- When the group gets arrested by Border Patrol, in an attempt to stop them from being separated, Sarah lies and says that Dani is her granddaughter. It doesn't work, but points for trying.
- The fact that a Terminator, a killing machine that cannot feel or emote, grew a full conscience after killing John and having grown to deeply regret what he had done. He states outright that he had saved a woman and her son from her abusive boyfriend, and adopted them as his own family. And there is nothing to imply that he is a bad parent - he even states that he's often called "reliable, a very good listener, and extremely funny". Although he cannot feel true love, even a Terminator can be a damn good dad (and not for nothing, Alicia's son Mateo even refers to him as "Dad"). What Sarah guessed with her inner monologue in Terminator 2: Judgment Day has fully realized.
- Even once Sarah Connor shows up on his door, he is completely and utterly understanding of her anger and hatred toward him, never once defending himself for the death of John apart from stating this:Carl: I am not what you think I am.
- Outside of guilt, the reason Carl wants to help Sarah is because destroying Skynet means that she created a future where he's not a slave.
- Before the final battle, he reveals he retrieved a syringe of the medicine Grace needs.
- His death scene, when not a Tear Jerker, counts; his final words clarifying that his death isn't just because I Cannot Self-Terminate, but it is also:Carl: ...For John.
- The bit where Alicia, his wife, insists on referring to him as a man and not Just a Machine. The fact that it's said to Sarah also makes it a great throwback to when Sarah tried to invoke the aforementioned trope on John in Terminator 2.
- Even once Sarah Connor shows up on his door, he is completely and utterly understanding of her anger and hatred toward him, never once defending himself for the death of John apart from stating this:
- In a bizarre way, even seeing Carl and Rev-9 die together in a pit can be touching. With the somber music and the slow motion, it goes to show that at least neither of them get to die alone.
- At the end of the movie, Sarah and Dani leave together, with the former intent on training the latter for the battle against the machines of Legion that are yet to come. Considering how the Downer Beginning involved her losing her son just three years after they blew up Skynet and defeated the T-1000, it's assuring to know that after revisiting her tragic past with the T-800, she was able to gain a surrogate daughter.
- Also, when watching present Grace and her family, Dani's goal is to make sure that Grace's never had to sacrifice her life again for her.
- It's a small moment, but as the two are leaving Sarah tosses the keys to their Jeep to Dani. Remember, not only could Dani not drive at the start of the movie and had to learn in the heat of the moment, Sarah insisted upon always driving when she and Grace begrudgingly teamed up to protect her. So on both counts, it's a remarkable sign of trust from Sarah and a mark of just how much more confident Dani has become.
Heartwarming / Terminator: Dark Fate