Some fans seem to be worried about the pacing of the plot. Others have gone so far as to suggest the writers are casting about aimlessly for direction. I couldn't disagree more. I think this is the kind of series that rewards patience and careful attention, and the writers have proven to be more creative and flexible than most.
After the previous episode, I was certain that Sarah's obsession with the three dots had been vindicated in some way. After all, the rest of the team was happy to march to her drum when saving the Fields family. Perhaps I overlooked John's absence a little too much. Apparently Sarah's obsession is still a problem for him, and in this episode, it becomes a problem for her. In the end, we still don't know if this is the "right" interpretation of the three dots, but it did manage to expose some interesting information.
I love the fact that the writers took actual proported "drone" pictures, the kind of images that have been circulating on the internet and various cable programs for years, and incorporated them into the "Terminator" mythos. It makes sense that the drones would actually exist, and that they might be connected to SkyNet and its unusual technology.
This episode also dropped a huge surprise in terms of Riley. Fleshing out her arrival in the past and the brutal nature of Jesse's treatment of her, it's not hard to understand her decision. Riley was trapped between a rock and a hard place, and Jesse had tossed her to the wolves. With Cameron onto her, and no place to go, was a suicide attempt her only recourse?
If Riley does survive, John will likely blame Cameron. If Riley doesnât survive, then John will definitely blame Cameron. Either way, Riley's desperation move fulfills her mission and brings her closer to John. And then Jesse can achieve whatever goal she's had in mind. I doubt very much, given the subtlety thus far, that Jesse just wants Cameron out of the picture. If she wants John's protector and future advisor gone, it's to fill that void with someone else.
With all the Connor family intrigue, it would be easy to overlook Ellisonâs subplot. Not only do we get to know the reason why Ellison and his wife are no longer together, but we now understand why he's compelled, against his better judgment, to help Weaver on her latest little project. I'm still not sure why a terminator would want to have a human being teach an artificial intelligence human concepts of morality, but it does open a number of interesting doors.