the events that prompted the move they are about to make. Derek looks hurt. Sarah’s kicking him while he’s down. He confirms that he understands and looks like he’s about to say more when John jumps in, words sounding more like a command than an offering. They are starting over. Whatever happened here is no one’s fault. Moments later, a car pulls out of the drive, followed by another, and the house is abandoned.
Hard At Play
John Henry is playing with legos and action figures when Savannah walks in. He asks her if she wants to join him, explaining that playing with legos enhances his motor development. Savannah wants to play too, but has something else in mind. She breaks out thre rubber duckies and asks if her toys can be joined with his. John Henry pauses, like a computer trying to process an improper command. He explains that the ducklings cannot be included in their play because ducklings don’t belong on whatever mystical planet he’s created. Savannah asks John Henry if they can change the rules to make her toys happy. John Henry pauses again before an incredible realization is made. “Yes…we can change the rules.”
At that moment the lights go out, and John Henry’s head collapses to his chest. It seems that they’ve had a power outage, which lasts only briefly. Seconds later the lights go on and John Henry begins to re-boot. Images of Savannah flash on a computer screen behind him. John Henry grabs Savannah by the arm and squeezes. She begs for him to stop hurting her, and looks confused when he says: “I understand what this is about.” He drops her arm, turns, and heads over the server and is about to remove an important piece of machinery, when Mr. Murch dives into the room, slides across the floor and pulls the plug. John Henry collapses.
John is reluctantly pulled into a game of ‘bug-slug’ by his mother, whose spirits are high because they haven’t been on the road together in a long time. At first John is annoyed, but then he jokes that perhaps they shouldn’t teach Cameron ‘bug-slug’. Sarah takes a detour, away from the desert.
Murch explains that John Henry’s processors are running fine, but his daemons had been tampered with. Ellison asks what daemons are, and learns that all computers have them. Daemons run lights, security systems: things of that nature. Apparently an outside party had gotten control over John Henry’s functions by stuffing mal-ware down the throat of the most sophisticated computer in the country. Murch offers that someone (Cyberdyne?) wants to kill John Henry.
“I’m Sorry for Your Loss”
Cameron and Derek argue over the true reason as to why Sarah sent them away. Derek says that Sarah wanted Cameron away from John, but Cameron thinks Sarah wanted to keep Derek away from her boy. Cameron grabs the jacket Jessie used to wear, but Derek pulls it away. She tells Derek that he loved Jessie otherwise he wouldn’t have fathered her child. “I’m sorry for your loss,” Cameron offers. The words are eerie because she’s been saying them a lot lately; to John who lost Riley, and to Jessie who lost the baby. They sound a bit too rehearsed and robotic to be genuine. Derek was unaware that Jessie had been carrying his child during her mission aboard the USS Jimmy Carter in the year 2027. He is confused at what Cameron is trying to tell him. He pulls a gun on her and demands to know what she is talking about. As Cameron explains the miscarriage to him Derek’s breathing becomes hard, and when he’s heard enough he takes off.
When the worst has set in, Derek turns to the cyborg and asks: “Why’d you tell me that now?” Cameron’s response is a simple calculation: “You put John in danger by not telling him about Jessie. Sarah almost lost a child, you lost a child. You won’t make that mistake again.”
They pull up to a beachside property with a lighthouse attached, and John asks what this place is. It seems as though his mother has been here before: Sarah has keys and seems to know the code to disarm the alarm. A surveillance monitor is perched on a desk in the corner and a dog rushes to meet them. John asks his mother who lives here. His question is answered when Charlie, Sarah’s ex-fiancé, shows up.
Hours later, John is enjoying Charlie’s French fish soup which he makes from tomatoes he’s grown himself. John asks about the house and learns that Sarah had set this place up after Michelle, Charlie’s wife, passed away. Charlie talks about the passing of his loved one, explains that he used to see her wherever he went. After a while he had come to terms with Michelle’s death. Charlie feels that eventually John can do the same with Riley. Sarah walks by and John learns that they’ll be spending the night with Charlie, rather than meeting with Cameron and Derek. John isn’t too thrilled about the change in plans, which does more than suggest Sarah’s distrust in her teammates, but he likes Charlie so objection is minimal.
John and Charlie are working on a boat tied to the dock. Charlie explains that the beach is rigged with explosives. He also has an escape plan all mapped out, if such a thing became necessary.
Sarah’s thoughts take her back to the jungle where she is watching her young boy sleep. She bends over, puts the sleeping boy’s hand on the barrel of his gun, and then turns to the forest, disappearing into the trees. John is now alone in the jungle.
Later that night Sarah and Charlie speak alone.
“You remember Hal Beasly?” She asks.
“The old guy from the diner…Nebraska?”
“He was my best customer. He tipped me li ke crazy. One day John got sick. I had no savings. Hal pulled out a wad of bills and told me to take care of John. He was a widower. Said I could count on him for anything. Then one day he said I didn’t need him anymore. I had someone I could depend on. Someone I could trust. Someone who would never let me down.” The look in Sarah’s eyes suggests that the someone she had was Charlie.
“I’ve got nothing, Sarah. I’ve got nothing left to give you.
“Not for me. For John.”
“He seems like he is full up of people taking care of him.”
“I don’t trust any of them.”
“He’s still got you,” Charlie points out.
Sarah steps up, takes Charlie by the hand--a hand that still wears a wedding ring-- and places it on her breast. For a moment it seems she is trying to put a move on the guy, but a look of sorrow dawns upon his face and it is clear that the move was not intended to be intimate.
“Oh… Sarah,” he begins, moving his hand. “How long?”
“I found it the other day.” They talk briefly about the bump growing in Sarah’s chest. She explains that when they first traveled into the future, Cameron had told her that they’d jumped over Sarah’s death. Perhaps by jumping over, they’ve reduced the amount of time Sarah has. “It’s my fate,” she states resignedly. “There’s nothing I can do.”
Weaver asks Murch if his patch-up is sufficient. Murch explains that John Henry would know who hacked into his systems. Weaver tells Murch to activate John Henry’s AI, but to not give it access to the world. A few keystrokes later and they are attempting to speak with the computer. Weaver asks, “John Henry, can you understand me?” Though his body is slumped in a chair, the monitor behind him flashes the words he would be speaking, if able. The words on the screen read: MY GOD…WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? Murch’s fears are confirmed. Ellison asks for an explanation, and Murch gives him one. Apparently John Henry processes more information in a millisecond than a human does in a lifetime. When John Henry’s plug was pulled his world was take n away and he experienced death. The death he experienced felt like an eternity.
Weaver moves to plug the robot back in but Ellison is apprehensive. Her resolve holds over his, and soon enough John Henry is back online. It speaks: “I know what it feels like, Mr. Ellison, to die. To be alone.”
Weaver explains that they had to cut John Henry off from the network. John Henry seems understanding and warns them that there is another.
“Anther what?” Ellison asks.
“Another one like me.”
Welcome to the Jungle
Sarah sits amongst the trees and looks through her binoculars at the campsite, where she left her boy sleeping. The bag is empty, the boy is gone. Sarah looks through the binoculars again to confirm that John is indeed missing, and then scans the area. There are ripples in the water nearby. Panicked, she runs to search for him. She comes to the water and calls his name. A gun cocks behind her: it’s him. With her hands raised in surrender she turns to face her smiling boy.
“I won!” he claims cheerfully. She hugs him and agrees.
Hitting the Fan
The doctor checks Sarah and begins to ask questions about the lump. The doctor proposes that they take an ultrasound. An image pops up on the ultrasound screen and the doctor asks if Sarah has had surgery recently. The answer is no, but Sarah wants to know why. The doctor explains that the lump isn’t a tumor, but rather a cystic mass, formed around a piece of metal… a transmitter. A flashback indicates that the transmitter was set when Winston had her captive in the back of his cargo van. Whoever set the transmitter knows where Sarah is…
The scene breaks to show a guy with a clipboard walking down the hallway, looking suspiciously into hospital rooms. He pulls out a tracking device where a dot blinks, showing her precise location. Elsewhere, a man with a hand truck is approaching the door to Charlie’s beachside property.
Sarah moves quickly, grabbing the difibullator handles and shocking herself to short-circuit the transmitter. She falls unconscious and the dot on her pursuer’s device disappears. Eventually the guy with the clipboard finds Sarah playing possum. When he stoops to inspect her, she puts the shock paddles to his face, besting him.
Derek explains to Cameron that she did the right thing by telling him about Jessie. He thanks her. Just then their tire goes flat. Inspecting the damage, Derek notices a van has stopped just behind them. Pulling his gun, he tells Cameron to fix the tire while he checks out the van. For his efforts, Derek is assaulted, tased, and hauled away. Cameron is alerted to Derek’s peril and gives chase, but even the robot can’t keep up with the van. Getting shot up, Cameron quickly falls behind. She succeeds in killing the henchman in the passenger seat, but the vehicle evades her. As it speeds off, she scans a sticker on the license plate, commits it to memory and returns to her truck.
Charlie and John enter the house, but when Charlie inputs the alarm code, it starts blaring. The two make break for the boat, tethered to the dock on the beach. Charlie has an assault rifle in hand, and turns to shoot while the boy dives onto the boat. Charlie detonates the explosive lining the beach, but men keep coming. John calls for Charlie who is unloading his last, desperate bullets.
John Henry explains what has happened to him:
“I have traced the roving backdoor that allowed access to my systems. It uploaded itself. The intelligence behind it is far beyond you or anything human. A worm was inserted. It can control everything. The worm is now a presence in a significant number of the world’s systems. It wants me because we share a similar sequence. I believe he and I ar brothers. I got the name of the original programmer: Miles Dyson.” John Henry summarizes Dyson’s history. Dyson was killed in 1997 in the Cyberdyne explosion. Sarah Connor killed him. Mr. Ellison was the agent assigned to this case, but he never found Sarah Connor. Ellison agrees. Weaver asks John Henry what it is his brother wants. John Henry states that the worm wants what everyone wants: to survive.
Cameron pulls up to the Port of Los Angeles Warehouse #1 where Derek is being held captive. She rips open the front gate and is immediately doused with water. A frayed wire is dropped into the puddle at her feet and Cameron is electrocuted. She falls to the floor. The driver of the van approaches and pulls out a communication device.
“It’s down,” he says into the speaker. “What do I do next?”
Orders come from the other end of the line, explaining that he needs to remove Cameron’s chip. The guy moves in to do so, and asks the voice on the other end how it knows so much about Cameron’s workings. The response from the other end is that his brother told him, which can only mean that the worm is behind Derek’s apprehension. Before the driver make s much progress, Cameron wakes up and kills him. Then she rescues Derek. “You’re welcome,” she says before he can thank her.
“Why’d you come after me?” he asks, certain that they’d never been on good terms before.
“You know John’s location… if they tortured you…”
“It’d never happen,” he claims, defensively.
“It has before.”
Sarah enters the house where a dead dog lays in the corner. She runs out back to find the beach in flames. Guns and bodies lay in the sand. She runs to where the water meets the shore and find the boat floating in the distance. Looking over the edge o f the dock she finds a body floating in the water. It’s Charlie with multiple bullet holes in his chest. Looking down, Sarah chokes back her tears.
Well folks, one more episode to go folks and still a lot of questions to be answered. It’s too bad old Charlie kicked the bucket, but this trend of rapid number reductions is leaving Sarah and her boy dangerously exposed, which makes for interesting viewing. Charlie was one of those characters who you never expected to show up, but did when the shit really hit the fan. But they do say nothing lost, nothing gained, which is relevant because at the other end of town Derek and Cameron seem to find some common ground, and an alliance between them can only strengthen their group.
Hopefully next week’s episode will fill in a significant gap in Connor’s history, before the book on Sarah’s chronicles reaches it’s end.
Recap by Jonathan Friedler