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Headscratchers / Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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PSA: Headscratchers is a place to try and find In-Universe explanations. Try to avoid natter, going too off-topic and/or first person language. If a bullet has something you feel is incorrect, just fix it.

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    Bad foster parents? 
  • Just how did two mean-and-apathetic "dicks" (as John calls them) like Todd (a drunkard WWF addict and couch potato) and Janelle (a bitch so nasty that John could tell the T-1000 was a fake because "she" was too nice) pass the test to become foster-parents?
    • Todd and Janelle don't really do anything dickish in the movie; that's just John's perspective. They're borderline insulting to John, and the guy is obviously a bit reluctant to do any actual parenting, but the worst the woman did is be a bit of a nag. There's a wide range that people can fall on between "Parent of the Year" and "Abusive Monster". Then consider that kids tend to throw around insults rather casually...
    • This question seems to stem from an overly optimistic idea of how foster care works. Generally, foster parents receive a stipend from Social Services to temporarily take in a child whose family is dysfunctional for whatever reason (addiction, abuse, arrest, and yes, sometimes the child is having trouble socially). There is often tremendous conflict in foster homes, also to varying degrees. Todd and Janelle appear to be on the better end of the scale.

  • T2 ends with John and Sarah Connor preventing Judgement Day which would prevent John from sending his own father back in time, which would prevent his birth from happening.
    • This is a bleak concept, but bleakness suits the Terminator franchise. One kind of bleakness is the Novikov one-consistent-universe setup, where Judgment Day can never be prevented because it's set in stone. FWIW, one delete scene in the first Terminator movie was to be a pan up revealing that the factory where Sara had just destroyed the Terminator was Cyberdyne. Another kind of bleakness is the many-worlds setup — it was never, and will never, be possible for Kyle Reese to prevent * his own* apocalypse that occurred in his personal history, and indeed by traveling into the past he's abandoned his own timeline and never will truly be home again. But he can prevent the apocalypse in *this* world and make sure that the other version of him in this new timeline never goes through what he did.
      • Okay, but shouldn't that result in a second you running around, if previous timelines don't get erased?
      • No, it just means there's just more than one timeline. If I go back in time, I appear in a different timeline — a timeline in which, taken by itself, I seem to have appeared out of nowhere, just as in my original timeline I seem to have vanished into nothingness forever.
    • There's a tendency for people to think if A -> B, then !A -> !B. Just because we ultimately have Kyle being the father in the revised timeline doesn't mean in the original timeline he was the father.

    The T- 1000 can't call John 
  • Near the end, why did the T-1000 ask Sarah Connor to call to John? Having touched her, he could have taken her form and done it himself.
    • If the T-1000 calls to John, a second voice will shout "No, John, that's the Terminator!", probably followed by a painful wail.
    • Deleted scenes reveal that the freezing, shattering, and subsequent melting screwed up the T-1000 quite a bit, so it might not have trusted its voice-imitating capabilities. Even without those scenes, having Sarah call out would still have made good sense as she would be putting real and proper emotion into it, something the machines have difficulty replicating. It had not heard enough of Sarah's voice to sufficiently copy it. Or it hasn't previously heard enough of Sarah's voice in pain to sufficiently copy the unique stress-intonations of a person who is suffering. Further, it had already tried to mimic John's foster mother and caused red flags to go up, so it probably didn't want to chance a similar failure when a better solution presented itself.
    • Could be that the T-1000 was just being sadistic. Unlike the T-800, it seemed to kill people simply for annoying it (like stabbing John's foster-father while he was drinking out of the milk carton, just to shut him up). There was also no real reason for it to stab the guard in the mental hospital through the eye when a shot to the heart would do just as well, and saying "I know this hurts" while it twists the spike through Sarah Connor's shoulder.
      • In TSCC, Cameron says, "We're not programmed to be cruel."
      • Cameron could have been an earlier model. Or simply making an assumption based on her own programming. Or could have been repeating a lie that was part of her base programming.
    • It suits as subtle character development that both Terminator units go through over the course of the film. While Arnie learned the value of human life, the T-1000 learned darker traits like cruelty.
      • The thing with that, though, is that the T-800 learns the value of human life and other things due to having its learning capabilities unlocked by John and Sarah. The T-1000, as far as we know, doesn't have that unlock.
      • In the novelization it's stated the T-1000 is always in "learning mode" because the method of programming its living metal computers prohibits it from being set to "read only" like other Terminators. It's apparently why Skynet waited to use it as a weapon of last resort... it actually feared that the T-1000 might be the one to go off the reservation and strike back against it, like it had struck back against humanity.

    T-1000, lie detector 
  • When T-800 phones the T-1000 using John's voice, why does it just hang up after figuring out that John's foster parents are dead? It could have fed the thing false information about where John was, sending it off on a wild goose chase and buying more time for them to get out of the city.
    • The Terminators (and SkyNet) have shown themselves not to be particularly resourceful. It makes perfect sense for a computer to, upon finding out John's foster parents are dead, conclude "Well, that's a dead end. Time for plan B!" Without any consideration of how they can work around the issue, nor twist it to their advantage.

    Terminator-detecting dogs 
  • Enrique's dogs seem pretty relaxed for being in the same camp as a Terminator, don't you think? All the other dogs freaked out, so what makes these ones so blasé about the something-isn't-right-about-this-human?
    • Dogs bark at Terminators, but we've never gotten an explicit reason what exactly sets them off. Perhaps it isn't the canine version of a reaction to the Uncanny Valley. Perhaps the dogs of the future were trained to react to certain subtle signs. It's Fanon that the metal or the fake skin trips them off, but it's also possible it's their behavior which, while able to fool humans, can't fool dogs. With the T-800 being more human, the dogs might not have been tipped off.
    • Actually, they were barking plenty when Sarah, John, and Arnie arrive at Enrique's camp, but it's not very audible. Eventually they could have just gotten used to Arnold being there, because their human "pack" has accepted the outsiders.

    The usage of Skynet 
  • Sarah Conner tells Miles Dyson that "men like you built the atom bomb. Men like you thought it up". Isn't she being a bit unfair? A.I. is a lot different, since it wasn't created for the express purpose of killing.
    • There's a line in a deleted scene where Dyson discusses the non-military applications of A.I. (and, well, the fact that Dyson's a pretty nice guy) indicates that the audience isn't supposed to agree with her. Ultimately, though, fact remains that within the Terminator universe, A.I. Is a Crapshoot is always in play.
    • Sarah also earlier reasoned through why the T-800 was the best would-be father for John. He wouldn't beat him, yell at him, etc. The "men like you" comments suggest something a bit deeper.

    Terminators can't cry? 
  • "Now I know why you cry, but it's something I can never do". Ok, not to ruin a great Heartwarming Moment, but ain't it strange? Terminators can mimic even sweat and bad breath, but not tears?
    • Were they explicitly designed to mimic those two features? Sweating could be important for thermal regulation, same as the human body, and halitosis could just be a by-product of having internal organs made out of metal. One could argue that tear production would be helpful if, say, the Terminator got something in their eye or was in a particularly bad dust storm, but since the organic eyes themselves are only covering bionic eyes behind them, tears don't seem necessary.
      • In the first movie, Kyle Reese said, "The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human... sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till he moved on you before I could zero on him." So it seemed very intentional.
    • That line might not refer specifically to the act of crying, more to the emotion behind the tears. He's saying he can never cry out of grief, sadness or joy, because he cannot feel those emotions.
    • Crying is not a common bodily function like sweating is so Skynet doesn't waste their time and resources creating that. He doesn't blush, cough, sneeze, bruise, drool, throw up, eat or go to the bathroom either. He sweats, he gets bad breath and he bleeds (a little), the bare minimum to pass for human.
    • Another interpretation of the line is that the T-800 realizes John is crying out of fear of losing a friend (or surrogate family member), and is telling him that in the end, it's not made to fill that role for him.

    Waste of bullets on the T-1000? 
  • In T2, why do they keep wasting bullets and shotgun shells shooting the T-1000 over and over again? Using a shotgun to blast it off the back of a car or knock it over the railing into the pool of molten metal, fair enough. But other than that, it doesn't seem to do anything. They obviously don't hurt it, nor do they slow it down significantly, and yet Sarah Connor and the Terminator seem to spend most of the movie expending round after round into the T-1000 and then they act all surprised when it comes back for more two seconds later.
    • What else can you do? It stuns it and slows it down, that's good enough reason to do so.
    Out of bullets! I'm just going to keep mashing the trigger! 
  • Sarah shoots the T-1000 until it's practically about to fall, then the shotgun clicks empty. So she just clicks it twice more, because apparently she has terrible memory and can't remember how many rounds she loaded, and... does nothing while the T-1000 regenerates and starts to come at her.
    • She was wounded and exhausted. In the novelization, she's ready to do exactly that, when the T-800 appears with the grenade launcher. Even in the movie, the way John grabs on to her when she drops the shotgun, it's as if he's trying to hold her back.

    Dr. Silberman's selective obliviousness 
  • In T1, Dr. Silberman interviews Kyle, who tells him a tale of robots from the future who want to destroy humanity and so forth. In T2, he has Sarah as a regular patient, who tells him a tale of robots from the future who... wait a minute. Why doesn't it strike him even a little bit weird that Sarah and Kyle both had the same "delusion?"
    Likewise, in T2, a cop interviewed Sarah about the Terminator shortly after the mall showdown. He shows her security photos of the T-800 at the mall, then shows her photos of the T-800 in T1, during the police station attack. So there is physical proof of the Terminator's existence in the original, yet Silberman still thinks Sarah's totally delusional?
    • Sarah probably told Silberman during a therapy session that she and Kyle had spent a long time alone together. Silberman probably assumed Sarah had adopted Kyle's delusion about a robot apocalypse, much like being indoctrinated into a cult. It's called folie à deux or Shared Delusional Disorder (SDD).
    • The pictures weren't really very solid evidence. Like the cop says, they assume it's just the same guy coming back because, hey, they never found a body and anyone who witnessed the original's rampage in the police station is dead and thus can't speak to his indestructibility.
      • Apart from the fact that the tall guy with the thick Austrian accent clearly visible on both video and photographs hasn't aged a day between the assault on the police station and the incident at the mall.
      • Which, ultimately, is just proof that there's a tall guy with a thick Austrian accent who either ages rather well, has had some surgery done or looks more or less the same age in a blurry old photograph from about a decade ago. None of which is proof that said tall guy is some kind of robot assassin.
    • Silberman's a quack. In the first film, he shows no interest in Sarah's psychological state and seems more interested in making a study of Reese than treating him. In short, he doesn't care about his patients, just the benefit they might have on his career.
    • Additionally, Silberman works with crazies and has heard so many stories he probably has a very high skeptical bias against anything weird. It's also plausible he did start looking into Sarah's (and Kyle's) stories a bit more considering the strange situation of Arnold's apparent appearances and disappearances, but either he didn't get to or we the audience weren't told.

    John's not erased? 
  • A few lines of dialogue during Sarah's voiceover at the very end could have explained why John didn't disappear as soon as the war ceased to happen: "Why is John still alive? By all rights he should have disappeared when we stopped the war from happening; no Kyle, no John. Perhaps the destruction of Cyberdyne created another timeline. Maybe the universe was kind to me and allowed me to keep my son. I don't ask why. I'm simply grateful that John and I can finally look to the future with hope instead of fear." Hell, that took me all of three minutes. As an added bonus, it might have kept those other two movies from happening. (Probably not, but one can hope...)
    • Why would John Connor disappear? Kyle Reese did exist at one time (and probably still would) and he impregnated Sarah Connor. While Kyle Reese would now never travel to the pre-Judgment Day past according to the logic of the series, that event still happened in the timeline that Sarah Connor is shown existing in. The kid was already born and no changes in the future could change a past event that has already occurred.
      • It's the old grandfather paradox thing, as discussed above. There's no evidence that the series (at least up to that point) is operating on the multiple-timelines theory of time travel, so it seems like they should have addressed the problem in some way, no matter how obliquely.
    • John's continued existence makes sense if you're willing to accept T3 as canon. If not, it's explainable by the multiple timelines theory, but that arguably opens up a bigger problem: when Skynet sends the Terminators back, they end up in another timeline, and are going to have no impact on the future of the timeline they came from. So John technically has no reason to intervene in those plans. Even if he has no way of knowing that, it's still a really bad idea to lower the stakes of two movies in your last scene
      • Not necessary: If you suppose that after time travel creates another timeline, the original one ceases to exist, Back to the Future-style. In this case, humanity was saved only by Delayed Ripple Effect.
    • Sarah already addressed the issue of paradoxes with her dialogue at the end of the first movie, considering whether she should tell John about Kyle and how John's decision as to whether or not to send Kyle back could change the timeline. She concludes that thinking too much about it could make someone crazy, so she may as well default to the option she feels is the right thing to do.

    Grenade vulnerability? 
  • How dangerous would it be to be in the room when one of those grenades gets fired, even if you "get down"?
    • Extremely. But "get down" is standard movie speak for "we are now invincible".
      • If this is the infamous "let me try my key" scene, it wouldn't have been exceptionally dangerous at all. In reality, the grenade wouldn't have armed itself in timenote  and would have just bounced off the door. Although it could have smacked somebody in the head really hard if it bounced in the wrong direction.

    Shared breathing device 
  • Would it be possible to share a breathing apparatus like they do while swimming in tear gas, without it critically affecting you?
    • Possibly. If Sarah held her breath and kept her eyes squeezed shut when John had the mask and John did the same when she had it then in theory they might have been able to tolerate the effects of the tear gas. Not forever, but long enough for the Terminator to wheel in the armored van and get them out of there. Though even then they would've had to spend some time recovering from the tear gas. Sarah probably would've had a hard time standing up straight, let alone trade shots with the T-1000 as it chased after them in a helicopter.
    • Yes. It would be possible. It would suck horribly and you'd hate life but yeah you could force it. What you do is you take a deep breath and hold it. The trick is you think you can breathe out without the mask you can't. When you get the mask back you press it as hard as you can against your face and breath out, this forces the tear gas out from the rubber seals, you then take a breath. I would NEVER recommend this in the field but yeah if you had enough training, and enough wherewithal, this isn't impossible in the short term.
    • You can share, but you'd still be getting a dose of the stuff, since the mask is getting the gas inside every time they pass it back and forth. It would be diluted a bit by the oxygen from the mask, but they'd still be coughing, wheezing, and streaming fluids from the nose and eyes by the time Arnie got back to them.

    Helicopter shrapnel 
  • How much deadly shrapnel would a helicopter collision spew into the interior of the SWAT van?
    • A lot. But the scene where Sarah puts on a Kevlar vest and makes John cover himself with 3-5 vests handwaves it.

    Locking the guard up in the bathroom 
  • Why did they put Gibbons in the men's bathroom, the MOST OBVIOUS place to look for him? Why not the women's? Or a broom closet? Or ANYWHERE but the one place where they would certainly look for a guy missing from his post?
    • As a security guard, I can vouch that the night shift usually drinks a lot of coffee, meaning a lot of trips to the john. They could have at least tied him up inside a stall though, and a Tap on the Head would have at least given the appearance that the guard had simply nodded off while sitting on the toilet.
    • We have to remember, the plan was to blow up the building. The Terminator was programmed to not kill people, so him putting the guard in a place where he can be easily rescued is just thinking ahead.
    • Maybe Miles thought the other security guard for this shift was a woman?

    Why shoot the T- 1000 and shatter it? 
  • Wouldn't the T-800 Terminator have been better off leaving the T-1000 frozen in one piece? It would have taken longer for it to melt and regain the ability to move. Shooting the T-1000 into a hundred pieces actually helped it to continue the pursuit of John Connor!
    • Either way it would have thawed from the heat, and if he hadn't shot it, he wouldn't have had to pull himself together from droplets. Also, he only took note of the heat after shooting him.
      • Yes, but a single solid object thawing out is going to take a lot longer than a hundred smaller objects thawing out because in the latter case there's a whole lot more surface area, whether they're near a Smoke and Fire Factory or not. It's the difference between him thawing out "eventually" and him thawing out now.
      • It's made of metal. Try picking up a hot cast-iron skillet without a potholder if you doubt that heat travels rapidly through the entirety of a solid metal mass. At least shattering it forces it to take time to rebuild itself, probably longer than thawing the whole thing as one chunk would take.
      • Yes, metal is a great conductor of heat. That does not change the fact that heat radiates out from and into the surface of something. One solid object has a lot less surface area than hundreds of objects, and each object is smaller. It's simple physics. A single large ice cube could take hours to thaw, while if you broke that ice cube into hundreds of tiny chunks, it would take minutes, tops. Put a full-sized ice cube in your mouth, and it's going to take minutes to melt in your mouth. Take the equivalent mass of snow and it's liquid almost before it even gets to your mouth. That's how heat works. Rebuilding itself was done in seconds, and thawing one solid chunk would have taken at the very least several minutes.
    • Answer: Yes, it would have. But then we wouldn't have had that cool shot of the T-1000 blasting into a bazillion frozen pieces.
    • The T-800 was probably hoping that shattering the deep-freezed T-1000 would break it. The extended cut shows that the T-1000 actually did suffer some damage, making its shape-shifting abilities somewhat unreliable/uncontrollable.
      • Who says the T-800 even knew the T-1000 could reassemble itself? The liquid-metal terminator was a prototype; information on its capabilities may not have been distributed to the older models. Heck, if it was still undergoing preliminary testing when future-John's forces seized Skynet's time travel facility, then even Skynet may not have known it could do that.
    • By the same token, there are MUCH closer vats of molten metal (at least two within running distance of the entrance, one of which provides the heat for the T1000 to re-melt). Why didn't Arnie just pick up the pieces and run over to the vats with them? That would have shaved about 20 minutes off the film, but it would have been a more practical ending than standing around watching it re-form.
      • Arnie doesn't seem to notice the vats immediately, and even if he did, the solid pieces took like 50 seconds to completely melt. Carrying them closer to the heat source would only cause them to melt in Arnie's hands. Even if he started throwing the largest pieces to the vats, he couldn't get rid of more than a few percent of T-1000's total mass.
      • Practical? Maybe. A dull, boring and anti-climactic way to end an action movie? Almost certainly. Also, they hardly 'stand around watching it re-form' — as soon as they notice that it's starting to reform, they get as far away from it as possible.
    • Both Terminators have a very brute force approach by default. When the target is nearby, shoot it, beat it, stab it, etc. While the T-800 is capable of learning, it doesn't have experience with this situation, nor would it be programmed for it.

    The T- 800 model identity 
  • Is the "Arnold" model the T-101 or the T-800? I've seen it referred to as both in the context of the first two movies, though a similar, upgraded model was T-801 in the third movie.
    • T-800, Model 101. The 800 refers to the endoskeleton, the Model 101 part is the outer layer of flesh.
      • So Model 101 has the exact facial appearance of Arnold, whereas all T-800s would have the same physical build: six foot plus, hulking, weigh around a half ton or so.
      • Essentially. The Terminator in the first movie is designated as "Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator", whereas the one in the second movie is "Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Version 2.4 Infiltration-Combat Unit". "Series" is their designation (T-600, T-700, T-800, etc. think something like the different gaming consoles), "Model" is the facial/gender appearance.
    • Terminator clearly doesn't weigh anywhere near half a ton. It has a very skeletal chassis which doesn't suggest such enormous weight, and it would have been an abject failure as an infiltrator otherwise. It wouldn't take much work to create a stone-age tech trap that would get triggered by something that weights 6 times the weight of average person stepping on it, no need for dogs and inept sentries in a bunker, just a pressure plate or a nice deep hole covered by something that would give out under this much weight. In the present, his bike and car suspension would have failed the first time he went over a bump on the road and he would have put an enormous dent into the hood of the car he jumped on in the first film. In general, a person weighting this much and stomping around would not have looked or sounded "normal".
      • You can chalk up the weight suggestion in T3 either to a variation between the two Terminator models, or chuck it based on Fanon Discontinuity.
    • The films themselves never refer to Ahnald as anything but a T-800. In expanded universe material and trivia a deleted scene it's claimed that it's from series 800 and model 101. The series is the type of terminator involved, the model the physical appearance mold that's used for the human part.
    • CORRECTION. Kyle Reese in the first film refers to them as the "800 series". Arnold in the second film expands this to "Model 101".
    • CORRECTED CORRECTION: Kyle in Terminator and the Terminator in Terminator 2 both refer to that kind of Terminator as "Cyberdyne Systems model 101" (Kyle says "one-zero-one," Ahnald say "one-oh-one.") Only in Terminator 3 does Ahnald identify himself as "a different T-101." Kyle in the first film notes that "the six-hundred series had a rubber skin." It isn't until Terminator: Salvation that Ahnald's series is identified as an "eight-hundred series." But still not a T-800. Though dialogue in Terminator 2 repeatedly references the T-1000 as just that, and all the extra material prior to T3 identified Ahnald's Terminator as a T-800, so it's more likely that T-800 is the proper designation, and T-101 is a mistake.
    • To quote James Cameron himself in the DVD commentary of T2:
    "...the model 101s all look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a 102 looking like someone else...
    • This is backed up in the first film with the Terminator in one of Kyle's flashbacks being played by Franco Columbu.

    T- 1000 function 
  • How the bloody blue piss does the T-1000 work? How is it in any way plausible to program a homogeneous mass of liquid metal?

    The T-1000's method of killing 
  • Why doesn't the T-1000 simply envelop his opponents? We see that he can turn into a shapeless blob at will. So why doesn't he surround the T-800 with his mass, and then crush his vital components from the inside?
    • He doesn't have that much mass. Fully enveloping the T-800 would be hard with his mass, and even if he did, crushing him would be impossible, because he would have to apply that pressure across his entire body. It's one thing to apply force on a single point on a blade a few inches across. It's another thing altogether to apply that pressure across the entire surface area of a seven-foot tall robot with the bulk of a bodybuilder. It will literally have a few hundredths or thousandths the strength to apply per square inch. Stabbity/punchy is more efficient.

    The Skynet chip 
  • What happened after they removed the CPU from the terminator in T2? Was removing and sticking it back in enough to overwrite the "don't learn to much" program?
    • "Skynet presets the switch to read-only when we're sent out alone". So, it was not program, but a physical switch, like the one on SD-Memory Cards, which you can set to read-only and back with a simple motion of a hand.

    Reprogramming a T- 1000 
  • So can a T-1000 be reprogrammed?
    • It can be programmed in the first place, so probably yes. You'd just have to find a way to subdue, then interface with, what amounts to metallic pudding.
    • Speaking of the T-1000's chip... Where is it? He gets shot in the head several times, melted, and shattered, but there's never any sign his chip is anywhere but where it's supposed to be. Or is it, as someone suggested below, nano-machines or some other computer magic? Or maybe the "mimetic poly-alloy" IS the entire neural net? It's never explained, so it seems to go against Terminator canon that they all have a chip.
    • "Canon" for the actual, solid robot versions. The T-1000 is something completely different. It's usually explained as a nanomachine-infused liquid alloy, so rather than having a Central Processing Unit, it has a distributed network of nano-scale microprocessors that work together to create a neural network.
    • Given that it re-assembles itself after being shattered, it pretty much has to have a distributed network, as each individual tiny droplet of liquid metal needs at least enough independent processing power to execute the "find other pieces and merge with them" command.

    What if the mission succeeded? 
  • What would the T-800 or 1000 do afterwards if they succeed in their missions?
    • In T3 the Terminatrix had a list of John Connor's lieutenants. Maybe the first two also had lists, but were told that killing Connor was the most important thing they could possibly do. If they'd succeeded, they might have had orders to go on killing people known to be Resistance leaders. If they completed that list... well, they could always rent themselves out to a computer company. Heck, they might even have had some kind of standing order to help develop Sky Net.
    • In SCC the units just shut down and wait for further orders unless outside stimuli directs them to attack. So they'd likely find some out of the way location safe from nuclear bombardment and power down until they received further orders.
    • Terminator: Dark Fate shows us exactly what happened.

    Sending just one T- 1000 back? 
  • Why didn't Skynet send two T-1000s into the past instead of a T-800 and a T-1000?
    • They probably didn't have two T-1000s available at the time. Sending terminators through time was a last ditch effort by the defeated Skynet, it would have used whatever it had available. Heck, maybe that was the first of the T-1000 models that had actually been built?
    • The T-800 in T2 says that the T-1000 is a prototype. Skynet probably didn't have time to make more before it lost the war, so it sent the one that it had.
    • In the novelization of T2, it's stated that Skynet hesitated over sending the T-1000 as due to its unique construction there were questions about just how "loyal" it would be to its mission. This was most likely due to the fact that programming Liquid Metal is a very different prospect to programming a computer chip that can be fitted with a "learn/don't learn" switch.

    Don't offer the old T- 800 arm? 
  • A rather minor point but in T2, after the good T-800 gets his arm ripped off in battle, how come John didn't offer him the old T-800's arm? They're never shown considering that option, they just throw it into the smelting pool without an afterthought.
    • Leaving the T-800's Heroic Sacrifice aside, if they had planned on having it stick around it would be easier to explain a guy with a stump than a guy with 2 right arms. The one recovered from the lab was a righty, and the T-800 had lost its left arm.
    • Besides, both arms were rather brutally ripped off — he could hardly have just attached it to his shoulder — it would've required equipment and skills they didn't have, and besides they were dead fixed on destroying the thing.
      • Dyson also said the chip didn't work, so it's fair to assume the arm didn't, either.
      • A computer chip broken in half is inoperable. A mostly intact mechanical arm (for all intents and purposes it can be considered an advanced prosthetic) can be repaired to be fully working. Also, since it's mechanical, it'd actually be quite easy to switch the arm from a right to a left.

    The T-800's need for a torque wrench 
  • From T2 when the old pick-up truck is being fixed... why would a Terminator need a torque wrench?
    • Because it's more suited to the job than fingers, even if those fingers are super strong.
      • The Terminator is already using a ratcheting socket wrench, which it puts down before asking to be handed a torque wrench. Presumably the Terminator should have a built in feedback system that would allow it to be suitably precise with its application of torque without a torque wrench.
    • Because the torque wrench tightens the bolt to a specific tightness, not just 'as tight as possible'. Besides, the T-800 was trying to pass as "Bob" at this point, so using its fingers instead of the proper tool would have been suspicious.
      • Most human mechanics wouldn't bother with a torque wrench for something as indelicate as bolting on a new alternator. Additionally, most human mechanics can gauge approximate or ballpark torque. If anything, a Terminator should have a more precise feel for their application of force than most humans.
    • And most of all, because all appearances aside, Arnold Schwarzeneger is not actually a super-strong killer robot. He's a big dude, but he can't tighten a bolt with his bare fingers.
      • Arnold already had a ratcheting socket wrench in his hand before putting it down and switching to a torque wrench. Additionally, the bolt was out of view. If the script called for Arnold to attach the bolt bare handed he could have easily pretended to do so. Even if the bolt was in view, there would be no way for a viewer to determine whether it was actually torqued up tightly.
    • Use of super-strength probably damages a Terminator's living-tissue sheath, which isn't nearly as sturdy as the metal endoskeleton underneath. It's probably a standard part of their programming to use tools for such tasks when they're available, to reduce wear and tear on their fleshy façade.
      • The Terminator already had an appropriate tool in hand before putting it down and requesting a torque wrench.
      • This really wasn't a headscratcher so much as you wanting to show off that you knew more about wrenches than the film crew, eh?
    • Because the Terminator is not an experienced human mechanic, it's a robot following a list of steps it was programmed with, quite probably from a user manual.

    The T- 1000 imitating the guard 
  • If the T-1000 can only imitate people and objects of equal size to itself, how was it able to imitate Lewis the guard, despite him being much larger than it was?
    • In the novelization of the film, it was stated that the T-1000 "stretched" its molecules out a little bit to accommodate Lewis' larger size. Even the most microscopic increase over its entire structure could allow for much larger sizes & is also how it gained that helmet & puffy jacket when it was a motorcycle cop.
    • There is a finite amount of T-1000. It could hollow itself out if necessary to create something larger (but less dense) than itself.

    The police shooting Miles Dyson 
  • Why on Earth did the cops/SWAT open fire on poor Miles? Did they go "Hey look, that guy's unarmed! Oh wait... noes!!! He's a nigga! Die scum!!". I mean, I would like to believe Cyberdyne guards told the police that Miles was obviously a hostage! And SWAT knew they were after the white male that slaughtered the police station... so, WHY? I mean, they later give Arnie SEVERAL warnings before opening fire...
    • The SWAT Team kicks in the door and screams "Drop your weapons!" They then see a man standing in the middle of the room, turning towards them, holding something in his hand. Race wasn't a factor; it was just bad timing that Miles was turning when the Team came in. Also, when they gave the T-800 warnings, his pistol was tucked into his pants, meaning that he wasn't presenting a threat until he ignored their commands.
      • Plus, IIRC, didn't Miles have a detonator in his hands at the time? After Arnold demonstrated his willingness to fire on officers with a minigun I doubt they'd want to take their chances with anyone.
      • Even so, given that Sarah and the Terminator were the only known offenders in the group, and that Dyson was a cyberdyne employee, presumably with no criminal record or association with the others, it seems far more likely that the police should have assumed that his involvement was against his will, and thus should have treated him as a hostage. The guard also should have reported that there was a child with them. In fact, John was very nearly hit when they opened fire. Regardless of how dangerous Sarah and the Terminator were, there's no way that they should have entered the room spraying it with bullets immediately.

    Forgetting the T-800's arm 
  • In T2, after the good T-800 gets his arm ripped off in battle, how could they forget it was there and not throw it in the smelter?
    • That arm got crushed. It's just a smashed lump of metal now.
      • A smashed up lump of hyperalloy — whatever that is.
      • Side note, though not canon in the films, this was actually a plot point in the novel T2: Infiltrator. It's explained that members of Cyberdyne managed to resume their research after they found Arnie's smashed-up arm in the gears.
    • It isn't shown what Sarah and John did immediately after Arnie was melted. It's not impossible that they went back, dug the arm out by turning on the machinery or something, then threw it in after them. Besides, the arm isn't as crucial as the microchips were, at any rate.

    The Canal Chase 
  • In T2, while pursuing John's motorcycle through the canal in the semi, the T-1000 keeps turning around to look at Ahr-nold on the motorcycle behind it. Why would it need to turn its head to watch its pursuer? If its body is made entirely of liquid metal, then its eyes are just cosmetic shapes that make it look human; it doesn't have cameras hidden behind false eyes, like the other terminator designs. Whatever sensory mechanisms its nanites use to detect their surroundings ought to work just as well from the back of its head as from the front.
    • Rule of Perception. Otherwise it would be completely normal for it to walk backward too and that would end up looking weird.
    • Most likely it's a matter of function following form. Since the T-1000 has taken the form of a human, it is in part limited by human physiology. It can't see where we don't have eyes, since it must maintain the image of hair, or clothes, or whatever on the rest of its body. To give itself eyes in the back of its head, it would have had to make the necessary change in its form, not the most sensible thing to worry about in the middle of a battle. Or maybe it was confused about why another Terminator was in the area and trying to save the Primary Target.
    • It is a Terminator, a cyborg explicitly designed (especially the T-1000 model) to act like a normal human. A normal human would turn its head to look at something behind it, so that is what the Terminator is programmed to do.

    The T- 800 always follows John Connor's orders, right? 
  • In Terminator 2, the T-800 is programmed to follow John Connor's orders. So John Connor orders the T-800 not to go down the chain that would be lowered into the molten iron. And the T-800 goes anyway. WHAAAAAAAAAAT???? And if Future!John told the T-800 something like "Override: you will ignore my orders about not preparing yourself for self-termination after the mission is over", why can't the T-800 self-terminate anyway? It would've been just as easy, for Future!John to say "Override: you will self-terminate after the mission is over and ignore my eventual orders about not self-terminating"! It makes no sense!
    • The order future John gave was probably more along the lines of, "Get yourself destroyed once the mission is finished," or "Ensure that no technology remains that can be used to start Skynet." As for not being able to self-terminate, that's probably something so deeply hardwired in on manufacture that trying to change or remove it risks just outright destroying the operating system.
      • Which other than having a tearjerker ending you have to wonder why Terminators can't self destruct. I would think that since they are utterly replaceable and while it doesn't get mentioned until T3 (which a lot of us choose to ignore) these things are walking around with nukes in their chests! I would think that once a Terminator is in a no-win situation or simply one where it could do the most damage by becoming a suicide bomber (either using their internal nuke or doing something else like bringing the building down on top of them with however many resistance members are present would be exactly the sort of thing you'd want your robot army to be capable of.
      • The "nukes in their chests" thing is a T3-invention. In-universe it's explained by the T3 Terminator being a newer model (Series 850, to be exact), which uses a different power source.
      • Because Skynet didn't want soldiers that were going to kill themselves.
    • Most likely, the T-800 had a hierarchy of orders pertaining to John, the highest of which was "Protect John Conner's life at all costs" (we see it taking heavy damage, including nearly lethal damage, in keep John from the T-1000), followed closely by "Obey John Conner's orders." All it would take to override John's order against getting lowered into the steel was for the T-800 to note that its continued existence was a danger to John's life, and that danger must be removed at all costs.
    • Or maybe it's learning and becoming self-aware now that it's not in read-only mode. The exact reason that the Skynet switch read-only mode is on is because they thought the terminators might disobey.
    • Alternatively, maybe Terminator must obey young John Connor's orders only until his mission (i.e., protection of John from T-1000) is completed. With T-1000 out of the way, he can make his own decisions — all the more so with a learning mode on.

    T- 1000 and nanomachines 
  • I get that this is a movie, but how the hell does the T-1000 work? If it is just a blob of mimetic poly-alloy with no solid internal parts, it should not have the ability to move or even think. How is this possible?
    • Nanomachines.
    • It was actually explained by James Cameron in the extended version's DVD that the T-1000 was basically made up of... Nanomachines.
  • On a similar note, what made the grenade blast so deadly to the T-1000? Sure, it was quite ripped up, but the T-1000 would, eventually, reform, and having a large hole in its torso somehow doesn't seem worse than being frozen and blown to pieces. So why is that the grenade blast did the T-1000 in? Did it somehow lose its balance? The camera work makes it look like it just falls into the molten steel...
    • The grenade blast wasn't itself deadly. The T-1000 was already damaged by being frozen. They edited out brief shots showing that his shapeshifting was mucking up by copying the floor he stood on, but he noticeably glitches once or twice in the finished film. The grenade just blasted him apart and the damage he already suffered by freezing made it harder to reform, and he just fell over the edge.
      • Also, in sort of a Chekhov's moment, when Arnold shot it in the head at the elevator, the head split wide open and it seemed confused for a bit before coming back together. Apparently itís effectively vulnerable (at least temporarily) to this sort of injury.

    0. 0 Casualties? 
  • In that big epic scene where Arnie fends off the cops, they make a big thing about how he doesn't kill anyone. But how did he know he was going through it casualty-free? What if one of the thousands of minigun bullets he fired ricocheted and hit someone? What if someone ducked out of cover at the wrong moment and ended up ventilated? You might be a robot, mate, but you can't calculate things like that.
    • A robot can calculate ricochets with an instant knowledge of bullet physics, plus ricochets tend to be slower and less deadly than a straight shot. If someone pops out of cover, he's going to be careful to not fire too close to where folks are hiding it. Just close enough to give them a warning.
    • Indeed, terminators are probably designed to calculate ricochets, because they'd normally be expected to target humans who are otherwise concealed by hard cover with them, a la DC Comics' Deadshot. Arnie just ran those calculations but did the opposite.
    • Apparently he can also calculate where spalling shrapnel is going to go, because more than once he sends cops fleeing from behind the cars he's actively shooting holes in and blowing up. Seems like despite the cars bursting into flames or outright exploding, not one cop picks up so much as a flesh wound from shrapnel or ruptured eardrum from the explosions.

    Why does the LAPD send a SWAT team into the Cyberdyne building? 
  • What the hell is up with the SWAT team that attacks the cybernetic building? Even an anti-terrorist group wouldn't put that much lead in the air, gunning down a civilian in the process. They would be using a different type of gun (range and accuracy) and shooting more precisely.
    • Rule Of Action Movies.
    • While they are trained to deal with intense situations, maybe they were a little unsettled by the minigun and grenade launcher assault.
    • Um, about eleven years before this movie was set, a man who looked just like the one they've been sent to apprehend shot up a police station with dozens of cops in it and slaughtered about 17 officers, including a great many family, friends, and associates of theirs. When the security guard at the Cyberdyne office makes a frantic call to the LAPD, telling them this same genocidal creep has turned up again, he tells them "Look, just send everything you've got!" and they do. It's likely that a lot of the LAPD officers who either witnessed the police station massacre or lost friends and family in the event were sent, and some of them maybe were in command. Think any of them might have ordered their troops not to hold back on this guy? Think maybe some of them weren't going to hold back anyway, whatever their orders said? Some of them were probably also on the horn to the military asking them to send backup in case they needed it (which they did, as it turns out; too bad the military either didn't care to help or couldn't make it in time).
    • Considering this same guy has been involved in numerous other bloody incidents besides the precinct massacre, both during the original movie's events and being caught on camera shooting up a mall, possibly (no indication he was seen) blowing up a semi in a storm wash, and shooting up a mental hospital, the cops are probably more than a bit jumpy about anything involving this guy, the people next to him, whoever lives across the street, and their dog, too. As for the military being called out, if memory serves, posse comitatus means it's actually illegal for military personnel to be used in law enforcement, although the National Guard could be called out by the governor. The timeframe makes it pretty much irrelevant, as by the time anyone could mobilize, they'd be long gone.

    Where does the LAPD go? 
  • Where do all the police vanish to after the siege at Cyberdyne? Why is there not a single police vehicle chasing them during the highly visible drive down the highway that follows? After that they spend some fifteen minutes at the steel mill without anybody else coming in. On a related note, why is there apparently not a single reporter at the site of one of the largest single police actions in the history of the city?
    • The T-800 destroys all the police vehicles at the scene, except the truck they use to make a getaway, and he injures / incapacitates all the police officers present. Hence, no one there is able to go in pursuit, since police officers cannot clone themselves or instantly heal their injuries. Furthermore, since all available units would be at Cyberdyne, and police reinforcements cannot magically teleport exactly where they're needed, it's gonna take time for reinforcements to arrive at the scene, by which time they're long gone. The T-1000 also stole the police helicopter, which was the only thing at that point capable of keeping track of them as they escaped, and killed the pilot. Hence, the police don't go in pursuit because all the units in the area are incapacitated and they've lost the trail. Plus, I'd imagine that even the police would be a bit wary of plunging head-first after a guy who's just single-handedly incapacitated hundreds of police officers and vehicles at once.
    • As to reporters, the police doubtless weren't tipping any of them off to what they were doing, and if any did monitor the police radios and try to follow them to the scene for a live report... everybody from the city police force was there to give them the bum's rush. Also, even the most tenacious reporters would be quick to flee the scene once the shooting started.

    Read/Write chip? 
  • In the deleted scene... if Skynet didn't want terminators to learn, why did it put that option in their chips to begin with?
    • The movie notes that it puts the chip to read-only when they're sent out. Presumably it sets them to Read/Write when they're at home, so they can learn new things, like languages or things pertaining to special missions.
    • "Read-Only" when they're sent out alone. Presumably, if two or more Terminators are on the same mission, they can "reinforce" each other to remain loyal to Skynet. Or at least, Skynet thinks so.
    • If Skynet is so concerned about its terminator units learning and thinking too much, why would it even install such abilities in the first place?
      • Because it's better to have a unit that can learn new information between missions rather than being single-use tools that have to be discarded after each assassination. Remember that Skynet was apparently 'correct' that having the chip in Read Only Mode kept the Terminators focused on the mission at hand.
      • Also, Skynet may have simply not learned of the vulnerability yet. The bigger vulnerability is that it could be captured and reprogrammed by humans at all. The learning mode feature apparently wasnít even used when it was reprogrammed.

    The T- 1000 energy source 
  • Where does T-1000 get the energy necessary to function? The energy source must be installed into every bit of it but how is it possible to store enough energy in such a little volume to pull the stuff it does?
  • Nanomachines? Maybe it has super advanced microscopic versions of the T-850s Hydrogen fuel cells?

    Sending things back in time in living tissue 
  • In the first movie, it is directly stated that only living tissue can travel through time, the Terminator being the exception as it is covered in living tissue. Then how come the T-1000, a blob of living metal, managed to be sent back while the Terminator is still in the exact same state of clothing as the original?
    • The T-1000 can fudge the rules by mimicking flesh with its outer coating. It too was "naked" when being sent through, and its outside feels real enough that people don't get confused when they shake hands with it or touch it.
    • Or he was wrapped in the exactly the same tissue as T-800. We don't see the moment of his arrival.

    Killing the foster parents 
  • So, about the T-1000 killing John Connor's foster parents: we see that it took on Janelle's form to get into the house and kill Todd. What did it do to lure her outside to a place where it could kill her?
    • Don't forget, he'd already been at the house that day, and she opened the door willingly enough to a cop (the reason the T-1000 took the form in the first place). All he had to do was knock on the door again and when she opened it, impale her. It's gruesome but easy enough to do.
    • In the script, after killing the dog Max, the T-1000 walks back inside the house to John's room. He passes a bathroom where the real Janelle's legs can be seen through the half-open door. The T-1000 may have killed her while she was taking a shower (or about to get in the shower). Todd may have just come home in that scene, explaining why he didn't notice anything strange.

    Why not throw the frozen T- 1000 in the steel? 
  • Instead of shooting it, why didn't the T-800 just pick up the frozen T-1000 and throw it in the nearby vat of molten steel?
    • Firstly, rule of cool, if he had done that, the movie would have been over fifteen minutes sooner. Secondly, the terminator is shown to have a fairly simplistic approach to combat, relying on its physical toughness and firepower (i.e., walking straight at the SWAT team in the lobby and allowing himself to be shot repeatedly), it doesn't use feints, deception or trickery, which would imply a higher level of abstract reasoning (which the T-1000 does, incidentally) so perhaps the idea of picking up the T-1000 while it's frozen simply doesn't occur. In fact, the act of shooting the frozen T-1000 actually helped it, since the small pieces would thaw much faster than one massive frozen hunk of metal.
    • And while we're here, it's an interesting question of what would have happened in that case. Because obviously Arnie wouldn't have destroyed the whole T-1000 that way — there would still be those small particles of metal that will regenerate. How would those behave?
    • We already get the answer to this within the movie itself; pieces that are too far away from the T-1000 aren't capable of moving/transforming and are stuck that way. Without the T-1000, they would become inert.

    The T-800's lack of knowledge on tears 
  • So despite being programmed knowledge of human anatomy, the T-800 doesn't know what tears are or what causes them? If John or Sarah contracted a disease that causes excessive lacrimation, would it not know what to do?
    • It appears that the Terminator does know about tears but only associates them with physiological causes, not emotional ones. He asks "What's wrong with your eyes?", which could be taken as ignorance of crying, but more likely he's treating the tears as symptoms of something else: Are you sick? Is there something in your eye? Are there irritants in the air? etc. His later question of "Why do you cry?" seems to be more philosophical than a straight question, and his line of questioning tries to clarify Johns responses then outright ignorance. Even then it's also possible this "detailed files" contain omissions about pain responses: he's designed to be a killer, not a torturer.
      • It's apparently not until the 850 models that Skynet starts programming Terminators with psychology protocols, so the answer is most likely that yes, the Terminator is asking John if there is actually a physical problem with his eyes, and also that he probably doesn't really understand the emotional response John is having to Sarah's behavior.

    Fractional casualties 
  • Why does the T-800's casualty counter allow for fractional casualties? To be a casualty, one must either be injured or killed. How can you only be partially injured or partially killed?
    • Integer part for killed, decimal for injured.
      • That makes no sense. What does it mean if you're shot in the arm? 0.1? Is the fraction higher if it hits an artery? In the chest? 0.8? What of you're about to bleed out, does the number increase? Does it count to killing someone if you seriously injure two of them?
      • Why does that not make sense? They might assign point values in exactly that way. As long as it's internally consistent and the machine in question knows how it got that number, how precisely that number is rendered is irrelevant.
      • In that case, however, it is unlikely that the health damage caused by T-800 didn't amount even to 0.1.
  • It's probably a subtle jab on part of Cameron at too scientific a worldview — one that presupposes the possibility of measuring everyone and everything down to the tiniest fraction.

    Following Kid-John's order. 
  • WHY!?! What possible advantage did Future-John see in that? Kid-John didn't have the maturity to make command decisions. Now, it's possible Future-John wanted to save which case he should have simply made the order "Save John and, if possible, Sarah." It takes the emotional 12-year-old's opinion completely off the table.
    • Because rescuing Sarah wasn't a priority, and someone has to make decisions. The Terminator either can't, or John doesn't trust it to. He does trust himself.
    • The Terminator makes decisions plenty of times throughout the film, he just has to make those decisions within specified guidelines (i.e., John tells him not to kill, he decides to shoot people in the legs). Just give him the guideline of "keep John alive."
    • And what happens if the Terminator just makes its own decisions? The first time it tries to dissuade John from going after Sarah, John yells and gets a couple guys to come help him. If it wasn't for John being able to give the Terminator orders, he'd have killed those two guys. The Terminator not obeying John results in attention to them — which they don't want — and deaths — which John doesn't want. The Terminator is going to be ruthlessly pragmatic, and the whole movie is an indictment of that point of view — look at Sarah when she goes after Dyson.
      • I think you may be underestimating the pragmatism of John Connor, Leader of the Human Resistance, as opposed to John Connor, Bratty But Good-Natured Kid. Future-John was probably okay with the fact that a few people would get killed by the Terminator if it resulted in Judgment Day not happening.
      • I'd say it's the other way around, that the fact that John Connor would do anything to protect all human life, even that of the guy who created Skynet, is exactly what made him the leader of all humanity in its darkest hour.
    • I had always assumed that Future-John simply didn't realize the fourth dimensional implications of the programming, i.e., he programmed "Obey my orders", without thinking about the fact that, without explicitly telling it otherwise, Present-John is the same person as Future-John from a computer's perspective.
    • Lil' John Connor immediately orders the T-800 to not shoot-to-kill-, ponders about the destructive nature of humanity, and judges that taking one life is still not worth preventing Skynet's existence. Plenty of maturity for a teen delinquent.
      • To be honest though, Lil' John knew almost nothing about the Skynet and certainly hadn't witnessed anything of the Judgement Day himself, so we shouldn't try to deduce too much from that.

    Car keys 
  • Did people in the 90s really leave their carkeys in the sun shield of vehicles? Seems unsafe.
    • In the case of the station wagon that the protagonists take from the garage after breaking Sarah out of the mental hospital, it could simply be that the owner of the car was leaving the keys for the mechanics, or the mechanics leaving the keys for the owner to pick up the car after business hours. As far as the SWAT van goes, perhaps the police simply didn't count on someone stealing it right out from under them.

    Chase scenes 
  • Why didn't T-1000 try to stab John with his extendable blade arms while running after him?
    • It would've probably thrown him off balance to reach out that far and run at the same time.
    • My guess is it simply didn't think of that at the time. We see later in the movie that it makes use of such an approach in dealing with others, so perhaps it learned from its failure.

    Why not just be nice to Skynet? 
  • It's explicitly stated in this movie (I know they changed it later but let's ignore that for now) they say when Skynet first became self aware that's when they tried to shut it down and it nuked them. What I'm wondering is: what if they just didn't try to shut it down? Who's to say it wouldn't be friendly to us assuming we left it be?
    • How do you tell the difference between a computer system that's becoming self-aware and one that's just malfunctioning? Probably Skynet's initial few independent actions were mistaken for a run-of-the-mill glitch, and the technicians overseeing it tried to reboot it.
    • When a computer system controlling your entire strategic defense system evolves itself into an intelligence you can't understand, you probably aren't inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt.

    How did Cyberdyne Systems get possession of the T- 800 wreckage and then cover it up? 
  • After Sarah crushes the T-800 in the first movie, you can hear the sound of sirens. That means the police were literally seconds or at most minutes away. So how did Cyberdyne end up getting the wreckage of the T-800 and covering it up? Wouldn't the police have found it first? Sarah would have pointed out where it was to them, and they would have collected it and processed it as crime scene evidence. There was no time for anyone from Cyberdyne to get to the factory and get to it before the cops did.
    • This is answered in a bonus scene on the original Terminator DVD. After Sarah is put in the ambulance at the end the camera pans up to reveal that the final fight takes place in a Cyberdyne building.
      • That doesn't answer anything. My point is the cops got to the scene before anyone from Cyberdyne did. So there was no time to hide the evidence before the cops collected it.
      • Who said it needed to be hidden from the cops? The cops found something in a Cyberdyne building that (probably) had Cyberdyne's branding on it. Why wouldn't they just be able to ask for it back?
      • Because I'm sure Sarah would tell them the truth about what it was as soon as they arrived on the scene. Even if they didn't believe her, I'm sure they would collect it as crime scene evidence and send it off to a lab to be analyzed, at which point they would learn how it was way more advanced then anything robotics earth currently has and they would want to investigate it further, not merely hand it over to Cyberdyne.
      • You're assuming the cops are going to comb over every inch of the place, which is unlikely. More likely? The cops might see it and think it's just some kind of debris or slag or something. Generally speaking, police aren't authorities on exactly how advanced Earth technology is.
      • Yes I think they would comb over every inch of the place. This was the scene of a huge truck explosion and one murder, not to mention the fact that I'm sure Sarah would tell the police about the connection to the dude who just wiped out an entire police station. That would get their attention for sure. Besides, they wouldn't have to comb over every inch to find the T-800 remains. It's right next to Sarah when they arrive on the scene, and I'm sure she would tell them its significance.
      • They would have had to call in the plant workers first before they even started any search — factories like that are dangerous even when everything wasn't just haphazardly turned on by someone who doesn't know how it all works. And the police don't arrive instantly. Sarah has time to get herself out and go check on Kyle long before they get there, so no, she's not just sitting by the endoskeleton till the cops arrive. The most likely course of events is as follows: 1. Sarah kills Terminator, then gets herself out of the machine to check on Kyle. 2. Indeterminate amount of time passes. 3. Cops arrive, take Sarah, bag up Reese. 4. Cops decide to search, but hold off because the whole Smoke and Fire Factory is going on without any kind of supervision. 5. They call the building owners to come shut everything down before someone falls under a crusher.
      • Watch the scene again. Right after Sarah crushes the T-800, you can hear sirens in the background. So yeah the cops did arrive almost immediately after that. And again, the T-800 remains are not that hard to find. His severed legs are right next to Kyle Reese's body. It would be virtually impossible to miss them when they found Reese. Even if they did call in some workers to ensure safety during the search, I'm sure they would monitor them closely to make sure the workers didn't disturb any evidence. This is a major crime scene. They wouldn't just let civilian tramp through it unattended.
      • They don't have to "disturb" anything. "Oh, that? Uh. It must be some piece of equipment they broke while they were in here. See? It's even got our name on it." Remember that everybody thinks the idea of the killer being a robot is insane and a delusion. The cops aren't going to jump straight to, "Hm, odd piece of metal — IT MUST BE EVIDENCE! Cart it off and do every possible test on the material!"
      • When they find a living victim at the crime scene (Sarah) who says it is evidence, they might want to consider the possibility that it is. Wouldn't Sarah tell them everything? Even if they don't believe the remains are that of a killer robot, you'd still think they would check them out anyway when you have a living witness saying they are connected to the police station massacre.
      • But they don't have to even remotely believe in the robot killer theory to cart it off. They might just be looking for fingerprints or whatever else.
      • Yes, the near-hysterical, traumatized woman is both going to A. have the foresight and presence of mind to say all of that immediately and B. be believed when she's ranting about a killer robot. Because, as we all know, the cops were super willing to believe Reese when he told them the same thing. Remember that this movie starts with Sarah committed to a psychiatric hospital for telling people about killer robots.
      • When you have half a killer robot right in front of you, you are going to believe the hysterical woman ranting about killer robots from the future. Reese had no proof. Sarah has a ton of it.
      • They do not, in fact, have half a killer robot right in front of them. They have maybe the arm, because the rest was crushed by the smasher. And this movie shows pretty definitively that they did not believe her.
      • They definitely have the arm and the legs which I highly doubt you can mistake for any kind of equipment, and the rest wasn't squashed into a pancake either. However, I don't think police finding it presents a plot hole. It could go like this: Police recovers the remains and is forced to admit that yes, it was a cutting-edge android. They don't believe it's from the future, of course, and decide that it must be Russian or Chinese or whatnot. Feds take over, cover it up and then commission Cyberdyne to study and, hopefully, reverse-engineer and reproduce it.
    • You want to know what happened? It involved money, more money, lots more money, and some policemen and crime scene investigators who feel justice isn't quite as nice as early retirement.
    • It's also possible that Sarah made this reasoning: the cops will find these robot parts laying right here and learn the truth. She was exhausted and traumatized and so she didn't talk much at all about it that night. The police at that point were absolutely NOT looking for a robot, and, as suggested, most likely didn't enter the factory floor until some employees came to help them. Simply too dangerous. (And the initial responders were likely arriving because of the Highway altercation and the exploding tanker truck, not the events in the factory.) The factory employee helps shut stuff down to help retrieve Kyle and Sarah and tell the police (who are overloaded since also dealing with the outside events) that they'll do a damage assessment in the morning when the regular shift arrives. As soon as staff begins inspecting, they find the parts, hide them and go mum. This is perhaps implied in T2, when Dyson mentions Cyberdyne holding the parts from the original Terminator. Sarah yells "I KNEW IT!!" but her attitude suggests that she had actually begun to doubt it over the years (and pressure from Silberman, etc.).

    Anything to do with that big guy on a bike? 
  • When the T-1000 disguised as a cop questions John's foster parents about his whereabouts, it's not surprising that they take it in stride. Based on John's record, it's probably not the first time a cop has come asking for him. But they also reveal with similar lack of concern that a big guy on a bike came asking about him earlier... Why were they not more concerned that a grown man who they have never seen before and who probably didn't provide a name or identification, and who frankly looks like he's in a biker gang, came asking to see their 10-year-old foster child? The fact that they could only identify him as a big guy on a bike suggests that the T-800 didn't even give a cover story, like pretending to be a social worker or something, not that he looked the part anyway.
    • Well, they didn't say they weren't concerned. They must have been, to bring it up to this cop and ask if that's got something to do with this.
    • Besides, what else could they have done about it? Call the police? The guy didn't do anything illegal. Perhaps they were planning to have a sterm talk to John about it.

    Sarah in the Extended Edition Ending 
  • This may be less of a headscratcher now that Dark Fate has decanonized the ending of the Extended Edition, but shouldn't Sarah still be in prison, even after thirty years. In the time between Terminator 1 and 2 and during Terminator 2 itself, she's committed multiple acts of arson, assaulted police and correctional officers, escaped from prison, made use of firearms and explosives despite being a felon, and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Shouldn't these charges combined result in a sentence well beyond thirty years.
    • She was in a mental institution in T2, so perhaps she got a plea of diminished responsibility based on her mental state. The authorities all think the T800 is the real culprit, and that he is the one taking advantage of Sarah's precarious mental state.
    • Dark Fate did not decanonize the alternate ending because it wasn't canon to begin with. According to Cameron the theatrical edition is the canon version of the story.

    Sarah's improvement (aside from the knee incident) 
  • Why was there the possibility, even the discussion, that Dr Silberman would transfer Sarah to a minimum-security facility for six months of improved behavior, when she had stabbed him in the knee just a few weeks before the events of the film?
    • In psychiatric hospitals, patients are not kept in high security or maximum observation more than they have to be, the patients are there for treatment, not imprisonment. Changes in mental states from very violent to more lucid and reasonable can occur in a very short period of time if they've found the correct treatment regime. Six months is a reasonable period of changed behavior to make a patient eligible for a less-onerous treatment regime. Patients who are genuinely dangerous are seldom able to hold up an act of good behavior for even a few weeks before reverting to the norm. Silbermam is testing Sarah's limits to coherently reason and plan, offering up a reasonable goal and seeking to measure progress against it.

    T- 1000 time travel? 
  • In T1, it's said that only living material can survive time travel (the T-800 presumably survives because of its fleshy exterior), hence why Kyle and the T-800 are naked when they arrive. So how does the T-1000, that's all liquid metal, survive time travel in T2?
    • The T-1000 is less robot and more artificial life form (it heals injuries and adapts to its surroundings). Presumably its molecular composition is so elaborate that it can pass for living.

    John becoming a politician? 
  • How possible is it for John to become a senator in the cut ending despite 1) his background as a delinquent, 2) his mother being a crazy domestic terrorist, and 3) breaking his mom out of the asylum and helping blow up Cyberdyne?
    • 1) He was only ever arrested for trespass, shoplifting, vandalism and disturbing the peace. While such a record might be embarrassing for a politician, it's not a career-ender, especially given he was a child when they happened. 2) He's hardly responsible for that. "Your mother is a terrorist" is a decent discrediting tactic, but "My mother is mentally ill" is a good comeback. It's also suggested that Sarah calmed down a lot after Judgement Day didn't happen. 3) If he's smart — which he is — he'll say he was coerced by "Uncle Bob" and/or his mother. It's easier to believe a ten-year-old was forced into crime than masterminded it.

    Slam on the brakes? 
In the helicopter/van chase, Arnold slams on the brakes after Sarah is hit. This seems extremely risky. The blades and other chopper parts could easily have killed Sarah and John. And the T-1000 could have potentially gotten into the van. The van could have easily crashed — it did. Plus, the chopper was really not much of a threat to the van. What was it going to do? Crash into the van...?

    How did they get the bombs inside Cyberdyne 
When the Connors, the Terminator, and Miles Dyson go into Cyberdyne, they walk in the front door with nothing but concealed weapons on them. By the time they get upstairs, the security guard they tied up has been rescued, the silent alarm has been triggered and the police get there pretty soon after. How did they get all of the explosive equipment into the building and up to the correct floor without a confrontation with the armed security guards or arriving police?
  • They brought the bags in right after tying up the lobby guard. The next scene is them upstairs with the Terminator pushing a trolley loaded with bags, then there's the scene of the second guard finding the first and triggering the alarm.

    T- 1000 imitating Arnold 
Once the T-1000 knew that he was fighting the reprogrammed T-800 model, why didn't it try to imitate its appearance to confuse and lure John/Sarah? It's not like it wasn't able to retrieve traces of the T-800's DNA (or more specifically, his human tissue) at some point.
  • Perhaps because the T-800 is so much bigger than it? It does mimic the fat guard, but the guard is also shorter.
  • Because the T-1000 dislikes imitating any subject bigger than it. Impersonating the large guard from the hospital affects its centre of gravity, and shifted back to its default appearance once it got into the wing where Sarah was being kept.

    Why can't the T- 800 model self-terminate? 
  • Why did Skynet program the T-800 so they can't self-terminate? You'd think Skynet would want them to self-terminate after they complete their infiltration/assassination missions so they can't be captured and reprogrammed to use against Skynet, you know, like exactly what happens in Terminator 2 and in Rise of the Machines! Not giving your infiltration bot the ability to destroy itself in order to avoid capture seems like a very serious design flaw.
    • Who says Skynet programmed the T-800 not to self-terminate? Future John was able to reprogram "Uncle Bob" to help his past self, so maybe he added some hard code to ensure he lasts as long as possible to protect his younger self. He might've even thought long-term and felt having a long-term Terminator bodyguard was a good idea.
    • Indeed. Remember, the whole blowing up Cyberdyne to prevent the Judgement Day was a spur of the moment decision, John from the original future didn't plan for it. Therefore "protect my younger self" was an open-ended mission and technically it never ended with T-1000's death.

    How does the T- 1000 qualify as "living tissue" for time travel 
  • The first movie clearly established that only living material can be transported back in time. So how does the T-1000 make it through? It's not made of biological material. It's liquid metal. It can make itself look human, but that's not the same as being made of living tissue.
    • Depending on the source you draw from, there's two explanations given for this issue:
      • The novelization of Terminator 2 explains that the T-1000 was sent back wrapped inside of a cocoon of living tissue.
      • Creative supervisor Van Ling posited the idea that the T-1000's mimetic poly-alloy is able to mimic living tissue to an extent that allows it to pass through unharmed.
  • That first explanation seems weak. If Skynet had the ability to wrap things in cocoons of living tissue, why would it only do that with the terminator? Why wouldn't it also use that method to send back weapons and technology he could use on his mission? Also we would have seen him wrapped in living tissue when he arrived in the film. The second explanation is a little stronger, but it seems silly that simply making your metal skin look like flesh gives it the same qualities of flesh required for time travel. It's still not living material.
    • The idea of sending weapons back if they had living tissue to wrap it up in is not a unique issue to the T-1000; you could ask the same of the T-800 series. Also, we never actually see the entirety of the T-1000's crater; only nearby damage is shown before the police officer is knocked out. As for the second explanation, it had less to do with looks and more along the lines of generating a "field" that all living tissue generates, which is what lets organic material pass through.
      • Same problem though. How could it generate that "field" that all living tissue generates if its not living tissue? I don't see how that could be faked with something non-living that merely looks like skin.
  • It was definitely the first one — he was wrapped in meat, simple as that. We don't see it because we don't see the moment of his arrival at all — it's meant as a surprise. And what weapon or technology was he lacking, really? Not to mention, if he was lugging around something external, he would've lost his main advantage — the ability to freely change shape.

    Why can the T- 1000 morph into humans if it can't morph into machines with moving parts? 
  • This doesn't make sense considering a human has a lot more "moving parts" than a machine. Even considering it probably doesn't have internal organs and its interior is just metal, it would still need a working mouth and vocal cords to talk, among many other things.
    • Maybe not that it can't, but it doesn't have a reason to do that. The moving speed of the liquid metal maybe limited. Why bother shapeshift into a motorbike if you can only run at a walking-human speed? He maybe able to mimic gun and bomb, but bullets and shrapnel traveling at low speed are basically useless, so he prefers blades.
    • I think when T-800 said the T-1000 can't form complex machines, he meant it can't form FUNCTIONING complex machines. For example, maybe he can turn his arm into a rifle, but it wouldn't actually be a functional rifle that could shoot bullets. The change would be entirely cosmetic, hence there is no point to doing it. The same goes with turning himself into a human. The human form is entirely cosmetic. It's not a functional human body. The ability to talk is a bit of a mystery though. Maybe Cyberdine was just able to find a way to make him do that, but not anything else.
    • A car or a bike have independently moving parts. Apparently T1000's form must be "whole" so to speak. A vocal cord is a membrane — it's still firmly attached to the rest of the body. A shaft whith wheels or a firing mechanism have to be able to move freely.