Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Terminator: TSCC Season 2 Episode 14 ‘The Good Wound’ Review

Sarah finds herself in a difficult situation. A bullet lodged in her leg is one knock away from killing her and she will be arrested if she goes to hospital. Meanwhile John waits in the hospital for Jessie following her suicide attempt in the previous episode. Will the Connor clan be able to avoid the authorities or will the final stand for the Connors be not against the machines but more down to earth opponents instead?

It’s amazing how far you can stretch a deleted scene from T2. In the excised sequence Sarah is having hallucinations due to her medication and sees a vision of Kyle Reese warning her that she has to save John. This time Sarah’s vision of Kyle is instead brought on by a bullet wound making her delirious.

As with all the best ghost/hallucination storylines we are not clear if Sarah’s near death experience has allowed her to speak to the real Kyle, or if he is just a figment of her imagination. Kyle was a good choice to bring back to the show as he shows just how far Sarah has changed since the first movie. It’s interesting to see Kyle hurt by the realisation of how much pain he has inadvertently brought Sarah by saving her from the Terminator.

I really like the episodes where the Connors find themselves facing the threat of the establishment. It is nice to have it re-established that other threats exist aside from machines. Sarah Connor in particular always seems very capable and by reducing her ability to cope, regular threats like the police become a serious problem.

To survive Sarah enlists, at gunpoint, a doctor to perform surgery on her. Sarah tells the doctor, Felicia, that she is avoiding her violent partner and so has to avoid the police. Thankfully Sarah has managed to pick a woman who has previously been a victim of domestic violence so she agrees to help Sarah avoid being found by the authorities.

This sub strand of the episode doesn’t really add much I don’t feel. ‘Vick’s Chip’ dealt with the subject of domestic abuse far more successfully; it helped that it was the focus of the episode in that case. In ‘The Good Wound’ the topic is relegated to the side-lines and merely exists to further the plot. This would have been fine but unfortunately they insist on giving Felecia’s storyline a resolution which, with the limited running time devoted to it, feels rushed.

John Henry is the source of two really cool scenes in this episode, the first being with Ellison. John Henry is playing with Bionicle figures when Ellison walks in and Henry points out that they have ball and socket joints, unlike his own body which uses hinges. Ellison explains that John Henry has hinges to more accurately appear human. This leads John to question why God would create humans with so many hinge joints when ball and socket joints would make a lot more sense. I like this scene for establishing that John Henry has realised that machines can be more efficiently constructed than humans can.

This scene feeds into the second scene with John Henry where he confronts Weaver. Henry has realised that Weaver isn’t human and questions what her plan is. Weaver instructs him to keep her mechanical nature quiet and that everything she is doing is for him. It’s nice to think that Skynet is perhaps being unwittingly created by its own machines.

The Riley cliffhanger from last week doesn’t really go anywhere. John takes her to hospital and Jessie sneaks her out again upon recovery. I still don’t really care about Riley but the scheming of Jessie is interesting and should lead to some tense discussions between herself and Derek.

‘The Good Wound’ is a really strong episode. It has great character moments, exciting action sequences and tense confrontations; all the things you would expect from the Terminator franchise.   The moments with Felicia the doctor didn’t entirely work for me but they are more than made up for by the sequences with Kyle. ‘The Good Wound’ shows there is still some life in this series yet.

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