On Monday, I uploaded my review of Prometheus. Last night, I went to see it again in hopes of answering some of my more pressing questions. In the process, I realized some of my criticisms were wrong, and so I appended a correction to my original review. I also had half a dozen other questions crop up, however. Those will be listed at the end of this post.
But while rewatching the movie, I not only revised one of my initial criticisms of Prometheus, I came up with a startling interpretation which would tie my revised observation together with two other facts in the movie related to the character of Meredith Vickers. This is the sort of character revelation that I would hope is revealed in a sequel. It was simply too good not to post about. Someone else may already have seen the same thing I saw, but I solemnly swear that this post represents my own work, and is not stolen from anyone.
So, about Meredith Vickers: She’s a man.
Or rather, she was a man.
Let me prove my case.
In my review, I said that Peter Weyland had told an unimportant lie to the crew of the Prometheus. What I had thought he said was that he had no children. As it turned out, my memory was faulty. What he said was that David was “the son I never had.” In and of itself, this means little. Weyland could have had a daughter (Vickers), and been disappointed that he hadn’t sired a male heir to carry on the name and the company.
But consider the lifeboat on which Meredith Vickers lives. Should a disaster befall the Prometheus, Meredith would cut loose of the ship. She would want to make the ship as livable for her as possible. At her disposal is a very rare automated medical device which is capable of performing such complex operations as bypass surgery. Yet when Dr. Shaw breaks into Vickers’s quarters and tries to use the device to get a Caesarean section, the device itself tells her that it is calibrated only for men. Are we to believe that Meredith Vickers, ultra-cautious heir to the Weyland fortune, would take up residence in a lifeboat with a rare medical device ill-equipped to service her?
In this light, Weyland’s attitude toward his daughter in their one scene together is more understandable. The emotion he displays toward her isn’t just coldness or rejection, it’s revulsion. He has already insisted on interacting with his robot David instead of with her, and now in their one meeting, he pulls his hand away when she tries to caress it with her cheek. It is hard to believe he would be otherwise so courteous toward his daughter, and yet reject her so completely — unless she wasn’t his daughter at all.
There you have it. I admit it’s a thin case, but to reject my interpretation would be to open up a medical-device-sized plot hole and render near-inexplicable Weyland’s conduct toward his daughter. As a bonus, it would make Weyland’s comments at the beginning of the movie oddly specific. Accepting my interpretation, on the other hand, both makes Weyland’s comment into a subtle insult directed at Meredith and explains why he would rather communicate with his robot creation than with his own flesh and blood.
Other problems I found with Prometheus on a second viewing:
Why would Fifield, a cowardly rebel, have been included on the expedition in the first place? How would the exploration party not know that Fifield and Milburn were unaccounted for ahead of time, given that the information was available on the bridge? Why would Janek have to ask Fifield and Milburn where they were, when the 3-D map with their locations marked is right in front of him? What was the thing in Charlie Holloway’s eye, and how did it get there? Would Janek, after seeing what had happened to Charlie Holloway, open the door for Fifield’s corpse without checking it first? How did David know with such certainty that there were other ships?
Seeing Prometheus made me reevaluate it. That reevaluation was mostly not to the film’s benefit. But if my interpretation of the clues surrounding Vickers is correct (and we have evidence from Damon Lindelof stating Vickers is not a robot, which makes her human), I would be intrigued enough to watch a sequel and see for myself whether some of my other questions are answered.