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At the end of Terminator 2, the T-1000 uses a needle-like finger to try and get Sarah to call out. However, we know from earlier on in the film, when John was talking to the T-1000 over the phone, that the T-1000 can emulate voices. Why didn't it use this ability?

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I was going to say "bad writing" but the accepted answer pretty much nixes that idea. :) –  Almo Jul 27 at 0:23
    
I don't remember when he did this.. but if it was after the freeze/thaw occurence, it could well have lost the ability, or, at least, the reliable use of the ability. The freeze/thaw caused significant glitching that was largely cut from the final movie, but see this answer to another question for more info. It doesn't specifically mention the voice simulation, but it's not unreasonable to conclude that the glitches might have far more impact than just it's chameleonic functions. Also, mimicry of the vocal cords COULD be related. –  KHW Jul 27 at 1:14

4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted

The T-1000 only seems to be able to emulate the voices of people that it's heard speaking. Up to that point in the theatrical version of the film, the only contact between Sarah and the T-1000 has been at the barrel of a gun.

Until Sarah says "F*ck you", he's not heard her before and therefore can't replicate her voice.

On top of that, I think it's reasonable to suspect that John and Sarah will have a pre-arranged code to help him identify whether she's been replicated.


Out of universe, there's actually a deleted scene in the film in which the T-1000 locates various tapes from Sarah. This means that he should have been able to sample her voice before "Call to John" scene. Obviously that makes no sense from a continuity point of view which is almost certainly why it was removed.

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Pretty much clears it up. But I am thinking why didn't the T-1000 instead get Sarah to whisper the finite number of sounds that are needed for the T-1000 to replicate her voice, then it could say whatever it wanted, lure our heroes into a more cunning trap maybe. Any who, a good answer. –  Starkers Jul 26 at 19:56
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@Starkers - It's only under extreme duress that she says anything. Tricking her into saying stuff is probably beyond his abilities at this late stage. –  Richard Jul 26 at 20:57
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@cincinnatus - if you think that youtube is a major security risk, you might want to seriously consider whether the Internet is too scary for you. –  Richard Jul 27 at 8:56
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@Cincinnatus I can sympathise with this given that Google now pretty much runs youtube. –  Pharap Jul 27 at 16:56
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If the T-1000 hadn't acted so nicely to John over the phone he would have dutiful come home and been killed instantly due to this skill. –  Starkers Jul 27 at 19:33

Quite a bit earlier in the film, during John's call to his house:

John: Something's wrong, she's never this nice.

The T-1000 has already been foiled once, because it does not have enough information to imitate the behavior of a person - at least not enough to fool anyone but a total stranger. Getting Sarah to call out to her son would be more likely to sound authentic and it would also not require her to be silent as an imitation would...

That the T-1000 does not really understand what a mother is willing to suffer for her child is hardly suprising. It is a robot after all, the poor thing never had a mother...

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Seems to me that being able to copy a voice is not the same thing as knowing how to behave like someone in a certain situation. So the T1000 might be programmed to torture victims a target cares about as an even better way to attract a rescue attempt, when an actual hostage is available.

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Very good point actually. John's conversation with his step-mom was a very neutral one, and the T-800 actually saw right through it. Wouldn't be surprised if it's impossible for the T-1000 to synthesize emotion... –  Starkers Jul 26 at 19:55

In addition to the previous answer, we may always answer one thing to this kind of question: Robots are not claimed to be perfect entities and can also fail.

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Yeah but the Terminators are pretty perfect when it comes to killing and making a decision like this. voice_replicator.effectiveness > unpredictable_victim.effectiveness. Dronz' answer of course goes into why the voice replicator might not be as good as a real voice. –  Starkers Jul 26 at 20:00

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