Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Queen’s Gambit

Oh, how this show is growing on me.

Not only did we get some interesting twists in the plot, there were a couple of loose threads that were picked at and some very interesting new ideas. Like I said last week, the new mythos being added do the original concepts justice, and Lena does such a great interpretation of Sarah that I am completely taken aback by her ability to channel the character. Just watching her do her pull ups on the swing set made me think of Sarah in T2. She has such a physical presence, and her narration and cadence with the character is so spot on I almost prefer her to the original, now that we have had the chance to see her in several episodes.

The underlying theme of Chess that floated through this episode brought things full circle in many ways. John learns about the art of war via Chess and it continues to fascinate and inspire him. Andy returns (from the Turk episode) with a new and improved Chess playing robot and the tie in with the Robot Chess Challenge was all outstanding. The contest and the winning team getting a military contract certainly raised a lot of eyebrows.... and was essentially the nail in the coffin for our cell phone salesman. I am not usually that interested in Chess, but the whole fake and sacrifice the Queen for our Japanese team worked very well and it goes to show the limits of an artificial intelligence. Machines still have problems working around the whole dishonesty thing and tend to play by the rules, which is probably the saving grace at this moment.

Seeing the evolution of Skynet is quite the trip.... watching Cameron and how she related to or "felt" a tie with her predecessors made the whole episode worthwhile. The juxtaposition of robots from old, clunky versions to our T3 was like seeing an evolutionary chart of some kind, it was such great imagery. I am still very impressed with Summer and her ability to play such a stiff/robotic character. Seeing her deal with the grief counsellor was sheer hysteria, and her way of turning the tables on the teacher was great characterisation once again. She is fitting into the role of sister very well, and it makes a great cover for both of them.

The big fight scene with our bad Terminator of the week was a great one, and Ellison finding the hand later on might bring his story more around, the whole chasing mysterious blood type thing was only going so far, and I am wondering how he will react to more definitive proof that "they are out there".

Of course the biggest treat was the appearance of Brian Austin Green as John Connor’s uncle, Derek Reece. It was a bold move to make family for the Connors... but a very interesting gamble none the less. Seeing how he survives should make for some interesting TV, and definitely makes all of them seem more human. The arrival of Sarah's ex fiancé (from what? 8 years ago?) adds more fuel to the fire..... and I can hardly wait until next week to see where they are going next.