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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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Terminator: Adam Raised a Cain "Adam Raised a Cain"
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
TV episode
Written by Toni Graphia
Directed by Charles Beeson
Original air date: April 3, 2009


Sarah and John rescue Savannah Weaver from a Terminator and then learn about John Henry from her.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Know?


The title of this episode, "Adam Raised a Cain", is from a Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. It refers to Springsteen's relationship with his father and, in the larger context, to the Biblical story of Adam's son Cain, who killed his brother, Abel. In the episode commentary, Josh Friedman says the title represents that parents have some responsibility for how their children behave as adults.


The next episode, "Born to Run", states that the events of this episode take place on a Monday.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Sarah Connor

Derek Reese (dies in this episode)

Kyle Reese (mentioned only, deceased)


Charley Dixon (mentioned only, deceased)

John  Connor

Savannah Weaver

Dr. Boyd Sherman (mentioned only, deceased)

John Henry

Savannah's school teacher (unnamed)

Catherine Weaver

James Ellison

James Ellison's brother (mentioned only, unnamed)

Debbie (Savannah's nanny, dies in this episode)

water delivery Terminator (unnamed)

Detective Crayton

Lachlan Weaver (mentioned only, deceased)

Miles Dyson (mentioned only, deceased)

Andrew Goode (mentioned only, deceased)

George Lazlo (in photo only, deceased)

Cromartie (mentioned only, destroyed)

Jesse Flores (mentioned only) 


Didja Notice?


At the beginning of the episode, Derek and Cameron meet up with Sarah and John at the cemetery where Kyle Reese is buried. Sarah had told Derek they should take him there sometime way back in "The Demon Hand".


During her class in school, Savannah is caught chatting on her computer with John Henry. Oddly, John Henry's screen name in the chat changes from "JOHN HENRY1" to "JOHNHENRY1" in the course of the session!

Savannah's chat


Savannah tells her "mother" that she is teaching John Henry the words to a song she knows so he can sing it with her like her father used to. Catherine suggests that maybe she can sing it with her and Savannah responds "You're not a boy, and you can't sing." This may be a bit of a joking reference to the fact that the actress who plays Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) is also the lead singer of the group Garbage.


Ellison tells John Henry that he (Ellison) has a brother who people think looks like him.


John Henry states that the human brain's raw clock speed is 20 billion calculations per second. This is an understatement. In modern science, the human brain is estimated to calculate a billion billion calculations per second.


The Terminator posing as a water delivery man carries a Heckler & Koch USP Expert pistol.


After detecting an unauthorized entrance to the Weaver mansion, RNE Security calls the home to see if tenants need assistance. RNE Security appears to be a fictitious company.


Savannah's smartphone, picked up by the Terminator at 11:57 on the Blu-ray, appears to be a BlackBerry Curve 8320.


The car seen parked in the Weaver garage is a 1994 SAAB 900. SAAB was a Swedish automobile manufacturer from 1945-2012.


At 12:34 on the Blu-ray, Sarah fires her Glock 17 at the Terminator.


Derek is carrying his Beretta 92FS pistol when he is killed by the Terminator.


As the Connors are fleeing the Weaver house with Savannah at 14:50 on the Blu-ray, John Henry is somehow viewing them through a video camera that follows their movement at head level, as if it were held by cameraman!


Detective Crayton tells Ellison there is an AMBER Alert out for Savannah. An AMBER Alert is a child abduction alert system used in the U.S. since 1996 to inform local residents to notify authorities if they see the missing child or have information that may lead to their recovery. Officially, AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, but it was really named for Amber Hagerton, a 9-year old girl who was abducted and killed in Arlington, Texas in 1996.


After receiving a call from Ellison, Sarah tells him to meet her at the Third Street Tunnel downtown. The Third Street Tunnel is an actual location in Los Angeles, but Sarah changes the location, so we never see it.


Ellison drives his Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 company car to the meeting with Sarah.


When Sarah reminds Ellison that she warned him to stay away from her and John's mission, he responds, "I tried. Everywhere I turn, there you are." Viewing it that way, it may be a suggestion that the timeline keeps bringing the two together because the timeline requires it. This general idea is also touched on in some of the Terminator novels, particularly Hour of the Wolf


Savannah recalls that John taught her how to tie her shoes in Dr. Boyd's office. This occurred in "Complications".


The police identify Derek's body and learn of his being a suspect in the murder of Andrew Goode (in "Dungeons & Dragons"). But the file on Derek that Detective Crayton hands to Ellison seems to be about a case that has nothing to do with Derek other than his photo being on it! The suspect in the file is a Mr. Stevens and the file seems to be about a joint investigation by the LAPD and the Texas Rangers about unlawful production and usage of bank debit and credit cards. Mr. Stevens is implied to have completed some kind of course at the end of which he received an ordainment as a minister! Mr. Stevens file


To turn Savannah over to Ellison, Sarah meets him in a movie theater. The film showing is Attack of the 50 Foot Woman from 1958.


The LAPD cruiser seen at 39:29 on the Blu-ray is a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria with California license plate 570821L.


The uniformed police officers who arrest Sarah outside the theater appear to be armed with Beretta 92FS pistols. The undercover officer who follows her out of the theater has a Glock 17.


Sarah's arrest harkens back to her dream of being arrested in the series' first episode "No One is Ever Safe".


John and Cameron watch the news footage of Sarah's arrest on TVs displayed in the window of Screen Time TV. This appears to be a fictitious business.


The song John Henry and Savannah sing together at the end of the episode is "Donald Where's Your Troosers?", a 1960 comic song by the Scottish Andy Stewart and the White Heather Group.


Derek's body is cremated by the city and buried in the same cemetery where his brother Kyle's remains were buried in 1984.


Derek's gravestone shows the year 2009 on it, implying that over a year has passed in this second season of stories (which began still in the 2007 setting)! However, it's also possible that this last scene takes place quite some time after the events of this episode. This episode takes place over the course of less than a day and since Derek is killed in this episode as well and his body becomes part of an ongoing police investigation, it seems unlikely his body would be cremated and buried the next day! I'm not sure how long an unidentified corpse that was part of larger investigation would be kept by the city, but it could be kept in cold storage for months if needed. Possibly, that is what happened in this case and we are getting the brief scene of his anonymous burial at the end of the episode to provide a little closure for viewers on his character. (Of course, viewers will also get an alternate timeline version of Derek introduced to them at the end of the next episode, "Born to Run".)


Memorable Dialog


you can't sing.mp3

the human brain is an amazing computer.mp3

billions of souls with no bodies.mp3

I don't want to die again.mp3

can be taken as an insult.mp3

I should have killed you then.mp3

everywhere I turn, there you are.mp3

but I only want to kill him.mp3

Cain and Abel.mp3


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