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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Sarah Connor Chronicles’ blogging: “Goodbye to All That”

(previous: Episode 4: “Allison from Palmdale”)

I find myself moved to snark on the robots from the future and the impending doom of the human race. Hey, it’s the way I roll. Feel free to discuss more in-depth in comments, should you be moved to do so.

[spoilers after the jump!]
Why does the all-new Dodge Ram actually remind me of a Terminator? Or is it just that the ads look like James Cameron movies? I guess the impending collapse of civilization once the machines take over and the death of 90 percent of the human race kinda eliminates the peak-oil problem, so let’s burn it up while we can, eh? (FYI: The 2009 Ram gets 13mpg in the city; a Terminator can run forever on one tiny nuclear battery. Who’s better equipped to survive in this world? Advantage Terminators, I’d say.)

At least it’s daytime in those Dodge ads. Is it ever daytime in the future? Or have the machines blacked out the sun like they did in The Matrix? I know the idea is supposed to be that the future is grim and oppressive and a long dark teatime of the soul for humanity, but really: there’s got to be a morning after sometime, even a small one, hasn’t there?

Maybe not: it seems that absolutely everyone in the future will sacrifice themselves for John: here it’s Martin Bedell. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if they all turned out to be wrong about John, that they’ve made him into some sort of savior/messiah/demigod but that he’s completely unworthy of it? After all, we have only the word of the people who worship him that he’s worth worshipping. Perhaps the best way to save humanity would be to kill John now so that people in the future stop dying for him.

Lesson for the week: Don’t let grade-school Terminator targets watch their moms beg on TV for their safe return. It upsets the kids, and probably infuriates the Terminators who’re looking for them.

(Need a complete episode recap? Check out Fox’s official site for the show.)

(next: Episode 6: “The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short”)


MPAA: rated TV14-LV

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
  • JSW

    In the first movie it was stated that, in the future, humans only come out at night. They go underground and hide during the day.

  • Rosalind

    Could someone explain to me why the terminators bother taking humans prisoner in the future? If their goal is to wipe us all out, why not just poison the water supply?

  • blake

    I thought the Robocop show was better (not a lot better, but still…).T:TSCC feels really limp without the swearing and violence.

  • JoshDM

    It’s pretty dumb that with all their pre-information about time-traveling Terminators (from a pre-informed John Connor), the resistance insists on using their actual names.

    If I was john Connor, I’d tell my troops to stop using their actual names and take random names out of the phonebook.

    I’d be all “Oh, that guy we couldn’t kill in the past, Dave Whasisname, who invented a part for Skynet; change your name to Dave Whasisname! Then they’ll send Terminators into the past to kill all the Dave Whasisnames, in effect killing Skynet!”

    Problem solved.

  • blake

    Wouldn’t destroying Skynet create a paradox?

    Without Skynet there woulde be no Machine uprising.
    Without Machine uprising there would be no resistance.
    Without the resistance who would go back in time to warn people about Skynet.

    Not sure if this makes as much sense on the page as it does inside my head

    The end of the world has to happen.

  • Here we go again with having to explain various time-travel theories. ;-)

    One theory (the 12 Monkeys) states that the past is utterly unchangeable. The only reason to go back is to find information that could help you in the present, like (for example) the source of the original plague that almost wipes out humanity in that movie. You can’t stop the madman from releasing the plague because that already happened; smart time-travelers realize this and keep a low profile and do their job. Dumb-but-heroic time-travelers try to save the world and get killed before they can change anything.

    Another theory is that if you go back and change something, a new timeline spawns off from that point and continues a separate existence. This theory renders useless much of the need for time-travel, because you can’t change the timeline you started from. Skynet can try to kill John Connor in the past, but that will only help some other Skynet that might arise if Connor is killed; the original Skynet is still defeated.

    A more common recent theory, popularized by Stephen Baxter and others, is that the entire timeline of this Universe acts like a big spreadsheet. You can cut numbers (people) from one place (spacetime coordinates X, Y, Z, and T) and paste them into another. The mere act of time-travel disconnects them from causality. If they change anything in the past, the entire future from that point on “recalculates”; you might get a different result from what they remember, or you might find that some things are just delayed (or advanced, as the case may be). This theory allows you to kill your grandfather without affecting your existence, because once you travel back in time, you are causally-disconnected from your previous (future) existence. And it allows Skynet the chance to try to change the future by changing the past. Of course, since the future keeps changing, it’s possible that some time-travellers originate in timelines that are later changed or deleted; they come from “nowhere”. This theory completely eliminates the concept of time paradoxes since anything is possible due to causal disconnection.

    This show pretty much sticks to the 3rd theory. “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” That means that even if you know what has happened in the future, because someone from the future told you what they remember, you still have to fight to make it happen because their memories could turn out to be from a nullified, obsolete future timeline.

  • That should have been “the 12 Monkeys theory”.

    And the 3rd theory was used a long time ago in Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder. Killing a single butterfly during the age of dinosaurs causes a recalculation that makes a subtle change in the future, but our heroes, being causally-disconnected due to time-travel, still remember the “past” that led to the present from which they originally departed.

  • blake

    Alternativly you could let The Doctor could sort out the time lines.

    Doctor who/Terminator crossover is just what the show needs.

    I might even start watching it again…

  • Since you have invoked the Doctor you need to consider his unique Time-Travel paradigm.
    Timey-wimey theory: There are so many influences at work in the outcome of the future that few changes can make a lasting impact. Or, as the Doctor states it “Usally the timelines just sort themselves out. Except in your case Donna; you just created an alternate universe!”
    There are very few crucial moments that cannot be eliminated without affecting the future. Unless external forces are at work (the Reapers, The Daleks, The Timelords, etc) forcing a given outcome, then the future you’ve already seen will still come to pass.
    Believe it or not, this is what they seem to be using. Judgement Day, Skynet, The great leader John Connor all are going to occur. Only eliminating one of these things will avoid the future as seen. Anything else can be “sorted out” by itself with only minor adjustments.
    Perversely I’d like to see John die and see if the future is replaced with one in which the Great Leader is actually Sarah Connor.

  • blake

    C. Dent Dave-You are a FANTASTIC!

    Sarah is much more intresting than John, anyway.

  • b

    Is there any way you can edit entries, like on the IMDB.I have just made myself look like a pratt…

  • MaryAnn

    Nope, there is no user-editing of comments. Sorry: it’s a Movable Type thing.

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