FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

What If Zoe Was Captured With Mal Instead Of Wash?

POSTED BY: JONGSSTRAW
UPDATED: Thursday, August 20, 2009 12:25
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 6:29 AM

JONGSSTRAW



Would Niska have had Zoe tortured like Wash & Mal were? Any thoughts on him hurting a woman?

Also, we assume they all just walk out of the Skyplex and back on Serenity after they rescue Mal with no more problems. If Niska's men were all dead or run off, why couldn't they go after the bastard? How far could he have gone?

Finally, if Mal had not had to let go of Niska to fight the torturer, what do you think Mal would have done to Niska?


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:00 AM

BYTEMITE


I think the future looks very gender equal to me, and I think as a crimelord who emulates someone as bad as Shan Yu, I'm not sure he'd stop at women and children.

That may seem like a contradiction to some things I've written. So I'll clarify: I do think he tortures women and children and is ruthless enough to go after friends and family. But I also don't think Niska's first inclination is MWAHAHA torture, not if he might need to use a person for something else instead. Furthermore, Zoe looks and is badass, she'd be perceived as a threat even if part of the "code" Niska supposedly has is not hurting women.

But who knows? Maybe it is, and maybe that's why Zoe wasn't grabbed and added to the little therapy session when she came with the money. It could go either way, really.

I've noticed most people seem to interpret Niska as having no limits to his sadism and make him really depraved. I think that Niska can be made too black and white evil, surely. He's bad, he's evil, but I don't quite think he's a crazed rapist and mass-murderer.

I don't think all of Niska's men were dead. That looked like a pretty big space station to me, and I think he'd staff it with more than a dozen armed guards if he was a crimelord of the influence and wealth he seemed to be. Compare his lair to Badger's. Big difference.

And we can only imagine, in our fondest bloodthirsty revenge fantasies.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:03 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Jongsstraw:

Would Niska have had Zoe tortured like Wash & Mal were? Any thoughts on him hurting a woman?



I think he would have tortured Zoe, no problem.

He might have tried using her gender as a particular means to torture Mal, as well. As they are, their friendship is very neutral. They might as well be both men or both women, in how they relate to each other, most of the time. But Niska might have tried to emphasize Zoe's gender to play to Mal's protective instincts which Mal might have otherwise easily suppressed about Zoe in order to keep a cooler head, like he does with Wash. Also, in order to humiliate Zoe, as in "Oh, you're just a weak little woman". That might have driven a bit of a wedge into their friendship because it relies on them considering each other complete equals, which would have been compromised IF Mal had reacted very differently to Zoe being a woman, or if Zoe's self-image had been compromised through humiliation.

This is what Niska might have tried. That doesn't say whether Zoe and Mal would have reacted to it. Considering how calmly Zoe reacts to the cut ear, I think they would have withstood that particular angle.

Quote:


Also, we assume they all just walk out of the Skyplex and back on Serenity after they rescue Mal with no more problems. If Niska's men were all dead or run off, why couldn't they go after the bastard? How far could he have gone?



I always figured that time was of the essence. That reinforcements might have been on the way from another part of the skyplex and they wouldn't have wanted to waste time searching for Niska.

Quote:


Finally, if Mal had not had to let go of Niska to fight the torturer, what do you think Mal would have done to Niska?



Killed him? Just hit and hit and hit him? But in a slightly uncoordinated, dizzy way. Mal's pretty out of it at that time from the torture. I think he was not thinking at all and only looking to release his pent-up rage on Niska, killing him being an appreciated side-effect.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:05 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
But who knows? Maybe it is, and maybe that's why Zoe wasn't grabbed and added to the little therapy session when she came with the money. It could go either way, really.

I've noticed most people seem to interpret Niska as having no limits to his sadism and make him really depraved. I think that Niska can be made too black and white evil, surely. He's bad, he's evil, but I don't quite think he's a crazed rapist and mass-murderer.



I think Niska is looking for the most effective but also most... clever torture he can inflict. He likes showing off and reputation. If he had grabbed them both together, he would have tortured them in ways to maximize impact upon the other. Since he grabbed Mal and Wash, he tried to torture Zoe through The Evil Choice. When that fell flat because she made it so quickly, he had to drive home the fact that she would leave Mal to agony. Basically.. save that little failed experiment without admitting that it went a little wrong. I think he looks for a certain philosophical and aesthetic harmony in his torture.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:24 AM

JONGSSTRAW


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
I think the future looks very gender equal to me, and I think as a crimelord who emulates someone as bad as Shan Yu, I'm not sure he'd stop at women and children.

That may seem like a contradiction to some things I've written. So I'll clarify: I do think he tortures women and children and is ruthless enough to go after friends and family. But I also don't think Niska's first inclination is MWAHAHA torture, not if he might need to use a person for something else instead. Furthermore, Zoe looks and is badass, she'd be perceived as a threat even if part of the "code" Niska supposedly has is not hurting women.

But who knows? Maybe it is, and maybe that's why Zoe wasn't grabbed and added to the little therapy session when she came with the money. It could go either way, really.

I've noticed most people seem to interpret Niska as having no limits to his sadism and make him really depraved. I think that Niska can be made too black and white evil, surely. He's bad, he's evil, but I don't quite think he's a crazed rapist and mass-murderer.

I don't think all of Niska's men were dead. That looked like a pretty big space station to me, and I think he'd staff it with more than a dozen armed guards if he was a crimelord of the influence and wealth he seemed to be. Compare his lair to Badger's. Big difference.

And we can only imagine, in our fondest bloodthirsty revenge fantasies.


Thanks for your interesting reply. Yes, it's a big space station and their #1 priority was getting the hell out of there alive, but Niska had only just crawled out of that room before his rescue...he must have been very close by.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:28 AM

JONGSSTRAW


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Quote:

Originally posted by Jongsstraw:

Would Niska have had Zoe tortured like Wash & Mal were? Any thoughts on him hurting a woman?



I think he would have tortured Zoe, no problem.

He might have tried using her gender as a particular means to torture Mal, as well. As they are, their friendship is very neutral. They might as well be both men or both women, in how they relate to each other, most of the time. But Niska might have tried to emphasize Zoe's gender to play to Mal's protective instincts which Mal might have otherwise easily suppressed about Zoe in order to keep a cooler head, like he does with Wash. Also, in order to humiliate Zoe, as in "Oh, you're just a weak little woman". That might have driven a bit of a wedge into their friendship because it relies on them considering each other complete equals, which would have been compromised IF Mal had reacted very differently to Zoe being a woman, or if Zoe's self-image had been compromised through humiliation.

This is what Niska might have tried. That doesn't say whether Zoe and Mal would have reacted to it. Considering how calmly Zoe reacts to the cut ear, I think they would have withstood that particular angle.

Quote:


Also, we assume they all just walk out of the Skyplex and back on Serenity after they rescue Mal with no more problems. If Niska's men were all dead or run off, why couldn't they go after the bastard? How far could he have gone?



I always figured that time was of the essence. That reinforcements might have been on the way from another part of the skyplex and they wouldn't have wanted to waste time searching for Niska.

Quote:


Finally, if Mal had not had to let go of Niska to fight the torturer, what do you think Mal would have done to Niska?



Killed him? Just hit and hit and hit him? But in a slightly uncoordinated, dizzy way. Mal's pretty out of it at that time from the torture. I think he was not thinking at all and only looking to release his pent-up rage on Niska, killing him being an appreciated side-effect.


I know brutes throughout history have tortured women, but somehow I cannot ever fathom that. Yikes!...thank God Joss gave us a break, that would have been un-watchable for me.

Also...in Train Job he's Adelai Niska, but in War Stories he calls himself Nikros or Ekros Niska or something like that. What's up with that...an evil nickname or somethin'?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:37 AM

BYTEMITE


I do agree with that interpretation of how Niska views his torture. He treats it like artistic expression, and seems perfectly willing to use psychological torture as well as physical.

I'll just focus on this one case here to further clarify my position, rather than trying to explain interpretations I've made in the past. If he'd caught Zoe and Mal, he would certainly have tortured Zoe. And if Wash came along with the money, just like Zoe, I don't think Wash would have been added into the torture. I can't necessarily back that up, but I think the only thing that would change with the role switch is that rather than Wash having a new understanding of Zoe and Mal's relationship, Wash would be even more belligerent towards Mal.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:18 AM

FLATTOP


I'm sure Niska would have tortured Zoe and Mal to death.
Reputation is nice, but is just words. He wants things to be solid. Reputation says, "If you cross me, you will be tortured to death." He may get an earful at dinner, but such things are necessary. The finding of the mutilated bodies of those that have crossed him is just good business.
They didn't pursue Niska because it was time to scoot before reinforcements arrived and/or defense turrets were brought online. Their initial approach was undetected because they were on a cold ballistic shot. If the assault had taken too long, reinforcements would have caught/killed them if they stayed on the station, and the defensive batteries (missiles, rockets, slug throwers, mass drivers, etc.) would have shredded them if they'd tried to leave. Wash was a damn fine pilot, but there's only so much that can be done when you're the only target for multiple launchers and have no cover.

Different question:
If Mal & Zoe had been captured, could there have been a successful rescue attempt?

My take:
Wash wants Zoe back, and would be more than willing.
Inara's taking care of her business.
Book would be willing to go for kneecaps.
Kaylee would want to, but wouldn't push much.
Simon would see the 'right' of going, but wouldn't have a plan.
River may or may not be aware of what was happening.
Jayne would be arguing' full against it, and without Mal or Zoe on hand to to convince him otherwise, I imagine Simon would have to tranq him just to keep him from taking over.

Now they're down to Book (personal theory is he was an Operative back in the day, and went through his own 'Miranda' experience, needed to find something else to believe in) as the only trained fighter, Wash being irrational, and Simon as your primary combatants. Kaylee is less than useless in a fight, and River is unreliable at best.
It was Zoe's idea to trade cash for a body, so that doesn't happen.
Say Book gives 'em a good plan (same as the one they used) & they hit the station, breach the torture chamber and now with two people to half carry out & no one watching the landing bay...

I'm pretty sure Jayne called it. "Suicide"

----------

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:36 AM

BYTEMITE


As I think it over more, though, I wonder, would Niska have only TRIED to torture Zoe and Mal? I think the two of them together could have easily overpowered Niska and whatever henchmen he had posted in the vicinity, then stealth killed their way to an escape.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:57 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Whether it be Zoe or Wash coming to give payment, neither would have been taken- that is a business exchange, must be honorable about money and business. The original meeting in TTJ had Niska relating MAL's reputation, his crew would be under that umbrella, but MAL is the primary owner of that rep. Mal must be taught about reputation, Wash was extra gravy.

Even if Zoe was taken, wash would have gotten her back, and all the same BDH would be on the rescue of Mal - no change.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:35 AM

VERAVERA


I think so...but then the episode wouldn't have been as great. It gave Wash more character. But, i agree with the above statement that the future is very gender equal, especially since Zoe is known for her badassness...i don't think the thought would have crossed his mind NOT to torture her

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:56 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

As I think it over more, though, I wonder, would Niska have only TRIED to torture Zoe and Mal? I think the two of them together could have easily overpowered Niska and whatever henchmen he had posted in the vicinity, then stealth killed their way to an escape.

That is also my assessment.

Niska knew Mal was potentially dangerous, but Zoe ?

That woulda been his arse, she's way capable of singlehandedly cleaning the clock of three quarters of his forces, and Mal can surely handle the rest, all the while dragging Niska behind him.

That woulda ended with them escaping AND Niska in their clutches, followed by making him an offer he can't refuse while Jayne and Book argue about Jayne wanting to pitch him out the airlock.

Be fun to watch, if for no other reason being able to give Kaylee this line, when Niska starts ranting about how important he is.

Kaylee - "You ? you're not nothin, you're just a mean old man."
*storms off*

Anyhows, Zoe is like the poster chick for hell-hath-no-fury, takin her prisoner is just askin for a throat slittin in the near future.

-F

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 11:02 AM

BYTEMITE


I mean, Mal was able to overpower all of his guards, by himself, after several hours of torture and even after he died once. It seems to me like the only reason Mal didn't do anything was because he figured Niska was just using Wash against him, and that Wash would probably go free after. If he had acted, Niska might have changed his mind and that would have put Wash in more danger.

But him and Zoe? The lackeys take off the blindfolds, two of them take them in, exchange a look, start throwing elbows and knocking people out until they can get the bonds on their hands untied, and then they're off the space station in under fifteen minutes.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 11:31 AM

MEATPUPPET42


Why did niska get away? simple so firefly could have another story down the track, however never made it there. or the crew could have blowen the space station up as they left end of story.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009 12:25 PM

SYDNEYDEBS


I don't think he'd have the slightest problem torturing Zoe if he'd caught her instead of Wash.

I don't think people really mean a great deal to him, reputation yes, people not so sure.

I always imagined that Niska would show up in future episodes as Mal's comment about wishing he'd killed him left it wide open.

Mal's comment after he's been tortured about "meeting the real me" gives me goosebumps, I'd not like to be in Niska's shoes then and I'm quite sure Mal could have killed him with no problmes except for his offsider who tried to kill Mal again. even in pain he can still be a smart arse LOL, gotta love him.

Cheers, Debs

http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/CastleDownUnder

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