Archive for Episode 2.18

TSCC Episode 2.18: Today Is The Day (1)

Posted in TSCC Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2009 by severus

218tscc_20090205_6361The line that best encapsulates my thoughts about Today Is The Day (1) is Jesse’s line at the bar when the Navy aviators asks her what’s she’s drinking. She replies, “There’s booze in it, some sugar to cut the crap out of the burning taste, and some ice”. No truer words have been spoken. This episode defies my best attempt to find an overarching theme. That’s probably because it’s only the first part of a two-part tale. In any case, I don’t know what I’m drinking, but it’s strong, iced, and goes down smooth. As the saying goes, revenge is best served cold.

This episode brought home to me just how much the entire story revolves around Sarah even when she’s not in focus. The main storyline belongs to Jesse, but all I could think about how Jesse is just Sarah taken to a particular extreme. Jesse is a broken woman. Whatever transpired aboard the Jimmy Carter broke Jesse’s faith, her hope for the future, her sense of efficacy there. She is forever displaced, like the lamp she keeps adjusting in her hotel room. She has retreated to the past to hit the restart button, not for herself, but for John Connor. She is willing to sacrifice everything to do it, including the life of an innocent and her most precious possession: the love that she shares with Derek.

Jesse’s transformation is all the more disturbing because we begin to see who she was before the last voyage of the Jimmy Carter. As the executive officer aboard a submarine, she is respected, loved, and shares a deep bond with her fellow sailors. They are the Order of the Deep, a bunch of bubbleheads who traverse the waters between Perth and Los Angeles until one fateful day when they veered three hundred miles off course to pick up John Connor’s package. Jesse’s J-Day occurred in the year 2027, sixteen years later than Derek’s. Derek has no idea that he has already lost the woman he loves. She has forsaken her life for a mission that animates her otherwise soulless shell. He is sleeping with the corpse of the woman he loved. She didn’t made it back.

scc2x18_0226 And yet, whenever I see Jesse, I see Sarah, or at least one possible outcome for Sarah. Just as Kacy represents the happy-go-lucky waitress that Sarah can never again be, Jesse represents a wounded Sarah irrevocably devastated by the rise of the machines. We all bristle when Sarah treats Cameron like crap, but she knows what Cameron is, and like Jesse, she doesn’t want it anywhere near John Connor.  Not over her dead body.