Mar 11, 2010

[TV] Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2All good things must come to an end, they say, and this is even more true in the harsh cutthroat environment of network television. The very best shows get to create a legacy than spans several years. Some are able to get past the mythical 100th episode mark. Some are killed before the show even fully gets off the ground. Some never even see the light of air time and remain to be unreleased pilot episodes, lost in the archives of the studios.

So in way, one has to be thankful when a show even manages to decently complete a single season. That's an achievement in itself to make it that far and to be able to get a story really out there. Of course us fans rarely see that at the precise moment when a show's cancellation is announced. We just end up feeling bitter and angry about it and it prevents us from enjoying the run of the show as best as we can.

So let's celebrate the final season of another great show. Yes, it was killed off too soon but then it doesn't mean it didn't have a great exit.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2 was the final season for this interesting expansion of the Terminator film franchise. However the ratings for the first season were only just enough to keep it alive and thus the second season was certainly in jeopardy. For what it's worth, the writers certainly decided to try and push the envelope and make the most of their second lease on life.

As the main antagonist of Season 2, the T-1001...Image via Wikipedia

While the first season was interesting in its own right, it sort of lacked focus and their only enemy was a single terminator who spent most of the season putting himself back together. The second season followed the pattern established in the movies by introducing a more advanced terminator - a "female" T-1001 played by the amazing Shirley Manson who was portraying the role of Catherine Weaver, the head of a high technology company known as ZeiraCorp. She becomes the focus of the show as the adversary of sorts against Sarah and John Connor (played by Lena Headey and Thomas Dekker respectively) along with a reprogrammed terminator Cameron (Summer Glaue) and fellow freedom fighter from the future Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green). Plus there's still the threat of the terminator from the first season whom they've come to know as Cromartie.

The show had a fair number of plot developments that were clearly attempts to make things more interesting. First, Cameron appears to somehow have "feelings" of some sort centered around John despite her being an artificial lifeform, if even that. John also starts changing and becoming more the harder, stronger leader that he needs to become as leader of the future human resistance against Skynet. There were a also a few new characters like another human resistance member sent from the future, Jesse Flores (Stephanie Jacobsen) who is Derek's love interest along with Riley Dawson (Leven Rambin), who in turn becomes John's love interest. And ultimately there's also the developing artificial intelligence who is only come to be known as John Henry.

This season had a lot more focus and direction and less of the seemingly aimless wandering around of the first show. Instead of just running after the faintest echoes of potential Skynet precursors, the group had their own goals and missions all leading towards bringing down Skynet once and for all. And this was no easy task either with two Terminators operating in the city, each with their respective agendas.

What are a small band of humans expected to do in the face of such seemingly overwhelming odds? I mean come on, Catherine Weaver has the resources of an entire company to use to make their lives difficult, not counting the fact that she's composed of liquid metal and is truly a living weapon. The T-1000 line remains to be my favorite of all the terminator models featured in the franchise and certainly some of the deadliest. Here she's not just some mindless killing machine - she's cunning and ruthless and actually has a larger strategy and is not simply using brute force to come after the Connors.

Still, the show had to end and this was certainly a great yet confusing way to end the run of the series. As is typical of such situations, they chose to end things by leaving the door open for future writers in the more chance that someone else will pick up the show in the future. There are always reruns to build up a fan base after all - it's how Star Trek came back from the dead.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2 gets 4 shape-shifting urinals out of a possible 5.

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