Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a science fiction series created by Josh Friedman, spun off from James Cameron’s 1991 hit Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
The show picks up where the film left off: two years after blowing up Cyberdyne Systems, the company that created Skynet in the movies, Sarah (Lena Headey) and John Connor (Thomas Dekker) are hiding from the authorities. They are living as Sarah and John Reese with Sarah’s fiance Charley Dixon (Dean Winters), and are being pursued by FBI agent James Ellison (Richard T. Jones).
When they discover that Skynet still exists after a terminator named Cromartie (Owain Yeoman) nearly kills John at school, they find themselves on the run again, accompanied by Cameron (Summer Glau), a terminator sent back from the future to protect John. They make a temporal leap from 1999 to 2007 and decide to stop running and instead try to stop Skynet from ever being created.
When they jump to 2007, they unwittingly take Cromartie, the T-888 on their tail, with them. At this point, he is heavily damaged from the explosion that followed the Connors’ time jump.
Once reactivated in 2007, Cromartie reassembles his endoskeleton, regrows his flesh, and pays a visit to a plastic surgeon, looking for a new face that will match his structure. In the patient database, he discovers one George Laszlo, a B-movie actor who has recently had his chin and nose done at the clinic. Laszlo’s claim to fame, as we learn in season two, is Beastwizard VII, a straight-to-dvd release that came into public spotlight after the actor posthumously got blamed for some of Cromartie’s handiwork, a massacre of 20 FBI agents. After the surgery, the terminator gets Laszlo in trouble with Ellison by being caught on camera after killing the doctor who operated on him. Shortly after that, he kills Laszlo too.
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With all the practical issues taken care of, Cromartie returns to his mission – finding and killing John Connor. He visits Charley Dixon, goes through school records, tracking down all the teenagers who could be John Connor, poses as an FBI agent, tries to get the federal files on Sarah, and even takes up watching over Ellison as a hobby, believing that he will lead him to Sarah and John. He eventually tracks down the Connors at their house, kidnaps Sarah and takes her to Mexico, where John is being detained in prison. Dozens of dead Mexicans later, Cromartie finally faces off with the Connors. He puts up a good fight, but meets his untimely end at their hands.
What the Connors aren’t counting on at the time is Ellison, who has in the meantime left the FBI and unknowingly started working for a T-1001 posing as Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson), the head of a tech company called Zeira Corp. and an agent of Skynet sent back to ensure several strategic assets for the machines: supplies of coltan, the Serrano Point plant (a stronghold of the resistance fighters in the future), and the Turk, a chess program from which Skynet evolves in the series’ timeline.
Not quite getting his sense of purpose from Sarah, Ellison takes Cromartie’s body with him from Mexico and hands it over to Weaver. Weaver, who works on developing the Turk throughout season two, plugs Cromartie into the Turk/Project Babylon. Future Skynet’s new T-888 interface goes by the name of John Henry, after the working class folk tale hero who defeated a steam-powered hammer in a race and then died.
After John Henry accidentally kills Dr. Sherman, the psychologist hired to help out with his verbal skills, Ellison is recruited as his new mentor, one determined to teach him moral values.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, SEASON ONE
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, SEASON TWO
2×01 Samson and Delilah
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