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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: Dark Fate Terminator
Dark Fate
Screenplay by David Goyer & Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray
Story by James Cameron & Charles Eglee & Josh Friedman & David Goyer & Justin Rhodes
Directed by Tim Miller
Released November 2019


Two Terminators from different timelines struggle to kill or protect a young woman vital to humanity's future.


Read the complete movie summary at the Terminator Wiki


Notes from the Terminator chronology


This story begins in 1998 for the intro, then jumps ahead 22 years to 2020.


Didja Know?


Dark Fate is the sixth movie in the Terminator franchise. It sought to reboot the series and be the first film in a potential new trilogy. The story opens in 1998, three years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with the 1997 date of Judgment Day given in that film having been averted. Actress Linda Hamilton also returns as Sarah Connor. The film ignores the events of Rise of the Machines, Salvation, and Genisys (and, of course, The Sarah Connor Chronicles.)


The "young" Model 101 Terminator (young Arnold Schwarzenegger) was played by bodybuilder Brett Azar, who has a similar build to that of Schwarzenegger at the time The Terminator was filmed (1984). He also played the young Model 101 Terminator with Arnold's face in Genisys.


This film was not successful at the box office and fans generally did not respond well to the new storyline. The production studios involved in the film have since stated that no further films in the series are planned.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this film


Sarah Connor

Douglas (in video footage only)

Dr. Silberman (in video footage only)

John Connor (dies in this film)



Maria's boyfriend


Officer Ramirez


Daniella "Dani" Ramos

Diego Ramos (dies in this film)


Vicente Ramos (dies in this film)




Craig Grummond

Hadrell (in future war scenes)

Legion (mentioned only)

Grace's father (mentioned only, deceased in the future)

Felipe Gandal

Terence (dies in this film)



Agent Brenner

Officer Rigby


Major Dean

R.M. Wilson (mentioned only)

Grace's mother (unnamed)

Grace's brother (unnamed)




Didja Notice?


The Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox logos that appear in the film leader are made to look like they are playing on an old VHS tape and both logos also flash to their 1995 versions for split second.


The film opens with the video footage of Sarah Connor in therapy with Dr. Silberman seen in Judgment Day. The footage seen here is extended a bit.


The Terminators in the opening future war scene carry the fictitious Westinghouse M95A1 Phased Plasma Rifle as also seen in Judgment Day and episodes of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.


A T-101 (later to become known as Carl), tracks Sarah and John down in Livingston, Guatemala. This is an actual town in Guatemala.


At 2:49 on the Blu-ray, the small boat seen on the beach is named El Cipollo. In Spanish this roughly translates to "fool" or "dunce".


Actor Edward Furlong reprised his role as John Connor at the beginning of the film with the help of de-aging CGI to make him appear to be a teenager. Furlong has said his shoot on the film lasted only one day for his cameo.


The T-101 uses a Serbu Super Shorty shotgun to kill John in 1998. Later, in 2020, Sarah is seen to have in her possession what may be the same shotgun that killed her son (notice the Terminator drops the shotgun in 1998 once it confirms the kill).


Sarah pulls a Beretta 92FS handgun when the Terminator shoots John.


After the Livingston 1998 introductory scene, the film jumps to Mexico City 2020.


The car on top of which Maria and her boyfriend are making out is a 1988 Pontiac Bonneville. Grace steals it from them minutes later.


At 4:33 on the Blu-ray, ice begins to form on a spot on the bridge just before the time displacement bubble delivering Grace appears. Ice also appears at the apartment complex when the Rev-9 appears from the future. This ice effect has not been seen previously when time displacement occurs in the Terminator series. Maybe it's a nod to the icing effect on the DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future! It might also suggest that Legion's displacement technology works slightly differently from the one that had been developed by Skynet.


At 4:59 on the Blu-ray, the SUV that almost runs into Grace's time bubble as it materializes on the bridge is a 1990 Toyota Land Cruiser...and it's Sarah Connor, even though we are not re-introduced to her at this point! Sarah shows up the next day to intercept the Rev-9 when it's chasing Dani and the others on the freeway. Sarah later explains that she has been receiving text messages from an unknown informant (soon revealed to be Carl) whenever a Terminator arrives from the past. Although not explicitly stated, it seems logical to assume she received a text about the time incursion that brought Grace and Sarah was on her way to intercept what she assumed was a Terminator when her near-collision with the time bubble side-tracked it. Sarah's SUV


The Mexican police cars that drive up after the appearance of Grace under the bridge are 2009 Chevrolet Cruze models. They do not really look like actual current day Mexico City police cruisers.


    At 6:32 on the Blu-ray, a liquid storage tank in the background has Grupopacifico painted on it. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious company.

    Also, a hand-painted sign on the chain link fence around the lot reads, "PROHIBIDO EL PASO". This is Spanish for "NO TRESPASSING".


At 6:34 on the Blu-ray, the police officer's name badge reads "Ramirez". He wields a Beretta 92FS handgun.


At 8:44 on the Blu-ray, Diego mentions Bruno Mars. Bruno Mars is a popular American singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist.


At 9:04 on the Blu-ray, the bare-chested Diego puts on a button-up shirt. At 9:23, he suddenly has a t-shirt on under it.


At 11:15 on the Blu-ray, a store called Nuevo Siglo is seen in Mexico City. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious business. Nuevo Siglo is Spanish for "New Century".


Dani and Diego work at the factory of Arius Motors. This is a fictitious company.


The industrial robot that takes over Diego's job at the factory is made by KUKA.


At 14:29 on the Blu-ray, a Quiss industrial machine is seen in the background at the factory.


The Rev-9 uses a Browning Hi-Power pistol in its attempt to kill Dani at the factory.


Grace uses a Winchester 1300 shotgun and a Beretta 92FS handgun against the Rev-9 at the factory.


The Rev-9 has similar abilities as the T-X from Rise of the Machines, but with the added ability of being able to split into two forms at once, its metal endoskeleton and its mimetic polyalloy sheath.


The pick-up truck in which Grace and the Ramos' escape from the factory is a 1989 Ford F-Series. The police cruiser chasing the fleeing Ramos's is a 2006 Dodge Charger.


The industrial dump truck in which the Rev-9 pursues the Ramos's is a Volvo N 10.


At 18:16 on the Blu-ray, a business called Petroquimica Tlechemex is seen in the background. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious company.


At 18:20 on the Blu-ray, the Rev-9's truck wipes out a Super Taco stand. There are a number of independent Super Taco eating establishments throughout the Americas.


Most of the vehicle license plates seen in the Mexico City scenes are for the state of Chihuahua, even though Mexico City is far south of there.


Throughout the movie, the viewer can spot seam-like, long white scars across Grace's body (even fine lines on her face), indicative of the surgery she underwent to become augmented with cybernetic parts. Her augmentations make her similar to cybernetically-enhanced humans seen in the New John Connor Chronicles series of novels of Timeline JD-3.


At 20:31 in the Blu-ray, a freeway sign indicates an exit for Nextlalpan and Jaltenco. At 21:12, we see an exit for two other towns, Lecheria and Texcoco. These are all towns in the Mexican state of Mexico. At 23:12, a sign for the exit for Querétaro, Toluca, and Tultitlan is seen.


When Sarah arrives at the bridge, her Toyota Land Cruiser is seen to have Yokohama Geolandar tires on it. Also, the headrests are missing from the front seats of the vehicle; headrests are often removed in film productions to make it easier to shoot scenes of the driver and passenger from the backseat.


Sarah wields a Fostech Origin-12 automatic shotgun against the Rev-9 liquid metal Terminator as she steps out of her Land Cruiser. After blowing the liquid metal Terminator off the bridge, she exchanges the Origin-12 for an M72 LAW anti-tank weapon against the endoskeleton.


After taking care of the two forms of the Rev-9 Terminator (at least temporarily), Sarah tells Grace, "I'll be back."


At 29:24 on the Blu-ray, Grace and Dani enter the Gomez Pamo Antigua Farmacia (Old Pharmacy). As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious pharmacy for Mexico, but there was a business by that name in Madrid, Spain, where much of the film was shot.


Sarah steals a Toyota Corolla station wagon (looks like late 1980s vintage) to go after Grace and Dani when they take off in her Land Cruiser.


Grace states that she uses a thorium micro reactor as her power source as an Augment. Thorium is a weakly radioactive element.


Sarah is not sure she, Grace, and Dani will be able to cross the border into the United States considering Dani is Mexian national and she (Sarah) herself was on an episode of America's Most Wanted. America's Most Wanted was an American television news/crime program which ran 1988-2012 and presented real life cases of wanted criminal suspects.


At the motel room, a distrusting Sarah pulls a Heckler & Koch P30 pistol on Grace, but Grace quickly disarms her.


Grace tells Sarah and Dani that she is from 2042.


Sarah remarks to Grace, "Clearly, you don’t know everything about this time. Now anyone with phones is a walking sensor platform. How every intersection, or a gas station and 7-Eleven has cameras. Nobody walks in this world without leaving a digital trail a mile wide. And my guess is that Terminator, hunting her, can access that data anytime. You two won’t last ten hours."


In this version of the Terminator timeline, Sarah and John's actions in Judgment Day prevented the rise of Skynet. But Grace reveals that another AI developed for cyber warfare called Legion rose to prominence and attempted to wipe out humanity later in the timeline.


Carl and his family live outside of Laredo, Texas.


The Rev-9 makes a data raid at Rathium Data Center in Mexico City. This appears to be a fictitious compound. Here, the Rev-9 learns that Dani and her companions are hopping a train for a journey from Los Heroes, Tecámac to Laredo, Texas. Los Heroes is a neighborhood in the Tecámac municipality of the state of Mexico in the country of Mexico.


The jet passenger plane that crashes in Grace's remembrances of the future is a Fifty States Air plane. Fifty States Air is a fictitious airline.


Sarah thinks of herself as Mother Mary for being the mother of John Connor and assumes that Dani is the new Mother Mary to a savior in the new future. It's ironic for Sarah to think of herself as Mother Mary (the Biblical mother of Jesus Christ) for, as pointed out in previous Terminator studies on PopApostle, John Connor has been something of a messiah and savior of humanity; notice that his initials are J.C., frequently used in fictional stories featuring protagonists that are meant to be symbolic or satirical stand-ins for Jesus Christ (the novelization of Judgment Day even has Sarah realizing that one of the reasons she's thought of as crazy by the doctors at Pescadero State Hospital is that she has named her son to have those initials and has claimed he will save humanity). And Hour of the Wolf has Cyberdyne executive Oscar Cruz thinking of John Connor's resemblance, and possible connection to, the returned Messiah.


After getting off the train, Grace and her crew hitch a ride in the back of a 1988 Chevrolet C/K-Series Regular Cab pick-up truck.


As Grace's crew attempts to cross the border on foot, she and Sarah are armed with Olympic Arms K23B Tactical carbines.


The Rev-9 broadcasts to the border patrol that Grace and the others are known members of the Sinaloa cartel. The Sinaloa cartel is an international crime syndicate based in Mexico.


At 55:45 on the Blu-ray, graffiti painted on the Mexican side of the border wall reads "NO MUROS". This is Spanish for "no walls".


The border patrol agents who arrest Grace and friends are armed with M16 rifles.


At 1:00:04 on the Blu-ray, the Rev-9 checks in his Glock 17 pistol at the border detention facility. This seems to be a standard issue pistol for the U.S. Border Patrol agents, as Dani later picks one up in the border patrol helicopter.


At 1:05:40 on the Blu-ray, a 2010 Gamma RDO-3921 Komondor BORTAC (Border Patrol Tactical Unit) vehicle is seen.


    Carl owns a business called Carl's Draperies ("We'll never leave you hanging!"). This is, of course, a fictitious business.

    The phone number of the business is 800-555-0199. The 555 prefix of the phone number is a long-time convention in Hollywood TV and film.


The Carl's Draperies van is a 2014 Mercedes-Benz Vito with Texas license plate LKH 12U.


When Carl first answers the door and Sarah sees he is a Model 101, she tries to bring her Remington 870 Police Combat shotgun to bear on him, but Grace stops her.


Carl serves Brockman Pale Ale beer to his guests. Brockman is a fictitious beer brand, one previously seen in episodes of the sitcom television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Carl (and, later, his wife Alicia) serves the beer with a lime wedge.


    At 1:09:42 on the Blu-ray, we see that a picture of the Virgin Mary hangs in the kitchen of Carl's home, probably placed by his wife, Alicia.

    On the kitchen counter can be seen a jar of La Costeña mole.


Alicia's car is a Volvo V70 with Texas license plate P5H 9D3.


From 1:13:16-1:14:13 on the Blu-ray, a bottle of beer keeps moving back-and-forth from Dani's hand to the table from shot-to-shot.


Notice that the family dog likes Carl as well, even though dogs usually bristle at Terminators.


Dani is wearing a "New Mexico" t-shirt while at Carl's house. Presumably this is a shirt that belongs to Alicia.


At 1:17:05 on the Blu-ray, Sarah hands Dani a Standard Manufacturing DP-12 shotgun to take out some watermelons for target practice.


At 1:21:20 on the Blu-ray, a note from Mateo to his mom is seen on the refrigerator door asking for more M&Ms.


The group meets with one of Sarah's contacts, Major Dean. Dean is said to be from Bingham air base, but there is no such base in the U.S.


Major Dean says Chinooks and Blackhawks fly out of Bingham. These are actual model series of military aircraft used by the USAF.


Our heroes hijack a Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy transport aircraft from Bingham.


At 1:23:39 on the Blu-ray, Carl fires a Beretta ARX-160 rifle at the Rev-9's helicopter. The rifle has a Beretta GLX-160 grenade launcher fitted under it.


When the Rev-9 pursues our heroes to the Bingham air base, he is wearing an El Paso police uniform and flying an El Paso police helicopter.


At 1:25:49 on the Blu-ray, Sarah fires an M4A1 carbine from the transport at the Rev-9's helicopter. When she runs out of ammo, Dani tosses her a Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun. Carl is armed with a M249 Paratrooper machine gun.


At 1:27:15 on the Blu-ray, the song playing over the speakers at the backyard barbecue the Rev-9 crashes into is Dwight Yoakam's 1986 song "Guitars, Cadillacs", the same song that was playing at the Corral bar in Judgment Day when the protector Terminator first walks into it at the beginning of the film.


Grace seems to suggest that the day Legion rebelled against humanity is called Judgment Day, just as it was when Skynet did it in earlier timelines.


In the flashback of Grace's rescue by Dani as a child, Dani refers to HKs (Hunter-Killers) flying overhead, indicating that much of the terminology has remained the same in the Legion timeline as it was in the Skynet timelines.


During the aerial chase through the final confrontation, the Rev-9 is seen to be wearing the air force uniform of R.M. Wilson.


The Humvee our heroes parachute out of the transport plane in is an AM General HMMWV M1025.


The Humvee lands on the edge of an unnamed dam in Texas or another nearby state. The scenes were shot at Aldeadávila Dam in Spain.


When the Rev-9 remarks to Sarah and Carl about their charge, Dani, "I know she's a stranger to you. Why not just let me have her?" Sarah responds, "Because we're not machines, you metal motherfucker!" It seems she is referring to Carl as well, whether she consciously meant to say it that way or not. Has she finally accepted that he has become human in spirit? When Carl is destroyed stopping the Rev-9 at the end of the movie, Sarah even seems to have tears welling up in her eyes.


The car Dani and Sarah drive away in at the end of the movie is a Jeep CJ-7 with BFGoodrich tires and a Washington state license plate.


Unanswered Questions


If Sarah was receiving texts from Carl about every Terminator arrival so she could intercept and destroy each unit, why is she not present for the Rev-9's arrival at the apartment complex?


How was the T-800 that becomes known as Carl able to "learn" how to be human? In the extended version of Judgment Day, it was stated that Skynet sends independent units out with the learning function deactivated so it won't think too much. The T-800 in that extended version of the film could only start learning when John and Sarah removed its CPU and toggled a switch to put it into learning mode. Did Carl find someone to remove his CPU and do the same?


It seems unlikely that Carl would be able to live a life on his own, run a drapery business, etc. given that his likeness is attached to that of the Terminator in The Terminator who killed 17 police officers in Los Angeles, the protector Terminator in Judgment Day who helped destroy Cyberdyne and injure numerous cops, and the man who murdered John Connor in Guatemala early in this film. How is it that Carl has not been pursued by U.S. law enforcement agencies for the past 22 years?


Why is Sarah's contact, Major Dean of the U.S. Air Force, so willing to help her, even engaging in what could be considered traitorous acts against his nation? Does he know about the machine war of the future? Even if Sarah told him about it, why would he believe it without incontrovertible evidence?


Memorable Dialog


I am terminated.mp3

I'll be back.mp3

stop a Terminator in the first few minutes.mp3

I'm wanted in a couple of states.mp3

funerals don't help them, goodbyes don't help you.mp3

my name is Sarah Connor.mp3

a future that never happened.mp3

I hunt Terminators.mp3

those assholes never learn.mp3

for John.mp3

America's Most Wanted.mp3

Mother Mary.mp3

now I'm forgetting his face.mp3

you don't get to say his name.mp3

without purpose we are nothing.mp3

you grew a conscience.mp3

how to become a human.mp3

this will be very hard to explain to Alicia.mp3

I choose to.mp3

I'm never gonna fucking call you Carl.mp3

they don't know.mp3

this is Texas.mp3

I won't be back.mp3

I am going to kill you.mp3

don't do it.mp3

no fate but what we make.mp3

you are the future.mp3

I came from a future like that.mp3

we're not machines.mp3

for John 2.mp3 


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