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Some Terminator Must Watch While Viewers Must Sleep

March 5, 2009

Last week Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles delivered a pretty decent episode with Desert Cantos that ended with a bang. Naturally Josh Friedman decided to follow it up with an episode that could be titled Nightmare on Sarah Connor Street, that has Sarah Connor having nightmares for the entire episode. Well done. You’ve just turned off what few viewers were willing to watch your show.

It seems only fair that a Friday Night deathslot should be paired with a Friday Night Deathwish, which is what Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles has now. Friday’s Terminator episode was called Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep, and as it turns out a lot more people were sleeping than watching, especially after the first 15 minutes.

Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles has traded in its last shot at life, by trading in its premise for one in which Sarah Connor follows her visions while mentally cracking up, leaving the rest of the cast on the sidelines. Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep, is a particularly terrible excursion into Lynchian territory in which Sarah Connor checks into a sleep clinic where they inject patients, and which might be controlled by Skynet, except that probably turns out to be a nightmare, and ends with an indecisive dream or dreamlike ending.

Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep, might have been somehow justifiable if any of it turned out to be real. Instead we’re subjected to extended sessions in which Sarah Connor has a nightmarish encounter with the man she killed, and a lot of scenes of her trying to sleep or getting ready to sleep. Sum total, an audience that has been put to sleep.

There’s no better way to cast self-indulgent then getting your Twin Peaks on with episodes like this. Dream episodes on SciFi shows tend not to work, because for one thing they’re not interesting, and for another, nothing that happens in them is real, and for a third, they’re just ways for writers to regurgitate the stuff they learned about symbolism and metaphor in Pretentious English for Freshmen 101.

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