Prometheus Analysis Part X – Act 5

Shaw lying on the table - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Shaw lying on the table – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Now, let us talk about the developments back on Prometheus right after the crew came back from their second exploration. Holloway is dead, an engineer is alive and David has figured out the engineers’ flight plans. I am sure he knows even more. He would have definitely understood the conversations between the engineers in the hologram as well. In the first scene back on the ship, we see Shaw lying on a table and wakes up in shock when David tries to remove her crucifix pendant. He says that he has to remove it since it might be contaminated. Shaw tells David that everyone who set foot in the structure need to be put through quarantine procedures. He also asks her if she had had intimate contact with Holloway prior to his death, just to be thorough.

Shaw resisting David's attempt removing her cross - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Shaw resisting David’s attempt removing her cross – Copyright 20th Century Fox

David proceeds to scan her and he finds out that she is pregnant and is three months into her pregnancy. Shaw is visibly shaken on hearing the news and tells David that she is infertile and can’t be pregnant and that she had sex with Holloway 10 hours ago. David tells her that the fetus is not a conventional one. Shaw begs David to let her see it. But, he refuses. She wants it out of her, but David tells here there are no personnel to perform a procedure like that. He advises her that she should be put into cryostasis. Shaw becomes agitated and David calms her down by injecting something. He tells her that someone would show up alone later to take her to the cryodeck. While she is about to pass out, David has a spiritual conversation with her. He tells her that she might feel as if her God abandoned her. Shaw is perplexed. David tells her that to experience death of Holloway similar to losing her Dad from a virus earlier should be just too much. He also asks her if Ebola killed her dad. Shaw asks him how he knew about her dad, to which David replies that he watched her dreams.

Scan of alien fetus inside Shaw - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Scan of alien fetus inside Shaw – Copyright 20th Century Fox

As I had mentioned earlier, religion is a very critical element in the whole film. The emphasis on Shaw’s crucifix pendant is key to a lot of open questions. In addition, the spiritual conversation between David and her shows how strong her belief system is and how she interprets the role of God and how David sees the whole thing. More on this phenomenon during my final discussions.

Shaw running away from Ford - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Shaw running away from Ford – Copyright 20th Century Fox

After a while. Ford comes to Shaw to take her back to cryodeck. When she tries to shift Shaw, a struggle ensues with Shaw escaping. She gets to the surgery pod that she was shown earlier in the film during a brief tour by Vickers. She activates the controls and an automated voice asks her what procedure she wants to be performed. Shaw tells she needs cesarean. The voice tells her that the medpod is configured only for male patients and asks her to find assistance elsewhere. Shaw is overwhelmed by pain and she overrides the controls and manually chooses the options for surgery, abdominal, penetrating injuries, foreign body and orders to initiate. The voice finally heeds to her request and starts the procedure. In the meantime, Shaw’s abdomen starts to bulge with the fetus inside. The surgical procedure is commenced. Shaw’s stomach is cut and spread open and the alien fetus is removed from inside. It seems to be coiled inside a shrimp like pod and it suddenly bursts. The surgical pod staples Shaw’s stomach, while the alien fetus struggles to escape the pod. It looks like a squid like creature and becomes very aggressive. Shaw slides out of the pod in disbelief and instructs the surgical pod to gas the creature. The pod responds and Shaw escapes from the room.

Commencement of surgery - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Commencement of surgery – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Alien fetus being removed - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Alien fetus being removed – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Remarkable alien fetus - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Remarkable alien fetus – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Familiar head structure - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Familiar head structure – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Fetus being gassed by the pod - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Fetus being gassed by the pod – Copyright 20th Century Fox

It is a remarkable fetus, don’t you think. The head type structure is pretty similar to the Alien head, although you could also say it is reminiscent of many marine mammals. The point where the tentacles originate has an opening that we would eventually see later is an important biological characteristic. Apart from that, I don’t think there is much information to be obtained from the fetus.

Whilst this is going on, Janek is concerned because he picks up imagery from Fifield’s camera right outside the ship. He informs a mechanic about this and tries to communicate with Fifield. The mechanic instructs the others to open the door. One of the mechanic approaches Fifield, who is lying motionless right outside the door. As he is about to take a closer look, Fifield gets up and he looks completely different, a victim of rapid mutation that seems to have changed him. He strikes the mechanic and kills him with just one blow.

Mutated Fifield at the door - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Mutated Fifield at the door – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Closeup of Fifield's face - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Closeup of Fifield’s face – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Something has made him very powerful and he kills another mechanic by punching him in his stomach and crushes his face. Witnessing this chaos, Janek tells Chance that they have to suit up and go to the door. At the same time, Shaw, still recovering from her surgery, is walking through the corridor of the shop, from one room to another. Fifield. who has become extremely violent at this point, also seems to have become impervious to bullets. The crew try everything, shooting at point blank range – nothing stops him. He kills another couple of people and he is finally killed only when he is run over and Janek and Chance burn him incessantly with the flamethrower.

Janek and Chance shooting Fifield - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Janek and Chance shooting Fifield – Copyright 20th Century Fox

It is obvious in the above scene that Fifield is a victim of an infection by the black goo. The change that he went through could be something that is similar to what the engineers might have encountered 2000 years ago. With Fifield, we see that his skin has changed and he is quite resistant to extreme situations and he has become very powerful. He is consumed only by one emotion – kill,  and being relentless in that. When he gets shot at close range, you could see a black substance akin to blood gets sprayed. His posture, when the mechanic found him outside the door is also intriguing and shows that he has also become very flexible.

Meanwhile, Shaw wanders around the corridor, before finding the room C3 P43. She enters the room and falters. In the room we find that Weyland is very much alive and David and a few others are attending to him. It seems like he had just gotten out of his hypersleep and they are preparing him for something. Shaw asks him why he had come along. Weyland tells her that he wanted to meet his maker before he could die. Shaw asks David if he already told him that all of them were gone. David, tells Shaw of his discovery when he was alone in the structure and that one of them was still alive. Shaw is shocked. At this point, Weyland tells her that if they made us, they surely could save us as well. She asks him from what, to which he replies, death. Shaw, then warns Weyland that he doesn’t understand and that the engineers aren’t what they thought they were and that they have to leave immediately. Weyland poignantly asks Shaw if that is what Holloway would have done. Given the chance to meet our maker, would he leave without knowing what they are? He also asks her if she had lost her faith!

Peter Weyland alive - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Peter Weyland alive – Copyright 20th Century Fox

It is now clear that Weyland was the person with whom David was communicating earlier in the film, where he mentioned something was broken. We also learn that Weyland is a dying man and he desperately wants to stay alive, perhaps figure out a way towards immortality. He thinks that the engineers could help him with that quest. Due to his quest for omnipotence, it is clear that he has a God complex. To him, regardless of how badly the search for the engineers had turned out until now, he still wants to meet the surviving engineer. That is his ulterior motive. If other lives have to be sacrificed for that, so be it. During the scene when Shaw tells Weyland that their theories about the engineers were wrong, David hears the conversation and looks at Shaw in a very weird way. Could it be that he is simply thinking, boy she certainly doesn’t know a lot of things. It is a very important scene alright, and although short, the conversation sheds light again on faith and God again. This has been a recurrent theme in the entire film.

Shaw is seen suiting up and it is evident that she wants to go back to the structure with Weyland to meet the engineer. Janek comes in and tells her that he sees this facility as some kind of military installation of the engineers. This is certainly not their home and given the dangers involved with whatever they were experimenting with, they wanted to do it in the middle of nowhere. The thing turned on them. He adds that is time for them to pack their bags and leave. Shaw informs him that one of the engineers was still alive. Janek tells her that he doesn’t care. Shaw is visibly annoyed by his response and tells him that he must care about something, else he wouldn’t have chosen to fly to LV 223. Janek then tells her that he will make a deal and no matter what happens down there, he would not allow any of that black goo to be brought back to earth. He will do everything in his capacity to stop that from happening. Shaw agrees with his plan.

Shaw talking to Janek - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Shaw talking to Janek – Copyright 20th Century Fox

As Weyland is getting ready to venture on his trip to the structure, Vickers visits him. Weyland tells her that he is surprised that she came along and that all her attempts from preventing him from coming here were useless. Vickers warns him that he will die if he goes to the structure. Weyland chides her for her pessimism and tells her that this was the precise reason why she should have stayed home. Vickers tells Weyland that she was not gonna sit in a board room for years arguing over who was in charge while he goes looking for a miracle in some Godforsaken rock in the middle of space! She adds that a king has his reign, but not forever and he has to die. That’s the nature, it is inevitable. She touches Weyland’s hand tenderly and he doesn’t respond and asks her if she has anything else to say. She says, nothing father!

Vickers with her father Weyland - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Vickers with her father Weyland – Copyright 20th Century Fox

Wow! I certainly didn’t see that coming for a long time in the film. This scene is further testament to how long Weyland has been having such an immortality complex and why he was trying anything and everything to achieve it. There is also a contrast here. If you revisit the conversation between Shaw and her dad that David saw in her dream in the beginning of the movie, it also deals with death. They are in a foreign land where they see a funeral procession and the young Shaw asks his father what had happened, to which he replies that he had died. She then asks him why he hadn’t helped him. Her dad tells her that their God was different than his and Shaw’s. Shaw then asks why he had died. He tells her that all of us have to die when the time comes. He also tells her that people go to heaven or paradise after death and that he knows it because thats what he chooses to believe in. Right when he asks Shaw what she believes in, David comes out of watching the dream. Contrast the scenario with Weyland-Vickers conversation. Shaw’s dad tells her that death is inescapable. Weyland believes he can overcome death. Both their beliefs are very strong. In Weyland’s case, Vickers has to remind him about the inevitability of death.

Funeral procession scene in Shaw's dream - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Funeral procession scene in Shaw’s dream – Copyright 20th Century Fox

In the final scene before they venture back into the structure, David tells Shaw that he did not expect her to even survive and that she had acquired extraordinary survival instincts. Shaw asks David what he would do if Weyland were not around to program him anymore and he replies that he would be free. She asks him if he would want that. David responds that he is not familiar with the concept “want”. Then he says something very interesting. He says doesn’t everyone want their parents dead! Shaw tells him she didn’t. Weyland is pleased to see that Shaw is joining them.

Shaw talking to David about free will - Copyright 20th Century Fox

Shaw talking to David about free will – Copyright 20th Century Fox

It was very clear right from the beginning that David’s motives were more complex than what his actions conveyed. It is also clear that he is answerable only to Weyland. But, based on his conversation with Shaw, it is also clear that he yearns for free will and the only thing that would set him free would be the demise of Weyland. I would like to explore more on this topic a bit late, since we would have to talk about AI, robots and androids in general.

This completes Act V. Next, we will focus on the last Act of the film.

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