What's Your Favorite Scene or Dialogue Featuring River Tam?

UPDATED: Sunday, October 1, 2017 17:02
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016 7:46 PM


Reportedly the entire Firefly series was intended to be a view of the Serenity crew as seen by River. Not just Objects In Space.
This character is slowly revealed to us, and the rest of the cast. Bit by bit. They learn about her as the episodes progress. Reportedly, during script readings with the cast, nobody who read the words written after each "River:" could figure out how they could be portrayed and still make sense, but Summer was able to somehow.

River is played by Summer Glau.

My favorites from her:
Pilot Serenity: Mal. Bad. In the Latin.
Shindig: her exchange with Badger.
Safe: They forgot what they were. Then they saw the sky and remembered they were cows. Plus, regarding Ruby: Her voice got scared away.
Ariel: That doctor is killing that man.
War Stories: Shoots 3 guys with her eyes closed. This is where we start to see a glimpse of what she is capable of.

In BDM Serenity, it was reported that during the many months of editing (like 9), the editors never once fast-forwarded through the Maidenhead scene. An excellent action scene, much more of River is bared for all to see. But she is responding to programming from the Alliance, The Institute, and is not under her own control.
My favorite is "My Turn" scene. This is when she is finally able to bootstrap herself, throw off the shackles and controls of the Alliance, and make her own choice to unleash her talents and skills in a fury of liberty, freedom, emancipation, and defiance of the evil government. This is the culmination of the entire Firefly series and the film Serenity. We all want to see the scenes which follow, but they are all epilogue. This and Maidenhead are the works that Joss had in mind when he cast Summer, a dancer, to play River. Her speech is to her brother Simon, about how he watched out for her and helped her and she must save him, but in the larger view she is also saving all of the remaining BDH who have been about the only friends she has had since escaping The Institute, who have helped her, sheltering her during the past 9 months when she needed time to get better. A contrary relationship to be sure, but these smugglers and thieves have been quite patient.

What are your favorites?

The first thread in this topic series:


Saturday, September 30, 2017 4:17 PM


In a different thread of a different flavor, a fan expressed that the most important and defining characteristic of humans is their readiness state or recent exploits of getting laid.

I had not previously considered Firefly in that context, as I rarely consider the utmost importance of that facet of life.

Of all of River's scenes and dialogue, none reveal her status of getting laid. She may be a virgin, for all we know.
Of all our BDH, River is alone in this state, other than Book (who presumably is by choice). All others we can observe getting laid.

Now this chagrins me. In olden days of movies and Movie Ratings, girls onscreen were allowed to have sex as long as they died, or had other untoward circumstances within the film.
The series was supposedly about River, but she is the only one who does not get laid, or for all we know, even climaxes. Must one be a martyr of eros to be a driving force in a Joss show? I don't know enough about some others. Dollhouse had sex, but that was as an embedded personality, not the core true person.


Saturday, September 30, 2017 9:17 PM


Maybe he simply didn't want to get into the sex life of a 16 year old mentally damaged girl?


Sunday, October 1, 2017 7:09 AM


Well, she turned 17 before the Pilot, but was 14 when she went to the Institute. Lack of free will would be an issue.
But she was a physically healthy girl, and healthy girls have libidos.


Sunday, October 1, 2017 5:02 PM


I did mention the War Stories scene, but not the line.
No power in the Verse can stop me, while Kaylee is freaked out and looking agog at her.
This is a copy of Kaylee's No power in the Verse can stop me, after retrieving her apple from River earlier in the episode.






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