I hate TV shows that kill characters off only to bring them back to life. It shows a terrible lack of commitment, and I believe it’s the primary cause of the astronomical divorce rates today. If only writers would model healthy commitment to our youth, we could abolish divorce, poverty, and world hunger.
Just think about it.
And while you’re thinking, marvel at the commitment shown by the writers of Mass Effect.
*Warning: Spoilers imminent.
You see, Kate Shepherd drove her cool Mars Rover/Whathog combo car through all sorts of peril in order to reach some aliens who needed back-up. She arrived, and her Krogan crew member, Wrex, realized that Kate intended to destroy a big building that housed an antidote for a disease that was slowly killing off his entire species. While he was trying to persuade her that the needs of the few outweighed the needs of the many, Kate’s other underling crew member named Ashley took out her alien prejudice on Wrex and shot him. Dead.
Think of the amazing commitment required there. Wrex. Dead.
Then, Kate and the crew get going on a raid into the building. Kaiden, Kate’s love interest, takes charge of some unimportant alien red shirts on a suicide mission to storm the front of the building. His goal: distract the bad guys so Kate can sneak in the back of the building and plant a nuke. However, just as they set the nuke, it becomes clear that Kaiden is going to die if Kate doesn’t leave Ashley with the nuke to go rescue him. Kate gets about halfway between the two of them, and Ashley radios to say that things are bad, because bad guys are everywhere. In that moment, Kate knows that she can only save one of them… so, of course she saves her man and Ashley dies.
That’s right. Dead.
Two crew members dead on one mission.
Ashley clearly wasn’t a Red Shirt, either. She was super-duper in combat, and Kate really didn’t want her to die. But she did.
Which makes Mass Effect the best game ever. Ever! If more children were exposed to such writerly commitment, the next generation might solve all problems and create a Gene Roddenberry sort of future in which star ships never get dirty, there is no conflict between humans and other humans, and people ask their walls for a glass of wine and it gives it to them. No questions asked. 🙂