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"Why are you saying all this?" - "Because James is right. He’s taken something from me that I might not ever get back...but he’s right. I’m broken."

— Sera and Chloe at the Old Mill in "Hell Is Empty"


Sera Gearhardt[1] is Rachel Amber's biological mother and James Amber's ex-wife in Life is Strange: Before the Storm.

For the image gallery, click here.

Personality

Through James Amber, Sera is described as someone who once exuded radiance and charisma, being very popular at school and enchanting those around her. Her description even suggests that James is still a bit in love with her. The way she is described bears more than a passing resemblance to Rachel in the way she captivates people. This extends to her self-destructive side, or as James refers to it, "her need for escape". This manifested itself in her addiction to heroin, which (as explicitly described by James but alluded to by Sera herself) led her to be a negligent mother and put Rachel in harm's way, causing James to leave with Rachel.

Later on, it becomes clear that James is not entirely to be trusted as letters reveal that Sera cares deeply about her daughter and tried to reconnect with her to the point of getting sober for a year, becoming financially independent, and hiring a lawyer to fight James for visitation rights. Ultimately, it is clear through her actions that she now cares about Rachel's well-being more than anything and is very persistent about Rachel having the right to a loving relationship with her mother.

Appearance

Sera has long brown-and-platinum blond hair. She wears a cream-colored summer dress with a pale blue and yellow floral pattern and matching cream-colored flats with pale yellow soles. She also wears several pieces of jewelry: white pearl earrings, a thin silver bracelet on her right hand, and a silver necklace with a circular or ovoid red jewel hanging from the end of it. Sera has four visible tattoos: on her left arm is a colorful sleeve tattoo with several green leaves and purple, blue, and red-and-yellow flowers; on her upper right arm is a monarch butterfly; a black star on the inside of her right ankle; and on the left side of her chest is a black cartoonish sun.

Episode One - "Awake"

Sera is first seen standing under a tree and smoking at Overlook Park. While Chloe Price and Rachel are looking through the viewfinder, they see Sera meeting up with an older man, who is later revealed to be Rachel's father. They embrace each other and then kiss. It is later revealed in Hell is Empty that she was begging to meet Rachel, a request that James would say no to.

At the end of the episode, after Rachel accidentally sets the tree on fire, Sera sits nearby on a park bench staring at the flames. She then takes a smoke from her cigarette and smiles.

Episode Two - "Brave New World"

In this episode, Sera is first seen getting out of Frank's RV at the junkyard. When Chloe is speaking to Frank Bowers, she has the option to convince him to tell her who the mysterious woman is by succeeding in a Backtalk challenge. If she succeeds, Frank tells her that her name is Sera, she showed up a few weeks ago, and she has been "causing all kinds of trouble for all sorts of people".

She is next seen at Blackwell Academy watching the performance of The Tempest from the crowd.

At the Ambers' House, she's listed as one of Damon Merrick's associates in Mr. Amber's file on Damon.

It is revealed at the end of the episode by Mr. Amber that she is Rachel's real mother.

She's lastly seen in the ending montage contemplating the ash snow.

Episode Three - "Hell Is Empty"

At the start of episode three, James reveals to Chloe and Rachel that Sera is his ex-wife, who he left because of her addiction to drugs, which prevented her from taking care of Rachel when she was a baby. James was blinded by love and didn't realize how much her addiction was ruining their family. He paid money to Sera so that she would stay away from his new family, which she gladly accepted according to him.

Sera spent at least a year clean from drugs and trying to get her life together so that she could see her daughter, but James wouldn't let Sera see her, even going as far to pay Damon Merrick to drug her.

After the confrontation between Chloe, Frank, and Damon Merrick, Sera gives up and explains to Chloe that she cannot be a good mother because of her past, and even begs her not to tell Rachel that she ever met her.

Depending on Chloe's response to Sera, and provided that she tells Rachel the truth, Sera can meet her by the lighthouse in the ending montage, and they will hug.

Memorable Quotes

"You don’t know what this is to me. Every pain, every fear, gone. No more sadness, no more grief. Why would anyone not want to feel that way? Ever?"
— Sera to Chloe in "Hell is Empty"
"Tell her what James did, and you’d be killing him for her. You understand that, don’t you? You lost your father. Do you really want to put Rachel through that?"
— Sera to Chloe in "Hell is Empty"
"Nothing can change the mistakes I made. I’ll never get to be Rachel’s mother. Not really. But there’s one thing I can still do for her. The only thing I can do."
— Sera to Chloe in "Hell is Empty"
"I don’t remember much of my life. It’s a symptom of the choices I’ve made. So much is lost. Except you."
— Sera in her letter to Rachel in "Hell is Empty"
"She wants to meet you, Sera." - "No, she doesn’t. She wants to meet her mother. I can never be that for her."
— Chloe and Sera's response in "Hell is Empty"

Trivia

  • In the game files, she's called Ruth and Vanessa[2] instead of Sera.
  • Although a slightly different spelling, the surname Gearhardt may have been inspired by the city of Gearhart in Oregon. This city shares the same ZIP code as its neighboring city called Seaside - the latter being the place Rachel Amber sent Chloe a postcard from in DONTNOD's original game (postmarked August 24, 2011).

References 

  1. 1.0 1.1 Her first name is revealed by Frank Bowers if Chloe succeeds at the backtalk challenge involving him in his RV in Brave New World and her full name is given in the file at the Ambers' house
  2. One file that can be found among the Episode 1 files is labelled "E1_S06_JAMESANDVANESSAONFOOTBRIDGE".
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