Asta 2

Monday TV

TSCC

This episode felt a little off to me and not just because of the lack of Derek. ;) Actually, I was forty minutes into the episode until I realized he was MIA which tells me he wasn't needed. I appreciate it when shows don't feel compelled to force a character into the story.

The theme for the episode seemed to be truth or, more precisely, what we desire to be true. Sarah and John, in order to survive, have been forced to live lives based on lies, but it's clear that those not dealing with trying to stave off an impending robot apocalypse are choosing to lie to protect themselves as well. Casey, whose becoming a more significant and interesting character than I had anticipated, lies to herself and to Sarah about Trevor. He's a good guy, wants to be a good father, but Casey fears how his life will affect that of their unborn son. Like Sarah, she's trying to guard her child against the violence of world she has not yet seen. Unlike Sarah, she is unable to fathom how out of her control her son's fate is.

I believe T-1000 Catherine Weaver was telling the truth about the helicopter crash, she just left out a few details. Likely, she had disguised herself as part the helicopter and, upon revealing herself, triggered the panic in Mr Weaver that caused the crash. She then assumed Catherine's identity. Interestingly, I felt there was some sincerity on her part as she expressed her views on technology and it's benefits to Ellison. And killing John and Sarah seems far from a primary goal. Maybe she envisions a robot empire not created through the destruction of humanity, but through undermining it and gradually controlling it over time.

Poor little proto type robot girl, also known as Alison. Summer gave, imho, her best performance to date, creating two distinct characters (three if you want to include Amnesiac!Cameron) and doing a great job of conveying Alison's fear and pain. Unfortunately, by Summer doing such a superb job she further emphasized Shirley Manson's shortcomings.

Seeing glimpses into Alison and Cameron's past raises a lot of answers. Why was Alison of all those in captivity copied? She was close to John, but how close? If Cameron was imprinted with Alison's memories and Alison loved John, Cameron's declaration of love to John in the season premiere may have been more than a fake out, it may have been the first sign of Alison bleeding into Cameron's consciousness. I'm also left to wonder, if Cameron was created to kill John, did John feel compelled to reprogram her, try to save her, because of feelings he had for her? Yet, he also made every effort to strip her of those memories. And this identity crisis is proving her chip was damaged more severely than anyone thought. That's more than a bit worrisome.

I loved that we now have an explanation for Cameron's desire to dance - Alison's mother was a music teacher. And, I can't recall, was the music that 'inspired' her at the dance studio Chopin? It would be nifty if it was.

We now have a little more backstory on Ellison. He and his ex-wife seem to be on very good terms so what drove them apart?


Chuck

There was a lot to love about this episode. They managed to recap events from last season for the newbies while not boring me. That's something shows usually trying to 'reboot' fail to do.

The entire supporting cast has been upgraded to series regular status. I was a bit worried about that development until I saw that the writers toned down the more irritating aspects of the characters. Morgan even scored a better haircut!

Sarah seems happier at Orange Orange. A cuter outfit without the annoying smell of sausage!

Casey may have shown a layer! He'd never admit, but his reluctance to kill Chuck proves he likes the guy. And even if Sarah hadn't arrived to inform Chuck that the cipher was a fake and he remained the sole intersect, I don't believe Casey could have pulled the trigger. It seems to me that in protecting Chuck he now has more of a life than he ever had. Chuck and Sarah are the only people in his life he could possibly call friends. He occasionally gets to have a family dinner at the Bartowski's. He even has acclimated quite nicely at the Buy More, eying the "Single white female pining for the beastmaster" and not wanting to miss out on a big sale.

Big Mike has better management skills than my boss. I had to mention that.

Chuck finally got to be the hero! Yes, he was dropped from the building and Casey needed to stop him from going splat, but, before that moment, Chuck had done some pretty quick and impressive thinking on his own and with no expectation of anyone coming to save him. And, at the end, he was the one who led the troops in to save Sarah and Casey. Just as Chuck believes he's about to leave this life he never wanted behind, he embraces it, even referring to himself as 'Agent Charmichael'.


Life

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. Reese seems a lot more excepting of her partner. They didn't drag out the search for Rachel (I can't even imagine where the therapist is going to have to begin with her). I actually felt sympathy some sympathy for the killer...up until he revealed himself to be a psycho. How utterly depressing is the thought that someone would be driven to kill because they are tormented to see other people's happiness?

What I'm possibly not pleased about is the addition of Tidwell. Not only did I like Lt Davis, I felt bringing in an abrasive, fish-out-of-water, possibly smarmy (Was he joking about the wife and girlfriend? And does he want to add Reese to the harem?) new boss was a cliche and the show has done a pretty good job up until now of avoiding cliche characters.


Happy Belated Birthdays! to pellucid and the_royal_anna. I know you lovely and brilliant women had great days and I hope you forgive my tardiness. I didn't forget, I wasn't posting! ;)
  • Current Mood: awake awake
Tags:
Thanks for the confirmation. :) Seems Cameron and Derek may share a mutual trigger. And I'm not sure Derek knows about Alison, but maybe Cameron was in that house with him before she was reprogrammed? Maybe she chose the music? ;)
Thank you for the birthday wishes! It was a good one.

I wish I had something more insightful to add with regard to your TSCC comments, but I think I'm pretty much at the level of pointing and saying, "yeah, that!" right now. Oh brain! Do come back soon! ;)
I love Life so I'm ecstatic that it's back at long blooming last. I must admit that I like Lt Cliche. He's so horrible at the moment, but at the same time seems to appreciate Charlie's getting the job done with his unconventional thoughts. I think he's on a road to improvement, which is a story I always like so I'm not too bothered. And I don't doubt that it'll be Reese who calls him out. I wonder if my opinion will have changed by next week...

I'm glad Charlie found Rachel, partly cause I want to know more about her. And now the other part of her story can start - the long long road to healing. I'm looking forward very much to this season.
I'm wondering if the show felt the need to bring in a character who could judge/appreciate Charlie for who he is now rather than having a cast of characters who were directly or indirectly tied to his past, the baggage and the judgments that come with that?
I didn't miss Derek, because I don't think he fit with the episode at all: it was all about nuances and stories, and his life is pretty uncomplicated, he is who he says he is. I'm also glad they didn't feel the need to shoehorn him in somehow.

Interestingly, I felt there was some sincerity on her part as she expressed her views on technology and it's benefits to Ellison.

I get the feeling that when she talks about the beauty of pure machine, and about human error, she's expressing her true thoughts. The rest seems mostly to be lies, with a goal of manipulating Ellison, but that's one area where she seems to be telling the truth. If she sees humans as messy and failed, that would be a more nuanced--though ultimately no less harmful--view than the must kill now protective overreaction of the original terminators.
If she sees humans as messy and failed, that would be a more nuanced--though ultimately no less harmful--view than the must kill now protective overreaction of the original terminators.

She does seem to have succeeded in flying under the radar unlike some of her predecessors. ;)
So! Yes, I did enjoy this episode of TSCC more than the last. I don't really understand why everyone seems to love Derek. I feel sympathetic toward the guy and he's okay, but he's...kind of smugly irritating. I know he's not totally levelling with the Connors about everything and unlike Sarah, I don't feel like I know him well enough to feel sympathetic about that rather than "dude, whatever, you are less cool than them anyway." /judgemental anti-Derekness ;)

But yeah, I'm rather intrigued by what's going on with Cameron. To start with I'm not sure I buy this whole thing about a robot resistance. I mean, I know in a kind of Cylon New Caprica sort of way, killing Alison may not seem at odds with wanting 'peace' with the humans, but at the same time, I want some actual evidence that it was more than a ploy to get Alison to give up information before I take it at face value. And killing Alison so casually and replacing her so permanently suggests to me that even if they genuinely do want some sort of peace it's certainly not...I don't know. It's not robotic remorse that's for sure which makes me dubious as to why they'd want peace?

I enjoyed seeing Cameron go from thinking she's Alison to thinking she's an original Terminator to thinking she's Cameron again. What fascinates me most is that she was remembering material from Alison's perspective that either the terminators shouldn't know about or totally reconstructed from the answers they got from Alison and third-party information.

Certainly with Cameron it seems we're at a point where her computerbrain is complex enough to start tricking itself and manifesting 'glitches' in ways that are kind of indistinguishable from a human brain's psychoses: essentially she was running the wrong identity software at various points in the episode. But what's truly bizarre is how much better she was at being a human when she thought she was one. Is this the first time something like this has ever happened? Is Cameron merely making use of the sophisticated architecture in her chip as she experiences new things and new, well, damage to it? Does her awareness of her own nature sabotage her ability to blend in? Did Future!John deliberately lobotomise that part of her before she came back to save Young!John? Certainly the Cameron who killed Alison wasn't that sophisticated, but we already know that there were multiple copies of her, and that "sometimes they go bad."

Anyway. Weirdness.

And if Awesome Agent Ellison is going to continue to have all his scenes with the T1000, I really hope Shirley Manson gets to be a better actress quickly. I'm not sure what her game is. I find her decision to keep her stolen identity's daughter around kind of interesting. Though my first thought when the kid was doing sudoku (and yes, maybe she's just a kid who likes sudoku) was zomg! Second T1000 who stole the kid's identity, they were ALL in the helicopter!

She's the most promising candidate for being a terminator with her own agenda/a rebel agenda. I'm not sure if she's working to bring about Skynet's creation and is hiring Ellison because this way he's on her team and she can keep an eye on him and he's not another Connor-type out to muck up her plans, or if she's trying to get hold of terminator tech for entirely different reasons. At first my assumption was that she was working to forward the machine agenda in terms of killing humanity. Now I'm sure she's forwarding the machine agenda but I'm slightly less sure what that is.
I'm not sure if we just judged Derek on the character's merits he'd be as popular. A lot of people remember Brian Austin Green from 90210 and while we probably never found him to be an eye-gougingly bad actor, we just assumed that, like much of the cast, he was a mediocre actor at best and the show would represent the highlight of his career. I even recall being disappointed when I heard he was cast on TSCC and would be around for several episodes. But Brian not only became hot at some point between 90210 and TSCC, he also showed he was capable of bringing depth to a character. So I think Brian has a lot to do with Derek's popularity. Would Laura Roslin be so beloved if she wasn't portrayed by Mary 'Fraking Awesome' McDonnell? I also think Derek's complicated relationship with Sarah, John, and Cameron is very interesting. If we were just to focus on his character traits, yeah, I don't think he would be quite so popular.

To start with I'm not sure I buy this whole thing about a robot resistance.

I don't buy it either. I think it was just a bluff to hopefully get Alison to talk and when it failed she went with plan B of snapping her neck. :p

What fascinates me most is that she was remembering material from Alison's perspective that either the terminators shouldn't know about or totally reconstructed from the answers they got from Alison and third-party information.

It's possible Alison shared more information with the terminators than she is aware of. I keep going back to Derek being led to that room. We don't know what happened in there and I suspect he doesn't either. It's also possible John programmed what he knew of Alison into Cameron. Perhaps it was selfishly motivated, an attempt to keep part of a woman he cared about alive. Or maybe it was an experiment to humanize the terminators more. I suppose it's also possible that there is some sort of technology in the future that allows the transference of memories???

Does her awareness of her own nature sabotage her ability to blend in? Did Future!John deliberately lobotomise that part of her before she came back to save Young!John?

Good questions. I'd argue that even Cromartie is better at blending in and he is well aware of who and what he is. Maybe Future!John was fearful if she was too human, had the capability of starting to feel and care, that it would get in the way of her mission. Or knowing how he felt about Alison, if Cameron was a lot like Alison that his younger self would grow to love her and his past self might sacrifice himself to protect her. So complicated!
Interesting points about Brian Austin Green. I had absolutely no idea he was known for anything before TSCC. I guess I'm a combination of too young to remember 90210 and also I'm not sure it was even shown in the UK.

Also, in my naivety I'd never even really considered that Roslin's popularity was based on McDonnell's popularity since before BSG I'd never really been aware of her. I mean, I'd seen Donnie Darko, but I didn't even recognise her when I first saw the mini. So speaking for me I'd love her anyway, but I concede the point that she probably has a lot of pre-existing fans.

Though I would say that (again subjectively), isolated from their respective actors, Laura is a lot more interesting and compelling than Derek. His relationship with the other characters is definitely more interesting than Derek himself (no offence Derek) but even that isn't enough to get me really interested in it. Largely because his most interesting relationship is with the Connors and it's the one based on a kind of arrogant manipulation where he's willing to point out how much of a clique Sarah and John form but he's not letting them into his clique either. It's less that it's not objectively interesting, and more it's the kind of behaviour that makes me roll my eyes unless it's slightly better (imo) written and performed than this. But. Enough of me ragging on Derek! I should save that for Adama Snr. ;)

when it failed she went with plan B of snapping her neck. :p

OMG, CAPRICA IS TOTALLY THE MASTERMIND BEHIND THE TERMINATOR PLAN! When in doubt, snap its neck! I really hope she gets to do more neck-snapping in season four. It's been like...a whole season since she killed something innocent/on her side with massive trauma to the head-area. *nostalgia*

I think you may be right about Alison sharing more information than she's aware of. Though your use of Derek as a comparison is fascinating.

I have suddenly decided that I would find Derek 100% more interesting if he turned out to be an unaware Terminator. Unfortunately he pretty obviously isn't due to the emergency life-saving Charlie-enabled kitchen-table surgery, but that doesn't mean a Derekinator couldn't come back from the future for some reason.

Also I think it would be interesting if Cameron was completely fabricating chunks of Alison's memories based on things she knew/things she simply suspected. So for instance, perhaps Alison never did run through that room with those cages and the monkeys and tigers, but Cameron knew she quasi-escaped and knew those rooms existed and filled in the blanks. If Cameron has an imagination rather than simply a capacity to understand probably causes-and-events based on different actions, then that's...truly interesting.

I hadn't considered it but you have a very good point about Cromartie's ability to blend in being better than Cameron's at times. Which brings up how good Cameron was at blending in when we first met her. I know that in the Terminatorverse time isn't an unchanging loop, so it's possible the John who sent her back never 'met' her in his own experience of adolescence, but equally, if he did, then perhaps he coached her lines through that first experience accounting for her infiltration ability suddenly disappearing after that?
Also, in my naivety I'd never even really considered that Roslin's popularity was based on McDonnell's popularity since before BSG I'd never really been aware of her. I mean, I'd seen Donnie Darko, but I didn't even recognise her when I first saw the mini. So speaking for me I'd love her anyway, but I concede the point that she probably has a lot of pre-existing fans.

I'm sure Mary had many pre-existing fans, but I was referring to if a lesser actor had been cast in the role, let's say Sharon Stone ::shudders::, would Laura have been such a popular character? And I'm not saying Brian is comparable to Mary in the acting department, but he does bring something to the role of Derek that was surprising to those of us who knew him from 90210 and I'm not sure other actors would have been as successful in the role.

Though I would say that (again subjectively), isolated from their respective actors, Laura is a lot more interesting and compelling than Derek. His relationship with the other characters is definitely more interesting than Derek himself (no offence Derek) but even that isn't enough to get me really interested in it.

Oh, I TOTALLY agree. Derek is no Laura Roslin! He's not even a Lee Adama or a Sharon Agathon or just about any character on BSG. ;) His connections - John's Uncle and one of his soldiers in the future - probably make him as interesting, if not more so, than the person he is. I also think the potential of what he may be makes him intriguing. You mention Derek possibly being an unaware terminator or a copy of him arriving from the future, which we now know is possible thanks to Alison/Cameron. But I've suspected since we saw that flashback/flashforward of Derek being led down to the basement room that he is a sleeper agent and someday something is going to set him off. They are all worried about Cameron snapping again, but what if Derek is the real danger because they don't suspect him?
I'm so glad Life is back, it was an enjoyable episode but it didn't quite feel like it was on the same level of awesome as last year but I think that has more to do with this episode being a 2nd pilot episode for the series, hopefully things will tone down this Friday.
Yeah, I don't think we judge what Season 2 will be like just from this episode.

I saw that you took a look at Dryope's pics for ep 7. Looks likes something I suspected would happen is going to happen.