BLUE SUN ROOM

Characterising Kaylee

POSTED BY: NBZ
UPDATED: Friday, October 26, 2007 14:51
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VIEWED: 8695
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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 1:49 PM

NBZ


ok, Kaylee is a tough nut to crack.

We know she is the sunshine in the crew, always happy, (unless Mr Tam says something) and loves the crew so much she will never ever leave. Or do we?

I propose she has a dark side. One so dark that even the sith lord in a totally different galaxy is aware of, but one that I have not seen in any fic I have read (and I do [actually "did" is a better word] read a lot of fic).

Ok, you may be asking "Is she EVIL?" or "IS that a DUDE?" or even "is that KILLER WOMAN is disguise?" Well I say no. The truth is much much worse.

What would I characterise Kaylee in one single word? Ambition. If I had to use two, the second would be insecurity.

What? you all say. This is surely madnes! I respond This is SPARTA!

(Sorry, I had to get that one in.)

So my proof? Well, for one Kaylee has a big heart. You cannot for one moment suggest that she did not love her folks (and she probably did to a much greater degree than she does Serenity and the crew). Yet, before a pin could drop she was off around the worlds at a very young age.

Secondly? Dr Tam. he is another rung on the social ladder. So, she is in the path. Something she will sue to get higher.

Thirdly? Well look at the insults which hurt Kaylee. Do they have anything in common? Almost every single one (including the one by Mal in Shindig) are about social standing.

"On this luh suh of a boat" "luh suh? If you don't think much of it, you can;t think much of those who choose this life"

"What would you (an engineer) do with such a dress, a sheep on her hind legs?"

"Serenity ain't fei hua. Tell that purpelebelly..."

"What do you mean you would not sleep with me?"

"little Kaylee, at the bottom of the barrel is all you got?"

(yes, they are paraphrased) They all link to ambition or insecurity over her social standing. Even her clash with Jubal Early had a hint of this.

Once she has "conquered" Simon, will he just be forgotten rags at the bottom of the ladder? And Serenity? will she even remember the name if she is given a "more respectable" offer?

Any takers? Or have I sullied her name too much for this to merit a rational discussion?

yes, a lot of this post is written in jest - because I was bored - but I do think the overall thought is worth a lot of merit.)


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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 1:55 PM

WYTCHCROFT


(EDIT OF PRIOR THREAD POST)

i set out to try and make sure she had flesh to her - did more than giggle etc but turned out she's INCREDIBLY hard to write well.

here are my current thoughts (which can change the minute i watch an episode again!)

i see complexities or atleast unresolved traits/issues aplenty -
stronger than she looks but genuinely seems to enjoy playing the role of trailer-girly at times.

i think she's quite determined, very curious about people and the verse.

"did you ever have a client who was, y'know..." i love that scene between her and Inara.

then again, i love her in Trash where she gets to show some action - she enjoys it too.

i think she is quite quick to judge people and sticks by that judgement. i think she fails to see how she may project her own issues onto others.

i think she is genuinely afraid/spooked by River.

i'm intrigued by the fact that she has 'parents' - but does she?? we don't ever see them -

did she even tell them?? she could be the ambitious woman you suggest - or did the parents simply not care / have no issue...

does she fancy simon - simply because of his social status - and is that the real reason she likes inara?

the scene with the mean girls in Shindig shows she lacks bitchy power experience - but she also seems genuinely shocked at their nastiness.





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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 2:12 PM

NBZ


ooh, I had forgotten about her curiosity about being a companion!

Her ambition is not IMO a conscious decision. It is a subconscious trait that is very well embedded.

Her first convo with Simon "A doctor so young". A relationship between the two might go well, but there is cetainly ambition from where I stand.It does knock a sheen off her.

I do think she has parents, otherwise she would not have rushed off as she did to "get permission" when the possibility they would leave without her had already crossed her mind...

With the mean girls, she is at a high class party - another step, but she did not expect ridicule when getting to such a "level".

Ofcourse, I am massaging everything to support my argument, but it does stand to logic (IMO).

She also genuinely is a "nice" person. I will not deny that. but I would suggest that is not where most of her character comes from.

And she is not "feeble", but insecure. Look at how she rounded on the alliance in Bushwacked - it may have been funny, but someone was also talking down to her. HER. The one who is keeping the ship healthy. It was personal.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 2:17 PM

WYTCHCROFT


a more delicate issue - (and one that only Jetflair, as far i can recall, has brought up in fic)

what are the ramifications of Early's threats to her in OiS??

I see more toughness, more sadness in kaylee in BDM and, to me,
although it's only subtle, it rings true that something is lost after her encounter with the bounty hunter.
'have you ever been raped?' will do that to you.
ah, god - that scene turns me cold.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 2:30 PM

NBZ


I don't think the darkness was due to that (well not alone anyway).

There is also the aspect that she did not have much of a role in the BDM. And the actress was older.

The main thing in the BDM characterisation was that she had to some extent lost faith in Mal. he was an obstacle now rather than a confidante, friend, protector.

Or, to fit in with my proposal, he was keeping her from her ambitions and goals. She had already lost one avenue in Inara. She was now gonna lose the second in Simon. She would be stuck a mechanic in a breaking Firefly ship forever and ever and ever.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 2:33 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:


There is also the aspect that she did not have much of a role in the BDM. And the actress was older.



agreed.

Quote:


The main thing in the BDM characterisation was that she had to some extent lost faith in Mal. he was an obstacle now rather than a... protector.



but WHY? - except that he didn't prevent Early from attacking her...

and go answer my simon post while you're about shipmate!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 2:56 PM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by wytchcroft:
Quote:


The main thing in the BDM characterisation was that she had to some extent lost faith in Mal. he was an obstacle now rather than a... protector.



but WHY? - except that he didn't prevent Early from attacking her...



It's not about Early IMO. "He will push us all off one by one" It is about HER and where she stands and who stands where around her. (Does that sound selfish?)

Remember that at the end of the same episode Kaylee and River were talking about her past romantic encounters.

Quote:

and go answer my simon post while you're about shipmate!


Done.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 3:02 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:
Quote:

Originally posted by wytchcroft:
Quote:


The main thing in the BDM characterisation was that she had to some extent lost faith in Mal. he was an obstacle now rather than a... protector.



but WHY? - except that he didn't prevent Early from attacking her...



It's not about Early IMO. "He will push us all off one by one" It is about HER and where she stands and who stands where around her. (Does that sound selfish?)



no i agree - i just see both as factors perhaps.

stay shiny

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 3:37 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:


Remember that at the end of the same episode Kaylee and River were talking about her past romantic encounters.




i'm gonna go re-watch that bit in a, um, bit..!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 4:11 PM

LEIASKY


Can't agree with anything you said, NBZ, but that she is insecure. She's a rim world girl who, just like so many, wants to be prettier, wants to be accepted, wants to be able to fit in.

Anything fancy (words, clothing, locations) she is like a fish out of water. She tries to fit in, but because of how she was raised, she's just a little different and can't hide that fact.

So, she's insecure and embarrassed in those situations.





"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 5:09 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Leiasky:
Can't agree with anything you said, NBZ, but that she is insecure. She's a rim world girl who, just like so many, wants to be prettier, wants to be accepted, wants to be able to fit in.

Anything fancy (words, clothing, locations) she is like a fish out of water. She tries to fit in, but because of how she was raised, she's just a little different and can't hide that fact.

So, she's insecure and embarrassed in those situations.



i actually think kaylee fits all the descriptions here - especially as she is still a developing character and a growing woman.

i agree that she is a fish out of water in the world of the fancy - but - she was also clearly under-appreciated at home, no-one took her mechanic skills seriously.
she was very quick to seize her chance, ditch her boy friend (or wotever) and folks and fly with serenity. on board serenity she had her first tastes of a life beyond her, inara - shindig - being respected for her skills... but also danger and darkness - and it's clear that by BDM she has toughened up.

i also believe that she is essentially a 'nice' person - but relates more easily to machinery, perhaps, than complex people.

of course different writers on the show put the emphasis on different sides to her.

i go back to my view that Early's attack was a pivotal moment for change.


stay shiny

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 5:20 PM

HOPERULES


Something interesting I've noticed about Kaylee is that she is actually more sexually liberated than Inara. If Kaylee wants someone and he wants her - BAM!! She does not have to worry about guild rules or her potential lover's financial or social situation. It is funny that Kaylee thinks Inara lives such a romantic life when Kaylee is really the one who can act on her desires.

May have been on the losing side, still not convinced it was the wrong one.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007 6:36 PM

SCHOONER


I actually think I've known a few people like Kaylee. Young people who were too smart, too talented, too hopeful, too gorram shiny for the small town (or bad neighborhood) they were born in. People whose ambition is to get away and do something new, something where they get a chance to shine. They're proud of themselves and their families, but want to shake the dust of their home town off their boots. For many, the dark side of what's driving them is the fear that they'll end up back in the same place they started.

I see Kaylee a lot like that, and her development between the series and the BDM as her learning to value herself instead of seeing herself as only valued through her association with others (Simon, Mal).

I do see her encounter with Early as having an effect on her. It was the first time in the series we saw Kaylee actually be brave and facing her demons. Later, she learns to face down her very own Cap'n.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007 4:49 AM

SHINYSEVEN2


I think of Serenity as being Kaylee's true love--I completely disagree that she thinks of being the mechanic as a dead-end job. (And if she *did* she could easily go home--we have no reason to think her parents disowned her--or get a job on another ship or downplanet; people in a struggling settlement always have things that need fixing and they can't afford to replace.)

I do wish we'd seen her parents, but it seems pretty straightforward to me: Kaylee had a chance to advance herself working on a ship, and it was a better job than was available at home. Mal probably put on his dress coat and did his best to make the Fryes think that he was a nice man who'd look after their daughter.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007 5:36 AM

MAL4PREZ


Fun stuff nbz! What you're suggesting is certainly far off from the popular take on Kaylee, but I can almost see it. I don't see her as actively ambitious, using Inara and Simon as stepping stone, but it's clear that she's drawn to people who are wordly (versely?).

I don't like how she's such a creampuff in most fic, all scared and teary and in need of protection. And yet, fics also have her remain a fuzzy ball of love, no matter what she goes through. I think she's tougher than that, and at the same time more likely to change over time.

In some ways, this girl is a blank canvas. She hasn't lived in the big world yet, and she's got all kinds of potential to become a very different person, depending on what she experiences. What she has to start with is hella talent and smarts and a courageous kind of naivete (leaving home like she did - brave and also stupid! As I fic'ed once, if Mal had been a different kind of captain, she might have had a horrible, horrible experience on Serenity.)

But she's also got a huge bunch of insecurity, a dangerous tendency to put people on pedestals based on how shiny they seem on the outside. She leaves herself open to be taken advantage of. It could leave her jaded, if one of these people let her down. And if she loses her innocence, what she might be left with is ambition.

Much food for thought...


-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007 10:28 AM

NBZ


Concatenating a few posts/replies:

Quote:

Originally posted by Leiasky:
Can't agree with anything you said, NBZ, but that she is insecure.



Guess I will have to live with that. :) if my idea was popular, it would be more prevalent in fic out there.

Quote:

Anything fancy (words, clothing, locations) she is like a fish out of water.


Oh, absolutely, but at the same time does she NOT want to be there? I think on balance she would rather be there. Next time there is a potential to be less out of water.

Quote:

Originally posted by WYTCHCROFT:
she was also clearly under-appreciated at home, no-one took her mechanic skills seriously.



That is an assumption stated as fact. :)

She did say her daddy thought she was a natural or something. And that she helped out when they had work.

Quote:

Originally posted by SHINYSEVEN2:
I completely disagree that she thinks of being the mechanic as a dead-end job.



I don't think she sees it as a dead end job. More, a stepping stone to greatness.

Exactly as you put it:

Quote:

Kaylee had a chance to advance herself working on a ship, and it was a better job than was available at home


Just replace "Home" "Home as in Serenity" and "a ship" with "another ship". It is the same ambition that would drive the same change.

Quote:

Originally posted by MAL4PREZ:
Fun stuff nbz! What you're suggesting is certainly far off from the popular take on Kaylee, but I can almost see it. I don't see her as actively ambitious, using Inara and Simon as stepping stone, but it's clear that she's drawn to people who are wordly (versely?).



I would go for "worldsly" :P

I don't think it is a conscious decision. More of gravitating towards what she wants. She likes to hear the intricacies of their (past in the case of Simon) lives.

She does have a strength, but even that IMO has a backbone in ambition. How she ripped that commander in Bushwacked was hilarious.

I don't see her getting too dark. Wash never did. (ofcourse he is a different character, but I am saying that it is not essential for her to go all dark. Her inner character will IMO remain unchanged).

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 4:03 PM

RIVERFLAN


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Fun stuff nbz! What you're suggesting is certainly far off from the popular take on Kaylee, but I can almost see it. I don't see her as actively ambitious, using Inara and Simon as stepping stone, but it's clear that she's drawn to people who are wordly (versely?).


Agreed. Another slant on that, though, is that she just wants to see shiny new things.
Quote:


I don't like how she's such a creampuff in most fic, all scared and teary and in need of protection. And yet, fics also have her remain a fuzzy ball of love, no matter what she goes through. I think she's tougher than that, and at the same time more likely to change over time.


Absolutely agreeing!
Quote:


In some ways, this girl is a blank canvas. She hasn't lived in the big world yet, and she's got all kinds of potential to become a very different person, depending on what she experiences. What she has to start with is hella talent and smarts and a courageous kind of naivete (leaving home like she did - brave and also stupid! As I fic'ed once, if Mal had been a different kind of captain, she might have had a horrible, horrible experience on Serenity.)


Yes, but keep in mind that she is an adult. She's already grown up, shaped herself to a certain set of beliefs and customs. While she has room to change, she isn't going to have any radical changes.
Quote:


But she's also got a huge bunch of insecurity, a dangerous tendency to put people on pedestals based on how shiny they seem on the outside. She leaves herself open to be taken advantage of. It could leave her jaded, if one of these people let her down. And if she loses her innocence, what she might be left with is ambition.


I think that's absolutely accurate. She does have a sweet and cheerful nature, but that's not all she is.
Quote:


Much food for thought...


-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left





"The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds, given adequate vaccuuming systems." -River

"It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think -River

Bwaa!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:10 PM

WYTCHCROFT


listening to the commentary on war stories again last night - interesting to hear Fillion and Tudyk's take on kaylee...

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007 12:59 AM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by wytchcroft:
listening to the commentary on war stories again last night - interesting to hear Fillion and Tudyk's take on kaylee...



What is their take?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007 2:17 AM

WYTCHCROFT


i'll come again with real quotes -
but on the whole - very much the "she's an innocent girl in a den of thieves -
aaargh I can't stand it when she has a gun -
she couldn't kill anyone -"
etc -
they get very caught up in the drama - watching her emotions which is:
a) a little patronising
b) genuinely CARING - very parental/older brothery.
(it's all in the tone of their voices and the fact that they lose track of jewel and talk about kaylee as if she's real. and get upset for her).

they also point out how she reacts to EVERYTHING all the time, people talking, holding objects - she reacts to what is in front of her straight away.

side bar: they also point out something about Jayne which i had noticed and haven't been able to put in fic form - he is always smelling, touching , tasting thngs.

there is also a lovely moment when Alan (i think) says "ooh nice cgi ship shot."
and Fillion - after a beat - just says, very quietly, "Damn, i love my ship."
priceless firefly stuff.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 1:44 AM

SPACEANJL


My take on Kaylee -

She comes from a dusty, poor world (evidence - Mal calls it 'a rock' in OoG, and there isn't a job there for them. There isn't much work, full stop.) So, she has spent her life in a small town. I know other folks see her as being one of a large family, but I think she might be an only, so she takes the 'son' role in helping her father, in addition to being girly.

She's comfortable with herself to a certain extent, but she hasn't had experience of Core living, and sees it as glamorous. A small town girl hankering after the bright lights of the big city.

But...I don't see her as being hellbent on snagging Simon into matrimony. At least, not just yet...

“You think that was all I bin wantin’? If I’d wanted nothin’ more’n a ring an’ babies, I’d’ve stopped with my folks. I wanted to do more than stay in one little town, mending engines that flew off and I never got to see the where.”

She's sunny and friendly, and can find the good in people. But she's inexperienced, rather than naive or stupid. She clearly has no moral problems with the life they lead, and I think that cheerful acceptance of the 'Verse is very key. When you don't have a lot, you make do with what you have got.

And Simon is a complete idiot when it comes to talking to girls. I'm not surprised she gets pissed with him.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 2:55 PM

NBZ


Yeah, I agree with most of that. Especially about the small family. (but that could be because I like to be different and since most people write her with a large family...)

What I call "ambition" you call "hankering after the bright lights of the big city". (I think it is the same thing, but I would push it a lot further as a character trait. Show its negative side as well.)

Simon does put his foot in it, but like in Safe, he was not really that bad (or was he? I sometimes do miss out on the subtleties of conversation).

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 4:56 PM

MOBBEX


I don't think he was either. He was merely articulating his frustrations and anxiety (all in a very civilized fashion, thank you), and Kaylee, true to herself, overreacted. I find Kaylee to have low people awareness, in that she has her ideas as to how people should react/interact and won't deviate from them. Oh, she cares about people, absolutely, but she can't see them beyond her own point of view. She's unable put things into perspective. I'd call it puerile narrow-mindness.


I just can't abide Rayne. Or River/anybody. Or Jayne/anybody. That just doesn't make sense. And I don't think Joss ment for his wonderful creation to end up as a love-boat with a slightly different setting that other love-boats. Joss didn't do that in the show, or the movie, so why do you people assume that it would have happened? ----Riverflan

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 5:29 PM

MERRYK


Yeah, I fail to see how Simon was a "total idiot". Other than the scene in The Message, he actually seems a good deal more in tune with how communication works than most guys I know. For example, in Safe, he immediately realizes that Kaylee is hurt, though his apology is weak because he really did mean all those things, just wouldn't have said them if he thought more carefully. He makes a lot of mistakes, but he at least realizes that he has a problem and tries to fix it, which is not, in my book anyway, a total idiot. Just a flawed male.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 3:00 AM

SPACEANJL


See, now, Simon is a complete idiot when it comes to talking to Kaylee, because he so wants to get it right.

And she, of course, is overly sensitive to what he says because she wants him to get it right, too.

They're a sweet pair of kids. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I don't know a single person who has not developed foot-in-mouth disease around a crush at some point in time.

I don't think Simon comes from a place or a background with a great deal of displayed and open affection. If you take on board that idea of the Sinatic influence in the culture, then there probably was a great deal of pressure to perform and conform, especially as the son.

Kaylee, on the other hand, has never been under any pressure not to display exactly what she feels.

It's the cultural clash between Core and Rim worlds.


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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:53 AM

MOBBEX


...And then, there's the fact that Simon is on the run from the government, and has a clinicaly insane sister to attend to. Cut the guy some slack for Christ's sake, he's under a tremendous amount of mental stress already. I keep thinking Kaylee is a little bit shortsighted. Maybe out of innocence, or inexperience, but shortsighted still.


I just can't abide Rayne. Or River/anybody. Or Jayne/anybody. That just doesn't make sense. And I don't think Joss ment for his wonderful creation to end up as a love-boat with a slightly different setting that other love-boats. Joss didn't do that in the show, or the movie, so why do you people assume that it would have happened? ----Riverflan

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:23 AM

MERRYK


Kaylee shortsighted? You know, that's probably one of the best one-word descriptions of her. She is always thinking of the here and now. When things are good, she's good, and when things are bad, if she can't find something good in the moment, she's down. She'd be down a lot if she didn't also have a knack for finding the good in everything. This trait reaches over into her relationship with Simon as well. She wants him to be willing to commit to a physical relationship right then, but she also wants an emotional attachment, and anything he says that hints otherwise puts her off.

Now, if she was a little more long-sighted, she would see this: Simon is a loving, loyal, intelligent man, who is actually trying to adapt to a new life and learn how to talk to girls. And from what we've seen of the 'Verse (or real life), she should recognize that he's a rare specimen. Of course, he has his imperfections, but they are mostly things he'll outgrow (his poor communication skills and slight arrogance). But, she's not only seeing his imperfections and despairing, she's also with him at the time when getting attached to anyone is the farthest thing from his mind. His best qualities make it so that he can't involve himself completely with Kaylee, and if he did, he wouldn't be the man she fell in love with or deserved.

A long-sighted Kaylee would look at the situation, see the possibilities inherent in Simon's desire to improve his flaws and the facts that River is getting better and might be well enough one day that Simon would feel freer to be involved with Kaylee, and she would help and encourage him until things were better. But then, if Kaylee was long-sighted, and able to keep in check her desires and be cheerful all the time, she'd be a Mary Sue and frankly uninteresting.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 8:33 AM

MOBBEX


Yes! I agree 100%.

And I can't think of anything to add either, you pretty much covered it all.


I just can't abide Rayne. Or River/anybody. Or Jayne/anybody. That just doesn't make sense. And I don't think Joss ment for his wonderful creation to end up as a love-boat with a slightly different setting that other love-boats. Joss didn't do that in the show, or the movie, so why do you people assume that it would have happened? ----Riverflan

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 1:01 PM

NBZ


I think I have started the official "Kaylee hate club"!!! (should I be fearful or proud? I don't dislike kaylee, but I can no longer read her in most fic. She has no depth whatsoever.)

To be fair, in Safe, Simon WAS being mean when trying to give his frustrations words.

(and why does it always have to be utter and true love? can't Kaylee be looking to scratch an itch, or just have a crush? [That is a general complaint about all TV/movies though...] It does not have to be "love".)

By the time we get to Jaynestown, both have made their feelings known to each other, so you gotta ask why did nothing happen for the next 5 or so months?

I will not put that down to Simon messing up every time or Kaylee being over-sensitive. Simon has a lot on his plate as has been mentioned. Maybe he was trying to avoid complications. But he did pull back. Have a leg in and out of the ship. (Mal called the crew/ship a waystation for him...)

Kaylee is obviously massively frustrated by all of this. She is more accessible. Any remarks about his old life have a whole new meaning. She is not good enough. Worse, she would love to have that old life of Simon, so she misses out both ways. Blames Mal for everything. As you do.

And from naive and inexperienced I would put Kaylee in the camp of naive (even though both have many similarities). Watch the Pilot where Mal is trying to size the Doc up over the meal. Kaylee goes in about how young he is to be a doctor. Perfect talk for her, but at the same time she stops Mal (and Zoe) from sizing up the newbies to see if there is any threat. And Jayne was not too far off on his crude remark. Apart form the gynaecologist bit.

I would still say that ambition did play a part in the attraction a long with nature. The hurt at remarks was also some insecurity.

A "longsighted Kaylee" would not be Kaylee. IMO.

Onto Simon - he is from a more formal background. Probably did go though all the courting rituals with some formality too. it is a part of him. Something he does not want to lose. A part of him that he does not have to lose with everything else.

Besides learning the way to ingratiate himself with others is probably not the top of his priorities. He is (almost) pretty secure on Serenity, and has bigger concerns than learning local tribal customs.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 1:28 PM

MERRYK


Kaylee hate club? Good grief, no! Not for me, at least. Though it seems that no matter what fandom I am discussing, and no matter what character, people think that if you discuss a character's flaws, you must not like them.

I adore Kaylee. I think she's one of the sweetest people in all of fiction, and the one person on that crew I'd trust completely. That doesn't mean she's perfect, and I like her the better for her flaws. As you and I both said, a long-sighted Kaylee would be Mary-Sue. Just like a smooth-spoken Simon would be a Gary-Stu.

I agree with you about Simon's top priority not being learning "tribal customs"...at least in the beginning. By Jaynestown, though, or at least somewhere around there, he seems to be trying somewhat. He has a little casual talk with Kaylee in the beginning, he's secure enough to snark at Jayne in a manner he wouldn't have done in the first few episodes, and he even goes along on the job instead of disdaining it and staying hid. He does seem to want to belong, from what I see, even if it still isn't the most important thing in his life. You say that Simon was being mean in Safe...do you think he was trying to be hurtful? I suppose I would call his words misjudged, but "mean" seems to imply some negative intention behind those words, which by themselves aren't so terrible.

It's interesting what you say about the crush vs. love in Kaylee. In the beginning, I think Kaylee is just nursing a nice crush, but I don't see her continuing to try with Simon if there wasn't something deeper than that. Perhaps it's just because he's constantly around and he is awful swai, but she seems to have more motivation than that, so I'd guess some sort of love grew after a while.

So long live the short-sighted, ambitious, manipulative, overly emotional Kaylee...I love her dearly.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 1:51 PM

NBZ


I do agree a lot with what you say.

Quote:

Originally posted by MerryK:
Kaylee hate club? Good grief, no! Not for me, at least. Though it seems that no matter what fandom I am discussing, and no matter what character, people think that if you discuss a character's flaws, you must not like them.

I adore Kaylee...



Yeah, that was in jest. Just you (by which I mean "I") rarely hear of any flaw in Kaylee.
Quote:

I agree with you about Simon's top priority not being learning "tribal customs"...at least in the beginning. By Jaynestown, though, or at least somewhere around there, he seems to be trying somewhat. He has a little casual talk with Kaylee in the beginning, he's secure enough to snark at Jayne in a manner he wouldn't have done in the first few episodes, and he even goes along on the job instead of disdaining it and staying hid. He does seem to want to belong, from what I see, even if it still isn't the most important thing in his life. You say that Simon was being mean in Safe...do you think he was trying to be hurtful? I suppose I would call his words misjudged, but "mean" seems to imply some negative intention behind those words, which by themselves aren't so terrible.


In Safe he was frustrated (partly by Mal forcing him to be "away" from the safety of the ship and partly because the manhandling of River would be exhausting. Did you see how much he was in there moving her around?) and showed it. There was some anger at Mal, some at his situation and where he had been forced to sink to.

Now Kaylee had worked to get to that same level... Even though he did not mean it that way, I do see how it would belittle her. Especially after her choice of "expensive" gift got more or less spat on (not that Simon would know or be to blame as he was not privy to the earlier conversation). That whole exchange says he is from a better world than Kaylee.

To me "mean" does not always have negative connotations. depends on the circumstance. Why was this mean? He was disparaging those who gave him a leg up. That is never a good thing to do, even when frustrated.

Simon does become more and more comfortable with his surroundings. While he may not Like Mal too much, he does trust him. But even after, say OiS where kaylee and Simon are very close... he still does not hit it off til the end of the BDM? he pulls back IMO (after almost losing control before Book disturbed them).

There is simply too much contact on a single ship for me to buy any other explanation I have though up.

Quote:

It's interesting what you say about the crush vs. love in Kaylee. In the beginning, I think Kaylee is just nursing a nice crush, but I don't see her continuing to try with Simon if there wasn't something deeper than that. Perhaps it's just because he's constantly around and he is awful swai, but she seems to have more motivation than that, so I'd guess some sort of love grew after a while.


My whole first post was about Kaylee being motivated! :P He represents a better life than she has had up til now. The fact that they do click mixed with that is a very appealing package to her.

Since they never got together, we do not know that, She was still pining for him. It may turn into love, but that is not a default outcome.

The fact that as soon as Tracey becomes alive she has more or less forgotten about Simon does not leave too well an impression.

Quote:

So long live the short-sighted, ambitious, manipulative, overly emotional Kaylee...I love her dearly.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 2:27 PM

MERRYK


I do remember your first post about Kaylee...I just don't see her ambition lasting after she knows Simon for a while. I definitely agree with that analysis for the first few episodes, but the rest of her behavior would have to be an act if she didn't have a crush on him. And once realizing that Simon was going down the long road to becoming another one of Serenity's crew, and with him pulling back from her, I don't see any motivation for her except some kind of affection or love.

The whole thing with Tracey really throws off the whole ambition theory for me. Either Kaylee is incredibly fickle and just likes young handsome guys as they come, or she's trying to make Simon jealous, or she's trying to show Simon that she's not going to go for him no matter what he does. But I can't see any other motivation fitting here.

I accept your explanation about the "mean" thing. When I first watched the Firefly series, I really disliked Mal (and Jayne) and thought they were being mean, and so when Safe came around I totally agreed with what Simon said and thought Kaylee was overreacting. Now, of course, I see more worth in Mal, but though I still think Simon was justified, it doesn't make it right. It's just that "mean" always made him sound nasty to me.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 2:44 PM

NBZ


I purposefully had not mentioned Tracey earlier on, as, well, it does throw a monkey-wrench into the "Everything Kaylee does is inspired by motivation" line.

I still stick by the ambition argument, but will add she is also a romantic (in life in general, not just romance). Was she attracted to Tracey, or to Tracey-the-person-who-said-he-wanted-to-do-right-by-his-parents?

(I think both.)

Obviously she is attracted to Simon and he to her. Just suggesting that his old life also plays its part in sort of "extending" it.

What I really liked about Firefly initially was the thing that the characters could be mean. abnd the bit where Dobson got shot. And when Crow got put through an engine. All were unexpected to me. (the "Kaylee's dead" probably did get to everyone as incredibly mean. and subsequently hilarious.)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 3:02 PM

MERRYK



Y'know, I know what you mean about the whole "being mean" thing. As you probably noticed by my tagline, I haven't yet really liked a character who wasn't the moral sort, but that doesn't mean I want perfection. While I don't approve of Mal's behavior, I'm glad that Joss wrote him that way, because I can believe that he's real. And when the usually not-mean people on the crew break down and are mean, I believe in their goodness all the more because I know they have to struggle for it.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 3:02 PM

MERRYK


Ack, how did I double post?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 3:02 PM

MERRYK



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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 3:02 PM

MERRYK



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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:20 PM

SCHOONER


I figured Tracy for "Simon lite". At first glance he's good-looking, brave (Cap'n old army buddy), loyal to his family, smart-ish, and running for his life; sounds like Simon to me. At the same time, Tracy's from a Rim planet background that Kaylee can relate to, seems to share Kaylee's basically cheerful disposition, and doesn't have Simon's baggage. I can absolutely see how a hurt and frustrated Kaylee could get a-flutter for someone who is close to Simon, but more approachable.

Until, of course, the chips are down. That's when Simon rises to the occasion and tackles a bounty hunter, while Tracy grabs a gun and uses the girl he was flirting with as a human shield. And keeps trying to flirt with her, no less.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:29 AM

MAL4PREZ


Whoa - how ironic! I was just chatting with a famous S/K writer about this very thing, and I've been meaning to post my ideas here when I got a minute. And here you are discussing the very thing I wanted to bring up!

The question is: would Kaylee have hooked up with anyone else since Simon came aboard? Here's the opposing viewpoints:

Option 1: Kaylee's in *love* with Simon, and would not have any sex unless it was to get Simon's attention and his jealousy. Hence, her question about "boy whores" in HoG was a dig at Simon, and not a serious question. She wouldn't have gone to a boy whore and risked losing her real love.

Option 2: Kaylee's got a crush on Simon, seeing that he's damned cute and talented and she has nothing else to do for days and days on the little bitty ship but pine after him.

I argue option 2. Easy there, S/K-ers! I think there's plenty of room for something real to develop between them if Simon let it. She wants him for more than sex - if she just wanted sex, she'd be direct about it and get it done. But Simon is something completely different from other men she's met; he awes her and makes her feel inadequate, hence her shyness and touchiness.

I call it just a crush because she has him on a pedestal, and I don't think she sees him clearly. Being naive, she'll probably blame him when she finally sees that he's human, and this is the biggest obstacle between them. But then, I demand equality in relationships, mutual admiration. And I just don't see Simon doing a lot of admiring of Kaylee. Not really. Sorry. When they talk, who are they talking about? Simon. Simon in school, Simon attaching legs, Simon worrying over River. When do they talk about Kaylee? Not a helluva lot. He's self-absorbed, and when the stars in her eyes fade and the afterglow wears off, she'll see it. (Edit to say: I don't mean to put him down. He's self-absorbed with good reason, but the fact remains - he is.)

Now, to bring my feminist arguments into it (because this isn't just about interpreting Kaylee, it's about what message Joss would want to send, being a feminist himself) I think that if Kaylee avoided all trysts from the moment she first met Simon, this would be the same old storyline of a woman trying to be "pure" for a man. It's like she's sexually free until there's a "good man" around to make her clean up, to judge her for enjoying her body as she chooses, and his judgement wins over hers. That totally imposes the idea that a sexually active woman is not desirable and respectable, not to any "worthwhile" man.

To be frank, I'm horrified to think of her trying to make herself into what any man wants, even Simon. I can't see her as viewing all her potential relationships only in light of whether HE would approve or disapprove, and only getting involved if it would make him jealous. That marginalizes her, makes her whole existence only matter as it relates to *him*. That's not Jossian, not unless he means to set up an unequal relationship to make a point.

And this, my friends, is why I can't read much K/S fiction. Or K/anyone. Not many writers include that wonderful sexual freedom and lack of shame Kaylee has, while keeping her cute and sweet and likable. One exception: Kaylee's Lament by ScrewtheAlliance.

Wow. When I post, I post a lot LOL!

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Thursday, September 20, 2007 11:41 AM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by schooner:
I figured Tracy for "Simon lite".



I see him as the "Anti-Simon". Whereas Simon does the right thing but messes it up with the words, he does the wrong thing and smooths it over with words.

Even in his last moments, he was fluent, and his language emotive.

"What are you now Mal? What are we Now."

"What I said was right. I never could get my life together. That stupid message.. you will do it? right?"

(all paraphrased)

@mal4prez, I mostly agree. The question is who is bringing up the topics? Simon or Kaylee? If it is Simon, you are spot on. (I would suggest both. That also makes you spot on... weird world eh?)

I am not gonna comment on the "Jossian" argument. I generally dislike that argument ("Joss would have done it", not the feminism bit). Mainly because I have not seen too much of his other works (I am not a big fan of Buffy/Angel) but also because a lot of people use it as a get out clause.(not in this case though)

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Thursday, September 20, 2007 2:37 PM

MERRYK


Good points, Mal4Prez, especially about Kaylee's sexual freedom. The thing is, that point is a big part of why I think Kaylee was actually falling in love with Simon.

Joss introduced us to Kaylee in the pilot as someone very ingenuous and innocent-seeming. She's got a crush on Simon, but we have no reason to think that it's anything but the sort of crush any woman might have. The series continues, and we still see Kaylee "going after" Simon in one way or another. Then we get to Out of Gas. Suddenly our whole picture of Kaylee-as-innocent must turn into Kaylee-as-free-spirit, but it's not like Joss hasn't been giving us hints all along. Now that we know that Kaylee is very free with her affection, however, we have to suddenly examine her attraction to Simon with a different eye. What seems most likely at this point is this:

-Simon is deadly swai, as Kaylee admits in Safe

-Simon is generally well-mannered and friendly to Kaylee (she admits they "get along" in Jaynestown)

-Simon's profession/position/character/alloftheabove seem to intrigue Kaylee, since she often asks questions about him (I don't agree with your idea that Simon starts the conversations about himself...he isn't that talkative to anyone, even River, and we have seen Kaylee ask him questions, so I would say that the discussions were began by her, even if I agree that he is usually thinking about himself and his situation)

-Simon is the only available young male on board Serenity, which Kaylee never leaves

With this at our fingertips, the most obvious analysis of Kaylee's feelings are that she lusts after Simon, though she probably also likes him for other reasons. Absolutely nothing yet to show that she has any deeper feelings than that.

But to leave Kaylee's character at that? Joss didn't let any of his characters stay the same, even in the short time we saw them. They all grew from how we first met them. With that in mind, I think we see Kaylee growing in how she thinks of her relationships with men.

As I said earlier, I don't think the evidence adds up convincingly enough for Kaylee to have just a crush. As much as Simon is the only option, she puts up with an awful lot and still goes after him. Any woman in that situation who didn't feel something deeper than a crush would start to despise Simon, but Kaylee obviously does not. Not only that, she seems to care about River and Simon's welfare, more than just a desire to keep the cute doctor around. There's more than lust here.

I think Joss was trying to show us that Kaylee had grown. Not that he was against her earlier freedom with affection, but he did value long-lasting true relationships such as Wash and Zoe's, so I don't think it's out of his realm to have Kaylee start to desire a relationship on that level. (I think S/K would have eventually replaced W/Z in some ways post BDM.) I think her more long-suffering behavior shows that she's growing, changing, as a character through her relationship with Simon. Just as he is growing and changing through his relationship with her.

Even if they never really got together, or if they were forced apart soon after, I don't think Joss would have had them as static characters. Kaylee, as she was, was sexually free; I don't think this was Joss' long-term plan for her, and I think that her behavior shows a gradual change away from that. After all, relationships, of all sorts, change people, as Joss knew, and I think that being around Simon (the sort who would inspire long-lasting devotion, after all) made Kaylee start to learn to actually love him. Eventually. Not all at once. Joss was nothing if not realistic about those things.

Having said that, your other points are interesting as well. If Kaylee is falling in love with Simon, I just don't see her going after anyone else for something serious or even a fling. When Kaylee falls in love, I see her has going all the way, and I don't see it as degrading. It's not a purity issue...it's just that she wants Simon, and no one else.

As for how Simon sees Kaylee, I don't think your judgment is very accurate. I do think it's accurate to what Simon would *like* his opinion of Kaylee to be, however. He doesn't want to fall in love with her, he doesn't want to see her as anything more than a pleasant comrade; he wants to be unshackled so that he can focus all his energy on River's condition. I don't think that's the case in reality. He does admire her, in word and with looks, on many occasions: for her skill as a mechanic, for her personality and character, and for her looks. He's got a crush on her at least, and considering his tendency for deep attachments, probably the beginnings of something more as well. But he doesn't want it. He holds back, he withdraws himself, and puts up barriers, because he doesn't think he should be falling in love. And as we know, Simon is good at being guarded about his feelings. So when he often seems unattached to Kaylee, but then is suddenly giving her googly eyes (or complimenting her, or willing to risk River's life to save hers, etc.), I don't think it's because he's inconsistent, but because we usually see him trying to hide his feelings and he does a better job at it than Mal.

You think you post a lot? Gah, I can't seem to write anything shorter than a mini essay.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:35 AM

LEIASKY


>(I think S/K would have eventually replaced W/Z in some ways post BDM.)

I just had this conversation with a few different people and none of them agreed with me on the above. At least someone does! LOL!

I can see it real clearly since Simon seems very much like Zoe in that he's emotionally reserved. And Kaylee is very much like Wash in that she's carefree and happy. Wash and Zoe are very much opposites as are Simon and Kaylee.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Friday, September 21, 2007 6:10 AM

MERRYK


I didn't exactly mean replace as in that their characters/relationships are similar, but more as in their positions on the ship. I think that post BDM, Mal's idea of the crew changes. Kaylee has toughened a little, and once she and Simon are together, I see her being firm of purpose. She's not like Zoe, but I see her taking that place in Mal's heart (I think that Mal would be too guilty about what happened to Wash to keep the same close relationship with Zoe). And just as Wash and Mal bickered, especially over Zoe, I see Simon continuing to grow more brave with how he deals with Mal. After what they've all been through, I think both Kaylee and Simon are going to be thinking of Mal as more of an comrade than captain, which, combined with their budding relationship, is going to give them Wash and Zoe's place in a sense.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Friday, September 21, 2007 8:37 AM

MAL4PREZ


I see part of the problem - let me note that I tend to live in the pre-BDM verse, because I think Joss was forced into many shortcuts with the movie and, frankly, I don't like them all. I don't blame Joss, he had no other way to get us the story. So I don't disagree that S/K could become a thing, but I'm caught up in where they are in the series and the path they'd have taken to get together if there'd been time.

The reason I brought up "Jossian" is to say that this verse isn't a romance fantasy, and just the fact of their interest in each other is no guarantee that it will work. I am like Joss in that I focus on the flaws in people, the obstacles they have to overcome, rather the happy-joy prospect of characters just "falling in love" and being A-OK.

Anyhoo, I don't think Simon ever chose or intended to talk about himself all the time, and I'm sure that Kaylee is just fine to encourage it because she's all smitten. But Simon clearly doesn't have the basic curiousity about other people that would lead to him asking Kaylee about herself, not that we've seen. He doesn't have a - "Wow, she's incredible, I have to know more about her!" attitude. I think he will develop it in time, but he doesn't have it in the series, or even in the movie, till nearly dying gives him a push. Near the beginning, he was going to leave the ship, and wasn't at all responsive to her "Not that you ... spit" line. He was in his own world, worrying his own worries.

Face it - as good-looking and sensitive as Simon is, and as excellent a candidate for romantic fantasies, he's got faults a'plenty. He's not going to just - presto! - become the perfect boyfriend/husband, always with the right sweet things to say and ready with the fabulous sex anytime (but only after giving Kaylee four orgasms first LOL!) I mean, let's face it, he's kinda socially inept, and in some matters his head is firmly buried up his ass. Sleeping with Kaylee once won't change that.

Anyway, back to Kaylee. (Oops. I digressed!) Is she really so dependent on Simon? Does she see him as her one and only method of being happy, to the exclusion of all else?

I just don't think so. She didn't ask Simon's opinion before she got all starry-eyed over Tracy. Simon may be her first choice, but she's still a free spirit and an independent woman. If all she wanted was marriage and babies, I'm thinking she could have got that on her homeworld.

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Friday, September 21, 2007 9:41 AM

MERRYK


Quote:

The reason I brought up "Jossian" is to say that this verse isn't a romance fantasy, and just the fact of their interest in each other is no guarantee that it will work. I am like Joss in that I focus on the flaws in people, the obstacles they have to overcome, rather the happy-joy prospect of characters just "falling in love" and being A-OK.


Exactly my opinion! I don't think Simon and Kaylee would have an easy road at all...oooh no, not them. But I don't think that would stop them from trying. They're young and naive and in love...so both of them are about as clearheaded as River, maybe less. But that doesn't stop anyone from trying.

I'm failing to see how Kaylee cannot want a future with Simon. Being an independent woman who's not actively in search of marriage or commitment doesn't mean you don't have any desire to find someone to spend your life with (I know from experience). Kaylee's obviously got high standards...she's not going to get married just to do it. But men like Simon don't just pop up on everyone's homeworld, and I think that's key. Even if Kaylee really thought seriously about being with Tracey, which I still doubt a bit, she went to Simon in the end. And so far, no matter what he does, she eventually goes back. And I think that's because she thinks he'll make her happy. It's not that Simon is the only man in the 'Verse that she could love (gooey romantic fantasy...get it away from me!), he's just the only one that she's met so far.

As for Simon...you're right, he's not the curious sort of person, about anyone. It probably has to do with his profession. He can't afford get too interested in everyone he deals with, because he very well might lose them. Hmm. In fact, I don't see Simon ever being very interested in people's pasts. He seems to treat people in the here and now, and not worry much about anything but the future. Does that spell disaster for them? I don't think so. Once Simon stops telling himself that getting involved with Kaylee is a problem, though, I can see him trying (and that is the operative word) to do what pleases her.

He's going to fail, of course. He's male, he's socially inept in this society (I don't think he was back in his old one), and he's got a host of personality issues. Not to mention his responsibilities that he can't just forget. A lot of fic authors just put Kaylee and Simon happily together (transforming River into someone sane and independent and Simon into the perfect figure of a man, of course), which I really dislike. But even examining all the likely problems that would occur if they tried to get together, I don't see it as impossible or even improbable. As someone once said, “A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” And I think Simon and Kaylee have a lot of potential in that area.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Friday, September 21, 2007 10:08 AM

NBZ


Quote:

I'm failing to see how Kaylee cannot want a future with Simon. Being an independent woman who's not actively in search of marriage or commitment doesn't mean you don't have any desire to find someone to spend your life with (I know from experience).


Apart form the first sentence I can agree with you. (not that I have a position on that. I can see both sides here).

As for the first sentence, there are a lot of obstacles for which she may eventually decide NOT to go down that route - some even beyond the personal feelings. (Is that line even about Kaylee?)

1. Always on the run from the law and what that means. Such as a harder life, bounty hunters etc. The thing about running is that you eventually get caught. of course she does not seem to have a problem with crime, but getting shot or threatened cannot be fun.

2. Always being second in priorities. I am not female, but I would think that at some point that would cause issues.

That is ignoring whether Simon would have any reservations.

Quote:

Kaylee's obviously got high standards...


Bester?

Quote:

she's not going to get married just to do it. But men like Simon don't just pop up on everyone's homeworld, and I think that's key. Even if Kaylee really thought seriously about being with Tracey, which I still doubt a bit, she went to Simon in the end.


After Tracey used her as a hostage and ultimately died.

Your point of her being attracted to Simon because a rarity in her world makes Simon sound to me like a play thing. Something new for Christmas, until you get new toys next year... but her new one broke so back to the old one. She liked it better anyway.

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And so far, no matter what he does, she eventually goes back. And I think that's because she thinks he'll make her happy.


Or maybe because every other male on the ship is either married, crude-ape-gone-wrong or the captain. Simon is literally the only one in the world for her... (see what I did there? - again not saying that it would not work.)

She goes back because she is a person and she cares when the people around her get hurt. Even if it was Jayne she would not just stand back and laugh at him... (if you mean goes back to a relationship setting - we do not know that. They only moved towards that at the end of the BDM. For the first time as far as we know).

Back onto the topic of Kaylee, I would also say I can see her developing a sort of resentment for River. "The obstacle".

Another question about whether they can be the new Wash and Zoe - I would say no. Simon is too detached, Kaylee is too sensitive and short sighted. Too much a circus for my liking.

Another thing which puts me off this pairing - but has no connection to the characters - is that a lot of their fic interactions are forced. The angst is not real, just forced because issues are expected to occur.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 10:24 AM

MERRYK


You misread that one sentence. I took, from your post, that you were saying that Kaylee was independent, and if she had wanted to be married, she would have done that already. I agree that there might be reasons why she wouldn't marry Simon, I was just wondering why you seem to think that she can't want Simon and still be who she is.

I think Bester is definite proof that Kaylee has high standards. She could have married him. Instead, she chose something less meaningful because she wanted to, and not for anything else. She has no problem with satisfying her lust. But I think she has high standards for men who she's planning to see more often than one outing up in a derelict Firefly.

You may have a point about Simon being the new toy...but that all depends on if she meets someone better. Frankly, I don't see that happening. Everyone on Firefly admits that Simon's qualities are rare. Not many men would do what he did, or would be what he is after everything he's gone through. Do you think it's likely that she'll find someone who would be a worthy replacement?

But yes, oh yes, I do so very much agree with River the obstacle. That's the biggest thing keeping Kayle and Simon apart, and it's rarely dealt well with in fanfic. Because, unlike in many fics, Simon can't just "sort our his priorities" and choose Kaylee; River needs him more than Kaylee does, though perhaps at the end of the BDM that's not as true, and if he just left her, he'd be the biggest jerk in the universe. The same is true if he just drops Kaylee because he thinks he can't take care of both of them. This is hardly a problem that only happens in the 'Verse...mentally ill family members often cause conflict because the "less needy" ones think they're being neglected. And sometimes that's true, and Simon has to learn what's neglect and what's just normal. I think Kaylee could come to grips with that, over time, but not until Simon does. At the end of Objects in Space, it seems that he is starting to get that, and perhaps by the end of the BDM it's a very real possibility. But certainly, River can't be left out or sloppily written out of a portrayal of a Kaylee/Simon relationship.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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Friday, September 21, 2007 10:41 AM

NBZ


Not saying she would have been married. Saying she is independent. There is nothing stopping her from her getting married, or not for that matter. I just don't think marriage is at the top of her agenda.

From where she comes, does marriage even have any significance at all? I would say it does, because it does in most cultures that exist now, but from reading her, we have no idea.

The fact that she did not marry Bester does not mean to me that she has high standards at all. He was a quick fling to get to see the innards of a ships engine room. It shows the exact opposite to me - she is willing to use people to get what she wants. Even those that are not on a high rung. (never did get a positive impression of Bester in either two of his scenes in OoG)

At the end of OiS River is supposedly asleep. At the end of the BDM there is a possibility, but I take the "I'm ok" to not mean River is cured. After all she had parts of her brain chopped off. She would IMO return to a state similar to that of OiS from where she had dropped to in the BDM after the subliminal message. But sayuing all that, Simon/Kaylee can work and probably will for at least a short spell of time.

River is destined for a short life IMO, but during that time things could be hectic.

And from the end of OiS to the BDM nothing happens. They are both in a confined space so there is nothing stopping them from getting together. That says to em Simon did pull back. In his bigger picture Kaylee does not yet have a place.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007 5:21 PM

WYTCHCROFT


fantastic thread!

i won't get too much into the specifics of your discussion, you've done that well enough youselves - just:

mal4prez - ignore the BDM* at your peril - there was less pressure on joss and his script than firefly felt under fox... less need to inject humour and 'likeability', for example.
shortcuts? there are maybe two:
1) Rivers 'i'm ok' which just a narrative sop for the majority audience unfamiliar with the brain scraping backstory and convincing only in as much as she has 'cleared' a block (of how many?) she may BEGIN to harness her abilities - but we're talking a hard road to hoe:)

2) oddly the apparent reverse with S/k finally getting together - and answering the question hanging since the series. iT DOES though provide more cushioning for the general audince insearch of a happy ending. HOWEVER (and certainly compared to warm scenes in the tv show) it's clear that NO relationship has bloomed till the er, climax. Simon is very cold and preoccupied incomparison - quick to side with River, quick to leave serenity etc. Their decision to get physical doesn't seem to come from a desire for a long term equally footed relationship (scoff!) but from something a little more mundane.
The irony is of course that they are both well matched in their emotional naivity! Kaylee is still young - and Simon has always kept himself aloof and devoted to River.

i could see kaylee marrying for the shinyness of it (and i can imagine her loving children) but the reality of any marriage she did fall into would dent her desire for independance - maybe she would desire to settle later in life, hard to say. She does seem a little older and less in love woth the wide blue verse in the BDM.

hope this made some kinda uber caffiene-ated sense!:)

* i suspect that, like most of us, you like Serenity but LOVE firefly... but Those left Behind AND the BDM have a very definite feel that i think draws a line under the tv show of old. If it returns, chances ae it will be as serenity after all.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007 6:35 PM

MERRYK


I agree with you, Wytchcroft, about the double meanings. River's "I'm ok" could mean sane to non-fans (who never saw her behave very insanely anyway) and starting to get better to fans. Likewise Simon's declaration to Kaylee was cleverly phrased so that a non-fan would see it as something equivalent to a marriage proposal (despite Kaylee's quip) while fans would know that it was just one step.

I've been thinking about writing a fic about what happens after the BDM for Simon and Kaylee. So they've both finally admitted that they like each other, but as has been discussed here, there are tons of obstacles before anything serious happens. I think that it will happen eventually, especially because of how I think the 'Verse continues after the BDM, but it will be a looong journey.

--
"My way of being polite, or however...well, it's the only way I have of showing you that I like you. Of showing respect." Simon Tam, Jaynestown

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