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November 23, 2014

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Alpine Fields

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 9th 2008 12:29AM
Sarah Connor(S02E12) One of the major differences between this television series and the movie upon which its based is that time travel in this series is more complicated than anybody in the movie universe could have imagined. That is probably one of the reasons why the show has adopted such an unusual method of telling a story as of recent.

Mind you, time jumps and parallel storytelling is not a new method. I think Pulp Fiction started the craze and the show Lost has pretty much been built on such a concept. However, in this instance the three separate stories involving past, present and future (or perhaps more accurately cause and effect) tied into one instance. There is even a parallel to John Connor himself (who played a virtually non-existent role this episode) when the baby Sydney born at the end (although fully grown in the future-flashes) became the savior of humanity. If John Connor is supposed to be a modern take on Jesus Christ, who would Sydney be? I liked how they ended the show with Sydney's birth, an experience your average story tends to associate with hope.

I got a laugh when the Fields named the dog Charles Barkley. Get it? "Bark"ley? This show does a lot of play on words.Since when have the Terminators had such an obvious weakness? Just give them a strong electrical shock and destroy their chip? Has this become their Kryptonite? I yearn for the days when the Terminator was an unstoppable killing machine that could only be destroyed by making certain it crawls through a giant hydraulic press then turning the press on.

The theme of family has certainly been a recurring one in the show to the point where it's tough to do something unique with it. I do like how we finally learn how Derek met Jesse and perhaps its a foreshadowing of their future.

I just knew the baby was Roger's the minute I learned Mrs. Field was sleeping around. Poor Lauren has to care for her half-sister for the rest of her life without running into cyborgs.

Actually, it's pretty smart for Skynet to try and kill humanity with a plague in the future. Everybody dead and not a bullet fired (until "life found a way" for them to survive). Based on the coming attractions for next week (the "Fall Finale"), I think we might even learn why Skynet harbors such a grudge against humanity.

I admit I was a bit fuzzy regarding how Sarah and the gang learned about the Fields being targeted for termination. Was Sydney's name on the wall? How is it that when Skynet controls a time machine he can't get a robot there before Sarah and the gang show up?

I'm still liking this show. It's about a family dynamic against the backdrop of a war (that hasn't even happened yet. Darn time travel) and follows the spirit of the original movie better then Terminator 3. Kudos to Josh Friedman for pulling that off.

Of course, from last week we know that time travel is not an exact science. I wonder if we'll ever learn the significance of most of the targets. In theory we'll learn by season's end, but that is after the show moves to Fridays in the spring. When very few people actually watch television. Thanks, Fox.

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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Logan

am I the only one who has found this season incredibly boring? I don't watch terminator for character development or dialogue, that's what I watch shows like one tree hill and the oc for. I watch these shows for action, and I realize there's a limit because it's tv and there's a budget and everything, but this is ridicilous. Way too slow moving, there's only been like 3 or 4 episodes that I enjoyed (the season premiere was awesome) because those had action in it! I like season one 10x more because there was more action and less talk, and this season is the complete opposite. It isn't a coincendice either that the ratings have plummeted this year either, because I don't blame the casual viewer. It takes a lot for me to stop watching a show, as I watch things to the end (only cases I haven't were Seventh Heaven and The O.C. because they got so bad, although I watched the reruns of The O.C. on soapnet), but I wont miss this nearly as much as Prison Break. Prison Break knows how to do dialogue will still have plenty of action, and that's why it is the superior show

December 10 2008 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Logan's comment
tcc3

I weep for the American viewing audience, of which you are a typical example.

I cant believe you just compared this show to Prison Break, which should have been canceled several years ago. S1, maybe.

December 12 2008 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Soby

Pretty bad episode in my opinion. It felt very forced in an attempt to explain Jesse's runin with Derek. Killing a terminator should be child's play after how easily they killed the last few so why didn't they bring some heavy weapons and kill the terminator when it attacked the family instead of trying to hide them? It worked for the kid in the military camp. A .50 cal sniper rifle or a super duper shotgun would have easily killed this terminator as it did previous ones.

I agree with previous comments from previous episodes about how the entire aura of the terminator has been destroyed ever since they became so easy to kill. Cromartie's destruction was pitiful.

December 10 2008 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

We've seen "Alpine Fields" on the blood wall in previous episodes and flashbacks. In this episode, Sarah talks to John on her cell phone and says "We had a hit of a name on the list -- Alpine Fields, it's a family." I assumed Alpine referred to the name of the forest, the road, or the cabin itself.

December 10 2008 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R-Bro

Thought this was a really weak episode compared with the last few. Some really terrible dialogue, like "a mother knows" (when she's about to die, apparently). Actually, the whole Fields family was completely unbelievable. Bad writing and bad directing, IMHO.

December 09 2008 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dp

I'm curious as to why the move to Friday is seen as the death of the show, I mean aren't we in a DVR era now? I would think that shows, especially sci-fi like this attract a heavy percentage of their views from DVR users.

The only shows that I watch live are sporting events and whatever my daughter is watching on Noggin.

I could be completely off on this but would like to hear other opinions.

December 09 2008 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dp's comment
Dorv

The whole point is that the networks pretty much seem to ignore DVR viewers, as they're not watching commercials (and thus not paying the bills).

December 09 2008 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hiki

It wasn't an unusual way of telliing the story, it was the only way. Remember Derek believes there are alternate futures out there because of what they are doing in the past. The future storyline's Derek's past is different from the present story line's. The Derek of the future didn't deliver the baby Sydney, afterall he would have remembered it, so there was no cause and effect, it was more of parallel story telling. Present Derek was re-living a past future memory and future Derek was meeting them for the first time.

December 09 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hiki's comment
DarthPaul

##The future storyline's Derek's past is different from the present story line's. The Derek of the future didn't deliver the baby Sydney, afterall he would have remembered it,


That's not quite right. The future Derek is younger than present Derek, their pasts are (we can assume) the same at both points. The Derek of the future wouldn't remember it as he hasn't lived it yet.

Yay for time travel!

December 09 2008 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Skater3900

Wow...what a great episode.

Another great episode officially making T:TSCC one of the best shows on television this season. I love how this show has evolved from the vague story high action episodes to become an all around intriguing a suspenseful thriller. The writers are allowing the characters to grow at a steady pace and they are introducing very interesting ways to get their plot across.

I really liked how they didn't give away what family member the Triple 8 was after. It made for a very suspenseful episode. I loved the flashbacks and past flashback with Derek. This was just another genius episode! So far two of my favorite episodes back to back.

I can't wait for the DVD's this summer so I can see them all over again. Plus I can skip the parts with Riley in them. Hopefully she is gone after next weeks mid-season finally.

December 09 2008 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Todd

I don't think Cameron killed Roger at that point. I think she just knocked him out. I say that because in the "present", the girl talked about calling Roger which is what got the terminator on them again (and we later find out it was the mother that called him, not the daughter).

December 09 2008 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ian

Best one liner this week.

"My mistake!"

After Cameron kills Rogger and then finds out he was human and not a humaniod killer sent from the future!

December 09 2008 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ian's comment
Ian

I should have added the second best one line of the show:

Sarah Connor: "They always come in the front door!"

December 09 2008 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

I don't get why the family believed Sarah so easily - all the Terminator did was get out of his car? He didn't do anything to make them believe he was a robot, or even out to get them, actually: Sarah was the one who ran into HIM, wasn't she? I think I must have missed something. And the family just bought the whole thing so fast, and settled right back into their familial squabbling without missing much of a beat - didn't ring true to me. Did that bother you guys, too?

December 09 2008 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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