Thursday, 10 September 2015

Terminator: TSCC Season 2 Episode 15 ‘Desert Cantos’ Review

The Connor clan gatecrash the group funeral of those who died in the warehouse explosion, looking for answers from the relatives. Meanwhile it is the anniversary of Lachlan Weaver's, Catherine’s husband’s, death.

So this is another episode which has been divided into titled segments for no real reason. Each segment is titled after the part of the funeral it is attached to and loosely connects to what the Connors are doing. ‘Vigil’, for example, focuses on the Connors scouting out the funeral goers at the Vigil. 

The theming is an interesting idea but given that 'T:TSCC' has a lot of themed episode why is this episode deserving of special treatment and fancy titles? Without the title cards ‘Desert Cantos’ would have been a completely ordinary episode, neither outstanding nor terrible. The titles don’t take anything away from the episode but they don’t add anything either, so why are they here?

Each of the Connors finds a different person to get information from at the funeral. John and Cameron find the daughter, Zoe, of one of the victims. Derek finds Weaver’s agent Mr Walsh and Sarah finds the wife of Ed Winston, the man she killed.

Sarah is stuck with a woman who keeps explaining how great her husband was and how much she misses him. By the end of the episode however, Sarah has managed to uncover that Winston had been killing numerous people, which somewhat puts him in the not so great category. This is a shame as Sarah doesn’t have to face the full extent of her guilt for killing Ed. If Sarah had to face that she had killed an innocent man who was defending himself, that would have meant a lot more. By demonising the man completely Sarah can far more easily move on, this destroys a lot of dramatic storytelling potential.

John and Cameron manage to deduce that Zoe is covering the fact that her father survived the incident, faking his death to escape being tracked down. On following the lead of the missing father, the Connor gang finally witness the drone which Sarah claimed to see, as it is being piloted to safety away from them. Zoe’s father puts the drone in the back of a truck and drives away, his true purpose in life unknown to us. I really like that Sarah has finally been vindicated on her obsession with the three dots; hopefully now that she is believed the storyline can move on once again.

Away from the Connors we get to see Catherine Weaver once again struggling to connect to her daughter, Savannah. This is really my biggest complaint with this episode as a whole; it feels like a remix of previous episodes. Once again we see Weaver struggling with her daughter’s emotions, once again Sarah befriends a woman who immediately shares her life story with her. 

This episode even uses the recorded audio of a murder in the same way that ‘Earthlings Welcome Here’ did. If the previous episode ‘The Good Wound’ hadn’t been so fresh and interesting I would have serious worries about this program. ‘Desert Cantos’ isn’t bad but it is unoriginal. Hopefully with the confirmation of the drone conspiracy 'Terminator: TSCC' won’t have to rely on previous episodes for plots as much.   

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