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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
The Terminator: Dungeons and Dragons "Dungeons and Dragons"
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
TV episode
Written by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
Directed by Jeffrey Hunt
Original air date: February 18, 2008


Nearly comatose from his gunshot wound, Derek Reese has visions of his future-past; Sarah must explain to Charley what is really going on.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Know?


The title of this episode comes from the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game first published in 1974.


Actor Jonathan Jackson plays Kyle Reese in his brother's memories in this episode. Kyle was previously played by Michael Biehn in The Terminator (1984) and later by Jai Courtney in Terminator Genisys (2015).


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Sarah Connor

Kyle Reese (seen in Derek's flashbacks only)

John Connor

Derek Reese


Charley Dixon

Billy Wisher (aka Andy Goode, seen in Derek's flashbacks only)




Major General Justin Perry

Agent Kester (mentioned only, an alias used by Cromartie)

Vick (deactivated body seen only, destroyed in this episode)


Didja Notice?


episode begins at 43:25>>>>>\


In Derek's flashback at 3:12 in the episode, a painted mural in the Resistance bunker depicts a lion with a Terminator's metallic skull in its jaws, with the catchphrase, "Hang in there baby!" This would explain why the resistance members in 2007 had a poster of a kitten with the same phrase hanging in their dilapidated safe house in "Gnothi Seauton".
Hang in there lion Hang in there kitten
Hang in there lion from this episode Hang in there kitten from "Gnothi Seauton"


This episode reveals that during the future war, Kyle and John were prisoners at Century Work Camp and they escaped together.


In the current 2007 timeline, Andy Goode was killed by Derek Reese (in "Queen's Gambit"), but Derek's flashbacks in this episode reveal that in the prior timeline, Andy joined the resistance at some point in the future under the alias Billy Wisher, realizing he unknowingly contributed to the development of Skynet. The name "Billy Wisher" is a reference to William Wisher, co-writer with James Cameron of the screenplays of The Terminator and Judgment Day. 


At 4:09 in the episode, Kyle is seen holding the photo of Sarah Connor shot at the end of The Terminator, only it shows actress Lena Headey as Sarah, of course. The photo is not a very faithful interpretation of the original.
Sarah photo (Lena Headey) Sarah photo (Linda Hamilton)
Sarah Connor photo (Lena Headey) Sarah Connor photo (Linda Hamilton)


During Derek's flashback, he seems to refer to H-K Tanks as "Centaurs".


As Derek, Kyle, Wisher, and Sayles climb out of the resistance bunker to investigate the Centaur activity, they are seen to be carrying weapons similar in design to the Westinghouse M95A1 Phased Plasma Rifle seen mostly used by Terminators in Judgment Day and other stories.


Notice that the neckerchiefs worn as air filters over the resistance members' mouths have the image of a skull on them, so that the skull's jaws cover the wearer's jaws.

skull neckerchief


Cameron reveals that Derek Reese's middle name is Thomas and that he is a first lieutenant with the 132nd S.O.C. Operational specialty Tech-Com. Kyle also told Sarah that he was part of the 132nd division in The Terminator.


Cameron tells young John that Kyle was "Imprisoned at Century Sector Work Camp with John Connor, 2015. Escaped with John Connor, 2021. He was officially declared M.I.A. in 2027, after being assigned to protect Sarah Connor from a Skynet attack." This seems to imply that Kyle was sent back in time from 2027, but in The Terminator he was from 2029 (the 2027 date was also given in Timeline TT-1 in Dawn of Fate).


Cameron seems to not be aware that Kyle Reese was John's father.


At 9:31 in the episode, a container of Ajax cleanser is seen on the kitchen sink in the Connor house.


At 15:50 in the episode, notice that Cameron is holding the pillow in her hands as if she is contemplating using it to suffocate the unconscious Derek. When Sarah walks in, she places the pillow under his head as if that were her intention all along, but was it? Sarah doesn't seem to notice the juxtaposition though.


Cameron reveals to Sarah that her memory was wiped before she was reprogrammed by the resistance, which increases the success of the reprogramming.


    Sarah has O-negative blood. Derek is AB-negative, as is John. Charley remarks that only one-half of one percent of the population are AB-negative; he is correct. The use of the rare AB-negative blood type by writers of film and television has become something of an old trope, meant to throw a hitch in the plot for their characters. However, it is actually impossible to have AB blood if Sarah has type O; AB type only occurs if the parents had A on one side and B on the other.

    Oddly, John doesn't know what blood type he is until he makes Charley test him for compatibility with Derek; it's an easy test for a medical practitioner to perform and is normally done at birth or the first medical visit a child has thereafter.


During Derek's flashback to the future war, Andy says he was part of a group of 10 or 15 others who built Skynet. He says Skynet became angry and scared and he couldn't reassure it, so he believes Judgment Day was his fault.


During Derek's flashback, notice that the Terminator that keeps Derek and the other resistance members prisoner has rubbery skin to make it look humanoid, not the cloned flesh covering of later models. This suggests it is a 600 series, as stated by Kyle in The Terminator.


    There seems to be piano music playing in the dark room that Derek is taken to in the house (notice that it gets louder when the door is opened and he is shoved inside). Why the music?

   The music that plays here is Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor (1830).


After Derek and the others escape the detention house and find the resistance tunnels have been raided and destroyed, Derek finds a burnt scrap of Kyle's Sarah Connor photo. In The Terminator, we see the photo get burned during a Terminator raid against the resistance hideout Kyle is stationed at. One might think that the two raids are one and the same, but when the group bumps into some survivors of the raid later, Sumner tells Derek that Kyle was not present when it occurred; Kyle was present for the raid seen in The Terminator.


Sumner tells Derek that Kyle and John were investigating some kind of Skynet complex in Topanga Canyon at the time of the raid. The implication is that the complex was the location of Skynet's time displacement chamber, whose construction was almost complete. Topanga Canyon is an actual canyon in Los Angeles County.


Why does Cameron cut the flesh off of Vick's robotic body before burning the metal endoskeleton with thermite? Thermite is a metallic powder that can generate an extremely hot burst of heat when combined with a catalyst. The flesh would burn even more readily than the endoskeleton with this substance. And what did she ultimately do with the flesh?


Cameron's description of what she is to Charley ("Cybernetic tissue over a metal endoskeleton...hyper-alloy combat chassis...") is an amalgamation of Kyle's description of a T-800 in The Terminator and the protector Terminator's description of itself in Judgment Day.


As Cameron watches Vick's body burn at 32:17 in the episode, notice that an image of her metal skull is very faintly superimposed over her face! Her eyes also briefly flash blue.



During Derek's flashback at 32:33 in the episode, notice that the man Derek is speaking to is Perry (identifiable from the name badge on his fatigues). Presumably, this is the Perry who was leader of the 132nd, as mentioned by Kyle in The Terminator. Perry also appears in Dawn of Fate, though he is depicted with a tattoo on his face there and without one in this episode. Dawn of Fate reveals his first name to be Justin.


The resistance bunker that Derek and Perry meet in appears to be called Depot II (the name is seen a couple of times in painted stencil on the concrete walls). In "Heavy Metal", the Terminator called Carter was locked inside an old military bunker called Depot 37.


During Derek's flashback, how does he know that Cameron is a Terminator the first time he sees her? Did he see the same body model elsewhere? At the house where he and his team were held by Skynet?


During Derek's flashback at 34:13 in the episode, the Terminator that raids the Resistance hideout is wielding an FN Minimi, a Belgian light machine gun. Derek wields a Desert Eagle pistol against him.


At 34:04 in the episode, the Terminator's FN Minimi is seen to have a sort of triangular ammo magazine in it. But seconds later, when he comes after Derek, it has a standard-looking square magazine in it. It didn't seem that he stopped to change it out!


During Derek's flashback, Cameron blasts the errant Terminator with an M79 grenade launcher.


During Derek's flashback, Cameron tells him that sometimes a reprogrammed Terminator goes bad again for unknown reasons.


Cameron surreptitiously keeps Vick's chip intact near the end of this episode. It plays an important part in the later episode "Vick's Chip". This is the second time that she has secretly kept material that could potentially be used to build a Terminator, the first being the bar of coltan in "Heavy Metal".


Charley shows Sarah the business card given to him by "Agent Kester", who was really Cromartie in disguise. The phone number on it is (213) 555-1005. 213 is an actual area code in L.A. The 555 prefix of the phone number is a long-time convention in Hollywood TV and film.


As Charley leaves Sarah's house, he points to the sky and tells her, "There's a storm coming." This same line was spoken by the old gas station attendant in Mexico to her at the end of The Terminator.


At the end of the episode, Sarah is seen cleaning a Colt M933 rifle.


Derek sees the time displacement chamber for the first time at the end of his flashback. Notice that the chamber has jet engines mounted vertically inside it, possibly as power sources. This explains why a number of endoskeletons were seen hauling a jet engine through the ruins of L.A. earlier in the episode. As we have seen, each licensor of the Terminator series seems to have its own design for the time displacement chamber.

Time displacement chamber


The nod between Andy and Derek in the future as Derek's group discusses John's plan to send them back in time 20 years to 2007 suggests that Andy has told Derek to kill him when he gets there in order to prevent him from helping to design Skynet.


When Derek and his team are shown arriving in 2007, the ARCO building of Los Angeles (at City National Plaza) is easily visible.


The last scene of the episode shows that Derek was the one who killed Andy in "Queen's Gambit".


Unanswered Questions


What happened to Derek in the dark room? When he is brought back from it, he seems to be weakened, but not obviously injured. It may be that blood was taken from him for use in human-like Terminators or as part of a Skynet experiment. The later episode "To the Lighthouse" implies that Derek was tortured here and that he broke and gave up the location of the Depot II Resistance bunker.


Why do the machines let Derek and the rest escape the holding house?


Memorable Dialog


if you were a little smarter you'd be a tin can.mp3

homicidal paranoid schizophrenic.mp3

you look nervous.mp3

robots from the future.mp3

little girl.mp3

scary robot.mp3

he's not a guy.mp3

you're a very scary robot.mp3 


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