I gave most of my thoughts on the show in my column on Friday -- particularly my disappointment with Lena Headey and my enjoyment of Summer Glau -- but I'll hit a few specific points and then open up the floor to anybody who watched:
- The show's producers didn't like "Terminator 3," so they found a way to erase its existence by having Sarah and John jump so far forward in time. There's still one detail from "T3" that will be important in tomorrow's second episode. On the other hand, Cameron's attempt to help the Connors destroy Skynet once and for all definitely goes against the "T3" philosophy that Skynet will always rise, no matter how many times they think they've prevented it.
- Since "The Matrix" and "Buffy," the dominant action paradigm, especially on TV, has been towards martial arts choreography, so it was kind of refreshing to see some old-fashioned Terminator-style fighting involving two people smashing each other into walls. That said, the only action sequence that really got my pulse racing was the one at the bank, and for the most part the thrill was one of anticipation, not action itself.
- I like how Terminators, no matter their size or shape, always conveniently find someone whose clothes will fit as soon as they arrive naked in a new timeline. What if there had only been two frat boys in that car? Or if it was three sorority girls? I doubt we'll see another time jump by our heroes -- this one was a convenience to both invalidate "T3" and bring the characters forward from the late '90s setting of "T2" while leaving the characters at roughly the same age -- but I hold out hope of one day seeing a Terminator show up wearing a billowing muumuu or a pair of hot pants that are too tight or something equally silly.
- Though I found Headey largely wanting in the role, the moment where Sarah tried to blow her brains out was a nice reminder of just how hardcore she's supposed to be, even if the actress doesn't usually pull it off on her own.
- The school shootout scene with Cromartie was filmed before the Virginia Tech massacre happened, but obviously well after Columbine and the like. At press tour in the summer, the producers promised they were aware it might be inappropriate and were going to change it, but any alterations were so minor that I wouldn't be able to tell you what they were without digging out my original pilot screener. Like I said in the review, Cromartie's "Class dismissed" didn't much work as a kiss-off line in the way it would have 15 or 20 years ago.