The Faith of Elizabeth Shaw


Well it had better be strong, hadn’t it?

At the very end of Prometheus….oh. There will be spoilers….at the very end of Prometheus, Elizabeth Shaw reconnects with the only ‘survivor’ of the expedition, the beheaded robot David.

“Hi David. Too bad about the head.” She doesn’t say that.

She also doesn’t say, “You jerk! How could you infect my partner?!” Nor did she say, “You’ve single-handedly ruined everything!”

When she catches up with David – her only hope of escape from this terrible world – she just wants her cross necklace back.

After discovering the supposed source of all human life on earth (I only say supposed because Elizabeth didn’t see the opening scene of the movie like we did), she wants what she believes to be the ultimate source of even the tall marble progenitors.

She wants her cross necklace. As she recovers it and starts to put it on, the pure intellect who is currently reduced to truly just a head reacts to her insistence on reaffirming her faith.

“Even after all this, you still believe?”

I was on the edge of my seat. This was the biggest moment of the movie for me, actually. I squirmed with everyone else when the spaceworm got in the guy’s helmet (surpassing Khan’s ear-worms in ickiness). And I noticed the subtlereference to the original alien design in the last scene. I picked up on at least a few of the multitude of sci-fi references sprinkled throughout this thing. From “Good morning, David” to the Wally Wood-inspired space suits to, well I this, which I think counts:

The Lizzes Shaw

But those were all just fun movie moments. What really gets my butt on the edge of the seat is Elizabeth’s answer to David’s question.

“Even after all this you still believe.” Notice I quoted David with a question mark and once without. I did this because I do not know if he was asking! This movie raised a lot of questions and answered only a few. The status of David’s words here as statement or question remains to be discovered.

Whatever little mark you put to the end of his words, he said them and Elizabeth heard them. So what does she say? What would you say? You discover that your traditions aren’t exactly as you’ve been led to believe. Let alone your traditions, you find that the ground on which your beliefs are founded isn’t even in the same solar system as you thought it was!

In fact! From the way things look, you might just be residue from some space-war fought hundreds of millennia ago.

“You still believe!”

After your main man got burned up (à la James Arness). After your whole crew got crushed or crashed or zombified.

Was her belief just stubborn or was it now tested and proven true?

Was David curious about her current belief status or was he marveling at her very human ability to see beyond herself and her situation and trust something she knew – but knew so well – a long time ago?

So what does she say?

“Even after all this you still believe?”

She pauses.

Resumes application of necklace to her neck.

And gets on with it.

Next!

Who was Prometheus in Prometheus and what was the fire.

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