Meredith Vickers fulfils the prerequisite role of ‘Company Woman’. For much of the film she spends her time emphasising how much of a bitch she is. Meredith Vickers is the type of woman who installs a self-sustaining life boat on a ship then decorates it with a chandelier. She wears sharp suits, has sex with the captain to prove she’s a woman with woman’s needs (and not a robot), happily blow-torches an infected man and tells her estranged father that he needs to die.
After first watching Prometheus I thought: what the hell was the point of Meredith Vickers?
And that sort of highlights one of the major flaws of this film: while it tries hard to be deeply symbolic, it does so at the expense of some pretty fundamental aspects of film making. Meredith is in this film to help emphasise the theme of creation and the relationship between parent and offspring. She does this with the line: “A king has his reign. And then he dies. It’s inevitable.” Clearly this line packs a lot more pathos when it’s spoken by a child to a father who refuses to die. But beyond that…what is the point of Meredith Vickers?
I’ll tell you what: diddly-squat. Apart from looking gorgeous and moody and striding around the ship she contributes precisely jack shit. She comes in a close second place to most pointless/underused character – right after daddy, Peter Weyland. She nudges the plot along once or twice: blow-torching Charlie Holloway and providing an escape raft but that’s about it. Her interactions with the crew are minimal, her intriguing relationship with David (the favoured son) is left unexplored and her presence aboard the Prometheus seems for the most part unnecessary.
Merredith escapes the Prometheus on its crash course with the Engineer ship via her escape pod. As it turns out she is only delaying the inevitable as she is crushed to death by the ship crashing back to earth. Her death when it arrives is so sudden and so blundering that I half suspect Meredith isn’t dead at all. After all – when the inevitable sequel arrives, if there’s no one left alive on the planet, who will the shark-xenomorph terrorise? Oh and is she an android? I’m still 50/50 about that. But if there’s going to be a sequel and Meredith is still alive, having her be an android is one way to ensure her survival.