GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Mal's word no good?

POSTED BY: JEWELSTAITEFAN
UPDATED: Saturday, October 13, 2007 17:26
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 3074
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007 7:03 PM

IHAVEISSUES


I know he likes to shoot unarmed people :)



Grasshopper,
what you plan
and what takes place
is never exactly been similar.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007 8:16 AM

WYTCHCROFT


bump

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Thursday, October 4, 2007 9:28 AM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
MaL DOES go back on his word, but not in this instance.

Check out "Those Left Behind", the comic series.
He uses a job offer as an excuse for not respecting Inara's wishes to be delivered to her gig at the Training House.




nice to see TLB get a mention - i really think the Mal in this - and the BMG is the Mal of Joss's pilot* (even more so the unscreened version).

i would add the scene from Serenity (the movie) where Mal states his objectives after Book's death - and is threatening to the crew... would he really have left them behind - or worse?

we have almost parallel Mal's to play with - FireFly and Serenity... it would be really interesting to see what sort of Mal we would get if there were a post-BDM movie/series - for this reason alone...

my preferrance is for the character of the bleaker Mal - but the humour in the show is a definite plus - so... i guess we're lucky to have a Captain complex enough to have both sides to his character - and an actor quick enough to play him!

*the commentary emphasises the moral 'grey ness' of Mal.

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Friday, October 5, 2007 3:51 AM

MICJWELCH


I apologize for not reading this entire thread before responding, but I think I understand what you're trying to ask. I just want to second what I've seen a few people say.

This is why I watch the show.

It takes a minute to understand the characters. They aren't predictable. They make mistakes. To quote the pilot episode (forgive me if I'm a bit off) -

"Because the captain is something of a mystery."

"Because so few men are."



"We may experience some slight turbulence, and then... explode."

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Friday, October 5, 2007 2:12 PM

PLATONIST


I like the Mal of the Comic Book/Movie better, too. He is darker, but more realistic. Unfortunately, some of his humor had to be sacrificed to portray him that way. The movie had Jayne and Wash provide the comic relief.

It's obvious that once Joss was able to get the network numbskulls of his back, he was able to create the character he wanted. He had more control of the project and artistic license followed. And it would make sense, that the two characters that challenged Mal's moral choices (Book and Inara) would be off the ship because they don't need the Captain's protection or validation.

And Yeah, I think he would have left those that chose to stay behind, on Haven. He provides them with an out. Something worse? Probably not, I think that was a fairly empty threat. Shoot, Inara, please, he pretends like she's not even there, so he can go about being the "Nasty Monster Leader" without her seeing him that way.

Post BDM...I'm not sure what to expect... since a sequel is more likely than a series, who knows? We could see a whole new side of Mal. It is hard to anticipate, because again it is really up to Joss. And he obviously likes creating what he wants without interference, even if it is not consistent with what we've seen in the past. I'm just afraid with all this sequel talk, he could kill off another character sending Mal back into his honorable vengeance mode. Let's see.... hmm...what character could that be?



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Friday, October 5, 2007 2:24 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
The movie had Jayne and Wash provide the comic relief.



except the beginning - LOL!

Quote:

It's obvious that once Joss was able to get the network numbskulls of his back, he was able to create the character he wanted. He had more control of the project and artistic license followed. And it would make sense, that the two characters that challenged Mal's morality choices (Book and Inara) would be off the ship because they don't need the Captain's protection or validation.

agreed.


Quote:

Post BDM...I'm not sure what to expect... because again it is really up to Joss. And he obviously likes creating what he wants without interference, even if it is not consistent with what we've seen in the past.


yeh... the same as Buffy8 is set far enough away from series 7 and any fanfiction following...
i think in that respect fanfics may be a double edge sword...
they keep us going - but are they a burden for show creators?
Lucas's movies seemed to implode as his universe expanded -
and would the fans of firefly accept changes Joss made?
is loyalty actually fickle and dependant on having expectations fufilled?
Do we all demand that Misery Chastaigne lives again?

hmmm... scattered thoughts as always:)


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Friday, October 5, 2007 2:26 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
I have read your replies. I'm afraid I find them akin to rationalizations, perhaps the episode is less fresh in your minds.



You don't know me, son. So let me explain this to you once. There's only one thing I can say to that statement... LOL. :) I know you're new to the site, jewelstaitefan, so I'm sure you don't fully appreciate the "LOL" yet; but to hear you say this to peeps, myself included, who could probably quote half the Firefly episodes verbatimly, and would most like not be wrong about the other half either, suddenly "less fresh in your minds" sounds somehow, well, off. :)

Okay, with that out of the way, it's seems you're not fully comprehending on the true nature of Mal's character.

Quote:

If you want to try, give me some quote or indication that he was exen considering going back for either Tam BEFORE Book was recovering.



What Mal wants to do, and what Mal eventually DOES, are two different things. I best expressed this in a sunitem work of mine (yes, shameless plug), called: "Mal's Way". Haven. Mal, mostly to himself, I reckon, says: "I had an out. Hell, I had every reason in the 'verse to leave her lay and haul anchor." Upon which Books utters the truest words ever offered a human soul in this crap-heel 'verse: "It's not your way, Mal."

This here's a spectacle might warrant a moment's consideration. Oh, Mal was plenty pissed at the good doctor in the BDM; and I'm sure in Safe he was more than a mite miffed at the doc, too, getting himself and his sister into trouble at a time Mal could least use it (after all, did he not just say he wasn't his gorram babysitter?). But in the end, Mal does the right thing. See, this is the point I'm making: Mal not only does what's right when he wants to, but also when he DOESN'T want to! And that's what makes him truly honorable! In the BDM, Jayne's question is most poignant: "In earnest, Mal, why'd you bring her back on?" Mal has no real answer. He simply did it for no greater reason than because it was the right to do!

It all don't mean Mal didn't wanna throw Simon out of an airlock; or that he never seriously considered getting rid of the Tams. In fact, in Objects in Space, Mal overtly says he needs time to think on what to do with them. In all these instances, the story is set up so the viewer may believe Mal has a choice... I don't believe he does.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Friday, October 5, 2007 10:28 PM

PLATONIST


Re: wytchcroft and Joss's writing to please fans.

Absolutely not! From what I have gathered from interviews and commentary, Joss had a clear and concise narrative that he wanted to tell with Firefly. Staff writing pow wows probably consisted of him changing most of what was submitted to meet his expectations. I'm sure they heard the words, "no, I don't think so" quite a bit from him.

And Lucas’s failure to produce anything with any written relevance with his dismal prequels more than likely confirmed Joss's conviction not to compromise the creative process with token dog bones to appease fans and Hollywood morons.

So, if fans are anticipating Zoe babies, Tam Weddings, and River walking and talking like the Crazy Academy never happened, with them all sailing through the black on the frackin Love Boat, they better look somewhere else or keep reading fanfiction, because that's not a Whedon story.

Anyway, getting back to this thread...that would include Mal suddenly and miraculously making good choices based on his careful, thoughtful, and insightful self analysis that he was doing the right thing for the betterment of humanity, and hopefully, for his sake, Inara will take notice and finally give him a piece of ass that he has been waiting on since the Pilot.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007 7:54 AM

MUGGI


Nice thread!

When trying to look into Mal's seeming inconsistency in "Safe", I think three things need to be taken into consideration: intent, history, and situation.

Mal's "we won't leave without you" is not a strong statement of intent; it's made as an offhand remark to ease Simon's fears of leaving the ship. It's more of a plot device to set up Simon's feeling of abandonment , shown when he sees Serenity blast off after giving the "The Captain will come for us" line. AT THE TIME the statement was made, Simon was not in any grave danger. The statement in and of itself is virtually meaningless. It's a prime example of the writing style used on Firefly..namely, everyday statements which seem to mean nothing, but still impact the storyline as the show progresses.

Looking at a historical perspective..Mal's statement in "Serenity" regarding their situation with the Fed onboard, fugitive passengers, Alliance pursuit etc etc..shows something of his mental process. "We gotta deal with what's in front of us" is the key line here. The danger to Book is immediate and in his face: it must be dealt with before anything else. The fate of Simon/River is an unknown..the peril of Book is known.

The previous episodes also reflect that Mal, while GENERALLY an honorable man, is as Badger says, "always fluid". Case in point: The story of Dobson. Once discovered Mal turns him over to Jayne for interrogation, and insinuates he doesn't want the man hurt. "Just scare him...just do it right." are his words. Later, when the Reavers are closing in and Dobson holds River, he shoots him dead without hesitation. This is the crux of Mal's personae: Honor until honor gets in the way of survival.

Situationally, there's not much to talk about really. Book is dying RIGHT NOW. They have no idea where Simon and River are. The decision to go to the Alliance ship (after Inara suggests it) is a last-ditch effort to save Book. The planet offers (as the capture of Simon shows) no or very little medical options. Other planets the crew suggests are too far away. The Alliance vessel is the ONLY place they KNOW will be able to help Book..whether they would or not is of course part of the plot.

Was he planning to go back for them? Who knows. His statement about the pair being "dumb enough to get themselves caught" is perplexing. Maybe he planned to leave them? Maybe going back was the plan all along? Those are questions we're meant to ask as the story progresses. The final scene doesn't give us a definitive answer; it only shows that they DO go back for them.

As an aside, this was one of my least favorite episodes the first time I watched the series, and remains as probably the one I watch the second-least (after The Train Job)


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Sunday, October 7, 2007 7:39 AM

BULLET0IN0THE0BRAINPAN0SQUISH


First off, great work on this gorram shiny thread. Nice to see that people in the 'Verse still think.^^ Somebody once said in another thread that Browncoats are intelligent and we see that truly in a rich debate such as this.^^

Anyway, I don't think there is much more to add to those pointed out (I actually had time to read all the posts and it was very enjoyable.) already. I just remembered an off-Firefly quote I wanted to share:

In Harry Potter, Dumbledore said something about how a man's actions, not his lineage or, for the lack of a better word right now, "personality", define who he is.(sorry, completely blacking out on the word or exact quote.^^)I guess that explains our Cap'n. Not really a man of his word, but then, what kind of thief/smuggler is? Doesn't mean that he ain't honorable, nor does it mean that he's a bad guy. But then again, being bad guys is relative and I KNOW more'n a lot who thinks it's shiny to be so.^^





~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I don't know what I'm saying. I never know what I'm saying.... -River Tam, Serenity (2005)

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 8:19 AM

GORRAMNREEVER


DAAAAmn......callin Mal not trustworthy??? That is a bold statement my brother. Mal would lay down for any one of his crew regardless of circumstance. Well maybe Jayne would get a second thought but certainly none of the others too include Irana who literaly is just a renter. I am in the service and there are very few individuals that hold the values of loyalty to the extent of Sgt Malcolm Reynolds. These values proven in "The Message" when even when the individual put them in jeopardy and blatantly used them......he still kept his word and honored his fallen brother in arms with dignity and respect.

Mal's word no good.....hell no! You are liable to get lynched for breathing those words! That is as bad as saying "Book was still an active operative that was monitoring River in an uncontrolled environment unbeknownst to all but the highest "key parliament" representatives." But that is an argument that I can go on for days about. Book wasn't such a good guy.....if any wasn't loyal. There's my .02

......I brought the Grenades.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 8:29 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


I got back my DVDs today.

recent replies: Mal ends Dobson when Dobson proves himself dishonorable by holding a gun to River.

When in command, I did not let my group leave one behind. When injuries required fallback (if no corpsman resolution available), a few could quickly retreat with the wounded to quicken care, but the main body of my group would not leave until all were coming. Among the enemy, one or two stranded and surrounded would not last when outflanked and outgunned. We only retreated with all members. If somebody was going to fall to the enemy, we all would - and every member knew it. Once re-consolidating the group, we could then retreat as one, and regroup after dealing with WIA.

About Safe:
Mal says "Don't worry, we will not leave without you"
On ship, Mal says "We already lost 2, not gonna lose a thrid" I think this clarifies he thinks the Tams are already lost, and he is leaving them behind.
Already pointed out, taking Book to the Alliance was a bad gamble, they turned him away until the Ident card made Msl's decision retroactively acceptable.
Mal gave no indication he had intention of returning for the Tams.
The Alliance Magellan is 2 hours away, this is after Wash returns from the trip to town, and the Tams are still walking in the woods with the kidnappers.
The ship too far away is 10 hours away.
I would not suggest being kidnapped would be confused with being "safe" as some have implied.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 8:43 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


So I was really hoping this was some error in the script, or discontinuity.
I don't have any problems with Mal's actions in any other episode or BDM, anything that seems out-of-character. At Haven in BDM, he was effectively offering a way out for all others, so they did not have to go on the suicide mission to Miranda - he just presented it in his way.

I feel in Save Mal went back on his word, and had no intention of going back.
Although the script did need to seperate Simon fro the crew to require Book to get Alliance treatment (and what was the point of that, really?), I really think the script could have used a more palatable choice of words for Mal to give Simon, lines that would have not made Mal's word no good.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 11:39 PM

MRBEN


Some thoughts:

Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
About Safe:
Mal says "Don't worry, we will not leave without you"
On ship, Mal says "We already lost 2, not gonna lose a thrid" I think this clarifies he thinks the Tams are already lost, and he is leaving them behind.



If we're taking lost to mean the same for all three (which he does) then it means he thinks they are dead, which puts a completely different spin on things.

Quote:

Already pointed out, taking Book to the Alliance was a bad gamble, they turned him away until the Ident card made Msl's decision retroactively acceptable.


I'm confused as to why this is a problem. What would have happened if they had turned him away? Book would have probably died, yes. But would he then have turned back for Simon and River? Given that he did even after the extended time on board with the Alliance giving Book treatment, I think it is likely he would've if he had been turned away.

Quote:

Mal gave no indication he had intention of returning for the Tams.


If we were condemned for not giving indications of our good actions, then the world would be a sad place. You seem to be hinging your entire theory on this point, but I think you're on flimsy ground. I think it is simply a plot device used by Joss to inject dramatic tension. If he had truly intended not to go back, the sensible dramatic resolution would have been an argument between Mal and (most likely) Kaylee. Do you not think that, if he hadn't intended to go back, Kaylee would not have kicked up a huge fuss?

Quote:

The Alliance Magellan is 2 hours away, this is after Wash returns from the trip to town, and the Tams are still walking in the woods with the kidnappers.
The ship too far away is 10 hours away.
I would not suggest being kidnapped would be confused with being "safe" as some have implied.



The name 'Safe', and the construction of the episode, is, I believe, intended to make us understand that Serenity is now the Tams new home, and the crew their new family. The flashbacks indicate the breakdown of the real family, and the final conversation between Mal and Simon indicates the new order.

mrben

"Carpe Aptenodytes"
http://www.jedimoose.org

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 11:48 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
Already pointed out, taking Book to the Alliance was a bad gamble, they turned him away until the Ident card made Msl's decision retroactively acceptable.



Yes, taking Book to the Alliance was a bad gamble. But that's no reflection on Mal's (judgement of) character. In fact, Mal knew full well it was a bad call; and meeting an Alliance Cruiser was probably the last thing on his mind. But he did it anyway, because, again, it was the right thing to do! Mal was soldier enough to realize Book would not make it without professional medical care. And since Simon was gone, it took Inara but a small nudge to make Mal see that taking Book to the Alliance WAS the best thing to do, regardless of the chances.

Also, I can k... no; erm, I meant, the psychology of Mal not wanting to see yet another person die under his command, as mentioned on this thread a few times, I think was paramount, too. Despite his issues with the Alliance, Mal was not going to let that happen.

Furthermore, it should perhaps be pointed out that the Alliance, even though we primariliy get to see their ugly side, are essentially still, as Joss once suggested, to be considered a benign bunch. It really is, for the most part, "A beacon of civilization." Not everyone gets to reap the same benefits of that civilization, of course; but it's no Evil Empire. In Bushwhacked, for instance, when Harken doesn't let them keep their cargo, Mal says: "Had to. Couldn't let us profit. Wouldn't be civilized." There's an understanding between them. Mal's not so blinded by his aversion of the Alliance that he doesn't understand that the Alliance, when not dealing with a band of brigands, can probably be counted on to act civilized. The "bad" call, if you can call it that, is that this particular Hwoon dahn of a Commander is too snooty to help them (and probably DOES look upon them as bandits). As to be expected, not everything goes right. Possibly you're not recalling some of his previous plans. Besides, if everything were right, the'd be in jail. :)


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Monday, October 8, 2007 12:01 AM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by mrben:
Some thoughts:

If we were condemned for not giving indications of our good actions, then the world would be a sad place. You seem to be hinging your entire theory on this point, but I think you're on flimsy ground. I think it is simply a plot device used by Joss to inject dramatic tension. If he had truly intended not to go back, the sensible dramatic resolution would have been an argument between Mal and (most likely) Kaylee. Do you not think that, if he hadn't intended to go back, Kaylee would not have kicked up a huge fuss?



Very good post, mrben! :)

--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Monday, October 8, 2007 4:05 AM

HOUDINI


Personally I haven't read this entire thread, but from what I HAVE read I think most people here are missing something. Most of what I read is from people who are stating that Mal always intended to go back for the Tams, would never go against his word, etc.

That is not Mal's character. Joss has stated before that Mal is NOT your typical hero. He's not all good. He has inner demons.

This is part of the reason why Mal shot people who were unarmed in the BDM. It's why Inara mentions that Mal runs away from fights "all the time".

Mal intended to wait for the Tams but when the emergency came up he had to leave. However, if you watch the show again you can see he was struggling with himself on whether he should go back for them. Meaning he was not "always intending" to go back. Finally his conscience got the best of him.

This is what makes Firefly such a good show. In real life you don't have "all good heroes". Things are not just black or white. People make mistakes, don't always make the right decisions, and aren't all good. This is Mal. This is good TV.


- Houdini

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Monday, October 8, 2007 7:00 AM

MUGGI


I don't buy that Mal shot Dobson because he showed he was dishonorable. Besides hitting Book with the fire extinguisher (which there's virtually no way Mal could know of), Dobson's actions are hardly different from his actions earlier in the show, when Mal wanted him kept alive.

Another point: As JEWELSTAITEFAN described in his personal command experience, he would never leave a man behind.

FF to the Zoe/Mal convo in the BDM..when Zoe brings up "leave no man behind", Mal's gives his famous "maybe that's why we lost" line.

I think you may just have to accept that Mal is not, as a previous poster stated, a perfect hero. He's not going to do the honorable, "right" thing every time. He's written more reactionary than that..he does what he thinks is best for him and his AT THE MOMENT, not necessarily what is most honorable.

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Monday, October 8, 2007 12:43 PM

RUGBUG


Quote:

Originally posted by mrben:
Quote:

I would not suggest being kidnapped would be confused with being "safe" as some have implied.



The name 'Safe', and the construction of the episode, is, I believe, intended to make us understand that Serenity is now the Tams new home, and the crew their new family. The flashbacks indicate the breakdown of the real family, and the final conversation between Mal and Simon indicates the new order.



Exactly. The episode is contrasting what is believed to be 'safe' and stable (a home, a traditional family, a community, an honest living) with what seems to be instability in a nomad lifestyle with petty criminals. It's not that the community Simon and River IS a better place for them, it's that it has the appearance of being a better place.

jewelstaitefan, you don't want to change your mind, so there is no evidence that can make you. That's fine, you go ahead and judge the character of Mal from one line that you've understood (incorrectly, from my POV) as a promise. Don't take into account any of Mal's other actions in other episodes.

Oh and the whole Alliance/Book situation was just supposed to be another piece of the puzzle...one that we never got to see to completion because, you know, the show ended. You HAVE to view this show in the context of there being more out there...more that while you were seeing inklings of, you never got to see.)

***************
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

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Monday, October 8, 2007 2:23 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Muggi:

I think you may just have to accept that Mal is not, as a previous poster stated, a perfect hero. He's not going to do the honorable, "right" thing every time. He's written more reactionary than that..he does what he thinks is best for him and his AT THE MOMENT, not necessarily what is most honorable.



Mal's not a traditional hero, but lives by a sort of brigands code. Badger (though he was being sarcastic, of course) pegged him right: "A man of honor in a den of thieves." The crux to Mal's heroism, however, is seated in his own words: "I look out for me and mine." That's why Dobson got it in the head. It was not out of character at all; nor was Mal somehow breaking his word to Dobson (about not killing him). In Mal's view of things, you hold a gun to an innocent teenage girl, you die. No quams. Like the way he deals with Burgess and his men. River was directly part of "his" (and Petaline and the other girls were so by proxy, as it were, as he was doing it for Inara).

The "me and mine" thing is really key. In "Safe," even Simon was surprised Mal came back for them: "You... you came for us!?" Well, they're on his crew. Why we still talking about this?


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:36 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:

And Yeah, I think he would have left those that chose to stay behind, on Haven. He provides them with an out. Something worse? Probably not, I think that was a fairly empty threat. Shoot, Inara, please, he pretends like she's not even there, so he can go about being the "Nasty Monster Leader" without her seeing him that way.




interestingly, in the novel (just re-read it)) Mal says to the crew, on Haven, "I will f--king shoot you." A much more forceful threat!

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Friday, October 12, 2007 2:32 PM

PLATONIST


I read that too, wytchcroft. I'm glad Joss took "F**king" out. I do believe it is in the shooting script, also. It doesn't sound very much like Mal and I don't think Joss wanted to endanger the PG13 rating over one misplaced word.

Hard to believe, but in Hollywood, vulgar language will get you a higher rating than graphic violence.

I think the shooting threat is probably intended for Jayne more so than the others. Mal just canvases the group to avoid singling Jayne out. Mal doesn't play favorites.

When I taught Middle School, I threatened the whole group all the time to maintain control of the three unruly students in the front row. They may or may not have known. It worked and kept everyone on their toes and I didn't really care. LOL

Speaking of reading, I finished "Serenity Found", the latest set of essays on the Firefly verse. There are a few interesting essays on Mal's character through the series and movie you may find helpful in your fic writing.

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Friday, October 12, 2007 2:48 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
I read that too, wytchcroft. I'm glad Joss took "F**king" out. I do believe it is in the shooting script, also. It doesn't sound very much like Mal



yeah - it seems off somehow.

Quote:


I think the shooting threat is probably intended for Jayne more so than the others. Mal just canvases the group to avoid singling Jayne out.



again, the novel actually states quite boldy "Mal didn't like Jayne very much" - and views him (and his possible betrayal) accordingly. but i can feel the canon/not canon argument-hounds baying off in the distance so... i'll drop that there:)

Quote:

Mal doesn't play favorites.


weirdly, true - not even zoe... guess his huge 'family' back on shadow helped stamp that into his character.

Quote:

When I taught Middle School, I threatened the whole group all the time to maintain control of the three unruly students in the front row. They may or may not have known. It worked and kept everyone on their toes and I didn't really care. LOL



tut tut

Quote:

Speaking of reading, I finished "Serenity Found", the latest set of essays on the Firefly verse. There are a few interesting essays on Mal's character through the series and movie you may find helpful in your fic writing.


thanks P (as always)

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Friday, October 12, 2007 4:32 PM

BORIS


Sorry if I repeat anyone's sentiments here, was too lazy to read all replies. It's about expendibility levels. Simon and River are more expendable than Book. therefore his needs come first, and if there are time and resources left over, Mal will organise saving the other two. and Hey! lucky them, they get saved. point is they don't get left behind permanently, so he didn't technically break his word. Mal is a deeply flawed fellow...that's why we like him/hate him etc.

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Friday, October 12, 2007 8:23 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

boris wrote:
Friday, October 12, 2007 16:32
It's about expendibility levels. Simon and River are more expendable than Book. therefore his needs come first,



HUH??
even at the bottom-line saving two is preferable to saving one.

Simon is a DOCTOR - highly skilled.
Book is a... shepherd.

the expendibility factor is NOT in his favour.


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Friday, October 12, 2007 9:02 PM

BORIS


let me simplify it in a Mal like pragmatic way...he cares about Book. he doesn't like Simon as much.Add to that the fact that he may be intuitive enough to know that Book is more highly skilled than Simon in more beneficial ways. Either way he rescues Simon and River, and they all live on for a few more adventures. Mal is an Ass, and deeply conflicted so we are not always,going to understand his decision making process, but what we do know is that love always comes first with him. (and no I do not spend hours annalysing characters).

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Friday, October 12, 2007 10:01 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by boris:
Sorry if I repeat anyone's sentiments here, was too lazy to read all replies. It's about expendibility levels. Simon and River are more expendable than Book. therefore his needs come first, and if there are time and resources left over, Mal will organise saving the other two.



Unless you're repeating yourself, I doubt many others have shared that sentiment. :)

Mal considers Simon and River under his personal care. Book, too, after a fashion; but Book is far from helpless; and Mal's a sucker for helping out the oppressed. It's hard-wired into his psychology, as it were: the drive for independence; and, thus, the natural instinct to help others who seek that same independence. Especially if those others seek to get out from under the heel of the Alliance.

When it comes down to it, Mal will choose Simon and River over Book. Like don't play into it. Mal thinks of Book as a good friend, but one who basically just came along for the ride -- for whatever reasons that be. He will of course try and save him, if possible; but he's not 'parentally' invested in him, the way he is in Simon and River. Would he really lose Simon or River, it would no doubt leave him devastated, akin to losing his men in the Battle of Serenity Valley.

Simon is not exactly helpless, either. In his own world (Ariel) he's a bright star, brimming with justified confidence. But in Mal's world, he's as lost in the woods as everyone else, and much in need of Mal's help. Also, in a superficial way, Mal does perhaps not really like the doctor. Or rather, he can't really relate to his world; and the doc's fancy shmancy mannerism may rub Mal the wrong way, at times. But Mal respects Simon. Mal knows, only all too well, what it means to having people to look out for. In that sense, he understands the doc perhaps better than he does Inara.

And River? She has, unbeknownst to himself, given Mal a renewed raison d'etre. No, in terms of expendability, the odds are not stacked in Book's favor.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:26 PM

BORIS


Um ...and yet Book's needs are tended to FIRST and there's the whole close contact with the Alliance to have his needs met. So I'm thinking he must be pretty important for such a risk to be taken.(see how stubbornly I cling to my opinion?) ...actually refreshing to know we can all look at the same material in diverse ways. I suppose that's the reason I like what Firefly has achieved in terms of bringing together a wide circle of people with different perceptions.

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