We open with Cameron in an aviator sunglasses homage to the films. This show never forgets its antecedents in the films, and this episode does that particularly well. Cameron is trying to steal the hand from police evidence, while Sarah's voiceover muses about the soul and starts the gorgeous slippage that this episode does between humans and machines. The soul is left when the body is gone. The machine burned. Andy burned. Ashes to ashes. Sarah sees the soul as wrapped up in human connection: part of her died with Kyle, but part of Kyle lives on in John. The unasked question seems to be what happens to souls if there is no more human connection, if there are no more humans?
Then there's some exposition about how Cameron couldn't find the hand, and she thinks Ellison has it. Sarah goes on "find the hand" duty, and Cameron is sent to find Dmitri, Andy's partner who seems to have taken the Turk.
Sarah calls the FBI to see about the hand, but they have no record of it, and Ellison claims never to have seen it. Ellison realizes he's got something unbelievable here, and he's not quite ready to give it up.
We then cut to Ellison at home, watching the videos of Sarah in the mental hospital and looking damned hot while doing so. I love this scene so much: Sarah on the tape is preaching about the tenacity of the machines (this will be important later). Dr. Silberman on the tape says, "If what you're saying is true, Sarah, surely there would be some evidence." And then we cut to Ellison, who looks toward his kitchen. Sarah says, "No one believes me." Ellison shuts off the tape to go look at the hand. (pellucid melts into a pile of Ellison-loving goo.)
I don't think he believes her yet--not quite at this point--but it's definitely the moment he decides to suspend his doubt and let himself entertain the possibility that she's telling the truth.
Because he's a good investigator, he then goes to Pescadero himself, to see where Sarah was held and to talk to the people there. ("Pescadero" is the Spanish word for "fishmonger." Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men if you follow me." Pescadero is the place where disciples are made.) While he's retracing her footsteps, Sarah is breaking into his house.
This is the first glimpse we get of Ellison as a man of faith, and I think the prop people got it a little wrong. The book open on the table is a Bible, I'm fairly sure, but I think the other one, with all the ribbons, is a Roman Catholic missal (can someone confirm or deny?). And Ellison in no way reads Catholic to me. The way he talks about faith throughout the series is very Protestant, even the Bible study group at the end of this episode is totally something that Protestants do and not really something Catholics do. Anyway, I have a minor obsession with Ellison's theology (if he's Protestant, I think it Totally Matters whether he's a Calvinist or an Arminian, and I hate that we don't know!), but it's probably not all that relevant to the average viewer. And I find the show to be much, much smarter about his faith than most shows are about their religious characters.
The plot point here, though, is that Sarah finds the tapes of herself in the mental hospital, and she takes one.
Meanwhile in the B-plot, Cameron is taking a ballet class from Dmitri's sister. The ballet teacher diagnoses Cameron's expression as "mechanical," and tells her that dance is the hidden language of the soul.
Derek is up and about, checking the guns, and he tries to warn John not to trust Cameron. Sarah comes back, there's argument and more exposition. John takes the tape out of Sarah's bag. Later, Derek and Cameron face off over the world's most uncomfortable pancake breakfast, and we see that John has watched the tape and learned that Sarah signed away her parental rights.
"I know you." "I know you, too."
There is, from this point forward, a fair bit of cutting between the Ellison plot and the Cameron plot. I'll take them one at a time, just so we don't feel like we're ping-ponging too badly, and so I don't have to say "meanwhile" too many times.
Ellison has gone to see Dr. Silberman, and he should have realized something was up when he saw Silberman's crazy eyes. Silberman and Ellison appear to bond over a shared religious belief, but then Ellison realizes Silberman has drugged him. When he comes to, he learns that Silberman thinks he's a machine, and Silberman stabs him in the thigh to prove that he's human.
Later, Silberman tries to gauge Ellison's level of belief: could the apocalypse of the Bible and Sarah Connor's apocalypse be the same? Ellison admits it's possible. Silberman then proceeds to describe his encounter with the machines the day Sarah escaped from the hospital. The machines aren't terrifying to him--or they aren't only terrifying; they're godlike. The Robert Patrick machine is beautiful, perfect, like a changeling: a fairy child, strange and dangerous and compelling. And the Arnold machine was "like the hand of God reaching out to man. Like the Sistine Chapel. The hand of God."
We forget that "apocalypse" doesn't mean "end of the world." It means "revelation."
Ellison, either because he's wrapped up in the story or because he thinks maybe this will make Silberman let him go--or both, tells him that he's got the hand ("the hand of God") in his car. It's a move that misfires, because Silberman has cast himself in the role of Sarah's disciple, keeper of the revelation. He won't let Ellison stop Sarah.
"She's dead," Ellison says (and yes, he does still believe this at this point, though that surprised me to remember). "So was Jesus, once," Silberman replies. (And pellucid dies from awesome again.)
Once again, I love the symbolic slippage: the machines as gods and changelings, yet as harbingers of the apocalypse that need to be stopped. Sarah as Christ, as Mary, as the hand of God herself as she later reaches out to Ellison to save him from the fire. Yet the title of the episode tells us it's also a demon hand. The apocalypse is a revelation, but it's a revelation about the end of the world. It would have been a giant mistake if this show had tried too strongly to nail down its relationship to faith, religious symbolism, fate, and free will; fortunately, it's not a mistake the show made.
Silberman leaves Ellison tied to the chair and sets the house on fire. (We burn heretics, machines, Andy Goode, Kyle Reese. Ashes to ashes. The soul is what's left.) Outside, Sarah confronts Silberman and knocks him out. Then she hears Ellison calling for help inside. The rescue is saved for later, but Ellison does make it out. Silberman tells him that Sarah took the hand. Ellison then oversees Silberman's commitment to the mental hospital.
I include this mostly because he's extra-specially hot here. :)
Meanwhile, Cameron is hunting the Turk. (It's what they do.) She knocks out the guy who has come to threaten Dmitri's sister and then offers to help if she can speak to Dmitri. They go to see Dmitri, who isn't happy to see them--what if they were followed? Cameron shows him a diamond and suggests she can help if he tells her where the Turk is. Dmitri says he was paid to throw the match, and he gives her the card of the man who took the Turk. Meanwhile, the henchmen are converging, and Cameron leaves while Dmitri and his sister are killed.
Then in what we might call the C-plot, we have John dealing with the knowledge that Sarah had given him up. He has a conversation with Derek, in which Derek tells him, "What can happen to a person inside four walls--it screws with your head. Makes you do things you never thought you'd do." A commentary not only on Sarah, but also, certainly, on Derek himself, in light of the previous episode.
"Some people never give up. Some people always fight," John says. "Fewer than you'd think," Derek answers. It continues to surprise me how hung up John was, throughout season 1, on his mother's perfection. It's not the same kind of belief that Silberman has, a half-crazed fantasy of Sarah as a supernatural being, but I don't think it's a coincidence that we get this in the same episode. John's vision of his mother is still larger than life: he doesn't want her to have human frailty. He wants to believe that she, like the machines, will never, ever, ever, stop. That's what she does.
What makes us human? The faith that a soul exists and might be saved? The ability to express the soul through art? The dark nights of the soul when faith is impossible to sustain, and we're neither beautiful nor perfect?
Sarah apologizes to John and explains that the day she signed away her parental rights was also the day she broke out of Pescadero because she realized what a mistake it was. Sarah says, "I'll always find you." "I'll always find you," John replies. But do they believe this anymore? Or is this the nature of faith: confronting a flaw, an inevitable frailty, and then daring to believe it can be overcome the next time. Sarah and John must weigh their humanity carefully. "They are coming and they will find you. Because it's what they do. It's all they do."
The closing montage of this episode is one of the best few minutes of the entire series: it's gorgeous, it's emotionally resonant, and it's brilliant in its subtle irony. Sarah, too, is a person of faith; her creed is in her final voiceover. She is flawed because humans are flawed; she doesn't walk on water, and now John knows this. The machines may be perfect, but they're limited: they cannot have faith, or appreciate beauty, or create art. This is what Sarah believes; it's what she must believe.
Yet the images that accompany the voiceover displace it a bit, and make us see that even if this is what Sarah believes, perhaps it's not what is. She is flawed and human, yet we see her reaching out to save Ellison from the fire: the hand of God, reaching out to man. She has risen from the dead, and she's making disciples. It's no mistake that we don't get this image until now, the ironic counterpart to Sarah's self-assessment.
And Derek watches Cameron dance. Someone in the comments to the last recap mentioned that the room in the basement Derek visits in "Dungeons and Dragons" seems reminiscent of Room 101 in 1984. I agree, and I've always assumed that was an intentional reference; the reference seems as relevant to this scene as to the basement scene (and there is a clear musical parallel between them: the music isn't identical, but it is very similar, perhaps a different part of the same piece; Bear McCreary knows what he's doing!). Derek's greatest fear, then, is that Sarah's faith--his own faith, as well--is wrong. What if the machines can learn to create art, appreciate beauty, imagine God. They would, as Sarah says, become us, and everything Sarah and Derek and John and Kyle have fought for (will fight for) would be in vain.
Credit @ pellucid
|< Précédent||Suivant >|