GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Why is Jayne Afraid of Mal?

POSTED BY: MILFORD
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 3, 2006 03:42
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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 5:28 AM

MILFORD


I realize that this is the third thread I've started about Jayne and Mal's relationship, but to me it's the most interesting one. We know where Simon and Kaylee are headed ("You mean, like, sex?"), and we can understand Mal and Inara's issues. Simon and River are fairly obvious and Zoe and Wash (sniff, sniff, sob) are also fairly clear cut. The only relationship that remains unresolved is Jayne and Mal.

I mentioned in another thread how I though Jayne might eventually betray the crew, or something similar, and it got me thinking: Why is Jayne afraid of Mal? he could snap him like a twig, but he doesn't, he always backs down. See the pilot's scene at the dinner table for example. He actually leaves the table when Mal orders him to. Also, after Ariel, he makes nice.

This seems a little inconsistent. Not that the characterization is inconsistent, or that Adam or Joss made a mistake, but the character's behavior is clearly demonstrating something that was left unsaid. It seems at first glance that after the Ariel incident, Jayne would have killed Mal in his sleep. We know from The Train Job that he wanted to take over. He has no problem standing up to, and trampling over, anyone, except Mal, and Zoe, sort of. Why? What makes Jayne so fearful of Mal that he actually takes his abuse (at least, abuse in Jayne's eyes). The only time he really stands up to him is in the BDM, but even then he gives up. Something else is going on here, Browncoats, explain it to me.

Ready, Go!

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Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre
That's why I don't kiss'em on the mouth- Jayne Cobb

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 5:38 AM

KEVAR


Mal is the captain.

Jayne respects Mal and accepts his leadership. Mal gave him a better position than he had before (Out of Gas). Jayne also recognizes that Mal will fight for ANY of his crew. This includes Jayne. (Jaynestown). And Jayne respects this. You have to recognize the charisma that Malcolm Reynolds has. Lets face it, any of his crew could find better positions. But they all respect him and most, especially Zoe, would follow him into hell. Look at the scene between Simon and Mal at the end of 'Safe'

Simon: "Why did you come back for us?"

Mal: "Because you're part of my crew. . . why are we still discussing this?"

In short, the answer to your question "Why doesn't Jayne just kill Mal?" would be because Mal is fiercely loyal to his crew and inspires that same loyalty. Jayne isn't afraid of Mal, he respects him.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 5:47 AM

ERIC


I think maybe it is also because Jayne is smart enough to know his limitations. He knows the captain is sharper by far than he is, and he has a better chance of living long enough to enjoy his money if he sticks by Mal. If he were on his own, how long until another job like the Canton heist got him killed? Or would he end up working for another 7% comission (& a shared bunk)? I think he knows he's better off under Mal's wing than on his own.

Plus, if he killed the captain, Zoe would inflict some serious reciprocity right quickly

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 6:06 AM

CAPERCAILLIE


I think there are a couple of scenes that show the Mal and Jayne relationship well.

Train Job - I do think that this episode shows a bit of a discrepancy in the Jayne/Mal relationship but it was very early in the series and the actors/writers may not have had their handle on Jayne's character yet. I think I read somewhere that Joss had not originally intended for Jayne to be as charismatic but Adam's portrayal added magnetism to the character.

Bushwhacked (and Ariel) - The team that plays together, stays together.

Shindig - "Are they mad at us?" They are both clueless about how to deal with women.

Out of Gas - Jayne backs away when Mal shoves Wash up against the wall. Jayne respects how just plain tough Mal is. Watch Jayne's good-bye scene with Mal. He speaks volumes with the one word, "Well...". In Jayne's eyes, Mal is tougher than nails and someone like Jayne respects that in a man....(Did I mention that this is my favorite episode - I could watch Mal close doors all day!)

Ariel - The first time I watched this, I was out of the room and didn't realize that Jayne had, in fact, called the feds. The ending, therefore, came as a shock to me. Upon rewatching it, I didn't really like this episode until that final confrontation. Now, I think it is one of the best. Even as he is arguing for his life, Jayne knows that Mal will not back down...and what changes Mal's mind? "Make something up. Don't tell them what I did." With those words, Jayne is back as a member of the crew and Mal's "don't stab me in the back" pride can take a back seat to keeping the crew together.

War Stories - Why does Jayne join in the rescue plan that even he admits is a short run to suicide? Because Mal is his chosen leader. Yes, Jayne could kill Mal in his sleep but Jayne seems to realize that his life is better when Mal (and not Jayne) is calling the shots.

The Message - Tracy's death scene. Jayne watches the whole thing. Even after everything that Tracy has put him through, Mal is still right there, ready to be Tracy's sergeant. Not my favorite episode but....what a scene!

Actually, I think the title of this thread is wrong. I don't think Jayne is afraid of Mal. I just think that in Jayne's life, Mal is the alpha dog. It works for me to visualize Jayne as part of a wolf pack.

Okay - enough for me today - have fun!

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 6:32 AM

BSCPANTHERFAN


I also think that some part of Jayne recognizes that the whole crew, and not just Zoe, would side with Mal. He also has some sort of feelings towards Kaylee, as evidenced by the scene in the pilot episode where he is looking in the window of the infirmary while she is being operated on, and the jealous way he picks on Simon.

The only other thing I would point out is that after "Trash" and the BDM, he's probably afraid that River really can "kill him with her brain".

So who is he?
He's my husband.
Well who in the damn galaxy ain't!

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 7:44 AM

SAMEERTIA


I don't think Jayne is afraid of Mal.
I think he's afraid of losing a good thing. I doubt he's had anything close to resembling a family since leaving home, and Serenity is as good as it gets- his own room, decent food (most of the time), a cute girl to look at, (even if she IS a mite too cheery)- I think he's well aware that it all hinges on Mal.
Mal decides he's out and he's out- possibly even out the airlock.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 7:55 AM

HISGOODGIRL

Just a gal out on the rim writing tales.


The preceeding posts have all explored interesting perspectives on this question, but I want to offer something I see in Jayne that no one has addressed yet, other than some of us in our fanfic.

I've worked extensively in therapeutic situtions with adults who have been emotionally and physically abused as kids. Such trauima leaves life-long scars and can significantly shape adult behavior.

This being said, what I see reflected in Jayne is the behavior of a man who experienced significant abuse from a father who was probably alcoholic and frequently absent and/or unavailable to provide guidance.

Jayne has no real self-esteem and has survived a very hard life by doing whatever he has had to to stay alive. What we see is his emotional "tough-guy" armor, the attitude he puts out to bluff his way through on bravado.

I do not see him as stupid (that's too simplistic). Rather, I see a guy who has no education, no upbringing that would have taught him any tact or social graces. Given his impulsivity, fidgetiness, touch-feely behavior, he's almost certainly very ADHD, too.

I find it interesting that Jayne, the ship "bad ass", is the most overtly respectful of religion, while Mal rejects God for having failed him in the war. Jayne looks to Book as a surrogate father figure, because Book and he respect one another and Book does not judge him.

I would suspect that Serenity may offer Jayne the first sense of belonging he's known apart from his mom and brothers, and that began slowly changing his values, priorities and loyalties.

Jayne takes his job as a mercenary very seriously and it is something he takes pride in and does with diligence. While he tests Mal's authority, Mal is unquestionably the Alpha Wolf on Serenity, and deep down, Jayne knows he cannot command the loyalty that Mal can.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next story, "Leaps of Faith", which explores this further.


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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 7:56 AM

RACH



I'm with Eric on this one; I think Jayne recognises his limitations. There are times when you look at him, and he's like a kid who just doesn't quite understand what's going on. Shoot first and don't even bother trying to ask questions. Aw, he's gorgeous.

The end of 'Ariel' kills me. When he's nearly crying because he has really stabbed Mal in the back...and the bit earlier, when he apes Mal on the 'You're on my crew' response to Simon (oh, the irony!). Mal's the cooler, smarter (and just ever so slightly better looking) big brother he never had. Like Francis!!!

And Jayne needs looking after. Hell, I'd make him soup anytime.

x

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 8:00 AM

GROOVYAL


the thing the guy above me said before and the fact that even jayne has the balls to bring it on whith mal, has not the brain to do this...

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 8:00 AM

FEATHERONTHEWIND


I agree with the previous posts and would also like to add that it might have to do with the fact that Jayne knows that Mal isn't afraid of him. Most people Jayne meets are intimidated by him, but Mal just sees him as another person.

"Pain is scary." -Jayne
Mal=Hotness on an unknown level

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 8:03 AM

DAVESHAYNE


"Why is Jayne afraid of Mal?"

Because Mal is a total badass and Jayne knows it. Sure Jayne is big and intimidating but that don't really count for much.

In a brawl situation, mano a mano, Jayne can no doubt deal out a lot of damage but Mal can not only take lots of damage and keep functioning but he can deal out the damage himself and will eventually turn the fight in his favor through perseverence and brains.

If gunplay is involved Mal still has the advantage. Sure Jayne owns lots of hardware and is an accomplished sniper but Mal is the ultimate quickdraw artist. He shoots quick and accurate and with guns if you can manage both fast and on target you win.

But even if in some way Jayne gets lucky and takes Mal out he then will have to contend with Zoe who is a total badass as Jayne also knows full well. With Zoe stalking him out for revenge Jayne's best hope is that Zoe makes it quick to end his suffering as soon as possible.

But lets say he also somehow manages to get the drop on Zoe what does he do now. Jayne really doesn't have a broad enough skill set to survive as a sole opperator and you have to wonder who would partner up with a guy who has maliciously and violently turned on at least 4 previous employers/associates. So without Mal Jayne is rather lost and is smart enough to realize that.



David

"A lot of people are asking me, you know, what exactly is Firefly? It's a tv show you morons!" - Joss Whedon

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:19 AM

DANIELFYRE


First off I don't think Jayne is afraid of Mal, and secondly I think things are the way things are because Jayne chooses it that way. He could easily go off on his own, or betray mal, or go ahead and join another crew. In the Pilot episode we see he is openly offered enough money to buy his own ship - one nicer than Serenity I believe as the fed put it. Why wouldn't Jayne take that opportunity? Is that just not enough money for Jayne? Of course it is if he's willing to sell out River and Simon later. The difference? Turning on Mal. In Ariel Jayne did what he did not only for the cash but to get Simon and River off Serenity because they dangered him directly if caught because the whole crew would be screwed. What he did was selfish don't get me wrong but I think he did it for a higher reason than money. At the end of the pilot when Mal asks why he didn't sell out Jayne responds the money wasn't good enough...I think he says that to maintain his image and not to appear weak, although he knows he needs Mal he doesn't want to admit it for fear of weakness. I also think Jayne's job as a mercinary has a bit more behind it than got told in the show. We see a letter that he gets from his mom, so obviously he is taking care of someone and has a reason besides himself to make this money. He has his family back home (wherever that may be) that actually depends on that cash. Sure Jayne wants to go out and have fun, make some money, get drunk, do a few prostitutes, but I think he has a pretty good sense of responsibility, priority, and honor. To us it may seem like these qualities arn't exactly applicable to Jayne, but to him he does have those qualities and exhibits them in a way he understands and believes is right. And finally WHY would he not turn on Mal? He has a good thing going. Someone earlier said he knows his limitations and I agree with that which is why he stays with Mal I think he does in fact respect Mal.

-Dan

Ain't that just shiny?

P.S. - sorry I didn't mean to make that so long but the words just kept coming.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:25 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


Hisgoodgirl
You're right on the money IMHO.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:43 AM

HUMBUG


Quote:

Originally posted by DanielFyre:
First off I don't think Jayne is afraid of Mal, and secondly I think things are the way things are because Jayne chooses it that way. He could easily go off on his own, or betray mal, or go ahead and join another crew.....I think he has a pretty good sense of responsibility, priority, and honor. To us it may seem like these qualities arn't exactly applicable to Jayne, but to him he does have those qualities and exhibits them in a way he understands and believes is right. And finally WHY would he not turn on Mal? He has a good thing going.......I think he does in fact respect Mal.



I agree, Dan! Jayne isn't afraid of Mal, he just respects him for being the kind of man that Jayne himself isn't in several key areas.

Mal is a natural leader of men. Jayne isn't. Jayne responds to the temptation of money and greed and power. And verious characters allude to how bad a leader Jayne is (eg in Train Job).

Mal, Jayne & Simon have typical relationships between men in the Western genre. There is the macho posturing (who has the biggest and best gun/nerve/attitude/you-know-what-male-appendage? etc), the homoerotic overtones when it comes to staring each other down/standing in each others personal space (just look at fanvids like Yes to see this!), the vaguely misogynistic attitude to women (seeing tham as sex objects, not human beings - and the categorisation of women as whores witha heart of gold or virgins). It makes me laugh when men see War and Western genres as so masculine and macho, when really there is a homoerotic undertone to the best examples of these Film genres.

Mal is more mature when it comes to relationships. (Really! don't laugh! Think about it. Jayne's interactions with crew members are really childlike, so Mal does come out looking more mature by comparison!!!!).

Yes, it's true that they are thieves with a sense of honour. And Jayne has his own code of ethics. But living on the raggedy edge of the 'verse puts Serenity on the frontier as real & hard & lawless & ungovernable as any western town in the USA. They rely on their wits, and fly by the seat of their pants. And Mal is their chosen leader. Sure, Jayne could beat him up in a fight, but he choses not to, because he wants to be part of the crew, and because of the qualities Mal has which Jayne himself lacks.



Humbug

"You know what the first rule of flying is?... Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home." Mal, BDM

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:46 AM

MILFORD


You've all made good points, however, I still maintain that Jayne's primary motivation for not turning against Mal is fear.

Considering the respect question: it is clear from their exchange in the BDM that respect isn't a primary factor in their relationship. The whole scene in the common area and the ascerbic remarks Jayne makes about Mal and the war demonstrate that. Does he like Mal? I think so, but what Jayne really likes is Jayne.

Witness the most telling interactions Mal and Jayne have. First is the aforementioned dinner conversation in the Pilot. When Jayne leaves the table, it's not out of respect. It's out of fear. His face betrays him. The same thing is true in the BDM. He's not afraid to confront Mal on the subject of Simon and River and the Battle of Serenity Valley. And the way he does it isn't one of repect, it's one of attacking. Jayne is short on schooling by his own admition, but he is long on cunning. And cunning can't be trusted. See Mal's comments to Inara in Out of Gas for example. He tells her what Jayne is useful for, but stresses that he can't be trusted. I think what makes their relationship interesting is that they see each other for what they are. Jayne isn't blinded by the devotion Zoe has for him, or the obligation that Simon feels. He sees Mal plain and naked (How'd you like a bite of this green apple America?). I think what irritates Mal is that Jayne sees Mal as he sees himself: a petty thief, to borrow from Inara.

The inverse of that, of course, is that Mal sees Jayne for who he is: completely untrustworthy. That's why he has to give him an ultimatum in Ariel, and why he has to warn Inara against trusting him.

Now, how does that translate into fear. I think it has something to do with the the nakendness Jayne feels around Mal, that, even more than River, Mal knows what Jayne is thinking. And while Jayne is ultiamtely out for himself, he still worries about the others' feelings about him.

Wow, that was long-winded.

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Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre
That's why I don't kiss'em on the mouth- Jayne Cobb

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:58 AM

UNREGISTEREDCOMPANION


I think Jayne is smart enough to understand that Mal is WAY smarter than him.

~~~~~
"Funny and sexy. You have no idea. And you never will."

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 10:08 AM

MILFORD


Yep, but in true Jayne fashion, that's as far as he's gotten.

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Customizeable handmade baby gifts personalized by my wife! Check them out at www.baby-bobo.com. All proceeds go towards international adoption.

Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre
That's why I don't kiss'em on the mouth- Jayne Cobb

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 10:08 AM

NOSADSEVEN


Quote:

Originally posted by milford:
I mentioned in another thread how I though Jayne might eventually betray the crew, or something similar, and it got me thinking: Why is Jayne afraid of Mal? he could snap him like a twig, but he doesn't, he always backs down. See the pilot's scene at the dinner table for example. He actually leaves the table when Mal orders him to. Also, after Ariel, he makes nice.

This seems a little inconsistent. Not that the characterization is inconsistent, or that Adam or Joss made a mistake, but the character's behavior is clearly demonstrating something that was left unsaid. ...

I agree that the characters' behavior is demonstrates something that was left unsaid.

"Cap'n's got a mean streak..."

Jayne says this line during the scene in the pilot when Simon has just told his story and they are all arguing at the table over what to do next. He says it with admiration, and a sparkle in his eye.

+++ +++ +++
EDIT: Ok, so I just read the shooting script and realize that Jayne's line is not what I thought it was. (It's actually about Book.) But, I still stand by everything that follows this edit. It's just more of an unsubstantiated assertion now. Oh well...
+++ +++ +++

I think that Jayne has seen some of Mal at his most ruthless, and I think Mal knows enough about people in general, and Jayne in particular, to have made sure that Jayne has seen him at his most ruthless.

The issue is not so much whether Jayne is afraid of Mal. (I believe he is to some extent, but I'm also sure he believes he could beat Mal if he wanted to.) It's that Jayne believes that Mal is a man worthy of being afraid of, and therefore, worthy of following. That's why it bothers Jayne so much when Mal backs down from something...it reflects directly on Jayne.

Combine that with the relative niceties of life aboard Serenity, and Jayne's seemingly inconsistant behavior is not only consistent, but predictable. And that predictability is what allows Mal to manage the threat that Jayne represents.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ain't. We. Just.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 10:18 AM

INDIGOSTARBLASTER


I think we may be overanalyzing. This is sort of like asking why any employee who is bigger/smarter/more aggressive than his boss remains an employee or takes a dressing-down rather than going out on his own/beating up his boss/taking over his boss's company. In real life, lots of people stay employees where they are for a while as long as it seems good enough, even if they could "move up" in some way, with a little effort.

It seems to me that Jayne may well grumble, complain, argue with Mal, think about quitting, think about betraying, think about throwing a punch from time to time, but overall he's probably content enough. He may complain about the quality or paucity of the jobs they get, but he's probably not that interested in trying to find them himself, and realizes that if he were the captain of his own ship he would have to do that. He may well leave to work for someone else if they offer a better deal, but right now he gets 10%, his own bunk and fairly congenial crewmates.

So I don't think there's anything deep behind his "fear" of Mal. He "fears" Mal the same way most of us fear our bosses or our parents or even (some of us) our spouses. These are important figures in our lives who could make life really unpleasant for us for a while, and we aren't prepared to cut all ties right at the moment, so we feel just a little scared if they're mad at us and do what we think is reasonable to make them happy again.

Indigo S.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 10:34 AM

AGIRLYMAN


Jayne is the product of his environment, before Mal he ran with lowlife's, and cutthroats who care about nothing but getting paid, and themselves. Over time Jayne would have been more like the Captain, than some thug for hire, in the short time they were together, you could see the change in Jayne already. I doubt that Jayne would ever tell Mal in words, his admiration for him, only by actions though. A sense of family also didn't hurt, the ship, the crew, all of this combined with Mal's leadership can't help but to rub off on Jayne, or anybody for that matter, and make them a better person. It's Jayne's mouth that gets him in trouble, because he doesn't think before he speaks. In short the lad was lacking in discipline, I'm sure the Captain will see to that.


AM I NOT MERCIFUL?!?!?!?

Tee Hee

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 5:48 PM

RHYIANAN


The way I see it, Jayne hasn't turned on Mal because he feels like everyone on Serenity (with the exception of Simon and River) is family to him. As we see in the message, Jayne takes family seriously, so he wouldn't betray them.

This is also why he was so worried about Kaylee when she was shot and ultimately why he decided to turn in Simon and River, because they were a potential threat to everyone on the ship.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 6:56 PM

PIRATEJENNY


Why is Jayne Afraid of Mal

Its not really that Jayne is afraid of Mal, its more the fact that Mal is the Captain, and Jayne believe it or not respects that authority, there relationship although tenious is more clear cut then you think, and although Jayne is rash and sometimes stupid, more because he doesn't really think things through, but emotionally Jayne isn't as tough as he seems to be, we see hints of this in many diffrent episodes

and I have to disagree about Simion and Kaylee, I think had the show continued, I'm not so sure they would have hooked up, at least I certainly hope not!!

Also one of the most facinating relationships on the show to me is that of Mal and Zoe,because in many ways with the exception of River and Simon they are closer then anyone else on that ship! in War stories Mal tells Wash that him and Zoe go way back even before the war, I've always wanted to know more about their relationship,

just some food for thought

PJ

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 7:46 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Any fear Jayne has for Mal, I think, is based on a undiscussed (except in certain fan fics here and elsewhere) issue of being under an abusive (or strict at the very least) parent while growing up. Jayne's relationships with both Mal and Book seem to represent a need for a fatherly figure whom can talk with Jayne without belittling him.

With Mal, I think Jayne gets flashbacks to his childhood with a iron-handed parent. I don't recall Mal ever directly praising Jayne to either Jayne himself or others. Mal certainly lays out Jayne's skills, but to point out they are those of a mercenary and criminal....kinda like a parent belittling a child by laying out their flaws or limited skill set. Jayne wants respect from Mal, and wants to keep his "family" safe from harm, like any child wants a happy family and respect from their parents.

Unlike Mal, Book is more careful about his attacks on Jayne's behaviour and skewed morality, probably because of his mysterious past. Book sees someone seeking help and encouragement in Jayne, a lost soul that needs guidance. Book actuals uses more vitrol with Mal and his choices than Jayne, so Jayne sees the Shepherd as a confidant with life knowledge.

Fear is a big tool in Jayne's arsenal, whether by simply being a bruiser of a man or by having serious weapons like the Boo, Binky and Vera. But Jayne's ability to creat fear in those around him is based on the ole chestnut of first impressions: have the biggest presence...the biggest weapon...the meanest attittude...and you get the opponent all bibbly. However, Mal is a user of fear, but a calculated fear...a primal fear. Mal is all about the mind game; as a battlefield-hardened NCO, Mal is familiar with knowing how to motivate and frighten by committing certain actions.

Jayne knows Mal is skilled at the deeper kind of fear (hence the "mean streak" remark mentioned previously) and respects it. Certainly clashes against Mal's alpha-male personality, but just as any pack or tribal culture does. Leader's gotta stay aware of things and able to kick ass, foreign and domestic (can anyone picture the Captain making that pledge: "I promise to defend my crew from enemies, both foreign and domestic..." ). Given more time, I think Jayne will mellow out a bit more as he takes his experiences and stews on them for awhile.

BEB

Literature has shown us some of humanity's greatest achievements; history, some of our greatest failures -- Alun Lewis

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 2:50 AM

DEEPGIRL187


I'm sure this has probably been said already, but here goes.

I think that one of the major reasons that Jayne always backs down from Mal is that deep down, he knows he's not a leader. No matter how headstrong Jayne tends to be, he's still better at following orders than giving them. He also realizes that Mal, no matter how stubborn and selfish he can be, ultimately will make the wisest decision he can for the well-being of the crew. And perhaps, Jayne may on some level admire Mal for his ability to lead. Jayne's views towards Mal may not be due to fear so much as knowing his own limitations.

At last.
We can retire and give up
this life of crime.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 3:01 AM

THUNDER


Mal is in charge. He also has backup, & just because he's bigger does'nt mean he's the toughest. Mal come's off weaker but he actually has it in him to be a bad ass, & you don't know when it will come out & that keep's a lot of poeple off balance

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 3:15 AM

HISGOODGIRL

Just a gal out on the rim writing tales.


Hey BEB,

I think your response is very accurate and astute. As I remarked in my own post earlier in this thread, anyone with experience in working with abuse survivors can see the hallmarks of this in Jayne's behavior. He is definitely fear-driven and compensates with bluster and bravado. In many ways, he's still emotionally childlike.

I definitly see Book taking on the role of positive father figure to Jayne. First of all, there is mutual respect between them, a measure of quiet companionship, like working out together. Book offers Jayne non-judgemental support and acceptance, something he's probably had very little of. That's the sort of space that encourages a person to grow and move beyond reflexive defensive behavior.

The conflicting values and inconsistancies we see Jayne exhibit in the show are those of a man who's had no guidance in forming positive self esteem or personal ethics. This is a man on the pivotal edge, just beginning to shift from using brute force and cunning to provide for his fundamental needs to a man who is experiencing the first seeds of caring for those outside his family, a man who experiences regret and awareness of the impact his actions have on others. He's not there yet, may always be rough around the edges, and because the series ended too gorram soon, we really never got to see this evolution continue.

This aspect of Jayne is something that Jaylee writers like Jacqui and myself have tried to explore more deeply in works like Jacqui's "Didn't Mean Nothin'" and current "Something From Nothin'" series. I'm taking a different persepctive of much of this in my upcoming story, "Leaps of Faith".

I hope folks who want a deeper look into what makes Jayne tick beyond guns, whiskey, money and women will explore these stories.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 4:14 AM

KRIGAN


Jayne is afraid of Mal because Mal is a badass & his best friend Zoe is a bad ass. We have two war hardened cunning tough as nails bad asses here, Jayne wants none of that. Look at the way Mal fought the operative in the BDM. The operative was the best the alliance has with fighting skills trained to perfection & ultimately Mal finds a way to win. Of course he would have won a lot quicker had he aimed for the head but hey its a movie. Jayne is tough and would give Mal a hell of a fight but I think Mal wins & I think Jayne knows that Mal is at least his equal.

"Yeah but she's our witch so cut her the hell down"

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 5:24 AM

AZHEA


I haven't anything to add, you've all said it better'n I could.

I'd just like to make the observation that Firefly fans are shiny smart. The arguments were cogent and well articulated.

The intelligence of the show is evidenced by the intelligence of Her fans.

You guys RAWK!!! I am impressed on a daily basis, and feel fortunate to be among you all.

*************************************************
I look out for me and mine... that don't include you 'less I conjure it does.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 8:19 AM

FLAME


I don't think Jayne was abused, he just comes from a hardscrabble background. Work hard for what little you get, get whatever you can, and always take care of your own.

It's not complicated. Mal is simply the Bigger Badass. Mal kicks people through engines. He shoots Alliance men through the head without blinking. He was one of the only survivors of a horrific battle. He gets in bar brawls. He flies unflinching through Reaver space.

But, I don't know if I'd say Jayne's afraid of Mal. Begrudging respect, maybe deference. But not fear. If he feared Mal, he WOULD off Mal in his sleep. Case in point, he fears River, so she's got to go.

I see the Mal/Jayne relationship as big brother/younger brother, sibling rivalry sort of thing. (With Book as the father. Throw in Simon, and you've got the BONANZA quartet of Pa, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe.)

I also think Jayne backs down because he knows Mal's right. Mal's right to make him leave the table for insulting Kaylee. We don't talk about our sister that way, especially in front of company.

Mal's right for (almost) kicking Jayne out of the house (ok, ship) when Jayne brought the feds down on all of them. He could have hurt the whole family, not just Simon and River.

"If you can't do what's smart, do what's right."


http://www.monkeyshinesbeadery.com/serenity/

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 10:43 AM

ZZETTA13


Quote:

Originally posted by Azhea:

I'd just like to make the observation that Firefly fans are shiny smart. The arguments were cogent and well articulated.

The intelligence of the show is evidenced by the intelligence of Her fans.

You guys RAWK!!! I am impressed on a daily basis, and feel fortunate to be among you all.

*************************************************
I look out for me and mine... that don't include you 'less I conjure it does.



My thoughts entirely

Mal is the big brother to Jayne. Smarter and Jayne is smart enough to know it.
The fear Jayne has is knowing that as ships leader he is not and couldn't be the respected commander that Mal is.

I do believe that parental abuse played a roll in how Jayne sees himself.I can see a time when he would go back to his home planet to face his father. "See dad, I have become something of a rich and powerful man."

Also in the "Out of Gas" eps. Mal chooses to stay on Serenity (his Love) when there is plenty of room aboard one of the small craft. Jayne sees this and respects his decision although I don't believe he would have made the same one himself.

A great leader (one that ppl will follow) leads by example. The Crew know full well that Malcolm Reynols would never ask them to do something that he wouldn't do himself. These are the kind of ppl folks follow and sacrifice for in battle.

One other thing, this is another part of the Joss/verse that just screams for more FF stories. Come on tv exects more Firefly is in order here. You guys have left my shoesstrings hanging.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 11:06 AM

DONCOAT


I think the answer may be simpler than many of these suggestions (good though they are).

I'd say Mal has Jayne psyched out, and has since day one. Mal knows exactly how to push Jayne's buttons to keep him in line.

Evidence:

OoG (flashback): Mal knows exactly what to dangle in front of Jayne to get him to switch allegiences.

Serenity Pilot: Mal banishes Jayne from the dining table like a stern (but not abusive) father disciplining a child.

Serenity Pilot (later): Though Mal realizes that Jayne might betray him on Whitefall, he does nothing special to ensure his loyalty. He sends Jayne off to do a critical task, understanding that Jayne responds well to being placed in a position of trust. The discussion at the end of the ep shows how little Mal really feared that Jayne would turn on him.

OMR: Jayne doesn't just make a play for Saffron. Instead, he goes to Mal practically on his knees, trying to barter for her.

Various eps: Jayne repeatedly defers to Mal on the subject of Simon and River's presence on the ship.

OoG (near-real-time): watch Jayne's reaction when Mal gets physical with Wash. It's not so much surprise as, "Whoa, now's not the right time to get in Mal's way."

The common theme here is that Mal is right there in Jayne's head, and Jayne knows Mal is always two steps ahead of him. The only exception (Ariel) proves the rule. Mal slipped, not anticipating that Jayne would act. But in the end, Jayne fooled everyone else about the betrayal, but Mal showed him (with a great big wrench, no less) that he wasn't fooled for a second.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't disagree on any particular point.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 11:43 AM

ZZETTA13


Yes,but Mal does include Jayne on some very important endeavors and empowers him on several occasions.

Serenity: Mal and Jayne in the oaty bar when River does her Bruce Lee imitation. Mal mutters "Jayne" almost as if to say "Jayne, back me up."
Zoe could have been there. But she was with Wash. " He likes it when you call him sir."


Shindig: Mal to Kaylee "What would you need that for in the engineroom. It'd be like a sheep standing on its hind legs." This gets an exspell of laughter from Jayne and gets from him "Are they mad or sumpin?" Male bonding in its mean and man-ly fashion, yep I know.

Again in Shindig: Badger "Invites are harder to get than diamonds the size of testicals. But I managed to get my hands on a couple." Mal and Jayne look at one another. Badger" OF INVITES!!"

Just things that seem to show something of the brotherhood relationship of Mal and Jayne. But yes there is also sibling rivalry.

Jayne kill Mal in his sleep? That would be the lowest of the low and have Zoey shoot him out of the airlock nomatter what he said.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 1:33 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Jayne's ability to stay alive has been, I believe, due to his own fighting skills, as well as his ability to size up his opponent. Mal did fight in the war, and he's earned the loyalty of Zoe. That trust must befuddle Jayne a good bit. Zoe's no push over, and yet she's following around Mal like....well, like he's earned her respect. He has. The whole Mal/Zoe/Wash equation doesn't seem to add up for him, so Jayne likely just leaves it be. Now, Jayne might be able to slip up and get the best of Mal, once, but then to get by Zoe too? Even Jayne can do the math on that not working out to his favor.

Plus, Mal's given Jayne far more than likely anyone has in his rough life. He's given Jayne a chance. Jayne seems like the 'smash and grab' type of character, and Mal extended a opportunity to Jayne that offers the potential for more. Maybe not much more, but at least he's got his own bunk! There's a bit of gratitude there for Jayne , even if he'll never come right out and say it.

People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy. - Joss

" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 3:10 PM

MILFORD


Auraptor, I think you make some interesting observations. The gartitude angle is interesting. I think Jayne's a classic case of a guy who is simultaneously tough as nails, and also soft as, well, as a stuffed turtle. I think that one reason there's so much tension between them is that Jayne feels himself getting soft, and it's probably a little frightening. He's not sure what to do.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Customizeable handmade baby gifts personalized by my wife! Check them out at www.baby-bobo.com. All proceeds go towards international adoption.

Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre
That's why I don't kiss'em on the mouth- Jayne Cobb

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 6:24 PM

BEAST


there is a recurring theme that keeps running through my mind when I think about this question... In the pilot when Jayne is offered a bribe he asks "Would it mean turnin' on the Captain?" and when Jayne was in the airlock he insisted that he betrayed Simon and River but NOT THE CAPTAIN. These don't strike me as acts of fear. Indeed of he was afraid of Mal getting Alliance help to get Mal out of the picture would be fairly easily accomplished. I think Jayne is LOYAL to Mal. Loyal out of respect and admiration... and maybe a good dose of the psychology mentioned earlier.


I like the "Alpha Wolf" analogies mentioned here. I think Jayne has simply found his leader. I have seen the way dogs interact and there is something interesting to note. I have often seen a smaller weaker or even elderly dog make a bigger, stronger, faster, meaner dog back down... IF the dogs knew each other to the point that they had established a hierarchy. Why? because both dogs knew who was "in charge"... Just like both Mal and Jayne know.



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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 8:01 AM

WISHUPONAWASH


Some good points and bad points here.

To say that Jayne is simply afraid of Mal is wrong. There would be no reason for Jayne to stay on the ship if he were. There is a certain element of fear, but no diffient to that between that of a Sgt and his men (which is how I see the relationship).

I personally wouldn't say that Jayne was abused (in strongest sense of the word) as a child, but he clearly had poor or little male role models as a boy. However Jayne sees in Mal a strong father/big brother figure. Mal knows which buttons to press in all his crew (see with Wash in War stories and out of gas as other examples).

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 5:22 PM

ZZETTA13


interesting WishuponaWash,

The key word is RESPECT. Jayne does command a degree of respect sometime. But he is no fool and knows in a pinch who he really counts on.

In "Jaynestown" after the mudders milk party the night before, Jayne acts surprised that Mal would want him to use his new found celebrity to cause a distraction in town. His new found "respect" has him questioning if its right to hoodwink ppl.

"Me Jayne Cobb" hero of Canton used to fool the groupies of my hero worship?

By shows end he does realize that his respect for Mal (not fear) isn't the same as for himself.

"Well there ain't people like that. Theres just people like me."

Inara also gives a clue as to how Jayne is viewed when talking to the young client after the night of his journey into manhood. "Jayne? Your talking about Jayne Cobb?" This after finding out the respectable Serenity crew member the young man was speaking of was Jayne and not Malcolm Reynolds.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2006 3:42 AM

MIRANDAN


I'd like to look at this from a different angle if I may. Why does Jayne back down or not quite go too far?
Well, 'cos Joss(Hallowed be thy name)wrote it that way. Why?
To ramp up the tension on a particular occasion without destroying the group dynamic as a whole by making Jayne become an outcast. I also think that this allows Mal to display the inherent contradictions of a good man in a bad place which is in my opinion a recurring theme.
Alternatively there's just the tiniest overwhelming chance I'm talking complete goh se.

"We are all Mirandans today"
"3 full mags and my swinging cod"

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