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Episode 103: The Turk

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The Turk
Air Date January 21, 2008
Written by John Wirth
Director Paul Edwards
Prior episode "Gnothi Seauton"
Next episode "Heavy Metal"
"Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be, a hero? Isn’t that who I am?"
- John Connor.

Sarah pays a visit to Miles Dyson's widow looking for Skynet's creators. Her search leads her to Andy Goode, a cell phone salesman who also happens to also be the inventor of a chess playing computer known as "The Turk." Sarah has to make a tough decision regarding her friendship with Goode. Meanwhile, John and Cameron try their best to assimilate on their first day at the new high school and John is conflicted about his role as a hero. Agent James Ellison finds himself getting closer to the truth, and the Cromartie Terminator grows a new skin.


Sarah dreams about killing the nuclear physicists who invented the nuclear bomb. After she shoots and kills them, they come back as terminators. Just as they kill her, she wakes up. John walks in and finds Sarah is sleeping on her bed with papers spread everywhere. She had been looking the papers they found at the Resistance safe house: newspaper clippings, pamphlets from high tech companies, photographs. She realizes that the Resistance party was a Skynet hunting party, and decides to talk to Tarissa Dyson, widow of Skynet creator Miles Dyson.

John and Cameron prepare to go to a new school. Sarah is paranoid about their security, but John blows off her concerns. John tells Cameron not to act like a "freak", and instead act as his sister. After she sets off the school metal detectors twice, John lies to the security guard and tells them that she has a metal plate in her head.

Sarah finds Tarissa Dyson at Miles Dyson's grave site; it is the 10 year anniversary of Miles' death. She asks Tarissa about the photos and after some hesitation, she confirms that the man in the fourth photo is Andrew "Andy" Goode, a former Cyberdyne intern who now works as a cellphone salesman.

Agent Ellison shows at the Resistance safe house, which is now a crime scene. It's been years since he worked a crime scene, but the same gun that killed the resistance fighters killed Agent Ellison's confidential informant (CI), Enrique Salceda. The fingerprint report on the dead men don't show up in any databases, convincing the FBI agent on the scene that the men are just drug dealers. Ellison finds it strange that the safe was wired directly into the power. The officer on the scene blows it all off as over thinking the case. Agent Ellison is convinced that somebody came back for whatever was in the safe, and resolves to find them.

Cromartie goes to a hospital to steal blood. He hides his robotic appearance using masks, hooded sweatshirts and long sleeved clothing. During the robbery, he knocks out a hospital employee and security guard who try to stop him, escaping with large quantities of Type O Positive Plasma.

Sarah goes to the cellphone store to meet Andy Goode, the computer specialist working as a salesman. She buys three phones. After she talks to him, he goes out to her car to invite her over to his house for dinner. She agrees. After Sarah finishes her dinner with Andy, he shows her his invention: a super intelligent chess computer called "The Turk".

While in school, John meets an attractive girl and begins to strike up a friendship. Cameron transfers into the class, to protect him.

Agent Ellison goes out to the house of Enrique's newphew, Carlos. He interviews Carlos, asking about the three phone calls between Enrique and Carlos on the day Enrique was killed. Carlos says they talked about the Lakers. Ellison gives Carlos his card, and leaves.

Cromartie goes to the workplace of a scientist. He shows the scientist some complex scientific equations he's written on the wall and asks the scientist if he thinks the equation is possible. The scientist answers that it is, and that he can do it but will need large quantities of blood. Cromartie shows the scientist the blood samples he stole from the hospital.

Cameron has trouble interacting with the young girls in her high school. While in the girls' restroom, another girl asks Cameron if her outfit makes her look fat and Cameron answers "yes". Some of the students call her a "bitch whore" which perplexes Cameron. She attempts to cheer up a depressed girl and offers her some makeup, which she says is "tight".

Cromartie takes off his clothes in front of the scientist, who is both amazed and horrified at the metallic endoskeleton of the Terminator. Cromartie dips himself in a pool full of blood while the scientist watches.


Back at school, John and Cameron witness a suicide attempt by the depressed girl, but Cameron physically restrains John to prevent him from interfering. After the girl successfully commits suicide, Cameron and John run. John has trouble dealing with what just happened: on the one hand he's supposed to be a hero, but on the other hand he's not allowed to do anything that raises his profile. Back at home, John becomes furious and lashes out at both Sarah and Cameron when he does not receive Sarah's support to save the girl, and says that if he is supposed to be the great future leader of humankind and is prevented from being proactive, they might as well declare victory now for the Terminators.

Cromartie emerges from the blood bath covered in newly formed skin and living tissue. However, his new body does not include eyes and so Cromartie kills the scientist and takes his eyes; Cromartie also destroys all evidence of the scientist's work. Agent Ellison and the FBI investigates the bloody murder of the scientist. Meanwhile, Sarah burns down Andy's house in order to destroy "The Turk" computer, in an attempt to prevent the emergence of Skynet.

Continuity notes



  • The title is a reference to The Turk, an 18th century chess-playing machine that appeared to be an autonomous robot but was in fact operated by a human.
  • Cameron says that some grafitti at the school appears to be a reimagining of a trompe l'œil fresco. Trompe-l'œil is french for "trick the eye", and is an art technique that uses optical illusion to create the impression that the depicted objects really exist, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting.
  • The door graffiti displays letters as following:
    • The first door: "A".
    • The second door: "DAN".
    • The third door: "IDAN".
  • Cameron sets off a metal detector at her school. This is the first TV or film display of this simple technology to detect terminators (previously, it's been implied that the only way to detect a terminator is by using terminator-sniffing dogs) (Mentioned in "Gnothi Seauton")
  • Blood type O (Rhesus +) seems to be the proper/best type for growing living tissue.
  • In the apartment where Andy Good lives, there is a poster of the World Chess Challenge (November 25 to December 5). The poster displayed is the actual poster from the event.[1]
  • During the World Chess Challenge, Vladimir Kramnik tied Deep Fritz in October 2002 with four wins each. In 2006, from November 25 to December 5, a new match between Kramnik and Deep Fritz was set in Bonn, Germany. Kramnik lost 2-4 to the machine.
  • John Connor refers to the "Singularity", a point in time where machines become so smart, that they're capable of making even smarter versions of themselves, without our help. This is a concept first written about by statistician I. J. Good and first named by Vernor Vinge. It was popularized by Raymond Kurzweil in his 1999 book, "The Age of Spiritual Machines", this is further mentioned at the end of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (film)
  • In this episode, Sarah ponders the philosophical question: should a scientist be killed for work they haven't even done yet? This is the exact same question she wrestled with in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, when she considered killing Miles Bennett Dyson. In this episode, she compromised: she didn't kill Andy Goode, but she burned down his house, hoping to destroy his research. One possibility that is not accounted for is the existence of off-site, back-up copies of the work, standard disaster recovery procedures. This would also explain how Miles Dyson's work managed to survive to get to the CRS personnel.
  • One of the Resistance fighters is identified. According to the document shown to Agent Ellison, he is named Warren L. Krazcetac. His date of birth is listed as 06/12/03.
  • The scene where Cromartie encounters the scientist that helps him regenerate his biological covering is the first time in the television or movie portions of the Terminator franchise that an endoskeletal Terminator speaks after having its biological covering removed.
  • The Thomas Guide mentioned by a detective speaking to Agent Ellison is a reference to the Thomas Guides, a series of street directories popular in America.
  • The Phone Salesman gives Sarah Connor erroneous information. She asks whether, if she presses "7", if someone will talk to her through the "ear thingy" (sic), to which he replies yes. This is incorrect, unless Speed Dial has been set up. (* This untrue Sarah actually asks what would happen if she presses the numbers on the phone, then follows with asking if she presses 7 of them if someone would talk to her through the "ear part" at the top. So Andy is correct in answering yes.)
  • Keratinocyte is mentioned by Andy. Keratinocyte is the predominant cell type of the Epidermis layer of human skin.
  • The following are mentioned as previous Cyberdyne employees: Woo, Thomasen, Parker and Lang. Parker and Lang were "almost right" in their search for dynamic skin cells.
  • Sarah and John talk about The Turk, and John's reply to Sarah's comment about it playing chess is "So did Einstein". This is actually incorrect. Eistein is not well known for having played chess. This is a mistake by the the producers.

DVD Extras

  • Terminated Scene
    • Scene 1: Agent Ellison interrogates Carlos as to his involvement with the three deceased Resistance fighters, which takes place at the FBI headquarters as opposed to Carlos' house.


"When I was in the mental hospital I became obsessed with science. Not all science actually, and not really science at all. Scientists. And then only nuclear scientists. The ones who invented the bomb. Oppenheimer, Heisenberg, Fermi, and Teller. Pioneers. Geniuses, all. I read every book I could. I wanted to understand. Why couldn’t they stop? These fathers of our destruction. And why wouldn’t anyone stop them? And if I had the chance, would I?"

"On July 16th, 1945 in the mountains outside of Los Alamos, New Mexico, the world’s first atomic bomb exploded. A white light pierced the sky with such intensity that a blind girl claimed to see the flash from a hundred miles away. After witnessing the explosion, J. Robert Oppenheimer quoted a fragment of the Bhagavad Gita declaring, 'I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.' His colleague, Ken Bainbridge, put it in another way when he leaned close to Oppenheimer and whispered, 'Now we are all sons of bitches'.... Now we are all sons of bitches."


John: (watches Cameron use eyeliner pencil) You're getting pretty good at that.
Cameron: Thank you.
John: Still it's not exactly brain surgery or anything. Be pretty funny if you were some sort of advanced cybernetic intelligence, yet stumped by a stick of eyeliner.
Cameron: No it's not brain surgery. It would have to be a lot sharper for brain surgery.

John: Ok, now blend in.
Cameron: (repeating) Blend in.
John: Yeah, I mean don't seem like a freak. You know what I mean, right?
Cameron: Freak. Weirdo, Kook. Oddball. Crackpot. Strange duck. Queer potato. Nut. I've been reading the dictionary.
John: Yeah see, that's what I'm talking about. You do that, you sound like a freak.

John: So about the cellphone guy.
Sarah: I uh... I'm having dinner with him tonight.
John: Dinner? (laughs) You mean, like a date?
Sarah: Not a date.
Cameron: Are you going to kill him?
Sarah: Kill him? I don't know the first thing about him!

Sarah: (voiceover) In 1943, the German physicist Werner Heisenberg delivered a physics lecture to a packed hall in Zürich. One of the audience members was Mo Berg, an ex professional baseball player working as a spy for the OSS. Berg's task was to listen to the lecture, and determine whether Heisenberg and the Germans were close to perfecting the atomic bomb. If Berg discovered this was the case, he was to wait for Heisenberg outside the lecture hall and shoot the scientist in the head. He had never killed anyone before.

John: Mom, I'm just trying to get a sense of the horsepower. I want to know if this thing was a dinky little homemade soapbox, or if it was a full fledged AI platform. Capable of learning and growing and taking on other applications.
Sarah: (dismissively) It plays chess.
John: So did Einstein. (pauses) Have you ever heard of the singularity? It's a point in time where machines become so smart, that they're capable of making even smarter versions of themselves, without our help. That's pretty much the time that we can kiss our asses goodbye. Unless we stop it. Like you said you would.






  • Q: What did the trompe-l'œil frescoes/graffiti mean? Why did the girl get so upset by them?
    • A: She may have had a affair with someone, presumingly named "Idan" or possibly her Guidance counselor (since the letters were printed on a door, possibly a reference to an office door). Someone at the school may have found out about it and created the frescoes. There is a first name Aidan. A+IDAN?
    • A: A counselor named Mr. Harris works at the school. While asking Cameron strange and suspicious question about the girl who committed suicide, it was implied that he was interested in who knew what about her. He may have something to do with the whole thing.Sarah Connor Chronicles: Episode 105: Queen's Gambit</ref>
  • Q: Who is the girl shown briefly in the hall, and later sitting next to John in the classroom and later again talking to him?
    • A: Her name is Cheri Westin.[2]
  • Q: Terminators are supposed to be undetectable (except by dogs[3]). Why was Cameron detected by a simple metal detector at school?
    • A: It is not stated by any source that a terminator is only detected by dogs. [citation needed]
  • Q: In episode 101 and 102, John and Sarah already have cell phones. Why did Sarah buy three cell phones?
    • A: Cell phones are usually tied directly to a person's identity, and in taking new identities, John and Sarah would not want someone noticing a phone call being made by one of the "Reeses" and tracking them down.
  • Q: Again we see one of the survivors of the Resistance fighters. Who is he?
    • A: He is Derek Reese, brother of Kyle Reese.[4]
  • Q: Why did the girl commit suicide?
    • A: She stated that her parents wouldn't like what she had done. She may have gotten pregnant (or just been publicly humiliated) and thought life was over. Explained in "Queen's Gambit")
  • Q: Why did Cameron stop John when he wanted to help the girl? Why did Cameron say they have to hurry?
    • A: Because the police and media would likely show up. If he got involved, he'd end up in the press and the police would take his name, get a statement, and maybe do a background check.
  • Q: Given Cameron's ability to perfectly mimic a teen girl's behaviour in the pilot episode, right down to the use of idioms such as "sucks to be you", why is she suddenly incapable of doing this anymore, as demonstrated by her socially retarded behavior during the first day at school, and her apparent unfamiliarity with certain terminology and human practises?
    • A: The series has yet to address this directly. Possibilities include aspects of Cameron's programming resetting following her going offline briefly in "Gnothi Seauton", or her programming defaulting due to the fact that it had been calibrated for interactions in 1999, not 2007. A third possibility—supported by Cameron's repeated statements in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode and other episodes regarding having "fooled" John—is that she was simply following a program at the time and once the objective of the program was completed and she had made contact with both John and Sarah Connor, the "infiltration" program ended. An example of Cameron entering a form of "default" behavior upon completing a program can be seen in "The Demon Hand" when she leaves Dimitri and his sister to be murdered, having completed her mission.
  • Q: Why was the formula on the wall covered?

Q: Why was Cameron only in her underwear ?

External links


  2. Sarah Connor Chronicles: Episode 105: Queen's Gambit
  3. [[The Terminator (film)|]] and [[Terminator 2: Judgment Day (film)|]]
  4. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Episode 105: Queen's Gambit

Episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Season 1 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode • "Gnothi Seauton" • "The Turk" • "Heavy Metal" • "Queen's Gambit" • "Dungeons & Dragons" • "The Demon Hand" • "Vick's Chip" • "What He Beheld"
Season 2 "Samson & Delilah" • "Automatic for the People" • "The Mousetrap" • "Allison from Palmdale" • "Goodbye to All That" • "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short" • "Brothers of Nablus" • "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today" • "Complications" • "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point" • "Self Made Man" • "Alpine Fields" • "Earthlings Welcome Here" • "The Good Wound" • "Desert Cantos" • "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep" • "Ourselves Alone" • "Today Is The Day, Part 1" • "Today Is The Day, Part 2" • "To the Lighthouse" • "Adam Raised a Cain" • "Born to Run"

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