Midnight in Los Angeles. Sarah drives with a purpose -- she still can't sleep. First stop? An industrial park downtown. She checks in with John on the phone. "I got a lead off the surveillance tapes from Charm Acres." Western Iron & Metal supplied Desert Heat & Air with metal.
As she's breaking in, Sarah is distracted by a coyote and doesn't have time to notice a masked man with the taser. Zapped, she shakes, until...
She wakes. It's been a dream and she's in a sleep clinic. Sarah tells her Nurse she can't stay here anymore. "You've only been here one night." Sarah meets her new roommate, Dana, who asks Sarah to promise not to report she's been smoking.
John and Cameron show up for visiting hours to eat with Sarah. Turns out John and Cameron have had some quality time together at home without her -- Cameron's even learned to make him pancakes!
Sarah tells John she shouldn't be in the clinic, she should be at home tracking down leads. He thinks it is necessary for her to get better, to learn to sleep again. She's useless to them as she is. John and Cameron leave. Sarah notices the tattoo on the neck of the janitor -- a coyote like in her dream.
At night she dreams again: this time, she's in the back of a van. Music blares. The van stops and the back door opens. It's Ed Winston, the man she killed in the Desert Heat & Air factory.
"I killed you" she tells him."And I killed you. One of us is gonna have to step it up," he retorts.
Winston chomps on sunflower seeds and talks to Sarah. He tortures her, grabbing her healing leg (where he shot her). "So who do you work for?" he asks her. He thinks her "boyfriend" was responsible for blowing up their factory. He injects her with some sort of liquid, as she...
Wakes. Her Nurse wants to show her something. She brings Sarah into their observation room -- her electrode transmit records of her sleep cycle and night terrors to the computers. One piece of good news? She doesn't have a brain tumor.
Nurse finds Dana's secret cigarette butt in their room, asks Sarah if she knew about it. Sarah denies it.
Sarah finds a dream catcher hanging above Dana's bed. Dana enters, tells her she got it from Hector, the janitor. Dana inquires as to her nightmares -- Sarah's always revolve around running away from something, of course. Dana confesses her's involve her burning alive. "They say if you die in your dreams you die in real life."
"Do the bad guys ever catch you?" Dana asks Sarah. And Sarah's back...
In the van with Winston. She wakes from the serum. He's been checking out the wounds on her body -- including her c-section scar. But she wants to talk about his company, about Kaliba. He asks why anyone would want to blow up their own factory?
"To hide what you were building."
"And what's that?"
She talks to him about his wife, Diana. But it only angers him. He smashes her against the wall, handcuffs her, but they fight.
Back in the sleep clinic, Sarah watches the Nurse leave her room after giving Dana an injection. She checks out sleeping Dana's body -- she's got a suspicious mark on her shoulder.
Sarah trails the Nurse all the way downstairs. Methodically, the Nurse enters a special code to get into a locked room and almost catches Sarah. Sarah hides, but is she on to something now? Is the Nurse really a machine?
In the morning, the Nurse confronts Sarah -- "Your electrodes came off last night. Did you take them off?" Sarah pretends not to remember
Cameron and John wait for Sarah in the waiting area. She asks him about dreams. "What's it like to dream?" Sarah enters and John follows her outside. She confesses that she thinks something strange is going on in the clinic. He knows she's still having nightmares of Ed Winston, the man she killed in the factory. Reluctantly, she tells John about the dreams. "He isn't real. He can't hurt you anymore."
Sarah's back in the van with Winston. He asks what his wife looked like at his funeral. He tells her about the worst part of his job -- killing. Killing his neighbor was hard but he had to do it because he took care of the overseas books. "So your bosses are foreign?" She's on to something.
"They fixed me up. After you shot me." He's surprised to learn that he was her first kill. Sarah tells him she can help him and his wife disappear. But he doesn't think they can escape his bosses... She knows how and offers up a plan for him. He thinks on it, missing his old life. Winston uncuffs Sarah, lets her out of the van...
As she makes her escape on foot, she finds the place locked. Winston surprises her from behind. It was all an act.
Sarah wakes to an alarm. Fire in her room! Dana's burning alive and her nightmare's becoming a reality!
Sarah talks to John on the phone as Cameron struts by in very little clothing. "Remember when I told you something strange was going on?" She tells him about Dana but now she really wants to stay and figure out what exactly is going on.
Nurse addresses the other patients and employees and tells them that Dana is in critical condition but she is alive. Sarah tells the Nurse that she's decided to stay, even though they're given the option to leave. Nurse tells her that she's probably riled up from the incident and offers her some "sleeping" pills. She watches Sarah take them and exits. But Sarah knows better and she spits them out.
Sarah returns to her room to find Hector, the janitor, cleaning up. She's been meaning to thank him for the dream catcher. They talk about Dana. "She should have taken charge of what was going on inside her head." Sarah asks about the coyote tattoo on his neck. "Does it have mystical significance?" "No."
Back in the van, Winston asks her for a story. It's his way of torturing her. "You told me a story one time in the warehouse. About your son." It sets him on to her...
She was taken in by his story! He realizes this is because she has a son (he saw her scar.) He is what she's protecting.
Back in the clinic at night, Sarah pretends to sleep as the Nurse leaves her room. She's now got a scar just like the one Dana had. She flashes back to the van, picking back up with Winston about her son.
"So your son is your accomplice." He knows she'd die to protect him and that's exactly why he needs to be found. "You won't get anywhere near him. He's not alone." But even when Winston thinks he'll come to her because she asks him to, Sarah believes John now knows better.
"I won't call him, I'll die first," she tells Winston.
"You'd like that, but it's never that easy." He retorts.
John wakes her up in the clinic bed. She's called him. She shows him where the Nurse gave her a shot. John wants to take her out of there, but Sarah knows they have to do something.
Nurse leaves the secret, lock-protected room. John and Sarah look on. "Think you can hack the combination?" Of course he can. They enter to find a room with monitors, computers. On all of them -- a scan of the brain...
"Some kind of scanning program," John realizes immediately. They're mapping brains and keeping files of them all. John looks up Sarah's patient number. There's a ton of information on her -- they've been keeping track of everything.
"It's a Skynet experiment, John. They're stealing everything." Sarah believes. She wants him to delete it all. "Sleep is the perfect cover." He's not sold, but he deletes it all anyways.
Nurse Hobson is told there's a problem in the secret room. "Thank you for explaining." Uh-oh.
Sarah and John hear the Nurse punching the code to the padlocked room. He hides. Nurse finds Sarah, "This is a restricted area, how did you get in here?" But Sarah pretends to not remember again, covers by saying she must have been sleep walking. But the Nurse doesn't believe her. The door was locked. Sarah tries to sneak off, but she can't...
Nurse Hobson talks to Sarah about human dreaming. "We don't fully understand yet why humans need to dream." Sarah's right, this IS an experiment on humans!
"You drugged me," she tells the Nurse. Nurse Hobson tells her she's experiencing sleep paralysis, she wants to move but can't, before she throws her against the wall violently. She pins her down, choking her out.
"You were talking to someone when I entered the room. Your boy. Call to him," she tells Sarah as she grasps her neck not unlike Cromartie once did. But Sarah tells her she'd die first. "I'm sure you'd like that, to die. But it's never that easy." It sounds oddly familiar.
Sarah spits out teeth that have been knocked out as the machine raises a computer over her head, ready to smash her in and put an end to Sarah Connor. But John steps out and shoots the Nurse until she's knocked down!
Sarah hovers over her with the gun, but the machine awakes, grabs the gun, and shoots John dead in the chest! He falls, dead, as Sarah looks on, before Nurse Hobson shoots her dead too! We quickly realize...
THE SLEEP CLINIC HAS ALL BEEN THE DREAM! Ed Winston, the van, the torture -- that is reality! And he isn't dead! Bound, she struggles to free herself.
Outside the van, Winston talks to his bosses on his phone. "It's her son. He helped her blow up the facility. He's the one we want." They tell him to go ahead and kill her.
But Sarah's got other plans. Ruthlessly, Sarah Connor bites out her vain to slip out of the handcuffs, blood spurting on her face. It doesn't work. So she goes to the next extreme and breaks her finger. Badass. Sarah get the handcuffs off.
Winston opens the back of the van and is surprised to find Sarah waiting for him! She jams him in the eye with his needle, sending him back, blind, as they fight to the death. He punches her but she gets free, grabbing his gun, and knocking him to the ground. Reminiscent of the fight in the Desert Heat & Air factory, Sarah does what she has to do...
Only this time, she shoots Ed Winston in the head. "You're real. You're real. You're real." And it's over. Her nightmare is over.