I've been watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles over again with commentary and extras as I do with many of my beloved TV shows. Many people hate commentary tracks, but when it's done right, it can open up a whole new level of understanding for the story. I hoped I could get that from TSCC as the series finale posed many issues as fans of the series will know. Suffice to say, this post will be rife with spoilers. So stop reading now if you have not already seen it.
It's been a while, so here's a quick run-down at the end of the series. Cameron relinquishes her chip to John Henry who then travels into the future as he is no longer tethered to the basement. Upon discovering this, Catherine Weaver (Terminator) and John Connor travel to the future as well leaving Sarah Connor behind much to John's dismay. Of course, time travel fanatics will note several issues with this move. I'll just go through a few of them that I've noted of particular issue.
Heard Of John Connor?
After donning the coat of Kyle Reese, John meets Derek Reese who tells him that he does not know him. He also states that John is about to become famous for wearing Kyle's coat. Tho gravity of this short dialogue is really powerful. John Connor is unknown in this future. He is not the leader of the resistance, he does not command troops. He is a nobody. And so is the legendary Sarah Connor. This carries more than a few problems with it. But one of the big ones will be how to convince Kyle Reese to go back to the past to protect Sarah Connor and father him.
The next interesting tidbit was the allusion that Kyle Reese might be the prevailing leader of this resistance. It doesn't exactly sit well with me. Kyle was always an unremarkable soldier. And for him to carry this position of power instead of his older brother raises many questions.
It has been postulated that Sarah Connor may have managed to survive through Judgement Day and is still living in this future without her son. Waiting for him to return and undoubtedly telling wild stories of how her unknown son will save them.
How this would complicate matters further for John having a mother that was crazy in the past and even crazier in the future is an interesting concept, but undoubtedly makes John's journey to leadership more difficult.
Perhaps the biggest complication of all is the fact that John Connor is no longer a target or threat for Skynet. How does this affect timelines or other aspects of time travel? Even if Kyle Reese could be convinced to go back in time to protect Sarah Connor, would she even need protecting? I'm not sure how this works. The TV series certainly toyed with the notions of conflicting and alternate timelines. But nothing to this extent.
Another oddity was the new origin of Skynet being Danny Dyson. A peculiar twist. If my dad was killed by a woman claiming that he was the reason for the apocalypse, I'd be pretty damn sure that I wasn't going to follow in his footsteps. Especially after seeing several terminators in my present.
This character was immensely intriguing as a robot tethered to a basement who played children's games and had a part of his consciousness roam the internet for information. His apparent purpose was a means of combatting Skynet, though I have no idea how one reprogrammed Terminator body intends to fight off an entire race of machines. Especially in a world where his main asset (the internet) no longer seems to exist. This needed a lot more explanation I thought.
The Right Move
It occurs to me, that perhaps the network made the right decision in cancellation. There was an incredible amount of story that needed to be explained and much of the initial premise of Terminator seemed to have been thrown out the window.
I still loved this TV series and enjoy musing on the idea of a third season and what that would involve, but after considering all of the possibilities, I can't help but think that it would have disappointed.
On a related note, happy birthday John Connor.