After John Connor, his mother, and the T-800 escape from Pescadero in the stolen police car, the T-1000 pursues. It makes it so far as to latch onto the car's rear end, but is blasted off by the T-800's shotgun. It then chases for a short period, but stops and walks in the opposite direction.

Since the T-1000 doesn't tire, I wonder why it didn't continue to chase after the car. Sure, the car was clearly faster, but presumably the T-1000 would have happened upon another driver, as it did during the mall chase. Or the police car would have needed to stop for gas. Or would have been stuck in traffic, etc.

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    I've no idea why someone would think this is "opinion-based".
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 16:32
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    I suppose the same could be asked about when the T-1000 had chased John out of the mall, and through the drainage canal. The T-1000's truck exploded, but the T-1000 could still have pursued John and his pretctive terminator. Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


The Frakes novelisation of T2:Judgement Day gives an account of the T-1000's thought process after it was forcibly ejected from the back of the car. It seems that it assessed that it was wasteful of energy to continue active pursuit and that it would be more sensible to attempt to re-acquire/ambush his targets at another location. This is the same motivation that led it to Pescadero in the first place.

But now he was dropping way behind. Sarah had the pedal floored and the liquid-metal killer had its limitations. It couldn’t catch them on foot.


A moment later, the T-1000, slowing to a walk, watched the taillights recede. The target’s escape meant nothing to it. The delay could only be a measurement of time. Although terminators had internal chronometers, the T-1000 did not. It was part of Skynet’s new design.

Knowledge of time had its uses, but in most cases of pursuit, it was an unnecessary element. Time did not matter when the thing after you could not be killed, could not be stopped, and would never tire.

The T-1000, blissfully unaware of anything except the target’s projected escape route, glanced down. The liquid metal blob on the asphalt began to shudder, then elongate, stretching like a liquid finger until it touched Officer Austin’s “shoe,” flowing into it, rejoining the main mass.

Time was only a temporary respite from inevitable.

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    Without a concept of time, can any mechanism hope to have the judgement (ho ho) required to estimate speed and drive a car or set an ambush in the right place?
    – Gusdor
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 8:32
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    @gusdor This appears to be more of a software design than a hardware one. My guess: No real-time clock, maybe, but more importantly - a different view of events. T1k uses a sufficient concept of time to calculate event sequence, but a 1000km walk through a desert would be little different than a single step, similar to the choice of 'left' or 'right' when walking around a lamp post. The increment on an arbitrary time measure has meaning, but no direct importance to it, while other models may use it in calculation of efficiency (a purpose-related design choice).
    – kaay
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 10:32
  • I think it is saying the T-1000 has no sense of time? That sounds unreasonable. A plausible explanation of why it would stop chasing a car on foot is that this would attract attention and while almost invulnerable, a helicopter carrying not only liquid nitrogen but even, I suspect, something like thermite could destroy it.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 11, 2021 at 8:17
  • I'm thinking not so much "no sense of time" as that it flat out doesn't care. It doesn't have emotional drives, it doesn't get bored. It evaluates actions based on how to fulfill its directives as efficiently as possible. Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 9:49

T-1000 is strategic. While it could continue to chase, it would be a mindless act just to waste time. The probability of getting to car was low and getting to them even lower because they could change cars at any out-of-sight point. And, the worst was that they had shotgun which they could use again if T-1000 ever succeeded to reach their car.

Instead, T-1000 worked for another plan.

  • The concept of 'wasting time' should be problematic for a T-1000 without internal chronometers. Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 21:30
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    @K.-MichaelAye No more so than us humans. Andalites are the only biological species I know of with an internal chronometer
    – Izkata
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 23:18

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