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‘Terminator’ Takes a Queen’s Gambit

[IMG:L]Now that I’ve seen Episode 4: Heavy Metal, I know what’s going to hold my attention all season. The show is really about how John Connor learns to save the world. A ‘heroes are made not born’ kind of thing, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer with robots.

And that’s good news.

John’s world saving lesson number one seems to involve putting aside all that “why can’t I be a normal teenager” stuff and learning to get his Rambo on. His moping was starting to grate, so it’s a revelation that comes not a moment too soon.

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I was even more hopeful when Fox billed the teaser for Epsiode 5 as the most adrenaline-addled airing yet. I stayed hopeful right until the moment they released the name of that next episode: Queen’s Gambit.

See, Queen’s Gambit is one of the oldest known opening chess moves, the point of which is to take control of the center of the board. But in chess, taking control of the center of the board is about building tension towards a climax–not about the climax itself.

These suspicions were further confirmed when Fox released its spoiler: “While Sarah’s friend Andy submits his computer into a chess competition, she revaluates his computer’s capabilities and worries where it could all lead. During the chess match, Sarah comes face to face with a stranger whose history is closely tied to hers.”

First off, no more of John kicking ass, and plenty more of Sarah in a perpetually bad mood. I mean, the last time anyone was this dour about saving the world was the last time they let David Fincher direct an Alien sequel.

But it does raise a few questions. A few weeks back Sarah destroyed Andy’s computer by burning his house to the ground. Considering Andy’s day job as a cell phone salesman, one got the sense that replacement parts weren’t going to be easy to come by–yet here it is again.

This means either Sarah’s a lousy arsonist or Andy’s lucked into some kind of secret Skynet backing in the down time between shows.

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The latter would be significantly more interesting than the former. But considering everything else, well, I’m no longer hopeful.

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