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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle dot-com
Terminator: Today is the Day (Part 1) "Today is the Day" Part 1
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
TV episode
Written by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
Directed by Guy Norman Bee
Original air date: March 13, 2009


The Connors begin packing to leave their house, no longer considered safe; Riley's body is found in the river.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Know?


The title of this episode refers back to John Connor's statement to Riley in "Ourselves Alone", "Is there anything you wanna tell me? Because today is the day. Today is the day where you tell me whatever it is you might wanna tell me. Today."


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Jesse Flores

Riley Dawson (as corpse)

Derek Reese



Sarah Connor

John Connor



Kacy Cotton

Trevor (mentioned only)

Lieutenant Dietze

Chief of the Boat Hayes

Petty Officer Goodnow

Christopher Garvin


Catherine Weaver

Savannah Weaver

John Henry

James Ellison

Kyle Reese (mentioned only, deceased)



Didja Notice?


The lamp next to Jesse's chair and the coffee table in front of her appear to be the same designs as those that were smashed up in her fight with Riley in the previous episode ("Ourselves Alone"). One might be forgiven for thinking the hotel replaced them with spare identical models. But we see seconds later, that Riley's dead body is still in the room! Did Jesse replace the broken furniture herself??


In Jesse's memory of the future, we see her and Derek at Serrano Point Resistance Base. This base was seen in previous episodes, first as a modern day nuclear power plant in "Automatic for the People" and "Goodbye to All That", then as a Resistance base in the future in "Alpine Fields".


The Resistance character Sumner is seen in these opening scenes in Jesse's memory. He later travels back in time with Derek and was seen in several previous episodes and killed by the Terminator Vick Chamberlain in "Vick's Chip".


    The T-888 who is the captain of the of the Resistance nuclear sub USS Jimmy Carter is called Queeg. This is likely a reference to Lieutenant Commander Phillip Francis Queeg, commander of a U.S. destroyer in the Pacific in World War II from the 1951 novel The Caine Mutiny. It may also reference Queeg 500, an alias once used by the computer of the mining spaceship Red Dwarf in the British science fiction comedy TV series Red Dwarf.

    The Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is a real world Seawolf-class nuclear submarine of the U.S. Navy, named for Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, the only President qualified in submarines, having served as a Communications Officer, Electronics Officer, Sonar Officer, Supply Officer, and Weapons Officer, on board USS Pomfret. It and Queeg were previously mentioned in "Alpine Fields".


Jesse says to Derek, "Hooroo", telling him it means "I'll see you later". "Hooroo" is an Australian term that, more-or-less, does mean what she says, but some might argue what kind of goodbye it is, re: "I'll see you later". Jesse is from Australia.


As they prepare to move out of their rental home, John volunteers to pack up the garage, telling his mother, "...why don't you let me take the garage? I just got a lot of memory cards and flash drives out there I need to sort. I don't want to save our Dakara records and torch my copy of Space Invaders." He is being facetious, as Dakara was a company Sarah was interested in as a company working to develop an AI system that could have evolved into Skynet in "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point", while Space Invaders is a classic 1978 arcade video game, later released to many home video game systems.


The airman who hits on Jesse at the bar is identified by his uniform patch as Grieco. He tells her he flies P-3's for the navy, hunting subs. "P-3" refers to the Lockheed P-3 Orion, which is an actual anti-submarine aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy in the 1960s and still in service today.


Jesse refers to Grieco as a "brown shoe" and herself as a "bubblehead". "Brown shoe" is a real world U.S. term for a navy aircraft pilot and "bubblehead" as a crewmember of a submarine.


It seems likely that Jesse deliberately picked a fight at the bar in order to provide an explanation to Derek as to why she is beaten and bruised without having to admit to her fight with Riley, resulting in the girl's death at her hand.


At 6:27 on the Blu-ray, a box of Frosted Flakes cereal is seen in the background in the Connor kitchen.


At 9:51 on the Blu-ray, John is fondling the watch case he wears around his neck which is the trigger for the small explosive in Cameron's head. She gave it to him in "Ourselves Alone".


During the line-crossing "ceremony" of Christopher Garvin (in Jesse's memory of the future), Jesse states that the date is September 13, 2027. Jesse proclaims that Garvin is now one of their trusty shellbacks. Line-crossing ceremonies for a sailor's first crossing of the Equator are traditional in many navies or merchant marine ships. Those who have gone through the ceremony can then be referred to as a "shellback" or "trusty shellback".


As John Henry leads Savannah through the Zeira Corp. building to his basement home, he uses digital musical notes in the elevator to play the music of the children's musical round of "Three Blind Mice".


The elevator control panel in the Zeira Corp building shows 26 floors. But when Catherine Weaver tells Ellison that Savannah is missing within the building, he says there are just 23 floors.


At 6:28 on the Blu-ray, as John Henry remarks that there are many variations of hide and seek, a list of variations of the game appears on the large screen on his left. The list includes: blind man's bluff, capture the flag, cocky olly, huckle buckle beanstalk, kick the can, and sardines. These are all variations of hide and seek or games with similarities to it. None of the versions listed have rules that correspond to the game John Henry and Savannah are playing, where John Henry makes Ellison and Catherine Weaver guess what subject he is thinking of and then giving them a clue to where Savannah is hiding.


At 17:15 on the Blu-ray, Derek's Dodge Ram has the CA license plate 3Q49953, which has previously been seen on different vehicles in "Samson and Delilah" and "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep"!


While applying antiseptic and bandages to Jesse's injured knuckles, Derek refers to a tussle he once saw between a couple of "tunnel trolls". Apparently, this is a term used by Resistance members in the future for people who live and hunt in underground tunnels.


In Jesse's memories of the future, when the Jimmy Carter starts to come under barrage, Jesse says it must be ASW bots. ASW stands for "anti-submarine warfare". The attack turns out not to come from the standard ASW bots, but from a Kraken, a larger and more formidable submersible machine used by Skynet; the name comes from the legendary type of gigantic sea monster called a kraken in Norwegian seafaring lore. We don't get a look at the actual Kraken, only schematics of one on a computer screen on the bridge of the Jimmy Carter.


At 19:44 on the Blu-ray, the latitude and longitude of the sub's location (N 47° 33' 16", E 10° 24' 09") is in Germany, near the border with Austria, not in the ocean near the Equator! Jesse does realize the sub is 300 miles off course from their mission, but that still doesn't put them anywhere near Europe, let alone in the middle of Germany! Queeg then tells her they are headed for a drilling platform off the Indonesian Archipelago, the opposite side of the world from Europe!



Sarah remarks on Cameron's leaving the house during the nights and coming back with cuts and bruises. It's not entirely explained in the series what Cameron's nocturnal activities are. In "Self Made Man", it is implied she generally spends the nights doing research at the local library. It's not entirely clear what she researches every night, but it may be that she is looking for clues that Terminators may have appeared in the past and may still be on the loose. It's less clear why Sarah would say Cameron comes back with cuts and bruises besides the events of "Self Made Man", where she fought the Terminator that had assumed the identity of Myron Stark (who mistakenly arrived back in 1920 and had to wait until 2010 for his mission to kill the governor of California). Why would Cameron have new cuts and bruises on any other night? Does she fight other Terminators we haven't seen?


At 27:14 on the Blu-ray, Aaron is wearing a t-shirt with a logo for "10K for Children's Cancer '86". This appears to be a reference to a charity walk for donations to children's cancer research in 1986.


To cover up Riley's disappearance for a time and try to clear John of suspicion in her death, Cameron calls Riley's foster father, mimicking the girl's voice and telling him she's in Riverside. Riverside is a city in Southern California. Cameron uses the city's name as the place where Riley and her parents used to live. Did Riley tell the Connors that at some point previous?


Over the phone, Cameron seems to be saying things (as Riley) to John that are meant to evoke emotions in him. Why does she do this? It almost seems during the call as if Cameron has absorbed and is now displaying aspects of Riley's personality without necessarily realizing she's doing it. Later, Cameron claims that it was to make John's reactions over the phone more authentic to Aaron, who could not hear what she was saying, but could watch John's reactions and hear what he said.


In Jesse's memory of the future, she argues with Queeg that they already have important cargo to take back to Perth, apart from his secret mission to the drilling platform. Perth is the capital of the Australian state of Western Australia.


In her conversation with Sarah, Cameron implies that John is destined to be alone in the future because it's too dangerous for him to be involved with other people.


John gains access to the city morgue to view Riley's (identified only as a Jane Doe) body. But no one in authority is with him when he sees her body there. Realistically, there would be someone with him unless he broke into the morgue after hours. It's not clear if that is the case. If he had gained legal access, he would also have been asked to identify her by name.


John looks at the bruises, cuts, and lacerations on Riley's face and hands and it's likely that it is at this point that he realizes that Cameron did not kill her. Riley would not have lived long enough to suffer such physical trauma if Cameron had been her killer. This seems to be born out in John's conversation with Derek in "Today is the Day" Part 2, about how long Derek thinks he could last if Cameron decided to kill him.


Memorable Dialog


a robot serial killer.mp3

a guy who wants to get in my pants.mp3

keep these boobs.mp3

51 percent chance.mp3

you're a good man.mp3

one shot.mp3

John's life.mp3 


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