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The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Ep. VII ‘The Demon Hand’ Review

There was a lot of storm and stress built around the episode, but it seems like the question at the heart of “The Demon Hand” episode comes straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel: Can robots have a soul?

Sarah leads off the evening by defining the soul in voiceover eloquence as “the thing that separates us from the machines” and then robo-Cameron spends the next 50 minutes proving her wrong, then right, then, wrong again.

Cameron proves her wrong by infiltrating the camp of Dimitri the Russian and learning to dance. It’s a nice touch since, before becoming an android, actress Summer Glau used to pirouette for the Texas Ballet Concerto. She definitely still has her moves.

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The whole ballet sequence facilitates a nice lesson in Logical Positivism: “Dance is the hidden language of the soul” and because Cameron can learn to dance, Cameron then must have a soul.

Along the way, Agent Ellison gets tortured by Doc Silberman; John pouts a lot because his mom once put him up for adoption; Sarah manages to track down the missing T-888 hand; and Dimitri–who apparently sold “The Turk” for 20K–still owes the mob more money.

When a troupe of bad guys gun down Dimitri (apparently for those unpaid mob debts), the second conundrum pops up: Since Cameron doesn’t stop the massacre, we are left wondering how something with a soul can be so cold. So maybe no heart after all.

But all of this is mere set up for the final Sarah voiceover. This time we learn that having a soul is actually about both making art and making mistakes (and some nonsense about having faith that is best left ignored).

The show gives us the pay-off on Sarah’s art statement by ending the evening with a once-again soulful Cameron doing her best Flashdance impersonation. But they leave the mistake statement out hanging, raising a number of humdinger questions:

1)Is Cameron’s fatal flaw–expressed in her keeping the T-888 brain chip–the consequences of her learning that other soulful lesson of how to feel grief?

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2)Does the basic lesson in humanity (that we mourn the dead) facilitate the end of humanity (that brain chip rebuilds itself and brings on the apocalypse)?

Like many other things, it’s hard to say for sure. I guess we’ll have to tune in next week for the two-hour season finale to get the real answers.

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