While John's teenage rebellion and Sarah's concern about the looming threat of cancer are believable and even plausible, I don't like either of them.
I want to like Riley, but she feels too "hey look, a quirky blonde girl!" -- like the writers just thought that would be a neat idea, without it feeling organic to her. [actress, for my reference]
I don't remember this saying-the-date thing from last season.
When the spokesguy at the end was talking about automation I said, "SkyNet wins" (echoing Our Heroes talking about the different possible outcomes with the nuclear power plant). My housemate asked if he was a Terminator and I said I didn't know. And then he went liquid and I said, "Is he Shirley Manson?" And indeed he was. So apparently we have moved from S1 with people accidentally helping create SkyNet to S2 with people purposely helping create SkyNet.
[Cameron tells John she was assessing Riley's threat level]
John: "Am I safe?"
Cameron: "I don't know. Girls are complicated."
She sounded much more human there than when she was saying "I don't know" to Sarah -- which was clearly an intentional directorial choice. (Oh, I did like Cameron's "Am I?" re: Sarah's time bomb question -- though I felt like Sarah was made too helpless by having her asking Cameron this stuff 'cause that's desperation ... not even so much because she doesn't generally like or trust Cameron all that much [gotta love her pulling Cameron's hand off of Busy Philipps' pregnant belly at the "Once you were inside of her"] but because they're in an alternate timeline now, so Cameron can't know ... though that does beg the question of how John knows where they are to send people back.)
Edit: musesfool dislikes the new "restating the obvious" opening. I kind of like it as a way to catch up newbies -- but maybe I'm attuned to that 'cause I'm watching with my housemate.
Also: I thought the episode title was really awkward and didn't like it, but tv.com tells me, "The title of this episode is the same as the title of the 1992 CD by the alt rock band R.E.M.," which at least makes it a little better.
Edit2: soundingsea commented: "Oh, man. That flash of Derek's to the Skynet future? I wonder if he sees that kind of stuff everywhere he looks." It hadn't quite clicked for me that that was the point of that flash -- I was confused as to why we were returning from a commercial break to a scene from the future, and in retrospect I think the show did a good job of explaining what they were doing, but I wasn't paying 100% attention (the perils of watching with my housemate).