Brief spoilers for the last episode of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" until February coming up just as soon as I take a shower...
I watched "Earthlings Welcome Here" last night, and for the better part of a day I grappled with what to write about it. Every time I got done with some other job at work, I'd load up the blog software, stare at the blinking cursor, and... nothing. I still have nothing, but it's already primetime on Tuesday and I want to let the handful of "Terminator" fans around here start talking already.
Now, there are times when I judge these kind of mid-season finale episodes differently from a regular show because it has to tide me over for several months and make me want to come back after the hiatus. But I think I would have found this one frustrating even if I knew there was another episode to follow in a week. Despite having her name in the title, Sarah remains the weakest character of the main ensemble, so an entire hour of her exploring her shifting identities with a transgendered robotics expert wasn't my idea of a riveting outing. Yes, the character could use some fleshing out the way John has gotten in recent weeks, but this didn't really work; it felt like the writers recently had a viewing of the original "Terminator" film and were so taken with the image of Sarah the meek diner waitress that they tried to build a whole episode about the transformation from her to the current version of the character.
The flashbacks to Riley's arrival in the present day were more effective. She's the first of our time travelers to have never known a world before Judgment Day; in many ways, the culture shock would be even worse than bringing ahead someone from, say, the 19th century (where at least they knew about running water). But they're taking a very long time to get to the point of her mission, and what side Shirley Manson's on, and all the other factions that have materialized in LA 2008. And because there are so many time travelers in our midst, the cliffhanger of a wounded Sarah staring up at what looked like a SkyNet hovercraft wasn't as mind-blowing as it could have been.
By all means, I'm going to be ready for the show when it comes back on February 13, but after being really strong for much of the fall, I wasn't in love with either of the last two episodes.
What did everybody else think?