I had one post semi-written after my first viewing of ‘Born to Run’ and upon rewatch scrapped most of it.
Maybe because cancellation is looming over the show, but I felt this episode was very much about death. Sarah kept repeating to the FBI agent that her son was dead. It was a lie at the time, but John Conner does die, the victim of a time paradox and, on some level, suicide since it's his actions that put events in motion.
It took me two viewings to wrap my head around exactly what John had done. In traveling to the future, he skipped over growing into adulthood, surviving the apocalypse, and becoming the leader of humanity who sends Kyle Reese back to the past so he may be born. The John Connor he was/was destined to be no longer exists.
Or could John perhaps be fulfilling his destiny? In comments to Alan Sepinwell’s review an interesting theory was brought up – we aren’t seeing an alternate timeline, but the timeline that was meant to be. Cameron gave her chip to John Henry knowing it would compe John to travel to the future.
Of course, this would seem to set up John having to live out his life in the year 2030 whatever, but, should there be a third season, I don’t believe it's the writers intent to have two concurrent storylines, John, Derek, Kyle, and Alison in the future and Sarah, Ellison, and Savannah (?) in the present. I would hope that John’s stay in the future last longer than a single episode. And while Kyle couldn’t return with John because he needs to carry on in the future to travel to the past in order for John to be conceived and Alison needs to die so Cameron may exist, Derek could conceivably go back (again) to the past. It could b interesting to see him reform bonds with John and Sarah having no memory of his time with them. Or, what if John clues him into his fate? Derek avoids the bullet that kills him and John returns to find Derek still alive. Anyone else's head hurting?
Ellison: “She’ll never leave his side and he’ll never leave his mother’s.”
I found it fascinating that Sarah did let John go. It made sense to me. Even under normal circumstances, there comes a point where you have to let your child go, hope you did the best you could raising them, and watch them succeed or fail on their own. John has been growing more and more independent of Sarah for some time. He’s at ease handling a gun now. Sitting at the table in the hotel, Cameron at his side, I felt as if I was watching scenes from The Godfather. He goes against Sarah’s instructions and formulates a plan to rescue her. And it's John Catherine addresses in their meeting, not Sarah.
At the same time, John has grown closer to Cameron. The irony being that the terminator he seemingly sent back in time to protect himself also is his undoing. Until Cameron’s chip was taken, he never made a truly selfish act. His desire to save her he put above the future of humanity.
I didn’t see that Sarah had any choice but to let John go. Now, she has tasked herself with stopping Skynet to prevent the future from happening. Really, it’s been her mission all along. John’s role has been to work from the future to change the past; Sarah’s has been to try to stop the future from happening.
“Will you join us?” So Catherine, or her liquid metal counterpart, the eel (nice twist!), told John in the past/future, “No”. Now, Catherine wants to help John and Sarah take down Skynet. What changed? Did the liquid metal realize they couldn’t succeed in whatever their plan was alone? Or did they think they could stop the war in the future, but came to realize the only way to win was to change the past?
I know it’s a contractual thing, but having Brian Austin Greene in the opening credits was a giveaway that we would be seeing him again in some form.
I was disappointed by the terminator sent after Catherine. He was taken out rather quickly and his only purpose seemed to be to back up Catherine’s claim that she’s just as much of a target as the Conners.
Danny Dyson has been missing for three months. Hmmm, I suspect he is carrying on his father’s work.
Does Sarah believe she has cancer? It was hard to read her reaction to John’s question about her weight loss.
I would have thought they’d be a little more freaked out about Catherine revealing herself to be a liquid metal terminator.
“I’m Sorry John” - Originally, I thought this was a message to John, but, upon further consideration, I’m thinking it might be a message from John Henry to his ‘mother’, Catherine.