Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) / Sci Fi-Thriller
Season 1: Episode 8: Vick's Chip

Cast: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, Brian Austin Green, Karina Logue, Matt McColm, Garret Dillahunt, Luis Chavez, Jonathan Sadowski
Director: J. Miller Tobin

Screenplay: Daniel T. Thomsen

1.8 - "Vick's Chip"

This episode of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" reveals why Cameron (Glau, Serenity) had destroyed every remnant of the T-888 (McColm) with the exception of his chip (aka his "brain").  She thinks the information in the memory will be too valuable for their mission.  Using it, John (Dekker) is able to rig up his hardware to see what's on it, learning that the T-888 had been living as a human named Vick, who apparently had been living as a married man to a woman (Logue) who would, in the future, create the beginnings of the Skynet system.  Vick's mission is to keep her on course to do so, at his urging. 

It is also revealed that the basis for this is right in their very city, the traffic control system that allows for monitoring all of the traffic lights and signals (the computer system can see and control everything).  Knowing this, Sarah (Headey, 300), John and Derek (Green) seek to throw a wrench in the works in the form of a virus that will have the city question the worth of their system before they entrust too much stock in it.  Meanwhile, Cromartie (Dillahunt, No Country for Old Men), still posing as a Fed, is going school to school searching for John.

The penultimate episode of Season 1 sets up the season finale in good order, though artistic license gives us some rather steep shortcuts to get there.  The premise of the computer-run traffic system that can monitor people's movements throughout the city is an interesting concept, but to believe that a teenager who can barely get an education due to being on the run so much being able to potentially write a virus to bring it down, and do it in a matter of days, is stretching credibility quite a bit.  Luckily, he has a genius partner helping him out in Cameron, but even taking into account her ability to train and assist, are we to believe that the chip that contains her brain can easily fit into control box at a traffic light that allows her access?  Then Vick's chip, at one point, dials a number on the modem and displays John's image on his own computer screen with the ominous message that the target is acquired -- how?  Perhaps I have missed the concept, but this is one case where I think the characters are exceeding their bounds for the sake of tying things up in a bow.

Despite its implausible plot, this is a slightly above average episode for the series, tightening up the tension a bit more, exploring some interesting facets about the sophistication of the newer Terminator models and their functionality.  A continuation of momentum from the last episode to the finale are al one requires, and to that end, it's a success, with some overhead. 

-- Followed by the season finale, episode 1.9, "What He Beheld".

Qwipster's episode rating:

©2008 Vince Leo