For those of you that did not read Part 1 of my “Favorite Mass Effect Squadmate?” series, I chose Garrus, Liara, Wrex, Legion and Mordin as my top 5 squadmates from the Mass Effect series. What follows are my next top 5 squadmates from the series.
6. Miranda Lawson
Shepard is introduced to Miranda rather early in Mass Effect 2, and she doesn’t fail to live up to her reputation as an “Ice Queen”. Giving rather short and somewhat hostile responses to his questions, she gives off the vibe of professionalism at its most extreme form. However, under all that ice lies someone who’s insecure, someone who struggles to respond to being given “all the best genes money can buy”. As Shepard notes, “seems you were designed to be perfect.” She struggles with being given so much responsibility, due to the assumption that her genes make her above everyone else. This is further exacerbated by being with Commander Shepard, a man/woman who was given no such advantage, yet has lead a team against Sovereign and Saren, along with his/her possible involvement in the Skyllian Blitz. As Miranda notes, “I don’t have what you do. That fire that makes someone willing to go into hell itself.” After helping Miranda with her situation with Oriana, Shepard begins to note that she starts to warm up to him/her, saying, “Glad to see there’s a person underneath all of that.” Further conversations reveal her insecurity at being “perfect” and her refusing to acknowledge her accomplishments, only her mistakes. Depending on how Shepard responds, she starts to become more confident in herself and becomes more intimate with Shepard. If Shepard shows interest in her as well, she becomes much more attached, even demanding “Now don’t you die, you promise me, dammit.” She starts to warm up and be much more social and nice, getting remarks from both Liara and Kasumi. “You have no idea how much you have changed [Miranda]. I hope you two find some happiness together.” from Liara and “It’s weird to see Miranda smile while she’s working. And it’s all because of you. Treat her well Shepard.” from Kasumi. This carries over to Mass Effect 3, where Miranda says, “Surprised myself how…attached I got. I’m not good at attached.” Further dialogue reveals that she has moved on from her old self, most notably when, after Shepard comments on her placing a trace on Kai Leng, she says, “Nobody’s perfect.” She’s finally wrestled away from her insecurity, thanks to Shepard, becoming a much more fleshed out character in the process.
As much as Miranda could be considered an ice queen, Javik certainly gives off a much more cold vibe than even her. Flabbergasted at how the “primitives” of his cycle have now ascended to the top of the chain, Javik struggles to adjust, especially with a Reaper invasion occurring in the process. He dryly comments on the “primitives”, saying “Funny. The asari have mastered writing.” or “Salarians were a delicacy in my cycle” or “I remember when humans were drawing on caves.” Also never one to be condescending, he embarrasses James Vega by telling a fake joke, revealing “you will believe anything. [Insert evil laugh]” or, when asked if he was a “real, living Prothean” he responds “As opposed to a fake, dead one?” He also arbors hatred against the machines, constantly telling Shepard and Co. to throw Legion and EDI “out the airlock.” However, after Shepard starts to talk to him, Javik starts to understand the “primitives”, even complimenting their form of government with a Council of many races. Talking to him reveals much about the Prothean culture, most notably that they were a warmongering race that homogenized other “inferior” races. If Shepard has him visit his memory shard, we see a different side of Javik, one filled with sadness, heartbreak and betrayal, as his squad one-by-one became indoctrinated by the Reapers. This eventually forced him to kill his entire squad, causing much pain and grief. After initially being somewhat appalled by Liara’s fascination, he starts to warm up to her, even going so far as to help her write a book on Prothean culture. He also starts to adopt a less pessimistic attitude, most notably when, while giving a speech to a crowd in the Citadel, he changes it from blunt honesty to one of inspiration and courage. The other noticeable changes are at the end, where he refers to Liara as “Dr. T’Soni” instead of “Asari” and offers to even shake the Commander’s hand before the last push. No throwing out of the airlock needed.
8. Ashley Williams
When first encountered in Mass Effect 1, Ashley is somewhat a hothead, showing immediate distrust towards aliens, with some labeling her as a “space racist.” However, after Shepard starts to probe her about her family and religion, we start to see a whole new light on Ashley. She isn’t racist, rather, she harbors resentment over the fact that her grandfather was the first human to surrender to an alien force, at Shanxi. This in turn created resentment among her superiors, who stuck her in menial tasks despite her technical prowess in combat. Constantly being snubbed due to her history created a form of resentment for Ashley towards aliens, as her family is forever held captive to her grandfather. However,after being on the Normandy SR-1 for a while, she begins to accept other alien cultures, becoming friends with Wrex, Liara, Garrus and especially Tali, even calling Tali “a little sister”. She even calls out other groups that she identifies as “space-racist”, showing her evolution from one of skepticism due to her past to one of understanding. She also shows aptitude at poetry, going so far as to quote Walt Whitman and other notable poets. If Shepard pursues romantic interest in her, she constantly teases him but also shows a more caring side to her, also seen when she talks about her family. She even goes as far as to say Shepard makes her “feel good enough” for once in her life. This in turn can extend to her feelings for Shepard, especially after his death in Mass Effect 2, where she admits that she prayed for Shepard daily and was completely torn apart after his death. This is also shown at the end of Mass Effect 3, where she grabs Shepard and tells him “Don’t leave me.”
Death closes all: but something ere the end
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
9. Thane Krios
“When you shoot a gun, do you hold the gun responsible?” Introduced in Mass Effect 2 with quite a snappy entrance, Thane isn’t your typical assassin. He’s an assassin haunted over his failure to take care of his family, both in raising his son Kolyat and defending his wife, Irikah. This is further exacerbated by the nature of Drell memories, which allows him to relive most, if not all, of every detail of his life. As such, he engages in increasing suicidal missions in the hopes to end his life and visit his wife in the afterlife, along with possibly atoning for everything he’s done in the past. Despite his insistence on only being a tool, Thane still feels regret for everyone that he’s killed, and wishes to atone for his actions. After Shepard starts communicating with him, Thane reveals he is suffering from Kepral’s Syndrome, which is slowly killing him. After completing his loyalty mission, Thane is more at ease, now that he is able to have a working relationship with his son. If Shepard romances Thane, he reveals that, while originally hoping to die a quick death, Shepard has now caused him to rethink his priorities and he now wishes to spend his remaining moments with Shepard. This is most reflected when, right before his death, Thane has a prayer read for Shepard, hoping to clear him/her from his/her sins.
“Kalahira, mistress of inscrutable depths, I ask forgiveness.
Kalahira, whose waves wear down stone and sand–
Kalahira, wash the sins from this one,
and set him on the distant shore of the infinite spirit.
Kalahira, this one’s heart is pure,
but beset by wickedness and contention.
Guide this one to where the traveler never tires,
the lover never leaves, the hungry never starve.
Guide this one, Kalahira,
and s/he will be a companion to you as s/he was to me.”
Sleep now, and dream of bulbous woman.
First introduced as Subject Zero, Jack arbors extreme hostility towards Cerberus due to the experiments they performed on her. Talking to her reveals the torture she went through and how she felt she got it off worse than everyone due to her biotic prowess. However, while on her loyalty mission, we start to see cracks in the armor. Jack starts to realize that some of what she remembered were lies she told herself to make herself feel bad. She forgets things, and starts to see that most of what she went through was fabricated on her part. This is further reinforced when she realizes that the mirror she would yell at was a one-way mirror. But the biggest shocker for her was talking to Aresh, another biotic who suffered under Cerberus. Aresh reveals how Jack actually had it best compared to the other biotics. The lesser biotics were mercilessly killed to ensure that Jack wouldn’t. Every new biotic discovered was quickly given to Jack. And Cerberus would inject Jack with drugs so that she would enjoy killing when they pinned her against other biotics in a gladiator style death-match.This in turn made her realize that she actually had it best compared to everyone else there. Afterwards, Jack starts to reveal a more emotional side to her. Talking to her reveals that she was taken advantage of multiple times, causing her to be somewhat insecure, and casual around sex. She also reveals that there was someone she genuinely cared about who sacrificed himself rather than abandon her, causing her survivor’s guilt. Talking to Shepard causes her to soften up, with her eventually becoming a teacher for talented biotic students. If Shepard showed romantic feelings for her, Jack reveals her more emotional side, crying as she confesses that she needs a significant other. She then starts to warm up and become less insecure, even being protective towards her students, part of which she blames on Shepard. However, Jack still has a little bit of spunk about her, cussing out Joker over the comm and telling Shepard “After this, I’m getting laid.” Because otherwise, she will destroy you.
Who are your next favorite squadmates? Comment below.