Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Connor 2X04: Allison from Palmdale

Toni Graphia does not disappoint, and it's not like the bar is set low for her episodes. She wrote "The Demon Hand," arguably last season's best. She wrote "Flesh and Bone" in Battlestar's first season. (The one where Starbuck interrogates, and ultimately airlocks, a Leoben.) And she wrote two stand-out installments of Carnivale Season 1. (I'm looking forward to her first series--someday--I expect it will be memorable.)

Tonight's episode, "Allison from Palmdale," is some of her best work. I won't go through a plot synopsis. Suffice it to say, the sixty-four thousand dollar questions are as follows:

1. Was Cameron lying to Allison, the human resistance fighter she was built to replace, about some terminators wanting peaceful coexistence with the remnants of mankind?

I'm gonna go with "no," despite the fact that Cameron subsequently executes Allison without batting an eyelash.

The question of whether Cameron is truly sentient hung over last season, unanswered. But this season, the answer came right off the bat. She is. She's been programmed, yes, but she can "cross against the light." In the season premiere's final moments, she chooses not comply with her prime directive, to kill John Connor.

And with sentience would come empathy, the ability to sympathize with a species she knows is being exterminated by her own kind. She, and others like her, can question whether the AIs, as a group, are doing the right thing, and potentially decide the answer is "no."

So it's possible that she was telling Allison the truth, even in the face of her subsequent decision to execute the girl for lying. She may be concerned with saving the species and still be unconcerned with saving any particular member of that species.

Question #2: Is Weaver's daughter really her daughter? Or is the T-1001, as an infiltrator, assuming the role of mother to the real Weaver's human child?

Hard to say on that one. Certainly, she seems a might young for sudoku... but that may be a clever misdirect for keen-eyed viewers.

If some of the robot terminators, like Cameron, have achieved true sentience, have the more advanced liquid metal models achieved the final piece of the puzzle: the ability to procreate?

"Sarah Connor" is consistently excellent, a thought-provoking, suspenseful action-hour wrapped around a well-observed, deliciously subversive character/family drama about time travel and genocide. (So, y'know, fairly ordinary in the pantheon of family dramas.)

Anyone who's not watching this show -- seriously, start!


Blogger J James said...

I've seen a couple of rumors online that Fox has either canceled or is getting ready to cancel this show due to poor ratings. :(

10/1/08, 2:16 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

if you mean syfy portal -- i don't think much of that site's reliability. I know a couple of guys who work on the show, and they haven't heard anything like that, though clearly, no one is happy with the ratings.

10/1/08, 10:42 PM  

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