Dollhouse, you know about. But you might be interested to hear that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is also back on the air this week. The show returns from a two-month hiatus Friday to finish out its second season, and executive producer Josh Friedman says fans won’t have missed anything in the time off.
“The episode picks up pretty quickly after the things that happened at the end of episode 13,” Friedman says. “I seem to do that all the time. I did that after last season when we had the shortened season — ‘Samson and Delilah’ picked up, basically 30 seconds afterward, and I kind of like doing that. … I’m not much for resetting scenes or kind of reminding people of things. I kind of feel like the people who watch the show know where we are, and I also don’t think that the first episode — it’s pretty clear what’s going on at that point.”
Given that Friedman is not a huge fan of preamble, we’ll dispense with it too, and dive straight into some highlights of a conference-call interview he and series star Summer Glau, who plays the Terminator Cameron, did earlier this month.
The final episodes have a lot more action. What’s that mean for you?
Glau: “It means lots of squibs, and lots of extra stunt rehearsals, which I’ve missed, because we did take a little break from it at the end of our first half, because we were really intensifying some of the mysteries that we’ve been building on. And now that I’ve come back from the Christmas break, it seems like I’m always putting on a squib jacket and running around and shooting people, and I’m having a blast. The back half is going to be exciting.”
Does Cameron have an endgame?
Glau: [To Friedman, after explaining she’s just read the script for the season finale] “I am shocked, Josh. I’m not going to give it away, but I’m excited and I’m a little bit sad, but more excited and just really proud of what Josh has done. I mean, it’s the most beautiful character, and I love playing her, and she’s gone above and beyond what I ever thought I could do in two seasons on TV. But Cameron is so complicated [that] I couldn’t possibly imagine this storyline. I’m glad that Josh is the writer and I’m the actress. … I think everybody is going to be shocked at what happens at the end of this season.”
So what about the finale? Will it wrap things up or leave them open for a third season?
Friedman: “Well, I’m always optimistic. I think we have no idea of what is going to happen in the next few months. We don’t know what, we just don’t know. … I’m not really sure if I’m saying it right, [but] I’m very optimistic. I think how it relates to how I wrote the finale [is] I wrote the finale the way that I was planning on writing the finale for a long time.
“I think that there were things that we’ve been building to all season, and you owe the audience that has been watching the show kind of a logical conclusion to the things that you’ve been building toward. And I think that everyone says, Well, you know fans get really upset if a show gets cancelled and things are left hanging. But you know, fans get upset if a show gets cancelled, and I think fans also get upset when you write a crappy finale.
“So I think that you have to try to write the best finale that you can, providing closure to the stories that you’re telling. … But again, hopefully it’s going to be something that feels satisfying for people who have watched all year, and also it certainly lets you know where we would be going with a third season.”
How has Cameron been affected since the explosion that fried her circuitry?
Glau: “Josh and I were talking about it one day on set. We were just talking about how, because Cameron is absorbing human behavior and trying to understand human emotion, I think that the fans are sort of getting drawn into feeling like they relate to her more. And I think there are moments where you almost think, Cameron is a family pet, she’s really more docile and we’re trusting her, but then she has to do something to shock everyone into remembering she’s a dangerous robot. And that’s something that I try to remind myself of all the time in scenes: I want people to be drawn in, but then be shocked into remembering, Oh my gosh she’s really dangerous. Anything could happen at any moment with her.”
Will we ever see the guy who built the time machine used in the pilot?
Friedman: “The engineer, the engineer. I love the engineer character, I will tell you. We talk about the engineer in the writers’ room all the time. We have arguments about the engineer. … I am determined, at some point, to have the engineer in the show. I cannot guarantee that it will happen. In fact I’ll probably tell you it will not happen in this last nine episodes, but I am totally fascinated by that guy. … So I hope so, is the answer.”