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Episode 211: Self Made Man

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Self Made Man
Air Date December 1, 2008
Written by Toni Graphia
Director Holly Dale
Prior episode "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point"
Next episode "Alpine Fields"
"I'm interested in the past. It affects everything in the future."
- Cameron.
Selfmademan4

Cameron does some research after-hours at a library with her friend Eric

She never sleeps, so what does she do at night? Cameron's surprising, secret life is revealed. Also, history is forever changed when a Terminator is sent back to the wrong time.

Synopsis

211-05

Cameron Recognizes the T-888

211-07

John shows his darkside once again

Stark Temporal Error

Stark determines the date through star alignments

211-06

How Stark amassed his fortune

211-04

Myron Stark gets the shaft

S02e11-01

Cameron confronts John for being out all night

It is 1920 and people are celebrating New Year's Eve. Suddenly, an electrical storm erupts inside the building, causing a fire.

John has been researching the three dots but nothing conclusive comes up. Sarah tells him to do laundry but then he turns it over to Cameron, who doesn't need to sleep. It is later revealed that she spends her nights by visiting her friend Eric, at the library, who lets her in at night, with her bringing doughnuts. While searching through the library, she sees a man in a picture, comparable to a T-888 and asks Eric for help in researching. The man was Myron Stark, who was building a massive tower, but strangely, the competition and anyone who didn't comply with his demands disappeared or ended up dead. He treated his workers, white or black, equally with double the wages. A recording from a survivor of the fire claimed to have seen Stark turn up naked but was convinced she was hallucinating. Cameron soon concludes from Stark's position in the photo that he was triangulating his position in time, because of an error in the time displacement equipment. Cameron then goes to the building where Stark "disappeared" and determined that he was supposed to kill the new governor in 2010, possibly a reference to Schwarzenegger being the Governor of California. She punches the wall where Stark was waiting in stand by, and engages him, disabling his body by pinning it with an elevator before removing his chip. When she returns to the library, she informs Eric that his cancer has resurged. Eric is hurt and says that she shouldn't be going around, doing what she wants, like walking in on him while he's in the washroom or "analyze" people and tells her to leave.

Meanwhile, John is invited to a party of a friend of Riley's, but hears he was being called a loner. He tries playing Gears of War 2 but fails. Soon, the host, who has been taunting John, thinks that Riley took his lighter and demands it back. Riley constantly denies it only for him to assault her. John manages to hold him in a neck lock, just like he did with Sarkassian but instead knocks him onto the floor and beats him up. The host begs off and they quickly leave and take John's van to a Makeout Point where they kiss.

The next night, Cameron tries to get inside the library but instead finds Eric's replacement. She offers doughnuts and gets in.

Characters

Main Recurring Minor


Quotes

Eric: So, how was Mexico? You get to see your buddy down there?
(Flashback to John and Cameron digging to find Cromartie's body in Mexico. John lifts up a boot)
Cameron: Where's the rest of him?
(Flashback to the present)
Cameron: He was gone when we got there.
Eric: After you went all that way? Bummer.
Cameron: Yes, it was a bummer.
Eric: Is your brother still seeing that crazy blonde?
Cameron: Yes. It's become a problem. She snuck out the window one night and left the alarm off. We got robbed.
Eric: No way. Did you catch who did it?
(Flashback to the bowling alley where Cameron kills the three robbers)
Cameron: (Smiles) Everything worked out fine.
Eric: Heh...that's a pretty zen attitude.
Cameron: "The robbed that smiles steal something from the thief."
Eric: You read Othello.
Cameron: You asked me to.
Eric: Did you like it?
Cameron: It was more violent than I expected.
Eric: I should have warned you.
Cameron: No. Everything worked out fine. (Cameron and Eric stare at each other) You're not eating your donuts.
Eric: Later.
Cameron: Do you have a history of California field artillery? I'm interested in the ancient muzzle-loading rifles used during the Murdoch-Indian war.
Eric: Uh...in the California room. (Cameron smiles at Eric)
(Eric accidently knocks over Cameron's bag and picks up her gun)
Eric: What is this?
Cameron: A 17-round glock nine millimeter semi-automatic.
Eric: Why do you have it?
Cameron: In case I need it.
Eric: Have you ever used it?
Cameron: Yes.
Eric: Are you in trouble?
Cameron: No.
Eric: Are you afraid of someone?
Cameron: Afraid? No.
Eric: I've seen cuts...on your face. There was one last week. You were wearing makeup. Uh...
Cameron: Sometimes...I get into fights.
Eric: Wha...?! Why?
Cameron: My brother. There are people out to hurt him. I protect him.
Eric: Who protects you?
Cameron: I do.
Eric: Why are we doing this? Why is Myron Stark so important?
Cameron: He was doing something and it doesn't make sense to me. I need to find out what it was.
Eric: None of this makes sense to me! Not you, not the gun, not the guy in the photograph...
Cameron: I know.
Riley: I thought you were gonna kill that guy.
John: Why'd you call me?
Riley: Because...I wanted you to come.
John: Weird way of showing it.
Riley: Oh, the flirting with Mike thing? I'm a teenage girl, John. We do that kind of crap to guys we like.
John: The loner weirdo? I don't get it. Never gotten it.
Riley: My old foster parents were these '60's hippies. Always talking like they were single-handedly saving the world because they recycled. They called me "the deviant". Like "the deviant got a C in math", or "should we take the deviant to see Bruce Hornsby?" That's why I came up to you that day, John. Because, I thought since you're a weirdo, you might get me.
John: My foster parents used to call me "the delinquent".
(Riley pulls out Mike's lighter)
John: So you did take the lighter.
Riley: I like shiny things. Bad habit.
John: What happened to your real parents?
Riley: They died when I was little...in a fire. Why were you in a foster home? You have your mom.
John: She was in a mental hospital.
Riley: Well, that explains things.
John: She was engaged once. This pretty cool guy. Didn't work out. He's kinda the only friend we had. A little while ago, he, uh...helped us with something. There was an accident and his new wife died. And he left. That's what happens. I shouldn't be around people.
Riley: Is that why you went nuclear on Mike?
John: Heh...no, that's...that's other stuff.
Riley: Do you want to talk about it?
John: Sometimes, yes. Mostly, no.
Riley: But, sometimes yes. (Riley kisses John)
(Cameron looks at herself in a mirror)
Cameron: Do you ever think about dying?
Eric: About what?
Cameron: Or about suicide?
Eric: Why would I think about that?
Cameron: Because there's something wrong with you.
Eric: No wonder you don't have any friends. You can't just do things like that! You can't just show up whenever you need something. You can't carry a gun around and freak people out and walk into the bathroom when a guy's taking a leak and ask him if he's gonna kill himself. And you can't just blurt things out like "you have cancer", especially to somebody who's already had it! You have no clue, do you? You have no idea what it's like to have something inside of you...something that's damaged.
Cameron: It's like a bomb...waiting to go off.
Cameron: Where were you all night?
John: Out.
(Cameron touches the lipstick on John's neck)
Cameron: Carbon chain C-24, lanolin, and red dye number 27. You were with Riley.
(John stares at Cameron and walks up to his room)

Continuity notes

Notes

  • Cameron seems to have told many things to Eric, such as the events in the episode "Complications".
  • John and Riley's relationship advances to a more romantic in nature, as they kiss for the first time.
  • Terminators can calculate the date based upon stellar formations.
  • The stellar formations used to calculate the date are in the form of the three dots, possibly related to an important date.
    • The three dots in the basement of Connors' house may mean the stellar formations used to calculate the date.
  • Terminators (or at least Cameron) can also detect the components of lipstick on a person and deduce the brand or at least select a familiar person with matching lipstick, such as Riley.

Deleted scenes

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

Terminator references

  • Like Cromartie, when Ellison says he won't help him, Myron Stark uses the catchphrase "We'll see". Will this become the new "I'll be back" for this series of Terminators?
  • Upon arriving, the naked Myron Stark says "Give me your clothes", just like the T-800 and other Terminators.
  • Myron Stark's lower body was smashed, just like the T-800 in the film The Terminator. The only difference is that Stark still has his skins but gets stuck.

Real-world references

  • Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) was an Italian film star and sex symbol during the silent film era.
  • The game being played by John and Riley at the party was Gears of War.
  • Wyman is possibly a references to the maiden name of Jane Wyman, the first wife of former President Ronald Reagan, who once also served as Governor of California.

Q&A

  • Q1: Why does Cameron go to the library so often?
    • A1: Unknown, possibly collecting information.
    • Q2: And why only at midnight?
      • A2: Unknown.
  • Q: How was Cameron able to perform a scan to tell if Eric still had cancer?
    • A: Cameron combined the information she gathered (no appetite, weight loss, problems to pull the pistol's trigger, so muscle loss) and the knowledge she got about Eric's medical history from their past talks.
  • Q: Is it possible that Cameron was lying to Sarah earlier about this ability because Sarah might have cancer already?
    • A: Sarah visited a doctor who found no sign of cancer.
  • Q: Who is Mark Wyman, and why was he targeted for termination?
    • A: He's governor of the State of California in 2010, but why he is a target is unknown by far.
  • Q1: Was Cameron "projecting" the probabilities of the events to come ("soft focus" speech and shooting) in 2010 for the assassination of Governor Wyman, or was she recalling memories of an event she witnessed, implying she's been functional through 2010 prior to her mission to join the Connors in 1999?
    • A1: Throughout the episode, Cameron uncovered information, some of which she recognized as a good course of action for a Terminator to take, while not knowing the purpose of the Stark Terminator's deployment to the past. The event we saw was a visual manifestation of events she foresaw as part of the Stark Terminator's plan. This is evident when she places herself at the optimal point for an assassin to shoot from, thus discovering the dormant T-888 in the wall. She was not recalling anything from first hand experience. The 1920s scenes were to convey to the audience what happened and not actually Cameron's memories, much like during her recall of her interrogating Allison Young that included points of view that Cameron couldn't have witnessed or "lived" through. For instance she could not possibly recall Stark killing Jeffers although it was a scenario that she considered from the tape of the 1980s newscast.
    • Q2: There is no question about the images from the 1920s, (especially since it is a common practice for the Connors to ask Cameron "what would you do?" when determining other Terminator behaviors), they are simply scenario evaluations. The question regards specifically the 2010 scenes due to the distinctly different presentation from any 1920's "assessment" scenarios. The "Soft focus" and "slow motion" presentation of the 2010 events was different for a reason. Was it artistic license or an intimation of an alternate future memory recall?
      • A2: As stated above, it is a visual representation of what Cameron believed happens in 2010 as part of the T-888's plan. She knew that something would happen on New Year's Eve, but didn't know the year it would take place until she saw the sign inside the building that announced the reopening on New Year's Eve 2010. If it was a direct memory of hers, she would not have had to pinpoint the shooter's location. She used presumably the same method that Stark used to find his hiding spot.
  • Q: How could a car with a dead body in it sit in a ravine for 60 years without anyone noticing?
    • A: It happened out in the middle of nowhere, and Stark dragged Fred Jeffer's car a short ways away to the infamous cliffs of Mulholland Drive. Presumably, it was an area that Stark knew few people would ever pass through and perhaps the car was covered with overgrowth. For the record the TV News report was from the late 1980s thus the reporter saying "over 60 years ago".
  • Q: What caused the temporal error that sent Myron Stark to 1920?
    • A: Unknown at this time, possibly irrelevant.
  • Q: How did Cameron know that an important event happened or would happen on a December 31 and not any other date?
    • A1: Presumably, time travel can only occur on an integer number of years or else the earth would be in a different spot in its orbit leaving the time traveler floating in space. However this explanation does not account for the movement of the solar system within the milky way (at 251 km/s) or the metric expansion of space as a whole.
    • A2: A temporal error occurred. Cameron deduces that because the Terminator (Myron Stark) "accidentally" arrived on December 31, 1920, it is highly likely Myron was meant to arrive on Dec 31st of some year. It is never explained as to why a temporal error would likely cause the arrival on the correct day of a different year.
  • Q: Did Cameron destroy Myron Stark (with thermite)? Did she keep his chip (maybe without telling the others about the whole incident)?
    • A: Unmentioned.
  • Q: If Camerons pistol could not fully penetrate a phone book, what use would it be against a Terminator?
    • A: There were two phone books. She leaned the front one forward and pulled the bullet from in between them.
  • Q: Why was Eric not there the second time Cameron came ?
    • A: Unmentioned. Eric possibly goes to the hospital for examinations or he may have simply been trying to avoid Cameron. We are not told for certain.

References

(This episode doesn't have any reference yet. Please add one if there is any.)

External links


Episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Season 1 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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