Trying to escape the Terminator threat in L.A., Charley Dixon (Dean Winter) and his wife Michelle (Sonya Walgar) head off in the car. When Charley goes to buy her a soda, Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt) drives off with the truck, with Michelle inside. John (Thomas Dekker) helps the pregnant landlady (Busy Phillips). A George Laszlo film (Cromartie’s face) is on TV. Cameron is calculating the centre of the house because it’s moving.

While Sarah unpacks groceries, Sarah (Lena Headey) receives a call from Charley that Cromartie has Michelle. She sends John on a chore to keep him safe and heads off after Cromartie. As Cameron (Summer Glau) investigates a bird in the fireplace, Sarah packs weapons. Derek (Brian Austin Green) warns her it’s a trap but joins her anyway. Michelle is tied in a chair in an abandoned building. Cromartie uses mousetraps to arm explosive devices.

John and Cameron load computer equipment into a truck, Cameron shocking an elderly couple with her strength. Riley calls and John ditches Cameron to join her. Agent Ellison (Richard T. Jones) receives a job offer from Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson), tempting him with information on Terminators. Sarah and Derek meet Charley. Michelle finds a conveniently placed cellphone and calls Charley. John and Riley hang out at the Promenade. John tells her he will be home-schooled now. Riley spots Cameron.

Sarah, Derek, and Charley arrive where Michelle is held. They find her tied up with a bomb. Cromartie disables their car and takes off, no doubt after John. Sarah calls John and he lies, saying he is with Cameron. Cromartie drops the cellphone tower on the building and Michelle is seriously hurt. Cromartie calls John, pretending to be Sarah. John tells Riley he has to go see his mom and is about to walk into Cromartie’s trap.

Ellison meets with Catherine Weaver to talk. She shows him a picture of an endoskeleton hand and tells him she knows a Terminator killed the FBI team. Cameron demands that Riley tell her where John is. Sarah has commandeered the car and set off to save John, leaving Charley and the injured Michelle behind. John spots Cromartie on the pier. Cameron shows up. Cromartie shoots at John and John jumps off the pier. Cromartie jumps in after him and his steel skeleton drags him down into the ocean. John and Cameron meet up with Sarah and Derek. John finds Michelle’s blood in the van. Cromartie stomps out onto the beach. John ties to comfort Charley at Michelle’s funeral. Charlie throws Agent Ellison’s bible into the grave. Cromartie watches from a distance. Dinner at the Connors is a sombre affair.

The gas station where Charley stops is near the gas station at the end of The Terminator and the one in Terminator 2, and the one in Terminator 3 all near Los Angeles. The fruit stand Charley visits is the one near the church in Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003). I wonder if there is a Hollywood Terminator tour, featuring the Los Angeles River and all these gas stations.