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The Thing

Carter-Thing

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The Carter-Thing was a Thing which assumed the form of Sam Carter, an American helicopter pilot temporarily stationed at the Thule Antarctic research station. The creature appeared in the 2011 film The Thing and was portrayed by actor Joel Edgerton.

History

After American palaeontologist Kate Lloyd and helicopter pilot Sam Carter incinerate the split-faced Thing, they notice the assimilated Sander Halvorson fleeing from the outpost in a snowcat. Deducing his destination, the pair follow the creature to the UFO crash site and attempt to board the vessel. Following the activation of the spacecraft, the two become separated, with Kate falling into one of the craft's vents and Carter proceeding through the main hatch. Hearing strange scuttling noises and raising his flamethrower, it is strongly implied that Carter is assimilated by the Sander-Thing off-screen.

After awaking from the fall, Kate wanders the ship until she is suddenly attacked by the Sander-Thing. She barely manages to stay out of its reach, and when it finally catches her, she hurls a live grenade into its waiting mouth. Lloyd reunites with Carter, who is by this point assimilated, and the pair narrowly escape the resulting explosions and make it back to the snowcat. Unsure of what to do next, Kate asks the Carter-Thing, who suggests that they make for a nearby Russian outpost approximately fifty miles away. As they are prepared to leave, Kate notices that he is missing his left ear piercing and determines that he is an imitation. Despite his protests, she incinerates him as he sits behind the wheel of the snowcat. He never had the time to transform into anything else than human, and only his inhuman roar as he was burning confirmed that Kate was right to identify him as a Thing.

Immediately before she incinerated him, he pleaded with her that they had to "talk" about this. Whether he was prepared to confess that he was, indeed, a Thing will never be known. It would be interesting to know what kind of conversation had ensued if she had delayed his execution, feeling that she had some kind of control as long as he was trapped in the snowcat and she had the flamethrower pointed at him. She might have heard the very first attempt of a Thing to explain its own perspective to a human.


The script has Carter's face beginning to elongate immediately before Kate blasts him with the flamethrower, a transformation being underway. This does not happen in the finished movie, but confirms that the script-writer regarded Carter as a Thing at this point.

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