Posted by : Wendy B Friday, 9 December 2011
|How would you raise the child destined to save humanity?|
Get passed that and you find a show with surprising depth, considering its source material. The Connecticut Post placed it on its list of the top 10 TV shows of 2008: "It's smart, with thought-provoking meditations on parenthood, destiny and human nature..."
I have loved the Terminator saga, even using it to fuel my grade 10 English essays. My friend complained that you will always know how it turns out, so what's the point? Yes, we know there will always be a Judgment Day and a Skynet and a John Connor, but the key to the terminator saga is how the players reach and react to those points, with the future constantly altered by the past, and the past constantly altered by the future.
The journey is everything.
TSCC, like me, acknowledges the possibilities of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but thankfully ignores Terminator: Salvation, much in the same way Terminator: Salvation ignored the entire concept of the Terminator series.
This is the journey of Sarah Connor, raising the boy who will become the man who saves humanity from the machines. No pressure, mom.
The series begins with Sarah settled and engaged; growing comfortable with a normal life until a dream reminds her that the future is coming. So she runs. John is a typical teen with bitter and angry moments that mainly manifest due to mom's constant need to run and her denial of his need for a hug.
Initially, I had trouble accepting Lena Headey as Sarah. She was stepping into Linda Hamilton's shoes, while looking a lot like she needed a sammich. Acting-wise, she was adequate. I can't decide if she grew into her role as the series progressed, or if it no longer mattered because, as usual, it's the supporting cast that, well, supports the lead. And boy did they.
In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah comments that, of the many father's John has along their constant flight, the T-800 terminator was the most unusual, but it was a father figure, nonetheless. This time around, our friendly neighbourhood terminator is Cameron, a female model, with a human past we learn pieces of later. We also meet John's uncle, Derek. Between Derek and Cameron and others, Sarah learns that John can't just survive in order to save humanity; he must lead. There's a grudging realization that to become The Leader, he needs compassion. She tried to suppress that part of him, but comes to understand that it is part of him; the part of him that makes him the person people will die for.
The supporting characters have their own intertwined stories and motivations. Nothing that overshadows the main. Everything simply melds together, such as FBI agent Ellison's relentless pursuit of Sarah and his religious issues and how they come to play such an important part in Skynet's future. Opposing Sarah's mother figure is another mother of the future, Catherine, a terminator with her own plans for Skynet.
There are so many layers in these stories and characters that it's no wonder Fox got scared and cancelled it. I hate that it ended so abruptly, but I love to death where and how ended because of how perfectly this unknown and these new questions fit with the entire Terminator concept, which is something this show grasped so firmly:
"The future's not set; there is no fate but what you make for yourselves."
Besides, endings like these make perfect fanfic fodder. And for your viewing and listening pleasure - vidlets by Beccatoria.