Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sarah Connor Chronicles: Indestructible Watermelons, emoting robots

September 30, 2008 | At: 2:11 AM
Being neo-Amish and a hater of technology, I'm naturally a "Terminator" fan. Kill the machines before they kill us. Stop Skynet now.

I like this season better than last, though I couldn't understand why all of Cameron's flesh wasn't burned off in the season premiere except that the script didn't allow time for her to regenerate the flesh before storming back into the house. And speaking of that, why was the entire opening scene in strobe effect except for shots of Cameron leaving the car and walking into the house? Clearly, she was supposed to be strobed, too, but her limp wouldn't have been detectable.

Skipping last week's episode, because I don't remember anything to criticize, let's move on to this week:

Cameron spaces out for a reason that isn't technologically explained and "remembers" being a human being in the future named Allison. She's been sent grocery shopping by future human resistance leader John Connor because what else do you do with a robot from the future who has already short-circuited once recently and tried to kill you? Why not see if she can use her reprogrammed human killing software to select food products that she doesn't eat all the while coming in close proximity to bar-code scanners.

Am I Judas? Note the red apple of temptation and the red "Judas Iscariot" hair on the fellow shopper.

But the infrared scanner doesn't get her; the actual bar-code does. It triggers a false memory that causes her to examine a Red Delicious apple, bringing up symbolism of the Forbidden Fruit perhaps. Perhaps, but again, no technological, nor emotional, explanation. And emote is what Cameron does next. She zones out and knocks over half a watermelon display, though not one watermelon splatters open. Must be Indestructible Mechanical Watermelons FROM THE FUTURE!

Nice clean cuts on the corners of the "busted" box. Who'da thunk a light tap from a shopping cart would do it in?

The cops are called, because that's what you do when a grocery store customer has an accident and doesn't respond to fellow customers. No "Cleanup in the Produce Department!" and "Ma'am, don't worry about that. Accidents happen, and we don't enforce ''You Break It You Bought It'. ... Oh, wait, you didn't break it. I forgot, those are our Indestructible Mechanical Watermelons FROM THE FUTURE!"

The cops, of course, determine that a young woman who says she can't remember who she is and has no ID should be put in the slammer with other hardened criminals, not referred to a psychiatrist. But they let her go when the store decides not to "press charges." Charges? She accidentally knocked over watermelons, didn't hurt them, and furthermore produced a fat wad of cash from her pocket which would have more than compensated the store if she had. Why is she being mugged and printed?

Oh, yeah: It's so she can meet the runaway street girl who befriends her in the holding cell and gets sprung simultaneously. She notes the wad of cash Cameron gets handed by the cop manning the property and decides she and Cameron the amnesiac are now Bestest Friends Forever -- but not like you're thinking. (OK, so they get a little too close on the top bunk later on, but that's just to fan fanboy fantasies. Besides, are these Terminator robots anatomically correct? And if so, why?)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the 11-month-pregnant chick who lives next door to the Connor clan is bleeding, so Sarah has to rush her to hospital (or THE hospital, as we Yanks say). Baby Daddy is out of the picture, so Sarah has to stay with her even though she knows she should be about the business saving the future of the human race like she does all the other 364 days of whatever year this is. The hippy-dippy young mommy-to-be shares some wisdom about how much she cares about that gigantic son inside her abdomen, which will likely go on to star as the kid on "Two and Half Men: The Next Generation." SPOILER ALERT: Next week, Mommy delivers the bushel of joy as an Indestructible Watermelon FROM THE FUTURE. Let this be a lesson, ladies: Do not have carnal relations with a man who claims to be a cop and asks throughout coitus "Have you seen this boy?"

That's right, Baby Daddy shows up -- and he's a cop. "Oh, great," Sarah sarcastically acts with her face. "This is just what I need. Next, they'll be busting me for knocking over the hospital Jello. Oh, wait, I'm unaware of that scene."

She excuses herself and calls John so he can fill her in on the grocery store scene, but he refuses. Normally, he'd call his mom to explain he'd lost his robot, but then she'd be forced to choose between dropping everything to fix this major calamity or hanging out with the neighbor she barely knows, and besides, scheduling conflicts obviously made it impossible for Sarah to shoot any scenes with John or Cameron this week. And Brian Austin Green couldn't even be gotten out of his trailer, though Pretty Boy sure did get his name in the opening credits anyway, didn't he?

Anyhoo, Cameron remembers she's a robot from the future and tells as much to the shrink at the halfway house that she and her "just-friends" friend have checked into. (Cameron gave her wad of cash away to some bully that her robot amnesia prevented her from knowing she could kill with her pinkie.)  The script  has already had the counselor set up that everything is confidential -- unless she reveals she wants to harm someone. And want to harm someone she does: one JOHN CONNOR. Cue the cops, who really get upset when they realize they've let a watermelon molester back on the streets and this is the thanks they get.  

Cameron and friend use the old Escape From the Window ruse to foil the coppers and high-tail it for her buddy's parents' house. John has caught up to them, but can't do a darn thing but follow since Cameron doesn't remember who he is. Lucky for him, now that she knows she's supposed to kill him. The girls have no means of transportation other than their feet, but John follows them in his All New Dodge Ram (Win Yours Now!). Now aware again that she's a robot, Cameron nonetheless doesn't use her human-killing skills to notice they're being followed.

Once inside the folks' house, Cameron realizes the girl's been lying to her and this triggers a memory of the real girl Allison, whom she's been modeled after, lying to her when Cameron first sets out after the adult John Connor in the future. Cameron grabs Allison by the throat and sends her to her Maker. She repeats the "You lied to me" line to her present-day buddy and gives her the old Warm Winter Scarf treatment, too. Just then, John Connor bursts in and finds the girl on the floor.

"Did you kill her?" he asks.

The girl gurgles and starts to regain consciousness, setting up my favoritest line of the night from Cameron: "Apparently not."

With this, all is right with the world. Cameron once again recognizes John and is back as his Tonto, or his Yoko Ono, or whatever other sidekick has only O's for vowels.

There are several scenes with Agent Ellison back-and-forthing with the red-haired British robot who's trying to hire him away from the CIA to -- get this -- catch robots. For some reason she can morph into a urinal and wait around all day while guys she isn't going to kill take a whiz on her, then morph back to the red-haired woman the second a middle manager delivers the set-up to her pee-pee double entendre so she can off him. But find other robots like herself, she can't.

We also learn that Ellison's ex-wife has just remarried, but "kept her name." Uh, Ellison would be HIS name. I wonder how hubby No. 2 felt about that. Probably just like No. 2.

And one last thing: I want to find out where Ellison's ex finds the place that blows up her vacation print, and mounts and frames it in under two weeks so it's hanging in Ellision's line of sight as a conversation starter and perfect scene transition? Always takes me three.

(Read Television Without Pity's Weecap, which probably wasn't written at 2 a.m. -- and they took notes.)

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