Having watched the Terminator Salvation DVD a number of times now one line of dialogue made me realize just how creative the writers of Terminator Salvation were.
When we’re first finding out the Marcus is a Hybrid Kate Connor states that: “…the brain too but with a chip interface. It has a hybrid nervous system, one human cortex, one machine.
Why is this line so important, look at what I’ve italicized. They’ve effectively given us two characters in one.
As far as the human cortex/side of marcus is concerned he’s human, he’s tough and he’s a resilient hardass that can take spectacular lickings and keep on ticking.
The machine cortex/side of Marcus knows only that it’s a machine. It needs to get to San Francisco. But not only that one can assume it has other files that Skynet thought of great importance for its mission.
For around half the movie Marcus has no idea he is a Hybrid character. The human/machine cortex split seems to keep each side separate from one another.
This makes Marcus, or the Hybrid Infiltrator the most dangerous yet.
The split cortex also enables Skynet to record Marcus’s mission and what he sees and hears without Marcus even knowing. It makes him a mute spy and a tool.
This means that the termovision shots are taken from the machine cortex but Marcus was looking through his human cortex because it was the only way he KNEW how to look.
This enables the writers to create two characters in one character.
Marcus the Hybrid.
Marcus the human.
Marcus the human has no idea of any of the mechanics inside of his person until he sees them. Because his human cortex is the dominant one and the only one he has personal access to, the only one he understands.
During the escape he begins to experiment with his hybrid body. Using it as a shield, a decoy, and learning just how much of a bashing it can take.
Later at Skynet Central when he logs in. You can see that he’s opening himself up to accessing his Machine cortex. He interfaces with Skynet through the Machine Cortex, and that is when he finally has access to both sides.
It is interesting that out of the Human and Machine dilemma that Skynet gives him he actually choose what is to be honest a third option.
By crushing the control chip it allows him to use both cortex’s to his advantage. If only we could have seen into his head more that would have been utterly fascinating.
It’s truly a pity that Ferris and Brancato IMHO chose to let the more one dimensional character of John Connor live at Marcus’ expense.
While the original idea to let Marcus live and leave John in Jeopardy in a slave camp would have allowed even more insight into this fantastic character in the next script or scripts.
In conclusion watching Salvation keeping in mind the multiple cortex’s of Marcus Wright leads to a much more interesting experience. And the ideas behind the character add another level of depth to the film that wasn’t fully utilized.