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12 March 2008 @ 04:36 pm
**Special note to kistha: in an effort to keep my title as Duchess of Evil, I am telling you, you must MUST watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And do not stop after the pilot, or the second episode, or the third. Watch all nine of S1. As soon as possible.**

So yes, I am all caught up now.

I admit it, I was skeptical at first. Even after watching the first two episodes. They weren't bad, but I was having a hard time deciding if the whole save-the-future-save-John-Connor premise could hold up an entire TV series, vs. a two hour movie. I LOVED T1 & T2 passionately. I thought T3 was an interesting way to kick off the much promised War of the Machines trilogy we still have not seen (though I hear casting rumors, finally.) But time travel is tricky, and when you've already done the premise three times in movie form, I wondered if they weren't running it into the ground and writing themselves into a corner with this show. (More on this later.)

And then, it took me a bit to warm up to Lena as Sarah. Sarah in T2 was a semi-crazy, tough as nails bitch willing to do whatever she had to in order to stop the future from happening, in order to protect her son and at the same time, prepare him for the future. I've seen some criticism of Lena's Sarah as being too soft, too unwilling to kill for the cause. I have to say, I totally disagree with this assessment, now that I've seen all the episodes.

Did y'all not watch T2? Did you not see Sarah come right up to the brink of becoming a terminator herself, only to stop just short of it because of John? To me, Lena's Sarah is the Sarah that almost became an assassin, and then stepped back from that edge. Lena's Sarah has survived the crazy. She can still be cold, calculating, and ruthless, but she no longer has that wild eyed insanity lurking close to the surface, and this is a good thing. She's progressed as a character into sane-but-still-determined, and that works for me. In T2, John was almost cast in the role of parent. Now, Sarah has a firm grasp on that role. With all that in mine, it makes complete sense to me that she would spare Andy. Miles Dyson taught her that people don't have to die if they can be removed as a threat in another way, or in some cases, recruited to the cause.

John, as others have said, is emoboy and in some ways, less mature than the John we saw in T2. Again, I can kinda see that. He's a teenager, and one with a lot of responsibility bearing down on his shoulders, and one without a strong father figure in his life. In fact, his strongest father figure to date was a machine! Boys, especially teenage boys, need an adult male figure in their lives being all manly and firm and fatherlike. No matter how strong Sarah is, or how great a mother she tries to be, she cannot replace that in his life, and John's occasionally whiny emo moments make complete sense to me in that light.

Which brings me to Derek Reese. I gather in fandom there is some sort of schism regarding the character of Derek Reese. People think he takes away from the female character focus of the show, or whatever. Um, seriously? I thought this was the most brilliant thing they could have done! BRILLIANT! Giving Kyle a brother than goes back in time gives the show so many layers it lacks completely without him:

~ he's a connection to Kyle for John, for Sarah, and for us, the viewers. It's a human connection to the horror of the future, something T2 and T3 both lacked that really made T1 IMO the best of the three.

~ through him, we get flash forwards that keep reminding us of that future everyone is fighting to stop. Excellent. Also, the occassional glimpse of Kyle (played here by my sweetheart, Jonathan Jackson), which is awesome.

~ he's a fighter for the cause willing to cross lines Sarah has not, as yet. He even comments on it, on the fact that she hasn't killed anyone and even though she has murder in her eyes all of the time, her heart is still pure. He allows Sarah to maintain her humanity, and I really like that.

~ he distrusts Cameron, and always will. John and even Sarah, to a degree, have a tendency to relax their guard around the terminator from time to time. Sarah might just rely on the thing's programming to remain true, but for John, it's an emotional connection, and always has been back to T2. That's a weakness he'll have to shed one of these days, and maybe Cameron will be the catalyst for that, we'll see. In the meantime, Derek brings that other extreme to the mix.

~ he's a father figure for John, and his uncle besides. AWESOME. John needs this so badly. He craves it, not just because of the connection Derek has to his father, but he craves that adult male interaction. And Derek is by far the best, certainly most human father figure John has ever had. And that's not even taking into account the complicated feelings on Derek's side of all of this. I can't tell you how much i'm looking forward to seeing this relationship grow. I hope BAG becomes a series regular next season. I can't imagine him not.

~ and none of that even mentions the ship possibilities, which hello Mr. Reese! I like to ship my shows, and this ship might even get me writing fic again. Oh, the angst! He called Sarah Kyle's 'type', but you know what? He is so Sarah's type. Scruffy, lean, hard eyed warrior from the future. She told John Kyle's eyes were soft (unlike Derek's). I think you lie to yourself, Ms. Connor. Kyle was hard and scary to you at first, much like Derek can be hard and scary. And Derek has that same softness within him that Kyle eventually displayed - you would've seen it if you'd watched him with John, eating ice cream. And deep down, Sarah is already drawn to him. Confused, perhaps, reluctant, yes, but drawn. She's already called him Reese (which she called Kyle) once that I caught (after which she and Derek had a rather electric moment), and you can't tell me she couldn't wait to yell at him about Andy until after he finished his shower. *fans self* And Derek admires her. You can see it already. I'm sure there's some "my brother's woman" stuff going on to keep him from acting on anything right away, but you can't tell me freedom fighters in the future, or those to come from the future to our own time to keep fighting, get the chance for casual sex very often. I think the tension between these two is going to do nothing but build.

Oh yes, fic is a distinct possibility, especially if we have to wait very long for S2.

I realize I haven't said much about Cameron yet. At first, I kept seeing River. Again with the skepticism, but eventually I got over that. Summer is an awesome terminator, IMO. My favorite bit so far was when she walked away and let the ballet teacher and her brother get killed, because she did what she needed to complete her mission, and whatever happened to them after just didn't touch her. That was note perfect.

This is so my new favorite show. :)
a joyful girl getting loud: [scc]  doesn't have a soul & never willperi_peteia on March 13th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
You have many interesting thoughts! I am currently not feeling smart enough to respond to them, so instead I will just ask if you have seen THIS POST, I made?
I joined the Rebel Alliance ironically: derek sarah toothbrushmorwen_peredhil on March 13th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
SCC and Sarah Connor and Derek Reese, separately and together, have EATEN MY BRAIN. I'm currently doing my rewatch writeup of "Vick's Chip" and it's taking me so long to finish with the toothbrush scene that it's actually embarrassing.
Pooh: Doom - angry angel (by morgaine22)mspooh on March 13th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
Whee! It took me a really long time to warm up to this show. The first episode kind of put me off. Damn Jonathan Jackson for showing up as Kyle. Damn BAG for his sudden hotness! I'm pretty sure it was the invention of Derek Reese that made me start to really like this show -- this leads to more JJ guest spots, right? Right? *twitches*

As much as Kyle/Sarah is my OTP, I think I'm open to some Derek/Sarah. Well... in that it also leads to angsting over the "my brother's woman" thing, which is definitely okay by me. That ice cream scene broke me.