Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2.3: "The Mousetrap"

In the previous episode, Charlie and his wife set off for the open road, intent on getting away from Cromartie and surviving for as long as possible. As it turns out, surviving for as long as possible amounts to "two or three days", because Charlie's wife becomes the victim in Cromartie's latest gambit to locate and kill John Connor.


In the interests of keeping the setting of the series confined to budget-friendly areas, the action all takes place within hours of Los Angeles. What is the flimsy logic of staying in the same city once the enemy recognizes that you're there and knows your secret code? It's never addressed in the series, as far as I can recall, but at least John's smart enough to know going to school is an easy way to be targeted.


It also occurred to me that this version of Sarah is finding it difficult to maintain the cruel triage of war in the face of personal investment. All things being equal, helping Charlie was a bad idea, for precisely the reason shown in this episode. Charlie and his wife may not have asked for this trouble, but neither did Sarah or anyone else in the middle of this shadow war. Sarah's job isn't saving anyone affected by her choices; her sole duty is protecting John from his enemies as long as possible.


Because she and Derek went after Charlie's wife, she was forced to rely on Cameron to keep John safe. Considering that she's supposedly worried about Cameron's true intentions, how justified is that choice? Despite Cameron's best efforts, it still came down to John fending off Cromartie, and John got very, very lucky. Yet, when time was of the essence, Sarah takes a little break so Charlie's wife can die more comfortably. (And oddly enough, Derek doesn't bat an eye!)


Meanwhile, there's an interesting little subplot between Agent Ellison and Catherine Weaver. We know Weaver is an advanced terminator, and the season premiere seemed to indicate that she was working towards the establishment of SkyNet. That being the case, one would assume that her interest in Ellison would translate into an interest in locating and terminating John Connor. Yet that's not quite how the conversation went. In fact, it occurred to me that Weaver might not be what she appears. She certainly doesn't act like any other terminator encountered in the franchise.


It might sound as if I hated this episode. That's not quite the case. For the most part, I found it enjoyable, and I thought it was daring to kill off Charlie's wife so soon in the season. Keeping a relatively high body count is the only way to keep the appearances of an ongoing lethal struggle, after all. I just wish the logic behind the main plot had been a bit more consistent. So far, the second season is struggling to live up to the first.

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