"There are those who believe that a child in the womb shares his mother's dreams, her love for him, her hopes for his future. Is it told to him in pictures while he sleeps inside her? Is that why he reaches for her in that first moment and cries for her touch? But what if you've known since he was inside you what his life held for him? That he would be hunted, that his fate was tied to the fate of millions, that every moment of your life would be spent keeping him alive. Would he understand why you were so hard? Why you held on so tight? Would he still reach for you if the only dream you've ever shared with him was a nightmare? Would he know my love runs through him like blood?"
Sarah Connor

"Pilot" is the premiere episode of the science fiction/action TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which is based on the popular Terminator film series created by James Cameron back in 1984. The events of the series as a whole take after Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, however, this episode takes place before the events of that film, but several years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The episode was directed by David Nutter with a script written by series developer Josh Friedman. It first aired on the FOX Network on Friday, January 13th, 2008 at 8:00 pm.

Synopsis Edit

Terminator 1x01 002

Cameron Phillips.

Sarah and John Connor have been living with a man named Charley Dixon for the past six months. Sarah and Charley are in love and he even proposes to her. One night in 1999 however, Sarah has a horrifying nightmare in which she sees a T-800 Terminator assassinating John just before the start of Judgment Day. This terrifies her to the point that she and John pack up their stuff and leave Charley's home in West Fork, New Mexico. When Charley goes to the police to report her missing, he meets an F.B.I. agent named James Ellison, who is likewise interested in finding Sarah. He shows Dixon Sarah's profile and reveals that she spent three years in a mental hospital because she believed that the Skynet defense system would create robot killers that would one day destroy the world. Charley grows frustrated over Ellison's glib demeanor and leaves.

Two weeks later, John is enrolled as a student at Crest View High School in Red Valley, New Mexico. During chemistry class, he meets a pretty student named Cameron Phillips. After class, Cameron tries to bond with him, asking him questions about his family. John has poor social skills and grows nervous. Cameron says that she'll see him later and walks away. John returns to his new home where his mother is painting. He doesn't care for the house and comments about how all of the kids at his school wear cowboy boots.

Terminator 1x01 004

Worst. Substitute teacher. Ever.

The next day, John returns to school. His normal teacher, Mister Ferguson, is his replacement is a substitute teacher named Mister Cromartie. Cromartie takes roll call, but as he does so, he cuts into his leg to pull out a concealed weapon. When he correctly identifies John Connor, he opens fire. Cameron jumps in front of John to deflect the bullets, revealing that there is more to this young woman than meets the eye. As students scatter, John jumps out the classroom window. Cromartie pursues him and continues to fire at John who ducks behind a school bus in the parking lot. As Cromartie bears down up him, Cameron runs him over with a truck. She opens the passenger-side door and beckons to John, "Come with me if you want to live".

Upon hearing news reports of the school shooting, Sarah drives out there, but John and Cameron are long gone by this point. Cromartie comes upon her on a hill overlooking the school and attacks her. Realizing that this is John's mother, he keeps her alive because he can use her. Imitating Sarah's voice, he calls John on her cell phone and tells him to return home. He then goes to their new house and waits in ambush.

Terminator 1x01 013

Don't mess with Sarah Connor.

Cameron has prepared for this tactic however. Disguising her voice to sound like John, she enters the house first prompting Cromartie to shoot at her. She gets back up and the two start throwing each other through walls as Sarah arms herself. She shoots at Cromartie with a pump-action shotgun, but this has little effect. As Cameron keeps the Terminator engaged, Sarah and John leave in the truck. Cameron uses a broken power line from the basement and jams it into Cromartie's neck, temporarily short-circuiting his system. She then runs out of the house to catch up with John and Sarah.

It's dark by the time they pull over to catch their breath. Sarah is not amused at the sudden appearance of another Terminator, even if she is programmed to protect John. She questions Cameron who reveals that Judgment Day is still scheduled to take place, only it will occur on April 19th, 2011. In the new timeline, somebody other than Miles Dyson is fated to build Skynet, but she does not know who. Sarah has a brief talk with John and then decides that they have to stop running. She must find who is destined to build Skynet.

Terminator 1x01 014

Cameron holds up a bank.

Later that evening, they drive out to Mulholland Drive to the home of Tarissa Dyson - widow of Miles Dyson. Tarissa is not exactly happy to see them. Sarah reminds her that she did not kill her husband, but after Cameron gives a flash of her robotic eyes, it becomes clear to the widow that the Terminators are back. Sarah presses her for information on anyone who might have had access to her husband's work, but she tells her that everything had been destroyed. Sarah pleads with Tarissa for help.

Cromartie tracks them to the house, but as he exits his vehicle, Sarah, John and Cameron blast through the garage of the home in Tarissa's truck. As they spin away, Cromartie fires an assault rifle at them. One of the bullets hits Sarah in the shoulder, but she keeps on driving until they are safely away. They take up sanctuary inside of a warehouse where Cameron patches up Sarah's shoulder.

Terminator 1x01 015

Time machine is the ultimate getaway car.

The following day, Cameron takes the lead on the next step towards fighting Skynet. She brings Sarah and John to the Security Trust of Los Angeles and tells them that about a safety deposit box that was opened at the bank in 1963, which held material that could aid them. Cameron goes through the motions of a staging a bank robbery, forcing the teller to bring the three of them to the vault and to lock them all inside. Cromartie arrives and forcs his way past a squad of uniformed officers outside the bank. While he tries to tear through the heavy steel door to the vault, Cameron assembles an isotope weapon from the components left behind in 1963 and then cobbles together a time travel device. She hands the weapon to Sarah Connor who then uses it to incapacitate Cromartie as he makes his way through the door. Cameron activates the time circuit and the three disappear from the room, re-emerging on a highway in 2007. A teenager in a car takes a picture of the three of them on his cell phone as they make their way off the road. Cameron stops another group of motorists and takes their clothing. Sarah sees a road sign that indicates that they are now in the future. Even though they have traveled through time and bent the rules of nature, Sarah knows that the enemy will never stop coming for them. "But until that day...", she reflects, "It's gonna be one hell of a dogfight".

Cast Edit

Principal Cast Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Co-Stars Edit

The following cast list is taken from the end-credit sequence from the episode.

Uncredited cast Edit

Note: The following is taken from the full credits list for this entry on IMDB. As it is a website with user-submitted information, some of the data listed here, including character names may be inaccurate.

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • This episode is rated TV-14.
  • Production code number: 276022. [2]
  • Actor Aaron James Cash is credited as Aaron Cash in this episode.
Terminator 1x01 006

"Come with me if you want to live".

  • Cameron Phillips' first name is taken from James Cameron, who is the creator of the Terminator franchise and the director on the first two films. However, Cameron had no involvement in the production of the television series.
  • If actor Owain Yeoman looks familiar to some viewers, it might be because they recognize him from the CBS crime drama series The Mentalist. Yeoman played the role of CBI detective Wayne Rigsby in seasons 1-6.
  • As Sarah Connor had only previously encountered T-800 model Terminators, the Terminator from her dream must be a T-800.

Sarah Connor's FBI file Edit

  • Name: Conner, Sarah (no middle initial)
  • Known aliases: Sarah Reese
  • Status: Escaped from Pescadero State Hospital. Whereabouts: Unknown. At large.
  • Occupation: Waitress
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: 33
  • Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California
  • Race: Caucasian
  • Height: 5'4"
  • Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Green
  • Marks/Tattoos: Puncture scarring front and back right shoulder. Multiple combat scars.
  • Known associates. Charley Dixon, fiancé; John Connor, son (15).
  • Federal warrants: Murder, attempted murder, armed assault & battery, armed robbery, assault & battery, domestic terrorism, kidnapping, arson of United States government property and property used in interstate commerce, arson of a building.
  • Remarks: At large. Armed and dangerous. Approach with extreme caution. Trained in the use of military grade firearms, handguns, edged weapons, explosives, and hand-to-hand combat. If contact is made, utilization of FBI HRT is highly recommended.

Terminator models Edit

The following Terminator models are featured in this episode.

Allusions Edit

  • There are no allusions available for this episode at this time. Be the first to add some! Just click on the edit tab under the section heading and start typing. An allusion is an incidental reference made to a character, person, event or other miscellaneous piece of media that can be found somewhere in the episode itself. In most cases, this refers to characters or events from previous episodes.

Bloopers Edit

  • James Ellison mis-spells Pescadero State Mental Hospital as Prescadero State Mental Hospital when filing his report.

Quotes Edit

  • Cameron Phillips: The Skynet missile defense system goes online April 19th, 2011. Declares war on mankind and triggers a nuclear apocalypse two days later.
  • Sarah Connor: And Miles Dyson?
  • Cameron Phillips: Someone else builds Skynet.


  • Sarah Connor: Don't think that, John! Don't you ever think that! Look at me! No one is ever safe!


  • Sarah Connor: Half an hour. One bag, plus the guns. I'll make pancakes.


  • John Connor: What model are you? Are you new, you seem... different.


  • Terminator: The future is ours. And it begins now.



  • Sarah Connor: Every family has rules, and we had ours. Keep your head down. Keep your eyes up. Resist the urge to be seen as important or special. Know your exits.


  • Cameron Phillips: Back at school, you apologized for lying to me, so I should apologize for lying to you.
  • John Connor: It's all right. I get it. You needed to get close to me. It's just the way you're... programmed. Like some hot girl is really gonna try and make friends with the new weird kid. If I'd thought about it, I would've known something was messed up.


  • Sarah Connor: It is said that the death of any one person is the death of an entire world. Certainly for parents, the death of a child is no less than a holocaust. In the case of my son, these words are literally true. And even though we've traveled through time, bent the rules of nature, they will keep coming for him, keep trying to kill him. But until that day, it's gonna be one hell of a dogfight.

See also Edit

The World of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles


External Links Edit

References Edit

Keywords Edit

1990s; 1999; California; Crest View High School; Cyborg; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Dreams; High school; Los Angeles; Los Angeles County; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nightmares; Red Valley; Security Trust of Los Angeles; Sheriff; Skynet; Student; T-800 Terminator; T-888 Terminator; Teacher; Terminator; Waitress; West Fork

Terminator logo
Season One
This article pertains to an episode from season one of the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television series.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles/Season 1 episodes category.

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