It’s a given that parents are responsible for passing a shit-ton of life knowledge onto their children. There are certain things that are obvious – everyone knows that little kids need help learning how to speak and when to cross the street. Other things are a little less obvious – I only recently learned that most kids have to be trained to sleep all the way through the night. Of course the most complicated lesson occurs when the kids are a bit older – parents are on the hook for teaching their offspring about sex. That's a weird talk to have to give to someone, but unfortunately it's an unavoidable part of the job.

Well, it's unavoidable for people who are trying to raise human child. If you’re an engineer that has fathered a sentient cyborg you might be able to sidestep that discussion since some robots aren't interested in imitating the human experience. Sure, some semi-human machines are going to be curious about emotions, but other machines are fine with sticking to logic. That puts an expectant engineer in a tricky spot, because there's no way for them to know in advance whether they will need to prep a speech about the birds and the bees or if they will be allowed to sidestep the whole sticky wicket. (Although they should all know that they are definitely going to have to prepare a lecture about when it is appropriate / inappropriate to try to destroy the entire human race - it might not end up being necessary, but having it on hand is a good idea.) 

T-Force is a movie about cyborgs, and I don’t want to misrepresent it – it is an action movie first and foremost. There are a lot of scenes where gruff cops and cyborgs are trying to shoot bad guys / each other and there are only a few scenes that are meant to raise philosophical questions. But the actual plot of this movie is basically a mad-lib of cop movie clichés and it is honestly not that exciting to talk about. (I have reached a point in my life where I am not that excited about dissecting a shoot-out in an abandoned factory.) No, I’d rather focus on the one moment that actually interests me: the scene where the T-force discovers the pleasure of the flesh. That scene was super weird, and it raised an important question: how awkward would it be to be the parent of a robot that was going through puberty?

 The one on the left is secretly a cyborg, but he wasn't one of the participants in the bone-a-thon. I'm trying to keep it classy y'all

The one on the left is secretly a cyborg, but he wasn't one of the participants in the bone-a-thon. I'm trying to keep it classy y'all

Let me set up the scene: the T-force are a trio of cyborgs on the lam. They were part of the police force, but they responded a bit too forcefully to a hostage situation so the city council demanded that they be deactivated. However, the cyborgs had reached sentience and they wanted to live, so they fought their way to an abandoned quarry where they could regroup and debate their next move. Immediately after arriving at their post-industrial hellhole hideout they discover a porno magazine that some perv left behind. This ignites their curiosity, and they smell a chance to get one step closer to regaining their humanity. A male and a female cyborg head outside to the rocky rubble to re-enact what they’ve just seen while the third robot stays behind in the office so he can compare and contrast their attempt at a tryst with the pictures in the magazine.

Now, it’s obvious how the audience will feel about this scene: utter disbelief. There’s no way to see three buff robots forming a triangle of voyeuristic indulgence and not think “what the fuck is happening?” But let’s remove ourselves from that perspective briefly. Let’s imagine that scene from the perspective of the engineer that created the T-Force. What is that guy thinking? Is he proud of his creations for their curiosity? Would he want to yell at them for trying to bone on top of a rubble pile when clearly that’s going to get grit and gravel in places it shouldn’t go? Would he understand their need to be free or would he say “hey you two – you’re fugitives from the law. Maybe balling in a wide open space isn’t the best idea?” Does he see this as a teachable moment, or as a frustrating example of the ignorance of children, or would he just be mad at himself for not raising them better?

Unfortunately, T-Force does not answer those questions. In fact, it cannot answer those questions because the man who created the T-force was already dead by the time of the rubble-pile rubdown - he had been killed by his own creations as they were trying to escape police headquarters. So I can only speculate as to what his feelings would have been, and I would like to think that he would have been proud. Yes, it can be embarrassing for a parent to watch their kids make mistakes as they embark on their learning process, but you also have to feel some pride in your babies as they take their first baby steps because soon they'll be taking toddler steps and eventually they'll be running like a pro. (Or in this case humping like a pornstar.) Sure, it's not great that they don't understand the social contract of sexuality - that there is a time and a place for intimate actions and that the time is not "when your brother is watching" and that the place is not "on top of an open air rock pile.". But if these cyborgs get enough practice, then sooner or later they'll figure it out, and then they'll have another aspect of the human experience under their belt.

Well, actually there is no sooner or later for the T-Force because that gruff cop is hot on their trail and he really wants to shoot their faces off, but we already agreed that I wasn't going to have to talk about that part of the movie. So instead I'm just going to wrap this up with this thought: parents, if you have a small child, think ahead about how you want to explain reproduction to your kids - it's a vital duty and you should do it the right way. And engineers of cop-robot hybrids - you, too, should think ahead about what you want to say about the cy-birds and the cy-bees. You may not be called upon to deliver that speech, but if your words of wisdom can keep your children from coating their intimate crevasses with quarry dust then you will have been a good dad indeed.

Winner: Me

T-Force on IMDB