In the CinemaSins video titled Everything Wrong With Terminator 2: Judgment Day, some interesting questions are given concerning how the T-800 initially tries to find John Connor in Los Angeles.

After the T-1000 arrives at John Connor's foster parents' house, Janelle Voight says: "There was a guy here this morning looking for him, too." The CinemaSins narrator says: "What!? So John was gone in the morning for whatever reason, came back to the house to work on his bike, and Schwarzenegger STILL couldn't find him? Where the hell is he looking and why didn't he just camp out around the house?"

In this related question concerning "T-800 John Connor Acquisition", it is explained that John Connor (in the future) would have given the T-800 information regarding where he was living in 1994, and "likely places he would be hanging out" in 1994.

However, the T-1000 may not have had information concerning places where John Connor would often be in 1994. Doesn't it seem unlikely that the T-1000 would somehow "randomly" or "coincidentally" find John Connor in Los Angeles? So why did the T-1000 leave the foster parents' neighborhood to look for John Connor? Wouldn't it be more likely to find John Connor by waiting at his residence instead of somehow trying to "randomly" or "coincidentally" find John Connor in Los Angeles?

  • Because John isn't in the house. Statistically speaking, staying in or near the house means that the T-1000 is less likely to find him than if he goes away from the house and looks there. Chance of find John in the house = 0%. Chance of finding John elsewhere = >0% – Valorum Jun 4 '16 at 22:06

It's a Saturday afternoon and the T-1000 has just learned that John isn't at home, nor are the Voights expecting him back any time soon. Officer Austin is now faced with three options, each of them presenting a reasonable possibility of success in terms of locating and terminating John Connor; Wait in the vicinity of the house (with the dog barking), duplicate one of the occupants (and risk causing an alert) or tour the vicinity looking for John. It decides that the option with the highest likelihood of success is to tour the vicinity.

Having received the information that someone else is looking for John, potentially a Resistance Operative(!), it takes the decision to undertake a more active search.

Note also that its next action isn't to just randomly drive around, but to approach people who might know John and show them his photo, a course of action that leads him to the mall where John and his friend are shopping.

Ultimately it seems to come down to a very simple calculation of probability;

  • Chance of finding John in the next few hours by waiting = 0%(ish)

  • Chance of finding John in the next few hours by looking for him = >0%(ish)

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    Thanks for your answer. It would have been possible that John would have returned home in the next few hours or earlier, especially considering his sometimes erratic/unpredictable behavior. So I wouldn't say that the chance of finding John in the next few hours by waiting is 0%. Also, the T-1000 is known to often wait for certain people to arrive in certain areas, instead of "actively" looking for them. For example, T-800 explicitly states that: "The T-1000's highest probability for success now will be to copy Sarah Connor and to wait for you to make contact with her." – John M. Campbell Jun 4 '16 at 23:14
  • @JohnM.Campbell - Yes, in the absence of any better leads, the T-1000 will copy Sarah Connor and periodically check the Police scanner frequencies. But in this case he knows that John is nearby, but not coming back soon. Better to go hunting than wait for his prey to come to him. He can always come back later if he doesn't find him – Valorum Jun 4 '16 at 23:16
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    Also, it may be that it assume that the "other guy" was a Resistance Operative looking to make contact with John, in which case there's a reasonable possibility that he won't come back at all. – Valorum Jun 5 '16 at 0:05

i disagree with everyone saying the T1000 would have had 0% chance of finding john by waiting at his house. He would have had 100% chance to find him, john would have had to come home at some point. The Terminator isn't worried about time. The only thing i could think of that would have changed it's mind (so to speak) is when they said a big guy on the bike is looking for him also.

That would makes the odds more 50 / 50. Either the T800 finds him first and moves him into hiding or not. If the t800 didn't find him, john would have just come home and then have been easily been killed.

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    Although a good answer, it seems to be based entirely on opinion, can you provide any facts for you answer? – Edlothiad Feb 4 '17 at 12:43
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    You're assuming that John is coming back. Don't forget that there's a non-trivial chance that the Resistance operative will make contact with him first. – Valorum Feb 4 '17 at 12:45

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