Terminator TSCC: Today Is the Day Pt 2
Jessie’s mission aboard the USS Jimmy Carter in the year 2027 is compromised, which may have severe consequences if John Connor can’t be warned. As Jessie in the future comes to learn that perhaps there is more to this war than she knows, Jessie in the present is forced to deal with the consequences of killing Connor’s girlfriend.
About The Future
John and Derek share a somber moment. Riley is on both of their minds.
Derek breaks the silence: “I’m sorry. She didn’t deserve what happened.”
John agrees but quickly changes the subject. “How long could you survive with Cameron if she wanted to kill you?” John inquires.
“What kind on weapon do I have?” Derek asks, humoring the boy.
“Fists, elbows, fingernails, teeth…”
“Those aren’t weapons.”
“You know the answer to that, John. If she wants you dead, you’re dead.”
John nods because Derek is speaking the truth. He tells Derek that he wants to talk to him about the future.
“Yours?” Derek asks.
John Connor’s Box
Jessie, wearing a swimming suit, stands above the water in a swimming pool. Gazing into the water her mind is drawn back to her mission aboard the USS Jimmy Carter. Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean they’ve obtained a box guarded by metal and although this is a flashback, the year is 2027.
“What is that?’ a crew member named Dietze asks, as he and two other seamen struggle carrying the package.
“John Connor’s box. That’s all we know,” Jessie replies.
Captain Queeg lift the box on his own with ease and begins to move away. He explains that the box has authorized access only.
Dietze demands to know what is in the box. He doesn’t hide his anger and complains to Jessie that metal is keeping secrets from skin. Jessie explains that their mission is only to retrieve the box, not open it or learn what’s inside. Dietze won’t let the issue rest. He points out that they work for metal, not the other way around, and that Connor is too busy with his chess match against Skynet to realize how the roles have been reversed. Dietze is allowed to carry on for a few moments before Jessie interrupts him, asking that he not speak anymore. She implies that stress and pressure are getting to him.
The flashback ends and Jessie dives into the pool.
Sarah tells John that he shouldn’t have gone to see Riley’s body.
“There were things I needed to see, to understand,” he explains.
“Do you understand them now?”
“I think so. I’m sorry I doubted you”
“John…” Sarah begins.
“No, not you,” he interrupts. “Her.” He gestures to Cameron who is standing directly behind Sarah.
Back on the USS Jimmy Carter, Queeg is giving Jessie orders. She sides with her crew, explaining that they’ll be more helpful if they know what’s going on. Before more can be said, an alarm goes off. Dietze has opened the box, which appears to be filled with steaming dry-ice. Jessie’s rage is obvious, and she scolds her crew, even as the box’s contents begin to shift and change form. An amorphous figure emerges and takes the shape of something human. An arm becomes a blade and impales the closest crew member- a woman. The human shape shifts again, becoming a doppelganger of the woman it’s just killed. She pulls her arms from her victim’s torso and wags a finger at the onlookers- ‘no, no, no’- before liquefying, and scrambling through a ventilation shaft.
Dietze begins to freak out and demands that Jessie pulls Queeg’s chip, certain that metal is conspiring to bring them all down. Jessie keeps a level head, though she is ob viously shaken. She orders her crew to break up into search parties and find ‘that thing’. Queeg overrides her orders, explaining that they’ll continue on as planned. He seems to know what ‘that thing’ is, so Jessie asks.
“That’s not your concern,” the robot Captain calmly states.
Windows To The Soul
Agent Ellison walks in to find John Henry painting figures in order to develop his motor control. He is particularly proud of the eyes he’s painted.
“Eyes are the window to the soul,” he explains, selecting the paint for eyes carefully. Ellison points out that toys don’t have souls.
Ellison sits for another moment before deciding to leave. He pulls out a remote and is about to shut John Henry down, but the robot protests. John Henry wants to stay and finish painting his figures. Another moment of deliberation, and Ellison consents.
“Does this make us friends?” John Henry asks Ellison, who’ taken a brush in his hand.
Aboard the Jimmy Carter, Dietze is panicking. He accuses a ship-mate of not being who he says he is, implying that he--or any of them--could be that shape-shifting thing. Jessie orders Dietze to stand down. He replies by calling Jessie a ‘metal-lover’. He throws the first punch, and then a mutiny breaks out: all her crew takes shots at Jessie, kicking her while she rolls on the ground. Queeg jumps in and grabs Dietze, who doesn’t stand a chance against the hulking machine. Queeg slams the sailor head first into a wall, and the body falls to the floor. Calmly, the Captain orders everyone to report to their duty stations. Dietze’s eyes are open, unblinking, and blood drips from his nose and forehead.
Cameron is about to leave the house with a gun in her hand. Sarah steps up to the door and forbids her to go. Cameron explains that she wants to make sure that Riley’s body remains unidentified because if it is, police will come. When Sarah continues to refuse Cameron’s decision, Cameron’s hand begins to twitch. Sarah asks Cameron why she thinks she is here: why has John Connor sent her back in time?
Cameron’s response is immediate and obvious: “To protect John.”
Sarah offers that perhaps John had sent her away from his future self because maybe he doesn’t want her there for whatever might be going on in the future. Cameron has nothing to come back with.
Weaver asks John Henry why his body is still active. John Henry explains that Ellison permitted him to finish painting his figures, which they both agree is progress. John Henry then begins to inform Weaver that he has been going through their files and learned that a lot of information has been either altered or deleted. He suspects that Weaver has plans, and she doesn’t deny his implications.
“Mr. Ellison is our friend,” he states. “Are you going to kill him?”
“Ellison has proved himself to be loyal, but he is still human,” she responds.
“Human life is sacred…” John Henry states.
“Humans will disappoint you.”
Jessie exits the pool and heads for the locker room. She is intercepted by the pool-keeper who asks he where her blonde friend is. Jessie promises that she’ll bring Riley next time, and rounds the corner into her flashback…
She approaches Queeg about how he handled Dietze. The robot explains that Dietze caused a mutiny and assaulted a superior, the penalty for which is death. Jessie tells the captain that he has no right to make summary judgment. An argument ensues and Jessie relieves Queeg of command, asking him to move away from the controls. Queeg walks over to her, tells her that she should retire to her barracks for she must be feeling ill. He explains that his mission orders override hers, and when she asks about his mission orders he tells her they are confidential.
Determined, Jessie claims that they cannot take ‘that thing’ to Connor.
“Connor knows what it is,” Queeg assures her. He orders her to return to her quarters for her behavior is threatening their mission. Jessie moves to the door, making as if to leave. On her way out she grabs a rifle tucked in a corner, turns, and blows Queeg’s head off. Those who stand by are shocked, and one claims that they canno drive the ship without him. Moving fast Jessie explains that they aren’t going to drive the ship. The are all going to board a life-boat and take the sub to crush depth where the pressure will take care of the metal.
Jessie orders all hands on deck to the lifeboats and everyone scrambles to board. Jessie turns to take one last look at her ship, and finds that the shape-shifting metal is behind her. Expecting a fight, but desperate to learn more, Jessie asks “What are you?”
The robot does not address her inquiry but instead gives her a message to pass along: “Tell John Connot the answer is no!”
The form before her disappears and Jessie turns to the lifeboat. As they escape, the submarine crushes beneath them.
“You’re John Connor.”
John Connor has the drop on Jessie. She enters her apartment after her swim to find him sitting on her easy chair with a gun in his hand. He begins their first and only conversation.
“If you pretend to not know me, I’ll shoot you in the head. We owe Riley the truth, don’t you think?”
“You’re John Connor.”
“Yes I am.”
Jessie asks where the metal is, meaning Cameron. John points out that if Cameron were here, Jessie would already be dead. He goes on to explain his life story:
“I’ve been running from machines my whole life. They tried to kill my mother before I was born. When I was twelve they came for me again. Both times I sent someone back to save me. The first time it was a soldier- Kyle Reese- who died saving my mom’s life. The second time it was a machine. I wondered why I did that but now I know. Human beings can’t be replaced. They die and don’t come back.” John goes on to mention Derek and draws a similarity between his deceased girlfriend and his soldier uncle. He talks about Riley a bit, and explains that he suspected that she knew more than she ever let on. One time someone called him by his real name and she had pretended not to hear. Another time someone took a picture of John, and Riley smashed the camera to bits. By degrees John had learned that she wasn’t treating him like ‘John Baum’, the name she had known him by. She had been treating him like John Connor.
“I started following her,” he says. “The rest was easy… and hard.”
“She wanted to tell you,” Jessie offers as consolation.
“But she didn’t…” Connor goes on to explain that he figured out what Jessie had planned to do. He knew Riley never spoke with any guidance counselor, she never called the Child and Family Services to file a complaint against John and Sarah. He tells Jessie that he knows she tried to use Riley to turn him against Cameron.
“I’m sorry,” is all Jessie can say.
“Yeah, everybody says that,” John continues. “Thing is, this is all my fault. I knew Riley was in trouble and should have helped her, but didn’t stop her. I wanted to win.”
“You didn’t want to be John Baum… you wanted to be John Connor.”
“That’s the thing, isn’t it? I am John Connor.”
With that, John hands her her bag and tells her to go.
“If I have to live with this, so do you,” he coldly states.
Before Jessie leaves she asks John if her plan would have worked. That is: if Cameron had murdered Riley, would John have turned on her?
Jessie ends their conversation: “Well it’s a damn shame then. It’s a damn waste.”
Back in the year 2027 Jessie is explaining to Cameron what happened aboard the USS Jimmy Carter. The cyborg is telling Jessie that the losses are unacceptable, referring specifically to John Connor’s box which was lost in the scramble to escape. Jessie comments that Cameron has neglected to mention the human losses which should be considered over the material losses. Cameron asks what Jessie had learned, but Jessie refuses to pass the shape-shifter’s message on to a machine, especially when she was told to relay the message to John Connor only.
“Telling me is the same thing as telling John.” Cameron explains.
Jessie laughs and opens her mouth to say “Dietze was right… who is running this war. What are w fighting for if telling you is the same thing as telling John Connor? Fine! You tell Connor that the metal monster said the answer is no! What does that mean? Tell me. If the answer is no, what is the question?”
The robot hesitates: “Will you join us? That was the question.” Cameron the surprises Jessie by apologizing: “I am sorry for your loss. The doctors aren’t certain if it happened because of the fight or the rapid change in pressure. You were pregnant and now you aren’t.”
When Cameron leaves, Jessie is alone. Her expression is blank but tormented.
“I’m Not John Connor”
Back in the present Jessie is walking through an underground garage=2 0with her bag in her hand. Music is playing and Derek is there. She is surprised to see him, but the look on his face isn’t surprise. It looks a bit like regret.
“Do you know who Billy Wisher is? No you don’t. Where you come from, he doesn’t exist. He was my best friend. We fought together and saw things you can’t imagine. He was my brother, but I guess I never knew him. His real name was Andy Good. He programmed a computer that would later become Sky-net. He is dead and so is Billy Wisher because I killed him. I came back here and killed him. He was my brother and I loved him and killed him. I did it for Kyle, John, and you.” Derek is getting worked up over his words, and his eyes simply won’t meet Jessie who begins to plead with him.
“You have no idea..!” She begins crying.
“I don’t even know you. I don’t know who you are.” Derek seems untouched by her tears.
Jessie composes herself and tells him who she is: “I’m Jessie.”
“You’re not my Jessie. You never were.” Her tears come again when he speaks these words and Derek finally looks up into her eyes.
“John Connor said to let you go. I’m not John Connor.” As the words leave his mouth, Derek pulls a gun from behind his back and Jessie drops her bag and bolts for the stairs. The motion between them slows down, even though Jessie is bookin' it. When she reaches the hand-rail she turns to look back at her man, who has paused with his finger on the trigger. He has taken careful aim, and when her eyes meet his he fires of a round.
Later, John asks Derek why he killed her.
“Because John Connor let her go,” he explains.
Sarah is burning things in the garage, and Cameron appears to have gotten her glitch under control. In the backyard she holds a bird in her hand, and it isn’t crushed or dying. John takes a seat on a couch between Cameron and his mother. He turns to smile at his robot, but the smile breaks and is replaced by tears coursing down his cheeks. "Yes." He drops his head on his mother’s lap and the episode concludes.
This week’s episode had a lot more action than the previous installment, and the dilemmas proposed in last week’s show were mostly resolved in this one. John seems to have regained his trust in Cameron, and forgiven his mother for doubting the conclusions he’d drawn regarding Riley’s murder. This is not to say that the Connor crew members are celebrating a re-union, but stability has been reinstated amongst all surviving parties.
With those issues resolved, I must say that the present-time action took a backseat to what was going on in Jessie’s future/past. Her mission aboard the USS Jimmy Carter certainly raises some questions about her character, just before her life is ended. Why was future John Connor looking to the machines for help to win a war against them? Could it be that Jessie’s attempt to turn John against a machine he trusts was a strategy which might alter the course of the war to come? And if so, would a complete distrust in machines make for a more affective commander? I suspect that Jessie having lost a child while on a mission serving John Connor has something to do with her conspiracy against Cameron. This begs more questions. Were Jessie’s actions the result of a quest for revenge, or is she still fighting for the right team?
Recap by Jonathan Friedler