Eric (datan0de) wrote,

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Oh for the love of Cameron!

I have severe issues with episode 2 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Put the kids to bed and pull on your wading trunks 'cuz there's no nice way to do this.

First off, a quick lesson in Terminator Physics 101: Non-living material can not go through time displacement equipment unless it is surrounded by living material (memetic polyalloy probably counts as "living" for this purpose). Period. This is a foundation of the Terminator saga, reinforced by every canonical time travel instance ever seen or described, including TSCC episode 1. Cromartie's head making it through is wrong wrong wrong!

I'll follow that up with Terminator Physiology 101: The only model of terminator that can survive decapitation is the T-1000. (The T-1000000 notwithstanding. T2: Battle Across Time is not canon.) Not only is it not sensible for the head and body to be each fully functional on their own and able to communicate over long distances by wireless- it's also complete bullshit storywriting. Shame on you, Josh Friedman! This gimmick sucked when it was tried in Hardware, and that movie stands as the benchmark by which bad cyberpunk is measured. At least when Hardware did it 18 years ago it was original!

Besides, WTF sensors does the torso have that allow it to kill a human being, fabricate a (stupid) disguise, and navigate for probably miles until it reaches its head? There a line between "suspension of disbelief" and "not even trying", and at this point that line was about 3 exits back on the highway. I can't put it any more politely; this is simply fucking horrible, and worse still because so far it's completely irrelevant to the overall plot. Shit like this is why T3 is by far the weakest of the Terminator movies.

On a much more nitpicky note, in the original script for T2 as well as the novelization, Enrique Salceda was killed by the T-1000. It's not core canon though, and I did think it was neat that they included the additional tie to T2.

I'm not such a purist that I can't tolerate any deviation from what's already been established. I realize that in order to make a TV series work there'll have to be some changes and retconning, and that's okay. That's why I gave the first episode a free pass on implausible events. I dearly hope that episode 2 represents the end of this adjustment phase, and that we can all have a good cry and then move on to explore the terrific potential that this series clearly has.

The glaring problems are all the more striking in contrast with the rest of the episode, which kicked gratuitous ass! Seriously. Everything I didn't rant about was simply excellent. As it stands now, the good bits are good enough to keep me watching, but they've burned up all of the slack that I'm willing to cut a brand new TV series, and if they keep engaging in over-the-top stupidity and looking the audience in the eye while squatting on canon then even a Terminator freak like me will say "Hasta la vista, baby!"
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