Laura just mentioned that she may "have" to watch T3 in order to understand stuff that happens in T4. I generally disagree. However, for those of you in the same boat as Laura, I'll copy and paste the bullet-pointed recap I just emailed to her. Keep in mind that I have only seen T3 once, in theaters. As far as I know, most of this stuff is accurate, though I am obviously doing this from memory, as it only took me five minutes. It's impressive the junk I can keep in my head when I can't remember where my car keys are.
- John Connor is living "off the grid." Translation: like a hobo.
- The TX...whatever... is an upgraded model of the liquid metal robot from T2. Translation: "Upgraded" means it's a girl now. She transports back in time (to the present), figures out girls with big boobs get more free stuff, ups her cup size, and goes hunting the friends of Future John Connor.
- John Connor gets in a motorcycle accident and requires medical attention. Since he is "living off the grid" this means breaking in to a veterinary clinic after hours.
- Kate Brewster (Claire Danes)'s veterinary clinic, which she gets out of bed to go check on. I forget if this is because the security alarms go off or because a patient has a pet emergency. Really, does it even matter? Really?
- While Kate is gone the Terminator Girl kills her fiance, who Kate was apparently was all set to marry in like, two days. DRAMA.
- Kate and John meet each other... and then the Girl Terminator ZOMG.
- Arnold beats up the girl Terminator so that John and Kate (minus 8. heh. dumb joke) can get away.
- Repeat step 7, like, 80,000 times.
- During one of the many "running away from robots" respites, John and Kate realize that the party John was at in T2 (the one he was at while his foster parents were getting TERMINATED) was the party where John kissed Kate for the first time, and then disappeared for like 15 years. (Because of the events of T2 and HOBO-LIVING.) So when they meet again at the veterinary hospital, Arnold explains that Kate is important to protect because in the future she is John's wife. Of course since Kate is pissed off at John for being a hobo jerk, they spend most of the movie hating on one another (and also she was about to be married to the dude who got TERMINATED, so, DRAMA.) In fact I can't remember if John and Kate even kiss or anything in T3.
This is probably the most important part, actually, as Kate is in T4 and is credited as John's wife. Also this means that despite the tv show insisting on keeping Riley around, she obviously doesn't stick around forever.
- Arnold digs up Sarah Connor's grave and reveals that John was not around for Sarah's death so he can't possibly know that there is no body in the grave. (Sarah was cremated and had her ashes scattered in Mexico, she died of cancer.) There are, however, tons and tons of guns in the coffin. For John to use. Against the Terminator that's attacking them. At the cemetery. Heh. This scene was kind of cool.
- Kate Brewster's dad is some sort of Army General dude working on Skynet, did I forget to mention that? It's not important until
- John realizes Kate's dad is putting Skynet online... like... TODAY... and that means Judgment Day is like... TODAY.
- It is revealed that in the future that this Arnoldbot came from, John is dead and Kate runs the show and Kate is the only one the Arnoldbot responds to commands from. So they go to see Kate's dad at Army Skynet Robot headquarters.
- John and Kate explain to Kate's dad that the reason his new computer program has gone haywire is because of the NUCLEAR WINTER ZOMG. Also you get to see baby Terminators, which look like Wall-E on steroids. They're called T-1's.
- As Kate's dad lays dying from Terminator-related wounds, he tells them the way to stop Skynet is to get to Crystal Peak.
- During the penultimate Terminator Fight, Arnold gets rebooted and due to damage reboots with the "KILL JOHN CONNOR" programming. John keeps yelling at him "NO! YOU LOVE ME! DON'T KILL ME!" so Arnold BEATS HIMSELF UP till he reboots again without the KILL JOHN CONNOR programming. Yes, it's seriously as lame as I just described it.
- John and Kate find out that Crystal Peak is just an old military fallout center, much like Cheyenne Mountain. Kate's dad was not sending them somewhere they could shut down Skynet. He was sending them somewhere they could survive the apocalypse.
- Outside Crystal Peak's blast door, Arnold and the chick finally fight to the death. Bombs go off. The world asplodes. Somewhere someone is on a CB radio asking "Is anyone out there?" John Connor responds
- "It is I, John Connor, your leader. When you meet me, I will sound more like Batman."