Once again: Note how Sam is sitting out of the way, doing nothing. Like a child. Everyone is straining, helping, and taking risks. When Jonah and Lara try to lift the engine, Sam doesn’t even bother to help. As before, this is realistic – I wouldn’t expect a young college kid like Sam to have much skill that would make her useful in this context – but from a story perspective it completely undercuts her as someone we can care about.
She’s constantly doing the wrong thing. She gets captured repeatedly. She’s not even vital to the mission. She doesn’t say anything smart. She doesn’t make funny jokes. She doesn’t have useful skills. She’s not brave, resourceful, hard working, or observant. Even the typical Indiana Jones sidekick occasionally gets a moment of triumph where they save the day or help Dr. Jones. But Sam is content to relax around the boat while everyone else is getting dirty, working hard, and risking their lives for the good of the group.
After the cutscene there’s a bit where Sam bumbles around and sets off the mounted gun, endangering Jonah and Rayes. (We missed it because we were in the building reading Jonah’s log.) She’s not even a screwup in an admirable way. She’s not the kind of character we can admire because they try hard but always mess up, because she doesn’t try hard and she’s not eager to please. And this scene isn’t even her worst moment. It’s unbelievable to me that this is the character the writers expect us to save. Three times. Sam is a butt.
Obligatory: Lifter pulley system? I hardly know her!
A look back at Star Trek, from the Original Series to the Abrams Reboot.
The Best of 2012
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2012.
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.
In Defense of Crunch
Crunch-mode game development isn't good, but sometimes it happens for good reasons.
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.