Why didn't the T-1000 assume the form of Todd or Janelle (John's foster parents), or even just a stranger rather than remaining in the form of the police officer? The only reason John had a head start, and eventually escaped (with the help of the T-800), is because his friend warned him that a police officer was looking for him. John probably assumed that it was because they had just robbed an ATM and was trying to flee. I feel that the T-1000 would have had a higher chance of achieving its mission in almost any other form, and perhaps could have terminated John quickly at the Galleria rather than engaging in a foot chase, thereby giving the T-800 a chance to catch up and ultimately help John escape.

  • youtube.com/watch?v=MT_u9Rurrqg Apr 9, 2020 at 22:09
  • This clip takes place after the chase at the mall and after the T-800 had already found John. The T-1000 had already been to his foster parent's house to see if they knew where he'd gone, which would have been the perfect opportunity to take on one of their forms. Apr 9, 2020 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Being a police officer gives the T-1000 a very distinct advantage in its current task, locating John Connor in a hurry so that it can terminate him. Not only does the form engender respect in those that it speaks to (far more so than would a stranger in casual clothes) but it also allows it to task other non-law-enforcement individuals to do its bidding.

The two ten-year-old girls stood in front of the Subway sandwich shop and shyly studied the photo the policeman had offered them. He was leaning out the cruiser window with a broad smile that would have been warm had it not been so forced. One of the girls looked away from his strange expression, instinctively uneasy. The other, not noticing, said, “Yeah, he was here about fifteen minutes ago. I think he said he was going to the Galleria.”


He glanced over at a security guard who was eyeing him curiously. Austin considered the possible alternatives and a second later walked up to the man and showed him the photo, asking him to look out for the boy.

T2: Judgement Day - Official Novelisation

Given its extremely limited knowledge of John, it could reasonably have expected him not to bolt when approached by a police officer.

Later on, and having blown its cover and with no major leads to go on to find John, it assumes Janelle's form in the hopes that John will decide to come back home.

  • 1
    For the record, there's every possibility that John would have tried to evade Todd or Janelle at the mall
    – Valorum
    Apr 9, 2020 at 23:18
  • 1
    Great answer, thank you. I see your point that appearing as a police officer would give the T-1000 an advantage in finding John so that he could terminate him, but it had already been informed that John was most likely at the Galleria, and at that point it could have taken the form of somebody familiar to John. And yes, based on the limited information the T-1000 had on John, the terminator had no reason to believe that John would run from a police officer. But using the same logic, it would have been a valid assumption that John would most likely not run if approached by a family member. Apr 10, 2020 at 19:01
  • @frigid_nihilism - The goal is to find him as expeditiously as possibly, then run at him with a gun. People are more likely to tell a policeman where to find someone (from a picture) than just a random member of the public wandering around asking which would, additionally, attract unwanted attention from the police and security staff
    – Valorum
    Apr 10, 2020 at 19:29
  • People would be willing to help find him, especially if the T-1000 took Janelle's form. While many people are wary of police officers and try to avoid them if possible, a mother using a photo to search for her son in a busy mall would not be seen as abnormal and may even prompt good Samaritans, police and security staff to help the T-1000 locate John. Apr 10, 2020 at 19:54
  • @frigid_nihilism - Unless she bumped into someone that knew Janelle, which would raise suspicions since she wouldn't know anything about her/them.
    – Valorum
    Apr 10, 2020 at 20:00

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