Further Thoughts on Prometheus, and Meredith Vickers

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.

[Spoilers ahead.]

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.

Published in: on June 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Classy. I actually came to the same conclusion. Fun fact? The Captain she has sex with? His name is pronounced Yonic (or Yannic), the opposite of Phallic. I swear this crap is intentional. Or at least a better argument than the Android debate. Hell, the song he sings “Love the One You’re With” has a special meaning in the Trans community.

    Oh and not to just show up and “OMG LOOK AT Mah LINK” but you might dig my painting of the point…..I thought the Trans thing was obvious, but I’m biased.


    Enjoy and it’s nice to find someone else to cite when I need to prove my sanity on this film.

    • Jared, thanks for the comment and for the support. I’ll be posting further thoughts on some of the other arguments later today.

  2. 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?

    I could be wrong but I don’t think the 3D map has personal location. It’s only location of those pup stuff.

    What was the thing in Charlie Holloway’s eye, and how did it get there?

    That’s created by the black soup which transforms him.

    How did David know with such certainty that there were other ships?

    There are other structure in the field that looks exactly like the one they entered and David probably can read/understand some engineering stuff.

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  4. What was the thing in Charlie Holloway’s eye, and how did it get there?

    That’s created by the black soup which transforms him.


    – it was when David offered him a drink… David touches the drink with his finger, the same finger he used to touch the black soup from the canister like, urn like sample from the so-called engineer’s site. He does not have a soul or emotion, but due to his ai, logical intelligence, and urge for knowledge, he thought that Holloway’s an ass and a good subject for his experiments.

    – I also think that Vickers was a man because, that moment when Dr. Shaw was amazed of the med pod and tried to go techie with it, Vickers tried to stop her… probably so that Dr. Shaw won’t find out that it’s designed for a male patient only and it wont give them the awkward suspicion of her gender.. I also think he’s the son Peter Weyland, never had… or had but never did..

    For the whole story, i think there is a god who created these engineers to create us, the humans, god liked us, engineers doesn’t, engineers wants to wipe us out maybe because we don’t worship them, god wants to stop them so maybe that’s why he created these parasites to stop these engineers.. probably that might be the story, but i don’t know, if it wasn’t i would like to know… 😀

    I just watched the movie a couple of minutes ago… great story and looking forward for a sequel…. the adventures of David & Dr. Shaw. L)

  5. smiley face fail.. it should be 🙂 not L) lol!

  6. Oh come on, this claim is so ridiculous, here are 4 reasons as to why your assumption is most likely wrong:

    Firstly, the captain she had sex with, was A CHRISTIAN. Be it a poor Christian for having sex with a random woman whom he is not married to.

    Secondly, her name was Meredith, I get should could have changed her name, but her father originally said that he never had a son and that David the robot was the son he never had. So again, if she was born male, and he was also a quote on quote superstitious man, I don’t think she would have of approved of a trans operation. (This is probably the weakest point of my points though because you could dispute some of it)

    Thirdly, and probably the biggest chink in your argument, the surgery-pod was on board the Prometheus to provide medical support for Peter Weyland the old man two seconds away from death. Who was secretly added to the crew list before the flight left, and was located inside the life pod of Peter Weyland’s daughter.

    And lastly, and this could be a religious or political possibility seeing as this film was surprisingly pro Christian, and that’s fine and actually good seeing as I too am a Christian!, anyway, the possibility is that by restricting the machine to male only treatment, the filmmakers avoided having to broach the abortion issue. And remember, instead, Elizabeth Shaw commanded the machine to “remove foreign object,” avoiding any abortion-related terminology. I mean when she asked the machine, before she found out the machine was male only, to perform the surgery she wanted she didn’t even say abortion, the script said something else, a cesarean, otherwise known as a C-section. I mean the film have really just avoided the term abortion at all costs at this point. Also, seeing as Christianity is against abortion, which we deem as murder, and the film was surprisingly pro Christian like I said, the filmmaker could of have been avoiding the topic so as to not offend others, himself, and well, God.

    • In claim 2 I said, “I don’t think she would have of approved of a trans operation”. I meant to say I don’t think he, the old man, would have approved not she.

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