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Episode 217: Ourselves Alone

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Ourselves Alone
Air Date March 6, 2009
Written by Toni Graphia & Daniel T. Thomsen
Director Jeff Woolnough
Prior episode "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep"
Next episode "Today Is The Day, Part 1"
"I'm not supposed to kill you, but you can't stay here."
- Cameron.
217 Hand Fix

John works on Cameron's arm

The return of Cameron's glitch results in regrettable consequences for everyone, and Riley fears Cameron has discovered her secret.

Synopsis

217 Locket

Cameron puts the locket on John's Neck.

Byebyebirdie

A taste of things to come?

SCC 217 OurselvesAlone1

John and Riley discuss her personal problems

SCC 217 OurselvesAlone2

Jesse and Derek have target practice

Ms. Wilson

Jesse as Ms. Wilson, a Guidance Counselor

Dead Riley

Riley, free at last

Sarah settles back into her "normal routine", which includes washing the bloodstains from Riley's suicide attempt off the bathroom floor. Riley makes an attempt at bonding with her, but abandons it when John arrives. John reiterates his dedication to Riley to her.

Derek and Jesse are performing target practice with apples, noting how nice it is to be able to waste both ammunition and apples. In an attempt at bonding or intelligence gathering, Derek tells her that April 21st 2011 is his Judgment Day. Jesse avoids providing her date and thus confirming or denying to Derek whether they're from the same timeline. Derek lets her get away with it and asks her to help him with apprehending a lawyer who, we learn later from Sarah, helped set up the shell company behind Desert Canyon Heat and Air. Derek has apparently been taking some of her research and following up on it on his own while Sarah was out chasing the three dots.

Cameron tries to expedite the pigeon from the house's chimney, because she considers it a fire hazard. As she encourages the bird to fly away, her left hand malfunctions and kills the animal. As she attempts to fix her arm in the shed, Riley comes by to get her bike and sees her through the window. Riley leaves, freaked out. Cameron notices a sound and goes outside to investigate and see Riley leave, but decides to return to the shed. A while later, John comes by, and Cameron tells him what happened to the bird. He assesses the damage, and is infuriated when Cameron shows him spare parts from endoskeletons that Cameron has collected to repair herself. She tells him "Future John" instructed her to do this and that he has better information than he does. She then asks John to help her perform the repairs.

Riley, meanwhile, has freaked out again, and meets with Jesse, who still will not hear anything of aborting the mission and setting Riley free.

Soon, the attention drawn by Riley's suicide attempt starts to show its effects. A guidance counselor named Ms. Wilson who is actually Derek's girlfriend Jesse has apparently been asking questions about Riley and the Connors. Also, Sarah's attempt at stealthily extracting information from Riley's foster family has unforeseen effects as her attempts to appear sympathetic to the supposedly abusive father cast a bad light on her and John in the innocent father's eyes. Sarah meets with Jesse who knows about Riley's screams of "bleached skulls and the end of the world" and places doubt on Derek's ability to stay away from young children. She also knows that John took Riley to Mexico on the day of the dead, leading Sarah to think that John told Riley, and she couldn't keep it to herself. When she returns, she tells John as much.

As John researches a restaurant for Derek's mission, Cameron creeps him out by mentioning how hard it would be to dispose of a body there. She also offers to make John a sandwich, because "sometimes it's nice to have help". John catches on to that and asks her whether she isn't supposed to be very good at self-repair. Cameron acknowledges that. Later, he hears from Cameron that she thinks it is likely "Future John" kept secrets from her.

Just as Riley comes to visit, a woman from Child Services comes to investigate John and Riley's surroundings, inquiring about their weapons and otherwise being inquisitive. Cameron and Riley hide in the shed, where Cameron points out that the Child Services woman must have arrived due to a complaint filed by someone, and starts threatening her. When asked whether she was going to kill Riley, Cameron says repeatedly that she doesn't know, and John wonders what's happening with her.

John gives Riley an opportunity to tell him "whatever it is that you might want to tell me". But Riley avoids it by turning the question around. So neither tells the other the truth. They talk some more, then John goes inside to talk to Sarah, still defending Riley. Suddenly, Riley is gone.

After an investigation at the restaurant, where he gets hit on by what could be a professional woman, Derek asks Jesse to help him get at the highly-protected lawyer as he is leaving the country by plane, which will be their last opportunity. Derek sets himself up at a good ambush point, but he has to let the target escape because Jesse never shows up to do her part, because Riley confronts Jesse about who made the calls to Child Services and the GCFF, and the two start fighting. Riley has figured out that Jesse's plan was to have Cameron kill Riley, which would have destroyed the bond between Cameron and John. They fight back and forth with broken bottles, fists, hands, table legs and other things, until Jesse shoots Riley with her silenced gun.

Since Cameron can not self-terminate, she gives John a just finished little device like a fob watch, containing what she says is a transmitter with a button that will detonate an explosive near her chip, thus giving him power over her life. As John leaves, he sees another dead bird lying openly in the grass...

Characters

Main Recurring Minor


Quotes

(A pigeon flies from the bookcase to a table)
Cameron: You shouldn't nest in the chimney.
(The pigeon lands on the fireplace mantel)
Cameron: You're migratory. You need to find a mate.
(The pigeon flies into a window)
Cameron: That's a window, bird.
(Cameron catches the bird in her left hand.)
Cameron: What am I going to do with you?
(Cameron takes the pigeon outside)
Cameron: A bird in a chimney is a fire hazard. I'm not supposed to kill you, but you can't stay here. (She holds the pigeon up) Go!
(Cameron crushes the pigeon to death)

Derek: There's a guy. He's got some information I need.
Jesse: So ask him.
Derek: Not that kind of guy. Not that kind of information.
Jesse: Skynet. (Derek nods) I'm not here to stop the war, sweetie. I'm here to win it.
Derek: John Connor.
Jesse: John Connor.
Derek: You know, you keep saying that, but I don't know what it means. I'm the one living with him.
Jesse: How's that working out for you? Is the metal alive and well? Sarah running you around?
Derek: I'm here. I'm asking you. Either help me with my plan or show me some progress on yours.
Jesse: Ok. Whadda need?

Sarah: There was a stack of research here on that lawyer. The one who set up the drone shell company.
Cameron: Derek took it.
Sarah: When?
Cameron: While you were gone.
Sarah: So, he's chasing it now.
Cameron: I don't know.
Sarah: You know, he should keep me in the loop, it's my loop.
Cameron: You've been distracted.
Sarah: I was kidnapped.
Cameron: Which is distracting.
Sarah: Talk to me about Riley. What happened the day she tried to kill herself?
Cameron: She was very upset. John could tell. She had a bruise on her face.
Sarah: Who gave her the bruise?
Cameron: John thought it was her foster dad. She said it was a door.
Sarah: Liar. Then what?
Cameron: Riley cut her wrists like this. She almost bled to death.
Sarah: Do you think it was her foster dad?
Cameron: It's hard to say. We don't know much about Riley.
Sarah: We should know more.
Cameron: I know where she lives. I'll go talk to her foster parents.
Sarah: No, I'll go. My loop.

(Cameron cuts open her skin and is trying to fix her hand)
Cameron: I killed a bird.
John: Not the one in the chimney.
Cameron: I thought you should know.
John: A bird did that?
Cameron: No, I did that. Look. The bird experienced an involuntary movement to my fingers. It was fragile.
John: Wiggle your fingers. (Cameron wiggles her fingers) Yeah, there's damage, but it's buried pretty deep in there.
Cameron: I don't know how it happened.
John: Oh, well it was probably during a fight. You're not designed to fight other machines. Alright, maybe I could swap this out, but it's not like we just have spare parts lying around. (Cameron opens a box to reveal parts of previous Terminators) You're supposed to burn the endos!
Cameron: Not all of them.
John: Says who?!
Cameron: You.
John: What, future me?
Cameron: Future you.
John: Yeah, why doesn't that surprise me?
Cameron: I have damage to my hand, and now you're able to fix it. (John looks at the spare parts) Future John has better information than you do.

Riley: Jesse, she's going to kill me.
Jesse: What? Who?
Riley: Her. Cameron.
Jesse: What happened? What did it do?
Riley: I saw something. The metal.
Jesse: The metal?
Riley: She cut her wrists.
Jesse: Why did it cut itself?
Riley: I don't know, but I saw the metal, and she knows that I saw it.
Jesse: Sweetie, if she knew you saw, you'd be dead.
Riley: I can't go back there.
Jesse: I wonder what's wrong with it. Has it been acting strange?
Riley: Strange? Everything she does is strange. Did you not hear me? I can't go back there!
Jesse: Of course you can, dear. You put one foot in front of the other. Master your fear. Remember the mission.
Riley: There's gotta be another way.
Jesse: Trust me, there is only one way. I won't let Cameron hurt you. I won't let anyone hurt you.

(John attempts to fix Cameron's hand)
John: Okay, clinch your fist. Okay, now fingers straight. Okay...you feel any different?
Cameron: Yes.
John: Are you all fixed?
Cameron: I don't know.
John: Well, just try not to kill any more birds.
Cameron: You're ahead of schedule.
John: With what?
Cameron: What you need to learn.

Cameron: I'll make you a sandwich.
John: Wait, why?
Cameron: You're hungry.
John: Why don't we let hungry be my problem.
Cameron: Sometimes it's nice to have help.
John: How's the hand?
Cameron: Not a problem.
John: Aren't you supposed to be really good at self repair?
Cameron: Yes.
John: But sometimes it's nice to have help.
Cameron: Yes.
John: I'll make my own sandwich.

John: Cameron. Do you think it's possible for me to know something that future John doesn't know?
Cameron: That's hard to know. Seems unlikely.
John: You think it's possible for me to know something that you don't know?
Cameron: Are you asking me if future John kept secrets from me? (John nods) I'm sure he did.

Cameron: This is your fault.
Riley: What's my fault?
Cameron: You're the reason that person is here. (Cameron's hand starts to twitch)
Riley: You're John's sister. You can't keep me here.
Cameron: They don't always like the way I do things.

Cameron: What am I going to do with you?
Riley: I don't understand. I don't know what you mean.
Cameron: Children and family services respond to complaints. Are you a complainer?
Riley: No. No, I never told them anything. What would I even tell them?
Cameron: You don't belong here. John isn't right for you and you're not right for him. He can't see that.
Riley: Stop, please, you're freaking me out.
Cameron: You're unreliable. I don't know what you do.
Riley: I'm just John's girlfriend. That's it.
Cameron: You can't be John's girlfriend. You're a threat. You can't stay here anymore, but I can't let you leave.
Riley: You're John's sister.
Cameron: What am I going to do with you?
Riley: Nothing. You can't do anything to me because you're John's sister. Get it through your head. You're just his sister.

John: Were you going to kill her?
Cameron: I don't know what I was going to do.
John: What do you mean you didn't know what you were going to do? Since when do you not know what you're going to do?!
Cameron: I don't know. You should have killed her. She's a threat to you.
John: That is not your decision to make.
Cameron: It's usually not a decision.
John: Well obviously it is this time. And it's not yours. (John and Cameron stare at each other) What's happening with you?
Cameron: I don't know.

John: I can't find her. (Referring to Riley)
Cameron: She's out there, she'll call you. Eventually, she always does.
John: Cameron, did you...?
Cameron: You know I didn't.
John: What have you been doing? You've been out here for hours.
Cameron: Making something...for you.
(Cameron hands John a pocket watch)
John: What is it?
Cameron: You tried to fix me. Twice now. It's not working.
John: And?
Cameron: I'm not capable of self-termination.
John: Suicide.
Cameron: I can't kill myself, but you can.
John: Why would I want to kill you?
Cameron: You might have to some day. (John opens the watch to find a set of three buttons, one of them red) I've planted an explosive in my skull near my chip. It's a small amount, but it's enough.
John: Enough?
(Cameron puts the watch around John's neck)
Cameron: All you have to do is hit the switch.
John: What would future John do now?
Cameron: Future John doesn't live here. You do.

Continuity notes

  • Judgment Day (April 21, 2011) is directly mentioned. Also, Derek raises the possibility that he and Jesse have two separate Judgment Days, most likely due to present day events changing the future, as previously mentioned in "Complications".
  • Cameron's glitch resurfaces and features heavily as her problems with control over her left arm assembly, even after John's repairing attempt. Out of concerns she may become a threat to John, she designs and installs a detonation charge in her skull, the detonator to which she gives John.
  • The inability of a Terminator to self-terminate from Terminator 2: Judgment Day is re-explored.
  • Riley accuses Jesse of always having planned her to have her killed by Cameron in order to disrupt John and Cameron's relationship, which Jesse initially denies, but later admits to be true when she makes a comment about how so few people get to have meaningful deaths.
  • As mentioned at the start of the season, John is maintaining the pretense of being home schooled.

Notes

  • Cameron takes time to talk to the bird and try to set it free even though she knows the bird can't understand her and is not part of any mission. This shows her humanity coming through, or that her glitch has caused her to lose touch with reality.
  • Cameron has kept spare parts from defeated Terminators, which she shows to John as he tries to repair her malfunctioning arm, to his anger.
  • Cameron can use the parts of Series 888 Terminators as replacements for her own.
  • John theorizes that Cameron's damage was obtained because she was not designed to fight other Terminators.
  • It is reveal that Cameron goes out to hunt other Terminators in the night after others sleep.
  • Not unusually, Riley still seems to be contemplating suicide: She is very amused at the writing "Caution: Deadly to humans and domestic animals" on the can of cleanser.
  • Jesse and Derek are doing target practice with apples. Foreshadowing that Riley will no longer be "all carrots and apples"?
  • Jesse avoids telling Derek when her Judgment Day was. She is obviously trying to avoid proving to him that they seem to be from differing timelines.
  • Sarah becomes suspicious of Riley and to visits her foster parents and what she thinks is a school guidance counselor (Jesse in disguise).
  • Sarah doesn't believe John when he claims he hadn't told Riley about Judgment Day.
  • Riley is killed by Jesse Flores, and not, as the bird's death foreshadows, by Cameron.

Deleted scenes

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

Terminator references

BDDefinitionsarahconnorS2-e1080

Cameron fixing her arm

T1Repairs

T-800 fixing his arm in The Terminator.

  • Cameron fixes her arm in a way similar to the T-800's self-fixing on its arm in the film The Terminator.
  • This episode features the death of John Connor's love interest. The plot has been used before in the novel T2: Rising Storm.

Real-world references

  • The title of this episode is a popular English translation for the name of the Irish political party Sinn Féin. Like the Connors, the IRA associated with the party are either terrorists or resistance fighters depending on your point of view.

Q&A

  • Q: Does this mean Cameron is a T-888, because the spare parts she kept fit her?
    • A: Not necessarily. Their parts are most likely interchangeable, at least to a certain degree.
    • A: (Speculation) Cameron has previously stated that she will lie when her mission demands it [1] and has also said that a third unknown party would not be happy at his death. "Samson & Delilah" She has previously tried to conceal that she saved Vick's chip after being told to destroy it. The amount of spare parts and lies that Cameron tells may indicate that Cameron's mission goes beyond simply protecting John.
  • Q: Why was Jesse reluctant to help Derek with his plan?
    • A: As Jesse told Derek in this episode, she does not wish to prevent the war in the present day. Instead, she is strategically changing elements of the past to win the war in the future. Interestingly, this might mean she is from a different future than that described in The Terminator, because Kyle said that Skynet was losing, and that was why it tried to retroactively kill John in that film.
  • Q: Why did Jesse make Derek sound like child molester?
    • A: Unknown. Maybe she is trying to drive Sarah away from him to better be able to get between John and Cameron, or maybe she's over-acting her role as a guidance counselor, taking what little she knows about them from Jesse and Derek to make it seem reasonable that she would have been asking questions, when all she was really trying to do was probably just to find out whether the foster parents were a threat. Or maybe she wants to make sure Sarah sees her as a threat, so she'll support dealing with Riley as the origin of that threat.
  • Q: The bird at the end of the episode looked different from the pigeon that Cameron killed. Is it a different one and is the implication that Cameron has killed another bird?
    • A: The bird from the end of the episode is an English/house sparrow and most likely just a random bird that died without Cameron being responsible. It is possible that this foreshadows everyone will blame Cameron for Riley's death even though it was Jesse who killed her. For John it is probably a reminder of the truth in Cameron's words about being a potential danger to him.
217-Start-Bird

The pigeon Cameron kills

217-End-Bird

The bird from the end of the episode

References

  1. As mentioned in season one.

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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