So I need to preface this recap/review with a disclaimer/confession: I have never seen any of the Terminator films. Well, that's not entirely true. I've seen bits and pieces of all of them as they have appeared on TV over the years - classic lines included - but certainly never from start to finish. This means that whatever the extended back story is, I don't really know it, except that chronologically the Sarah Connor Chronicles are supposed to take place between T2 and T3.
Really long recap to follow:
More...We start with a choppy shootout where something not human kills John (Thomas Dekker, Claire's gay-straight - or maybe it's straight-gay, Sex and the City explained the difference once - friend from Heroes), and informs us that John is super important. Then there's a bunch of cool special effects, like fiery disintegrating robots, and then John's mother wakes up. Turns out it was a dream. Methinks it was foreshadowing.
It's 1999. Mommy (Lena Headley, from 300) wakes up her son and declares that they must leave Nebraska, where they've been living the last 2 years. John's upset.
Flash to Mommy's boyfriend. He's with some agent-dudes (police, though they seem kind of fancy to me) inquiring about her disappearance. They matter of factly tell him that Sarah thinks Skynet (a computer system) sent robots from the future to kill her son. She also murdered the computer scientist that will invent Skynet in the future and believes her son is a messiah of sorts. They think she's a crazy.
Flash to John (and now it's Reese, not Connor) at school, now in New Mexico. He makes friends with Cameron Phillips (Summer Glau, of Firefly/Serenity fame). She's kind of flirty friendly, though John later tells his mother that it's a hick town and there aren't any pretty girls. Turns out this is kind of true, as the next day we learn she's not quite a girl when the substitute-teacher-turned-killer-robot tries to kill John and she rescues him (complete with taking a few bullets).
Turns out Cameron is from the future - 2027 - sent to protect John. She tells Sarah that D-Day is April 19, 2011 - when Skynet goes online and causes a nuclear apocalypse. Guess killing that dude didn't work.
Sarah and John have a heart to heart where he tells her that A) she can change the future again because B) he's not a messiah (I guess anyone would have some issues with that; I myself would have some issues with determinism). Then John and Cameron have a heart to heart where he asserts that it was odd that "some hot girl would try to make friends with the weird new kid" and then forgives her for lying because it's merely the way she was programmed. Burn. I still sense the sexual tension when he tells her she seems "different" as she eats a potato chip.
Flash to the Dyson residence in LA still in 1999. Sarah tells the wife of the man she supposedly killed that she didn't do it, but that the killer machines are back from the future. Then there's another encounter with robo-sub at the house. Mommy soon demonstrates she's super bad ass as Cameron removes a bullet with no anesthetic.
The next day the trio makes a dramatic entrance into the bank (no ski masks?) where they open a bunch of safety deposit boxes which apparently contain "hope" from the future in the form of a robo-killing revolver and a time traveling computer. Everyone goes to 2007 together (seems like they originally thought the show would premiere in the fall as signs on the highway reveal that it's between August and September, which would have been the present tense had it aired then) - landing in the middle of a Los Angeles street, naked. It seems fall of 2007 is where everyone needs to be to fight Skynet.
Full review by Rachel on Get Reel: