In the first Mass Effect you interact with Asari commandos, softies like Liara, and Matriarch Benezia (who I often compare to my mother), but none of them are quite like Samara. Samara is an Asari Justicar, which is similar to a Citadel Spectre, but on steroids. Justicars are sworn to leave all worldly possessions behind except for their weapons and armor. This means their homes, their loved ones, and their children.
Samara is a very interesting being, and very powerful. When Shepard makes the Illium law enforcement aware of trying to recruit Samara for his/her cause of defeating the Collectors, the law enforcement laughed and gave Shepard their luck. By the end of the mission on Illium, Samara swears herself to Shepard, and to give all of her heart and power to defending Shepard and his/her cause, giving Shepard a lot of respect across the galaxy.
If you’ve ever wondered how Samara could be so beautiful, don’t worry: you’re not the only one. Samara’s face comes from model and costume designer Rana McAnear. If you’ve ever seen a really good cosplay of Samara walking around at cons, and wondered how she could look so much like Samara, it’s because, well, she is Samara. If you want to know more about Rana’s cosplay, you can watch an old interview I did with her here.
As a squad member: Samara is powerful, and her dialog is poetic. I let her tag along when I needed good biotic support.