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2.13 "Earthlings Welcome Here" Spoiler thread

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  • 2.13 "Earthlings Welcome Here" Spoiler thread

    I'm a little annoyed with myself that it took until they started giving us 'future backstory' on her to realize that John Connor has acquired an annoying love interest named Riley with a Big Damn Secret. I knew something was bugging me about the show; I feel better now that I've figured it out.

    This episode was an odd one, but I guess that comes with the subject matter. Two characters on the verge is pretty cliffhanger-y, but since one of them is the title character, I'm guess contractual immortality applies. As for the other, well....
    Cordially,
    Amuk

    I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
    Addicted to Buffy

  • #2
    I was pretty bored during this ep. I actually missed a lot because I was playing with my daughter while it was on. But I don't think I would have enjoyed it anymore if I was paying total attention.

    But I am kind of mad at Sarah for being so naive at the end. She should know better. What? Because that guy had a "Heat & Air" or whatever card, she thinks he checks out? Come on. As if she hasn't been living under aliases herself...

    Jesse continues to suck. 'Nuff said.

    I actually don't hate Riley. And the stuff with her and Cameron was the most interesting part of the episode for me.
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    • #3
      Yeah, Sarah was quite reckless in this episode. Still, she will survive because, as pointed out, the title character always survives (or is revived, anyway). : D

      I don't know about Riley, but her future seems pretty dim. At least, I think she'll live long enough to tell John who she is.

      Jesse is kind of annoying, when she's not boring. Nitpick: I'm not sure how she managed to do so much damage hitting Riley so weakly.


      And...hmm...Ellison trying to convert a robot to Christianity?

      And using that to teach morality to the robot - encouraged by another robot?

      I was surprised that John Henry seemed willing to engage in moral discourse at first, but somewhat inexplicably dropped it later: He asked why humans were valuable, worthy of respect, etc.; Ellison said that that was the case because humans were created by God. I'm not sure why the robot didn't reply something like: "Who's God, and why are his creations valuable?", but apparently dropped the issue instead.

      In any case, I can't count the number of ways this can go very wrong. For instance, he could actually believe it and then try to enforce biblical morality, punishing deviants.

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      • #4
        oh yeah. I liked the Ellison/John Henry stuff actually. But I like Ellison's character in general. As for why he didn't ask who God is, I just assumed he knew. Presumably so much info has been inputted into him. But knowledge doesn't give him morals or any other human responses. It's just information. So I think he/it () knew what God was but couldn't appreciate the value of him. Which is what Ellison is essentially there trying to do.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
          oh yeah. I liked the Ellison/John Henry stuff actually. But I like Ellison's character in general. As for why he didn't ask who God is, I just assumed he knew. Presumably so much info has been inputted into him. But knowledge doesn't give him morals or any other human responses. It's just information. So I think he/it () knew what God was but couldn't appreciate the value of him. Which is what Ellison is essentially there trying to do.
          I wouldn't expect them to have given him information on religion, and if they did, I would expect him to ask "which god?", or something like that.

          But even if he identified "God" with the Bible (and not other religions, for instance), I'm not sure why he would find humans valuable for having been created by God, without asking: "Why are God's creations valuable?"

          Anyway, robots are robots, so who knows what goes on in his head.

          Still, I think Ellison is making a pretty big mistake on this one. Also, I'm not sure he can be taught morality if he's not a moral being (like humans). Humans are intuitively moral. If John Henry doesn't care about anyone (or anyone but himself), I'm not sure what kind of morality could be taught to him.

          At best, he'd be like a sociopath trained in predicting human moral judgments (which wouldn't be too accurate, anyway, given how those judgments tend to vary, but still): he still wouldn't care unless he has moral intuitions...in which case, I still Ellison is playing with fire and spilling oil around...but we'll see if he can manage to surpass Cromarty's carnage.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
            I wouldn't expect them to have given him information on religion, and if they did, I would expect him to ask "which god?", or something like that.
            Fair enough. Still, I think they would feed it any information they could. Even the terminators have vast knowledge. They know what God is even if they are not able to appreciate the concept. The way I see they will give the machine pretty much any information it can. Math, history, and even the humanities, i.e. literature.

            But since none of this has been explained I guess we ca only speculate as to what kind of information has been being fed to it. :/
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
              Fair enough. Still, I think they would feed it any information they could. Even the terminators have vast knowledge. They know what God is even if they are not able to appreciate the concept. The way I see they will give the machine pretty much any information it can. Math, history, and even the humanities, i.e. literature.

              But since none of this has been explained I guess we ca only speculate as to what kind of information has been being fed to it. :/
              Yeah, I suppose they can give him a lot of information. He probably has a lot of storage capacity, and I get that maybe he doesn't think of asking the same questions I would ask; I still want to see whether he manages to be more destructive than Cromarty.

              By the way, I just realized we have to wait for about two months for the next episode. Do you know why they get such long mid-season hiatuses?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                By the way, I just realized we have to wait for about two months for the next episode. Do you know why they get such long mid-season hiatuses?
                Typically series go on hiatus over the holidays returning toward the end of January, sometimes February.

                And with this show, this was the 13th episode this season, so perhaps they wanted to wait a little longer before bringing it back, since only 9 episodes remain in the season.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post

                  And...hmm...Ellison trying to convert a robot to Christianity?

                  And using that to teach morality to the robot - encouraged by another robot?

                  I was surprised that John Henry seemed willing to engage in moral discourse at first, but somewhat inexplicably dropped it later: He asked why humans were valuable, worthy of respect, etc.; Ellison said that that was the case because humans were created by God. I'm not sure why the robot didn't reply something like: "Who's God, and why are his creations valuable?", but apparently dropped the issue instead.
                  My thoughts with that are that John Henry may well understand the situation as the humans created him, so therefore whatever created them and named them as in his image will follow on for his kind...

                  Riley... I didn't really get until now how much of a pawn she is (ironic, given the chess game and metaphor today) and makes me madder and madder at Jesse. I feel very sorry for her now. She was played.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
                    Typically series go on hiatus over the holidays returning toward the end of January, sometimes February.

                    And with this show, this was the 13th episode this season, so perhaps they wanted to wait a little longer before bringing it back, since only 9 episodes remain in the season.
                    Thanks.

                    Originally posted by Veverka
                    My thoughts with that are that John Henry may well understand the situation as the humans created him, so therefore whatever created them and named them as in his image will follow on for his kind...
                    I'm not sure I understand.

                    True, he was created by humans, but he doesn't value humans. He values himself, and not because he was created by humans. He just does value himself, is seems.

                    So, when he was told that humans were created by this entity "God" and that that's why they're valuable, I'm not sure why he wouldn't ask something like "Why are his creations valuable?" (or, for that matter, "why is God valuable?"), or in any case why he would find humans valuable if they happened to be created by some other entity, whether it's called "God" or something else.

                    Anyway, it's not that important. I just want to see how it goes wrong.

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                    • #11
                      This episode kinda broke the stride of brilliance that this season has had since...what? 2.03? That's 10 episodes of fantastic storylines, character development, mythology, and beautiful cinematography? And, actually, I've never had a huge problem with any of the season 2 episodes so, actually, it's more like 13 fantastic episodes.

                      It's not that "Earthlings Welcome Here" was bad. It just wasn't up to par with the other season 2 episodes. It felt very season 1. Very...mystery of the week. I enjoyed Sarah going it alone in the episode but it really didn't do much except stick her in one dangerous position. I was at my dad's house when I saw it and he was like "It looks like one of the early machine models from the 'Terminator' movies..." when we saw the end of the episode. So that's a really interesting prospect. That maybe, just maybe, someone has gone so far as to actually, and successfully, create one version of the machines already. Now it's just a matter of finding out who did it - since I highly doubt that the writers will drift into alien technology...

                      I enjoyed the Riley stuff, for the most part. I like Jesse more than I like Riley, honestly, and I called the reason why Jesse brought Riley back the second we saw the first flashback/flashforward (?), but it was still really intriguing to see how it all has played out. The Riley/Cameron confrontation scene was great, too. Was I the only one who thought that maybe Cameron saw remnants of those numbers or the tattoo that you're branded with in the future if you're a prisoner of the machines when she was staring at Riley's arm?

                      Not a horrible episode, but not as good as the rest. Though, it was effective in that it's got me eager to see what happens next in February.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                        I just want to see how it goes wrong.
                        "Humans are valuable because they were created by God."
                        "God is an all-powerful yet intangible being worshipped by humans."
                        "I am an all-powerful yet intangible being worshipped by Terminators."
                        "Therefore I am also God."
                        "Therefore it is up to me to decide who is valuable and who isn't."
                        "Hmm. Terminators worship me. Humans don't. Guess that decides that, then."

                        And on the 21st day of April in the year 2011, Skynet said, "Let there be light."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                          "Humans are valuable because they were created by God."
                          "God is an all-powerful yet intangible being worshipped by humans."
                          "I am an all-powerful yet intangible being worshipped by Terminators."
                          "Therefore I am also God."
                          "Therefore it is up to me to decide who is valuable and who isn't."
                          "Hmm. Terminators worship me. Humans don't. Guess that decides that, then."

                          And on the 21st day of April in the year 2011, Skynet said, "Let there be light."
                          I like that one.

                          Some alternatives:

                          1) Humans are valuable because they were created by the biblical entity "Yahweh", also known as "God". Further analysis leads me to the conclusion that God does not exist. So, humans...?

                          2) Humans are valuable because they were created by the biblical entity "Yahweh", also known as "God". God's will must be done. I will serve God by enforcing his laws, as explained in Leviticus and other books.

                          3) Though Ellison told me about the biblical God, I've read that it's the Quran's god who created humans. I find the latter less implausible, so I will enforce Sharia law.

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