Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: “Alpine Fields” (recap)

by | December 9, 2008 at 8:18 AM | Terminator

By Julia Diddy
Fancast.com

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Derek has been sent by Sarah to a location where he finds a pregnant – and particularly wounded – woman being tended to by a teenage girl. The girl draws a gun, but Derek assures her that Sarah sent him. While the situation isn’t exactly conducive to small talk, he’s curious about how these two know Sarah, while they’re on the subject…..

Flashback to six months earlier: Sarah and Cameron storm a family cabin, guns drawn. So much for that idyllic weekend getaway the Fields family was counting on. The not-pregnant-at-this-point mother and teen daughter are the very same duo from the opening scene. There’s a father and a dog along for the ride, too. Sarah announces that, despite appearances (which includes semi-automatics! And menacing facial expression!), they are here to help save them from a killer robot from the future! Needless to say, the family is skeptical about Sarah’s good intentions – and sanity.


The teenage girl, who is named Lauren, skulks off quietly and returns with a gun of her own – which Dad (also known as David) takes from her and keeps pointed at Sarah. Alas, Cameron could win this face-off with one hand tied behind her back, while sleeping……so approximately 30 seconds later, the hapless family are back to doing exactly what the crazy ladies say. They pile into the family van and speed off, only to be broadsided from the Terminator du jour in pursuit. As Cameron faces off against the big brute, Sarah leads the family away on foot.

Back in the present, Lauren tells Derek that Sarah instructed them to call if they ran into any more Machine-with-a-capital-“M” trouble. Derek seems to recognize Lauren from the future, as he flashes to a scene in which Lauren is injecting something into an IV plastered to his arm.

Flash forward to 2027. At a resistance base, Derek’s superior is informing him of a bunker that has been hit with a bioweapon. Out of a hundred or so rebels, only one survived. And Derek is being sent to retrieve her.

Back in the present, Derek asks Lauren how “it” found them again. She says it was her fault – she called a friend, Roger, because she just wanted to feel normal again. Leave it to teens to rack up extra cell plan minutes even when killer robots from the future are hot on their trail……

Flashing back once more, Sarah has led the Fields family back to their cabin. David has a broken leg, and even if he had two good legs, they wouldn’t be getting very far with a Machine in pursuit, anyway. Sarah is trying to devise a plan, and while mulling over their options, she wants to know why it’s after these folks anyway. David shrugs and insists he’s just a banker, and Ann is just a housewife. He introduces his daughter as just a “nothing,” which is apparently our first clue that he’s kind of a low-grade jerk. Sarah decides to set a trap, and goes to the garage to forage for parts. Lauren follows her outside and asks if she can help. Oh, and by the way – Lauren reveals that her dad hasn’t exactly revealed everything……

In short order, a more irate Sarah returns to the house to grill the ‘rents again. Seems David has a client that is involved in cybernetics and whatnot. No big deal, right? Lauren decides to offer his emails up to Sarah, and Ann is a bit confused as to why David didn’t disclose any of this to her, which forces David to confess that his business dealings aren’t totally legit.

In the present, Lauren is trying to hold it together, but insists she needs to step outside for some air. Derek suggests that while she’s trying to hold it together, she ought to hold that semi-automatic at the same time. She takes the gun with her.

Back to the future, Derek has arrived at the bunker which was decimated by a bioweapon. There are corpses everywhere, and our man on the scene is managing to hold it together for the most part……until he comes across a dead pregnant woman embracing two dead children in her arms. While Derek is a bad hombre, he’s not impervious, and thus he flees the bunker for the purpose of getting some air and composing himself. While his back is turned, someone sneaks up behind him with a gun.

It’s Jesse….only it seems they haven’t yet met before this.

Back in the present, Ann inquires as to Lauren’s whereabouts. When Derek tells her that she stepped outside, Ann seems a bit miffed, and starts giving off something resembling attitude – not that she isn’t entitled, being pregnant and wounded…….Derek says he realizes Lauren wasn’t likely the one who blew their cover, because she strikes him as being too smart to risk it. He figures it was Ann who called Roger, and that Lauren was simply covering for her mom.

In the past, as Sarah is cleaving open the walls of the Fields family cabin with an axe, David seems more concerned with how this is going to affect resale value, whereas Ann and Lauren have apparently grasped the severity of the situation. Ann and David bitch at each other, and Ann storms off to the bathroom.

Sarah follows soon after, and finds Ann making a call to “no one” in her darkened bedroom. It doesn’t take a genius to deduce that the “no one” is probably her lover, because Ann is quickly nodding toward her wedding portrait and admitting that David is a bit of a bastard….which we’ve already pieced together. Ann comments that she thought crisis was supposed to bring a family closer together. Sarah advises her not to confuse “close” with “happy.” Enough of the girl talk – Lauren is shouting out that someone is approaching the cabin.

Sarah runs to assess the situation. Oh, it’s just Roger, the next door neighbor, according to Ann! Sarah warns them that it might not be Roger, exactly. Since the dog is a bit agitated, Sarah takes this as further evidence that this fellow outside hasn’t come to borrow a cup of sugar…….but screw it! Ann flings open the door anyway – destroying Sarah’s carefully wrought booby trap in the process. She’s awfully intent on getting to Roger. Why? This is the same Roger that Ann has been secretly calling…and secretly schtupping, of course.

In the present, Ann confides to Derek that she just had to call Roger to let him know what’s going on…and he died as a result. Now she doesn’t have a lover or a husband, and she can’t believe she got caught up in all that petty B.S. in search of trivial emotional fulfillment, anyway…..

In the future, Derek and Jesse stand off with guns drawn, till they are both satisfied that neither is foe. (Well, not exactly…not till much later/earlier…..because we still think Jesse’s up to no good by sending Riley in as a mole, right?) Jesse says she’s part of a gang of rebels from Down Under who’ve sent her to find the survivor…..they’re familiar with this territory because they’ve been making supply runs in a nuclear sub to and from Perth for a while now. When Jesse reveals that they have a Machine steering the sub, Derek balks. Jesse is more than happy to take on a human replacement who is proficient in nuclear submarine steering skills if Derek can drum one up. He lends her a spare gas mask instead, and they go back into the bunker together in an effort to find that survivor. As they pick their way through the corpses, they eventually come to a door. Derek knocks on it – and signs of life are heard from the other side. The door then flings open……….

In the present, Ann is going into labor. Lauren wants to take her to a hospital, but Derek reminds her that entering Ann’s name into an official database is more or less exactly like pinning giant bull’s eye targets to their backs. Laurent relents.

Back at the cabin, David is a bit miffed that neighbor Roger has been borrowing a cup of Ann on a regular basis. David calls Ann a whore, which leads to Roger puffing out his chest in alpha male fashion….they would otherwise proceed to pummel each other, or at least sneer in a menacing manner, if not for the fact that Sarah finds all of this silly domestic squabbling to be irrelevant, and she lets them know it by firing a shotgun through the ceiling. Roger tries to persuade Ann to leave with him, because this Sarah chick is clearly a few sandwiches short of a picnic, when suddenly an unconscious Cameron is sent flying through the window, looking decidedly worse for wear. The family dog tears off out into the night, and the inevitable, foreboding yelp sound soon follows. Yep – borg’s a’ comin’!

Roger hightails it out the back door. David decides to stop mewling around like an idiot and face the future head on. He takes his puny little handgun and marches out to meet the Machine. Alas, the Machine does not register his face as a match in its database, and writes him off as “No threat.” (No kidding….) Flinging aside this pasty-faced banker, it approaches the cabin.

Ann admits to Sarah that she’s pregnant, and Sarah determines that Ann is the one the big guy is after. She stashes Lauren in a closet and announces that she will lead Ann away out the back.

In the present, Derek instructs Lauren to stay focused for the sake of her mom and her baby sister. Sister? Uh, unless Derek is a gynecologist, Lauren isn’t totally clear how he would know what sex the baby is….but give her a second…it’s dawning upon her now: AHA! Derek’s from the future, too, right? Smart kid. Derek reveals that this baby is named Sydney, and he knew her, or will know her, or whatever……

In the future, it’s Sydney who opens the door within the bunker to find Derek and Jesse staring back at her. Syd informs them that the gas masks aren’t going to help them any – they’re already infected. Jesse gives Sydney a snack, and spins an anecdote about how rabbits infested Australia way back when, and despite the government trying to kill them off in some mightily inventive ways – including concocting a virus meant to wipe them all off the face of the map – a few hardy varmints managed to survive and thrive. After all this poignant sharing, she asks Derek for a sip of water, because she now finds herself parched. That’s how it starts, observes Sydney. Dry mouth is the first symptom; sweating and shaking are next. Even though it’s broad daylight, Derek and Jesse suddenly realize that time is of the essence – they opt to hightail it out of there in broad daylight, in hopes of reaching home base, and medical attention, in a timely fashion.

In the present, Derek reveals to Ann that her soon-to-be-born daughter Sydney has an immunity in her blood, which will save many lives in the future. We can already tell that this is one of the last pieces of good news Ann will hear in this lifetime, as she’s looking a little pale. And soon enough, labor – when combined with those bullet wounds – is sucking harder than average. Which is really saying something.

In the past, Lauren’s hiding out in the closet when Roger stumbles upon her. He gets stabbed in the guts for his trouble, as Cameron wasn’t really clear on whether he was human or machine. Ooops. She helps Lauren out of the closet.

The Terminator is chasing Sarah and Ann through the woods, when he is broadsided by the SUV being driven by David. Lauren and Cam are also on board. They tear off into the night as the Terminator becomes a decreasing dot in the rearview mirror.

Ann’s labor is progressing. Lauren delivers her baby sister, and hands her to her mother. Ann can now die happy, sort of. And she does.

In the future, Sydney and Derek are carting Jesse back to base. Jesse is handed off to other operatives, while Sydney follows Derek’s superior – presumably to have her super powers of immunity examined in detail.

A short time later, Derek is occupying the cot next to Jesse in sick bay, and neither are looking long for this world…..until a few folk in haz-mat suits come in and inject their IVs with a brand spanking new immunity antidote. The woman who is hooking Derek up is in fact Lauren, and she thanks him for saving her baby sister.

Back in the present, Derek is cradling baby Sydney, and tells Lauren she has to stick it out for her sister’s sake, no matter how bad things might seem. Dead mom? Presumably dead dad? Killer robots from the future on the loose? It’s pretty dang bleak now, frankly, and she asks Derek if the machines ever stop coming or if things ever will look better. He’s all out of Hallmark-sanctioned soundbites, and can’t offer up much encouragement on that front. He steps outside the room to call Sarah and confirm that the baby and Lauren are OK. When he returns, Lauren has already taken Sydney and fled the scene.

The girl learns fast.

Next week is the mid-season finale……..so you know there will be even fewer-than-usual moments of quiet reflection. Can’t wait for that humdinger.

Wanna watch the ep again? Check it out right here on Fancast.