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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: "The Good Wound"

Illustration for article titled iTerminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles/i: The Good Wound
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Illustration for article titled iTerminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles/i: The Good Wound

Back in December, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles left off with a decent couple of cliffhangers. We’d just found out that Riley, John’s relentlessly chipper gal pal, was actually working with Derek’s girl Jesse to break John away from Cameron; we’d also seen Riley slowly coming undone from the combined pressures of her responsibilities and her experiences in the post-Judgment Day future. Her mental problems had finally driven her to attempt suicide in the Connors' bathroom, slit wrists bleeding out on the tile till John and Cameron came across her unconscious form.


Plus, there were Sarah’s seemingly endless adventures with the three dots. Her searches had led her to a warehouse in the middle of nowhere, and after a brief firefight with a guard inside, she’d pulled herself back outside just in time to get a glimpse of a drone flying overhead. Trapped in enemy territory with a gunshot wound and no back-up, things looked bad; given the title of the show, odds are she wasn’t going to actually die, but there was at least some question as to how she could escape.

“The Good Wound” starts with Sarah waking up in a hospital. There’s never any real explanation given as to how she got there—I doubt anybody who worked at that warehouse would want to get her to safety, and seeing as how she was already passing out from blood loss when the credits ran last episode, I’m not sure how she managed to regain consciousness long enough to find an ambulance. Maybe this will become relevant down the road, but I doubt it. TTSCC generally does a decent job with individual scenes; even when they aren’t all that engaging, we at least know why we’re watching them. The problem lately has been connecting the episodes together. It’s like every week, we’re getting a show from a slightly different parallel dimension; the cast and plot remains largely the same, but threads are dropped without a backward glance, and new things are introduced only to wander off as soon as threaten to cohere into anything relevant. “Wound” didn’t frustrate me like some other shows I’ve watched recently, but it’s like an hour’s worth of movie trailers—there’s a lot of foreshadowing, everyone looks serious all the time, and occasionally, somebody gets shot.

But hey, Riley’s okay. Huzzah, right? John brings her to the hospital which, despite Derek’s lecturing, seems like the right call; maybe hanging around waiting to see if she makes it through okay was a bad choice, but seeing as how the Connors aren’t aware of any immediate threats, I think John made the right call. Soon enough, Derek checks out to go see what Sarah’s up to, which leaves John to get in one brief talk with Riley before Jesse comes and spirits her away. There’s the usual tension between John and Cameron, and Jesse is as brusque as always; I’m really wondering when her plan to get John away from Cam is going to kick in, because right now, nothing’s happening.

John Henry has toys! The robots are easily the best part of the series, and while we didn’t get much time with Cameron, we at least got to see Henry debating the merits of the ball-and-socket joint, and expanding his knowledge base on the World Wide Web. During one of his information hunts, he finds something on Sarah’s recent warehouse break-in; when he tells Weaver what he heard, she basically tells him he shouldn’t have stuck his nose where it didn’t belong. Then she goes and murders everybody at the warehouse before destroying the building. Why? Not sure; I suspect it has something to do with John being able to find the place while running a search for coltan, the primary metal used in Terminator construction. Whatever the reason, watching her cut a swath through the screaming employees is one of the few exciting moments in “Wound.”

And then there’s Sarah, bleeding to death. She escapes from the hospital, guided by a vision of her dead lover, Kyle (so I guess the worry about fridge-nuking was premature after all); her leg wound is pretty bad, though, she kidnaps the first doctor she finds, a woman named Felicia, and grabs a hotel room. Felicia demands answers, and Kyle coaches Sarah into giving some of them—but answers aren’t going to be enough. The bullet is lodged too close to Sarah’s femoral artery, and in order to remove it, Felicia needs equipment they can only get at the hospital.

In theory, this should’ve been intense; grimacing in pain and being mopey are two things Lena Headey seems to excel at, and having phantom-Kyle around, in a nod to a cut scene from Terminator 2, is a decent gimmick. And their interactions are occasionally affecting—hallucination or not, Kyle gets upset when he finds some of Sarah’s scars (another T2 ref), and there’s something approaching moving in the look on his face when Sarah tells him about their son. Plus, Dr. Felicia has some serious issues. Sarah makes up a cover story about an abusive lover, and the doctor immediately commits to her side. It’s convenient as hell, but it doesn’t say a lot for the lady’s mental state; it’s a shock when she shots the asshole cop at the end, but it’s not a huge shock.

But even with all this, the impact is minimal. We know Sarah’s going to make it through, and after the potential revelations last time, to spend the whole episode going through the “fugitives can’t get good health care” shtick is disappointing. For all its sturm und drang, this is a show that has yet to find its way to a purpose, beyond just making up enough shit to string the viewer along week to week. Sarah’s okay by the end, the warehouse has been torched, and we’re back to square one; maybe next time it’ll start to matter, or maybe we’ll just see Cameron beat the crap out of someone. Fingers crossed.

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

—Wasted a lot of time following the cops around tonight. Sure, it sort of payed off when Felicia shot one, but since we had no sense of his personality until about ten seconds before he was shot, all the scenes with him doing detective work were basically pointless.

—Tip to people with guns: no, the safety isn’t on. If it was, the guy who told you would’ve taken your gun away, not offered helpful tips.

—Man, those were some awkward promos with Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku “chatting.”

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