Suspicious of a shipment of refined metallic coltan, of which Terminators are made, Sarah (Lena Headey), John (Thomas Dekker), and Cameron (Summer Glau) discover another Terminator (Brian Bloom) hoarding the stuff. Sarah, primarily concerned with John’s safety, decides to ignore the situation, but John thinks they should deal with it, to prevent future Terminator construction.
He sneaks off and follows the Terminator to a military bunker, whereupon it seals itself in, with the coltan and John, and goes into standby mode. Sarah and Cameron follow and retrieve John. They seal the Terminator inside and drive the truck full of coltan into the sea, though Cameron keeps a bar of the stuff without telling the others.
In the B-story, Cromartie forces a plastic surgeon named Doctor Lyman (Sean Smith) to sculpt his face the same as another patient, an unemployed actor named George Laszlo (Garret Dillahunt). Then he kills the doctor and leaves. When FBI Agent James Ellison (Richard T. Jones) investigates, he finds the faux Terminator blood, but Laszlo’s blood does not match, and he is released by the FBI. Cromartie kills and replaces him.
A number of critics welcomed John’s decision to be a hero instead of giving in to teen angst about his lot in life. Coltan is columbite-tantalite, which makes columbite and tantalum, which is used to make jet engine-blades more heat resistant. The series is teaching us much more about Terminators than the movies did. Sarah and Cameron are learning to work together, though Sarah still treats her like crap.