When time travel gets involved there isn't much that isn't possible, and with so many
possibilities on the table it's easy to choke the air with questions.
In the aftermath of Terminator: Dark Fate, this franchise has as many dangling plot threads
Sadly, we learn early in Terminator: Dark Fate that John Connor is no longer in the
land of the living.
Even though the only bad guy Terminator we meet in Terminator 2 is Robert Patrick's T-1000,
in Dark Fate we learn SkyNet covered all of its angles and sent more Terminators back
in time that we didn't know about.
After the events of Terminator 2, one of those Terminators, the same model as the classic
Schwarzenegger cyborg we're used to, kills John Connor in front of Sarah.
With SkyNet no longer in existence, the Terminator receives no new orders and decides to learn
to become more human, eventually regretting his actions.
It begs the question of why SkyNet sends this older Terminator model as a safety net when
the T-1000 version we see in Terminator 2 is clearly superior and can take a lot more
The real answer is obvious, because Arnold didn't play the T-1000, and the filmmakers
wanted Arnold back.
But narratively we don't get any kind of explanation.
Maybe T-1000s were rare?
Perhaps one T-1000 per time travel kill mission was the limit in SkyNet Central?
We'll probably never know.
When Sarah Connor explains that the T-1000 wasn't the only Terminator SkyNet sent back
during the events of Terminator 2, she doesn't specify that the one who kills John is the
only other Terminator.
Since Carl is still around in a world without Skynet, it's possible that there are other
Skynet models that were sent back in time.
Could there be more Schwarzenegger cyborgs out there, growing old in cabins in the woods
and working modest jobs?
Maybe a Terminator who sells vacuum cleaners, or an Uber driver?
"Give you a lift?"
It leaves possibilities open for future Terminator installments, particularly if they want to
bring Schwarzenegger back.
Sure, his death looks pretty final at the end of Dark Fate...exactly like it does at
the end of Terminator...and the end of Terminator 2.
Once Grace accepts Sarah Connor into the fold, Connor explains that for years she's been
receiving texts with coordinates from an anonymous source.
Once she goes to the coordinates to investigate, she finds a Terminator waiting for her.
We don't know exactly how many times Sarah's done this, though it seems she's killed at
least two or three Terminators offscreen.
The question is, why were those Terminators sent back?
What were their missions?
"Who sent him back?"
"Those files have been erased."
"Oh that's convenient."
Since SkyNet is gone, they must have been Legion-controlled Terminators, so were they
all supposed to kill Dani before Sarah killed them?
If so, that would seem strange.
We're given the impression Dani has spent most, if not all, of her life in Mexico up
to this point, meaning any Terminators sent to kill her would show up there.
And if all of the Terminators Sarah hunted down popped up in Mexico, you'd also think
she might wonder why and maybe investigate exactly who the cyborgs were looking for.
Since Sarah doesn't seem to have any idea who Dani is before she saves her from the
Rev-9 Terminator, it's likely Dani hasn't been Legion's only target over the years.
Let's talk about Carl's family.
Do they really not know he's a cyborg?
Carl explains to Sarah that his relationship with his wife isn't physical.
Still, the boy he's helped raise since infancy is a teenager, meaning Carl's been with his
wife for over a decade.
You don't live with someone for that long and fail to notice their physical "quirks."
It's not impossible, but it's a tough sell.
There are a couple of other things.
First, when Carl tells his wife and child to leave home and that he won't be back, they
don't make a lot of fuss.
You would think a family might have a few discussions before agreeing to completely
Second, the family has a dog.
Anyone who's seen 1984's Terminator knows that dogs don't like Terminators.
It's why human communities in the future keep dogs at their entrances, and why at the end
of the film Sarah Connor has a new dog in her jeep.
How is this dog hanging out with Carl without constantly freaking out?
At first Sarah Connor assumes that, like in her case in 1984's Terminator, Dani's unborn
child is the key to defeating Legion.
Once we find out it's Dani herself that Grace is desperate to protect, you might wonder
how much the Dani of the future has seen of the events of Terminator: Dark Fate.
Are Grace, Sarah, Dani, and Carl succeeding in creating a new future, or has the Dani
of the future seen all of it before?
When we meet the older, more battle-hardened Dani, does she know the young girl she saves
from scavengers is destined to sacrifice herself for her?
She seems to be a little affected by learning Grace's name, so that could be the case.
But there are some reasons to believe the heroes are genuinely changing things.
The future Dani tells Grace not to tell her younger self that she'll grow to become humanity's
unifying figure, yet Grace does reveal it.
So why would Dani bother giving her that advice if she already knows Grace is going to ignore
One of the most inexplicable things that happens in Terminator: Dark Fate is that the heroes
get a very unlikely ally, the U.S. military.
Deciding they'll need an EMP weapon to fry the Rev-9 Terminator's systems, Sarah gets
in touch with Major Dean, who says he's committing treason by stealing the item for Sarah.
The Rev-9 attacks during the handoff and the heroes escape to a nearby military airfield.
All on Major Dean's say-so, the heroes meet no military resistance and are allowed to
abruptly commandeer a C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft and receive a fighter escort in the
Just who is Major Dean that he can get them all of this?
From Terminator 2 we know that, offscreen, Sarah had brief relationships with lots of
military "types," but the impression given is that none of them were high-ranking military
The idea that this rag-tag crew of cyborgs and wanted criminals could peacefully commandeer
a military aircraft suggests one of two things: some lazy storytelling, or in the world of
Terminator the U.S. government knows more about these time-jumping cyborgs than they're
Maybe certain officers like Major Dean are tasked with giving people like Sarah Connor
off-the-books support if the opportunity arises.
In Dark Fate we learn that while Sarah Connor and the other heroes of Terminator 2 succeeded
in ridding the future of SkyNet, another artificial intelligence, this time a cyberwarfare AI
called Legion, is what spells doom for civilization.
There is one question left unanswered, though to be fair, the same question is left unanswered
in the other Terminator films.
Why is it that as soon as these powerful new forms of artificial intelligence go online,
their first thought is to eradicate or subjugate humanity?
Do these AIs simply see us as inferior beings who are wrecking a planet they could be better
Do they see us as a threat and figure that killing us all is the best safeguard?
Any of the answers could work, but we've yet to hear them.
All we know is that apparently when computers become self-aware, they immediately want to
Maybe it's all the memes we made them endure?
"Computer, load up celery man please."
Terminator: Dark Fate ends with three dead cyborgs, The Rev-9, the T-800, and Grace.
What should not escape the notice of any Terminator fan is while the Rev-9 body seems pretty well
slagged, Grace's body and the T-800 are more or less intact and we never get any indication
that the bodies are destroyed.
It could be that Sarah and Dani destroyed the corpses offscreen, but if not, there's
a chance Sarah forgot a very important lesson from the first two Terminator movies.
In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, we learn it was largely because of the body of the T-800
Sarah Connor kills in Terminator that SkyNet was being developed.
At the end of that film, the T-800 who protects John Connor chooses to descend into molten
liquid, destroying his body.
Unless there's a body disposal scene we don't see, Terminator: Dark Fate ends with the bodies
of several cyborgs for someone to pick apart, reverse engineer, and create Legion or an
AI just as bad.
In fact, even if the bodies were destroyed off-screen, there are still the scans of Grace's
body taken while she was in Border Patrol custody.
This is a question that someone should have asked a long time ago.
In Terminator, the super-intelligent AI SkyNet sends a single T-800 Terminator back in time
to kill the mother of John Connor.
It almost succeeds.
In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the same AI sends a new and improved liquid metal cyborg,
the T-1000, back in time to kill John Connor.
In spite of a T-800 sent by the humans to protect John and the fact that Sarah Connor
is trained, heavily armed, and expecting an attack from the future, the T-1000 almost
And now, in Terminator: Dark Fate, the new super-intelligent AI Legion sends a single
Rev-9 Terminator back in time to kill Dani Ramos.
Dani has backup from a cybernetically augmented human soldier, another T-800 Terminator, and
an even more heavily armed Sarah Connor, and still the Rev-9 almost succeeds.
Do you think...you know...one of those obscenely intelligent AI world-killers might just splurge
and send back, maybe...two Terminators?
Sure, we find out SkyNet did just that, but the Terminators SkyNet sent back weren't working
If one Terminator, completely on its own, almost does the job, why not send back partners?
What's the big deal?
Maybe even a three-fer?
Make a party of it.
"Well isn't this cute...a Terminator convention."
Everything about the journey of Carl feels like the end of Arnold Schwarzenegger's involvement
with the Terminator franchise.
Just as the earlier model does at the end of Terminator 3, Carl sacrifices himself to
make sure the Rev-9 is down for the count.
When he talks about telling his family that he "won't be back," if feels like he's telling
us the same thing.
Also, Schwarzenegger's in his 70s, and his best killer android days are arguably behind
But you never know.
Terminator: Dark Fate leaves the door open for Schwarzenegger's return.
In Dark Fate we learn that during the events of Terminator 2, SkyNet sent at least one
other Terminator to 1991; there's no reason it couldn't have sent others.
Not to mention that from the texts Carl sends Sarah over the years to warn her of Terminator
infiltration, Legion was sending more cyborgs to the present day.
There's no way to know for sure if Sarah got them all.
Schwarzenegger's not getting any younger, but he can probably keep fighting cyborgs
for a couple more years if he wants.
Dude's still in great shape.
"Come with me if you want to lift."
There's probably a good chance that this really is the end for Linda Hamilton's involvement
in the Terminator franchise.
Hamilton apparently didn't even initially want to come back for Terminator: Dark Fate.
In an interview about the movie, Hamilton seemed less than eager to return to the franchise,
"I've been threatening to fake my own death so I wouldn't have to do the next one if there
Ironically, while it does seem more likely we'll see Schwarzenegger than it does we'll
see Hamilton, it's Sarah Connor's story that's left with more potential.
By the end of Dark Fate Connor seems to have found whatever peace she's likely to find
over the death of her son, so in that sense you could argue her story is over.
But Dani Ramos still has a big fight to prepare for, and Sarah Connor is her only surviving
As a bonafide badass Terminator hunter who's been killing time-hopping cyborgs for decades,
Sarah Connor is the best mentor the future savior of humanity could ask for.
"Enough of a resume for you?"
Check out one of our newest videos right here!
Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite movies are coming soon.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.