Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles doesn’t seem to be much good at finales, and Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles 2×13 Earthlings Welcome Here, its fall finale, for the next two months, until it’s reunited to fail together with Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse on Friday nights, is little exception. Bad episodes of Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles lately aren’t conventionally bad, instead they are bad in an X-Files sort of way, in which after you’ve watched an hour of symbolic allusions, characters pursuing some senseless quest, there are mysterious events that make no real sense, you shake your head and ask for your 43 minutes back.
That’s where Earthlings Welcome Here puts us, appropriately enough an episode, which like the X-Files, is centered around UFO’s. For a finale that is supposed to convince viewers to tune in 2 months from now, Earthlings Welcome Here almost goes out of its way to make you hate it. Not only does it have Sarah Connor abandoning her son on a quest for three dots that came to her in a dream, it has John Connor continuing his surly teenager routine, more Riley backstory, and an ending that makes you want to throw a shoe at the television Iraqi style.
I don’t hate Riley nearly as much as many fans of the series, and Earthlings Welcome Here does a decent but belated job of giving her some decent backstory, but then ends it on an abrupt note. Sarah’s quest meanwhile takes her to a transvestite who lives in a trailer, unconvincingly played by a woman, who sees drones with the three dots markings. There is no apparent reason to make Alan Park a transvestite or stage Victor Victoria in the desert, but it’s part of the aimless noise that populates this episode.
Even as Jessie turns more apparently evil than ever, Derek remains off stage, Sarah is chasing UFO’s and John is chasing Riley, and the series is chasing fleeing viewers. There is no coherent sense to anything, and by the time Sarah stumbles into a warehouse by herself and without backup, and stumbles into a senseless fight that leaves her wounded, only to behold a drone that looks a good deal like something Skynet might throw together, you’re reminded of late season X-Files episodes just like this that made you question why you were even bothering with the series anymore.