I won’t lie. This post will, more than likely, turn out to be a fanboy love letter to Summer Glau. I admit it was a bit jarring seeing her in a non-crazy role, as both River Tam (Firefly) and her character from the 4400 were both bat-shit insane but she carries this transformation with skill Of all the characters in the show Summer’s Terminator seemed the most interesting. Which, given that the show should really be about the relationship between to John and Sarah (and John’s rise to Christian Bale-esque badassery), doesn’t speak much in the show’s favor. However, there is room for improvement, Thomas Dekker (“John Conner”), at least seems like he could make a decent John Conner; if he stops his whining. Lean Headwy is far too pretty to be Sarah Conner and lacks the edge that Linda Hamilton had in T2.
Anyway the basic premise: It’s 1999 and Sarah is living in near domestic bliss when some nightmares make her get all antsy. She and John hit the road. Sarah’s fiancee goes to the cops. Oops, this alerts not only the FBI but a rather generic stone-jawed Terminator. Meanwhile, in New Mexico, John is starting in his new school where he meets an overly curious cutie (Summer Glau). On day two a substitute teacher shows and, in perhaps the most idiotic move ever, rips a gun out of his thigh and tries to shoot John. John makes his escape and things go pretty much as you expect from there. We get our trio on the run with the cute-as-a-button Terminator where they meet up with old friends the Dekker family. From there they head to bank vault where they assemble a lightning gun (**shrug**), fry the evil robot guy, and time jump to 2007.
The pilot was a solid sci-fi outing with only few “WTF were they thinking” moments (re: lightning gun) and, at the least, was something fresh amidst a stagnant sea of re-runs. Things could get better and the initial mystery of the show, who ends up creating SkyNet with Miles Dekker being all dead, should hold long-time Terminator fans interest enough. I found the following exchange interesting:
John: What model are you? You seem…different.
Summer: **eats a potato chip** I am different.
As I said earlier, I won’t lie and say that my mind didn’t immediately race down corridors only the finest of japanese animated films could conjure, but it was an interesting comment as the slighter build of Summer seems curiously inadequete for the whole Terminate function that their name implies. Regardless of how things turn out I’ll be happy to tune in for a weekly dose of Summer.
Edit: Sorry about the formatting mistake earlier. Every once and a while worpdress decides it wants extra long lines. Grrrr…. All better now though.