Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles 2×07 Brothers of Nablus is probably the worst episode of the series for this season, if the show turns in a worse episode than this I hope my Tivo skips it. Written by Ian Goldberg, who had previously written only one episode, the weak season one finale What He Beheld, Brothers of Nablus is a cartoonish version that somehow encapsulates everything flawed in Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles and makes it a thousand times worse.
There’s the senseless religious references that have now turned into a drinking game for the series. Worse yes in Brothers of Nablus it’s the machines who seem to feel the need to give religious lectures. Cameron even recites the title Brothers of Nablus story, a story that happens to have nothing to do with anything in the episode. There’s John’s immaturity. There’s a plot that has a lot in common with soap operas and in which very little matters.
The episode begins abruptly with a Terminator suddenly bursting in to kill and apparently replace Agent Ellison, only to have Cromartie kill it instead. The whole thing is too abrupt and leaves you uncertain whether you’re seeing a dream sequence or not. The opening then cuts even more abruptly to the current Connor residence where the Connors just discover that they’ve been robbed. So Sarah and Cameron head off to hunt down the robbers on Derek’s guidance to meet a Shylockian stereotype of a fence who sends them off on a contrived trail that forces us to endure pointless scene after scene with various characters including a dentist who owes the fence money and the robber’s parents. Why Ian B. Goldberg felt we needed to sit through this 99 cent store version of Crash is a question best directed to him.
Meanwhile Cromartie is on Cameron’s trail and runs into the blonde street girl from Allison in Palmdale who’s happy enough to identify John Connor for him. So naturally Cromartie takes her along for a ride and wacky dialogue and witty hijinks. Now Terminators are killers, they’re also low on personality. But Cromartie is happy enough to play straight man and is ridiculously humanized in Brothers of Nablus. Cameron tops him meanwhile by telling Sarah about “her position” on security while quipping that no one likes a nag. At this point we’re a hop and a skip away from being in a robot sitcom.
Brothers of Nablus though doesn’t hit bottom until we get to John who hooks up with Riley again, runs into Cromartie at home and then doesn’t tell anyone about it, but does engage in a ridiculous shouting match with his mother. Considering the growing backlash against the series’ portrayal of John Connor, it’s really time to cut out this depiction of John Connor as a whiny brat. Enough is enough. This is preceded by Cameron turning a bowling alley into a kill zone while Sarah proves too weak to kill the one survivor, despite the bloody mess with a witness she has left behind now.
There’s more to Brothers of Nablus, including Derek’s affair with Jessie, another annoying character whose only appeal comes down to the skimpy bikini she wears in this episode. There’s Ellison’s arrest which also comes down to nothing, though not before a Terminator tells him that he’s just like Job (we get it, enough already, please stop). But Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles s02e07 Brothers of Nablus is simply irredeemably bad and a good argument why Ian B. Goldberg should never be allowed to write another episode on the show again.