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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Sarah Connor Chronicles’ blogging: “Dungeons & Dragons”

(previous: “Queen’s Gambit”)

Ah, so that’s who shot poor Andy the computer guy! It was Derek Reese, sent back from the future on the mission by John Connor. But wait. If Andy is dead, how did he survive to get to the 2020s and be a part of Connor’s crew? Oh, okay, since we were seeing Derek’s flashbacks, that means he was remembering the “past” even though it was the future, and now in the present, with Andy dead, Judgment Day’s been averted again in the future. In the new future. Have we just seen the creation of another timeline? And what happens if Judgment Day never happens? Will John Connor cease to exist, since his father, Kyle Reese, was only sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor from a Terminator who won’t exist if the machines never take over? Was Michael Biehn all just a figment of my imagination? A pleasant figment, granted, but still…

Man, my head hurts from this show. But in a good way.
I think the thing I love best about this show isn’t all the mind-bending time paradox stuff — though that’s all very cool — but the gender reversals. Poor Charlie gets to play the girl, all hurt and confused and brokenhearted over being left behind, while Sarah gets to be the typical guy, all closemouthed and angst-ridden and apologetic (but not really). Take that, all you men who go off and have adventures and leave your women behind to cry and be all sad and miss you and hate you but still love you anyway!

(Need a more complete episode recap? Check out Wikipedia.)

Random thoughts on “Dungeons & Dragons”:

• Cameron destroys that Terminator in the cinderblock pit — she’s adamant that every tiny little bit from the future must be destroyed if Judgment Day is to be averted… so why does she save the bolt she took from the T’s head? Maybe she wants Judgment Day to happen? Maybe she’s been ordered by John Connor to make sure Judgment Day still happens, so that he doesn’t cease to exist? (See above.) No, I don’t really think that, but what the hell, Cameron?

• I love the looks on the faces of the four guys from the future who jump back to today when they see the living skyline of Los Angeles: they’re stunned, and awed. They’re probably tired of looking at that CGI skyline back in the future, even if it is really cool in that apocalyptic way.

• If Sarah’s blood is O-neg, there’s no way John could have that rare type that Derek needs. Drats! And the science has been so good up till now!

Lesson for the week: Sometimes Terminators go bad, and no one knows why.

(next: “The Demon Hand”)



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  • Well, we’ve long past established that the Terminator universe does not have a single, permanent, unchangeable timeline, a la Twelve Monkeys. It’s either using a Many Worlds system, where each incursion into the past spawns off new, separate-but-possibly-similar timelines, or a recalculating system where each change made in the past causes the future to “recalculate”.

    In either case, though, anything traveling to the past from the future is disconnected from causality through the act of time travel. Even if something happens that totally prevents Judgment Day from happening, John Connor will still exist because his father, Kyle Reese, was causally-disconnected from the future from whence he came. Cameron will still exist in the present, too, as will Derek Reese. Put simply: There are no paradoxes. Anyone can die at any time. Preventing a future from occurring does not preclude the present existence of time travellers from that future.

    When Derek killed Andy Goode, he did change the future… we don’t know by how much. But he can still remember seeing Andy Goode in the future, because (again) he’s causally-disconnected; he remembers a future that he lived through, but now it will not happen the same way he remembers it.(Or, it will still happen, but in that other timeline which Derek has left behind.)

  • BTW, one piece of trivia I forgot to mention: One of the resistance fighters was identified on separate occasions as either “Wisher” or “Will/Bill”. William Wisher wrote the screenplay for Terminator 2 and appeared in that movie as the mall shopper with the camera who films the Terminators fighting with each other, and in The Terminator as one of the police officers who gets burned when their car explodes.

  • lanchid

    I think the thing I love best about this show isn’t all the mind-bending time paradox stuff — though that’s all very cool — but the gender reversals. Poor Charlie gets to play the girl, all hurt and confused and brokenhearted over being left behind, while Sarah gets to be the typical guy, all closemouthed and angst-ridden and apologetic (but not really). Take that, all you men who go off and have adventures and leave your women behind to cry and be all sad and miss you and hate you but still love you anyway!

    So…..is it a good thing, or a bad thing that I never noticed this? I just enjoyed watching Charlie longing for without understanding Sarah and Sarah caring but being all stoic.

  • MaryAnn

    Put simply: There are no paradoxes.

    Yeah, I know. I was just trying to be funny. And failing, apparently. :->

  • Q: What do you call two waterfowl sitting in a pond?

    A: Pair o’ ducks.

    (Yes, you could also do medics and call it a “pair o’ docs”, or two piers and call it a “pair o’ docks”. But ducks are funnier.)

  • Ryan H

    I love the little random thoughts you put at the end of these. What happened to the Torchwood and Dr. Who ones?

  • MaryAnn

    Nothing happened to the Doctor Who and Torchwood random thoughts. They’re still there at the end of each blog. I’m a bit behind in that blogging, but the random thoughts never went anywhere.

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