Aliases: Sarah Reese, Sarah Baum. Mother of John, she was told in the first film that he grows up to be the leader of the resistance against SkyNet. Currently, lives with him, Cameron, and Derek in Los Angeles, trying to stop the creation of SkyNet. Might have or will have cancer - it was what she died of in an alternate timeline.
John Connor (Thomas Dekker)
Aliases: John Reese, John Baum. Sarah's son, the future leader of the resistance. Not quite a leader yet. Currently, neither his mother nor Cameron entirely trust him because he reactivated Cameron after she tried to kill him
"Thank you for explaining".
Aliases: Cameron Phillips, Cameron Baum, Allison Young. The reprogrammed Terminator (rumored to be TOK715) sent back by future John. The most advanced infiltrating unit seen so far - unlike other Terminators, she can eat food and can cry
. Acts as John Connor's advisor in the future, much to the chagrin of the other resistance fighters.
- Action Girl
- The Cast Showoff: Her ballet scenes? That's all Summer.
- Badass Adorable
- Becoming the Mask
- Berserk Button: Don't lie to her or wear her favorite leather jacket.
- The Big Girl
- Blue and Orange Morality: Cameron's concept of caring, concern, affection, and morality begins and ends with John Connor.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Came Back Wrong: She survived a car bomb, but was accidentally reset to her Skynet programming. She even told Sarah not to let John bring her back if it happens again.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Comes off as one even before her chip was damaged.
- The Comically Serious
- Creepy Monotone
- Cute Bruiser
- A Day in the Limelight: "Allison From Palmdale" (Cameron's origin) and "Self Made Man" (Cameron's night time activities)
- Deconstruction: "Self-Made Man" deconstructed Cameron as a character.
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm
- Emotionless Girl
- Femme Fatale: Cameron knows how her appearance affects those around her and uses it to great effect, either using it to draw in targets or to derail and distract. She's even willing to use it on John.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
- Implacable Girl
- I Will Protect Her: A gender flipped version where Cameron will do everything to protect John, as well as prepare him for Judgement Day and beyond.
- Lady of War
- Little Miss Badass
- Magical Girlfriend: Deconstructed. She's an unearthly beautiful girl devoted to John but she also lacks empathy towards anyone else and is willing to protect John by any means at her disposal.
- Manipulative Bitch: Cameron is very good at getting the reaction she wants out of people.
- Ms. Fanservice: Given who plays her, this trope was inevitable.
- No Sense of Personal Space: She stands too close to people and stares when she evaluates their threat level.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Punishes conversational partners who don't make her happy with disturbing revelations.
- Pet the Dog: All the time with John, from reassuring him of his value to acting as a semi love interest. Also towards a researcher who helps her, from helping him move about in his wheelchair to letting him fire her gun. Then she lets slip that he's had a relapse of cancer he thought he had finally gotten cured, causing him to possibly be Driven to Suicide.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: "Born To Run." That's all that needs to be said.
- Robot Girl
- Shout-Out: She's named after Franchise creator James Cameron.
- The Stoic
- Sugar And Ice Girl
- Unitard Of Power: She wears a dark red unitard when going undercover as a ballet student.
- Waif-Fu: Comes with being played by Summer Glau.
- Weak, but Skilled: At least in relation to other Terminators. She doesn't have their raw strength and often can't beat bigger Terminators in a straight up fight - which is why she fights dirty.
- Yandere: Very loosely, but there are shades of this in some episodes. She'll protect John, no matter the cost.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In "The Demon Hand" to the Russians, after getting what she needed from them. Note in this case she doesn't actually kill them, but simply ignores them once she has what she needs, allowing them to be killed because their survival was then irrelevant to her overall mission.
- Younger Than They Look: Cameron's exact age is never specified, but she's almost certainly younger than her human appearance makes her seem.
Charley Dixon (Dean Winters)
"He was a scary robot but you, you're a really scary robot."
Sarah's former fiance, he's since married someone else until she dies by Cromartie's hands
. Eventually dies protecting John Connor
James Ellison (Richard T. Jones)
"These are more than machine but I will never make the mistake of thinking them human".
An agent of the FBI, he started out trying to stop the Connors...until he started believing them.
Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green)
"We can go back. We can fix all the mistakes".
John's uncle from the future, he came back to get a chess playing computer named the Turk and kill its creator, Andy Goode
. Eventually is shot in the head by a Skynet Terminator.
And now alive again in an alternate future timeline
Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt)
"Thank you for your time."
The Terminator sent after John at the same time Cameron was. His chip is eventually destroyed, but his body ends up being used as the "face" of the Turk/John Henry supercomputer.
- Badass: Not even being decapitated will stop him.
- Big Bad: Of the first season.
- Kill and Replace: He killed a failed actor and assumed his identity afterwards.
- Implacable Man
- Losing Your Head
- Magic Plastic Surgery: Justified in that he's a robot and once he got new flesh put back on his body, he forced a plastic surgeon to make him look like a failed actor (in a procedure that would normally kill a human being).
- The Nth Doctor: Played by Owain Yeoman in the pilot before he gets blown up, Garret Dillahunt in the main seasons after he gets a new flesh covering, and an uncredited stuntman in the interim stages.
- The Unsmile
- Villainous Rescue: He destroyed a fellow Terminator who tried to Kill and Replace James Ellison, only because his mission is conflicted that he believed James can lead him to the Connors at the time.
The Connors' new and very pregnant neighbor.
Riley Dawson (Leven Rambin)
"I'm a crazy, badass ninja!"
John's new friend at school. Not very well liked by the audience. Actually working with Jessie to manipulate John Connor.
Morris (Luis Chávez)
John's other friend at school. Asked Cameron to the prom. Not seen since the first season.
- Brother Chuck: Possibly, along with the other high school storylines of season one.
Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson)
"The project's name is Babylon. It's from The Bible."
CEO of Ziera Corp. She had the Turk stolen and set a group of people to work with it on "Project Babylon." Also, is a liquid metal T-1001 Terminator.
Savannah Weaver (Mackenzie Brooke Smith)
"I want my old mommy back."
Daughter of (the real) Catherine Weaver. She becomes best friends with John Henry.
John Henry (Garret Dillahunt)
"Why is a math book so sad?"
The AI built and developed from Andy Goode's Turk supercomputer, using Cromartie's body
as a means to communicate with others and manipulate its environment. Extremely
intelligent, but almost childlike.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted. Weaver specifically enlisted Ellision to teach John Henry morality and ethics so he develops properly.
- Basement-Dweller: It's not like he has any choice on the matter since his body is permanently hooked up to the computer that's used to run his AI.
- Cain and Abel: John Henry asks which "brother" he is. Weaver's response is he might be neither, and may in fact be God.
Dr. Boyd Sherman (Dorian Harewood)
"Because it has so many problems".
A child therapist whose name was found on the blood-stained basement. Weaver hires him as a consultant to help her understand the strange behavior of her AI.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Died of heat stroke after the AI rerouted the power from the air-conditioning to continue powering itself.
- Token Minority: The only other African-American character in the show aside from Ellison.
Jesse Flores (Stephanie Jacobsen)
"Sunset's at 5:47. I'm not gonna miss that sucker."
Resistance fighter who traveled back in time to escape the hell of the future. Has an intimate relationship with Derek Reese. Actually traveled back in time on her own with Riley to try and separate John and Cameron, and is also implied to be an alternate counterpart to Jesse from Derek's timeline.
- Batman Gambit: Get Riley to threaten Cameron enough to kill her so John would be alienated from Cameron in the first place. If that doesn't work, kill Riley yourself, then pin the blame on Cameron. Unfortunately for her John figured it out before he terminated Cameron.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Revealed herself as this the moment she slapped Riley, and right after Riley admitted to screwing up, was not in good shape and was asking to stay with Jesse for a while.
- A Day in the Limelight: "The Last Voyage of the Jimmy Carter".
- Manipulative Bitch
- Ms. Fanservice
- Wham Line: gets one by Derek before we see the last of her. We don't know if he shot her or not.
" You're not my Jesse."
"I live in a tunnel. I eat garbage for dinner"
Resistance fighter in the future. Captured by Skynet, and who Cameron's physical features are based on. Later killed by Cameron for lying to her.
Implied to know John Connor personally. And now, most likely alive again in the alternate future timeline.
Jodie (Leah Pipes)
"I got this necklace at this awesome thrift store in Echo Park."
A runaway Cameron befriended in "Allison in Palmdale".