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Episode 104: Heavy Metal

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Heavy Metal
Air Date February 4, 2008
Written by John Enbom
Director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Prior episode "The Turk"
Next episode "Queen's Gambit"
"It's always too dangerous. It’s war. War is dangerous."
- John Connor.

When Sarah, Cameron and John track down stolen cargo, they become separated from John leading him to discover the future isn't as safe as he had hoped. Meanwhile, Agent Ellison's murder investigation leads him to an interesting suspect.

Heavymetal3
104SCC Cromartie picks Laszlo
Heavymetal4

Synopsis

Dr. David Lyman is recording some notes about a patient when he hears a sound coming from outside his office. He finds Cromartie searching through patient files on a computer and warns him that he should leave before he calls the police. Cromartie indifferently responds by demanding reconstructive surgery before he reveals his newly acquired skin.

John Connor is in his room looking at a website in memory of Jordon Cowan when his mom walks in and asks if he is feeling all right and whether he plans on attending Jordon's memorial. John doesn't reply. Cameron then walks in and warns "Cromartie is here, now." All three follow Cameron to the living room where she shows them a newspaper article about an arsonist causing a fire at a dock in Oakland, which resulted in the re-routing of a shipment of coltan to the docks in Los Angeles. She tells Sarah and John that coltan is one of the primary elements used in the endoskeleton of future terminator models. Sarah isn't convinced until Cameron shows her the news footage from their arrival into the year 2007 and zooms in on a fragment that appears to be Cromartie's head. Cameron suggests that they take action soon. Sarah makes plans to head for Mexico, but John protests, arguing that Cromartie will be weaker and that it's time to stop running and start fighting. After a short argument, Sarah agrees and they make plans to hunt down the shipment of coltan.

Sarah, John, and Cameron are in a warehouse setting C-4 charges to disable Cromartie and destroy the coltan. The truck leaves the warehouse before Cromartie ever arrived. John spots some men in boxers and undershirts realizes that somebody just stole the coltan. They follow the truck to another warehouse. Waiting outside, Cameron explains that coltan is used because it has a much higher melting point than the endoskeleton used on the T-600 models. Sarah notices military tags and a short dispute between some of the men. Cameron spots a terminator, but it is not Cromartie.

Agent Ellison is at a crime scene. He notes that he is following the trail of some "un-natural" blood. Looking at the security tape, Smith sees a man enter Friday night and leave Sunday morning. On his way out, his face is identified as that of George Laszlo,[1] a former patient.

At the warehouse, John and Sarah argue about trying to follow the shipment to its next location. After refusing to continue the mission and recommending they "step back," Sarah gets in the vehicle to leave. She then sees John climbing back into the warehouse. He goes inside and plants his cell phone in the truck to track the movement of the coltan, but is trapped inside when the crew locks up and pulls out of the warehouse.

Sarah and Cameron are confronted by one of Carter's crew and held at gunpoint before Sarah disarms him. They return home to track John via the internet when the signal goes dead after his phone falls down and breaks. Mike, one of Carter's assistants, is riding in the back and finds the phone before John knocks him unconscious.

Sarah laments losing John and Cameron reminds her that it's not her fault and that John needs to learn to be more assertive in the near future to lead mankind effectively.

Agent Ellison is discussing Laszlo with a fellow agent who advises him not to spend any more time on the case. Agent Stewart arrives and notifies Ellison that Laszlo had arrived for questioning and asks about the case. Ellison obtains a blood sample to compare with the sample from the crime scenes.

Sarah and Cameron have tied up the worker who held them at gunpoint outside the warehouse and Sarah is asking him for information. She hits him several times, threatening to torture him until he talks. She leaves him with Cameron. The three are then shown driving through the desert towards an old gunnery range. Their specific destination is Depot 37.

Laszlo is in his apartment microwaving a meal when Cromartie shows up, grabs him by the throat, and kills him.

John is in the truck when it stops at Depot 37. Carter's men don't see Mike, the man left inside, and assume he abandoned the operation, saying he had been acting strange.

Agent Ellison is at a meeting with a supervisor and presents a theory about his case. Agent Stewart, however, provides solid evidence that all of Ellison's theories could be thrown out. The supervisor agrees that Ellison's leads aren't credible.

Sarah and Cameron leave their informant in a minefield on the way to Depot 37. Cameron says it would have been more efficient to kill him, but Sarah reminds her that she doesn't always operate logically.

John sneaks out of the truck and sees Carter execute his two accomplices before standing guard at the door.

Sarah and Cameron arrive to find Depot 37 empty. Cameron confirms that the location is the future site of a terminator-building factory, saying that coltan becomes rare in the future because of explosions and was stored at Depot 37 in the nuclear fallout bunker to protect it.

Mike wakes up and confronts John. John calms him down and tells him that Carter killed his teammates. Mike then confronts Carter and is killed. John tests Carter and determines that he can't hear anything, so he calls his mom.

His mom tells him that she is on the other side of the door and that Carter is in standby mode. She asks him to open the door and run as soon as it opens. Cameron tells them that it takes 15 seconds for Carter to reboot from standby mode.

John takes the keys from Carter and opens the door, then gets in the truck. Cameron confronts Carter and fights with him while John and Sarah try to get the truck into gear. After the truck is moving, Carter stops it until Sarah shoots him. They drive out and Cameron locks Carter inside.

Agent Ellison visits "Laszlo" (actually Cromartie) and advises him someone may be stealing his identity, then gives him his contact information.

Sarah, John, and Cameron return home.

Continuity notes

This episode doesn't have any continuity notes yet. Please add one!

Nitpicks

  • As a sophisticated terminator it seems odd that Cameron doesn't know how to use a DVD remote control although that could be because there is no such technology in the future and the icons on the buttons will probably seem strange to her.
  • Sarah's decision to leave the driver in the middle of a minefield—a situation likely to cause certain death for the man—is unusually cruel and contradicts statements made by the character in previous episodes and later in the series regarding the preciousness of human life, especially given the generally benign nature of the man.

Notes

Tetsuo truck
Tetsuo crate
  • According to Cameron in this episode, it takes 15 seconds for a T-888 to reboot from stand-by mode.
  • The factory where Cameron will be made is at the Depot 37 site.
  • The name Tetsuo on the coltan truck and crates is a sly reference to a bizarre Japanese movie called Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), about a man who begins finding scraps of metal growing out of his body and is gradually transformed into a perverse human-machine hybrid.[2]
  • The story Sarah talks about in the beginning of the episode is a Jewish folktale in which a rabbi builds an artificial man — a golem — from clay to protect residents of the Jewish ghetto, only to have the creature turn on them. It's a variation on the archetypal story of the man-made monster, and the thematic connections to The Terminator saga are pretty clear.[3]

Monologue

Opening
"When John was little, before bed I used to read him fairy tales. One night I read him a folk tale called, 'The Golem of Prague' the story of a clay monster made by a Rabbi to protect the Jews of the city. What I failed to remember was that the end of the story the Golem turns on its maker and kills him as well as the rest of the town. He didn’t sleep for months. I went to him and tried to tell him it wasn’t real, that I’d made it all up. Somehow, that made it all worse."

Closing
"Not every version of the Golem story ends badly. In one, the monster is a hero, destroying all those that seek to harm his maker. In another, the Golem's maker destroys his creature before it can destroy the world. The pride of man, of parents as well, makes us believe that anything we create we can control. Whether from clay or from metal, it is in the nature of us to make our own monsters. Our children are alloys all, built from our own imperfect flesh. We animate them with magic and never truly know what they will do."

Quotes

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John: That's coltan; if that's what you're made of, no wonder you're so dense.
Cameron: Not density, heat resistance. T-600 models had a titanium alloy endoskeleton, but it was vulnerable to heat. Coltan alloys have a much higher melting point.
John: We still have the charges, we can rig 'em at the door and blow em when they try to drive out. And Cameron can take out...
Sarah: Get in the car, we're going.
John: What?
Sarah: John, the plan was to hunt Cromartie. That's not Cromartie.
John: So?
Sarah: So you just want to walk in there and kick their asses and go for pancakes? It doesn't work like that. We're outnumbered.
John: We have her.
Sarah: We don't know what's going on. That thing has real estate. It has employees. Who knows how many more are in there. There's three of us. I'm not saying we run, but we need to step back, see what's going on.
John: So we run. In other words.
Sarah: Will you tell him to get in the car?
Cameron: It's too dangerous we should go.
John: It's always too dangerous. It's war. War is dangerous.
Sarah: If you die...they win.

Sarah: Do you have any idea what is going on? I lost him. I lost John.
Cameron: I understand.
Sarah: It's impossible for you to understand.
Cameron: Without John, your life has no purpose.
Sarah: I can't believe I let him talk me into this.
Sarah: You try to open your hands just a little... and it's too soon.
Cameron: Is it? The world ends in four years.
Warehouse Guard: Are you kidding me?
Sarah: No. (punches him in the face)
Sarah: Tell me where they went.
Warehouse Guard: Lady, go to hell.
Sarah: Where they went, or I'm gonna beat you to death. (punches him again)
Sarah: Don't call me lady.
Warehouse Guard: (as he looks around the minefield) Hey. Hey! You can't just leave me here.
Sarah: (to Cameron as she walks across) C'mon, hurry up!
Cameron: It would have been faster to kill him. Sometimes you seem inefficient.
Sarah: I'm not for you to understand.
Cameron: You said that before.
Sarah: Well...I do things you know? Stupid, illogical, inefficient things. Humans. Get used to it.
John: It's like he's frozen.
Sarah: He's frozen?
John: Yeah, when the door shut, it's like he went to sleep or something.
Cameron: Standby. He completed his mission. He powered down to standby mode until he's moved or triggered awake.
Sarah: Triggered?
John: The door. That put him into standby.
Cameron: 15 seconds. That's the reboot time.

Characters

Main

Recurring

Minor

Q&A

  • Q: Why did Cromartie choose George I. Laszlo's face to transform his own face into?
    • A: Cromartie checked out a database of all the patient's facial structures, to see which one would match with his his endoskeleton. George's face fit best.[4]
  • Q: What is KZPZ?
    • A: In accordance with US and international standards, four-character codes are used for identifying registered broadcast stations (plus an extension for the country, but that's usually omitted in common usage). Many local radio and TV stations in the US use this identification code as their name. It stands to reason that this video came from the archives of a local TV station. This is reinforced by John's suggestion to look for any dead news anchormen in tomorrow's papers. Though John may be doing her wrong: She might have obtained a copy kept in a public library or similar archive [5]
  • Q: Who is the Terminator they discover at the warehouse?
    • A: The other humans working with him refer to him as "Carter". His mission is to get coltan and to keep it at Depot 37 for later use by Skynet.[6]
  • Q: Who exactly are the six dead guys that Ellison is referring to?
    • A: Three of them are the dead freedom fighters James Ellison discovered earlier. The others are Enrique Salceda, Dr. Fleming, Dr. David Lyman.[7]
  • Q: Why can't the warehouse blast doors be opened from the outside?
    • A: Blasts doors are not just used for bomb shelters, they are also for bunkers, as such you wouldn't want the enemy to just open the door.
  • Q: If all Cameron did to lock Carter in the bunker was take away the key, what prevents him from "hotwiring" the lock and getting out?
  • Q: Given how Sarah railed at Cameron for killing Enrique Salceda, refused to kill Andy Goode, and has made frequent statements regarding the importance of life, what was the point of her leaving the informant (depicted as "just a guy doing a job") in the middle of a minefield, a potentially fatal situation?
    • A: Delaying him and keeping him from following them and alerting the others. If he stood still, he would probably be found and freed eventually.
  • Q: What happened to Carter? Was he really trapped in the bunker?
    • A: Before Cameron got the key and got out of the bunker, she looks back. She was probably checking if Carter was still there.[8]
  • Q: Why did Cameron take a block of coltan?
    • A: She probably took it in case she was damaged and needed repairing.
    • A: Maybe she needs it to ensure she can be built. She changed future events and she said she was built there.
  • Q: Why did John's hand shake?
    • A: He is probably shaken by the whole experience of having been trapped in the truck and having to face a terminator by himself.[9]

External links

  1. Displayed on the computer when Cromartie are browsing through patient records.Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Heavy Metal"
  2. TVGuide's Ask ChickFlick
  3. TVGuide's Ask ChickFlick
  4. Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Heavy Metal"
  5. Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Self Made Man"
  6. Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Heavy Metal"
  7. Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Gnothi Seauton"
  8. Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Heavy Metal"
  9. Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Heavy Metal"


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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