Sunday, 9 August 2015

Terminator: TSCC Season 2 Episode 5 ‘Goodbye to all That' Review

With a Terminator set to kill every Martin Bedell in the phonebook, the gang divide efforts to save the two remaining Martin Bedells.  One is a young army cadet who will go on to become a key leader in the resistance, the other an unconnected child. Will John and Derek manage to survive going undercover at a military base? More importantly will Sarah be able to go undercover as a mother?

So ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ had some issues but it also had some really strong ideas. One of which was the concept that the machines had decided to leave John Connor and instead kill all of his future generals while they were still bratty kids. After all, what use is John Connor without an army? This idea is really strong because it highlights the everyday lives of these people before they got wrapped up in the resistance. John has been raised to lead humanity his entire life, these people had greatness thrust upon them.

‘Goodbye to All That’ resurrects this idea and runs with it really well. Derek is reading the paper and realises that a Martin Bedell has been killed, the first in the phone book. Realising that this echoes the deaths of the other Sarah Connors, Derek alerts the gang to the threat and they head off to stop the Terminator before it can kill either remaining Bedell.

Now, not living in the USA I have to ask a question, do they have kids listed in the phonebook? I’m not sure if this is just TV logic. If it is, it’s pretty stupid but forgivable. Although I have to wonder why people are still using phone books to locate people in an age where the internet exists? I would assume they use phone books because that’s what happened in the original film, although searching the internet might have made more sense really.

Anyway, so John and Derek go off to protect the third, and correct, Bedell on the list while Sarah and Cameron go to protect the second. I like the idea that almost everyone’s first thought is that they have loads of time to prepare because the Terminator is going to kill the second Bedell first. It takes Sarah, having lived with the other Sarah Connors’ deaths on her conscious to volunteer to protect the Martin Bedell who doesn’t have anything to do with them.

So, much of the episode follows John and Derek at the military academy that Martin Bedell is enrolled at. John is signed up as a student and Derek is press ganged into becoming a teacher. John befriends Martin and discovers that he wants to leave school. Derek makes it very clear that this cannot happen, as Bedell will be very important in the future. Derek and John manage to defeat the Terminator but Bedell witnesses it and is told the truth about the future. Bedell accepts that he will have to stay at the academy and bids goodbye to John with “I’ll see you around Connor”.

On the way back Derek explains why they had to protect Bedell and make him stay in school In the future Bedell makes a suicide run on some machines, saving numerous resistance fighters, including John’s father, Kyle. Without Bedell, Kyle doesn’t survive to protect Sarah and humanity never gets John Connor to save them. I like the idea that John Connor is not the only one who has to survive but one of a long line passing on the responsibility. Martin Bedell saves Kyle Reese, Kyle Reese protects Sarah Connor and Sarah gives birth to John. I also like the idea that Martin Bedell knows about his fate due to John and that’s why he volunteers to sacrifice himself so readily. As Derek explains “He died for you John, we all would”.

The other Bedell storyline is far less dramatic. Sarah and Cameron have to try to act like humans to look after a young child. Think ‘Three Men and a Baby’ but with no men or babies...
It’s nice that Sarah gets some scenes to be able to be a normal mother, given that she never had the chance with John. As little Martin Bedell says to her “You’re not very good at it”, to which Sarah admits that she’s trying to get better. The kid Martin Bedell is very strangely written, he really easily takes to living with people who have basically kidnapped him. Even though he is aware that his parents believe he has been kidnapped by child abuses or something.

I think this Martin Bedell deals very well with stress and cyborgs; the gang should really raise this guy to be a resistance fighter. He seems far more worried about failing his book report than Judgement Day, that’s the guy I want fighting the machines!

Away from the Bedells, Agent Ellison investigates the power plant meltdown for Weaver and learns of Sarah’s involvement. He doesn’t pass on that Sarah was there however, not trusting Weaver with the information. Hopefully this is a sign that he suspects her intentions aren’t entirely pure.

So ‘Goodbye to all That’ is strong. It takes the best element from ‘Terminator 3’ and uses It to good effect. I like Derek having to teach at a military academy, despite having PTSD. I also like John meeting a man who he is destined to fight with in the future. The kid Bedell is really strangely written so these scenes lack credibility. That being said I like the theme behind these moments of Sarah getting to live a normal life for once, ignoring the whole child snatching thing. ‘Goodbye to all That’ is yet another reason that I haven’t yet said goodbye to ‘Terminator:TSCC’.

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