alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
[personal profile] alixtii
Are the flash-forwards supposed to be taking place in the future Cameron remembers (her subjective past) or the new future which exists in the timeline Cameron created by taking Sarah into the future and not having her die of cancer? I missed last week's episode and I'm so confused.

Kyle wouldn't have traveled back in time to be John's father in the new timeline, would he have? So there's no way Cameron would be able to know that a version of Kyle Reese (not the version she knew) was John's father.

As far as I can tell, they're setting up a causality loop? Which is perfectly legitimate (both T1 and T3 are causality loops, after all) but it would have to exist within the timelines which exist after the revisions of history which took place in T2 and the pilot.

We know that each of the timelines which amount from the revisions are quasi-stable; I say quasi-stable since each had an element which led to their undoing and the next revision of history. The initial timeline, despite having a stable causality loop embedded within it (T1), ultimately rewrote itself (in T2). The post-T2 timeline, despite having a stable causality loop within it (T3), ultimately likewise rewrote itself (in the pilot). Any time travel which exists in the SCC universe which does not need lead to a revision itself must be a causality loop. We know that John will not send Kyle back in time in this universe because he didn't; there was only one Kyle, the T1 Kyle, in the SCC Sarah's past. (Following me?) Or maybe he did and there were two Kyles running around, like in Back to the Future 2. But, obviously, only one of the two Kyles would have been able to be John's father, the Kyle which Sarah (in all timelines) remembers interacting with. (There may, indeed, be a fic there.)

But the coincidences it would take for that to happen would have to be enormous. Despite Judgment Day being pushed back, the same sequence of events happens such that

Unless the timelines can sort of blend back into themselves? I feel like I remember that possibility being breached in some science fiction tale or other, but I tend not to like it. It lacks elegance.

I am, of course, assuming a temporal dimension running perpendicular to psychological/entropic time in which these changes could take place, so that the events of "previous" timelines can affect the new timelines post-revisions. But that temporal arrow would only run in one direction (we assume?), just like normal time.

If the new timeline, on the other hand, is stable in and of itsef, with all events part of causality loops not requiring influence from previous timelines (i.e., if the SCC Kyle fathered the SCC John), then why bother watching T1 and T2 at all, if they are timelines with no actual effect on what we are actually watching now?

And all of this means that when Derek asks "What happened to my brother?" I'm asking the question with him. The suspense is palpable (even if I don't trust the writers--yet?--to surprise me with the answer).

And I have to say, I've been looking forward to seeing Cameron in the future. I'm still not sure which future we saw her in here--whether it was the one she remembers, or the one which will actually come to pass in the current timeline--but it was nice seeing future!Cameron. (Still want to read future!John/Cameron. Not quite ready to write it myself yet.)

I have to say, they're certainly doing a good job of keeping the intensity. That was a really good episode of television. I just hope they're managing to have it make sense while they do it.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-20 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*clutches head*

I didn't understand any of that. but here's the thing: I suspect that SCC actually lacks any coherent theory of temporal mechanics. I was definitely going WTF?! for the whole episode. and, in a show about time travel, this is a HUGE problem.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-21 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[ profile] iamsab points out that the show also has a contradiction troubling its very premise: EITHER Sarah Connor's mission is to protect John so he can grow up to lead the resistance against SkyNet (as it is in the movies) OR her mission is to bring down SkyNet before it starts. not both! because if she accomplishes the latter, the former will never come to pass, right? and the latter mission is certainly compromising the former mission, by calling attention to them.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-22 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, that contraditction seems to be introduced in T2 and present for both that movie and T3--indeed, both movies are in many ways about that tension (in T2 she thinks she has to protect John, but switches to plan B; T3 is about how she still taught him enough to let it all work when he finds he has to switch back to plan A again), as is SCC (when he sends Cameron back, he thinks he is still following plan A but she introduces the possibility of returning to plan B). Since I like both of those movies, I'm more than willing to see if it can work for SCC

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