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October 22, 2014

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Ourselves Alone

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 7th 2009 2:01PM
summer glau sarah connor ourselves alone
(S02E17) It feels good to have our show back, doesn't it? After taking a mostly tedious three-episode trip inside of Sarah Connor's head, TSCC returned with a solid ep that addressed Riley's suicide attempt and featured Cameron getting a little twitchy. "Ourselves Alone" was light on Skynet conspiracy theories, but it delivered some definite payoff for one of the season's most talked about plot lines. Click through for the spoils.

It was revealed that Jesse's plan was to get Cameron to kill Riley, turning John against Cameron and the idea of trusting reprogrammed Terminators. We knew Jesse was trouble since day one, but I wasn't prepared for what happened at the end of this episode. I was just getting to like Riley, and I didn't want to see her die last night. It's not that I grew to love Riley, I actually thought she was quite irritating, but I really wanted Jesse's plan to fall apart and for her to be exposed as the cracked, manipulative wench she really is. Her plan did fall apart, thankfully, but Riley's murder means there's no one left to expose Jesse's real agenda. So Jesse lives on to push the hard anti-metal line, manipulate the Connors – and annoy the hell out of me – for another day.

The opening scene with Cameron was one of my favorite parts of the episode. I love watching quirky Cameron interact with the world, in this case a bird nesting inside the Connor's chimney. The opening was funny, but it also reminded us about Cameron's faulty chip issues. She wanted to help that bird and set it free, but she ended up killing it involuntarily. Will Cameron eventually end up in a similar situation with John?

Show creator Josh Friedman has revealed that there will be more issues with Cameron's chip this season, and she might become a dangerous problem for the Connors again. As far as I remember, Cameron's chip was never officially fixed. Even she knows she's a danger to John. That's why she gave him the remote detonator, which I hope he doesn't use.

Derek returned this week, but he was busy chasing a Skynet lead and not noticing what a blatant evil witch his girlfriend is – again! Derek's subplot didn't really go anywhere in this episode, but I did like his talk with Jesse about the diverging timelines. It brings up lots of interesting questions: What does Jesse know that has her hell-bent on turning John against Cameron? How is her Judgment Day and her Skynet war different from Derek's? Are her actions justified? I hope we get some answers before the season (series?) ends in April.

We didn't get any robot-on-robot action scenes this week, but I found this ep a lot more compelling than the "Sad Sarah" trilogy. I know some of you enjoyed that arc, but I'm glad it's over.

Other Observations:

- I love John Henry, Ellison and I'm warming up to the Weaverbot, but I didn't really miss them this week. I was too caught up in the Riley-Jesse drama and Cameron's twitchiness to think about them.

- Future John seems to be a lot smarter than Teenage John, right? But Teenage John seemed to know more about Riley that he let on. What else does he know or suspect, and is he planning something based on his information/theories?

- Sarah didn't like the idea of Derek chasing leads on his own and keeping her out of the loop. I wonder if she'll lose all trust for him once his relationship with Jesse is revealed.

- I know Sarah Connor is the title character, but does anyone else think the show works better when Sarah doesn't take center stage?

- Note to self: When attempting to kill a Skynet war vet, bring lots of guns.

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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CindyP

OURSELVES ALONE was what i like to call a '' quality episode'' IT showed definite progress from the Sarah-centered arc. I have to admit, didn't expect Riley to die...man that Jessie is a bitch! Domestic violence aside lol, i really hope Derek is the one who'll get to kick her butt for making a SUCKA out of him..
Upcoming spoilers reveal more ''quality episodes''. Sadly i doubt we'll get some sort of closure if the series end....damn FOX and their Friday Night DEATH SLOT...If anyone remember, Dark Angel went through the same crap a few years ago.... WARNING to Dollhouse fans...don't get too attached!

March 09 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Yeah, finally a good episode - and finally the annoying Riley is dead (but the annoying Jesse lives on). Indeed, the last 3 eps have been the worst of the entire series - and all in a row it really hurts. But finally this was an episode that kept me interested.

I did want to see Cameron kill Riley, but oh well. And it would have been nice if Riley and Jesse had killed each other.

On another note, I'm curious how damage to Cameron's chip, which causes involuntary hand movements, can be fixed by adjusting/tweaking with the mechanics of her hand. I'm probably just being too nitpicky, but it seems like adjusting the tires of a car to fix an engine problem.

I still can't believe the thought that Riley is from the future never crossed any of their minds. Hasn't John figured out by now that whenever an attractive girl takes the initiative to befriend him at school, it's because she/it is from the future and has some judgment day related agenda, whether it be Cameron or Riley? Cameron tricked John once - shame on her. Riley did the exact same thing - shame on John. And you'd think Sarah would be incredibly suspicious of Riley's motives (though she didn't see Riley approach John at school). This is what drives me nuts - after Cameron John should know better, and when he hears that Riley's been talking about doomsday, bleached skulls, everyone being dead, etc., even then the thought that she's from the future never even crosses his mind? Seriously?

I really don't understand Jesse's motivation in being anti-Cameron. Sure, the robots can turn bad now and then, and sure the robots are the enemy in the future, but that's just a matter of their programming. A robot is not intrinsically evil, skynet or not. If Jesse cares about the great John Connor, she should want him to have the most protection possible, and that necessitates reprogrammed terminators. Does future John not like her? Does she have a thing for future John, and he prefers to ignore her to spend time with Cameron? It's not like John is having sex with Cameron - does the robot even have genitals? I'm sure it does, as it's an infiltration unit and if it didn't that would be an easy way to spot them ("show us your junk"). Ehh, anyway, Jesse is from Australia and was just traveling to America in her submarine (where they have a T-888 captain - why can she make use of terminators but john can't?). She's not part of future John's army, it seems.

Hopefully Jesse will be killed off soon, too. I'd like to see Derick do it.

March 08 2009 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

Mike,

Of course Future John seems a lot smarter. I would hope any of us are smarter at 43 than we were at 16. He also has a broad reach of intelligence and memories to which Present John has no access.

However, all of Future John's directives and commands to Cameron's are from the old timeline, and some will no longer apply. Present John has to make his own decisions in the new timeline, without the benefit of knowing the larger picture.

The Riley/Jesse storyline also raises the question of whether Present John would still want to become Future John if he knew everything.

Sarah's problem wasn't that Derek was chasing the leads on his own and not keeping her in the loop, as he goes off on his own missions (i.e., hotel sex) all the time. Sarah's problem was that Derek was chasing _her_ leads and not keeping her in the loop, and even taking the intelligence documents with him so she couldn't analyze them herself. Especially after all the grief and doubt she had received from Derek and John on her solitary "three dots" chase that had produced their current lead.

I do wonder, especially if it's not brought up again, what Derek's excuse to Sarah will be for not calling her or Cameron for backup and thus failing to abduct and question the lawyer.

March 08 2009 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ghottistyx

@Ryan, loved her like a sister/motherly figure. Jesse pulled her out of the gutter and showed her kindness no one else has ever showed her. When she worked out that Jesse had merely been using her, her world fell apart. Jesse is probably the closest thing Riley's ever had to a parent/sibling/friend.

It is my understanding that the bulk of Leven Rambin's experience is from soap operas; that definitely came out in that climactic catfight. She is obviously no stranger to melodrama, and I'm glad she got to show those chops off at least once before she was killed off. Like when she assaulted the foster mom, that just wasn't original enough (the line about bleached skulls was too reminiscent of Sarah in T2).

I don't understand how neither John nor Sarah were able to work out that there was something fishy about that guidance counselor. Jesse played her part very well (not just the feinted American accent). But think about it, if this guidance counselor really did know the things she told Sarah she knew (as she herself pointed out, the trip to Mexico was transporting minors across the border and it a federal crime), then by law, she would have had to report it. The fact that she (a) hadn't reported it right away, and (b) then went out of her way to tell Sarah she wouldn't: now that should have set off an alarm bell. I would think that John, who is well versed about legal stuff in general (such as 60 days to transfer out-of-state gun permits) would know that if Riley had told the guidance counselor even ONE of those things, DCFS would have been there sooner. Then, when Riley finally pieced it together, I was happy.

I won't lie, that scene completely took me by surprise. Nice surprise.

March 08 2009 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ryan

I completely agree -- much more interesting to see Cameron, Jesse, Riley then the Sarah-centric eps of late. I do like how they switch things up from time to time, but it's great to have them come back to the norm again.

March 08 2009 at 3:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

Haven't watched Friday's show yet but the 3 episode arc they just did was great. You guys really need to get your heads out of your butts. It's nice that this show doesn't follow one pattern all the time. Wish most TV went that route. It's all too predictable (and still I hate how Terminator wraps up too many elements each week).

March 08 2009 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
burningchrom3

It brings up lots of interesting questions: What does Jesse know that has her hell-bent on turning John against Cameron? How is her Judgment Day and her Skynet war different from Derek's? Are her actions justified?


new to the show, i like it so far(maybe i came in a bit late huh?). anyway, dont i remember in one of the movies (3 i think) arnold telling john that skynet uses his emotional attachment to the t800 to get close and ultimitely kill john? could this be the thing driving jesse, or ar these episodes not related to the movie canon?

March 07 2009 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

Riley told Jesse that she loved her. Was this intended to show that they were romantically involved or was Riley just expressing how much she appreciated Jesse's attention and protection?

March 07 2009 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Ryan's comment
Echy

Romantic love? No. It was the love of a friend.

March 09 2009 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

Well, she didn't have any parents. Jesse was the closest thing she had to one from her time. I was kind of "I love you" because there's no one else to love and this is the nicest anyone's ever been to her (though Jesse ain't nice).

March 10 2009 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Farrell

In earlier episodes Jesse was referring to "her" as that "machine." Also, if Jesse wanted Sarah dead, she would have made the argument with Riley before she killed her.

Also, why would they send back a wangsty mental defective for this mission (Riley)? I'm glad the character is done, since John is slowly going away I was hoping the whining would too, and with Riley gone the insufferable quotient goes down significantly. Which isn't to say I don't like the show...clearly I do since I watch it every week.

I find the Derek, Cameron, and Ellison characters to be interesting, I just hope Ellison is let into the fold soon... I think there's some interesting potential there.

As for the defective chip, I think it is definitely defective, as they eluded to it at the end of the episode by showing Cameron's hand still twitching. I think there's potential that Cameron is actually in denial over the problems she is having which is why she blamed it on her malfunctioning hand. Also, there was a second dead bird at the end of the episode...at least it looked like a different bird since the first one was a pigeon.

March 07 2009 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike Farrell's comment
Ryan

As far as "They" sending Riley back, as far as we can tell, it was Jesse alone, and she didn't have a lot of choices. She picked the first girl with a cute face and around the right age she could find, pulled her back to the past, and thought she would be able to control her.

Because of the timeline, the girl had to be born around the time of Judgment Day, and would have had little to no memory of an orderly, clean human world. Since I figure all the orphans are rooting around in the garbage like Riley, I found her surprisingly strong-willed and adaptable. And in the end, too smart for her own good.

March 08 2009 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chrissthomas

Man this show really is the most compelling show on TV. If only the movies stuck with a feel that resembled this 2, 3, and 4 would have been huge hits. We'll see where Christian Bail takes it. To me this show has become canon so much I hope I can still enjoy the new movie.

March 07 2009 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chrissthomas's comment
Mike Rogus

huh? 2 WAS a big hit. I'm pretty sure 2 is most everyone's favorite and 4 isn't out yet.

March 07 2009 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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