- "Maybe his name's on the list because he helps John."
- - Cameron Phillips.
Sarah and Cameron are investigating the office of Dr. Sherman but escape before he comes in.
Catherine Weaver is having a photo shoot and the photographers ask if they could put Savannah in. However, the girl refuses to be in the shoot and runs away. As she got up it is shown that she peed in fright. One of the photographers suggest a family doctor, who in coincidence is Sherman, seeing the Connors, as he is on the Terminator hit-list. Cameron bugs his room so they could keep an eye on him. He asks that he would see each of them individually.
While eating a hot dog at the park, Derek Reese notices someone jogging behind him and follows the person. When he gets to the person's hotel door, he finds that it is Jesse, a resistance fighter who helped him when he came limping to a bunker. He asks if she's on an assignment but he denies. He then realizes she's AWOL; she explains that Connor had been placing a reprogrammed Terminator at every bunker; one went berserk and killed half the people there. She wanted to escape the future so when it comes, she could be at least with him. Derek rejects her advances and leaves.
Savannah is with Sherman, who asks her what is wrong; she wants her old mom back. While waiting outside, Savannah is taught how to playfully tie shoes by John. Weaver tells her daughter to come, disregarding John. John then gets interviewed by Sherman, asking if there is anything wrong in his life. Knowing he can't tell anyone of the Apocalypse, he says nothing's wrong.
Weaver reviews a video file of the real Catherine Weaver and her husband when she was pregnant.
Weaver's technicians are busy working on the Turk but its AI is too simplistic, showing the same images over and over again (question mark, equation, books, sad people). When Sherman comes over, he sees that it's telling a joke: "Why is a math book so sad?" He remembers the punchline: "Because it has so many problems." Weaver is impressed and offers him a chance to help. Sherman declines.
Sarah doubts that a T-888 will come yet to assassinate Sherman. Unfortunately, a time displacement sphere appears in a bus, bringing a red-headed female Terminator with it. It kills the barely awake driver and takes his clothes. It then kills Sherman's assistant to take her place.
Derek returns to Jesse's hotel and they go to bed together. Afterwards, Jesse sends him on an errand so she can hide surveillance photos of John and Derek under the bed.
James Ellison notices that Weaver's company has an underground level with restricted access. He questions Weaver what is going on there. She answers: "We are building something". She self is building for her daughter a tower out of interlocking bricks which resembles the Tower of Babel. See Athanasius Kircher’s illustration of the Tower of Babel.
Next day, John visits Sherman again, and removes the recording device to partially talk about how "no one is safe". Cameron takes notice and heads to the office, but at the same time, the red-headed Terminator also comes. When both machines reach for the same door, they realize who the other is and begin fighting right into the elevator. When other humans are about to enter, they stop fighting and face away so the adults can't notice the damage they've sustained. After the humans leave, they resume fighting. Cameron is able to contort the Terminator into an unmovable position and it shuts down. When she brings it home, the Connors ponder if the Terminator was there to protect or kill Dr. Sherman. They also find that the chip is burnt out, assuming Skynet added a protocol to destroy chips of deactivated Terminators – in order to prevent them from being reprogrammed by the Resistance. Cameron theorizes that Sherman may make Skynet more docile.
Near the end of one of Savannah's meetings with Sherman, Catherine Weaver offers him a position in the Turk development team. She requires his expertise to improve the childish AI John Henry. Due to John's removal of the bug from Sherman's office the Connor's are not aware of this offer. Later, Dr. Sherman has an unexpected visit from Sarah Connor, who reveals to us that her son, John, had killed Margos Sarkissian.
- Dr. Sherman: You want to be the girl?
- Savannah: Where's her mommy?
- Dr. Sherman: I don't know. Where do you think her mommy is?
- Savannah: She's working.
- Dr. Sherman: Hmm, okay.
- Savannah: She doesn't like the way her mommy looks at her.
- Dr. Sherman: No? How does she look at her?
- Savannah: She wants to tell you a secret.
- Dr. Sherman: Okay.
- Savannah: I want my old mommy back.
- Lachlan Weaver: Strangest thing about her? Um, well, for one of the best minds in the tech world, she's practically a Luddite.
- Catherine: You liar.
- Lachlan Weaver: Bicycle or car?
- Catherine: Bicycle.
- Lachlan Weaver: Mm-hmm. Electric or acoustic?
- Catherine: He thinks he's so smart.
- Lachlan Weaver: No, no, no, I just know you, that's all. Tell them how you work from home.
- (Catherine sighs)
- Lachlan Weaver: Come on. Come on, tell them.
- Catherine: My father was a butcher. One of the oldest shops in Edinburgh. We didn't have a lot of money for school supplies.
- Lachlan Weaver: She writes on butcher's paper. Like, big rolls of it with grease pencils.
- Catherine: I like the way it smells.
- Lachlan Weaver: Strangest thing about her? Um, well, for one of the best minds in the tech world, she's practically a Luddite.
- Savannah: Daddy keeps touching your tummy.
- Catherine: Does he?
- Savannah: Is he trying to hug me?
- Catherine: I don't know.
- Savannah: I think he's trying to hug me.
- Derek: I had this friend once. We dug tunnels together. Roughest son of a bitch I ever knew. One day, he went out to take a leak. And when he was out there, he just decided to blow his head off. just like that. He fought, and fought, and fought for his life, then just couldn't anymore.
- Sarah: John is not suicidal.
- Derek: No. But what is he? He's not a boy. He's not a man. He's not a soldier. He has changed. Saw his mother kill a man.
- Derek: I was, uh... Thinking about that time we met. You found me outside the bunker.
- Jesse: When you went to take a leak and almost talked yourself into eating your gun?
- Derek: I don't think I've ever thanked you for what you said that day.
- Jesse: I think the exact words were, "your fly's open."
- Derek: Yeah.
- Jesse: It was.
"My father slept with a gun under his pillow. There was no pill for his sickness, no medicine to ease his mind. He left blood, and sweat, and part of his soul in a foreign land. My father never talked to me about the war he fought. He never talked to anyone. Ever vigilant, ever silent. I never thought I'd follow in his footsteps."
"In 1678, doctors diagnosed the mental affliction soldiers suffered from as "nostalgia." Homesickness. A longing to return to the past. The cruel reality of war is that there is no return home. No return to innocence. What is lost is lost forever. Like my father, war's wounds have bled me dry. No words of comfort. No words of forgiveness. No words at all."
- This episodes reveals that it is John Connor that killed Margos Sarkissian in the episode "Samson & Delilah". John is clearly shaken by this, and both Sarah and John are driven to seek counseling as a result.
- Savannah Weaver is shown to be fearful of Catherine Weaver, and says she misses her "old mom". Old home movie footage of Catherine Weaver and her husband is also shown. Both facts suggest that Savannah is actually human, and that Catherine is a T-1001 who replaced Savannah's original mother.
- This is the first episode in season two that opens and closes with a voiceover by Sarah Connor.
- After this episode, the opening monologue sequence no longer appears until "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep".
- Rosie (series unspecified yet) in this episode is light enough for Cameron to easily manhandle (fold, spindle and mutilate) before being carried from the scene of her defeat in the elevator and back to the Connor safe house.
- This is the first time that two female Terminators fight.
- See also :Terminator vs. Terminator
- Rosie would appear to be the smallest Terminator that has made an appearance to date. She is clearly smaller in physical size to Cameron, so it is unknown if she is a T-888. Of note are the many references by the writers and producers that Series 888s come in a wide variety of sizes.
- The "folded up Terminator" was actually the actress/stuntwoman, not a prop, even up through the scene where she gets dumped on the Connor's floor. The only prosthetic were the damage to the face and eye, and the torso used for the "neck snap".
- Suicide and war trauma is a recurring theme in this episode, according to Jesse, Derek almost committed suicide during the war, Jesse went to 2007 to avoid the war and John is compared to a war veteran who is suicidal. However, in "Alpine Fields" we see that, at least in Derek's recollection, he just stepped out to take a leak and maybe puke. So, as hinted at in "Complications" and mentioned again in "Ourselves Alone", it looks like they're from diverging timelines.
- In the closing monologue, Cameron is shown reading a blue brochure labeled "SUICIDE PREVENTION" in white capital letters. Doing that she takes a reflective look on the microchip she took from Rosie's head.
- Dr. Sherman pointed out that The Turk has acquired some sort of sense of humor, something Catherine Weaver seems to be struggling with herself. That could be a hint towards a technological singularity scenario, where machines start building other machines more powerful than they themselves are. On the other hand, that could be chalked up to Andy Goode's foundational work on the Turk. One could even argue the opposite, as the T-1001 was built by Skynet, so why doesn't it have a sense of humour if its creator already had one from the beginning?
- See also :Terminator emotions
- Cameron offers to fix the broken mirror for John because it could raise questions, which leads to a confrontation. John hasn't seen Riley lately, which Cameron says is "good" because his "friendship with her almost got [him] killed." John reminds her that his friendship with Cameron almost got him killed as well, and Cameron promises she won't let it happen again because she will "design a way ... to kill [herself]." The device is later completed in the episode "Ourselves Alone".
(This episode doesn't have any Terminator reference yet. Please add one if there is any.)
- The title might a reference to the Tower of Babel since it is what Weaver's project named after.
- Q: Why are John and Sarah interested in Boyd Sherman in the first place?
- A: Dr. Boyd Sherman is for one or another reason on Skynet's hitlist. They want to find out why.
- Q: What exactly is Rosie's mission?
- A: It seems like Dr. Boyd Sherman is a person that helps out John Connor, the mission might be to kill Dr. Boyd Sherman because of this or to get closer to John Connor. Since Rosie kills Sherman's assistant and doesn't go directly to Sherman, it might be the second. Or the Skynet send a Terminator to kill Dr. Sherman because he plays a major role in the creation of John Henry.
- Q: If Skynet has been fighting the Resistance for decades, how come this is the first time it thinks to install a safeguard against reprogramming?
- A: It is not revealed which time the cyborg with the safeguard is from. Since Cameron seems to know about it, we can assume it's a technology used before she were sent back in time. It was said by Jesse in the episode that the Resistance has acquired and reprogrammed so many Terminators that there is now at least one in every base. Knowing that humans can reprogram Terminators, Skynet installed the new safeguard.
- Q: To what tower is the title of this episode referring to?
- A: Most probably the Tower of Babel. Catherine Weaver built a tower out of toys which resembles it. Also, the Turk's improvement team is known as Division Babylon.
- Q: Did anyone burn Rosie with the thermite?
- A: Unknown.
- Q: Cameron and Rosie must be operating with specific instructions to avoid revealing their nature to anyone, hence the pause in their elevator battle to wait out the potential witnesses, so maybe they are the same series?
- A: Unlikely. The differences in combat capabilities (Cameron is much more powerful), flexibility (Rosie is more flexible), stature (Cameron, though considered petite for a Terminator, is still stockier than Rosie), and the self-destruct feature (which Cameron does not have but Rosie does) make this assumption quite improbable.
- Official podcast for this episode
- on the Internet Movie Database
- The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short at TV.com
- Official The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short podcast with Josh Friedman and Denise Thé
|Episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles|
|Season 1||"Pilot" • "Gnothi Seauton" • "The Turk" • "Heavy Metal" • "Queen's Gambit" • "Dungeons & Dragons" • "The Demon Hand" • "Vick's Chip" • "What He Beheld"|
|Season 2||"Samson & Delilah" • "Automatic for the People" • "The Mousetrap" • "Allison from Palmdale" • "Goodbye to All That" • "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short" • "Brothers of Nablus" • "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today" • "Complications" • "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point" • "Self Made Man" • "Alpine Fields" • "Earthlings Welcome Here" • "The Good Wound" • "Desert Cantos" • "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep" • "Ourselves Alone" • "Today Is The Day, Part 1" • "Today Is The Day, Part 2" • "To the Lighthouse" • "Adam Raised a Cain" • "Born to Run"|