Spoilers for last night's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" coming up just as soon as I build a safe...
I enjoyed large swaths of "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today." The increasing despair of John, Sarah and Ellison were all very well-played -- with John in particular, the writers and Thomas Dekker have done a great course correction this year by showing how heavily his future crown weighs on him -- and I really dug the Spaghetti Western vibe of the final showdown with Cromarite (most notable in Cromartie's choice of shirt and Cameron's choice of boots, but also in the atmosphere and the photography and music choices). And watching Cameron strip off her jacket because she knows how John responds to her faux-body was the creepiest thing the show's done since Shirley Manson made Weaver's daughter wet herself.
But here's the thing: if you're going to employ a storytelling gimmick that calls as much attention to itself as this episode's fragmented, POV-driven chronology, you need to actually get something interesting out of it. And other than the surprise of Ellison opening the car trunk to offer Sarah his hand (and his own version of "Come with me if you want to live"), there wasn't a single thing in this episode that couldn't have been accomplished if they had told the story traditionally.
"Boomtown" made this gimmick into its regular narrative style (at least in the first season, before NBC ordered Graham Yost to stop), and it always drove me nuts how little it added to the proceedings. Only on occasion would the out-of-sequence plotting change how we perceived events earlier in the hour, and there was nothing along those lines here. I kept expecting to see something in "Cameron's Story" that altered my view of events that had just been shown in "Sarah's Story," or "John's Story," but all the episode did was tell the story out of order because somebody thought it would be cooler to do it that way.
Also, I'm going to miss Garret Dillahunt as Cromartie, if we assume he's really dead for sure. And the manner of his dispatching was a disappointment. So all of a sudden a shotgun exists that can damage the metal that makes up a T-888's skull? One of the points the "Terminator" movies and the show until now have tried to stress is that a Terminator, of any model, is really hard to kill. If you can take down the non-morphing models just by shooting at them a lot, it really damages their mystique.
What did everybody else think?