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October 31, 2014

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Self Made Man

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 1st 2008 11:57PM
The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Self Made Man
(S02E11)
If ever the show Cold Case did an episode involving killer robots from the future, it would be tonight's Sarah Connor Chronicles. The reverse is also true.

Cameron certainly earned her "most efficient killing machine on the planet" title tonight. And she didn't even have to do laundry. Obviously, the mystery of her constant attendance at the hall of records at night is not going to be solved this episode (since it was only brought up this episode). The real mystery is what happened to Eric at the end? Did he succumb to his cancer? Did he take sick leave? Did he just up and quit? I wouldn't mind knowing.

This episode was entirely Summer Glau, and she was brilliant in it. I think this is her best acting on the show to date. John Connor did play a minor role in the B plot with some development of his relationship with Riley (who is, at this point, either playing with his head, insane or both).

When this show began, I said the two central sci-fi themes would be the robot-trying-to be-human and time-travel tricks. Tonight's episode was both, but done in a different and entertaining fashion.

While I enjoyed tonight's episode, they left a lot of it vague (probably on purpose). Stark's purpose was obviously to kill the mayor in 2010 and he overshot his destination. Was the fire where Pico Towers should have been? I presume so, although they did mention in the episode that Stark was "in the wrong place at the wrong time". Why didn't he just assassinate him elsewhere later on? I can only conclude that his programming was very specific. And who is this mayor guy that is so important to the future that he warrants termination? Cameron obviously knows, so I guess we'll find out in the future (perhaps next season, if there is one).

I have another, more general question: why doesn't Skynet send Terminators further into the past to kill the ancestors of the target humans? If all humanity has to defend itself is knives and sticks, the entire race could be wiped out. Of course, my inner-nerd answer is that not even Skynet can calculate the full effects of such chronological interference and doesn't want to wipe itself from history.

It's funny how Eric was trying to build a friendship with Cameron, who doesn't feel anything (very obvious when you consider she didn't even try to help him up when he fell from his wheelchair). She also switched friends at the end pretty easily (like Eric said, when she wants something).

Tonight's episode was pretty Sarah-lite. I guess Lena Headey was given the week off. Pretty strange considering her character's name is in the title.

Why wasn't Eric a little more suspicious of this strange woman who showed up so often? Was he so hungry for companionship? He seemed a romantic soul. Pity the target of his affection was a robot.

Riley mentioned that she likes shiny things. Like robots? Also, she mentioned her parents died in a fire. She forgot to mention that it was nuclear fire.

I liked the use of filters by the director to simulate old news clips. They used a heavy yellow filter when interviewing the old woman about the party. They use the same trick for Life on Mars.

The episode was an enjoyable diversion from the usual storyline. What did you think?

Gossip Girl' Show & Cast Photos

    Actress Leighton Meester attends the Gotham Magazine Leighton Meester cover party at Marquee on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage.com

    Actress Leighton Meester attends the Gotham Magazine Leighton Meester cover party at Marquee on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage.com

    Leighton Meester attends the Gotham Magazine/Leighton Meester Event sponsored by Jose Cuervo Platino at Marquee Nightclub on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Brian Ach/WireImage.com

    Leighton Meester attends the Gotham Magazine/Leighton Meester Event sponsored by Jose Cuervo Platino at Marquee Nightclub on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Brian Ach/WireImage.com

    Leighton Meester attends the Gotham Magazine/Leighton Meester Event sponsored by Jose Cuervo Platino at Marquee Nightclub on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Brian Ach/WireImage.com

    Leighton Meester attends a Gotham Magazine celebration at Marquee on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic.com

    Leighton Meester attends a Gotham Magazine celebration at Marquee on September 27, 2008 in New York City.

    Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic.com

    Blake Lively on location for "Gossip Girl" on September 22, 2008 in New York City.

    Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

    Cynthia Sparer, Dr. Herbert Pardes, Leighton Meester, Alex Cohen and Pamela W. Barnes attend the Kids for Kids celebrity carnival benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation at the Park Avenue Armory on September 20, 2008 in New York City.

    Jason Kempin/WireImage.com

    Actress Leighton Meester attends the Kids for Kids celebrity carnival benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation at the Park Avenue Armory on September 20, 2008 in New York City.

    Jason Kempin/WireImage.com

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King Rygar

This was my most favorite episode of this show.

And I didn't miss any of the other characters either. This episode is what sold me on this series. Now I can't stop. I re-watch older episodes an pick up on little things I missed previously, it's just great!

December 08 2008 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ric Kaysen

Everything else about this show is more beleivable than a sixty year old Thompson with sixty year old springs and sixty year old bullets firing like new.

December 07 2008 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
samuel918

Dear Mark F,

I have a feeling that you may be right one this one. I don't know if anyone else noticed this but Itunes also incorrectly labeled last week's episode "The Self Made Man". It seems like more than a mere coincidence.

December 03 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Why didn't Cameron roll Eric over, like a turtle on its back?

Great episode. My only complaint is that they seemed to be finding the relevant data in the huge library/hall of records way too easily.. talk about a needle in a haystack. Yes I realize cameron can look at a piece of microfiche and scan the whole thing, but there are still hundreds of thousands of them, and you can't google what you're looking for in a place like that. Maybe cameron did spend a lot of time looking, and they just didn't show it to us - after all, that would make for boring TV.

December 03 2008 at 4:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MarkF

It seemed that this episode was shown out of order and should have been shown before last week's. The beginning with John looking for the three dots online seemed to indicate they did not know about the events of "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point". I also think they would have handled the John and Riley scenes differently if the viewers knew Riley was from the future.

December 03 2008 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davement

i also thought i saw three dots on the back of the suv that john and riley were sitting in when the made out. and werent there a bunch in the last episode. i think theyre being coy about the true meaning of that.

December 02 2008 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to davement's comment
Chris Brown

I agree with davement. The three dots have popped up in several places, and we can't be sure that any of them are THE dots that Sarah's seeking.

December 02 2008 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4ham

This was a pretty good episode. Wonder if Cameron is trying to discover loose ends/secure things for the future. Also we now know what the three dots are! They're star positions for a specific date/time. Is it the deadline for Judgment day?

December 02 2008 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ghottistyx

The fire was completely an accident. Notice how normally, when people appear from the future, they appear outdoors, and the "blue light" consumes whatever's in its way (i.e. the T-1000's appearance created a circular hole in a fence). This is the first time I can think of that a "blue light" appeared indoors. Apparently, the apparition creates such an electrical discharge, that it set the building on fire. Cameron herself said that all those people didn't have to die and that the fire was by accident.

December 02 2008 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz

Nice catch! I totally missed that.

December 02 2008 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

"It's funny how Eric was trying to build a friendship with Cameron."

Yeah, that's what Eric was trying to do with Cameron. Build a friendship.

December 02 2008 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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