Detailed Plot & Screenshots
SFMZ Note: This detailed plot is provided from a combination of imdb.com (synopsis), imsdb.com (the 2005 script), and our own scene descriptions.
Longview State Correctional Facility, Death Row, 2003: Marcus Wright is an intense, powerful man, 20's-30's, his head shaven. In his cell, death row inmate Marcus stares with a resigned expression. One of the guards unlocks the cell door for Dr. Serena Kogan of Cyberdyne Systems. She's in her 30's-50's, brilliant, attractive, but thin and pale, a scarf tied around her head. She carries a clipboard.
Marcus takes in the scarf covering her sparse hair. Realizing she has cancer, he's not the only one with a death sentence. He sells his signature for a kiss. Cupping her face with his handcuffed hands, he kisses the cancer infested doctor, that's what death tastes like. She passes him the clipboard and pen. Marcus signs and looks up from the form. As she leaves, Serena commends Marcus for signing his body over for medical research.
In the execution chamber, Marcus stares straight ahead, taking deep, steady breaths, struggling not to succumb to fear. Buckles tighten, an alcohol swab on Marcus' forearm, a needle punctures his skin. Fingers turn the valve to release the lethal chemicals. Marcus looks up toward the deadly I.V running into his arm. He looks toward his reflection in a one-way mirror, the dim shapes of witnesses beyond.
The lethal injection takes hold, bright lights overhead, he is losing focus. A face emerges, backlit, blurred, it's Serena. She's in focus for just a moment . . . then darkness. One year later, the Skynet system is activated, perceives humans as a threat to its own existence, and eradicates much of humanity in the event known as Judgment Day.
South-Central Sector, North America, 2018: John Connor leads an attack by the Resistance on a Skynet research and development facility. From within an A-10 cockpit, we see a computer targeting screen. The aircraft approaches. FWOOM! A massive concussion as a missle hits the earth at high-velocity.
A huge blast - flame and dirt are thrown high in the air. A flaming body hits the groud. A steel Terminator, its metal skull blown open and scorched. A-10 Warthogs stubby attack planes, scream from the sky, raking the remaining facility with cannon fire.
Resistance fighters. Motley military and civilian choppers land in the facility grounds, disgorging Resistance soldiers. These are human troops in high-tech helmets, carrying slightly futuristic conventional assault weapons. The Warthogs veer off, some are shot down.
A surviving Terminator lays broken on the ground. A chopper lands on it, crushing it further into the ground. Out steps John Connor and fires a couple rounds in it's metal skull. The troops run toward an opening which has been blown into the ground. The assault group enters the dark hatchway, led by Connor.
Underground Facility: A high-tech installation in ruins. Red lighting, distinctive of Skynet environments. Soldiers flick on their weapons lamps and make their way carefully inside, pretty deserted. They kick aside rubble to enter. Entering a Robotic room, the lamp beams play over banks of electronics.
Deeper into the complex, a heavy door blows off its hinges. Soldiers move from cover and through the blown door. The team is hit with a rancid smell. Their search lights reveal human experiments, bodies left to decay. The team recoils at the horrific sight.
John and the team discover human prisoners . . . and the plans for the development of a new type of Terminator incorporating living tissue. Connor is ordered topside to rejoin Jericho and other soldiers guarding the entrance. Reaching the surface, he discovers they are dead.
He commandeers a chopper but is quickly shot down. Suddenly, the base is destroyed from a small nuclear explosion. Connor is the only survivor. Behind him a Terminator, with its metal legs blown off, attacks. The one-on-one battle ends with Connor blasting the Terminator with the chopper's attached heavy machine gun.
Later, in the far distance, the mud roils, seeming to assume a human shape. Looking around in shock, the naked figure is so drenched in mud we can't recognize it at first. The figure rises, looks up at the sky, and falling rain washes away mud from his face... it's Marcus Wright. He opens his mouth, makes a few gutteral noises . . . then screams. Marcus looks down and sees a fallen soldier. A dead man no longer needs clothes.