Time Traveling Terminator Trouble

Tuesday, December 2 by
She never sleeps, so what does she do at night? Cameron’s surprising, secret life is revealed. Also, history is forever changed when a Terminator is sent back to the wrong time.


Episode 11: Self-Made Man

Full Episode Online: FOX Official Site

Cameron never sleeps but I always thought she was walking around the house toting a gun waiting for evil robots to just try and get past her to hurt John. Looks like I was wrong on all counts.

The show starts off at a Speak Easy on New Years Eve 1920, the place is in full swing with dancing, music and booze but just when you think its the best party ever and sad that you weren’t alive to enjoy it the scene blows up.. literally.

It’s not a dream because we then see Sarah acting like a normal mom, laundry in hand looking over John’s shoulder. They are surfing the web looking for the infamous three dots, no luck. Cameron in her stealth like manner enters the Connor interaction and Sarah hands her the laundry. John laughs at the fact that she’s the most advanced killing machine, but she is going to be doing laundry. Sarah takes the laundry from Cameron gives it back to John, who then waits for his mother to leave and gives it back to Cameron because after all she doesn’t sleep.

Which brings up the lingering question if she’s not circling the perimeter all night, what is she doing? She’s at the library, not really that sexy is it? I guess it depends on who you talk to.

In her quest to make sure the past doesn’t repeat itself, she makes friends with Eric, the library night manager, the stereotypical knowledge nut that loves silent films, writes papers on subjects that are too boring to actually repeat but still has a sense of humor that makes him a likable guy. She brings him his favorite donuts and he lets her in to raid the library arsenal of books. As they sit in the big library at one of those wooden tables, books piled around them and a lone light it becomes apparent that this isn’t the first, second or even third time she’s been there. Eric enquires about the trip to Mexico, if John is still seeing that crazy blond and its clear that Cameron has told him a version of the truth. The relationship between them is a little weird to say the least, Cameron is back to her human trait ways, like she was with John when she first met him. She’s only human enough to fool him. After the small exchange Cameron asks to see the history of California field artillery which takes her to her biggest discovery of all. In the California room of the library old pictures sit on a cabinet,Cameron’s attention is drawn to a pictur taken on December 31st 1920.Eric tells her the story of the New Year’s fire of 1920 in which 43 people died. We are taken back to the speak easy but this time its the aftermath of the fire. Everyone is outside and people who are hurt are littering the pavement. In the midst of all the madness a man wanders only looking to the sky, that’s the picture that Cameron holds in her hands. Cameron identifies the man as a T-888. What is a T-888 doing in the 1920′s? This question propels Cameron into an all out investigation.

The know it all and the machine are searching through periodical micro film looking for any news on who that man/machine was. Its during there small talk that we actually are fully made aware that Eric is in a wheel chair, he suffered from bone cancer. She asks him if he is happy and under that scruffy beard he smiles and answers that yes he is. Cameron puzzles him by saying that she doesn’t know many happy people but this is all interrupted when they find a clipping of the T-888, who is identified as Myron Stark. In the same clipping a man by the name of Rupert Chandler is also identified.Cameron finds out from Eric that more information on Stark can be found in the basement behind a locked door, thinking that this would stop her he is surprised to watch her leave the room and head directly for it. He finds her already going through records, she ignores his outrage of betrayal and the possibility that he could lose his job, only when he falls out of the wheel chair does she stop. She goes to help him but he puts his hand up for her not to. She watches as he pulls himself up into his wheel chair and leaves the room. Is that a look of guilt on Cameron’s face? She finds him putting books away and apologizes. She tells him she doesn’t have any friends and he doesn’t believe it. She then explains to him that there is no record of Myron Stark before the fire. This leads them to listening to radio news records where they find out that Stark robbed banks, a lot of them. He invested his money into land, where he built houses and eventually started his own construction business. His company expanded so much that it was taking business away from another developer, Rupert Chandler. In 1925 Jeffers, Chandlers right hand man went missing and was never found. Then Eric drops the papers and knocks Cameron’s purse open and out falls her gun. He picks it  up and starts questioning her, is she in trouble? Is she afraid, she repeats the word afraid as if its a foreign word. Eric tells her he’s seen cuts on her face and she covers by saying she gets into fights, um yeah knock down wall shattering fights that even wrestlers cringe when they see it. She then tells him a version of the truth, she fights for her brother because there are people out to hurt him and she protects him. Then the knowledge nut proves that he really isn’t that stupid as he tells her that she doesn’t make sense, the pursuit of Stark, the gun and all she can say is I know. He’s still holding a gun in some sort of boyish awe and she offers to show him how to shoot it. She lines up some telephone books and she helps him pull the trigger. His "this doesn’t make any sense" speech falling to the wayside. Now they’ve listened to records, looked up newspaper clippings on micro-film, so what’s left, oh yes television. In a old news broadcast, I would say the 80′s judging by the hair of the reporter, they discover that the body of Jeffers was discovered in a ravine along with his car. Eric reads from a newspaper that the death of Jeffers added to the cursed life of Rupert Chandler, his tragedy starting with the death of his son in the fire at the Speak easy in 1920.

Cameron bursts into the men’s bathroom wanting to tell Eric that she found Will Chandler’s obituary, Eric not seeming that effected casually tells Cameron from the stall that he’s kinda busy at the moment, which she of course ignores. In the obit it states that 400 people attended the funeral, she also thinks that Stark set out to kill Chandler’s son. Eric refutes by saying why would he do that at the risk of killing 43 innocent people which she then casually replies, "it happens". Cameron is distracted by the bathroom mirror propelling her to ask Eric if he ever thinks about dying or about suicide because there’s something wrong with you. Eric of course tells her no, that his cancer is in remission and that would only hurt the people he loved. He then ask her could she hurt her family like that? Is Cameron having second thoughts about self-destructing if she ever goes bad again? She doesn’t answer him and they leave to look up a documentary that may have information about the speak easy. There’s no wheel chair access so Cameron lifts Eric and carries him to upstairs under the pretense that she’s been working out.

The documentary provides the last clue, Stark wasn’t there to kill Will after all. The fire started because Stark portaled from the future into the middle of the speak easy. Cameron pictures Stark coming out of the fire into the middle of street and looking up which sends her bursting out of the library into the night where she looks up to the night sky as well. Come to find out that machines can look up at the stars and figure out the date and when Myron the machine looked up into the night sky measuring the three dots (that’s right three dots, I did a what? too) he found out that he had portaled to the wrong place at the wrong time. Stark set out to correct his mistake by first offering to buy some land that Chandler owned but when he refused Stark decided to go at it from a different angle. He acquired land and developed his own business making Chandler go bankrupt so that he would be forced to sell the land he wanted to him. Stark ended up buying and building a architectural wonder on the land but he disappeared two weeks before the grand opening. Cameron’s little light bulb went off and she went to the Tower.She surveyed the empty building from the inside, smashing the brick wall when she found what she was looking for, Stark. The T-888 was in stand by mode wearing a suit and an old fashioned gun in hand. She eventually deactivated Stark after crushing half of his body with an elevator. Cameron headed back to the library where Eric found her applying make-up to some, um.. scratches. She states that he hadn’t eaten his donuts, that his muscles are weak and he has lost weight. In the Cameron robotic way she tells him that his cancer is back and that its spreading. Eric erupts telling her that she just can’t do that, tell someone who has had cancer that they have it again, no wonder she doesn’t have any friends. Eric says that she doesn’t know what its like to have something inside you that’s damaged, she responds and says its like a bomb. He tells her to leave and Cameron slowly leaves almost as if she’s wondering what she did wrong, she was only trying to help him.
She walks through the Connors living room, laundry basket in hand just as John walks through the door.

Where was John all night? He was intent on actually going to sleep but a call from Riley in a state of distressed had him taking the Dodge truck out to Van Nuys to save her from …. a house party. Really? That’s what John’s look said. He enters a kitchen to find a woman with groceries and as he helps her with the beer he finds out she’s the mother to one of his classmates. Mike berates his mother in front of John all the while flipping his silver lighter back and forth between his fingers. John looks like he’s about to bust Mike with his hands which he keeps tucked into his body or kill him with his eyes. Just in time Riley bounces into the room grabbing a beer from Mike as she leans into kiss Johns on cheek. He is of course confused by her behavior and calls her out on it. She tells him, everything is cool and lets hang out. John is not happy, he only came down there to get her and out comes Riley’s puppy eyes. He apologizes and agrees to hang out for a little while. He becomes a wall flower as he watches Riley play video games with some other people. It becomes clear how sheltered John is, she asks him to play the video game and he tells her he doesn’t know how. Well I guess training to save the world takes up alot of time so there is no time for video games..understood.John succumbs to peer pressure and loses his first venture into the video game world. It happens to the best of us. John becomes irritated, nostrils flaring and everything and decides this whole thing was a mistake and he’s leaving. Riley tells him that she’s going with him and all hell breaks loose. Mike claims that Riley stole his lighter and starts to push her around to get it back. John tries to reason but something breaks in him and he pulls the guys head back forcing him to the ground and gets in a few solid punches to the face before Riley gets him out of there. John pulls the truck over at a perfect spot that looks over the city, I think I saw a sign that said make-out point! – could this be foreshadowing? They talk about why she called him out there, she just wanted him to be with her. They bond over foster home stories and then she pulls out the lighter, she did steal it. John shares with her that his mom was in a mental hospital and how she was engaged before to Charlie. He doesn’t look at her as he tells her that he shouldn’t be around people. She ask if that’s why he almost killed Mike and he laughs and tells her its other stuff. She tells him she will listen if he wants to talk about it. He looks at her and tells her that most of the time he doesn’t and then she leans in and kisses him.

John is caught sneaking back into the house by Cameron. John stands before Cameron backing away from her as she touches the lipstick on his neck identifying it as Riley’s and coming to conclusion that he was with her all night. He doesn’t deny it. He stares at Cameron before turning towards the stairs and looks back to find her still watching him as he walks up the stairs.

Cameron heads back to library that night only to be greeted with a beanie wearing chick. Eric is no longer there but Cameron is still able to buy her way in with donuts. I wonder if donuts only works for libraries?

Review

Who knew that a library night manager, a machine and the savior of mankind had so much in common. They all feel like that some part of them is damaged. The library guy has his cancer, the machine has her chip and John has the secret that’s killing him, it sits inside of them like a time bomb I am not going to lie and say that this episode had me a little jumbled. I know that this episode was supposed to air before last weeks and I can’t remember why the two were switched but I kept thinking I am not supposed to know about Riley being a liar.It just made her scenes with John harder to watch. First she was this okay distraction but now she’s this player, with a motive like all of the others. I really want John to find out. Also the three dots make sense, Sarah isn’t (that) crazy. Overall I enjoyed the episode for the Cameron aspect. She’s changing with each episode; her question about suicide, the confession of feeling like she had a time bomb inside of her, the fact that she knows that she doesn’t have any friends and her reaction to Eric’s speech about how wonderful it would be to be frozen in time and forever young just highlight her awareness of self.
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