• Shepard: What're you up to now, Zaeed?
  • Zaeed: Next time another clone of yours tries stealing your life, we'll have a nice little surprise rigged for them. Isn't that right, Garrus?
  • Garrus: [Over Zaeed's radio] Spared no expense.
  • Zaeed: So, in walks your clone, takes a look around, sees this great hot tub and says to themself, "hey, I fancy a dip."
  • Garrus: Big mistake.
  • Zaeed: Huge. The minute they put so much as a toe in the water, a timer starts counting down.
  • Shepard: To what?
  • Zaeed: Arma-fucking-geddon. Thirty seconds later, this baby heats right up.
  • Shepard: And then what?
  • Zaeed: You ever swim a few laps on the surface of the sun? No? Well, your clone will be. Heh-heh. That'll teach 'em.
  • Shepard: But what if I want to use the hot tub?
  • Zaeed: Covered that. It's keyed to your DNA.
  • Shepard: But a clone would have the same DNA as me.
  • Zaeed: Goddamned clone.

How do I love this scene? Let me count the ways:

- Garrus actually being worried about his father: I lovelovelove the arc of Garrus’s relationship with his father. The man we hear about in ME3 is very different from the oppressing and stuck up person Garrus talks about in ME1. But I’d wager that it’s really not Papa Vakarian who has changed so much. Instead it shows how much Garrus has grown up and come to see his father in a new light, which in turn has transformed their relationship from exasperated parent / obstinate teenager into two people who apparently respect and trust each other to a significant degree.

I also love the fact that Garrus actually gets to resolve his daddy issues in a positive way, unlike so many other characters in the game (especially looking at you, Miranda and Jacob). And it’s not through something his father does, but through his own growth and his willingness to admit that he might actually be wrong about things sometimes (honestly, I could write a whole post just on their relationship, because it’s really such a great and interesting piece of character development).

- Garrus subtly calling out Shepard’s bullshit: He would never ever have uttered the line about platitudes in ME1, and probably not even in ME2. Of course Garrus trusts and respects Shepard, but by this point she also trusts and respects him - and he knows it. He feels comfortable calling her out, and Shepard just accepts it, because that’s what friends and partners do. (And seriously, our Lady of the Inspiring Pep-Talks could have come up with something better than “I’m sure they’re okay”, don’t you think?)

- Garrus asking about Shepard’s family: Does anyone else do this? The only one I remember is Hackett telling her that her mom is now working on the Crucible, but other than that I don’t remember a single person asking about Shepard’s family (though I might be wrong; please correct me if I’m forgetting someone). So while Shepard spends the three games asking and caring about everyone’s lives and concerns, no one really asks about hers. Except Garrus, who not only cares, but by now also feels close enough to her to ask.

- Shepard being worried about her mom: Look at that panel and tell me you don’t feel the urge to give poor Shep a big hug, I dare you. She looks so sad and worried, and it shows that her mom is apparently really important to her. Which I love, because so often mother-daughter relationships are used as a cheap source of conflict. But here it looks like our heroine actually has a close and positive relationship with her mother, who, from what little we know, also appears to be a pretty cool and admirable person in her own right. So strong and competent female character having a good relationship with her strong and competent mother = Very Good Thing.

But what really gets me about this moment is this:

That is the angle of the shot if you’re not using flycam during the conversation. So Shepard has this very personal moment of sadness and vulnerability and we are not supposed to see it. All you can see in the normal view is a hint of her shaking her head, and that’s it. So who is supposed to see it?

Garrus, that’s who. Because she trusts him so much, she can let down her guard and let him see her as a human being, and she knows that he won’t stop respecting or believing in her. Since we as the player are basically Shepard herself, you could even argue that she is willing to show Garrus a side of her that she herself doesn’t really want to face.

And finally:

- The adorable uncomfortable awkward handwringing: LOOK AT THE ADORABLE AWKWARD UNCOMFORTABLE HANDWRINGING JUST LOOK AT IT *melts into helpless puddle of Garrus-love*

And that is why my heart always and forever belongs to Spacer!Shep <3