The Conundrum of the Sarah Connor Chronicles: Even If She Wins, She Loses
So I'm watching Fox's cool new Terminator series, the Sarah Connor Chronicles, and getting angry in ways that only a sci fi geek can.
Because I just realized what has bummed me out about this series from the beginning: If Sarah Conner loses, her son is killed by a Terminator and the series -- not to mention the world she and her buddies inhabit -- is gone. But if she succeeds, and somehow manages to stop the construction of the intelligent supercomputer known as Skynet, then the series is over and she loses. (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here or watch the video summation here).
So we are stuck in another Gilligan's Island-style series where the hero can't really fail or succeed without totally screwing up the show's premise. (and let's be honest: can Brit actress Lena Headey really compare to kickbutt movie mom Linda Hamilton, see left)
Case in point: last night's episode, in which Sarah. her son John and the willowy terminator sent to protect him hijack a huge shipment of the metal which will be used to make Terminators, taken from an old bomb shelter, which will become the factory where the willowy protector was made.
So since they took the metal, doesn't that mean the Terminators won't be built? And doesn't that mean the protector won't be assembled?
I know, the bad guys could still build the factory in some future time. But that means their hard work hijacking the special metal didn't really stop anything. And why didn't they stop and think about any of this before taking the metal in the first place? Weren't they worried that stopping the construction of the factory would cause their metal protector (Summer Glau, at right) to disappear?
This is all probably making your brain hurt if you're not a sci fi geek like me. But it's also why TV is usually not the best place for telling time travel stories. Because the need to create cool moments -- the terminator telling Sarah she will be built where they are standing, for instance -- often outweigh the need to create a sensible narrative.
Which drives us sci fi geeks crazy. Wonder when Battlestar Galactica is due back on the air?