In this podcast, we take a look at the classic 90s action movie Terminator 2 - Judgement Day and the theory: 'Terminator 2 Fan Theory is actually a film about Child Protective Services, and the Terminators are just government agents'.
Terminator 2 Fan Theory: Terminator 2 is actually a battle against child protective services
The theory is that Kyle Reece is not the actual father of Sarah Connor's child John Connor in the original film the Terminator; he is actually the good side of the Terminator. In this Terminator 2 fan theory, the Terminator and Kyle Reece are one, and the sweet side of Kyle masks his abusive and aggressive side. In this fan theory, the Terminator is Sarah Connor's boyfriend. When Sarah Connor get's pregnant, Kyle / Terminator aggressively pushes Sarah to get an abortion. Sarah does not want to get the abortion, and so the abuse is ratcheted up and he pursues her. The abuser, having so much strength over Sarah appears not like a person but like an unstoppable killing machine or the Terminator.
The story in The Terminator ends with Sarah Connor slowly becoming mentally unstable and the Terminator fleeing. The story then moves ahead 13 years, Sarah is in a mental institution because she has paranoia about her old abuser, and this paranoia translates into perceived neglect & aggression. The state of California has deemed her an unfit mother and moved John Connor to live with a foster family. According to this theory, the movie Terminator 2 revolves around a family trying to get back together (even though this family should not get back together) and the state trying to act in the best interest of the child (whilst enacting massive bureaucratic roadblocks that hinder family unification).
In this theory, the liquid metal Terminator (T1000) is the personification of the bureaucratic state and its ability to appear anywhere and in any form; and how this bureaucracy is doing more harm to families than good. This Terminator 2 fan theory says the ending of the film is not the Terminator destroying himself by dipping his body into molten metal, it is actually a symbolic death. In this fan theory, the terminator is actually turning himself into the police (because taking your own child out of foster care, is still kidnapping and incredibly illegal) and admitting to the police that he is the sole reason Sarah Connor is how she is. The Terminator also likely informs the police that he ordered Sarah Connor to do the various things in the movie that she should be sent to prison for, so as to absolve her of guilt (or attempt to anyway). This is a last ditch effort by the father to do something selfless for a change and help John & Sarah potentially rebuild a working family.
That Terminator 2 fan theory is one of many that Joe and Anthony propose in this episode of Abstract Nonsense the Fan Theories and Alternate Readings Podcast.
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