One of the things that made the first film such an impressive piece of film-making was that they were able to do such a dense science fiction film on a small budget. Now that franchise has turned into special effects and (BOOM!) explosions!! The lower budget forces you to get more creative with storytelling and you wind up with The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But what an opportunity the Terminator franchise had with both outlets occurring simultaneously. An opportunity totally squandered.
(S02E22) And now we wait.
The season two finale of The Sarah Connor Chronicles turned out to be the most gripping episode of the entire series. The last few minutes delivered some major surprises and a glimpse of what to expect from a possible third season.
But the chances of a third season are slim to none. The show's live ratings on Friday nights have been, well, terrible, and some sites are already reporting that the series will not return next season.
So now we wait for the official word from Fox. Will there be a season three of TSCC, or was this Sarah Connor's last hurrah?
(S02E18) Viewers, come back! The water is safe. The "Sad Sarah" storyline is officially over, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles has found its groove once again. Last week, we said goodbye to Sarah's depressing head-trip with an engaging episode that ended with a shocker (well, I was shocked anyway). This week, John, Sarah, Derek and Ellison struggled to answer that eternal Terminator question: Can metal be trusted?
This is a bit of a relief to me because it sends a signal to Fox that another season of either show (both of which I enjoy) would be a good idea. If anything, this information is further proof that the current ratings system is obsolete and should be replace by something else (damned if I know what, though. The trick is to get advertisers to trust whatever new system they adopt).
It's also a sign that, unlike myself, some sci-fi fans actually go out on Friday nights and can wait until later to watch their favorite Friday night shows. Good for them.
Did anybody expect otherwise? Given the timeslot and the relative lack of publicity (no matter how cool the trailers actually are), the shows still did pretty well. Hopefully the additional views from DVRs that are watched during the week will increase the ratings enough so Fox doesn't cancel within three episodes.
I can only hope that Joss Whedon's statements about Fox are true and they were expecting low initial ratings for the series and that they hope to make up for it in DVD sales and increased ratings over time. If this sort of programming succeeds over time, then folks like me will have a legitimate excuse to stay in on Friday nights.
Let us not forget that success stories such as The X-Files started on Fox on Friday nights. I'm not giving up hope yet.
As we do every year, we here at TV Squad are reminiscing on the top TV news stories of the year. What has 2008 brought us? Well, while we were all complaining about the lack of quality shows that debuted this season, we may have missed the second-year shows going right down the crapper.
Let's start over at ABC. Three very promising shows premiered last season -- Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, and Pushing Daisies -- to praise from the critics and buzz from the viewers. Dirty Sexy Money, with the cast that could be someone's fantasy cast, started off strong. There was a mystery, unique and complex characters, and some integrity. With the writer's strike went the integrity and the ratings, and recently, we got the news that no more episodes of Dirty Sexy Money would be ordered.
It's hard to believe the season is so far along. If this season is the traditional 22 episodes, then there is only nine to go when the series returns in February. On Friday nights. On Fox. I hope it makes the full nine.
This episode didn't thrill me and was disappointing for something hyped as the "Fall finale". I was hoping for more of an action-oriented episode rather than a Riley backstory. Even the Riley flashbacks and flash-forwards weren't as interesting as previous episodes.
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.
(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).
(S02E10) The nice thing about being a Terminator and dying is that provided the body isn't destroyed, you could always come back. Although how Cromartie came back at the end was a bit of a shocker.
My review is going to ramble somewhat. I'm writing this after imbibing some rum. It's what separates us from the machines.
Come on, people. When Ellison saw Cameron stick the metal pole into the ground, you'd think he'd be somewhat suspicious. Perhaps that will be a plot point later.
I consider myself to have at least average intelligence, but tonight's episode had me confused. What was the significance of Sarah touching the three dripping blood dots on the wall at the end? Is it just something to make Sarah and the audience cogitate further on the mystery behind them?
On a side note, I was very glad they tortured the real Charles Fisher (Fischer?) and threw him in jail. I'm still pissed off at him for killing Tara back when he was Warren.
My first question is: why does Skynet even take human allies? I thought the goals of the machine were to exterminate all humans and set up a more organized and logical society (on a sad note, I know people who agree with at least one of those goals). Is the idea that humans know how to torture other humans better than machines do?
Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic.com
Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic.com
On the other hand, we still don't know the T-1001's motivations. She has no problem committing murder, as seen in her first appearance. The T-1001 nearly encountered John tonight, so we're still in the dark as to whether her mission is to terminate him (as with all the other Terminators) or something else entirely. If she encounters John and doesn't try to kill him, then she may be part of that cyborg contingent that has some other objective that was seen in the first season.
Observations from tonight's episode:
How did Reese get the credentials to teach at the military school? I know being from the future gives one access to certain information, but it seems a stretch.
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.
The show had good ratings the first season, but only nine episodes. Both of these can be attributed to the WGA Strike, which both cut down the available episodes and gave the show no competition. If it does well this season in the ratings, then we'll be seeing more killer robots in the future.
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