Charley (Dean Winters) patches up Derek (Brian Austin Green) and then Sarah (Lena Headey) explains why she’s still alive, why she and John (Thomas Dekker) are no older, the machine war, endoskeletons, the whole story. He takes it remarkably well. They talk more and make amends. Derek’s lungs hemorrhage and Charley saves him again, but he needs a transfusion of AB-minus blood, which John has.
Cameron (Summer Glau) removes the Terminator’s skin—his name is Vick, incidentally—and burns the skeleton to ashes in thermite, but secretly keeps a computer chip from his head. The hand is still missing because the FBI has it.
Flashbacks forward in Time (!) reveal Derek Reese captured on patrol, taken to an abandoned hall, where the team is barcoded, chained, and taken to a room where a T-600 tortures them to music. One of Derek’s men, named Billy Wisher, declares that this is his fault, because he was one of those who created Skynet, when his name was Andy Goode (Brendan Hines).
They awake one day to find the T-600 gone and tools for escape left about. Their bunker is gone—wiped out. Resistance soldiers find them and take them to John Connor (off-screen) who has just finished a top-secret operation. Derek meets the reprogrammed Cameron, who takes down a Terminator whose reprogramming failed and started killing. John Connor explains that Kyle Reese was sent back in Time on a special mission, and he wants to do the same with them. Derek Reese, it is confirmed, did in fact kill Andy Goode. So the future that Derek remembers will not come to pass.
On the wall in the future base is a poster with a lion chewing on a Terminator’s head with the caption, “Hang in there, Baby!” The music playing in the torture scene is Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor. The fact is: If Sarah is O-negative, John cannot be AB-negative. Sorry, I guess it’s all made up. For complicated legal reasons, the word Terminator cannot be used anywhere but in the title. You can spot a T-600 because it has rubber skin. Billy Wisher is named after William Wisher, who co-wrote the first two Terminator films. Cameron does not know how Kyle and Derek are related to John, because future John kept that secret. The devastated future landscape was so expensive that the episode was almost abandoned. But it was made last to have as much time as possible. It was supposed to be a kind of prequel to the Terminator Salvation film, set in the post-apocalyptic future.