Cameron Phillips is a reprogrammed Terminator sent from the year 2027 to protect John Connor and his mother, Sarah Connor. Cameron is from an unspecified Terminator series, admittedly different than all others. Cameron's living tissue model template was based on Allison Young, a human Resistance fighter close to John Connor; this allowed her to replace Allison in an attempt to infiltrate John's camp. Cameron is the most realistic cyborg yet encountered, with detailed programming of social behavior.
Although Cameron was capable of pretending to be a human when approaching John in the pilot episode, befriending John and even flirting, she no longer displays this behavior. Since Cromartie's attack on John in the pilot episode, she has remained relatively emotionless and has thus far proved to have poor social skills when she and John return to school in the third episode. This regression of abilities is explained as her "mission" in "Pilot" was to acquire and ingratiate herself with John, having done so the majority of her time is spent as a protector, and her "girlishness" is an extraneous factor.
She has been shown mimicking the behavior of others, such as the Latina lookout from the second episode, providing a baseline for her current behavior. This is also shown in the fifth episode when she impersonates the voice of a distressed student she met just prior to the girl committing suicide. Cameron's initial interactions with John were part of a program designed specifically to get close to him. Therefore, once her identity was revealed, she was no longer required to follow the program and reverted back to her base settings.
When John comments on the differences between her behaviors at different points, she replies, "I fooled you." At times she also displays awkward humor, such as in the fifth episode when she and John are entering a vehicle driven by Sarah. John, wanting to ride in the front passenger seat, calls out "I call shotgun," to which Cameron responds, "I call nine-millimeter." In the episode "The Demon Hand," Cameron is shown performing a complex ballet dance for no apparent reason, a feat that even moved a watching Derek to tears. This, coupled with a line in the same episode by a ballet teacher that "dance is the hidden language of the soul", suggest that Cameron may be more than the soulless machine John claimed her to be in "Vick's Chip". She even seems possibly materialistic; when the Connor house is robbed in 'Brothers of Nabulus' she seems concerned about the loss of her leather jacket and it is the first thing she demands back when the protagonists find the thieves.
Despite her display of human characteristics, Cameron remains a machine following programming, and as such often displays behavior that would be considered cold-blooded or callous in humans, such as her killing of Enrique Salceda in "Gnothi Seauton", in "The Demon Hand" allowing Dmitri Shipkov and his sister, Maria, to be murdered (it is implied that since she had no instructions to either kill or protect the two, she did nothing), in "The Turk" she prevents John from preventing a girl from committing suicide, and in "What He Beheld" she kills and stuffs the false Sarkissian's goon in the trunk of his Mercedes to protect John.
Sarah Connor is shown on several occasions having to order Cameron not to kill people and reprimanding her when she commits acts of violence. There have been, however, moments in which Cameron has shown signs that she may be learning the value of human life; in "Vick's Chip", she senses that she has offended Sarah when she refers to a murder victim as being just "bones and meat" and in "What He Beheld" she chooses not to kill Carlos' girlfriend.
Cameron has been called "Tin Man" and "Tin-Miss", referencing the Tin-Man from L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz. The Tin-Man's journey to find a heart reflects Cameron's growing understanding, and emulation, of what it means to be human. At the conclusion of Baum's story the Tin-Man discovers that he had a heart all along, from Cameron's point of view this might suggest that she is already capable of being human but has yet to discover this fact.
When someone explains something to Cameron that she is unfamiliar with, such as mourning one's death, the human imagination, or phrases that don't take their literal meaning, she responds with "Thank you for explaining."100 Another aspect of Cameron's personality that has yet to be explored is her apparent fashion sense, as she is seen in a wide range of outfits during the series (as opposed to most previous terminators who generally wore a single outfit).100 But from the point of view of the television show, to present a female, teenage terminator with a wide range of outfits is simply the logical thing to do - her charm would be greatly diminished if she only wears a black biker/military outfit throughout. It may also due to her condition of living with the Connors rather than embarking on a short mission with them(as the T-800 in T2 and T3 was doing).
As a result of the car bomb, Cameron has suffered extensive damage, resulting in compromising the chip integrity leading to "glitches" in her personality that make her unpredictable and sometimes dangerous. Under the glitches, she would experience memory loss, delay in decision making and in worse cases reversion into her former mission of terminating John Connor. During the brief reversion to her Skynet settings, Cameron demonstrates her near-perfect mimicry of human behavior by tearfully begging John not to remove her chip, even going so far as to say that she loves him. Though it is likely that this was just a ploy to deceive John, it is not a stretch to consider that Cameron was genuinely concerned for her own well-being.201 However, Josh Friedman himself stated in the DVD commentary that Cameron really loves John. Cameron also appears to have adopted her "Pilot" demeanor as she is seen to be more in touch with her human characteristics after the events in "Samson & Delilah", bringing her full circle.
Although Cameron probably just rebooted normally the second time after the explosion and so her reprogramming is loaded correctly, she may have made the conscious decision to not kill John, despite the demands of her Skynet programming. John is unable to repair her chip in any fashion, which rules out the possibility of outside interference. Cameron also clearly hesitated for several seconds while pointing a gun at John, the termination order flashing in her HUD before the appearance of a termination override order replaced it. For Cameron to be able to override her own pre-programmed settings, it would show that she is quite possibly above any restriction enforced upon her and that it is her desire to protect John.
Another interesting observation is that Cameron appears to be developing a sense of pride in her accomplishments. This is seen most predominantly during the "pool scene" in "Automatic for the People", after which she smiles with smug satisfaction at having won a $50 bet. This can also be seen during her and Sarah's initiation into the Seranno Point nuclear power plant, wherein it is implied that Cameron hacked the employee database and created two vacancies for herself and Sarah. When the personnel manager comments on this, Cameron smiles faintly.
Cameron has also started to demonstrate dissatisfaction with her recent duties, which have included menial tasks such as grocery shopping, something that makes very little use of her skills. Her mild annoyance is often expressed towards John, as she gives him several looks of aggravation when he treats her as subservient.
When she loses her memory in "Allison from Palmdale", Cameron demonstrates that she is capable of appearing to show genuine emotion as she is seen crying when talking to the social worker, anger towards John when he tries to remind her of what she is, and multiple instances of joy while in Jody's company. She also displays fear when confronted by a man who threatens to assault her and Jody, resulting in Cameron begging him not to and giving him a stack of money. As her machine side starts to resurface, it becomes apparent that Cameron's ability to express emotions is controlled by her programming.
Due to her parroting nature, Cameron seems to base her personality on those around her, taking aspects from various subjects and combining them to create her own unique persona. When she was pairing with Derek Reese, for example, she mirrors his personality by being more curt and reckless. When she was near Sarah, she was kinder and warmer. Another interesting observation is Cameron's overall demeanor as influenced by her current mission. When she was programmed to protect John, Cameron was more inclined to emulate positive behavior and emotions; an example being her habit of reassuring others, be it John or an upset student. On the flip side, when programmed to terminate John; Cameron is more devious and manipulative, displaying negative behavior and emotions, including anger and even slight sadism. After overriding her directive to kill him, however, Cameron seems to be developing a balance between the two personas.
Since suffering damage to her chip, Cameron appears to be contemplating suicide (self-termination). In "Automatic for the People" she asks Sarah if she is going to explode one day, which she later references in "Self Made Man", likening her faulty chip to a bomb waiting to go off. She asks her friend at the library, Eric, if he has ever considered suicide, revealing that she may be considering it due to her chip damage. In "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short" Cameron tries to remove the chip from a modified Terminator, only for it to self-destruct upon removal. She is later seen examining the chip while reading a leaflet for suicide prevention. In "Ourselves Alone" Cameron somehow manages to attach an explosive to her skull next to her chip, and gave the remote detonator to John in the event that she becomes a threat (confirming that she is incapable of self-termination).
Cameron has started to develop a new glitch which manifests as a twitch in her left hand, resulting in her accidentally killing a bird. She at first believes it to be the result of physical damage and swaps out a part in order to fix the problem. This did not resolve the issue, however, as she started twitching again while struggling to decide what to do with Riley, and again while talking to Sarah about the reasons why Future John sent her back in time. It is implied that this glitch is caused by a conflict in her chip between her pre-programmed directives and her emerging self-awareness. This glitch has since ceased to be an issue, as she is now able to hold a pigeon with both hands without harming it.
For reasons unknown, Cameron instructed John Henry to remove her chip (without setting off the self-destruct device) and he accessed the TDE equipment hidden in the basement, using it to travel to the future. Before leaving, however, Cameron programmed a message into the interface screen: I’M SORRY JOHN - I’M SORRY JOHN - I’M SORRY JOHN repeating itself over and over in a loop. It is unknown if John Henry developed a chip of his own, or if he is used Cameron's chip (in his body) to free himself from the cord at the back of his head in order to activate the TDE. Her body did not travel with her to the future, and Cameron’s fate in the future remains unknown at this time, although John meets a woman identical to Cameron in appearance shortly after the jump; likely the human after which she was modeled, Allison Young.
Cameron and John Henry controlled the body of Cromatie together to confront and infiltrate Skynet. more...TBA
Eating: Cameron is the first Terminator to be seen consuming human food as though eating. Whether or not Cameron is able to extract energy from it remains to be seen. In the first season she is shown eating a potato chip and a pancake, and reference is made in "Vick's Chip" to her eating two slices of pizza. Her eating food may be due to the fact that she has been active for far longer than previous Terminators, and so needs to periodically nourish her organic components.
Crying: Cameron is also the first known Terminator to possess fully functional tear ducts, as she is seen crying in "Samson & Delilah" and "Allison from Palmdale". Note the tear ducts are necessary for eye lubrication and protection, so it's logical to assume all T-8xx have them, otherwise their eye tissue would quickly degrade to the point where it would be obvious they're not human. Of course that does not imply they're all programmed with the ability to cry. The Series 800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day told John Connor, "I know now why you cry. But it is something I can never do.", which strongly suggests that earlier models do not have the necessary connections and/or software for their emotions (or their equivalent) to trigger crying.
Feeling: Cameron is capable of feeling her environment to the same degree as humans, with the exception of pain. She claims to be able to feel heat and is shown to feel the rush of wind against her skin, which opens the door in regards to other such sensations. In "To the Lighthouse" Cameron was doused in water and was visibly surprised and shaken by the rapid change in temperature, suggesting she was uncomfortable with getting wet. She can also perform biomarker scans via skin-to-skin contact, measuring a person's stress level and medical condition. In "Complications" she is seen putting a foot out the car window while John drives. When John asked why, she replied she wanted to feel free, and the wind running through her toes. She informs John that she feels much more than he thinks, which is probably because John's sole reference point for a Terminator's senses was a T-800 series, and she would be worth quite less if she couldn't. In "Born to Run" Cameron seemed to display discomfort when John cut into her chest, and then a moment later she demonstrated a possible pleasurable response when John examined her power source.
Reboot: Cameron is similar to Cromartie in that she also has the "120 second reboot" factor, as demonstrated in the "Gnothi Seauton" episode. However, as demonstrated in the events of "Alpine Fields", excessive damage can force a longer period of offline time as self-diagnostics and automatic repair and rerouting subroutines work to reactivate the unit.
Endoskeleton: Cameron's endoskeleton is made from Coltan, a heat resistant alloy, more advanced than the T-600 model's titanium alloy endoskeletons.
Weight: Cameron is much lighter than one might expect, as are other Terminators. Though it is shown that she is heavy enough to require the combined efforts of both Sarah and John to lift her into a chair. She also claims that she cannot swim, which is true for other Terminators. However, Josh Friedman said during a chat with fans: "Terminators' weight is the same as human counterparts."
Series/Model/Class: Cameron's Terminator series is unknown. A promotional poster lists Cameron as a "TERMINATOR CLASS TOK715". Terminator "classes" are a new concept, and it remains to be seen how (and if) they tie to series and model numbers. Cameron does refer to herself in the colloquial "we" when discussing the reprogramming of Terminators by the Resistance and that she was memory wiped after capture to help insure success in the reprogramming. Although Vick analyzes her as an "Unknown Cyborg", that could simply be a factor of her Infiltration sheath being a model not developed for use by Skynet prior to his deployment into the past. It would have no knowledge of updates and advances post-time travel. However, considering the advanced nature of the T-888 and the fact that Vick appeared to try and match Cameron's endoskeleton unsuccessfully to his database, this seems doubtful. Furthermore, identification by infiltration sheath model is a dubious (and potentially disastrous) method considering that one model may be applied across different series', as with the T-800 and T-850. There are also several elements ruling her apart from pre-existing Terminators, such as the ability to eat, possess a full color HUD, and crying. She was able to override her Skynet programming when her chip malfunctioned, something that only one Terminator may have done before (the T-850 in T3). Even then, the T-850 stated its CPU was intact, and fought the T-X's influence rather than core programming, whereas Cameron explicitly overrode her Skynet programming's order to terminate John. In addition, she is able to perform a wide variety of (sometimes complex) scans no other Terminator has demonstrated. She may be of a similar model to Rosie (who was never identified either), but Cameron easily overpowered her in combat. Her structural design is very similar to the T-888, however, and parts from those machines are compatible with her endoskeleton.
HUD: Cameron's head-up display is in full color with text and targeting overlays, rather than the traditional "all red" as shown in the T-800s, T-850s, T-888s or the "all blue" as seen in the T-X. Prior to the Jeep explosion, Cameron's HUD was identical to the T-888s, except for having a turquoise hue as opposed to red. After the explosion, however, Cameron's HUD overlay changes to a darker shade of blue and is seen to possess a different layout than the original. Whether this is the result of software self-modification or restructuring of damaged systems has yet to be seen. Cameron's HUD is also capable of "hiding" during infiltration missions, as seen in "Allison from Palmdale", allowing her to see the world as humans do.
Name: Cameron has a name that she self-identifies herself with. This differs from Cromartie who only used that name briefly as an alias (although the Connors and Cameron continue to refer to him by the name) or Carter, who similarly appears to be using an alias. However Vick Chamberlain also uses a distinct name for the purposes of his mission, and may have been intentionally crafted with that identity to replace the "real Vick" during the car crash it uses to now cover his behavioral shortfalls. The origin of Cameron's name has yet to be revealed; it's not yet known whether she created it as an alias when she went back in time, or if she was given the name in the future (presumably by the older John Connor).
Built Date: According to the official FOX website of Sarah Connor Chronicles "Completion date: January 13, 2007" is displayed when hovering the mouse over the unfinished cyborg Cameron Phillips. It is unknown if this is intended for the build date of terminator Cameron Phillips or a mistype and meant for the air date of the show (which is actually January 13, 2008). It seem hard to make the date fit into the storyline of the show if this is actually a build date of Cameron Phillips. However, given the events in "Allison from Palmdale", it is possible she was created at some undetermined time in the year 2027.
Eye Color: Cameron's eyes are red, like all Terminators (with the exception of the T-X). However, it was originally assumed that they were blue due to events in the first season where Cameron's eyes are seen to flash a deep blue (and were visible during a retina scan). This discrepancy was met with an unfavorable response from many fans who saw the change as a last minute unnecessary retcon of previously established canon. Josh Friedman explained: "It’s red because at the core, she’s a Terminator. Plain and simple. The lens itself is red. There’d never be a reason to change the lens color. I made it [the flash] blue in the pilot to indicate she was different but that wasn’t to suggest the hardware was blue. No reason for it." The "blue eyes software" could easily be a Resistance Security Encryption Key, considering its use in unlocking access to both the TDE station in the vault (for the Connors), and the TDE complex in the future (for Derek).
Combat: Cameron's physical abilities may be somewhat diminished compared to larger endoskeletons, due to her greater sacrifice of overall mass and reach. However, she seems to be far more flexible than the other Terminators but is endowed with comparable pure strength. She is programmed with the greatest repertoire and mastery of Eastern Martial Arts compared to all the Terminators in existence thus far, and relies on sophisticated techniques and finesse rather than brute force in comparison. She also employs tactics that utilize the surrounding environment more than her rivals, such as in the Pilot episode when she used an electric fuse to force Cromartie offline. She was shown to be powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with Cromartie and disable him in single combat in the pilot episode as well as other T-888s such as Vick (whom she manhandles, defeats and deactivates while absorbing only a series of near useless punches) and Greenway (whom she battles and destroys as well, albeit with Sarah Connor providing a high-velocity distraction with an M4 Carbine)in more straight up battles. Despite any disadvantages she may have with larger machines, her superior combat programming and advanced capabilities have allowed her to defeat, disable or destroy nearly a dozen enemy Terminators. Cameron's combat abilities have also been shown to be able to defeat another Terminator (Rosie) of comparable dimensions and possibly the same model as herself. Her fight with Rosie demonstrates her full combat prowess as she physically contorts the other machine, even applying enough force to drive a high heel into its eye socket, a fight Cameron left with only a few scratches. In "Self Made Man" Cameron had a short battle with a T-888 Terminator and easily emerged victoriously after spraying it with a 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun and dropping an elevator car on it. In "Ourselves Alone" John Connor said that Cameron was not designed to combat other Terminators, however his knowledge is more relevant to the 800 series as Cameron is the first of her model that he has encountered, so this may be questionable information.
Infiltration: Though Cameron is somewhat lacking in her physical capability, she is shown to possess infiltration skills that easily surpasses those of the T-888, an advanced model infiltrator. In the "Pilot" episode, Cameron displays the ability to pose as a curious and friendly student, without any tell-tale irregularities that are common amongst other models. It is feasible that John may never have learned the truth about her had Cromartie not intervened. In "Allison from Palmdale", Cameron suffers a software glitch that traps her in "stealth/infiltration mode", but as she does not remember that she is a machine; Cameron comes to believe that she is Allison, the human she was created to replace. Interestingly, Cameron is shown to be capable of genuine emotion in this state, which would suggest that a contributing factor in her success is due to Skynet's allowance for emotions in her core programming. So far, Cameron is the most advanced infiltrator to date, perhaps more so than the T-1000 series.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesEdit
- "Gnothi Seauton"
- "The Turk"
- "Heavy Metal"
- "Queen's Gambit"
- "Dungeons & Dragons"
- "The Demon Hand"
- "Vick's Chip" (centric role)
- "What He Beheld"
- "Samson & Delilah"
- "Automatic for the People"
- "The Mousetrap"
- "Allison from Palmdale" (as both Cameron and Allison) (centric role)
- "Goodbye to All That"
- "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short"
- "Brothers of Nablus"
- "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today"
- "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point"
- "Self Made Man" (centric role)
- "Alpine Fields"
- "Earthlings Welcome Here"
- "The Good Wound"
- "Desert Cantos"
- "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep" (dream appearance)
- "Ourselves Alone"
- "Today Is The Day, Part 1"
- "Today Is The Day, Part 2"
- "To the Lighthouse"
- "Adam Raised a Cain"
- "Born to Run"
Terminator: The Resistance Fighters ChroniclesEdit
- "New hope coming" (First appearance in the switch user mode in her Neural Net CPU with John Henry)
- "A friend in need is a friend indeed"
- "Ghost Whisperer" (First appearance in her new Neural Net CPU)
- "Carrots and Apples"
- "Strongest power"
- "Kiss of Death" (first kiss with John)