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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle dot-com
Terminator: Samson and Delilah "Samson and Delilah"
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
TV episode
Written by Josh Friedman
Directed by David Nutter
Original air date: September 8, 2008


After being damaged in a car explosion, Cameron reverts to her original programming and attempts to kill John Connor.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Notes from the Terminator chronology


This episode takes place immediately after "What He Beheld".


Didja Know?


The opening preamble of each episode this season is re-written and spoken by an anonymous male voiceover instead of using Sarah Connor's voice as in season one.


This episode was the second season premiere. The unresolved plotlines of the strange wall paintings appearing at John's high school, Cheri Westin's secret, and Morris' crush on Cameron from the first season are dropped this season without explanation. Rumor is that the producers decided the non-Terminator storylines in season one were not working, so they were dropped completely. Which is kind of irritating. They could have at least wrapped up the loose ends at some point this season and possibly salvaged those recurring characters for a more on-point storyline.


This episode introduces Catherine Weaver, the CEO of Zeira Corporation, who becomes a major player throughout the season. She is portrayed by Shirley Manson, the lead singer of the alternative-rock band Garbage.


Watch for a number of visual and plot-point callbacks to Terminator 2: Judgment Day in this episode.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode



Margos Sarkissian (dies in this episode)

John Connor

Sarah Connor


Agent Ellison

Charley Nixon

Derek Reese

George Laszlo (dead body only)

Catherine Weaver


Justin Tuck

priest (unnamed here, but later identified as Father Armando Bonilla in "Born to Run")

Agent Sac Federici

Agent Norgaard 


Didja Notice?


The "Previously on the Sarah Connor Chronicles..." segment at the opening of this episode covers virtually the entire first season, running at one full minute.


    The song that plays at the beginning of the episode is "Samson and Delilah", a classic song from the early 20th Century. The version heard here is performed by Shirley Manson, the lead singer of the alternative-rock band Garbage; she also plays Catherine Weaver in this season of the series.
   The lyrics of the version of the song here are slightly altered from the original in order to make it more fitting to the events in these opening scenes.

   Sarkissian is killed during the attack on the Connor house, but it is not shown how it happened. From the song lyrics, we might assume that John killed him with bare hands since John seems to the be the Samson figure of this episode and the song (and Bible story) tells that Samson killed a lion (Sarkissian) to protect his mother (Sarah). This is revealed to be the case in the later episode "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short".

   Cameron is the Delilah figure in this episode, the "love" of John/Samson.


At 2:44 on the Blu-ray, Sarah pulls a Remington 870 shotgun from the umbrella stand in the house. (She used the same type of shotgun, taken from a SWAT van, near the end of Judgment Day).


The scene from 6:10-7:19 on the Blu-ray is from the season one finale "What He Beheld".


The FBI coroner's team finds George Laszlo's corpse in his apartment (having been killed by Cromartie way back in "Heavy Metal"). One of the FBI coroners asks Agent Ellison how Lazlo could have taken out 20 of their HRT. HRT stands for Hostage Rescue Team. I'm not sure why HRT would have been sent to make an arrest at the apartment when no hostage had been taken. Also, Laszlo's body should be decomposing and stinking by now! Plus, an autopsy by the FBI would soon show that he died some time back, not during the firefight and thus could not have been the one who killed all the HRT agents.


The van Sarah and John make their escape in is a 2001 Chevrolet Venture with CA license plate 3PCI258. This same plate appeared on a Jeep Cherokee driven by Sarah in "Gnothi Seauton" and on a Chevy Blazer in the series' final episode "Born to Run"!


The car that Sarah almost runs into at 8:41 on the Blu-ray is a 2007 Toyota Camry CE and has CA license plate 3PCI499 (the same license plate appears on a GMC truck John hot-wires later in the episode and again on a van in "The Mousetrap" and yet another car in "Desert Cantos"!). The car she does hit is a Ford Taurus with CA license plate 2QCE265, a plate which has appeared in many other Hollywood productions.


Fire Department Station 56 is seen to have responded to the fire at the Connor home. Station 56 is an actual fire station in Los Angeles.


The Fire Department vehicle that pulls up to the Connor house at 10:00 on the Blu-ray is a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban.


The TV news reporter seen at 12:03 on the Blu-ray is from KZPZ Channel 6. This is a fictitious station for Los Angeles.


Zeira Corporation, headed by Catherine Weaver, is a fictitious company.


The flat panel TV screens in Weaver's office are made by Dell.


Having obtained the Turk for Weaver, Walsh remarks, "It's not much to look at for 300,000. Better be able to checkmate Bobby Fischer for that." Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) was an American chess grandmaster, considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time.


When Weaver tells her secretary to arrange a meeting of the department heads for that night, the secretary says that Justin Tuck is already in Palm Springs for a long weekend. Palm Springs is a desert resort city in California, about 110 miles east of Los Angeles.


At 13:07 on the Blu-ray, Cameron walks past a thrift store window with a Liberace record album and Pumping Iron and Rambo: First Blood Part II video discs visible. Liberace (1919-1987) was an American pianist. Pumping Iron is a 1977 documentary film about competitive bodybuilding, known for introducing Arnold Schwarzenegger to the world; Schwarzenegger, of course, would go on to legend as the Model 101 Terminator in 1984's The Terminator and beyond. Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 action film starring Sylvester Stallone.


At 13:39 on the Blu-ray, a sign in the discount store Cameron walks into reads "Especial!!! Pistola de grapas!!! $10.99". This is Spanish for "Special!!! Staple gun!!! $10.99".


At 13:53 on the Blu-ray, the license plate of Charley's ambulance is California 2204560. The vehicle is a 1995 Ford Econoline converted into an ambulance


At 14:01 on the Blu-ray, the City Center Motel, DeVille Motel and Rene Cafe are seen across the street from Sarah and John. These are actual businesses on 7th Street in Los Angeles, though the Deville is now an Americas Best Value Inn.


Fleeing from the scene of their car accident, Sarah and John eventually seek sanctuary at M. Jesus El Salvador del Mundo church. "M. Jesus El Salvador del Mundo" is Spanish for "Messiah Jesus the Savior of the World". This appears to be a fictitious church. Above the entranceway are painted the words "Martes y Viernes 7:30 PM" and "Domingo de Milagros 6 PM"; this is Spanish for "Tuesday and Friday 7:30 PM" and "Miracle Sunday 6 PM".


A Pacific Bell pay phone with a slightly altered Pac-Bell symbol is seen outside the church at 14:39 on the Blu-ray.


The car that is stopped in front of Charley's ambulance at 15:49 on the Blu-ray is a Toyota with CA license plate 4PCI310; this same license plate is seen later in the episode on a truck Sarah confiscates to save John at the warehouse! This same license plate was seen on a BMW in "What He Beheld".


At 16:43 on the Blu-ray, Cameron sees blood on the sidewalk and her sensors analyze it to determine if it is the blood of a human male. Notice that a listing of the blood's components quickly flashes and disappears on the left of her POV display.

blood analysis


At 16:56 on the Blu-ray, we get our first glimpse of the pet moray eel Weaver keeps in an aquarium in her office. The eel is revealed in a later episode to be a part of her liquid metal self, kept separate as a "key" for operating her time displacement equipment.


At 17:00 on the Blu-ray, the close-up of Weaver's head reveals that she has pierced ears, even though we will later learn she is a T-1001 liquid metal Terminator.


As Sarah and John hide out in the kitchen of the church, several cans of Teasdale brand foods are seen on the table and shelves.


The male FBI agent who questions Ellison is revealed to be named Sac Federici in the end credits.


At 24:12 on the Blu-ray, we see that the church is located at 1301 7th Street. A search on Google Maps reveals that this is the actual address of the building that was used as the church in this episode.


A billboard advertisement for Dr. Pepper is seen at 24:12 on the Blu-ray.


The car that spins out in front of Sarah and John as they race across the street fleeing from Cameron in the church is a Toyota Camry with CA license plate 2SBI583.


The car that Sarah and John steal to make their getaway (and later crash) is a 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ with CA license plate 3Q49953. It is seen to have star style hubs for the tires during the getaway sequence, but after it crashes and land upside-down in the concrete waterway, it has standard hubs.


At 24:36 on the Blu-ray, Sarah and John drive past a Spilo Worldwide warehouse. Spilo Worldwide is a maker of beauty products.


At 24:52 on the Blu-ray, a Michelin Tires sign is seen.


One of the boxes Sarah drives through at 25:06 on the Blu-ray has "lavadora" printed on it. Lavadora is Spanish for 'washing machine".


At 25:16 on the Blu-ray, we can see that it is not really actors Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey in the Jeep! Stunt performers were inside because they were about to  roll the vehicle.
Fake John and Sarah


At 26:47 on the Blu-ray, a Golden West Service boxcar is seen. Golden West Service boxcars were widely used by the Southern Pacific Railroad (now part of Union Pacific Railroad). Like the one seen here, any Golden West Service boxcars you see today tend to be heavily weathered and covered with graffiti, as they were refurbished boxcars in the first place and have been in service for decades, with no new boxcars under that name made since the early 1990s or, possibly, earlier.


After the car crash, John is forced to flee without his mother. Cameron comes upon Sarah trying to extricate herself from the wrecked Jeep and applies painful pressure to her wound, telling her to "Call to him." This is similar to the T-1000's actions near the end of Judgment Day. But why didn't Cameron just mimic Sarah's voice? Is the glitch in her programming that made her turn bad also causing a glitch in her voice mimicking function? Seems like a stretch.


In the old warehouse at 28:03 on the Blu-ray, John sees a 1990 GMC Topkick truck (which he later hot-wires) and a Chevrolet P-1500 UCBC.


The truck Sarah drives into the warehouse at 30:12 on the Blu-ray is a 1970 International Harvester Loadstar with CA license plate 4PCI310 (see earlier remark above). Conflictingly, the gas and brake pedals Sarah's feet are shown to hit have the Freightliner logo on them instead!


John pulls a Glock 17 pistol on Derek to save Cameron.


Weaver's new project at Zeira is called Babylon, another Bible reference. "Zeira" may be a reference to Rabbi Rav Zeira, an historical figure in ancient Jewish history who was a student of the Talmud and who was born in Babylonia.


    As Sarah makes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 40:58 on the Blu-ray, notice that the label of the jelly jar is partially torn so as to have removed the brand name! However, another Teasdale brand food can is seen fairly clearly in the background of this shot.

    It's clear she and the others are back in the church from the Christian decorations seen on the walls and shelves.


At the end of the episode, Sarah wishes John happy birthday. This episode continues on from the same day as "What He Beheld", where we learned that "today" is John's 16th birthday.


John cuts his hair much shorter at the end of the episode, just as Samson (against his wishes) has his hair cut in the Bible story.


The urinal Justin Tuck uses at the end of the episode is seen to be an American Standard brand. Then, the urinal transforms into the liquid metal form of Catherine Weaver!


Notes from the episode commentary by Josh Friedman, Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, and Shirley Manson


Josh Friedman states that the introductory scenes of Sarah and John taken hostage by Sarkissian and the rogue Cameron's intervention in the house are a mini-version of what would have been seen in episode 10 of season one if it had not been prevented by the early end of the season due to the writers' strike.


Josh Friedman states that when John reactivates Cameron and she says she is not going to kill him, the "TERMINATION OVERRIDE" message that appears in her POV screen is possibly meant to suggest not that she has reverted back to her "good" programming, but that she may have made an actual decision not to kill him.


Unanswered Questions


What did John do to fix Cameron's chip? We see him cleaning it after it is removed, but not working on it in any other way. How would cleaning be of any help considering it did not appear to be fouled with any kind of substance?


How did Catherine Weaver know which urinal Justin Tuck would use in order to disguise herself as the correct one?? At least three urinals are seen in the men's room in this scene!


Memorable Dialog


can you walk?.mp3

it plays a mean game of chess.mp3

this is not the right thing.mp3

I love you, John, and you love me.mp3

faith isn't part of my programming.mp3

I'm sorry I piss you off.mp3


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