Earthlings Welcome Here
Sarah's continued obsession with the three dots leads her to a blogger with intimate knowledge of the symbol. Meanwhile, Riley and Cameron face off.
Sarah drives down a long sprawling desert road, her mind wandering...
...to the long-ago past. It's waitress Sarah-- unaffected. This is Sarah before John, before machines and the apocalypse. But she catches a glimpse of something -- a machine? -- in the mirror.
Back in reality, Sarah wanders through a UFO convention and to an "Experiencers" meeting. Sarah tells the hypnotherapist, Barbara Morris, that she's joined them because there have been reports of people seeing UFOs in the shape of the three-dots. Sarah confesses that she's been having nightmares about it. "Are they nightmares or are they memories?"
Sarah lurks around a Demonstrator exhibiting photos of potential California drones. He tells Sarah that some witnesses have reported seeing the three-dots on the haul of the spaceship. It's all in the blogs of "Abraham," an anonymous writer working on a secret project with a hyper alloy (similar to coltan) until he disappeared recently.
But someone has information on Abraham -- a convention goer, Eileen. And so Sarah follows her...
John is finally redoing his previously juvenile bedroom. Sarah calls and tells him not to wait up for her. Riley shows up cheerily and with smoothies. She confesses that she flipped out at her foster mom earlier. When Cameron enters and is surprised (and disappointed?) to find Riley, John sends her away, asking the machine to go out and get more paint...
Meanwhile, Riley flashes back to her past in the future. She's savage, a mess, a lonely tunnel rat struggling to survive. Nearby, a group of resistance soldiers hover... amongst them, Jesse. Comfortingly, she approaches Riley.
Eileen brings Sarah to a trailer in the middle of the desert; it's Eileen's. She shows Sarah surveillance photos -- all of drone sightings. Turns out, Abraham's real name is Alan Park and he's a scientist that specialized in Light Detection and Ranging -- an optical remote sensing technology used for robots. Eileen's kept track of sightings of both drones and Abraham. Sarah plans to start with the most recent sighting of Abraham.
City street. Time bubble. Jesse and Riley, naked, vulnerable, scoot through the rain. We follow a montage of clips flashing back to their arrival. Riley first stepping foot in the hotel room, her first shower, touching everything...
As Riley helps John scrape off the old wallpaper, he spots a bruise on her face. "Who did that to you?" But she takes off.
"The answer's still no. I can't do what you're asking," Ellison tells Weaver. They're back in The Turk's room, the familiar face of John Henry staring back at them. Weaver believes that Ellison is needed to teach John Henry right from wrong.
Sarah and Eileen reconvene at Abraham's last known location -- a local diner. Sarah's search for her reality reminds her of her past -- this time, not the innocent waitress, but the rugged Pescadero mental patient. No fate. At the diner Sarah discovers something very surprising about Eileen -- she's not exactly who she says she is. She's Abraham. Eileen is actually Alan Park.
Back at Eileen's trailer, she tells Sarah about her past as Alan Park. Her story is all true -- but her life was in danger and she needed to hide, so she took on the life of Eileen. She used to work for an anonymous company to develop this progressive technology, but she knew nothing about the company -- not even where the office was. When she started blogging to find out if anyone knew anything about this sort of technology, strange, threatening things started happening to her...
Sarah wants proof. Eileen has a piece of the technology, the metal. "Where is it?" In a storage facility. And they're off.
Before leaving, Riley checks her bruise in the mirror in John's bathroom. She flashes back to:
Jesse and her in the car. She's still uncomfortable with her mission and wonders why Jesse picked her. But Jesse tells her the time for this conversation has passed as we realize they're outside John Connor's high school. Months ago. And out Riley goes, right past an unknowing, still innocent John, before he killed Sarkissian and Cameron went bad...
Riley tries to leave the Connor house but is surprised by Cameron. "What happened to your face?" Riley avoids it but it's clear Cameron knows she's lying. Cameron grabs her wrist under the guise of looking at her star tattoo. "I'm thinking of getting one," she tells Riley scarily before John appears. Cameron tells them she's thinking of getting a tattoo of a tiger or wolf before she tells John that "we need to talk."
Distraught, Ellison goes to his Pastor for guidance. He confesses that his relationship with his ex-wife Lila broke up when she terminated her pregnancy after September 11th. "Does this have something to do with the child?"
Eileen and Sarah search through her storage unit but everything is gone. As they exit, Sarah and Eileen are shot at by a man in cowboy boots waiting for them on a motorcycle. Sarah fires back but the motorcycle gets away...
Back in the trailer, Sarah wants the truth. Eileen claims she's told her everything. Even the name on her checks led to a shell company -- she's tried everything she knows to find out about who she was working for. Eileen explains that a blacked out van picked her up every morning and drove her to the office/facility. She never really knew where she was. Sarah thinks she knows how to help her remember -- Barbara, the hypnotherapist from the convention.
Riley flashes back again, this time to:
Jesse's hotel room. Much more recent than her other's. Riley confesses she screwed up and had nowhere else to turn. She got kicked out of her foster home because she hit her foster mom. She needs someone to talk to who understands what's coming. She needs Jesse.
Coldly, Jesse slaps her (hence the bruise). "I'm not your friend. I'm not your mother. And you are here to keep John Connor away from her. Go finish your job."
Cameron tells John that Riley's lying, but she's not sure what. John tells Cameron to stay away from her.
John tries to talk to Riley through the bathroom door but doesn't get a response. When he instructs Cameron to open it, they find Riley inside, on the floor, bleeding from a self-inflicted cut in her wrist. A suicide attempt, but is she dead?
Ellison plays chess with John Henry and talks about mortality and the value of human life. "Am I God's child? John Henry asks, a new era dawning for James Ellison....
Sarah and Eileen interrupt Dr. Morris with their hypnotherapy emergency in the middle of a group session. Sarah secretly bugs Eileen before her memory-recall session (and listens and records it outside in the car).
Eileen visually describes the memory of her old life. She delves into the daily routine and what the daily drive felt like. Everyday, the same thing, ending at a factory at the end of a dirt road. And then.. they're interrupted: Motorcycle boots. Sarah hears it all --- bang, bang, bang -- gunshots. She bolts in, but is not in time; they're both dead and he's gone.
Sarah follows Eileen's instructions anyways. She reenacts the daily journey, eventually leading her to the factory at the end of the dirt road. Channeling her inner warrior, Sarah enters, gun in hand...
Inside, an office. Only a non-threatening, bald office worker. But that doesn't matter to her; Sarah wants answers. And now. "Where's the metal?" He's only an employee - Ed Winston of Desert Heat and Air -- and he has no idea what she's talking about. She finds his employee ID and his kid's baseball mitt; his story checks out.
"What in the warehouse?" But he doesn't know because he claims his boss rents it out to another company. And just as Sarah lets her guard down ever so slightly, Winston steps out from behind the desk and pulls a gun on her. MOTORCYCLE BOOTS.
He shoots her, landing a bullet in Sarah's leg. But she fights back, wrestling him on top of her. With him in reach, she does what's necessary and shoots him at point blank rage through the chest. He falls. Has Sarah Connor killed her first man?
Sarah crawls towards the door, both her warrior, Pescadero-self, and her old waitress-self, guiding her...
And then outside, just out the door, she sees it: three bright dots in the sky, coming towards her, blinding her. Slowly, methodically. It's three-dots forming a haul, just like in Eileen's pictures. Just like in Sarah's dreams. But what is it? Could it really be an alien drone? Or possibly one of Skynet's H/K's? Is it even real?
With the light of the machine blinding her, Sarah's eyes close, giving into the pain...
...as we FADE TO WHITE.