For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Adventures of Jack Burton ] Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] The Fly ] Galaxy Quest ] Indiana Jones ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Matrix ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Sapphire & Steel ] Snake Plissken Chronicles ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] Waterworld ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle dot-com
Terminator: Born to Run "Born to Run"
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
TV episode
Written by Josh Friedman
Directed by Jeffrey Hunt
Original air date: April 10, 2009


The Connors finally encounter Catherine Weaver and Cameron comes face-to-face with John Henry.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Know?


The title of this episode, "Born to Run", is borrowed from the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name.


This was the season two finale and, as it happens, the final episode of the series, leaving many unanswered questions for fans.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Sarah Connor

Agent Auldridge

Miles Dyson (mentioned only, deceased)

Savannah Weaver (mentioned only)

Catherine Weaver

John Connor


water delivery Terminator (unnamed, destroyed in this episode)

Matt Murch

John Henry

James Ellison

Father Armando Bonilla

gun shop owner (unnamed)

Manny (mentioned only)


Danny Dyson (mentioned only)

Skynet (mentioned only)


Derek Reese (alternate future)

Kyle Reese (alternate future)

Allison Young (alternate future) 


Didja Notice?


Agent Auldridge mentions the events of "Adam Raised a Cain" as having occurred on Monday. He also brings up the explosion at the Security Trust of Los Angeles bank which occurred in the first episode, "No One is Ever Safe".


    Agent Auldridge reveals the Catherine Weaver is a citizen of Scotland. He should have properly said she's a citizen of the United Kingdom, since Scotland is part of the UK.

    It's possible she has dual citizenship of both UK and United States.


At 4:31 on the Blu-ray, the Top Stories listed on the Terminator's laptop screen are: "President to Meet With Commerce Committee", "Search Engines Invading Privacy?", "Fugitive Sarah Connor Arrested in Los Angeles", "What Does it Mean to be Muslim in America?", "Wall Street Predicts Doom and Gloom", and "Vaccine Shortage Expected in Africa". Plus, "Sports Video of the Week".


    At 4:39 on the Blu-ray, Matt Murch and John Henry are playing a role-playing game, seemingly a variation on Dungeons & Dragons, as John Henry is attacked by an umber hulk which he kills with a vorpal long sword. Both the beast and the sword are known factors in the Dungeons & Dragons RPG. The adjective "vorpal" is a nonsense word originating in the 1871 nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll.

   At the end of this scene, John Henry tells Murch he's ready to confront the mind flayer. This is another creature (also known as an illithid) in the D&D game, known to capture and enslave umber hulks.


Father Armando Bonilla previously appeared in "Samson and Delilah".


Sarah and Father Bonilla exchange "Buenos dias" with each other. This is Spanish for "good day".


The water delivery Terminator from the previous episode ("Adam Raised a Cain") appears again here, now carrying two Heckler & Koch USP Expert pistols.


While Sarah is incarcerated, John and Cameron stay in room 236 at the Apache Motel. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious motel, but it looks like a real location and neon sign in the episode.


Cameron says that Sarah has lost 11% of her body weight in the past six weeks, suggesting she may be sick.


John appears to be armed with a Beretta 92FS pistol in the motel. Cameron is packing a Remington 870 shotgun.


Chola gives John and Cameron new identities. We see a passport of Emily Gage for Cameron, but John's identity is not shown.


When Chola leaves the motel room, Cameron says to her, "Hasta luego." This is Spanish for "See you later." This may be a play by the writer on the famous "Hasta la vista" line by the protector Terminator in Judgment Day.


Ellison reiterates to John that he had nothing to do with his mother's arrest, the police must have been following him and he inadvertently led them to her. He goes on to say that if he had been responsible there would be a SWAT team outside John's door right now and John responds that the same would have happened to them as happened to his last SWAT team. In "What He Beheld", Ellison led an FBI SWAT team to George Lazlo's apartment, only to have Cromartie kill the entire team except Ellison.


Catherine Weaver has Ellison deliver a message to Cameron, "Will you join us?" Cameron claims not to know what that means. But, in Jesse's memory of the future in "Today is the Day" Part 2, Cameron does know the question (although it may be that Jesse's memory is of an alternate Cameron not from the future the current day Cameron is from). The asking of this question hints that Catherine Weaver may be the same T-1001 that was seen in "Today is the Day" Part 2, since sent back in time.


Agent Auldridge claims to Sarah that he believes her, her stories of cyborgs and time travel. He tries to get her to accept his help for her and John, but she doesn't believe him and rejects the offer. Since this was the final episode of the series, we don't know if his offer was true or a ruse.


Agent Auldridge reveals to Sarah that Danny Dyson, Miles Dyson's son, has been missing for three months. This is another plot thread left unresolved after the cancellation of the series.


The water delivery Terminator drives a Cadillac Eldorado ETC.


At 29:40 on the Blu-ray, Cameron and Father Bonilla exchange "Buenos dias" on the phone. This is Spanish for "Good day".


In her assault on the jail to spring Sarah, Cameron uses the Remington 870 shotgun with folding stock seen in use by Sarah and John in a couple previous episodes.


Some of the guards at the jail use Heckler & Koch UMP submachine guns against Cameron during the breakout. Others use unidentified pistols.


As the door locks in the jail start opening on their own (triggered by the observing John Henry), Sarah asks Father Bonilla, "What's that Bible story? The one where the locks fall off?" He responds, "Peter." This is presumably a reference to Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, in chapter 12 of which Peter is arrested and imprisoned and scheduled for execution when an angel of the Lord suddenly appears and the chains fall off of Peter's wrists and the prison gate opened for him on its own.


John pulls up to the jail to pick up Sarah and Cameron in a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer S-10 with CA license plate 3PCI258. The same plate was seen on two other vehicles in "Gnothi Seauton" and "Samson and Delilah".


Notice that the moray eel Catherine Weaver keeps in an aquarium in her office falls on the floor when the aquarium is shattered in the explosion of the drone that crashes into her office. It then is seen to actually be a liquid metal part of her body that she kept hidden in the eel form for safety and it rejoins her after the explosion.


The drone that hits Weaver's office looks like the type that was being built by the Kaliba Group in "Desert Cantos".


The entire TV series up to this point has avoided using the word "Terminator" in dialog, but Sarah finally says it here when she says to Weaver, "You lying Terminator bitch."


At the end of the episode, John has been transported to some time in the future during the war against the machines. Derek and the other Resistance members don't recognize his name. It seems that the Resistance has no John Connor because he skipped over the intervening years. 


The shoulder patch on Kyle's jacket that John puts on is a Little League umpire patch.
Kyle's jacket Little League umpire patch


Unanswered Questions


Does Sarah have cancer?


What year has John Connor arrived in?


What is the status of Cameron? If her chip is now in John Henry's body, was her persona wiped out in order to place his on it? Do they both share existence on the chip? If so, are they a merged personality? Two separate personalities? Or was Cameron's persona copied over to the Turk while John Henry's takes over her chip?


What will become of Savannah Weaver now that her "mother" (T-1001) has returned to the future?


Will Sarah and Ellison start working together to stop Skynet in the present?


Who will become head of ZeiraCorp without Catherine Weaver? 


Notes from the audio commentary on the Blu-ray special features


In keeping with his tradition of ideas inspired by Bruce Springsteen songs, Josh Friedman points out that Springsteen also had a song called "John Henry" about the folkloric John Henry.


Friedman points out that we see John Henry playing games to evolve because he is based on the Turk which was originally a chess computer (as seen in "The Turk").


Friedman says the eel that was kept in the aquarium by Weaver that was actually a disguised piece of her liquid metal body was also the key to the time displacement machine. But we don't see her use it as such in the episode. And if it was the key, how was John Henry able to use the time displacement machine before she got down to the basement with it?


Memorable Dialog


funny boys.mp3

body and soul.mp3

you don't know or you can't say?.mp3

I ended up in a psych ward.mp3

there's always something to lose.mp3

parsing which laws we'll be obeying and which we will not.mp3

I want to know why.mp3

she's a cyborg.mp3

will you join us?.mp3

your John may save the world.mp3

who's calling who a bitch.mp3 


Back to Terminator Episode Studies