The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Desert Cantos
(S02E15) Have you ever been to a funeral? They're not usually very thrilling. All that awkward silence, standing around, and the hard-to-watch mourning will deflate anyone's day. So why set an episode of Sarah Connor at a funeral?
I guess the writers wanted to remind us about the Skynet war death toll. It's high. We get it. Can we move on now?
Thanks to Weaverbot's liquid metal skewers and some explosives, Skynet managed to take out an entire town in one day. That's pretty frightening, but we didn't' need an entire episode about a group of grieving town folk to tell us that.
TSCC has been resting on a downbeat since last December's mid-season ender. I don't mind a little sobering tragedy in between jaw-dropping revelations and robot-on-robot brawls, but this episode brought the story to a crawl. The first half of season two delivered some of the best and most thrilling genre TV of 2008. So it's more than a little disappointing to watch the show slip into a coma now that 2009 is here. Last week's ep was slow paced, but it was engaging. This week's main plot, which saw our heroes crashing a funeral to investigate the mysterious warehouse in the desert, felt dull and unessential – two words I shouldn't be using to describe one of my favorite arc-driven sci-fi shows.
You'd be forgiven for shutting off "Desert Cantos" less than midway through and instead searching the Interweb to learn if anything important happened in this ep. Some important stuff did happen in the final act after all the unearned gravitas. Let's get to that.
We learned that the entire desert town was set up like a Skynet work camp. Every house was wired with security cameras so that, according to Derek, people working for the machines could be monitored by "other people working for the machines."
One of the warehouse workers who was presumed dead, the father of a snarky girl John was chatting up for information, is alive and doing some dirty deeds.
The warehouse, possibly owned by Weaverbot's ZeiraCorp, was manufacturing flying Skynet drones. Derek and the Connors watched a drone fly out of a pond, confirming Sarah's sighting after she got shot in "Earthlings Welcome Here." The drone flew off and parked itself inside a big rig driven by snarky girl's father.
Weaver had Walsh apparently looking for snarky girl's dad. The Connors found Walsh dead right before they saw the drone. It looks like big rig drivin' daddy got away with a drone, but who is he and where is he going? And why does Weaver want to capture or kill him? Those are the questions we were left with at episode's end.
Seeing that drone fly out of the pond gave me hope that things are about to pick up. Let's hope I'm right.
- Why is it so important for Weaverbot to bond with Weaver's child? Is it just to keep up the façade? I feel sorry for the kid. No one should have to be consoled by an emotionless killing machine on the anniversary of her father's death.
- I liked how Weaverbot is manipulating Ellison to gain his sympathy. His father died recently, so he threw himself into his work to dull the pain. Now he thinks Weaver is doing the same thing.
- We had more references to Kyle Reese in this ep. I wouldn't mind if he showed up again – for real this time.
- This probably isn't the writers' intention, but I think it's pretty funny that the Connors leave all their new "friends" feeling used and confused at the end of every episode:
Random Character: "Who are you? Please, tell me the truth. You owe me that much."
Sarah Connor: "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"
Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic.com
Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic.com