6 Ways "Terminator 2"'s T-1000 is Best Terminator

Written by: Lilith Sinclair

Without a doubt, the T-800 and T-101 as played by Arnold Schwarzenegger is what many rightly remember when the Terminator series is mentioned. Quite simply, it is impossible to see any other actor in the role. One could say that Arnold's Terminator is the series. However, as time has gone on and audiences have demanded to see more than one Terminator rock the screen, such as Kristanna Loken as the T-X, Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright and the various Terminators in the Sarah Connor Chronicles, the only creation of SkyNet that has ever truly held my interest is the T-1000 as portrayed by Robert Patrick.

. . . and some stellar SFX.
Now, some of you may say that the T-1000 was eventually defeated by T-101 (but boy it did not go easily!), and that factually it was not as technologically advanced as the T-X (who, let's face it, was a walking cheat code and despite all of her fancy weaponry still didn't so much singe a hair on John Connor or Kate Brewster's head) but in terms of presence, menace and persistence, T-1000 stands head and shoulders over either of them.

Allow me to list the ways.

1. He’s subtle, not overt

Upon arrival, T-1000 assumes the identity of a cop. Rather than deck itself out in suspicious-looking biker's clothes and sunglasses and carrying a huge shotgun, T-1000 utilized a much subtle subterfuge. Think about it: cops are symbols of authority and more often than not, people are more inclined to trust them and give them information [editor’s note: as a Mexican, I wonder what that feels like]. When the T-1000 rocks up at John Connor's foster parent's home, it didn't use intimidation or pointed a gun in their faces—instead, it was able to have a regular, impersonal conversation with them regarding John's whereabouts. When they give the assassin a picture of John, T-1000 did not immediately go into Hunt Mode, it gave the fosties a courteous smile and says "Thanks for your co-operation," and goes on its way.

2. It’s not the size that matters

Despite its smaller appearance than T-101, T-1000 is athletic and frighteningly fast. When it gave chase to John in the shopping mall's car park, rather than immediately hopping on a mode of transport, it pursued after the kid on his dirt bike on foot and you'd swear, if John changed gear, T-1000 would have been on the back of that motorcycle driving one of its sharp appendages through the kid's back and completing its mission before the T-101 ever had a chance to catch up.

Judge not a T by the breadth of his shoulders.

3. He’s basically a robotic Hannibal Lecter

Although the T-1000 is a cyborg, it has a good grip on human psychology and general common sense. T-1000 had a unique talent of sensing its surroundings through touch- generally speaking, it was a sponge which could soak up each and every little detail, and nothing went past its observation, no matter how trivial. It recognised things that were significant to its targets and took advantage of them. It was also selective about who it chose to mimic during its assignment; it didn't just assume the identity of a random passer-by and only ices those who it must (okay, the truck driver at the end of the movie was an exception, but the dude got in his way, damn it!).

After T-101 saves John, T-1000 assumes the identity of John's foster mother (in doing so, it presumably fools the foster father). If it were not for T-101's monitoring John's phone conversation, John would have gone back to his foster home and had his goose cooked. In the mental institution where Sarah Connor is being held, T-1000 infiltrates the maximum security wing by assimilating the form of one of the guards. Toward the end of the film in the steel mill, T-1000 strikes right for John's emotional core by mimicking his mother rather than his cybernetic protector. Once again, were it not for T-1000's glitch and the timely intervention of the real Sarah, T-1000 would have done as SkyNet had commanded.

4. He has a sense of humour

T-1000 is an amoral machine all said and done, but who can forget that awesome finger-waggle it gave Sarah Connor when she ran out of shotgun bullets, as if to say "Tut, tut.". Pure gold. On top of that, the "Say . . . that's a nice bike!" is one for the books.

5. The man whose face he’s wearing

They really couldn't have chosen a better actor than Robert Patrick to play the role. The guy does so much even when he isn't moving. Although he embodies the T-1000 as a cyborg first and foremost, he adds several hints of personality: humour, antagonism, and confidence, but he never plays on these things the way a regular character would. Incredible performance in a genre that is often overlooked for Hilary Swank dramas and Russell Crowe epics.

6. The name

It’s . . . just . . . T-1000. Repeat after me. Tee-One-Thousand. Not just anybody can carry that moniker and be taken seriously.

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About The Damn Beast

Pre-op trans-minotaur, sci-fi/fantasy/horror author, metal singer, videogame journalist, pop culture blogger. I also lift heavy things and put them down again repeatedly to occupy more space.
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  1. Totally spot on. RObert Patrick could have had that role written for him. He carried it so well.