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Sarah checks herself into a sleep clinic

Haunted by nightmares of the man she killed in the factory, Sarah checks in to a sleep clinic. When suspicious things begin happening, Sarah suspects Skynet may be using the facility for brain-mapping.


Things Have Gone Awry in the Connor Home

Sarah sleeps while her hospital roommate's bed mysteriously catches fire

Sarah is dragged away from a fire

John tries to rescue Sarah from a sleep clinic

Sarah the prisoner

Sarah drives her car through the streets at late night, eventually stopping it. She calls John, who asks her where she is. She tells him that she's at an industrial park near downtown. John Connor hopes that she could sleep, and asks her what she's doing. She explains that she got a lead from the surveillance tapes from George McCarthy's basement, a company called Western Iron & Metal Trading that provides specialized metal to Desert Heat & Air Conditioning. She tells John to look up the company on the computer.

Sarah prepares to break in but hears a noise. She goes over to the source and finds a coyote looking at her. Without warning, a masked man steps up and zaps her with his taser. She wakes up with electrodes on her head. As she gets up, a woman, Nurse Hobson, tells her that she's just had another nightmare. Sarah tells the nurse that she can't stay here anymore. Hobson remarks that she's been here only one night, but Sarah feels it was a lot longer. Hobson tells her that the clinic does not have enough data to prescribe a treatment for her insomnia. Sarah tells her she will be fine, but the nurse informs her that if she goes home now, things will only get worse. She mentions that Sarah hasn't slept for two weeks.

The nurse goes to get some coffee for her. As Sarah waits, she finds a roommate on the other side of her room, named Dana. Dana tells her that she arrived in the sleep clinic when Sarah was sleeping. She says that she may have insomnia due to chronic disorder that was caused by eating problems. She refuses to give up some of her vices, like smoking, when she is receiving treatment.

John comes to visit his mother, and tells her that Cameron is waiting outside at the cafeteria. As Sarah and John eat their breakfast while Cameron stands guard, he promises his mother that he will bring something real for her to eat. He asks her about her insomnia, and mentions she used to sleep well, with worries aside. Sarah thinks it's a mistake to come here, but John tells her that it's necessary. Sarah has not slept for two weeks and ended up falling down the stairs at home. John's worried it might get worse and needs her to get better, and get some sleep. After John leaves with Cameron, Sarah spots a table cleaner, with a coyote tattoo on the back of his neck.

At night, Sarah dreams again. After being stunned by the masked man, she finds herself blindfolded and sitting inside a moving van. She removes her blindfold, with the vehicle pulling to a stop shortly after. The driver opens the back door, and reveals himself to be Ed Winston, who's supposedly dead a while back. Sarah says that she killed him but Winston tells her that he killed her. He thinks that one of them should step it up, and climbs into the compartment with Sarah.

Later, he sits inside the compartment with Sarah, eating. He describes how a kidnap victim would respond when meeting their captors for the first time. Sarah responds that she already knows who he is. Winston agrees, and mentions that she also found the trading company the plant was working with. He is impressed that Sarah found them by using a cross-dresser (Alan Park) and a hypno-therapist (Barbara Morris). He asks her who she works for. Sarah tells him that she works alone, but Winston tells her that someone blew up their factory while she was in hospital, so he asks if she had help somewhere. When Sarah does not respond, Winston slaps her hard. Sarah tells him to get closer so that she can tell him, but Winston knows it's a trap to bite his face off so he refuses. He prepares a drug for her.

Sarah wakes up, with Nurse Hobson standing at her side. She asks what's happening to her, and Hobson shows her the observation machines and her sleep chart. The nurse tells Sarah that the charts show that she's experiencing night terrors, from her breath rate and blood pressure. Hobson tells her that night terrors can be caused by brain tumors, but so far the doctors can tell that Sarah doesn't have. Hobson tells her that whatever insomnia she has is in her mind. She asks Sarah if she's ever gone to a therapist to reduce anxiety, but Sarah tells her that she tried but didn't work. Hobson thinks of giving her drugs but Sarah refuses to have any.

Back in her room, Hobson finds cigarette butts on the window sill, and thinks Sarah has been smoking. Sarah tells her that she quit smoking years ago as she had too much excitement in her life. After the nurse leaves, Sarah finds a hanging object on the window. Dana arrives and explains to her that it's a dreamcatcher that catches nightmares. Dana also mentions the cleaner with the neck tattoo, a guy called Hector. She tells her that she got some sleeping pills from the nurse after being caught with the cigarette butts, which is what she wanted. Dana thinks that Sarah's running away from something that she doesn't want to deal with it. Sarah has heard a saying that if someone dies in dreams they die in real life. Dana asks Sarah if the bad guys ever caught her in the dreams.

Sarah suddenly awakes inside the van with Winston again. He tells her that he noticed the various scars over her body, including a caesarian section. He accurately estimates that her child will be 15-20 years old by now. Sarah tells Winston that his bosses will kill him, just like they killed everyone else in the factory. Winston does not believe that they will do this, but Sarah says it's due to what they were building: the end. Winston thinks Sarah is being too dramatic. Sarah mentions his wife Diana, and asks him what his wife would say if she saw him now. Winston tells her to leave his wife out of this, and knocks her against the wall of the van several times and then handcuffs her. As he prepares to inject her with the drug to knock her out, Sarah kicks him and he falls to the ground, with the drug injected into his system. He pulls out his gun to shoot her, but the drug takes effect and he loses consciousness.

Sarah wakes up in her room in the clinic, and watches Nurse Hobson injecting something into Dana. After the nurse leaves, Sarah approaches Dana's bed and tries to shake the woman awake, but to no avail. She pulls open Dana's robe and finds a puncture mark on her chest.

Sarah follows Nurse Hobson to the lift, and then goes down the stairs after her. Hobson exits the lift in the clinic's basement and presses a passcode on one of the doors. She hears something and goes to check on the stairwell, but finds nothing. After she leaves, Sarah has managed to hide herself by climbing onto a small space on the stairwell ceiling.

In the morning, she is woken up by Hobson, who has discovered that her electrodes were taken off in the middle of the night. Sarah claims that she doesn't remember. Hobson asks her if she's a sleepwalker, and says she didn't mention it in her intake. Sarah says that may have slipped her mind. Hobson asks to confirm if she doesn't remember anything last night. Sarah confirms it and the nurse leaves. Sarah looks over at Dana, who's still unconscious.

It is visiting hours again and John and Cameron are out on the clinic hallway. Cameron asks him about his dreams, and he says it's kind of being in a play or movie, which looks real and feels real. She asks him how he would know it's not real and John answers that sometimes he don't.

Sarah tells John that something's wrong here at the sleep clinic. She saw the nurse giving her roommate a shot when she was already passed out and had taken her sleeping pills before then. John asks her if she thinks the nurse is an angel of death. Sarah explains that she saw the nurse entering a room in the basement. After Sarah says this, she and John see Dana awake and well and hugs her boyfriend who has come to visit. John thinks Dana's all right but Sarah says she's not. John asks her if she slept last night and Sarah says he thinks she's making this up. John doesn't think so but her current status is a mess. Sarah warns him not to be fooled by anyone's face. John says she's still thinking about the guy, Winston, she shot at the factory. Sarah doesn't want to talk about it. John asks her if Winston's the one in her nightmares. Sarah tells him that she dreams the same thing every night: Winston coming out of nowhere and grabs her, taking her hostage in the van. John asks her what Winston wants and Sarah answers that he asks her who she is and who she's working for. John tells her that he's not real and can't hurt her anymore. Sarah feels that she can't get him out of her head. John reminds her that she did what she had to do and defended herself. In response, Sarah says she's supposed to defend him.

In her sleep, Sarah dreams of being in the van with Winston again. Now conscious, Winston is holding his gun. He asks Sarah what his wife was wearing for his supposed funeral. He learns that Sarah has watched the surveillance tapes and knows what he did. He tells her that the first time was the hardest. He reveals that after Sarah shot him, his superiors had him sent to a private clinic for treatment. Winston learned that his bosses weren't so kind to nurse him back to health, but to heal him so that he can do his job. Sarah asks what his job was and Winston hints that he kills for the company, saying the first time was the hardest. Sarah tells him that he's the first to have been "killed" by her.

Sarah tells Winston that she can help him and his wife disappear. Winston thinks his bosses will slaughter them but Sarah says there're ways to keep them off their trail, things she learned. She will give him her contact and when she gets back she will call him and tell him what to do, but they will have to move fast or his bosses will know what's happening. She holds out her hands for Winston to unlock her handcuffs. He ponders a bit, then releases her. Sarah kicks him back against the wall and climbs out of the van, finding herself in a warehouse. She runs to the exit but finds it locked. Winston grabs her from behind and drags her back.

Sarah wakes up in her ward with the sound of an alert. She gets up to see Dana's body burning up in flames opposite her. She calls for her but Nurse Hobson tells the orderlies to take her away from the room. In the morning, Sarah calls John and tells him that something strange is going on. John watches Cameron walking past him in her bra and panties. Sarah tells him that her roommate died in a fire last night and the clinic is claiming it as an accident. John agrees that his mother was right and wants her to come home, but Sarah says not now.

At the lobby, Nurse Hobson tells the patients and clinic staff around her about the update on Dana's condition. She says there's a rumor that said Dana's not going to pull through, but she assures them that's not the case. She tells them that Dana's in critical condition but is still alive. She tells the patients who choose to leave the clinic can return any time to continue their treatment. Sarah stares at Hector, the man with the neck tattoo.

Hobson talk to Sarah later and learns that she has decided to stay at the clinic. She tells Sarah that it may be more difficult to sleep tonight so she gives her some diazepam to treat her insomnia. The nurse wants her to take the pills now and gives her a bottle of water to swallow it down. Sarah seemingly downs the pills and drinks some water, with Hobson satisfied. After she leaves, Sarah spits out the pills.

Back in her room, Sarah sees Hector standing at the window next to the empty spot where Dana's charred bed is gone. She thanks him for the dreamcatcher he makes for her. He replies it's for all those that need them. Sarah asks him if he knew Dana well, and Hector reminds her that Dana's not dead. Sarah tells Hector that Dana says she kept dreaming that she died in a fire. Hector thinks he should have made a bigger dreamcatcher for Dana but Sarah tells him it's not the nightmare that burnt her; the cigarette did. Hector believes that Dana should have taken charge of her dreams. Sarah inquires about the coyote tattoo he has, and asks him if there's any significance. Hector replies it's just a tattoo his girlfriend wanted him to have.

Back in her dream and in the van, Winston wants Sarah to tell him a story. He realizes that the child she has is the one she's trying to protect. He puts two and two together, knowing that her son is her accomplice.

Sarah wakes up to a noise in bed. Nurse Hobson throws an empty syringe on the tray next to her and leaves. Sarah checks her body and finds a puncture mark on her shoulder. Back in the dream, Winston talks about her son, saying that he's the one she's dying to protect. Sarah answers that any mother would. She tells Winston that he's not getting anywhere near her son, as he's not alone. Winston says that he won't have to, as her son will come for her. Sarah says that John knows better and won't come nearer, but Winston believes he will, as soon as she asks him. He strangles Sarah but let go of her. She tells Winston that she won't call her son, and she will die first. Winston says she lives to die, and thinks her son isn't that easy.

John wakes Sarah up from her sleep. He asks her if she's okay and reminds her that she called him to come. She tells John that the nurse injected something into her, and thinks it's some kind of a sedative. John wants to get her out of here but Sarah says that the nurse will keep hurting people and they have to do something.

Nurse Hobson leaves the room in the basement and locks it with a passcode. After she leaves, Sarah and John come out from the stairwell. John hacks the lock and the two enter. Inside they find what seems to be a server room with a screen monitoring the human brain. John says it's some kind of scanning program on neural activity and brain scans. John searches through the computer and finds thousands of patient files. Sarah asks if she's in there and John asks for her patient number as the computer doesn't state by name. Sarah removes the patient band with the ID on it and gives it to John, who compares it to the files. He finds a file on her with multiple brain scans, with an entire profile on her. Sarah tells him to delete everything, as she believes it's a Skynet experiment and they are stealing everything.

John doesn't think it's a good idea but Sarah says that sleep is the perfect cover; the brain is still active but she won't remember a thing. Sarah insists on deleting everything so John complies. Meanwhile, Hobson's colleague tells her there's a problem in one of the patient room, as no data were recorded on the electrodes. She goes off to check.

John deletes everything and assures her that the records are all gone. Sarah says that whatever the nurse gave is starting to affect her. They hear footsteps outside and the door opens. Hobson walks in and see only Sarah in the room. She tells her that this is a restricted area and asks how she got inside. Sarah lies that she doesn't know and must be sleepwalking, however Hobson sees through her lie. Sarah glances at John hiding behind one of the servers and tries to excuse herself back to her room.

Hobson asks her if she knows that when a human falls in love, the same area of the brain lights up when a human is intoxicated. Sarah says that this does not have anything to do with her nightmares but Hobson tells her that they don't know yet, as they don't fully understand why humans need to dream. Sarah reveals that Hobson drugged her. Hobson tells her that what she is experiencing is sleep paralysis. With incredible strength, she throws Sarah against the wall. She sits on her and strangles her. Hobson knows that her son is here when she entered the room, and tells Sarah to call to him. Sarah says she will die first but Hobson kicks her, saying that she would love to. Hobson rips out a computer case and intends to smash it down on Sarah, but John comes out and shoots her several times in the chest, making her collapse. Sarah takes the gun from her son and points it close at Hobson's corpse, asking her who she is. Hobson suddenly opens her eyes and grabs the gun, shooting John dead. Sarah rushes to him and Hobson shoots her next. Sarah collapses next to John, dead.

Suddenly, Sarah wakes up inside the van, bound and gagged. She realizes that the events at the clinic were all a dream and not the current situation she's in now. She hears Winston speaking to his superior on the phone outside the van. Left with no option, Sarah bites her wrist, the blood lubricating the handcuffs. She then readies herself and twists her left thumb, enabling her to escape the cuffs.

After going through all options to look for Sarah's accomplices, Winston is told to get rid of her. He opens the door of the van and Sarah springs out, stabbing him in the eye with the syringe. Winston pulls it out and attacks, but Sarah slams him around trying to get his gun. After a brutal fight, Winston pins Sarah down and tries to strangle her, but she digs her finger into his injured eye, making him scream in pain and release her. She grabs his gun and points it at him, shouting that he's real. Winston watches in fear as Sarah pulls the trigger. Sarah drives Winston's van back home, all dirty and bloodied. She pulls the van to a stop, and sees the coyote on the road looking at her, and she looks at it back.


Main Recurring Minor
  • Dana - Michelle Arthur
  • Hector - Manny Montana
  • Nurse Hobson - Julie Ann Emery
  • Night Tech - Sashen Naicker


Cameron: Scrambled or hard-boiled?
John: Uh, scrambled.
Cameron: You need a carbohydrate that makes up at least fifteen percent of our daily allowance. (Cameron puts pancakes on to John's plate)
John: Those won't be as good as yours. (John and Cameron smile at each other)
Sarah: You made pancakes?
Cameron: I added a teaspoon of vanilla to your recipe.
Sarah: I don't have a recipe.
Cameron: The recipe on the box.

Sarah: (Sarah looks at John poking at his pancakes) Not as good as hers? (Referring to Cameron)
John: Not as good as food. Tomorrow I'll bring you something real to eat. They have anything to say?
Sarah: About what?
John: About what? About why you're not sleeping. They figured out why?
Sarah: Besides the fact the world's about to end?
John: You used to sleep well.
Sarah: I shouldn't be here. I should be at home.
John: We're fine at home. Everything's fine.
Sarah: This was a mistake.
John: No, this...this is necessary. Mom, you're useless like this. Look at yourself. You haven't slept in two weeks. You fell down the stairs. If you don't take care of yourself, something worse might happen. You need to get better. I need you to get better. Don't forget...(John looks at Cameron)...you're not her. Please, get some sleep.
Ed Winston: (Ed starts eating a bag of sunflower seeds) So, you wanna know who I am? That's the first thing most people ask. First thing that comes out of their mouths when the gag comes off. "Who are you?" They keep asking it over and over again. Psychiatrists say naming things give people power over them. They're dead wrong on that.
Sarah: I already know who you are.
Ed Winston: Oh yeah. Right. I forgot. And, you found Western Iron & Metal. (Ed grabs Sarah's leg that was shot.) Of course, why anything else from the girl who used a cross-dresser and a hypnotherapist to find us. You know, I gotta admit, I didn't see that one coming.
Sarah: You won't see the next one coming either.
Ed Winston: Oh no, I beg to differ, ma'am. I beg to differ. So, who do you work for?
Sarah: I work alone.
Ed Winston: Somebody blew up our factory while you were getting patched up. Was that your boyfriend on the phone? What, you guys some kind of Bonnie/Clyde type of operation? (Ed slaps Sarah.) I said, was that your Clyde on the phone?
Sarah: Why don't you come closer and I'll tell you.
Ed Winston: So you can bite my face off. No, I don't think so. See those seeds? I go through about a bag in three hours. (Ed begins to fill a syringe with a serum) Old habit that I picked up when I quit smoking. Before I finish that bag, you're gonna talk. Special recipe. It'll have you singing like Sunday choir.

Ed Winston: (Ed continues to eat his sunflower seeds) That's, uh, quite a collection. Bullet wounds, stabbings...emergency C-section. (Sarah looks down to see her jeans button undone, and does it back up) That's plenty old, that last one. Your child must be 15, maybe 20 by now?
Sarah: They'll kill you. Just like they killed everyone else.
Ed Winston: They?
Sarah: Your bosses. Kaliba. They blew up your factory. Killed thirty of their own people.
Ed Winston: Lady, you're insane. Why would anyone blow up their own factory?
Sarah: To hide what you were building.
Ed Winston: And what was that?
Sarah: The end.
Ed Winston: You're very dramatic.
Sarah: Diana. Thought you were a good man. What'd you think she'd say if she saw you now?
Ed Winston: You...you leave me wife out of this. You crazy bitch.

Sarah: Salary must be good.
Ed Winston: It's the best part of the job.
Sarah: And the worst?
Ed Winston: You saw the tapes.
Sarah: Yeah.
Ed Winston: So you know.
Sarah: Yes.
Ed Winston: The first one was the hardest.
Sarah: Frank? Your neighbor. His son played lacrosse.
Ed Winston: He borrowed my lawnmower. Every Friday. He never cleaned the bag.
Sarah: Why would they want him dead?
Ed Winston: He kept the books. Handled the overseas business. He was a drunk.
Sarah: Overseas. So your bosses are foreign.
Ed Winston: They fixed me up after you shot me. Put in a private clinic. And I thought it was because they were being kind, and then I realized they were just patching me up so I could do my job.
Sarah: What's your job?
Ed Winston: Like I said...the first one was the hardest.
Sarah: You were my first. Seem surprised.
Ed Winston: Well, I just...I just figured a bad ass gal like yourself...
Sarah: Never.
Ed Winston: Well, glad I didn't break your streak.

Cameron: (Cameron is looking at a painting.) Salvador Dali often explored the subconscious in the dream world in his work. Are your dreams like this painting?
John: (looks at the painting) Err... everyone's dreams are different. I guess it depends on what's stuck in your head. [he puts money in the vending machine but it fails to release his purchase] Gaargh! C'mon! [he hits the machine]
Cameron: What's it like to dream?
John: Oh... Umm... It's sorta like you're in a play or a movie, and it looks real and it feels real... [shrugs]
Cameron: How do you know it's not real?
John: Sometimes you don't. [he hits the machine again] Argh!
[Cameron approaches the vending machine and raises her fist]
John: Hey, hey, be careful!
[Cameron firmly taps the glass and several packets of chips fall out of their stalls]
John: [takes his packet from Cameron] Yes, thank you.

[Sarah is pointing a gun at Ed Winston who is lying on the ground]
Sarah: [with hatred in her voice] You're real! You're real! You're real! (Sarah pulls the trigger shooting Ed in the head.)



"Midnight is the witching hour. If you believe that kind of thing and most people won't admit it if they do. Midnight is the time when a door opens from our world into the next and we are visited by dark spirits of the shadow lands. The Incubus, the Succubus, the old hag. Visitors are known by many names but each story bears the same marks: The demons come after midnight and the first three hours of the new day when we are alone and vulnerable, deep asleep and helpless when we cannot move. They lay on us, press on us, suffocate us, they take from us what is most precious: our lives, our love, our sanity, our sleep. If you believe in that kind of thing."


"A spirit sits on a man's chest. She is strong, beautiful. She is here to steal his children. She is here to steal his future. He is paralyzed. The terror in him will burst his heart if he cannot control it. She is a nightmare, a demon woman. The oldest and most enduring story told by man. The witching hour is controlled by witches. She is a bad dream. She is a bad bitch "

Continuity notes[]

  • The "death" of Ed Winston plays an important part in this episode. It is revealed at the end of this episode that Winston actually survived his first encounter with Sarah.
  • Diana Winston is used by Sarah in the "dream" as a weapon against Ed.
  • Sarah Connor has said she has had to give up a lot, and give up smoking quite some time ago.
  • Sarah's potential for cancer is referenced.
  • This episode marks the first time in which Sarah really does kill another human — Ed Winston whom she thought she killed previously. This time, she does kill Winston in cold blood and shows no remorse as she drives away.


  • For this episode at least, the opening/closing monologue by Sarah is back.
  • This is the second time that Sarah Connor has dreamed that a Terminator has shot and killed her son. The first time is in "Pilot".
  • Sarah is not present in some scenes taking place in her own dream.
  • Hobson took three shots to the chest in a pattern similar to that of the three dots Sarah has been chasing.
  • It is revealed that Sarah's "nightmares" are actually reality, and that her experience at the sleep clinic is a drug-induced dream.

Deleted scenes[]

(This episode has no information about the deleted scenes so far. Please add one if there is any.)

Terminator references[]

  • During one of Sarah Connor's dreams, a female Terminator posing as a sleep doctor says "Thank you for explaining" to another member of the sleep clinic. This is one of the phrases most frequently said by Cameron, hinting to the viewer that the sleep doctor is a Terminator.

Real-world references[]

Sarah's Insomnia Profile

  • The vehicle Sarah was driving at the beginning of the episode was produced by General Motors Chevrolet division. It appeared to be either a Chevy Suburban or a Chevy Tahoe model.
  • Sarah Connor's file shows text from the "Insomnia" entry in Wikipedia.


  • Q: In "Allison from Palmdale", Sarah tells Kacy that she gave birth to John while hiking in South America. At the end of that episode, she admits that the part about his father being beside her was a lie, but states that the rest is true. But in this episode, it is revealed that John was surgically removed from Sarah — a procedure which could only be performed at a hospital. Does this mean that Sarah's entire story about giving birth to John in the jungle was a lie?
    • A: Possibly. In any case, Sarah was telling Kacy that what she had told her was the way things could have been. On the other hand, Ed said it was an "emergency C-section", judging from Sarah's scars. So it might be that he just noticed it was quite a hack job and about in the right spot for a C-section, which could be just what happens if you get patched up by an EMT at a jungle station.
  • Q: If all the events at the sleep clinic were part of Sarah's drug-induced dream, how did she also dream the conversation scenes between John and Cameron? Do they represent her fears of John becoming too close to Cameron?
    • A: Probably. The interaction of John and Cameron was mainly about things a mother would worry about, like nourishment and making pancakes, and much more flirtatious than other recent episodes. On the other hand, Sarah knows John and Cameron well, so some of it is at least bound to be based on observation and deduction.

Q: What is the significance of the conversation between Cameron and John about dreams ?

  • Q: Why would Cameron randomly walk into John's room in her underwear?
    • A1: This is a dream sequence. In "Complications", Sarah expresses her concern through several dreams that Cameron will one day replace her as John's protector, which couples with an earlier statement wherein she told Cameron; "I don't like the way he responds to you". "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today"
    • A2: This is also a reference to "The Turk", when Cameron casually strode past Sarah's room in just her underwear, making John very uncomfortable in the process (something that Sarah picked up on).
  • Q: Is Ed really dead this time?
    • A: Most likely. She did shoot him in the head, not something that most people could survive.
  • Q: What is the significance of the coyote tattoo ?
    • A: In most cultures, especially Native American, the coyote represents the dream world. It also has ties to the concepts of chaos and in myths is a "joker", similar to the Norse God Loki. The Coyote is an animal often seen on visions quests. Sarah may have dreamed about the coyote because most of the episode was a dream, or because the chaos in her life she is trying to clean herself of (shown through the janitor).


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