- 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. 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.
- 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.
Heartwarming / Terminator: Dark Fate