The Sayings of River
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

So, the odd arc phrases:

"Hands of blue, two by two..."

"Also, I can kill you with my mind."

Those kids say the darndest things:

"They took Christmas away. All the presents,the tree, and the stockings. Nothing left but coal. Can't look in the closet, either. It's greedy--not in the spirit of the season."


"Your toes are in the sand."

I just want to say that if Whedon thought all these up, then he is even more of an evil genius than I thought. Because on the surface, almost every single thing River says makes absolutely no sense. But looking at it from the perspective of the scene, or the end of the episode, or the end of the movie changes everything. But maybe it's like fortune cookies. They're random bits of information, but they can be applied to pretty much anything. Still, the inspiration had to come from somewhere. And the quality of writing and acting is very subtle--it's not easy writing or acting an "interesting" kind of 'crazy'.

I like how River's character applies old sayings to new situations. The nursery rhymes, old fragments and the detritus of a mind slowly sweeping itself back together make me think of 1984's "Oranges and lemons/Say the bells of St. Clemens"...


Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:57 PM


What I really admired about JW's writing and directing throughout this series is the slow reveal of River's character. He first developed each character and how they would respond to living during those times. We got to see how each one would respond to the different situations, but also their perspective of the Tams, most especially River. She was always in the background suffering in silence. In Safe we got to see her softer normal side, but she would, on ocassion, lapse into insanity. In OIS, we got to see things from her POV and that of the ship's - Serenity (Serenity is not happy). There were clues throughout that she was beginning to gain control over her abilities, which culminated in the BDM. But OIS is a masterpiece of writing, in any medium, because of what preceded it and what came after. This is not your typical Sci-Fi series. Message to Fox: BRING BACK FIREFLY.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:42 PM


Although it seems like jibberish to us somewhere, somehow it all makes sense. It is stream of conciousness. It is everything that is on River's mind coming out unfiltered and without prejudice. It is quite possibly the future, past and present all rolled into one in River's tortured mind. And yes, it is true genius to be able to protray that completely unvarnished tornado of ideas in a person's mind. Both on the part of the writer as well as the actor.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 1:41 AM


"Played with Kaylee, the sun came out and I walked on my feet, heard with my ears... I hate the bits, the bits that stay down and I work, I function like I'm a girl. I hate it because I know it'll go away, the sun goes dark and chaos is come again. Bits. Fluids. WHAT AM I?"
(War stories, taken from the shooting script.)

Definitely Joss has a gift for really cool surreal stuff - just look at the nursery rhyme at the beginning of 'Hush' or most of 'Restless.'

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 8:43 AM


I agree. River is a real work of art.


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