Sarah's Last Mothering
Young Sarah Connor was attacked by a man who wasn't stopped (or even slowed) by the bullets of the stranger who rescued her. The stranger, Kyle Reese, told Sarah that the "man" was a terminator, a machine from a future where machines and humans were at war. Kyle died protecting Sarah.
Sarah found that she was pregnant by Kyle. She felt like the mother of all destinies. If this nuclear holocaust or Judgment Day was imminent, then she needed to be away from likely targets of Skynet, the artificial intelligence leading the machines. Sarah headed south of the border into Mexico. In the jungles of Central America, she gave birth.
She named her baby, John Connor. Everything he is, everything he will be, depends on her. She turned herself into a warrior, learning everything she could about weapons and explosives.
As John grew up, his mother filled his head with the prophecy that he would save what was left of humanity after the world was destroyed. This survivalism stuff can turn a normal person crazy. Eventually Sarah got bored and became itchy to get back to the USA. John seemed born to run because his mother was constantly pulling him out of school and moving to another town to avoid the terminators she was sure were tracking them.
Sarah told the police Kyle's story. Sarah was put in an asylum for her story about killer robots from the future. Sarah never respected the police again.
Since Sarah told John that he would only lead after the world was destroyed, John became contemptuous of a world that he saw as about to die. It never occurred to him to stop the destruction or to prevent it.
As a young child, John had grown up among revolutionaries and outlaws. As a preteen, he was a delinquent who broke into ATM machines, hung out with gangs, and disobeyed his foster parents. He was acting out because his mother was in the loony bin.
Years passed and another terminator arrived. This one was only interested in killing John not Sarah. Another machine arrived to protect John. Although Kyle had filled Sarah's head with a paranoid fear of robots, she accepted the help protecting her son but ditched him (the protector) when the danger seemed past -- Sarah's demolition of the labs of Cyberdyne, a company built on reverse engineering the remains of that first terminator. The protector had claimed to be a former terminator who had been reprogrammed by John's technicians. The male protector never had direct firsthand dealings with this future John Connor personally.
A few years later, another former terminator arrived. She saved John from a terminator. The terminator took Sarah hostage in order to lure John back. The female robot was not quite a protectress. Or she was very specific about who she protected. She had a name, Cameron Phillips. And it became clear that the John Connor of the future had a close relationship with her. Nevertheless, she allowed John to convince her to save his mother. It was a mistake. Cameron grew to love Sarah Connor as her mother but Sarah Connor never loved Cameron as a daughter. It was worse than hate, it was indifference.
A little older and John still broke the law and disobeyed his mother. He learned disrespect for the law from his mother.
The cavalier attitude toward the law caught up with Sarah Connor when the law caught up with her
Sarah Connor was in jail. Only two things were possible:
Either John would meet with Catherine Weaver without his mother or he'd order Cameron to break his mother out of jail.
Sarah Connor was in jail. Only two things were possible: Either Cameron would join the Machine Underground or she would break Sarah Connor (the woman she thought of as her mother) out of jail.
John paced the motel room agitated by the media circus on TV. Pictures of his mother under arrest. Pictures of them "robbing a bank."
John: "I need a computer. I need to do research."
Cameron: "You want the blueprints for the Los Angeles County Jail."
John: "Do I?"
Cameron: "So you can plan how to get your mother out. But I'm not going to let you do that. You should know that by now."
John: "I do know that by now."
John turns on Cameron and verbally attacks her. This is after she has saved his life on countless occasions. This is after he once apologized to Cameron (in front of mom no less) for doubting her, Cameron. He corrected his mother for thinking that he was talking about her, Sarah Connor. Cameron had tried to tell him that his girlfriend was being abused by someone but he didn't listen and now Riley was dead. He implied that he needed to cut Cameron open to check and make sure she wasn't leaking radiation and giving mom cancer. Total nonsense! If Sarah had cancer, she got it from her own risks not Cameron. But John turns on Cameron anyway and verbally attacks her.
John: "Stuff goes wrong with you. You kill birds. You twitch. You try to murder me. You're a machine. You're not perfect."
Cameron: "Stuff goes wrong with you. You get people killed. You get tired and have to sleep. You don't try to murder me. You actually have murdered me. Every time you extract my chip. You're a human. You're not perfect."
Cameron starts to turn away but adds.
Cameron: "And I don't try to murder. If I had wanted you dead, then you'd be dead. Mom sent me to the bakery for a birthday cake for you and I was angry because I got blown up for my effort. In that damaged state of mind, I was angry because I thought YOU were trying to murder ME! You conveniently forget that when you keep throwing this up in my face."
Sarah was under almost constant surveillance in the Los Angeles County Jail. The only way she thought she could provide one last bit of parenting to John was to use somebody who the police and FBI were unlikely to follow. As an atheist, Sarah had no faith but her jailers didn't know that. She requested the priest who gave them sanctuary when Sarkissian's gang had put a bomb in Cameron's jeep, burnt down her house, and the brain-damaged (chip-damaged) Cameron had turned over the other SUV in an epileptic fugue. The priest was named Father Armando Bonilla. Living "underground" her entire adult life, Sarah was always prepared with a warehouse or a safe house or a stash or a rendezvous location somewhere. She asked the priest to contact someone she knew to get money and new I.D. to John and Cameron. He does.