GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Book: "The Man I Was Sworn to protect..." ???

POSTED BY: SARDONICA
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:06
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Monday, July 26, 2004 5:06 PM

SARDONICA


There's a line in the pilot after the Alliance (officer? bounty hunter? cop?) who'd come after River is killed where Book is doubting his reason's for being on Serenity. He says something to the effect of "The man I have sworn to protect" has been killed...

This always was strange to me. When we saw Book come onboard with Kaley, he seemed to be travelling alone.

Any thoughts on this "sworn to protect" business?

Chief Editor, AFM
www.apocalypsefiction.com
Writer/Producer, The NUKE Brothers
www.nukebrothers.com

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Monday, July 26, 2004 5:12 PM

RIVERGIRL



Any thoughts on this "sworn to protect" business?



think he was just that he swore to protect him from JAYNE

not they had a past or were working together

Also, I can kill you with my brain.

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Monday, July 26, 2004 5:32 PM

SUCCATASH


Book says, "The man I swore to protect..."

He is referring to the scene in Serenity when he got in Jayne's face and risked his life to save Dobsen, the traitor fed. Jayne says, "I ain't jokin' with you, Preacher."

Book made a vow to Jayne that Dobsen would not be killed. Or so it could be interpreted.




"Gott kann dich nicht vor mir beschuetzen, weil ich nicht boese bin."

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:03 PM

THEREALME


I agree.

Aside from Kaylee, I think that Book is the character who is most "exactly what he seems".

He IS a preacher. He had no secret plots going.

Now, what Book WAS is a wide open field.


The Real Me

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:07 PM

SARDONICA


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
Aside from Kaylee, I think that Book is the character who is most "exactly what he seems".

He IS a preacher. He had no secret plots going.



Hm. I'm not sure that I agree with that... but only TIME will tell!

Chief Editor, AFM
www.apocalypsefiction.com
Writer/Producer, The NUKE Brothers
www.nukebrothers.com

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:12 PM

SOUPCATCHER


I've always interpreted this comment the way 'Tash just did. By the time the argument in the dining area erupts I think Book has made up his mind that he will protect Dobson. The four exchanges from the episode that helped me come to my conclusion were:

[Immediately following Kaylee getting shot]
JAYNE: Outta the way.
BOOK: You're not killing this man.
JAYNE: Not right away...
BOOK: He's no threat.

JAYNE: Move.
BOOK: Not gonna happen.
JAYNE(raising his gun): I ain't joking with you, Preacher.

[Book during the argument where the crew is deciding what to do with Dobson]
BOOK: I'll not sit by while there's killing here.

[Book to Inara during the absolution scene]
BOOK: I've been out of the abbey two days, I've beaten a lawman senseless, I've fallen in with criminals. I watched the captain shoot the man I swore to protect. (beat) And I'm not even sure if I think he was wrong.

I shaved off my beard for you, devil woman!

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:20 PM

SARDONICA


Quote:

Originally posted by SoupCatcher:
BOOK: I've been out of the abbey two days, I've beaten a lawman senseless, I've fallen in with criminals. I watched the captain shoot the man I swore to protect. (beat) And I'm not even sure if I think he was wrong.



Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting (I'm gonna rewatch the pilot tonight!)... but aren't "beaten a lawman senseless" and "watched the captain shoot the man I swore to protect" both referring to Dobson? If so, it seems a little odd that Book would phrasxe things in such a way--it reads as if he's referring to two different people...

Chief Editor, AFM
www.apocalypsefiction.com
Writer/Producer, The NUKE Brothers
www.nukebrothers.com

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:21 PM

SUCCATASH



Nicely summarized, Catcher of Soup.


"Gott kann dich nicht vor mir beschuetzen, weil ich nicht boese bin."

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:22 PM

SUCCATASH


Quote:

Originally posted by Sardonica:
Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting (I'm gonna rewatch the pilot tonight!)... but aren't "beaten a lawman senseless" and "watched the captain shoot the man I swore to protect" both referring to Dobson? If so, it seems a little odd that Book would phrasxe things in such a way--it reads as if he's referring to two different people...

That's an excellent point! That's why you are editor. I need to think...

"Gott kann dich nicht vor mir beschuetzen, weil ich nicht boese bin."

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:29 PM

THEREALME


I think that Book hates these actions... beating a lawman senseless... watching the captain shoot a man...

He thinks that these actions are wrong, but he thinks that NOT taking these actions might be more wrong. It's a moral dilemma with no good answers. It has him wondering, perhaps, how he could have handled things better. Probably, he could not have.

The Real Me

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:43 PM

SOUPCATCHER


Actually (Where's that devil's advocate hat? Harumph. I left it around here somewhere...) I think that Book's phrasing argues against him knowing Dobson.

When he knocked him out he hadn't sworn to protect him yet. When he watched him die he had sworn to protect him. So using different phrasing to describe Dobson at those two different points in time fits perfectly well.

If he had sworn to protect him before they got on Serenity it would be consistent to say: I knocked out the man I swore to protect and then later watched the Captain kill him.

Now it could just be phrasing and the way it was written flows better. But I like the idea of Book seeing those two different events as happening to two different men. One man he doesn't know. The other man he has sworn to protect.

(Hey look, I did find that devil's advocate hat )

editted to change inconsistent to consistent (I hate it when I'm inconsistent )

I shaved off my beard for you, devil woman!

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:48 PM

SARDONICA


Quote:

Originally posted by SoupCatcher:
Now it could just be phrasing and the way it was written flows better. But I like the idea of Book seeing those two different events as happening to two different men. One man he doesn't know. The other man he has sworn to protect.



Actually, I think I 100% agree with you here.

(Though I still think that there is much more to Book AND his reasons for joining Serenity than meet the eye. Especially--having leaned today--that he was only signed for 10 episodes makes me think that there was definitely something "up" with his character...)

Chief Editor, AFM
www.apocalypsefiction.com
Writer/Producer, The NUKE Brothers
www.nukebrothers.com

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:57 PM

SUCCATASH



The only logical conclusion I see is that Book is faking his crying scene with Inara at at the end of Serenity.

Book is not trying to rationalize two different men named Dobson, we are.



"Gott kann dich nicht vor mir beschuetzen, weil ich nicht boese bin."

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Monday, July 26, 2004 6:59 PM

TETHYS


I for one am a believer in the Book-is-more-than-what-he-seems, but I interpret the whole dialog to be reffering to dobson.....

"You replaced Firefly with *barf* Fastlane?!"
Zoe:"Take me Sir. Take me hard" - War Stories

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Monday, July 26, 2004 7:01 PM

SHEPHERDQ


Both Book and I view it as two seperate things even though it was the same man.
In the first it was Book's direct action.. HE beat the lawman senseless and he knew he was a lawman as he had just revealed himself.
Then he had stood his ground to protect him from Jayne and the " Not gonna happen. " is present and future tense meaning the lawman may have things happen, but death will not be one. By the lawman getting shot.. he had failed to protect.. a seperate action from the first.
A side note, he has headed for the lawman to warn and try to protect him in some fashion when he got knocked out.

The Journey is the worthier part.

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Monday, July 26, 2004 8:40 PM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by Succatash:

The only logical conclusion I see is that Book is faking his crying scene with Inara at at the end of Serenity.


Agree one hundred per cent. Book is attempting to gain a level of initimacy with Inara to encourage her to tell him why she is on Serenity. He doesn't know that she too is directed by a cell of the True Alliance, but there are dissonances to be resolved.
As I've said elsewhere, Book is aware that Dobson has been directed to Serenity as unknowing cover for Book. Therefore, while Dobson is expendable in terms of the mission, Book feels responsible for him on personal terms.

Only Purplebelly believes any of this

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Monday, July 26, 2004 9:18 PM

THEREALME


If Book and Dobson were in this together,then when Book snuck back alone to free him, he wouldn't say "Lawman, it's Shepherd Book..."

He would say, "Hey Dobson, you really screwed up the plan there!"

And of course, Dobson would probably not beat Book senseless.



I don't believe that Book's scene with Inara was faked. It was done too well!!

And Purplebelly, sometimes you go too far!

The Real Me

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Monday, July 26, 2004 9:26 PM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
If Book and Dobson were in this together,then when Book snuck back alone to free him, he wouldn't say "Lawman, it's Shepherd Book..."


Sorry to everyone who has read this before, but you're probably ignoring my posts anyway

Dobson is unaware that Book is under cover. Dobson is a Fed who failed his last assessment, and is expected to fail to apprehend River. The Whedon twist is that, Clouseau-like, he almost 'succeeds' in delivering River to the Blue Sun agents on the Alliance cruiser.

Book is good, real good. Book protects Dobson only when that does not jeapodise his mission. He decks Dobson to stop him getting shot. He tries to warn him about the Blue Sun agents, who will kill him along with the crew.

Only Purplebelly believes this

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Monday, July 26, 2004 11:20 PM

REGINLEIF


Quote:

Originally posted by Sardonica:
Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
Aside from Kaylee, I think that Book is the character who is most "exactly what he seems".

He IS a preacher. He had no secret plots going.



Hm. I'm not sure that I agree with that... but only TIME will tell!

Chief Editor, AFM
www.apocalypsefiction.com
Writer/Producer, The NUKE Brothers
www.nukebrothers.com



I consider Book as the most mysterious character (besides River, of course). I think he was a kind of a body-guard (couldn't find a better term) for Dobson, with or without his knowing. And now he feels bad because he betrayed the man he swore to protect. And that's why he knows all these things about weapons, he's had training as a body guard. Of course everything written here is just a wild speculation.
*sigh* why did Fox have to cancel the show? I hope that the movie will cover everything Joss never had time to cover in the show, but still...
*waiting for April 22*

You can't take the sky from me.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 1:32 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
And Purplebelly, sometimes you go too far!


Thanks, that's the nicest thing I've heard today

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 3:15 AM

HATEHATEHATEFOX


Quote:

Dobson is unaware that Book is under cover.


I think I'm going to have to object to the notion of Book being under cover for anyone. He's just too forthright with his criminal-like info and military training. To wit: the Ident card when he was injured (Safe) - knowing what kind of gun made the holes in the middlemen's heads and then what kind of ship left the burned trail in the sand (War Stories). There are all kinds of examples of Book knowing a lot about a lot.

So, if he were an under cover fed/military guy/whatever I would think that he'd do what he could to NOT draw attention to himself in that way. He seems to be playing a deeper game - or is he? Perhaps he is what he says he is -- a man who left the world to become a shepherd and then decided to re-enter it. I don't know -- only Joss will tell. Hopefully!

~~~~~~~~
Nothing is ever so profoundly regretted as a kind act.
Robertson Davies

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 4:01 AM

EVILMASTERMIND


My "2 Credits Worth":

I think in "Objects In Space" we see each character's darkest moment. For Book it was;

"I don't give have a hump if you are innocent or not! So where does that leave you?" -- These are the words of a cop gone bad IMHO. (My sister is a Police Detective FWIW.)

It is my belief that he had become a BAD COP (like Dobson) and it was his own realization of that which drove "Chief Inspector Book" into the monastery. This probably happened during the Interstellar Civil War.

For those of you who are English mystery fans I commend you to the "Brother Cadfael" series (also a BBC Series). Like Shepherd Book Brother Cadfael "lived in the world" for 35+ years before seeking the monastery to atone for all the blood he had shed.

"Okay, I'm lost, I'm angey and I'm armed!"

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 4:49 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by HATEHATEHATEFOX:
He's just too forthright with his criminal-like info and military training.


Book is under cover from the agents of Blue Sun, who are adversaries of his mission to get River to a witness protection programme on Shinon to testify against Blue Sun. He reveals to the crew of Serenity as much as is necessary towards the completion of his mission. Book is good, real good, and his only concern with petty criminals is to use them for the greater good.

Only Purplebelly believes this

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 8:55 AM

CAPTAINHARBATKIN


Quote:

Originally posted by EvilMastermind:
My "2 Credits Worth":

I think in "Objects In Space" we see each character's darkest moment. For Book it was;

"I don't give have a hump if you are innocent or not! So where does that leave you?" -- These are the words of a cop gone bad IMHO. (My sister is a Police Detective FWIW.)



Why can't these be the words of a minister "gone bad"? Surely guilt or innocence is a primary issue for a Shepherd?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
...they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their
clothing - and if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 9:13 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by CaptainHarbatkin:
These are the words of a cop gone bad IMHO. (My sister is a Police Detective FWIW.)

Why can't these be the words of a minister "gone bad"?


Or, as in my view, the words of an operative with his eye on the greater good, the prosecution of Blue Sun?

All three valid. Aren't we lucky Whedon isn't going to address any Blue Sun questions in the movie?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 10:21 AM

KELLAINA


Quote:

Originally posted by Sardonica:
having leaned today--that he was only signed for 10 episodes makes me think that there was definitely something "up" with his character...)



Huh?

Am I the only one who didn't know that?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 11:09 AM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by EvilMastermind:
For those of you who are English mystery fans I commend you to the "Brother Cadfael" series (also a BBC Series). Like Shepherd Book Brother Cadfael "lived in the world" for 35+ years before seeking the monastery to atone for all the blood he had shed.



Okay, time to yank a few chains. What if Book isn't a "bad guy" trying to atone, but a "good guy" trying to atone.

The Alliance was fighting the Browncoats for reasons we still don't entirely understand - there is obviously a civil war analogy but have they actually pinpointed the cause?

You can bet that there were some Browncoats who crossed the line, who burnt the land that they found, who took it out on the innocent, because they didn't give a hump. What if Book was one of those guys - a fugutive from the law like them maybe, who went to the monastery to atone, and the first time he leaves he ends up with a Browncoat crew reminding him of his past.

Alternatively, what if Book was a Valjean type character, who had been undercover for one or other side and turned? A double agent perhaps.

"I threw up on your bed"

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 11:35 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by Misguided By Voices:
Okay, time to yank a few chains.


A very worthwhile activity, but how does this advance the narrative?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 11:39 AM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by PurpleBelly:
A very worthwhile activity, but how does this advance the narrative?



Woosh - JMS ASM reference flies over everyone's heads....


"I threw up on your bed"

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:00 PM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by Kellaina:
Quote:

Originally posted by Sardonica:
having leaned today--that he was only signed for 10 episodes makes me think that there was definitely something "up" with his character...)



Huh?

Am I the only one who didn't know that?


I don't understand how it could be anyway. He was on the show longer than that even before it got cancelled. Whedon would have had to move a lot quicker with Book's story if he was going to be gone in 10 episodes. Maybe Fox only gave everyone 10 episode contracts to begin with or something, but I doubt it was a Whedon, story driven thing.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:06 PM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by Zeek:
I don't understand how it could be anyway. He was on the show longer than that even before it got cancelled.



Actually, he was missing from Ariel at the very least. IIRC, a number of shows often give minimum episode contracts out - as in, you will be in at least this many, but there may be more. B5 had a few actors on that deal (and they ended up being in most every episode - Andrea Thompson I think was one).



"I threw up on your bed"

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