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Episode 108: Vick's Chip

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Vick's Chip
Air Date March 3, 2008
Written by Daniel T. Thomsen
Director J. Miller Tobin
Prior episode "The Demon Hand"
Next episode "What He Beheld"
Vickschip1
Vickschip2
Vickschip3
"She would not be the first human fooled by a machine."
- Cameron.

Derek finds the CPU from Vick that Cameron had kept. John builds an interface for it and they discover a computerized traffic system is important to Skynet. Sarah decides it must be sabotaged. Meanwhile, Cromartie is checking through school records in search of John.

Synopsis

The episode begins with Derek confronting Cameron about the T-888 chip he found in her room, which she was supposed to have destroyed in "Dungeons & Dragons". Cameron defends herself, saying the chip may have valuable data they can use. Despite the breach of trust, they agree not to destroy the chip and for John to hack into it, to learn about the T-888's mission. John asks Cameron whether she can lie (she can, if it's helpful to the mission) and if she lies about important things to John (she has, several times).

The T-888 chip is difficult to hack into and extract information from, not only because of the way in which the T-888 organizes its memories, but also because they want to access the memory banks without fully activating the terminator brain, which requires careful control over the power supply voltage. John manages to recover enough information to learn that Barbara Chamberlain (Vick's "wife") was project manager for ARTIE, a new traffic control system for the city which may become a part of Skynet's future infrastructure. Vick's mission was to ensure that the traffic control system was completed, eliminating any threat to Barbara or her project.

In a subplot, part of Derek's distrust of Cameron is because he does not know how his safe house was discovered and all of his fellow soldiers killed. While examining the T-888's visual records, we find out that Sayles, one of the freedom fighters in Derek's group, was following Barbara and was tracked back to the safe house by Vick, thereby exonerating Cameron.

Sarah and Derek break into the traffic control system's control center to upload a virus John created, hoping to make the system look erratic or buggy, but their efforts fail.

Meanwhile, Cromartie has been doing a school-to-school search for John and almost catches him when a student brings Cameron a note for her brother. She then fools Cromartie by sending one of John's friends, Morris, in his place, causing Cromartie to continue the search. John eventually learns what Cameron did and orders her to not tell Sarah because she will force them all to move.

During further hacking of the T-888 chip, John accidentally applies too much voltage and the T-888 brain starts up, takes over the computer it's attached to, then connects to John's phone (via bluetooth) to reach the internet. John and Cameron realize what is happening and yank the batteries and cables, eventually unplugging the chip itself. It is not clear if the T-888 brain had a chance to make contact with anything, but Cameron asserts that they unplugged it in time. John realizes that Cameron's brain has the same ability to explore and hack the traffic control network and decides to insert Cameron's AI chip into the traffic control system so she can shut it down. After successfully compromising the system, Derek takes Cameron's chip and warns John that one of the terminators he trusts will end up killing him. John gets the chip and says "not this one." He then re-activates Cameron, but while he does, he shows that he has feelings for Cameron by stroking her hair. When Cameron reboots, she states, "I saw everything."

Sarah eventually realizes that Derek is Andrew Goode's true killer. During Derek's shower, Sarah makes a threat that if he ever lies to her again, she would kill him. Derek is speechless after listening to her threat.

Continuity notes

  • The previously unidentified T-888 that targeted the resistance fighters and pursued Reese into prison is identified as "Vick Chamberlain". His mission appears to be centered around protection of the Skynet genesis.

Notes

  • The T-888's infiltration protocols are advanced enough to allow it to sustain married life with a key Skynet progenitor to remain close to her. Time of his insertion into the SCC timeline is as yet uncertain, but is certainly long term in nature. It is very likely that the Terminator Vick was based upon a real person. This is touched upon in reference to an automobile accident that happened prior to the episode, and similar occurrences are seen in Season 2.
  • Skynet threats Vick has terminated include an anti-technology/surveillance lobbyist Jessica Peck as well as Derek Reese's resistance cell.
  • The code that is shown during Sarah's unsuccessful attack on the traffic computer system (which could belong to either John's virus or the system itself) is written in Objective-C.
  • It is left unexplained how Sarah realizes that Derek killed Andy. As the scene in which she confronts him with this information occurs immediately after Cameron's statement "I saw everything", it can be speculated that she somehow obtained evidence (perhaps through linking with the Turk during her time in the system?) of who killed Andy and informed Sarah.
  • The project Barbara is working on is called ARTIE. The same word is also a part of the name Cromartie.
  • Derek hints that John was killed in the future by a Terminator. This would fit in with the statement made by the T-850 Terminator in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Here it is revealed that the T-850 itself would be the one to kill John Connor.
  • Derek notes the exact location in the tunnel complex where Kyle was/will be captured by the machines.
  • Vick's Address is "Mr. and Mrs. Vick Chamberlain, 317 Treadwell Street, Van Nuys, CA 91605".
  • Cromartie is fascinated by a snow-globe.
  • Derek's attempt to destroy Cameron's chip slightly resembles Sarah's attempt to destroy T-800's chip in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Nitpicks

  • As a terminator being able to recognize objects and places from memory, Cameron should not need an actual picture to find the location of the woman in the forest.
  • Barbara's (missing) computer was attached to a Mac keyboard (and thus was probably a PC or a Mac with USB), however the computers in the ARTIE control room seem to be generic black Unix boxes. Even if the black boxes are NeXT machines running the predecessor to Apple's operating system (both Macs and NeXT use Objective C, and NeXT boxes had black cases), it is rather unusual to develop on a completely different hardware architecture than you plan to deploy on. Was there a remote login to ARTIE after all that she could have developed on the machines in city hall directly?

Monologue

Opening
"All of us wear masks. They can be worn out of love and the desire to remain close to those around us. To spare them from the complicated realities of our frayed psyches. We trade honesty for companionship and in the process never truly know the hearts closest to us."

Closing
"So much danger is hidden behind masks. We tell our children of good and evil when knowing it’s not that simple. True evil doesn’t give us time to fight or be afraid. We keep our heads down never bothering to look behind the masks. And in doing so, we resign ourselves to fates we can never see coming."

Quotes

(Derek places Vick's chip on the kitchen table)
Sarah: Where'd you get this?
Derek: Her room.
Cameron: Why were you in my room?
Sarah: You told me you destroyed everything.
Derek: She lied.
Cameron: The chip contains visual records of the T-888 — where it's been, who it's interacted with. It carries important information.
Derek: It's a brain. It's the only truly irreplaceable part of the machine and she kept it.
Derek: Next she is gonna tell us that somehow that's gonna help us find The Turk.
Cameron: It won't help us find The Turk.
John: What are you saying?
Derek: What I'm saying, is what I've been saying, John. She can't be trusted. No matter how she acts on the outside, we have no idea what's going on in there.
John: Well, I could say that about you.
Derek: Who showed you my safe house? She did. Who else knew about it? Nobody. Where are my men? In the morgue.
Cameron: I didn't give the T-888 the safe house location.
Derek: Prove it.
John: Have you ever hacked one of those? Have you ever read what's on it?
Cameron: No. But you have.

John: So how often do you lie?
Cameron: When the mission requires it.
John: Do you lie to me?
Cameron: Sometimes.
John: About important things?
Cameron: Yes. Important things.

(while watching video of Vick's visual records)
John: Was that thing... married?
Cameron: The T-888 is an advanced model infiltrator.
John: I don't think she knows. I mean is that even possible?
Cameron: She would not be the first human fooled by a machine.

(in the forest searching)
Sarah: You see anything?
Cameron: No.
Cameron: I don't understand your need to find her. She's dead.
Sarah: That's because you don't value human life.
Cameron: But she's not life. She's just a body. Bones and meat.
Sarah: (glares at her)
Cameron: Was that bad to say?

Derek: I didn't know Sayles was tracking her. You gotta believe me.
Sarah: I don't have to believe anything.
Sarah: In fact. I don't.

Cameron: Two centimeters left. One centimeter down. Cut a semicircle with a diameter of twelve centimeters.
John: Is it okay if I'm off by a little bit?
Cameron: Yes. Cut a bigger circle to compensate.
Sarah: How exactly is this going to work?
John: Her neural network is the most sophisticated learning computer on earth. If we can get her chip in the ARTIE system, it can take over the whole thing. Just like Vick did with my laptop. She can kill it.
Sarah: You can get in through a traffic light?
John: Yes.
Sarah: (to John) Are you sure?
John: No.
Sarah: (to Cameron) Are you sure?
Cameron: No. Start the incision. Push harder, down into my endoskeleton.
Derek: (whispering) Sarah. Once she's in the city's mainframe, what's to say she'll come back out. You know, maybe it's not the Turk that creates Skynet, maybe it's her. Maybe this was her plan all along.
John: (aggravated) She's a machine. She doesn't have a soul and she never will. You don't have to trust her. You can trust me.

John: (as Cameron wakes up) What was it like? What'd you see in there?
Cameron: I saw everything.

Sarah: (closing voiceover) So much danger in this world is hidden behind masks. We tell our children stories of good and evil. While knowing it's not that simple. True evil doesn't give us time to fight or to be afraid. We keep our heads down never bothering to look behind masks and in doing so, we resign ourselves to terrible fates we can never see coming.

Q&A

  • Q: Why did Cameron lie about having the chip?
    • A: There could be a number of reasons, and it isn't stated exactly. But, a good possibility is that Sarah (and John to some extent) told her to destroy all terminator evidence. However, she may have kept it to obtain needed data. Doing so is contrary to what Sarah told her to do, and Cameron would lose both Sarah and John's trust in her if she did tell them if she had it. As they say, "what they don't know, won't hurt them."
  • Q: Why does Cameron have a room in the house if she never sleeps?
    • A: It could draw attention if someone came visiting and the "daughter" didn't have a room and a bed. Also, Cameron would have to tend to her biological tissue: shower on occasion, do skin repair in various areas, general operation such as reading or simply to stand around, and of course change clothes. Sarah would likely rather have this done away from John.
  • Q: What is and why doesn't Cameron tell about her overall mission?
    • Unknown: In an earlier episode Cameron says to Sarah that she has been send on the mission by the future John, why she does not everything the present John tells her. It's possible that for whatever reason part of her mission is not to tell it in whole.
  • Q: Why does Cameron lie about important things to John and Sarah?
    • A: Cameron's info is on a "need-to-know" basis. If she reveals anything crucial, history could be changed for the worse.
    • A2: Keep in mind that it's possible for Cameron to have ulterior motives and therefor lies too. Whether her info is on a "need-to-know" basis is rather hard to determine since she often lies. Also, what truths (if they are) have been told have impacted the future. In a later episode, she reveals that John's development is "ahead of schedule", which can suggest her information about the future has indeed altered John's development.
  • Q: Why would Cameron rather tell John after if he makes a mistake about hacking the chip?
    • A: It could be that she's letting him learn himself. Plus in Cameron's words, nobody likes a nag.
  • Q: Whats all about Cheri reacting strange when John trying to make conversation with her?
    • Unknown: Could be related to her Father, who keeps her locked; as a result she could try to prevent further trouble with him because of getting into a boy.
  • Q: Where did John hear about Cheri coming from Wichita?
    • A: In a deleted scene, John is quickly noticing "Wichita" sprayed on the inside of Cheri's door locker (Presumably the same person who made the door-graffiti).[1]
  • Q: What files does Sarah talk about that Derek Reese grabbed?
  • Q: Why doesn't Cameron continue chasing Cromartie when interrupted by John?
    • A: If Cameron continued to pursue and engage Cromartie while John was following her, and clamouring for her attention, it is highly likely that Cromartie would recognize John. Cameron probably judged that since Cromartie would not come back to that particular school to look for John, it was better to not risk him seeing John at the cost of either having to relocate the Connors or losing John's life.
  • Q: Why did Sayles track Barbara on his own?
    • A: Derek mentions that the four resistance fighters split up to do lots of individual investigations and work. Given that they had only four men in the present day it is logical for them to have pursued individual investigations, to cover as many leads, regarding Skynet's origin, as possible. Also, Sayles probably did not expect Barbara to have a protector-terminator, much less a husband-terminator, so why assume that she'd be too dangerous for him to handle alone?
  • Q: Are the underground tunnels in this episode the same as the humans resistance use in the future ("Dungeons & Dragons")?
    • A: Possibly, but not necessarily. Derek states he lost Kyle in the tunnels from this episode, but this seems to be referring to their earlier conversation at the cafe, pre-resistance but post-Judgment-day. However, it appears to be the same shooting location.
  • Q: Why does Cameron's chip look different from Vick's chip?
    • A: Cameron is not recognized by other terminator as T-888,[2] so it implies that she is of another design than other terminators.
    • A2: Of course, the Model for Cameron's run of Terminators could also have been created after "Vick" was sent back via TDE, making him unaware of this design.
    • A3: The differences in Cameron's chip physically may be due to whatever modifications the Resistance made in the course of her reprogramming.
    • A4: Simply the fact that Vick is a T-888 series. However, Cameron is an unknown model. Therefor, the chips probably aren't going to be the same hardware wise, but they may be interchangeable. It's no different than an Intel Pentium single-core and an Intel Pentium quad-core, which both can run in a Socket 775; they look different but can be run in the same computers if compatible sockets.
  • Q: How did Sarah find out about Derek Reese killing Andy Goode?
    • A: She saw him fleeing the scene of Andy's murder. Derek later tells her, anyway.

Characters

Main

Recurring

Minor

External links

References

  1. Sarah Connor Chronicles, deleted scenes
  2. "Gnothi Seauton"


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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