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Episode 208: Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today

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Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today
Air Date November 10, 2008
Written by Daniel Thomsen
Director Michael Nankin
Prior episode "Brothers of Nablus"
Next episode "Complications"
"Have you come to repent?"
- James Ellison.
SCC 208 MrFergusonIsIllToday1

Ellison, Riley and John check the trunk of Cromartie's car after hearing suspicious noises.

John and Riley's impromptu trip to Mexico results in deadly consequences. Meanwhile, Sarah and Ellison finally come face-to-face.


Snapshot johncam 2.08

Cameron talks to John about Riley.

SCC 208 MrFergusonIsIllToday3

Derek and Cameron search for John in Mexico.


Derek spots something.

SCC 208 MrFergusonIsIllToday4

Ellison asks for guidance at church in Mexico.

SCC 208 MrFergusonIsIllToday2

Cromartie looks for the Connors in Mexico.

SCC 208 MrFergusonIsIllToday5

Cameron looks for Cromartie in Mexico.


Cromartie's last stand.

Cromartie's end

Cromartie's final vision.


Nighty Night!

The events of this episode are shown from the perspectives of John, Cameron, Sarah, Derek, Ellison, and Cromartie.

Sarah's Story

Sarah and John have yet another fight over Riley. As always, mother doesn't think son should be bringing a civilian into the situation. The following morning Cameron tells Sarah that she has had a conversation with John and that he won't be seeing Riley anymore. Moments after Cameron departs, Sarah is ambushed by Cromartie who grabs her and drags her up the stairs to John's room. He asks where John is, and after recognizing a lie from Sarah seems to realize that: "You don't know."

Cameron's Story

After watching John and Riley together and discussing the situation with Sarah, Cameron removes her jacket to show some more revealing clothing and hops onto the bed with John, discussing the danger to Riley of his association with her. After speaking with Sarah the next morning Cameron drives to a supply shed to grab more ammunition and runs into Derek. Derek receives a call from an unknown person and Cameron observes the number on his cell phone screen. Repeating the number on her own cell, Cameron dials and hears a man speaking Spanish on the other end. Further investigation into this mystery is suspended when Derek gets another call which he tells Cameron means John is in trouble.

John's Story

John immediately calls Riley after his evening chat with Cameron, grabbing a duffel bag from the bath tub, telling her "I'll be there in a few minutes" and leaves the house. We catch up with John and Riley the following morning on a bus, with John telling her they are going to a village in Mexico where he used to live as a child.

When the pair arrives in the village they see the preparations for the Dia De Los Muertos festival that night, meaning everyone in town is dressed as skeletons. John and Riley stay in the honeymoon suite at the local hotel. While John repairs the room's temperamental hot tub, they argue over how little they know about each other.

At dinner a man sits down and tries to take a picture of them. John tries to get rid of the man, who recognized John from his childhood days in the town. When the man attempts to blackmail John with the picture, Riley grabs the camera out of his hand. John tells her they have to leave the place immediately, but as John runs out the door into the festival Riley is grabbed by police.

The Mexican police tell John that if he can get his mother or uncle to pick him up, they will let him go with a warning. John first dials Derek, punching in two numbers when his voicemail picks up. He next tries Sarah. When she answers, John immediately enters in those two numbers (another "duress code" security measure) without talking. When Sarah's voice continues to speak to him without responding with the numbers, John hangs up. The police tell John they are going to run his name through Interpol and then put him in a holding cell with Riley. The next morning Riley and John trick one of the guards and manage to escape. As they are about to leave the jail they hear shooting.

Sarah's Story

Cromartie is driving with Sarah tied up in the back. Cromartie tells her it was the bowling alley survivor she didn't kill who led him to their house, then sticks her in the trunk after she tries to escape. We only get Sarah's in-trunk perspective as she continues to work to escape her bonds and the trunk, which is some Mexican sounding music and what sounds like a massive gun fight. When the trunk finally opens, Ellison is standing there with John.

Ellison's Story

While jogging, Ellison gets a phone call from friends in the FBI that a potential hit on his old Connor case indicates that John is being held in Mexico. Ellison goes to the Mexican station where John and Riley are being held, telling the officer he is with the FBI and has reason to believe John is in danger. While waiting in the office Cromartie arrives and a gun battle ensues. John and Riley run by on their way out. Ellison grabs John, telling him "I'm here to help." The three jump into Cromartie's car, speeding off as the Terminator peppers the car with a 9mm pistol and an HK-5 (a variant of the MP5 Submachine gun). They eventually find Sarah in the trunk and the four seek cover.

Ellison tells Sarah he was being followed by Cromartie and had planned to set John free when he got to him at the prison. John and Sarah begin convincing Riley that she must go back to Los Angeles. Looking for some backup, Sarah calls Derek, intending to get he and Cameron to come and help, but Derek tells her that "we're here, we're at the jail."

Derek's Story

Derek and Cameron survey the carnage left by Cromartie's visit to the police station. Derek gets that call from Sarah, wondering to her that if John is with her, "Where is Cromartie?"

Cromartie's Story

After arriving at the station Cromartie shoots everybody in sight, except for one officer who does not attempt to stop him and the officer who was guarding the cell. The latter tells Cromartie that John and Riley escaped and that the only exit was the front. When Cromartie returns to the front of the station, he notices John running. After the car chase, Cromartie spots Ellison grabbing supplies from his trunk and slowly walking into a church. Cromartie walks in behind Ellison, and discovers himself in a trap. Sarah and Derek fire on Cromartie from high windows on either side of the room, followed by Cameron walking in with a Remington 870p assault shotgun equipped with Depleted Uranium Slugs [1] shooting off most of Cromartie's face. Cromartie collapses to the ground, his trigger fingers uncontrollably twitching and his Terminator HUD offline. He records Cameron, Sarah, Derek, and Ellison walking over to him, followed by John. This is the last thing he sees before John shoots him in the head.


Later, the five of them bury Cromartie. After telling Ellison they will be going their separate ways, Sarah places Cromartie's chip on a rock to destroy it with the butt of her rifle, becoming unglued during the process, smashing the electronic device over and over again before collapsing on John's shoulder in tears. Ellison walks away without a word.


Main Minor


John: I bought her a helmet.
Sarah: Responsible. You think it will stop a bullet?
John: Why, are you going to take a shot at her?
Sarah: A lot'a bullets fly around here, someone will.
Sarah: You care about this girl?
John: Yeah.
Sarah: Then leave her alone.

Cameron: Are you busy?
John: No. (Cameron closes the door) Did you change?
Cameron: It's hot out.
John: Since when do you feel heat?
Cameron: I feel heat. (Cameron lies down in bed beside John)
John: Are you hoping that Riley is going to see us in bed together and be totally scarred for the rest of her life or something?
Cameron: No. I watched Riley leave until I couldn't see her anymore.
John: And then you and mom high-fived.
Cameron: You bring danger into Riley's life.
John: I know that. I'm not stupid.
Cameron: But, sometimes you do stupid things. It would help me to understand why.
John: Humans do stupid things. So, don't worry about it and be a happier machine.
Cameron: I'm a machine. I can't be happy. But, I understand more than you think.
John: So you understand that I'm going to keep seeing Riley even if everyone thinks it's a bad idea?
Cameron: I understand that it's a bad idea, and... I understand that being John Connor can be lonely.
John: Oh yeah? How do you understand that?
Cameron: You and I talk about it a lot.
John: We do?
Cameron: We do. We will.
John: I ne... I need to get some sleep. (Cameron sits up)
Cameron: And Riley?
John: I know... I know.
Cromartie: Your strategy's changed from last time.
Sarah: Has it?
Cromartie: The first time we met, you tried to kill yourself.
Sarah: (Laughs) You're right. This time I'm going to kill you. (Sarah sees Cromartie's picture of Cameron)
Cromartie: She hasn't been careful. She's made mistakes. Not as many as you, but enough. Does she have damage to her chip? (Sarah doesn't respond) She has damage to her chip.
Sarah: How did you find the house?
Cromartie: The boy told me. The one from the bowling alley. You should have killed him, just like you should have killed yourself.
Sarah: I'm not a murderer.
Cromartie: Who is? (Sarah jumps out of Cromartie's car)

Sarah: Why're you here?
Ellison: John was flagged in the FBI computer.
Sarah: Couldn't you have just buried it?
Ellison: It's been watching me.
Sarah: It?
Ellison: Out there. It. (Referring to Cromartie)
Sarah: And you still came to Mexico. You could have led it right to John.
Ellison: It wasn't me in the trunk.
Sarah: So what were you going to do? Just pop him out of jail? Set him free, no questions asked?
Ellison: Yes, actually. That's exactly what I was going to do.
Sarah: I have a hard time believing that.
Ellison: I owed you one. The fire. Silberman's cabin.
Sarah: Wasn't much.
Ellison: It was my life.
Sarah: How you feel about that now?

Sarah: We'll attract less attention if we don't travel together.
Ellison: You want me to leave. What's next?
Sarah: We'll come back down here. Bring something with us to destroy it. (Referring to Cromartie)
Ellison: His name's going to be on an alert. (Referring to John)
Sarah: He's got other names.
Ellison: Then what?
Sarah: There is no "then what". Pretend I died again.
Ellison: I lost a lot when you died the first time. My marriage, my career.
Sarah: That's a lot to you?
Ellison: I suppose many people lost those things.
Sarah: You want answers.
Ellison: I just wanna know my role in all of this. What happens after this?
Sarah: This is it. There's nothing else behind the curtain. This is what I do. It's all I do. You already know why I do it. I'm sorry for what you lost, but I can't help you get any of it back.

Continuity notes

  • John Connor mentions his childhood in the Mexico with his mother, Sarah. This is one of the main plots of this episode.
  • Dia De Los Muertos is celebrated on November 1 and 2, placing the events of this episode on one of these dates. This could potentially create a continuity error with "The Mousetrap" in regards to the date.


  • The title of the episode is a direct quotation of Cromartie's first line in the series ("Mr. Ferguson is ill today. My name is Cromartie."), as an homage to the character.
  • James Ellison makes contact with the Connors and offers to help them directly.
  • Although she does not get to see Cromartie in Terminator form, Riley is finally fully exposed to the Terminator threat.
  • Cromartie's "death" is the second filmed instance of a Terminator being terminated using a conventional firearm, the first being the "Bedell Terminator" with a .50 caliber rifle. Prior movie and television Terminations involved the use of explosives, futuristic weapons, or industrial machinery. Numerous examples of termination with conventional but heavy weaponry already exist in the novel and comics branches of the Terminator franchise.
    • Cromartie's "termination" is also anti-climatic as it is done with small caliber weapons and a shotgun. This Terminator had previously survived being shot at point-blank range with a crude plasma weapon, and having his head separated from his body, after which he was able to self-repair.
    • However, Dan Thomsen (the writer) mentioned in a chat right after the episode, that the shotgun was armed with depleted uranium core rounds.[2] This kind of ammunition does exist in real life and it should be able to cause significant damage to a Terminator.
  • It should also be noted that Cromartie's endo was not melted down, leaving open the possibility that he could be repaired (a new chip is needed then, since the Cromartie chip is destroyed by Sarah) or used for research and if found causing technological advancement. Ellison might even be able to finally give Catherine Weaver an endoskeleton as she wishes. This "could alter the course of technological evolution and hasten the arrival of judgment day" as Cameron states in the episode "Dungeons & Dragons".
  • It's unknown why Cameron took off her clothes before she went into John's room for sure.
  • John's bed seems able to support a Terminator's weight.
  • Cameron took of her jacket while burying Cromatie's body.

Deleted scenes

(This episode has no information about the deleted scenes so far. Please add one if there is any.)

Terminator references

  • Sarah Connor directly smashes a chip of a Terminator successfully at last. The first time is trying to smash The T-800's chip but stopped by John in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Real-world references

  • The death of Cromartie is similar to the death of Officer Alex J. Murphy in Robocop.
  • Before John finishes him, the last thing Cromartie sees is Ellison, John, Sarah, Derek, and Cameron standing over him. This is reminiscent of the scene in Quentin Tarantino's film Kill Bill, where a retired assassin is attacked by her former colleagues on her wedding day.


  • Q: What does the title of the episode refer to?
    • A: It refers to a line by Cromartie when he enters the classroom as a substitute teacher in the pilot episode.
  • Q: Teasers for the upcoming episode hint that there might be a problem with the recovery/destruction of Cromartie's endoskeleton. Will this lead (finally) to the much reported and as yet unseen multiple CPU redundancy function of the T-888, or has some other agency (like Weaver) acquired the unit?
    • A: Cromartie's damaged endoskeleton is delivered to Catherine Weaver by James Ellison in the episode "Complications". While Cromartie continues to haunt Sarah's dreams, and his chassis may reappear in a Zeira Corp scheme, as an AI entity he is gone for good according to the producer's blogs due to the destruction of his chip(s).
  • Q: Will Riley's relationship with John survive the revelations of this episode?
    • A: [Speculation:] In this episode, Riley was asked to leave for her own security, but preferred to stay with John saying "I don't wanna run away from you" despite being put in prison and shot at. She seems to feel enamored to John and it is probable that their relationship will survive (at least for the moment).
  • Q: Why does Cromartie spare Sarah's life again (first time in the pilot)? Since Sarah is a great fighter and has great organizing abilities and is exercising John to the warrior he will be in the future, it is strategically senseless to leave her alive.
    • A: It is because of Cromatie's MO. As in the pilot, he most likely wanted to use her as bait for John. In the episode "Samson & Delilah", Cromartie left Agent Ellison alive because he though that he would lead him to John Connor.
  • Q: Is Cromartie really dead, because I thought T-888's had back up CPU'S?
    • A: You're right. According to this short clip from the Fox Movie Channel's behind-the-scenes special, aired in January 2008, they are referred to T-888s due to their three CPUs. But it is very probable that he is "dead" anyway, because all electronics in the left side of his head were shot through, and the remaining chip was smashed by Sarah.
      • Speculation: Cameron was cautious enough not only to remove his remaining chip (which was later destroyed by Sarah), but also acted to prevent Cromartie´s revival by damaging, destroying, or removing his energy supply.
    • A2: Unfortunately, although on one hand they continue to repeat the mantra that "they have three CPUs for redundancy", it has never been actually acted on in presentation, other than Cameron (sort of) in "Samson & Delilah". Removal of any one CPU is apparently a shut-down event. Also, no evidence of damage to Cromartie's chest/abdominal cavity indicated compromise of his power core containment.
    • A3: Another possibility is that each CPU is responsible for different functions. If that's the case, it is possible that one chip would be the principal chip, responsible for seeing, hearing, thinking, and storing programming information, memories and other data. If so, then the chip Sarah destroyed was the chip that made Cromartie Cromartie. Presumably, in the absence of the main CPU, the other two CPUs would not do anything and it would therefore be unnecessary to do anything about them.
    • A4: Further to A3, all computers today carry multiple chipsets to function properly — most PCs will come with a main CPU (which may compromise more than 1 CPU/core), graphics, sounds and additional processors. It would make sense that Terminator units would require a vast amount of computational power and may need more than one chip to process data to function and react as quickly as they do. Vick's chip was seen to contain data files of its mission in addition to higher reasoning whilst John Henry was able to access data files of Cromatie's mission (minus higher reasoning) which indicates there is at least redundant data storage within the endoskeleton other than on another "chip". It is therefore likely that whilst the chip we see most often contains the primary operating system and data files other chips would provide the processing power needed to evaluate touch, movement, sound etc. This may explain how John Henry was able to assume control of the endoskeleton later without needing the complete operating system on the chip.
See also: Series 888


  1. Depleted Uranium ammunition was cited in the live web chat with the writer, director, and Garret Dillahunt immediately following the episode airing.
  2. "Mr Ferguson is Ill Today" Live Chat Transcript (Dan Thompsen/Writer, Garret Dillahunt/Cromartie, Josh Friedman/Director)

External links

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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