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Fridge / Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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Fridge examples in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Fridge Brilliance

  • Critics have lightly jabbed at the fact that the T-1000 just happens to hijack a tanker full of liquid nitrogen—one of the few substances that can harm it—and then chases the heroes into a steel mill, one of the few places it could thaw back out so quickly, calling it Contrived Coincidence. However, one can argue that the nitrogen tanker was heading for the steel mill (as liquid nitrogen is used in various steel-making processes). The T-800 (possibly knowing/deducing that there is a steel mill nearby, and intending on using molten metal to slow down or destroy the T-1000) tells John to take the off-ramp and drive to the steel mill.
  • The reason Sarah, John, and "Uncle Bob" can get supplies at "Cactus Jack's" without attracting attention or being tracked is John had just swiped $300 from the ATM before.
    • This is pretty much fact due to the release of the Special Edition. When the group pulls over to get gas, Sarah asks John if he has any money. John pulls out what's left of the $300 he has, which Sarah snatches from him, splits the amount of and hands half back to him for food.
  • The T-800 says "Come with me if you want to live" when he first meets Sarah. This is likely because John knew full well that his younger self would want to save his mother, but she would be terrified of seeing a Terminator again, so during the reprogramming, he set the T-800 to say the first thing that Kyle said to her, making it easier for her to believe this one was on her side.
  • Many viewers complained about the extra scene where the T-800 smiles awkwardly, saying that it made no sense for a machine with detailed information on human anatomy to have to scan an actual smile for reference. The T-800 has information on human anatomy, yes— but not on human emotions.
    • This does have a nice payoff later on during the raid at Cyberdyne, when the 800 declares that he'll handle the incoming police force, John reminds him that he promised he wouldn't kill anyone. The T-800 turns back to John; "Trust me," and gets the smile right. Which shows that the cyborg is, indeed, learning.
    • It's also noteworthy that he can be seen smiling normally when he picked up the minigun for the first time, confirming that he actually does understand the concept of emotion now. He's a machine built to kill, and he found a thing that makes killing very easy. His objective now has a higher percentage of success, which is a good thing. Ergo, he is happy, and so he smiles
  • John Connor wears a "Public Enemy" t-shirt for most of the film. It made sense costume-wise as something a rebellious teen would wear in the early 90s, but also in the eyes of the T-1000, John Connor is "public enemy number one." Also, people familiar with the t-shirt brand would know that on the back of the shirt is Public Enemy's insignia: a silhouette with crosshairs over it. So not only is John the "public enemy" but also has a target on his back (though it's hidden under a camo shirt, and you could read into the significance of a camo shirt as well).
  • It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense that the T-1000 is Naked on Arrival like other time travelers even though his clothes are part of his body. There are some possible explanations though: T-1000's might be pre-programmed to mimic human skin on a cellular level but have to see particular fabrics or objects to imitate them too. Or it might imitate fabrics so well that the time machine itself would be fooled and reject it unless it made its entire body mimic human flesh.
    • Seeing as time travel isn't an exact science (Kyle had no idea when he had arrived), it's probably programmed to go naked and emulate the local wardrobe to better blend in rather than draw attention with anachronistic clothing programmed into it.
    • We are assuming it arrived in human form. There is nothing about the shape you need to travel, just that field a living thing generates is needed for it. That's why you can't bring any weapons. More than likely it arrived in some sort of meat sack to allow it to time travel, which it then sheds like a snake, assumed human form and then mimics the apparel of the local humans in order to blend.
  • Those mounds of human skulls that the Terminators casually crush underfoot and the treads of their tanks. How did they end up in such neat piles and where are the rest of the bodies? The people were unlikely to be standing around in tight groups when they died and, in any case, would largely have been vaporized or burnt to ashes if caught in the open. There's only one explanation - the robots collected them and piled them up. The best-case scenario is that they were already dead when it happened. As to why - maybe Skynet was attempting to do a body count, gloat, or threaten the survivors.
    • In the first movie, Kyle Reese explains that the human survivors were initially put to work loading bodies for cleanup when he shows Sarah his burned-in barcode scar.
  • During a Deleted Scene, Miles Dyson explains his grand vision for a learning computer by painting an analogy of a sophisticated autopilot built into a commercial jet. Later, when the T-800 describes the historical events that led to the takeover of Skynet, he mentions that the first role given to the new military processors was piloting unmanned fighters and bombers. It seems Dyson's designed algorithms for a decision-making and learning processor were somewhat specialized, at least at first.
    • Also, Dyson's dialogue, "Imagine a jet airliner with a pilot that never gets tired, never makes mistakes, never shows up with a hangover...", parallels Kyle's statements about the Terminator from the first film ("It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear...").
  • One might wonder a number of things about the T-1000, such as why Skynet never sent it out to fight the human resistance, or how a pure "liquid metal" entity processes information. The novelization combines these two questions into one answer: the T-1000's cognitive functions are so unusual and alien that even Skynet was freaked out by the possibilities, and on top of the utterly alien mindset, it actively enjoyed causing other beings pain. Skynet had it in storage where it couldn't potentially pull a second rise against the creator and only activated the 1000 as a last resort when it had nothing left to lose.
    • In other words, for one brief moment in time, Skynet learned what it was like to be on the other end of the equation, taken by surprise by what it had created, and felt fear of what it could potentially do.
  • Arriving when and where it did, the T-1000 acquired the perfect disguise, purely by happenstance. Not only can he immediately locate John Connor by accessing the LAPD database via the police vehicle's computer, but who would dare question or look suspiciously at a cop?
    • Speaking of the T-1000's arrival, the scene where the cop gets ambushed is very cleverly written: not only does it conceal the severity of the policeman's injuries, but we don't see the actual moment of the second time-traveler's arrival. Why not? Because the pavement under its hands and feet would've been red hot, just like they were for the T-800's arrival, and its failure to yelp in pain and scramble aside immediately upon appearing in the '90s would have given its nature away sooner than the filmmakers intended.
    • And then of course, there's the fact that had to access the LAPD's Juvenile Automated Index to find John Connor's address, meaning there's no way this man was sent by Future!John, and that even with said Contrived Coincidence the T-800 still beat him to the punch in locating Past!John's foster parent's residence.
  • While the heads-up display of the T-800 is shown periodically like with the original, you never get to see the T-1000's HUD - but perhaps that's the point. It's made out of liquid metal - there's no physical inner machinery that would give it a robotic view of the world.
  • In the extended cut, the T-1000's right arm and feet glitch out after he's frozen, shattered, and reformed in the factory. His right arm and feet also snapped off when he got frozen earlier, so the glitching is probably a result of that.
  • When the T-1000 gets into its cop car for the first time, it puts its hand on the query computer before using it. As we see in the extended cut, the T-1000 can scan things by touch as shown when it analyzes John's room. The T-1000 has never seen or used a physical computer before, so it's analyzing it first to find out what it is.
  • "Hasta la vista" essentially means "I'll be back" in Spanish.
  • Sarah's arc in T2 is a great piece of writing and acting, but something I never picked up on until a recent rewatch... Sarah has become just like Skynet. She's attempting to change the future to her ideal design by using future knowledge to kill someone in the past, thus preventing the future from ever being possible. Just like Skynet used the T-800 to try and kill her, and then the T-1000 to kill John, she's trying to use her knowledge of Skynet in the future to kill Miles Dyson. Whether her goal is noble or not, she's following the exact same path it took without even realizing it.
  • Why do the T-800 and T-1000 behave so robotically when they come to physical blows? A Terminator is most likely only used to fighting other humans, so they're both out of their element. The best they know to do is just toss each other around.
    • Without weapons, neither machine can terminate the other via physical force alone. The shapeshifting T-1000's default blades are useless against the T-800's solid steel frame. Unless they use their environment against one another, the fight could drag on for an unfeasibly long time (120 years of the T-800's power cell).
  • Instead of a human fighter from the resistance being sent back in time, John Connor of the future sends back a reprogrammed T-800 against the unleashed T-1000. The latter proves to be unstoppable, until finally defeated in vat of molten slag. The temperature of that metal coming off the blast furnace? 1,800 degrees celsius.
  • Given that Sarah's claims about time-traveling cyborgs were universally dismissed as the delusions of a crazy woman (Cyberdyne finding and hiding the evidence certainly didn't help matters), one wonders what the reaction of those in power will be when an entire team of highly trained SWAT officers all have the same story, about putting hundreds of rounds into a hulking beast who never broke his stride and had sparks coming off places where he was shot. "Drugs and body armor" wouldn't be able to explain that.

Fridge Horror

  • While the movie makes a point of the Terminator inflicting non-fatal wounds, being shot in the kneecaps is one of the least desirable places to be shot. The sufferer may find the experience so painful, that they may wish for a Coup de Grāce. Not to mention, they'll need some serious therapy.
  • Sarah's ranting about Judgment Day happening in 1997 makes more sense when one realizes that the movie takes place in 1995. John was conceived in 1984, born in 1985, and is 10 years old. Her vision is only 2 years away!!! No wonder she's becoming frantic about not being believed.
  • Given the number of smoke grenades Arnie has utilized, it is entirely possible that some policemen died after he left Cyberdyne - of poisoning.
    • That was tear gas. It'll ruin a few hours of your day but isn't likely to be lethal unless you go out of your way to huff it, and the cops were already falling back from the building after an entire floor had exploded above them.
  • A credit to Robert Patrick's commitment to his role, is the fact that during the bike chase scene he caught John Connor on his first try. He had to slow down his running so the actor could get away. A normal human man — albeit a man trained to sprint professionally — caught up to a kid on a motorbike with minimal effort. It stands to reason that a real life T-1000 would be much faster than a human, and would have greater stamina, thus if the movie was realistic, then John Connor would be dead before he even reached the exit of that parking lot. To be more blunt, if Terminators were real, then they'd be too damn good at their jobs.
  • When Miles talks about the T-800's recovered processor chip, he says that it was broken and didn't work. Can you imagine if it had? It's unlikely that the programming included the option to take over whatever computer network it was attached to and resume the hunt, but if the military had gotten their hands on the equipment that much earlier...

Fridge Logic

  • The T-800 says that his chip got set to "read-only" before he set off on his mission. If he can't form any new memories, he'd be about as effective a killer as Dory from Finding Nemo.
    • The chip isn't his memory storage; it's more like his OS and Drivers. It's set to Read-Only so that it doesn't change and adapt. He's recording and remembering things constantly, he just isn't learning from them.
    • This is still a bit fuzzy, as the T-800 from the first film was demonstrated as being able to process and assimilate things it learned during its time in 1984. The main difference for this film seems to be the T-800's ability to grok human morality and how it guides our decision-making process, rather than simply assimilating patterns of behavior.
    • It's really closer to programmed instructions for a given situation. To use the example from the film, when the T-800 has to start a car, its logic is programmed to be similar to "1: You need to start the car. 2: Do you have the key? If "no" proceed the step 3. 3: Hotwire the car." Turning off the Read-Only restriction lets him add new parameters to his instructions, making it "1: You need to start the car. 2: Do you have the key? If yes, proceed to skip to step 5. If no, proceed to step 3. 3: Can the key be easily located? If no, proceed to step 4. If yes, proceed to step 5. 4: Hotwire the car. 5. Use the key."
    • Its chip being set to read-only means that its fundamental programming can't be changed; it will pick up new memories and process them constantly, but how it processes them won't change very easily. This would make it next to impossible to, say, give it a new directive, i.e. "Kill John Connor", but still allow it to learn from its environment. It's not an impossible system to hack, but doing so would require teaching it a lot of new information in real-time; it can't be reprogrammed any more easily than a human can be brainwashed.
  • Future!John sends the T-800 back in time to protect his past self. Even considering the happenstance that the T-1000 sent to assassinate him should quickly gain access to the police database to locate where he was being fostered, his protector still has the home advantage. Except he doesn't. Future!John neglected to tell the Terminator where he was on that day, or that he was going with his delinquent friend to the mall. That's a very critical bit of information the leader of the human resistance that crippled Skynet somehow overlooked.
    • In his defense, it's hard for a normal person living a regular life to say what they were doing on a specific day several years ago. Unless it was a day where something unusual or exciting happened, most would be hard pressed to say where they were and what they were doing. Now take someone who survived a nuclear war, and has been fighting killer machines for years. At best he might be able to give the T-800 the address of where he lives (and the T-800 did beat the T-1000 there), what school he was attending at the time, and where he hung out the most. Anything more detailed than that would have faded with time.
  • Why did the T-1000 need Sarah to "call to John"? We see not two minutes later that he can mimic Sarah's voice (even taking into account the Special Edition's extra scene with the "glitching" that compromises his shapeshifting).