FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Serenity: It's Never Easy Comic - read it here

POSTED BY: TWO
UPDATED: Thursday, January 12, 2017 04:02
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/KECwvu
VIEWED: 43381
PAGE 1 of 2

Sunday, May 6, 2012 2:10 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Dark Horse Digital has Serenity/Star Wars issue on their site. https://digital.darkhorse.com/read/2069/

Serenity-It's_Never_Easy(2012).cbr can be downloaded at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

The file has both comics written by Zack Whedon for Free Comic Book Day 2012 :
Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64—It’s Never Easy
Star Wars—“The Art of the Bad Deal”

You don't need a comic book reader to open Serenity-It's_Never_Easy(2012).cbr
Simply change the suffix from .cbr to .rar ( or .cbz to .zip ) then click and open the folder of scanned comic pages.

If you want a comic book reader for windows, I use www.cdisplayex.com
There is also PC Magazine's 2012 recommendation for best windows freeware comic reader : http://bit.ly/IubAcx













Did you notice that five people and a big cargo load returned on the mule?
If River had gone to town as Mal expected, that's six people.
Remember Mal's four passenger rule?
"Mule won't run with five. I shoulda dumped the girl? Or you? Or Jayne? Or tossed the payload?"

Does that mean Mal's mule rule was arbitrary? (yes)



The comic's full title is Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64—It’s Never Easy, which is perfect . . . for a technical manual.
The Firefly Class 03-K64 manual:

Firefly Class Firefly
http://iamdeadfish.deviantart.com/art/Firefly-Class-Firefly-300246773

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 6, 2012 3:10 AM

MOOSE


Thanks!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 6, 2012 3:20 AM

PENNAUSAMIKE


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
The comic's full title is Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64—It’s Never Easy, which is perfect . . . for a technical manual.

SNIP

Did you notice that five people and a big cargo load returned on the mule?
If River had gone to town as Mal expected, that's six people.
Remember Mal's four passenger rule? "Mule won't run with five.
I shoulda dumped the girl? Or you? Or Jayne? Or tossed the payload?"

Does that mean Mal's mule rule was arbitrary? (yes)



Like much "canon" in the 'verse, very sloppy.
Anyone remember the timeline in "The Shepherd's Tale"?

Dead Wash, pregnant Zoe, no real story; the 'verse has pretty much flatlined for me.
Darn shame....

Mike
My Firefly/Serenity Collection:
http://fireflydvd.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3541

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 6, 2012 3:43 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by pennausamike:
Like much "canon" in the 'verse, very sloppy.
Anyone remember the timeline in "The Shepherd's Tale"?

Dead Wash, pregnant Zoe, no real story; the 'verse has pretty much flatlined for me.
Darn shame....

A real story would have the thief flying away with Serenity. Mal watches it soar into the sky, swearing in Chinese. The crew that went to town return to find no home. Then everyone is either joyous or apprehensive to see Serenity coming back. When it lands, River rides out on the thief's horse. Asked about the thief, she says, "Dropped him off where he was going." Final page: a cemetery with a new crater. The thief's fancy bright yellow boots are showing at the bottom. The End.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 6, 2012 6:14 AM

JARHEAD


Quote:

Originally posted by pennausamike:

Dead Wash, pregnant Zoe, no real story; the 'verse has pretty much flatlined for me.
Darn shame....




I think the real point of the story *is* pregnant Zoe. I remember after Serenity hit the silver screen everyone was hoping that she was with [Wash's] child. Coming from two Whedons as this does, safe to say that's what happened and it's official cannon. Plus, now River has a pony, and Jayne got to Ha-Ha! Mal. What's not to love?

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 6, 2012 6:25 AM

CYBERSNARK


The mule was running with Mr. Reaver-Chow hanging from it, it just wasn't running fast. Hauling a heavy payload and a full crew is one thing. Hauling a heavy payload and a full crew while being chased by Reavers is another.

(It's equally possible that they had Kaylee amp up the mule just in case that scenario ever happened again.)

Good question why they had to bring everyone into town, though. Maybe it was a Renji mission. (In Bleach, Renji once needed to put a small team together. Renji selected Ikaku, who suggested bringing his buddy Yumichika. Then Lt. Rangiku found out about it and insisted on coming along [to get access to shopping]. Ikaku and Yumichika don't want to work with Rangiku, so Renji had to bring Capt. Hitsugaya along because he outranks Rangiku. Cue another character wondering if this was a mission or a road-trip.)

Maybe Zoe just wanted to bring Jayne (for muscle) and Inara (for diplomacy). Then Inara suggested bringing a medic, then Kaylee wanted to go because Simon was there. . .

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 6, 2012 8:00 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Anyone remember the timeline in "The Shepherd's Tale"?


Oh yeah it was great! It made the time frame between Book and Inara deciding to leave and them actually leaving, and the time frame after they leave to the events of the movie a lot longer! That means Book and Wash can live longer and have MOAR ADVENTURES~!

Plus we can pretend like the specific quotes from the movie that give exact years for everything were actually kind of approximate so it works out.

Quote:

Dead Wash, pregnant Zoe, no real story; the 'verse has pretty much flatlined for me.
Darn shame....



I'm not sure how anyone thought it could really be any different? I mean where exactly could the characterization go? Too happy to live. I mean watching the pilot everyone thought Kaylee was going to die for the same reason.

Really it seems to me like making Zoe pregnant was the happiest possible outcome Joss could manage, which is one of the reasons I thought Zoe wouldn't be pregnant because Joss lives to troll us and gives us the sads. So this is actually a better outcome for her than I could have expected.

Except now he might kill her AND the baby.

...:(

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 4:17 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Serenity-It's_Never_Easy(2012).cbr can be downloaded at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

The file has both comics written by Zack Whedon for Free Comic Book Day 2012 :
Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64—It’s Never Easy
Star Wars—“The Art of the Bad Deal”

You don't need a comic book reader to open Serenity-It's_Never_Easy(2012).cbz
Simply change the suffix from .cbz to .zip ( or .cbr to .rar ) then click and open the folder of scanned comic pages.

If you want a comic book reader for windows, I use www.cdisplayex.com
There is also PC Magazine's 2012 recommendation for best windows freeware comic reader : http://bit.ly/IubAcx

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 8:33 AM

BYTEMITE


So okay! Topics of discussion!

1) Is the last conversation Zoe has with Mal foreshadowing anything?

2) Why didn't Mal use his quick shot ability? Has he been injured or tired or just not able to draw as fast after Miranda?

3) Zoe needs a baby shower.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 9:32 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


1. No, at least I do not think so.

2. Poor decision not to try on his part, or poor writing on Zach's part. I think it was just not thought of because the whole point was to make River the hero...and give Jayne a cheap laugh at Mal's expense.

3. Aunt Kaylee and Aunt Inara!

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 10:20 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

1. No, at least I do not think so.


The only reason I ask, is that since it's at the end and so understated, is if there's some sort of hidden significance.

Zoe suggests that in the future River will be around to save Mal, maybe meaning that she won't be. She might be indicating that she thinks Mal has lots of people looking after him and while she's pregnant she can step back and let them manage him. Or in Float Out Zoe is on some space station meeting with Wash's friends.

Or could also be something else, in which case clearly Joss really doesn't pull any punches.

I hope it's not the last one.

Quote:

2. Poor decision not to try on his part


River's conversation with him suggests this. I might call it writing inconsistency if it weren't already established that Mal's plans sometimes, well, they leave something to be desired.

On the other hand, the guy's a terrible shot, if River hadn't intervened the crew might have shown up after Mal had been grazed several times, but nothing serious. Maybe Mal was able to read him and knew he wasn't really a threat? Maybe the way the guy was holding the gun or not being steady enough.

Mal's the kind of guy who could be shot by someone a few times and still think they're harmless.

Quote:

3. Aunt Kaylee and Aunt Inara!


Oh yes. Both of them could be very enthusiastic under the right circumstances, River too. Mal would probably be involved in the planning as well, in an awkwardly well-meaning way.

Actually I could imagine them pressuring Mal into waiting on them. Bringing in the fruits on a platter and the drinks while Zoe has her rare pampering girl talk time. Maybe a spa?

And then something comes up and the remaining male members of the crew have to team up to make sure it doesn't spoil the girl's special outing.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 10:25 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
So okay! Topics of discussion!

2) Why didn't Mal use his quick shot ability? Has he been injured or tired or just not able to draw as fast after Miranda?

Instead of explaining it away, I'll outline a story with more twists. It's Always Easy is the title.

The story begins with Mal and Simon looking for River in the Outback. Serenity is in the far background. They are riding the 4-wheel drive mule from the TV series, when the other mule, the one that floats, passes them going to town.

Zoe, Jayne, Inara, and Kaylee are picking up the cargo. They are running late because River has vanished. Everyone is now out of the ship. Mal and Simon climb a ridge on foot to get a better view of where River is hiding. Imagine sarcastic Mal blaming Simon.

Suddenly the 4-wheel drive mule explodes! Another RPG bursts near Mal and Simon. A thief with a grenade launcher rides her horse up Serenity's ramp. Mal is shooting, but it is too far away for accuracy with a pistol.

We see that the spaceship thief is wearing garish, bright yellow boots. Moments later, the Firefly is going, going, gone. More conversation. Maybe Mal punches Simon.

The floating mule returns with the cargo. Heated words are hurled about homelessness. Jayne punches Simon.

After everybody said what they should not, Serenity comes flying back and lands.

River rides the spaceship thief's horse down Serenity's ramp to where everyone is waiting. What happened? River never left the ship. "Why were you looking for me out here?" She woke when Serenity took off.

Asked about the thief, River says, "Dropped her where she needed to go." With River, nobody expects more explanation. What happened will remain a mystery. Serenity takes off again, on its way.

Final page: a cemetery with a new hole. It looks like a crater. Something fell from a great height and landed here. Getting closer, we see the thief's fancy boots are showing at the bottom. The End.

By the way, River did worse to six men whose only crime was ugliness in Serenity: Downtime www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2010-11-08-serenity08_ST_N.htm

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 10:41 AM

GWEK


Well, I guess weak tea is better than no tea.

On one hand, it's great to see more Serenity. On the other... Well, more would be better, and better would be nicer. I cna't say I love the pattern that's forming, where the purpose of the stories seems to simply remind is that Firefly/Serenity isn't dead. I also sincerenly hope that Zack Whedon will not be the new shepherd if the tale returns in full force.

I find it interesting to ponder the "why" behind each of the tales we've gotten:

THOSE LEFT BEHIND (2005) was an obvious bridge between the series and the movie, as well as a movie prequel. (It also let Joss wrap up some story stuff that wouldn't make it into the movie--all in all, a fine finale to the first season, I think).

BETTER DAYS (2008) is basically Joss's love letter to fans of the series. Sure, it's called "Serenity," but it's definitely a "lost episode" from the show. Arguably, this is an "apology" of sorts for killing off Wash and Book. (Not that I think Joss should apologize.)

2008 also gave us THE OTHER HALF, the first of (now three) Serenity "shorts." Although it doesn't add to continuity in any meaninful way, it DOES help establish Mal's frame of mind at the beginning of the movie. If those who watched the series and read THOSE LEFT BEHIND might wonder why Mal was willing to trust River's instincts, the answer can be found here. In a certain sense, this is a purified form of some of the takeaways from OBJECTS IN SPACE.

FLOAT OUT and THE SHEPHERD'S TALE (both 2010) are essentially a "wake" for our fallen heroes, one last chance to say goodbye to Wash and Book. Interestingly, FLOAT OUT is the first post-Serenity continuity and answers the big question of whether Zoe is pregnant. TST similarly reveals one of the biggest mysteries from the series, the secret history of Book. Personally, I think the fact that these came out in the same year, at the five year anniversary of the movie, combined with the facts that Joss didn't write either one AND both were done with a little outside prompting (Patton Oswalt's desire to write a Firefly story and Ron Glass's announcement that Joss would tell Book's tale in the foreseeable future, respectively) indicate that by 2010 Joss had had time to revise his plans for the 'Verse. He knew what stories he might someday want to tell, and these were two that would fall to the wayside otherwise.

Then we get to DOWN TIME (2010) and this new one, IT'S NEVER EASY (2012). What do these really tell us? Why were the written? (Other than to remind us that the franchise isn't entirely dead yet.) Honestly, much as I love Firefly/Serenity, I don't see much of a point to either one. Both largely rehash themes, ideas, and even dialogue that we see elsewhere.

One thing I DO find interesting in IT'S NEVER EASY is that Simon thinks River might have shot Mal. This short is the first post-SERENITY appearance of any crew member besides Zoe and, I have to say, River doesn't seem especially sane or "cured." Meaningful, or weak editing?





NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 10:42 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

By the way, River did worse to six men whose only crime was ugliness in Serenity: Downtime


Technically it's suggested they were either planning to ambush the crew and raid the ship, or possibly that they were specifically looking for River to turn her in for the reward.

And if they were going to turn River in, they kind of deserved what they got.

But, at the same time, yes, River could drop someone out of the airlock. And I don't mind the "River gets lost and Mal and Simon have to go looking for her" idea.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 10:50 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

One thing I DO find interesting in IT'S NEVER EASY is that Simon thinks River might have shot Mal. This short is the first post-SERENITY appearance of any crew member besides Zoe and, I have to say, River doesn't seem especially sane or "cured." Meaningful, or weak editing?


I think the movie never actually intended to suggest that River was ALL better after the crew heard the Miranda message, but rather that by getting it out of her system so that the triggered half-forgotten memory didn't overwhelm her, River had returned to a (for post-Academy River) normal state.

I'm actually glad to see it, because otherwise the movie would have retconned the damage to River's amygdala. Catharsis and revelations don't exactly heal that.

Anyway, we need to see more from the crew! Although I did find the Mal and Zoe interactions entertaining, he's clearly walking on egg shells around her and not sure how to deal with her while she's pregnant. I wonder if she's making a lot of demands, maybe even co-captaining because Mal's giving her a wide allowance out of guilt and obligation? That could be interesting, seeing a bossy, pregnant Zoe playing at being captain herself.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 7, 2012 11:08 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


I don't think the comic points to River not being okay. Simon and the crew had been use to seeing River a certain way, it might take them awhile to get use to her sane, or more sane. That and she was standing over Mal with a gun.

Over all I think the story lets people read into it what they would like. If for know other reason because it is such a simple short story.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 3:00 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Dark Horse Digital has Serenity/Star Wars issue on their site and it won't cost you anything to read it. https://digital.darkhorse.com/read/2069/
Zack Whedon's Star Wars story doesn't have any impossibilities. Can't say that about Serenity: It's Never Easy.

River jumped 55 feet onto Frosty the Thief. (I measured. So you know: Serenity is 78'-8" high with landing gear extended.)

Why is Frosty still standing after River lands on him? Is Frosty so super-villain strong that River also needs to kick him in the head to make him drop the gun? Is River the Hulk, who can fall from great heights without injury?

This is another story-making mistake, same as Zack Whedon putting five people (or is it six, when you count River, who should have gone to town) in the mule that carries only four. River's high dive also can be explained away (gravity is a third of normal on this little world) but that is a bad explanation, not given in good faith.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 3:38 AM

BYTEMITE


I like the gravity explanation. Most places are terraformed to be pretty earth normal, but maybe they were on a tiny podunk world where terraforming is still in process.

Sort of like how Joss wrote the Reavers in the pilot sloooooowly drifting past Serenity, in the middle of no and where during the part of the trip that Serenity should be accelerated to about a third of lightspeed.

This is actually a fairly common issue in sci-fi.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ScifiWritersHaveNoSenseOfSc
ale


Maybe River has undeveloped telekinetic abilities that protected her on top of everything else. She does tell Jayne that she could kill him with her brain, could be that was a plan the Alliance had for her too.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 4:54 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
I like the gravity explanation. . . .

Maybe River has undeveloped telekinetic abilities that protected her on top of everything else.

I hate the low gravity explanation for River's jump not hurting her and for the mule being able to carry six. It was a bad joke.

Somebody start a petition. Don't let Zack Whedon cheat on his story-making duties by giving River telekinesis. A teen who can move objects with her brain is pure madness, a disaster waiting to happen, death & destruction -- for an example please see Chronicle (2012) www.imdb.com/title/tt1706593/

No sane person wants River's story to go anywhere close to the path of the boys in Chronicle.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:58 AM

BYTEMITE


That's far from the only example of teens with telekinetic abilities...

But anyway I'd more object on the grounds that they can't just keep pulling new powers for River to resolve story problems, or she'll end up like silver age Superman.

Still. She's a psychic, different psychic abilities aren't entirely outside of the realm of possibility.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8:22 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
Somebody start a petition. Don't let Zack Whedon cheat on his story-making duties by giving River telekinesis.



It might be better to just ask that Zack not write anymore Firefly stories.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 10:11 AM

BYTEMITE


He's not BAD exactly. Although they really need another writer on board because for some reason it seems like the stuff he does write is pretty short and not plot relevant.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 10:13 AM

PLATONIST


Is it just me, or is Mal totally emasculated in this comic?

He doesn’t get a shot off in the stand-off, then he’s saved by River, who can apparently fly now, and then, at the end, he’s being given direction from Zoe, like she’s the new Captain? Is there a subtle role reversal, unbeknownst to Mal, or is Zoe practicing at Captaining her own ship?

And, River doesn't seem to be helping with the piloting, like at the end of the movie...a bit disappointing, I guess.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 10:24 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
He's not BAD exactly. Although they really need another writer on board because for some reason it seems like the stuff he does write is pretty short and not plot relevant.



Not BAD is far from good. Even for a short story this was very simple. Simple enough a lot of people could have written it, and many done a better job doing so.

Quote:

Originally posted by PLATONIST:
Is it just me, or is Mal totally emasculated in this comic?

He doesn’t get a shot off in the stand-off, then he’s saved by River, who can apparently fly now, and then, at the end, he’s being given direction from Zoe, like she’s the new Captain? Is there a subtle role reversal, unbeknownst to Mal, or is Zoe practicing at Captaining her own ship?

And, River doesn't seem to be helping with the piloting, like at the end of the movie...a bit disappointing, I guess.



Just do what I do, ignore the comics for the most part, like they are bad dreams. You will sleep better at night.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 11:15 AM

BYTEMITE


lol yeah a bit.

Although... despite the tough guy man in charge front Mal puts up, most of the time he IS kind of emasculated, isn't he? Zoe, Kaylee, Inara, and later River have Mal wrapped around their fingers and could probably make him do just about anything. And except for Jayne and the airlock scene, most of the crew flat out blatantly ignore his orders and get away with it.

The only time Mal is actually remotely commanding is in a crisis.

Yeah, I kind of liked River as a pilot, she could do something that she didn't have to use the horrible Academy martial arts training she never wanted.

Better Days and Down Time are actually pretty good I think, I wouldn't lose anything from Better Days or the Jayne comic relief from Down Time. And there's lots I like in Those Left Behind, Dobson's return and Mal shooting him twice was great.

Shepherd's Tale was all right... Wasn't happy with the soup scene, think that could have been written in a more poignant and character driven way. But the story itself I don't really have any problem with.

EDIT: Ooh, I think River broke the fourth wall in this comic, I'd actually love it if she spent a lot of time talking to an imaginary friend that's also the audience surrogate. Could be really funny and interesting.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 12:49 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I understand it that River helps with piloting when she's lucid enough, glad to see she's still touched, if she weren't then she'd turn into a Mary Sue and the story would be boring and disappointing for me. See my subjectline. I haven't read it, but Byte said I'd be okay with it so her word is good enough for me, though maybe someday she'll have to pretend for me so my life doesn't fall apart as a result of a badly written Serenity comic.

I don't mind Zeke's outlook, it balances out all that up there optimism, someone has to think negatively in life, why shoot messengers.

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 2:31 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by RionaEire:
glad to see she's still touched, if she weren't then she'd turn into a Mary Sue and the story would be boring and disappointing for me.



Not necessarily. A coherent River would still be human, and have shortfalls and failings. There are limits to what she can do.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 4:37 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Not necessarily. A coherent River would still be human, and have shortfalls and failings. There are limits to what she can do.


But she wouldn't be River. I seem to recall a conversation between an eight year old River and a twelve year old Simon about the impending browncoat incursion and being forced to cannibalize dinosaurs.

Listen, tell you what, take River out of her symbolic Cassandra Oracle role, remove the quirky eccentric parts of her personality, retcon the damage to her amygdala so that's not affecting her behaviour anymore, and ignore all the involuntary human experiment and mistreatment trauma because it's clearly the Miranda secret that has River so upset all the time. So the moment they address that, bing! No more trauma! All PTSD needs is a few hugs, a deadly crash landing from orbit and a ground battle against cannibal rapists, all cured.

So River's normal now, run her through a Mary Sue litmus test. There's bunches on the internet.

I've actually done this before, and River isn't as bad as some Sues, but she basically is still in the lower end of being a Sue as it is. Hell, MAL is borderline himself (dead family, destroyed homeworld, tragic backstory, author tract that quickly wins over followers and can change minds within a few minutes of knowing him).

"Is the only one in the whole setting who has those specific abilities/they are the best at it" Psychic assassin prototype check.

"Their presence can change the genre of the setting" check.

"Their presence derails the existing formula of the setting and the actions of the other characters" crime heist to supernatural spy thriller check.

"They tend to steal the spotlight and can change the focus of the plot" check.

"Writer deliberately makes other characters look bad so that the Sue looks better in comparison" check.

I mean, look at the above comic. Mal forgets he's fast on the draw, and River has to save him. In a comic from Mal's POV River is given a disproportionate role and amount of screen time because the author is clearly more interested in her. In the previous short Zack wrote (Down Time) River ALSO basically confronted the problem and saved the crew only this time only Book knew about it.

In order to counteract the Sueness, River actually needs some drawbacks for her powers, or she pretty much comes to dominate the entire stage in any story that can be written about Firefly. Cassandra prophet drawbacks for her specific abilities usually go over pretty well. I love River to pieces, she's well-written DESPITE being a Sue, but that doesn't make her any LESS of a Sue.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 5:23 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


There is a big difference between taking away River's quirkyness and truama, and making her sane.

Now as far as her being a sue, that all depends on the writer. If the writer always has River saving the day, doing impossible things and other such stuff yes she can be a sue. If the writer givers her faults and frailties, and shows that she is still dependent on others, then no.

Even if she is still touched, as it was put, she can still be written as a sue. All it takes is those moments of clearity to come at the right times.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 6:02 AM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


River is such an open ended charactor, people can write her however they want, that's the beauty of fanfic, ... and I can choose to read whatever I want. I get bored if River isn't touched, having a story with a touched charactor (that's how she is) who is brilliant, loyal, talented and brave (that's who she is) is the big reason Firefly is my favorite show in the world. If elements of that portrayal are taken away then I get bored and don't enjoy the story enough to make it worth my while. Don't get me wrong there are so many other things about Firefly I enjoy, but this is something that is very important to me. And with River if she weren't touched she'd be saving the day _all the time instead of some of the time, could do everyone else's job because she's so smart, would have few limits to what she's capable of, = boring story for me. As it is she saves the crew when she can and she's lucid enough to do it and its exciting, but doesn't get old the way it would if she were stable.

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 6:24 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

There is a big difference between taking away River's quirkyness and truama, and making her sane.


Unless the reason she isn't sane is involuntary brain surgery and trauma.

She couldn't even take just medicine to reverse any of that all the way - they're shown helping in War Stories, but she's still... Well, word salad. This is a little beyond even just brain chemistry cocktail, we're talking brain damage here. Even if we weren't trauma doesn't just go away. PTSD is a psychological disorder, someone who has it by definition isn't sane, and the only way to get rid of it completely would be to get rid of the trauma. Instead, you deal with it. You put one foot in front of the other and you hold on as best as you can to where you are now, not where you were then. But you can't escape the memory, it's always there, just as vivid as when it originally happened.

So something intangible like confronting the Miranda secret is NOT going to cut it. It's lazy storytelling, it's these contemptible epiphany therapies that ignore the real world issues and consequences to turn plot and characters around on a dime.

I'm arguing about maintaining an actual realistic portrayal of mental illness, not applying an easy fix and moving on. Otherwise I'm pretty sure the storytelling and characterization would suffer for it.

I'm with Riona, if Zack and Joss continue to write River realistically, then I give them major credit. But if they fix River so they can turn her into a one girl psychic genius army with loads of romantic flings while the crew sits out on the sidelines, which is pretty much the inevitable end result we're talking here, that'd be pretty bad.

Quote:

If the writer givers her faults and frailties, and shows that she is still dependent on others, then no.


River becomes sane. What frailties and faults does she have left? She is a psychic super soldier trained in infiltration who could take on anything the Alliance sent at her by predicting their every step two moves in advance and kill thirty people violently resisting her in a closed room 15 feet wide by 15 feet long. There isn't anything she couldn't handle on her own anymore at that point. The only thing that could take her down would be an army, but she wouldn't put herself in a position to be facing off against an army.

Quote:

Even if she is still touched, as it was put, she can still be written as a sue. All it takes is those moments of clearity to come at the right times.


True, but it becomes much less likely if you give her abilities some kind of downside or interference.

Here, an example from the supplemental material. In one of the stories in Still Flying, River does try to warn Zoe and Wash that something is going to happen to him. I see a lot of indications that River is trying to prevent something she's foreseen, like in Better Days, Down Time, and The Other Half, and that something is probably the character deaths in the movie.

Imagine if you will that River can successfully communicate all problems that might be coming the crew's way with no problem, because she's now completely sane, and she's no longer inhibited by her fear due to the trauma she suffered at the hands of the alliance. Everything always works out for the crew.

Boring.

Imagine if she can tell them everything clearly, but everything happens no matter what because they can't fight fate.

Pointless.

Imagine if she can't tell them, no matter how much she tries, and she tries her best to stop it on her own, and she can't.

TRAGIC. And well characterized. Then it becomes not just about River and her abilities, but the group effort to understand and fight, and maybe reverse the bad outcomes. Her abilities are in balance with the rest of the crew, and the rest of the crew have an opportunity to shine and determine the course of their own fates.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 2:10 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Thank you Byte!

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 4:54 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Unless the reason she isn't sane is involuntary brain surgery and trauma.

She couldn't even take just medicine to reverse any of that all the way - they're shown helping in War Stories, but she's still... Well, word salad. This is a little beyond even just brain chemistry cocktail, we're talking brain damage here. Even if we weren't trauma doesn't just go away. PTSD is a psychological disorder, someone who has it by definition isn't sane, and the only way to get rid of it completely would be to get rid of the trauma. Instead, you deal with it. You put one foot in front of the other and you hold on as best as you can to where you are now, not where you were then. But you can't escape the memory, it's always there, just as vivid as when it originally happened.

So something intangible like confronting the Miranda secret is NOT going to cut it. It's lazy storytelling, it's these contemptible epiphany therapies that ignore the real world issues and consequences to turn plot and characters around on a dime.

I'm arguing about maintaining an actual realistic portrayal of mental illness, not applying an easy fix and moving on. Otherwise I'm pretty sure the storytelling and characterization would suffer for it.

I'm with Riona, if Zack and Joss continue to write River realistically, then I give them major credit. But if they fix River so they can turn her into a one girl psychic genius army with loads of romantic flings while the crew sits out on the sidelines, which is pretty much the inevitable end result we're talking here, that'd be pretty bad.



I think you are way off saying that people who suffer from PTSD are not sane. They may not be in perfect mental health but they do have their facilities. So in that regard you are also way off on my meaning. I simply do not think that post Miranda River has to psychotic breaks, or leave reality. That does not mean she will be mentally fine, it only means she will not be random soup in hair stabbin' crazy.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:River becomes sane. What frailties and faults does she have left? She is a psychic super soldier trained in infiltration who could take on anything the Alliance sent at her by predicting their every step two moves in advance and kill thirty people violently resisting her in a closed room 15 feet wide by 15 feet long. There isn't anything she couldn't handle on her own anymore at that point. The only thing that could take her down would be an army, but she wouldn't put herself in a position to be facing off against an army.


You are reading a hell of a lot into things. How do you know she is trained in infiltration? True she does have an affinity for hiding on ceilings, but other then that we never see her sneak into a place.

You are also wrong about what could take her down. She is not super girl. She is extremely good an hand to hand combat. She was not going against trained soldiers. I doubt she could handle much more then two Operatives. She is also not bullet proof, nor is going to start dodging bullets.


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:True, but it becomes much less likely if you give her abilities some kind of downside or interference.


Again that all depends on the writer.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:Here, an example from the supplemental material. In one of the stories in Still Flying, River does try to warn Zoe and Wash that something is going to happen to him. I see a lot of indications that River is trying to prevent something she's foreseen, like in Better Days, Down Time, and The Other Half, and that something is probably the character deaths in the movie.

Imagine if you will that River can successfully communicate all problems that might be coming the crew's way with no problem, because she's now completely sane, and she's no longer inhibited by her fear due to the trauma she suffered at the hands of the alliance. Everything always works out for the crew.

Boring.

Imagine if she can tell them everything clearly, but everything happens no matter what because they can't fight fate.

Pointless.

Imagine if she can't tell them, no matter how much she tries, and she tries her best to stop it on her own, and she can't.



Them making it so River can predict the future is another reason I ignore the comics. Plus now she can jump off high places without getting hurt. Next she will be able to control fucking time or something.

I don't thin she can predict future events. I can accept she can sense what others are feeling. I might be able to take that she could sense somethings. Of course that does not mean she can sense everything and with perfect accuracy, even if perfectly sane. The extent of that ability, or lack of it, is up to the writer.


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:TRAGIC. And well characterized. Then it becomes not just about River and her abilities, but the group effort to understand and fight, and maybe reverse the bad outcomes. Her abilities are in balance with the rest of the crew, and the rest of the crew have an opportunity to shine and determine the course of their own fates.


Her abilities are what the writer makes of them. Saying that someone could not write a sane, or at least saner, River without having her take over is a very limited vision and requires a lot of reading into what she can and can't do.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 6:53 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

I think you are way off saying that people who suffer from PTSD are not sane. They may not be in perfect mental health but they do have their facilities.


The amount that a person with PTSD is affected can vary a lot, but it's a problem no matter how bad it is for them. You're kind of downplaying how serious this is.

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD a person has to be so bad off that it impacts their day to day functioning and relationships. The definition of PTSD is lingering anxiety that affects their behaviour, emotional stability, and judgement and which can spike into serious psychotic episodes and panic attacks.

Quote:

I simply do not think that post Miranda River has to psychotic breaks, or leave reality. That does not mean she will be mentally fine, it only means she will not be random soup in hair stabbin' crazy.


Explain how this makes ANY kind of scientific or medical sense. Her limbic system and the moderation of her dopamine levels has been DAMAGED, and even dopaminergic medicines don't restore the balance.

How does getting the Miranda secret out restore her capacity here? Please propose another mechanism as to why River acts schizophrenic that does not involve her dopamine levels or her limbic system and would otherwise have been fixed by Miranda.

Quote:

She is also not bullet proof, nor is going to start dodging bullets.


It's confirmed she's precognitive, so yes, she is.

Now, how in the black did she get onto Early's ship and hack into Serenity's intercom from there without infiltration training? More than that what use is she as an ASSASSIN if she has no infiltration training? Maybe the alliance intended for her to murder people on the street in broad daylight.

Quote:

I don't thin she can predict future events. I can accept she can sense what others are feeling. I might be able to take that she could sense somethings. Of course that does not mean she can sense everything and with perfect accuracy, even if perfectly sane. The extent of that ability, or lack of it, is up to the writer.



Enjoy ignoring canon then. It's pretty obvious we won't come to terms on this.



NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, May 10, 2012 1:44 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
The amount that a person with PTSD is affected can vary a lot, but it's a problem no matter how bad it is for them. You're kind of downplaying how serious this is.

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD a person has to be so bad off that it impacts their day to day functioning and relationships. The definition of PTSD is lingering anxiety that affects their behaviour, emotional stability, and judgement and which can spike into serious psychotic episodes and panic attacks.



I'm not downplaying it's seriousness, I'm saying I would not call a persopn suffereing from PTSD insane.

Quote:

I simply do not think that post Miranda River has to psychotic breaks, or leave reality. That does not mean she will be mentally fine, it only means she will not be random soup in hair stabbin' crazy.


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Explain how this makes ANY kind of scientific or medical sense. Her limbic system and the moderation of her dopamine levels has been DAMAGED, and even dopaminergic medicines don't restore the balance.

How does getting the Miranda secret out restore her capacity here? Please propose another mechanism as to why River acts schizophrenic that does not involve her dopamine levels or her limbic system and would otherwise have been fixed by Miranda.



How does a making a precongnitive assasian partly by stipping someone's amygdala make sense? It is called fiction for a reason.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
It's confirmed she's precognitive, so yes, she is.



We see one example. So even if she is, that does not mean she is going to be able to tell the crew every event that will happen. No one really knows how her powers work. A good writer will use that. It could even be worjed in that as she gets better, her powers seem to get weaker.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Now, how in the black did she get onto Early's ship and hack into Serenity's intercom from there without infiltration training? More than that what use is she as an ASSASSIN if she has no infiltration training? Maybe the alliance intended for her to murder people on the street in broad daylight.



I'm sure Kaylee could have hacked into the intercom system also. I don't think she has infiltration training. Plus River was taken from the Academy before her training was complete. We don't know what kind of other training she had or not.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Enjoy ignoring canon then. It's pretty obvious we won't come to terms on this.



I will, thanks!

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, May 10, 2012 5:41 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

I'm not downplaying it's seriousness, I'm saying I would not call a persopn suffereing from PTSD insane.


Fine. They have a mental illness that affects their judgement. If they commit a crime during a panic attack or psychotic episode, they can plead insanity.

Quote:

How does a making a precongnitive assasian partly by stipping someone's amygdala make sense? It is called fiction for a reason.


You HAVE to care about explanations in fiction, YOU WRITE FICTION. Readers have to be able to follow the story, and inaccuracies will knock the readers out of their immersion, and they'll lose interest.

Frankly, the answer to your question can be found in actual human experiments that the NSA and CIA have performed that were accidentally leaked in the family jewels reports.

They found that conditioning training through electroshock therapy and subliminal messaging was very effective, and that victims would execute commands despite the techniques they used turning the victims into psychological wrecks. So I hardly think that's the issue here, and I'd hardly put this past reality.

Where you might be closer to objecting is that stripping the amygdala results in psychic abilities, being that psychic abilities are nonsense.

My explanation is that River was sensitive to electrical fields and impulses in the first place (which is all neurons and brains are anyway), even at long distance, and that what they did to River altered and enhanced her perceptions and sensitivity so much that she could pick up even the smallest neuron impulse like a blip in the electrical field that a human produces. So feelings from other people, she picks them up and her altered amygdala translates that into emotions that she can recognize, and apparently other parts of her brain were modified to do the same for memories. So she experiences those impulses like they were her own. As for the precognition, that's actually probably easier than anything else as that most likely just uses logic, but you could also apply advanced science and say it's a quantum electrical effect, as on a quantum level the future can actually measurably impact the present.

Quote:

A good writer will use that. It could even be worjed in that as she gets better, her powers seem to get weaker.


Hmm. Okay, that's actually not a bad idea. Really the only problem I see with it is the improbability that she would ever get better based on what appears to be available in the 26th century, what the crew has, or what they could reasonably steal. But, if you're ignoring the amygdala issue anyway, then that's not going to matter to you.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, May 10, 2012 8:36 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Fine. They have a mental illness that affects their judgement. If they commit a crime during a panic attack or psychotic episode, they can plead insanity.



Temporary insanity. A small distinction, but an important one.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
You HAVE to care about explanations in fiction, YOU WRITE FICTION. Readers have to be able to follow the story, and inaccuracies will knock the readers out of their immersion, and they'll lose interest.

Frankly, the answer to your question can be found in actual human experiments that the NSA and CIA have performed that were accidentally leaked in the family jewels reports.

They found that conditioning training through electroshock therapy and subliminal messaging was very effective, and that victims would execute commands despite the techniques they used turning the victims into psychological wrecks. So I hardly think that's the issue here, and I'd hardly put this past reality.

Where you might be closer to objecting is that stripping the amygdala results in psychic abilities, being that psychic abilities are nonsense.

My explanation is that River was sensitive to electrical fields and impulses in the first place (which is all neurons and brains are anyway), even at long distance, and that what they did to River altered and enhanced her perceptions and sensitivity so much that she could pick up even the smallest neuron impulse like a blip in the electrical field that a human produces. So feelings from other people, she picks them up and her altered amygdala translates that into emotions that she can recognize, and apparently other parts of her brain were modified to do the same for memories. So she experiences those impulses like they were her own. As for the precognition, that's actually probably easier than anything else as that most likely just uses logic, but you could also apply advanced science and say it's a quantum electrical effect, as on a quantum level the future can actually measurably impact the present.



I do care about explanations, and I think they should be as real as possible. At some point the story becomes more important then the reality of the explanation. For science fiction many times that explanation is better left vague.

For River we know the Alliance preformed surgeries on her brain. Simon says they stripped her amygdala as part of those surgeries. Now what they were doing remains a mystery. We are not eve sure what their end goal was. We know River and the others were trained in combat. We know River had psychic abilities before the Academy. (R. Tam Sessions) I think it safe to bet the Alliance was looking to enhance those. Many have gone with the conclusion she was going to be a psychic assassin. That may be, but she could also have been plan to use as a spy, or multiply rolls. It could even be that the Academy did not have a true idea of what they would be used for. One thing that is clear is that having a half insane psychic anything would not be overly useful. Doctor Mathis says they are working to increase she cogent moments.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Hmm. Okay, that's actually not a bad idea. Really the only problem I see with it is the improbability that she would ever get better based on what appears to be available in the 26th century, what the crew has, or what they could reasonably steal. But, if you're ignoring the amygdala issue anyway, then that's not going to matter to you.



I disagree. As I said we know they Academy was working on increasing Rivers coherent moments. If for nothing else to make her more useful. Also the physical trauma to her brain was not random, it would have been very precise. We can see that even with what Simon says she can control her emotions sometimes. Fighting a room full of Reavers tends to require a person to push back, or use fear.

I'm not ignoring the amygdala issue at all. I just don't think it is the end all be all of what was done.

I do like your explanation of River's abilities. I would say even with those explanations it leaves the door open for her to interpret something incorrectly. That can make her more vulnerable.



I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:42 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

It could even be that the Academy did not have a true idea of what they would be used for. One thing that is clear is that having a half insane psychic anything would not be overly useful. Doctor Mathis says they are working to increase she cogent moments.


It's never actually mattered WHAT the mental state of the dominant personality was, so long as they could flip the switch and have an easily controlled and completely obedient sleeper agent at the ready.

Which is pretty much exactly what River is.

Quote:

I disagree.


...About...? I said that I thought that might be a good compromise.

Quote:

We can see that even with what Simon says she can control her emotions sometimes.


Huh? You've lost me.

Quote:

Fighting a room full of Reavers tends to require a person to push back, or use fear.


I actually think that after River was triggered that first time, she became aware of the programming or maybe even an entire alternate split personality. The knowledge or the other personality merged with her dominant personality when she became aware of it, so she could then use all her martial training consciously as River.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, May 10, 2012 4:03 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
It's never actually mattered WHAT the mental state of the dominant personality was, so long as they could flip the switch and have an easily controlled and completely obedient sleeper agent at the ready.

Which is pretty much exactly what River is.



What the point of even having triggers? The whole point would be to have someone that could fit in and lead a somewhat normal life that could be triggered when needed.


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:...About...? I said that I thought that might be a good compromise.


I disagree that it is improvable that River would ever get better.

quote]Originally posted by BYTEMITE:Huh? You've lost me.


Simon states in Ariel that River feels everything, all of the time because of what they did to her, specifically to her amygdala. We know that is not really correct but we will go with it because maybe Simon is working from future knowledge. That being said we in fact see River able to push back and control her emotions. Perhaps the Academy was trying to re-wire her brain and make it work in a different way. Much like hacking a computer.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:I actually think that after River was triggered that first time, she became aware of the programming or maybe even an entire alternate split personality. The knowledge or the other personality merged with her dominant personality when she became aware of it, so she could then use all her martial training consciously as River.


Again not a bad idea at all. That what is great so many things are possible. In that same vein the joining of of that other personality could also be a route which helps River get better.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, May 10, 2012 5:00 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

What the point of even having triggers? The whole point would be to have someone that could fit in and lead a somewhat normal life that could be triggered when needed.


Well... Yes and no. That was probably the ideal, but it rarely ever turned out that way. The very methods used to condition and install those triggers tends to be very psychologically damaging. We're talking medically induced comas with endless subliminal messaging on repeat and electrodes to the brain.

And that's when they aren't doing horrific stuff on the SIDE with the victims, like sexual abuse. Which also happened.

Coming out of those places... they weren't ever normal after that. Lot of them snap, kill people or commit suicide, or they go off the deep end in other ways, long slow self-destruction via drugs (sometimes the same drugs used on them, out of addiction), or internalization of the abuse and perpetuating it in secret against vulnerable sorts, kids and such.

Quote:

Simon states in Ariel that River feels everything, all of the time because of what they did to her, specifically to her amygdala. We know that is not really correct but we will go with it because maybe Simon is working from future knowledge. That being said we in fact see River able to push back and control her emotions.


I think maybe that was meant to have multiple meanings, though maybe not all that Simon would realize. I think how much she can control her emotions depends on the circumstances and medicating influences, early on before Simon really has an idea what's wrong with her and what to give her she's kind of all over the place. But even the medicine isn't quite enough to reverse the other schizophrenic tendencies, the breaks with reality, reduced self-awareness, the world salad. Objects in space is kind of a good example of what River can be like when her PTSD isn't really bothering her, but she's still kind of in and out. At first she's wandering around the ship pretty clearly hallucinating (seeing true things, but hallucinating), later on she outsmarts Jubal Early.

Quote:

That what is great so many things are possible. In that same vein the joining of of that other personality could also be a route which helps River get better.

A split personality is a different problem from limbic system damage. But yes, people can fix problems, or not, in whatever they they think works for their story.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, May 11, 2012 1:52 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Well... Yes and no. That was probably the ideal, but it rarely ever turned out that way. The very methods used to condition and install those triggers tends to be very psychologically damaging. We're talking medically induced comas with endless subliminal messaging on repeat and electrodes to the brain.

And that's when they aren't doing horrific stuff on the SIDE with the victims, like sexual abuse. Which also happened.

Coming out of those places... they weren't ever normal after that. Lot of them snap, kill people or commit suicide, or they go off the deep end in other ways, long slow self-destruction via drugs (sometimes the same drugs used on them, out of addiction), or internalization of the abuse and perpetuating it in secret against vulnerable sorts, kids and such.



Talking about real life is all well and good, but in talking about Rivers case you have to give some leeway. If for nothing else it is set pretty far into the future.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
I think maybe that was meant to have multiple meanings, though maybe not all that Simon would realize. I think how much she can control her emotions depends on the circumstances and medicating influences, early on before Simon really has an idea what's wrong with her and what to give her she's kind of all over the place. But even the medicine isn't quite enough to reverse the other schizophrenic tendencies, the breaks with reality, reduced self-awareness, the world salad. Objects in space is kind of a good example of what River can be like when her PTSD isn't really bothering her, but she's still kind of in and out. At first she's wandering around the ship pretty clearly hallucinating (seeing true things, but hallucinating), later on she outsmarts Jubal Early.



The medication is not enough at the time of Objects. By the start of the BDM who knows how River has been. We get a couple glimpses (what ever they are worth to people) in Those Left Behind and Better days. In one she is so fearful it leads her to overdose. Which for me is a bit out of left field after her being able to deal with Early. Better days she tells a freaky story about marrying a fish. I can see her doing that just to mess with people.

When Serenity starts we see her aware of what is going on. She seems to fully understand what her roll in the job is. Pointing out to Zoe the man that was going to try and be a hero. It is not until she is triggered do we see her start to have mild breaks from reality. I think she was getting better before the movie and being triggered and getting a pretty heavy burden off her may very well have done a good bit more.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
A split personality is a different problem from limbic system damage. But yes, people can fix problems, or not, in whatever they they think works for their story.



Different problem, but still the same brain. Again River's problems are not coming from random damage that would have unpredictable results.


I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, May 11, 2012 5:30 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Talking about real life is all well and good, but in talking about Rivers case you have to give some leeway. If for nothing else it is set pretty far into the future.


Maybe, though it looks to me like in the flashback River has in the train Job they're still pretty much doing the electrode thing, though in terms of technology apparently they also added putting needles in her eyes into the procedure. :/

And even with all of River's obvious problems, Dr. Mathias and co are excited because so far she's taken all their surgery and conditioning the best compared to the other students...

It wouldn't be unfair to call those guys sadists and butchers, I think. A lot of techniques for this kind of conditioning involve pushing someone to their psychological breaking point and then writing over them while they're vulnerable. Based on all of that, I'm not sure that's changed even after several centuries.

The military uses a less obvious and extreme variant during boot camp training, but same principle.

Quote:

The medication is not enough at the time of Objects. By the start of the BDM who knows how River has been. We get a couple glimpses (what ever they are worth to people) in Those Left Behind and Better days. In one she is so fearful it leads her to overdose. Which for me is a bit out of left field after her being able to deal with Early. Better days she tells a freaky story about marrying a fish. I can see her doing that just to mess with people.

When Serenity starts we see her aware of what is going on. She seems to fully understand what her roll in the job is. Pointing out to Zoe the man that was going to try and be a hero.



And then she goes spacey and says "I ate a bug." Slightly more lucid when Simon decides to leave, but then she apparently worsens, wanders away from Simon in a confused fugue, finds the crew, and then is triggered by the Fruity Oaty Bar commercial.

All of the above is pretty much consistent with River being in and out even while on medication. I honestly think there's really only so much that can be done with the damage she has. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes medication can't fix everything.

Quote:

Different problem, but still the same brain. Again River's problems are not coming from random damage that would have unpredictable results.


That's kind of like saying you can use chemotherapy to treat pneumonia. Different problems with different causes require different treatments. The damage itself and the symptoms are predictable yes, but you have at least three different causes and problems at work. There's the brain surgery damage (breaks with reality and hallucinations), the psychological trauma, and the conditioning (possible split personality). They're layered on top each other and sometimes overlap, but are still distinct issues which must be addressed separately.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, May 11, 2012 1:18 PM

CYBERSNARK


We should also consider that, on a purely physical level, the brain has a remarkable ability to rewire itself to bypass damage. There've been cases in the real world where victims have had chunks of grey matter removed by accident or trauma or medical necessity and gone on to live relatively normal lives (insert jokes about political careers).

It's possible that part of Rivers' lucid moments are her brain trying to self-repair as much as possible (making new synaptic connections where none previously existed). Given the other trauma she's been through (both physical, chemical, and psychological), she'll certainly never be exactly "normal" (whatever that is), but she could probably at least become functional once she starts to deal with the psychological baggage, and I think that's what we started to see in Serenity.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 13, 2012 2:18 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


. . .

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 13, 2012 8:55 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


People can write River however they want in fanfic, I can choose not to read River-is-stable-now or River-is-cured-now fics because to me they are BORING. But if cannon does that its way more serious, it will follow me around like a zombie and I can't ignore it as easily (but I'll still try because its BORING to me).

Byte's split theory: I'm neutral. I read stories where that's the case and stories where it isn't. I'm flexible on that point.

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 14, 2012 2:53 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by RionaEire:
People can write River however they want in fanfic, I can choose not to read River-is-stable-now or River-is-cured-now fics because to me they are BORING.

Rather than speculate about levels of River's sanity, what would she do with her hacked brain? She would study what she has become. What do you think of River as the mad scientist studying the physics of telepathy? She'd create stories/theories while taking great pride in proving Brian Aldiss wrong:
“Whereas interplanetary and interstellar voyages have a technological and scientific basis, telepathy is almost as clearly anti-scientific. No rational reasons can be conjured as to why humanity should develop an ability to communicate directly, mind to mind, without speech in this or any future generation. The idea of telepathy is ancient, but was given new impetus by the development of radio: if unseen messages can be directed from crystal, why not from head to head? This false analogy took root in the popular mind. . . . Science-fiction readers wish to see the world change, to see that new certainty which must necessarily develop, and telepathy would change the world even more effectively than the atom bomb or space travel.” - Brian W. Aldiss from the foreword to The Science Fiction Source Book (1984) page 16.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 14, 2012 3:43 AM

BYTEMITE


It's a good idea, though I think that there's some difference between say taking damage in the Wernicke's area and having to rewire the part of the brain that processes singing to relearn how to talk, versus damage to the "reptile" brain.

Neurons CAN regenerate, but I've never seen any case that suggests that can restore full-function to the same neurons within a person's lifetime. And I've never heard of anyone rewiring the limbic system to get around damage via therapy or chemicals, let alone that they were successful.

What does functional mean to everyone? Emotional stability, mental stability, no hallucinations/strong anchor to reality, most choices made while self-aware (or some minimum amount), ability to live independently at some basic standard of living?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 14, 2012 6:46 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


You've never seen a case, but in 500 years you may. Plus it was not River whole Limbic system that was damaged. Plus the idea of a unified Limbic system is outdated.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 14, 2012 7:05 AM

BYTEMITE


If they had that, then why didn't Simon just use a treatment like that on River in the first place, before he even had narrowed down the specific problem and damage?

I actually had this same problem come up when I was writing that Inara takes some sort of regenerating treatment to keep the symptoms of her whatever problem under control - I guess the idea was she'd rapidly decline if she wasn't regenerating as fast as she was losing. But anyway, I started to write that, and then I thought, wait, if this technology exists, why didn't Inara offer any for River? And so I had to abandon that.

Quote:

Plus the idea of a unified Limbic system is outdated.


In the what?

I seem to recall making a point about how different specialized areas of the cerebral cortex can be rewired if they become damaged, but that I haven't seen indications that you can do the same to different parts of the limbic system.

Frankly, in what way does whether the amygdala and other parts should be grouped together functionally have any bearing on the arguments I have made? At some point here I have to use terms that people actually recognize, and the concept of the limbic system, whether or not it's a valid classification, does include a number of emotion moderating areas.

I am unsure exactly what parts of River's brain were damaged BEYOND the amygdala, but it was a safe bet that other emotion moderating areas within that categorization of the limbic system were damaged, and generalizing that as damage to the limbic system was perfectly reasonable medically and scientifically and UNDERSTOOD. Even if it were OUTDATED, which I don't yet see a consensus on, it was not INCORRECT.

In any case, this is beside the point. Looking around, I see some questionable reports about retraining the brain to compensate for the amygdala to treat some cases of depression (serotonin is produced in the brainstem and I'm smelling a lot of pseudoscience here). I'm seeing people trying to claim that habituation and extinction conditioning are the same thing as neuroplasticity. But I'm not seeing anything about actual DAMAGE to the amygdala being addressed by rewiring another part of the brain to take over those functions. If you have anything you've found I'd be interested to look over it.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 14, 2012 11:02 AM

EBFIDDLER


I always hate jumping into these discussions late, because people get so worked up, but...

This is fiction. It is set 500 years or more into the future. We can propose all kinds of new technology, and get away with it, so long as we give enough background to set it on solid footing. Imagine trying to write a story with today's medical practices, from the point of view of a medical practitioner of the 1600's, who believes that pathogenic organisms are imaginary, and believes that diseases are caused by bad air or imbalance of the four bodily humors or phases of the moon. Medical practices and technology can and should change over the course of 500 years.

And simply because a technology exists doesn't mean that it is accessible to everyone. I'm saying that Simon will *not* automatically have access to every possible treatment for River. And he's not superhuman, either -- so the fact that such technology might exist does not mean that he will necessarily know about it or think of using it. He's a trauma surgeon, not a psychiatrist or radiologist or pharmacologist.

We know that Joss likes strong female characters with special abilities -- he built the whole Buffy series around just such a character. But what made that series work was the fact that, despite having special abilities, Buffy still had *human* problems -- ordinary problems, in fact, and her special abilities didn't necessarily cause those problems to disappear.

Same should apply for River. She may or may not have some or all of the following: precognition, telepathy, mind-reading skills, and fight skills that would make a kung fu movie hero turn green with envy -- but those abilities are not the equivalent of deus-ex-machina problem-solving abilities. She can (and should) still screw up, whether on her own or due to circumstances she can't control.

I'm less concerned with the question of exactly what skills, abilities, illnesses (curable or otherwise) River might have, and instead I'm interested in how she solves problems. If every Firefly story turns into "crew gets into trouble, River saves the day with super special abilities" -- well, *that* would be boring. But I won't begrudge her using her talents to solve problems when she can, and I expect each and every Firefly character to do the same.

And what it comes down to for me is: you can't do the same kind of story-telling in a 10-page comic book short as you can in a 43-minute TV episode, a feature-length film, or a chapter of fanfic. Of course the comic book comes across as "light" in the plot department. Hence my soapbox advocacy for *someone* to write official Firefly novels.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
Other actors on Firefly.
Sat, April 29, 2017 15:58 - 89 posts
Was there really a Shan-Yu?
Mon, April 3, 2017 08:02 - 18 posts
Firefly DVD commentary project
Sat, February 11, 2017 23:12 - 12 posts
What's Your Favorite Scene or Dialogue Featuring Jayne Cobb?
Mon, January 30, 2017 20:09 - 20 posts
Serenity: It's Never Easy Comic - read it here
Thu, January 12, 2017 04:02 - 73 posts
Expanding the refined timeline
Wed, November 30, 2016 20:35 - 32 posts
Expanding an Alternate Refined Timeline
Wed, November 30, 2016 20:33 - 19 posts
Chronological Order of Episodes.
Thu, September 15, 2016 19:35 - 15 posts
How and when did you first discover Firefly?
Thu, September 15, 2016 19:21 - 48 posts
What's Your Favorite Scene or Dialogue Featuring Hoban Washburne?
Thu, September 15, 2016 19:10 - 4 posts
Lost in French Translation, Part 07: Jaynestown
Tue, September 13, 2016 08:42 - 5 posts
Busted Gut : Favorite Funny Scenes/Lines
Wed, September 7, 2016 18:12 - 142 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL