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T-800's Humanity Explained In Eye-Opening Dark Fate Scene

Can a Terminator really leave its terminatin' ways behind?

That's the question posed and answered by a deleted scene from Terminator: Dark Fate, which was included with the flick's Blu Ray release. The scene gives us an exchange between Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and Alicia (Alicia Borrachero), in which the latter attempts to convince the former of the humanity of "Carl," the T-800 (via Collider).

First, a little background, in case you need a refresher or haven't seen the movie (in which case we should probably disclose that spoilers for Terminator: Dark Fate lie ahead). In the movie's controversial opening, Linda and John Connor (Edward Furlong) are relaxing on a beach in Guatemala, having averted judgment day three years prior. Suddenly, they're attacked by a T-800 (from the future, of course), who kills John and escapes.

We then cut to our main protagonists Dani (Natalia Reyes), the new Mother of the Future, and Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced soldier sent from the future to protect her, 22 years later. They're on the run from the ultra-advanced Rev-9 Terminator (Gabriel Luna), which is temporarily disabled by Sarah, who manages to arrive in the nick of time. She reveals that she's been receiving messages from an anonymous party with coordinates to the locations of arriving Terminators, each of them signed "For John."

As it turns out later in the film, this mysterious benefactor is none other than the T-800, which — its purpose fulfilled — has been living an assuming life in which it has learned what it means to be human, developing a conscience and even caring for a human family. Sarah, Grace, and Dani make this discovery after tracking down the machine (now calling itself Carl) — but, as one might imagine, Sarah isn't convinced.

A Terminator no more

In the deleted scene from the Blu Ray edition of Terminator: Dark Fate, Alicia — Carl's wife — explains to Sarah that he is not the murderous robot from the future that she once knew. (Hey, everyone deserves a second chance, we suppose.) "Carl never told me about his past," she says. "And I just... respected his privacy. I mean, I knew he was different, but..." She trails off, then reveals that Carl did indeed clue her in about at least a couple of things. "He told me what he did to you, and what he is. But I also know what he has become since then."

"Believe what you will," Sarah replies. "But it cannot change what it is." Alicia objects to Sarah's choice of pronoun: "Him," she says. "Not it. Whatever you think he is, we love him. And I know he has to make things right, but you're taking someone very important away from us. So please... bring him back."

The scene concludes as Sarah wordlessly leaves, obviously still not on board with the notion that her son's killer has discovered its humanity — but, as she will come to find out, Carl is indeed worthy of trust. He ends up sacrificing himself in the final battle with the Rev-9, telling Sarah "For John" just before he does so.

Would Terminators from Sarah's timeline have become resistance fighters in a Dark Fate sequel?

It's an interesting scene, and it raises the question of whether all Terminators would be capable of coming over to the side of humanity if they'd just, you know, be given a little time to reflect. After all, they're learning machines, and it turns out that empathy and remorse are actually things that they can learn.

It's almost certainly an idea that would have been explored in one of the planned sequels to Dark Fate, which was conceived as the first entry in a new Terminator trilogy. Unfortunately, those sequels will almost certainly never come to be. While Dark Fate earned good critical notices, it failed to get butts into theater seats even against extremely light competition, and subsequent frames didn't see it performing any better. 

With only a $261 million worldwide grossDark Fate lost over $100 million for partnering studios Skydance, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox, all but ensuring that the franchise is... well, terminated. Hopefully, though, the flick will find its audience with its home release. It's a pretty good film, and it deserved a fate that was a damn sight less dark.