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August 30, 2015

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Mousetrap

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 22nd 2008 10:41PM
The Sarah Connor Chronicles(S03E03) Is it me, or have the Terminators gotten more sophisticated since Arnold's day? Arnold never would have set a trap. He would have just pursued until terminated.

The opening of this episode was reminiscent of the closing of the first Terminator movie when Linda Hamilton was driving in the desert.

It's funny how the actor whose life Cromartie stole ended up being (sort of) famous. Usually they try to keep a low profile. Also, despite being the future savior of humanity, John Connor is not above stealing cable. This is a lesson for the rest of us.

My favorite line from the episode came from Busy Philipps: "This town can screw you up." There's an irony there that I'm missing.

Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) is easily becoming the most sophisticated Terminator ever. She can even drink water. Apparently, she's a T-1001. She acts like a T-1,000,000.

If Riley is a Terminator, then she IS Catherine Weaver. It's the only explanation.

How good are a Terminator's abilities if John is capable of losing Cameron? I got a chuckle from the scene when she's in front of that guy dressed in silver doing the robot.

The future leader of the human resistance has got to learn that if you're being chased by a killer robot, run AWAY from the pier, not towards it. Also, a hat and sunglasses can still fool the killer robots.

I recognize that this is television, but unless Terminators are getting more concerned with human life, I expected a bit more of a gunfight. The moment they both hit the water, I said to myself "Cromartie is going to sink like a stone". I was right, but he did stay afloat longer than I expected. It almost looked like he could swim for a moment. I did enjoy the "red eye" effect as he sank.

I enjoyed the episode but thought the ending was somewhat predictable, particularly considering that Dean Winters is still a regular for the season and his wife isn't. It's cute how they showed a fundamental difference between humans and machines: prayer.

What are Catherine Weaver's goals?
The termination of John Connor42 (9.6%)
The assurance of her future266 (60.9%)
Baking cupcakes68 (15.6%)
None of the above61 (14.0%)

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Maybe the Connors can be smart and buy a houseboat.

September 29 2008 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Leven Rambin (Riley) is hot. Nice mellons, to steal a phrase from brycebishop over on imdb.com. She doesn't really fit into the hollywood stereotype (toothpick thin) and I think that's great. I knew a girl in high school just like her, and she was hot! Pretty face too. Too bad she won't be around a little longer.

Summer Glau is great to look at, as is Lena Headey, but Glau has been such a cardboard cutout this season (except when she got to actually act while smashed between two trucks--that was a great scene for her). And Headey has been kind of whiney and overly distraught.

September 29 2008 at 3:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Love this show and this episode.

I really don't think Riley is a machine...Cameron would have noticed by now. Is it me or did this episode make you want to go and watch T3 for some reason? I don't know why but I had to put it on right away and watch it again. It had that T3 feel to it.

The characters are really beginning to come together and the plot is getting better and better each week.

I can't wait to see the show on cameron next week. If you look back to the pilot episode review you can see that I call her being his wife in the future from that point. I think next week we will see what kind of relationship they had in the future and why she is different from all of the other machines we have seen in the terminator series. CANNOT WAIT!!!

September 26 2008 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm thinking that this season has been missing something in the story and I think I've realized what it is.

Usually, a tv show has a "bigger picture" storyline that follows the characters as they progress from episode to episode. There could be many little stories within a single episode that come and go, but the "bigger picture" storyline has to lead the series along and (hopefully) be resolved by the end of the season.

- Lost: Getting off the island. While each episode usually centers around a different character, the objective remains to get off the island (and not die).
- Battlestar Galactica: Finding Earth. Or finding hidden Cylons.
- Dexter: Something big each season, usually involving another serial killer.

Anyhow, what the Terminator series seems to be missing is a "bigger picture" plotline that creates a sense of urgency for the characters. That is, something more than a couple of Terminators chasing a high school kid.

And I realize that everyone will say "Well, what about when Skynet takes over everything and that's it for the humans?" And that's very true, but the story doesn't create any sense of progress towards that "inevitable" point in time. Each episode seems to progress very slowly time-wise.

- What I see each week is the four main characters stumbling along (with guns) and running from a very rookie-ish Terminator.

- Although they've introduced an aged Shirley Manson into the mix, I don't see much of a storyline happening. Yet.

- And the FBI agent (I forgot the character's name) doesn't seem to add anything to the story either. Use him or get rid of him.

- Riley? Very interesting note mentioned above about her being the Shirley Manson Terminator in disguise. But there's not enough character development going on... she simply floats in and out of each episode without making a big statement. Use her or lose her (which is what John should consider also...).

My biggest gripe, however, is also the main reason that I watch this show: Summer Glau. She used to be positioned as John's "guardian" (ala Arnold in T2) during the first season but has been relegated to being the family dog in season two. She really hasn't been used enough (John escapes her?) and Summer's lines have been really horrible. The camera also seems to linger on her unfairly for an extra second after she utters her bad lines as if to emphasize how awkward her character is.

My suggestion? The writers should have the Terminator focus on attempting to kill Sarah (to isolate John) and have Cameron protect Sarah instead. Or have Sarah and Uncle 90210 to start trusting *and using* Cameron as an offensive weapon instead of a burglar alarm. Why not task your Terminator to hunt down the other Terminator?

Maybe a catfight between Cameron-Bot and Riley-Bot while we're at it?

September 24 2008 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mb's comment

There is a big picture to this show. Aside from the survival aspect, where they know John Connor's importance to the future and the fact that he is a target, the main point is always for him to survive! But aside from that, we are still in the timeline of the terminator mythology that Sarah Connor and John Connor are trying to avert Judgment Day.

Unfortunately, we know that some things do happen. Sarah Connor dies of cancer, Judgment Day is inevitable (as revealed in T3), but this takes place before the events in T3. SO survive and avoid seems to be a pretty reasonable motivator?

Does Lost suddenly suck because you know they got off the island? I say no.

Think of this show as The Clone Wars. We all know how Darth Vader ends up, but there are still more stories to be told in between the events of Episode II and III.

I love this show and I hope it stays on for more than just this season. Its like a familiar old friend, and when it comes by I remember how much I used to like its company, and I wish it could stay longer...

September 29 2008 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

From what we've seen, Terminators' scanners are able to identify other Terminators on sight. So if Riley IS a Terminator, Cameron should know about it.

Oh, and while the underwater sequence was cool, the whole time they were on the docks I kept thinking, "Why don't you just swim for it? There's no way a Cromartie can swim."

September 24 2008 at 4:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode!!!

September 24 2008 at 12:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Riley IS a terminator, she's a horrible terminator for not killing John Connor when she's had plenty of chances. Even if she's not a terminator, John should have assumed she was. Remember when he said to cameron in an earlier episode something to the extent of "I should have known no hot girl would approach the new kid on his first day of school." While I don't find Riley particularly "hot" per se (no Summer Glau), she's not ugly and it's still equally as odd for her to have approached John. Why hasn't he learned his lesson? It was, again, his first day at a new school and a random, pretty blond girl approached him and threw herself at him. She's got to have bad intentions in this universe.

I'm glad Cromartie sank in the water, I almost expected him to float, and I was gonna say, he is horrendously heavy and there is no way terminators should be able to swim. The T-1000 could take the shape of a boat and displace more water weight than her own and thus float, per archimedes, but not Cromartie or Cameron. I'm glad they sank. Of course they are waterproof and can walk right out on the beach, but it should take them a while. Hard to run underwater.

After all the showing on TV of cromartie's old B movie, I expected someone to recognize him at the peer when he was chasing John.

One other thing that's bugging me. Why is Cromartie the SLOWEST DRAW in the entire history of modern entertainment? He pulls his gun on John, stares for a minute, aims... holds.... tweaks his head to the side.... holds... aims... john jumps away... holds... FIRE!. Miss.

What the hell? A terminator should be a pretty fast and accurate shot, able to hit a moving target. Arnold was pretty good at hitting moving targets if you think about it.

September 23 2008 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John ditched Cameron for the same reason all teenagers defy authority which is because all teens believe they are immortal and that nothing bad can happen to them. John is fighting his destiny. Part of him doesn't want to be the glorious leader of the resistance. He just wants to spend some alone time with a pretty girl. Perfectly understandable, if stupid!

Don't you love that when being chased by a terminator, humans run at warp speed and yet the pursuing terminator always catches them while walking very slowly and deliberately?

September 23 2008 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really love this series, and the episodes just keep getting better. I really want to know what Weaver's objective is in all of this, and I'm really excited to see Cameron's history next week.


September 23 2008 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Time travel/manipulation makes for excellent plot devices. If Cromartie didn't kill Sarah and Reese there has to be a reason for it. Ms. Weaver is securing the future of Skynet. The terminators can not create Skynet themselves but they can influence humans into unknowingly create Skynet. Think about last episode with the nuclear reactor its a key strategic point for the resistance but now it's in control of the machines. Skynet will always have the upper hand because it can take on multiple options to ensure its existence. The resistance has to adapt and act on instinct, but no matter what they accomplish, Skynet manipulated them into making that choice.

September 23 2008 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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