As much as I love House, I have this creepy feeling of dÃ©jÃ vu whenever I see Cameron: she’s very clearly everything many Stargate fans felt Sam Carter became.
She has no leadership skills. She crushes on her boss, sometimes in a sugary teenage way, sometimes as a stalker (a dichotomy I’ve never seen a sane, stable person exhibit). She’s so repressed and uncertain who she is that when a drug-using HIV patient tells her how freeing his death sentence has been, she uses the ecstasy from his stash and screws a colleague just to see if he’s right. Turns out he’s wrong, and partying doesn’t solve her woes. And yet she’s incapable of lying.
While some of these traits are female stereotypes and irritate me for that reason, what really bugs me is the inconsistency – and this was the case with Sam, too. I can’t figure out who these women are, because each week, they become whatever the writer needs them to be. While House, Foreman and Chase all have hallmark traits to which the writers are faithful, Cameron is a stalker, a sugary idealist, an atheist, someone who can’t lie, someone who breaks rules to out rule-breakers, and someone who isn’t above manipulating people half to death. No one is all of those things. Not in one year, anyway. And it’s not like these things have progressed naturally, so we’re seeing a slow growth of the character – that could’ve been fascinating. No, Cameron bounces around like a subatomic particle with no respect for the laws of character physics.
I’m not arguing that it sends a meta-message of “We hate women – Signed, the Writers”. But it does suggest that while while the writers make the effort to bend plot around the male characters’ personalities, Cameron is an afterthought they’ll twist into pretzel shapes if it’ll service the plot. Or the perceived desires of the demographic of the moment, or whatever it is women characters are expected to service.