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Wow. Last Night’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Was Fantastic

Written by: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageI am officially a fan of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Wow. Nice work, Fox. Over the course of a truncated season, you’ve slowly won me over to your reimagining of the Terminator mythos. OK, that’s enough direct address for any article. Let’s talk about last night’s episode, which was simply packed with bold choices, memorable scenes and strong performances. To wit:

Dr. Silverman. Holy shit, was it awesome to see this character return as a true-blue believer, and I loved the casting of Bruce Davison in this role. No offense to Earl Boen, who originated the part, but this show had established a pattern – an aesthetic, really – of making smart recasting choices, and even though I still think Lena Headey is a liability, Davison was tasked with playing a gog-eyed, hermetical Cassandra – and he delivered.

The writing. This show’s dialogue hasn’t crackled with the same energy as, say, a Joss Whedon or a J.J. Abrams series, but after seeing last night’s episode, I’m all in favor of this show tracking a course toward a more classical tone, especially in light of Dr. Silverman’s striking speech where he recounted seeing the T-101 and T-1000 terminators in the mental hospital (as seen in Terminator 2). The writer’s packed Silverman’s speech with classical allusions, so when he said that the T-1000 “had a face like Mercury,” I fucking got chills at the synthesis of a classical image with Periodic-table accuracy. Awesome.

Bold story choices. Summer Glau continues her no-brainer of a performance as a benevolent terminator, and last night we saw her in grim, unsettling action as she tracked down one of the progenitors of Skynet. Glau’s character enrolled in a ballet class to get close to the class’ teacher, who was in contact with a computer scientist connected to Skynet’s construction. Glau ingratiated herself with the teacher – who was in trouble with the Russian mob – and then, after getting information out of the teacher and her brother, Glau’s character allowed them to get executed by a hitman. Awesome.

More bold story choices. I love that Dr. Silverman became a believer. I love how Richard T. Jones' FBI agent is coming to discover the truth about Judgment Day. And I love that …

Glau’s terminator has developed an interest in ballet. I don’t know if any one person said this, but when Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov in chess for the first time, someone dismissed it as a parlor trick – no more amazing than a cheetah beating Carl Lewis in the 100-meter dash – but if Deep Blue ever started appreciating the beauty of a sunset, then we might be in trouble. Watching Derek Reese (Brian Austin Greene) walk in on Glau’s lithe terminator as she practiced ballet in her room gave me chills.

In any event, there’s a two-hour finale next week. I am so there, and I already can’t wait for season two.