Wednesday, December 3, 2008

define: Broken

CameronMy Lizzie and I were chatting up this week's Sarah Connor and Cameron's awareness of being broken. Her cancer analogy was startling apt but what was she actually discussing? Is being molded into a souless human like having a bomb inside? Or was she being literal and referencing the damaged chip which may cause her to turn on John again?

Cameron's line about not having friends was also a surprise. Its another notch in her list of quasi-human attempts (the flirting, the feet on the car, her librarian friendship) which feel like they're heading for something huge. If she really is the most advanced machine why is the redhead able to adapt and make decisions while Cameron always does the pre-determined logical thing? What I'm wondering is - does focused logic supercede adaptability? Which of the two (if you disregard the shape shifting) is really more advanced and how does Cameron's damaged chip fit into it?

If ratings were higher I would be content to let the writers work without question but sadly my shows always get cancelled. I'm just hoping they make it through midseason and it picks up once paired with Joss' Dollhouse.

2 comments:

Angel said...

You seem to have missed the most critical part of the episode. The episode seems to deal with cameron trying to understand human behavior. At every turn, she makes mistakes and upsets her "friend". The last and worst was when she pointed out the cancer to him. You saw that as a reference to her own damaged chip. It seemed to me at the time though that this was Cameron's way of trying to be helpful. By that point, it seemed that they had made a connection with each other on some level. When she knocked on the door and someone else answered, in spite of the fact we knew he had a life-threatening illness, she didn't see it as being worth investigating. She just tried to get in good with the new librarian. We thought that he actually meant something to her, but he was really just satisfying her need. When someone else was able to do that, she just tried to ingratiate herself to that person and he became worthless to her.

It's deeply unsatisfying to see someone we see as being a real person confirm that she is indeed just a series of mechanical processes. But I also think it's troubling because of what Cameron tells us about ourselves as well. We are just as much machines as she is except that we are made of flesh and blood. We keep people in our lives because they give US something. They satisfy some need WE have. And if we don't need them anymore, we jettison them.

Anny said...

Deux ex Machina and we're made in his image.

I never forget that Cameron is a machine. I didn't take her information and "sharing" as anything but an impossibly logical being trying to understand a human and that fascinates me.

I think what throws us is that she will ocassionally use inflection or a facial expression that is utterly human (like her face tonight when reaching out to the girl hidden in the closet). We forget she isn't a tactless girl but a machine with a set of scales determining all action.

So yes, she moved on to the next librarian. She only did it because the last one was either (hopefully) being treated for cancer or quit. Either way her telling him of his sickness was a human thing to do. Logically she could have kept the secret and continued exploiting the library access...but she chose the harder route and that's not logical at all.