GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Theory that Book worked for Blue Sun and is Following River

POSTED BY: MSBIGPILEOFDUST
UPDATED: Thursday, February 12, 2004 12:54
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 6:18 AM

MSBIGPILEOFDUST


I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me, if someone has already had this idea...

During my investigation of Book, when I was making his action figure, I noticed a couple of things.

In Serenity, Simon talks about some ‘men’ contacting him and helping River escape. The camera then pans to Book.

Also, in the scene in another episode, when River is scared of Book’s big hair, I wondered whether there might be a deeper level to it than a priceless comedy moment.

I think it may turn out the Book worked for Blue Sun and River has some memory of seeing him (maybe just as a scary big-haired silhouette). I think it was him that helped Simon to rescue River. I think, when Kaylee chats him up on Persephone, he’s looking at cargo being loaded onto ships, not the ships themselves, and that he’s following River.

I don't think he's evil but he may have his own adgenda with River.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 6:39 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


That theory holds more water than some I have seen posted.

I would have to disagree w/ your theory for a couple of reasons.

First, if Book is one of the men that helped Simon, why did Simon not recognize him? Sure, he may never have actually met Simon face to face, but on Book's part, there seemed to be no recognition. Book also seemed unaware of River's "condition". If he was involved w/ getting her out, he would have had some idea of what she went through.

Secondly, Book had been in an abbey up to his arrival on planet, and his boarding Serenity. Of course, we only have his word on that, and it could be part of his cover story. If he had helped to rescue River, wouldn't it make more sense just to accompany her & Simon if he was looking after her?

I think the logic is also offset by Book's obvious tie to the Alliance. In "Safe" we see him get medical treatment on the Alliance cruiser when he shows them his I.D. The officer couldn't get him on the ship fast enough when he saw Book's I.D., but just moments before, had been willing to let him die, even though he was a Shephard.

It does not appear that Book is any more protective of Simon or River than he is anyone else.

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 7:12 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Nothing I like better than batting around Book theories.

Quote:

Paraphrased from original post by BrownCoat1:
If Book is one of the men that helped Simon, why did Simon not recognize him?

If he had helped to rescue River, wouldn't it make more sense just to accompany her & Simon if he was looking after her?

I think the logic is also offset by Book's obvious tie to the Alliance.

It does not appear that Book is any more protective of Simon or River than he is anyone else.



Simon said he was "contacted." He didn't say he "met with" the party that secured River's release. Even if he did, he could have met with anyone, so Book could have been part of it and Simon would never know.

Yes, if Book was part of it, then it might make more sense for Book to accompany them, provided he wanted to make it blatantly clear that he did indeed assist in getting River released - if he did, which I do find fairly unlikely. Plus, chronologically, in Serenity Book was introduced long before we saw Simon. This indicates he was the first passenger, and how would he know Simon and River would show up too? I mean how many ships were in port that day?

Obvious tie to the Alliance? I'd say obvious he's someone more important than we realize. Nobody has ever said anything about him being somehow directly tied to the Alliance besides us. I'm still sticking to the idea that Book is a high muckity-muck in the Shephard echelon, but that's just my theory.

Ultimately, Book is protective of his flock, whether the individual members of the flock (e.g. Mal) care for it or not. Simon and River just happen to be part of it. That I agree with completely.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 7:20 AM

NEVETEXTOR


My biggest problem with this interpretation is that Book appears to have approached Kaylee about boarding the ship before Simon did.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 7:30 AM

ZEKE023


Quote:

Originally posted by Nevetextor:
My biggest problem with this interpretation is that Book appears to have approached Kaylee about boarding the ship before Simon did.



I agree with this.
Also - Book is obvioulsy reformed. He wouldn't be sitting in his room reading the bible where no one can see him (in Out of Gas) if he weren't a believer. He has in all ways acted as someone with a shady history who has become a minister of Christ.
Hell, they even dropped him off at an abbey to do prayer and meditation for an episode.
Unless the whole Christian Church is in on it - I think Book is clean. He may have a shady past, but that's about it.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 7:35 AM

MSBIGPILEOFDUST


We never see Simon make the arrangement with Kaylee, we just see him boarding. He could have chosen Serenity before Book. One of the other 'men' could have seen him do so and described the ship to Book. Hence the ship ogling!

I think Book's interest in River's condition is not the same as Simon's purely brotherly concern. Therefore, he would keep his connection secret. He may also be ashamed.

I don't disbeliebe the part about him spending time in a Monastery but I do believe he is closely linked to Blue Sun in some way. Maybe a family connection... brother to the President. He could have found out what was going on and intervened.

The fact that the Alliance recognise his identity card doesn't mean he works directly for them. They seem to obey orders from Blue Sun corp. The Alliance officers were sucking up to the hands-of-blue men in Ariel before they got their innards mushed.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:59 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by MsBigPileofDust:
We never see Simon make the arrangement with Kaylee, we just see him boarding. He could have chosen Serenity before Book. One of the other 'men' could have seen him do so and described the ship to Book. Hence the ship ogling!



You know, there's something to that.

Quote:

Originally posted by MsBigPileofDust:
I don't disbelieve the part about him spending time in a Monastery but I do believe he is closely linked to Blue Sun in some way. Maybe a family connection... brother to the President. He could have found out what was going on and intervened.



I've often thought Book's special treatment in Safe was due to other reasons besides being a former Alliance officer, which is one of the more popular theories on his past. Even pushed around the idea that he was an Independent, but related to some Alliance High-Muckity and under some kind of amnesty because of it. Being related to a Blue Sun High-Muckity might do the trick too, considering Blue Sun seems to be the *other* power in the 'verse, maybe even *big brother*.

This is why I love speculating on Book. Not knowing a thing about the character leads one into some pretty shiny tangents of the imagination.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:59 AM

WINTERFELL


here's some more food for thought...

how about in Ojects in space, when river is going all psychic and sees book flipping out all angry like.. i'd love to figure out what he is saying... i turned on the captions but it didn't pick it up.. something about "inocent"

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 9:06 AM

CAPTAINCDC


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Early in OIS says that Book is no Shepherd.

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 9:18 AM

SHINY


Quote:

Originally posted by Winterfell:
here's some more food for thought...

how about in Ojects in space, when river is going all psychic and sees book flipping out all angry like.. i'd love to figure out what he is saying... i turned on the captions but it didn't pick it up.. something about "inocent"



IIRC, he says, "I don't give half a hump if you're innocent or not...now where does that leave you?" Which suggests either Book is, or at least once was, a bad, mean ol' man.

RIVER
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 9:27 AM

WINTERFELL


Quote:

Originally posted by Shiny:
IIRC, he says, "I don't give half a hump if you're innocent or not...now where does that leave you?" Which suggests either Book is, or at least once was, a bad, mean ol' man.



wow, shiney, thanx!!!!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 9:45 AM

SEGURANT


If Book did work at Blue Sun, then that could also explain the Officer's change of heart in "Safe".

I would love to know more about Blue Sun. I doubt Book worked there because there are other holes in Book.

Obviously he is a good shot since he aims so well at people's knees.

He knows about fast burning ships and other Crime procedures.

Those are the only two I can think of at the moment. Now I'll have to watch the whole series again and study Book more.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 9:56 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Quote:

Originally posted by Channain:
Nothing I like better than batting around Book theories.

Quote:

Paraphrased from original post by BrownCoat1:
If Book is one of the men that helped Simon, why did Simon not recognize him?

If he had helped to rescue River, wouldn't it make more sense just to accompany her & Simon if he was looking after her?

I think the logic is also offset by Book's obvious tie to the Alliance.

It does not appear that Book is any more protective of Simon or River than he is anyone else.



Simon said he was "contacted." He didn't say he "met with" the party that secured River's release. Even if he did, he could have met with anyone, so Book could have been part of it and Simon would never know.

Yes, if Book was part of it, then it might make more sense for Book to accompany them, provided he wanted to make it blatantly clear that he did indeed assist in getting River released - if he did, which I do find fairly unlikely. Plus, chronologically, in Serenity Book was introduced long before we saw Simon. This indicates he was the first passenger, and how would he know Simon and River would show up too? I mean how many ships were in port that day?

Obvious tie to the Alliance? I'd say obvious he's someone more important than we realize. Nobody has ever said anything about him being somehow directly tied to the Alliance besides us. I'm still sticking to the idea that Book is a high muckity-muck in the Shephard echelon, but that's just my theory.

Ultimately, Book is protective of his flock, whether the individual members of the flock (e.g. Mal) care for it or not. Simon and River just happen to be part of it. That I agree with completely.



You are right in your observation of Simon being "contacted". He didn't specify that it was a face to face meet, so he may never have seen his sister's benefactors. It is also true Book could have been involved, though I find it unlikely. That would mean Book is somehow tied in w/ the Alliance, the Blue Hands, & River. Too many storylines for one character, especially one who is kind of background for the major players.

Not sure about him being a high muckety muck w/ the Shephards. What are the relations like between the Alliance & the Shephards? The Alliance doesn't really strike me as the religious types, and the Alliance officer was willing to let Book bleed to death, regardless of his being a Shephard, until he saw his ident card.

Zeke023 wrote:

Quote:

I agree with this.
Also - Book is obvioulsy reformed. He wouldn't be sitting in his room reading the bible where no one can see him (in Out of Gas) if he weren't a believer. He has in all ways acted as someone with a shady history who has become a minister of Christ.
Hell, they even dropped him off at an abbey to do prayer and meditation for an episode.
Unless the whole Christian Church is in on it - I think Book is clean. He may have a shady past, but that's about it.



Makes sense to me Zeke. The way Book is portrayed to me presents him more as a Shephard trying to make up for some sort of past, a past tied to the Alliance somehow.

MsBigPileofDust wrote:

Quote:

We never see Simon make the arrangement with Kaylee, we just see him boarding. He could have chosen Serenity before Book. One of the other 'men' could have seen him do so and described the ship to Book. Hence the ship ogling!



You are right, we never really do see the arrangements made between Kaylee & Simon, but it still seems chronologically that Book took passage first.

CaptainCDC wrote:

Quote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Early in OIS says that Book is no Shepherd.


Absolutely correct. Early told Simon that Book was no Shephard.







"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 10:02 AM

SOUPCATCHER


I was just re-watching Our Mrs. Reynolds and I noticed something about Book. When Mal first notices the "net" he explains to the crew that they will get fried by the device. But Book corrects him and says that the newer models can just hold you in place. So Book has a more up to date knowledge than the Captain?!? (This is where I start making assumptions) It seemed to me that Mal's first spaceship was Serenity so he's only been at this game for six years. So I would think that most of his knowledge about crime in space came from this period. But Book is supposed to have been in a monastary for quite a few years. And he's more up to date?

Of course, that scene also has an interestng moment when Mal first realizes what they are flying towards. His first look is to Book who nods his head to confirm that it is indeed a "net". So at some point Mal has come to rely on Book's knowledge enough to use him for verification. I found that intriguing. I don't think Mal knows any more about Book's past than we do but he's smart enough to make use of any resource available.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 10:10 AM

SEGURANT


Well in Serenity, Kaylee asked Book if he ever been on a Firefly. Book responded way before she was born. Book has knowledge of things outside of being a Shepard.

My wife thinks that Blue Sun is indeed the Government. Some governments serve the interest of corporations.

Segurant

"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with until you understand who's in ruttin' command here. "

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 10:19 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by BrownCoat1:
You are right in your observation of Simon being "contacted". He didn't specify that it was a face to face meet, so he may never have seen his sister's benefactors. It is also true Book could have been involved, though I find it unlikely. That would mean Book is somehow tied in w/ the Alliance, the Blue Hands, & River. Too many storylines for one character, especially one who is kind of background for the major players.



Actually, I'm also finding it unlikely that he was involved with River's escape. But on the same hand, it also seems a bit too obvious to me that Book is somehow *tied in* with the Alliance. I'm thinking he was at one time and is now reformed, finding his way in the world looking through new eyes.

Book also sits and reads from the Bible in plain sight - Train Job for instance. He was right there in the kitchen when Inara came in.

Quote:

Originally posted by BrownCoat1:
Not sure about him being a high muckety muck w/ the Shephards. What are the relations like between the Alliance & the Shephards? The Alliance doesn't really strike me as the religious types, and the Alliance officer was willing to let Book bleed to death, regardless of his being a Shephard, until he saw his ident card.



True, but that doesn't automatically prove he's Alliance, currently or formerly. Just means he's someone with some serious kind of clout, or maybe just the right kind of security clearance.

Quote:

Originally posted by Zeke023
Hell, they even dropped him off at an abbey to do prayer and meditation for an episode.
Unless the whole Christian Church is in on it - I think Book is clean. He may have a shady past, but that's about it.



Dropped him off at an abbey - never said what he was doing there. Abbies have records; birth, death, marriage and the like. Some could have orphanages or halfway houses or shelters of some kind. I don't doubt that some meditation was done, but if we're going with his unknown background, he could have been going through some old records, looking for something. Something he wanted to keep so quiet, he didn't want to risk having it "waved" to him. And whatcould that be? That would be why we always end up speculating about this man. That and this:

Quote:

Posted by Zeke023
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Early in OIS says that Book is no Shepherd.



And that is why the fun continues.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 10:44 AM

ALFERDPACKER


Book seems fairly familiar with both sides of the crime business. In "The Message" he seemed fairly knowledgable about where the had been commissioned and where his jurisdiction ended.

Maybe I was the only one who got that impression.

But Book being a fairly high muckity muck in the Alliance doesn't have to mean he's party to whatever was done to River. And the higher placed he was, the more autonomy he would have to act as he saw fit.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004 10:32 AM

RPM76


ok lets try to throw this one into the mix! in the pilot twice he was referred to as grandpa and he just replied i never married now could it be instead of him being a big cheese could it be that he may have a child that is a big cheese, i personally cant see this but it would be interesting to see you guys shoot it down

i'll be in my bunk

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Thursday, January 15, 2004 7:49 PM

ROBERTRENCE


Just out of curiosity, what are the various Book theories?

My own personal theory is that he was an Alliance man on the opposite side of the battle of Serenity (Just because it would spice it up a little bit) and that after the war, he joined a abbey to try to atone for what he'd done in his life.

It'd be nice to see the collected theories though.

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Sunday, January 18, 2004 8:28 PM

RANGRBOB


This is a thought I had the other day. Let me know if its been done though.

What if Book is an ex-bounty hunter. This may be why Early recognizes him as being not a shepard

Perhaps at one point he was a bounty hunter for the Aliance who refomed and joined a monistary for some sort of redemption. And for some reason or another through maipulation or a great need for money for some noble cause decided to take on one last bounty. For all he knew they were wanted evil fellons. Perhaps after he heard Simons story he decided that he had made the wrong choice and now is either still deciding or actively helping them. His quote in "Objects" when River is doing her mind reading thing may be evidence of his indecisiveness in the matter.


Just a thought.

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Sunday, January 18, 2004 9:47 PM

STEVE580


Early didn't recognize Book as anything; just figured from the way he spoke and acted that he wasn't. Whedon says something along these lines in the commentary.

On an entirely differant subject, have there been any theories as to Inara's needle in 'Serenity' when the Reavers are passing by?

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Monday, January 19, 2004 2:34 AM

MSBIGPILEOFDUST


I have an Inara theory too! I'll start a new thread!

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Monday, January 19, 2004 5:53 AM

BOBSUNCORP


Quote:

Originally posted by rangrbob:
What if Book is an ex-bounty hunter. This may be why Early recognizes him as being not a shepard



Kudos! My flatmate and I have been trying for ages to figure out exactly what part Book played in the alliance, it is obvious that he has a nasty past and a closet full of skeletons - but what? This is an excellent point though, and the quote "I don't give half a hump whether you're innocent or not - so where does that leave you?" fits in perfectly as the kind of thing nasty Book would say to someone he'd caught. Bounty hunters however do not seem like the kind of people that would get preferential treatment in an Alliance medical bay, so I think the idea someone else raised about him being a RELATIVE of a big cheese in the Alliance has some serious merit. And may be a small point, but can anyone remember Book ever speaking chinese? Perhaps he is an Alliance defector (the kind of people who always appear after a government survives a war - who oppose it from within). Ok maybe not.

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Monday, January 19, 2004 9:47 AM

RANGRBOB


He spoke it only once it was in "War Stories." He said it upon seeing Mal's ear.

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Monday, January 19, 2004 10:39 AM

NICOLACLARKE


Plus, I think the infrequency of Book speaking Chinese has more to do with the fact that it's generally used for cursing (on the show), and Book prefers not to curse.

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Monday, January 19, 2004 11:59 AM

SHINY


Quote:

Originally posted by NicolaClarke:
Plus, I think the infrequency of Book speaking Chinese has more to do with the fact that it's generally used for cursing (on the show), and Book prefers not to curse.



Plus, Ron Glass speaks Chinese like he's speaking Klingon.

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Purple elephants are flying.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2004 4:14 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by BobSunCorp:
but can anyone remember Book ever speaking chinese?



In "War Stories" after Zoe returns with the Captain's ear, Book lets loose with a string of Chinese.

In the commentary, they note that is sounds more Klingon than Chinese. And they are right, it does.



"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004 1:32 PM

MALSDOXY

I know what did this...


I had thought that Book had been an interrogator or some such in an Alliance concentration / reprogramming camp that Mal was thrust into after they had to lay down arms and the Medship finally picked them up...Of course, he couldn't break Mal
and that's what prompted him to follow him out in the black...to see what this extraordinary man was doing...Wonder why P.T.S.D never caught up with Mal ?

Remember in 'Objects in Space' when Early says, 'That ain't a shepherd...'

browncoats...we're everywhere

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004 2:31 AM

BOBSUNCORP


I think we have to establish that prior to the pilot (the proper one) none of the characters who meet for the first time had met before. Book does not know Simon or River, nor Mal. He may have some experience with Blue Sun Corporation's business practices (abducting minors and turning them into Psychic Assasins) and may have been involved in the war somehow, but that is as far as it goes. Once this is accepted, we can focus on basing hypothesis around these facts.

Moan over.

"She understands...she does not comprehend"

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Friday, January 30, 2004 6:07 PM

SAINT JAYNE


I've never had strong feelings about Book until today, as I re-watch Serenity. Books is really two questions - his past and his present. I always thought his past was hinted at by River's mind reading in Objects in Space but his present motives were unknown.

As Book first appears to us (right after the "Good dogs" sign), he is plodding along with a goofy grin. The camera suddenly zooms (slightly) onto him as he turns his head and studies a man in a brown suit. Who do we know who wears a lot of suits? From the back, it looks a tad like Simon Tam. Also, he's not looking at the ships, he's casting his glace left and right at the crowd.

This doesn't clearly define why Book sailed with Serenity; Simon and his things didn't seem to be around. Perhaps he just used good psychology to deduce which ship a man like Simon would be attracted to?

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Friday, January 30, 2004 7:17 PM

THEKINGOFCHAOS


just another point that no-one has brought up yet. In bushwacked Book does not use whatever is on his "card" to assist the crew in getting out of interrigations, assumeing that if he had been aware of the fact that Mal would have been charged with a crime. he may have interfered with whatever clout he had but we don't know this.

Yet he does use his card when his life is on the line. All I am saying that that whatever he is, he doesn't use it till all other possiblities have been exhausted.

I'm not sure that this helps in any way, but i do believe that its another piece of the puzzle.

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Saturday, January 31, 2004 7:56 PM

BOURNE


Maybe this is already a theory that's been advanced, or real close to one already out there, but here goes:

Book has clearly dealt with criminal activity, whichever side of the law he's on. And, as someone pointed out in an earlier post, his knowledge of criminal culture and technology seem fairly current.

He is most likely on the "right" side, since his ident card not only doesn't get him arrested, but does get him Alliance medical care (wonder if they've got good dental, too?).

He DOESN'T wear a cop uniform, and avoids direct association with the Law until at Death's Door.

To me, all of this screams "undercover agent."

I'm not altogether convinced River is his primary objective. She COULD be, though.

I'm also not sure that he's an ALLIANCE operative. He COULD be, though: undercover cop, IA, or the equivalent of CIA or NSA; all of these often perform covert ops, and assume aliases...like a priest, for example.

But what if he really IS a cleric? The present day (Roman)Catholic Church is, among other things, a sovereign state(Vatican) with dedicated police and intel agencies of its own. And while the thought makes many uncomfortable, they actually do use their world-wide network of priests, etc to help gather intel. In addition, as is typical with any other sovereign state, they cooperate with other agencies, like the CIA and MI-5(6?). Not unreasonable to speculate that 500 years from now, a similar cooperative structure might exist (perhaps one with a spin-off Protestant foundation of "Shepherds"? Or maybe Joss & Co were uncomfortable with using the actual Catholic Church?).

Anyway, just putting in my two-bits-worth...

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Friday, February 6, 2004 3:34 AM

LITWOLF689


I have a point that could swing my Book agrument one of two ways:

In 'Bushwacked', with the crew was getting interrogated, what did the Alliance people say to Book? If they were asking him about Simon and River, that might prove that he is not working for the Alliance, unless they asked him right out, "Have you found the Tams yet?" So what do they ask him.

Also, everybody is saying that because Book reads the Bible in plain sight, that means that he is really religious and therefor not an Alliance agent. It could just be an act. Or he could really be really religious and that made the Alliance think he was a good man to play the part of a sheperd as an undercover agent.

These are just points I wanted to point out, but can somebody tell me what they say to Book in 'Bushwacked'?

Thanks!!!

^-^

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Friday, February 6, 2004 4:59 AM

ADEPTUS


Here's my Book theory:

Quite frankly, I feel that Shepherd Book might have been some sort of law enforcement agent. Not a regular cop, or even a detective, maybe something more like a Federal Marshall, FBI agent or perhaps even a spy in the Alliance government.

He obviously has some clout with the Alliance (the Ident Card) and advanced combat training, not to mention an encyclopedic knowledge of police procedure and criminal activities.

Whatever ties Book may have to the Alliance (if indeed they exist) I believe are tenuous. I think that Book really did become a shepherd, maybe not out of a great desire to learn the Word, but perhaps to hide away from some trouble with the government.

I also don't believe he was specifically looking for Serenity when he first boarded her on Persephone. As far as we know, the crew hadn't done anything particularly noteworthy up until that point. I believe that Book is running from something. It puts the "I think I'm on the wrong ship" confession in a whole new light if you consider that Book, very desperately, wants to avoid Alliance attention.

Anyway, I was thinking that the River mind read moment belies a certain ruthlessness with which he performed whatever job he held for the Alliance. Perhaps, his "I don't give half a hump if your innocent" attitude changed at some point and he became disenchanted with his employer. Now he's running from, and perhaps trying to make amends for, his past.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Friday, February 6, 2004 5:04 AM

GROOVEMONKEY


Quote:

Originally posted by AlferdPacker:
Book seems fairly familiar with both sides of the crime business. In "The Message" he seemed fairly knowledgable about where the had been commissioned and where his jurisdiction ended.

Maybe I was the only one who got that impression.


Quote:

Originally posted by Bourne:

I'm also not sure that he's an ALLIANCE operative. He COULD be, though: undercover cop, IA, or the equivalent of CIA or NSA; all of these often perform covert ops, and assume aliases...like a priest, for example.



When I saw this episode (The Message)i also got the impression that maybe Book was once a cop, maybe a detective or a “FBI" type agent at one point. That would explain his knowledge of fire arms (War Stories), police procedure and uniform standards (The Message), criminal tactics (OMR), and Early’s “that’s no preacher”.

The problem with him being a cop (even an agent) is that it does not explain why he breaks down at the end of “Serenity”, nor does it explain why the Alliance would jump at the sight of his Ident-O-Card.

Book being an ex-military man that fought for the Alliance and is repenting from his violent past seems to satisfy all the character clues that we have been given, and also sets him up for conflict with Mal. It would also explain why he seems to be quite confortable around Jayne, working out with him and showing him a measure of respect, something a man of God , I think, would not do.

When I saw my first ever episode of Firefly I thought that Book was probably my least favourite character. The more I re-watch the episodes on DVD, the more I realize that Book was going to bring a lot of interesting back story to the mix.

Why was this show cancelled again?

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Friday, February 6, 2004 6:55 AM

ADEPTUS


I have to really strongly disagree with the notion that Book followed Simon and River onto Serenity; there's just not one shred of evidence to support this assumption. In fact, I'll do my best to make the case that he couldn't have done so.

Let's examine timing as the first aspect.

When Serenity landed at the Eavesdown Docs, Mal told Kaylee to schedule their departure for three hours later. So, if everything went well, they would only be spending three hours on Persephone however, we all know that things didn't go well (Badger's refusal to accept the goods truncated their time.) The whole reason for them being there was to offload the goods for Badger, and Mal was itchin' to get that done, so he makes a bee-line for Badger's Den of Thieves. Now, as they were walking, we can figure it probably didn't take more than ten or twenty minutes (at the most) for them to get there. Also, immediately after they leave, we are introduced to Shepherd Book by his exchange with the captain of the Brutus. Then we go back to Mal and his conversation with Badger. Now this little chat only lasted a few minutes and ended with Mal and company on the way back to the ship. The very next scene is Book and Kaylee, and he finds Kaylee lounging in the chair in front of the cargo bay. So, Simon would have only had about 15 to 25 minutes to get to Serenity ahead of Book, which is definitely possible, but he'd pretty much have to be standing right next to where it landed or have made a bee-line for her from wherever he was. It's doubtful that this occurred, and my final point will help support this statement.

Now let's look at how Book chose a ship for passage.

Book wasn't looking at destinations, or passenger lists (and it's doubtful that Simon would have registered in a database anyway), he was looking at ships (as Kaylee pointed out.) Actually, it seems he was also evaluating the representatives of the ships. I personally think that if the captain of the Brutus had been more respectful he might have booked passage on it instead. When Book first approaches Serenity, he pauses to look for a second or two, then keeps on going. It was Kaylee's unique, tactful and insightful sales pitch that piqued Book's interest. During the exchange, Book engages Kaylee in conversation, and I got the impression that he was weighing her treatment of him more than he was weighing the space worthiness of her vessel. The people that Book was travelling with mattered the most to him.

Let's put timing and Simon's known tail together.

After this exchange we cut back to Mal, Zoe and Jayne in the last couple of minutes of their 10 - 20 min trek from Badger's, and as they approach the ship we see Wash driving up with Simon's Box and Kaylee saying:
"Welcome aboard, mister. . . ?"
She's speaking to someone she was just now meeting, Dobson, who we know was following Simon. In fact, it's reasonable to assume that Dobson was keeping a pretty close eye on Simon, and a shadow is never very far from the object that casts it. Therefore, if Dobson was just now showing up, you can bet that Simon had only just gotten there himself. So if we put all the timeline together, we have Shepherd Book's encounter with the Brutus' captain about five or ten minutes after Serenity's landing, then his encounter with Kaylee about twenty to twenty-five minutes after touchdown. Simon's encounter with Kaylee most likely occurred about thirty to forty minutes after touchdown and Dobson was just a few moments (or minutes) after Simon.

If anyone has some specific evidence to bring up that points to Book following Simon, I'd be very glad to read it.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Friday, February 6, 2004 3:29 PM

SAINT JAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by Adeptus:
If anyone has some specific evidence to bring up that points to Book following Simon, I'd be very glad to read it.


Evidence? I wish I had a good logical debate to give you. Would you settle for a half-assed drunken slur?

I believe the odds of Book being just a regular preacher are about the same as River being just intuitive. Does everyone have a reason to be on Serenity except Book? I don't think he's just a floater.

Quote:

So, Simon would have only had about 15 to 25 minutes to get to Serenity ahead of Book...

It's a movie. Everything is possible. I think an equally valid argument is a writer thinking, "how do we get Book on board without giving away that he's an X-Alliance commando/ninja/Catholic who's tracking River?"
Quote:

Now let's look at how Book chose a ship for passage.

Kaylee might have been wrong when she said Book wasn't interested in destinations, just the ships. I don't think he was interested in either. He spends as much time looking out into the crowds as he does looking into the holds of ships. He's looking for Simon and River, I think. When we first see him, he's eyeing up a young man in a suit - looking to see if it's Simon, maybe.
Quote:

Actually, it seems he was also evaluating the representatives of the ships.

I think this as well. Who would not scare off Simon and his highly-illegal cargo? I admit, this isn't my strongest arguement, but I think Book new which ship Simon was taking before he did (since I agree with you that Book didn't follow Simon on board).

Whatever your thoughts, I think we all have to agree that there are important facts about Book being kept from us.

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 9:38 AM

PALEHORSE


Hello to those of you who know of my pet theory.

Nice to meet the ones who don't.

The thread titled "Was Book at Serenity Valey?" pretty much sums up my case. and I invite anybody to read it if you wish.

I just think that the idea of following River would be a little too well worn.

"Serenity"- bounty hunter
"Ariel"- Jayne turns the Tams in
"Obj. in Space"- Jubal

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 10:23 AM

ADEPTUS


Quote:

I believe the odds of Book being just a regular preacher are about the same as River being just intuitive.
Never said that Book was just a regular preacher. I just don't believe he was specifically following River and Simon when he boarded Serenity.
Quote:

It's a movie. Everything is possible. I think an equally valid argument is a writer thinking, "how do we get Book on board without giving away that he's an X-Alliance commando/ninja/Catholic who's tracking River?"
While you do have a point, you basically have to make unsupported assumptions to fit your presuppositions in order to arrive at this conclusion. Wouldn't exactly hold up in a court of law, a philosophical debate, or a logical argument.
Quote:

He spends as much time looking out into the crowds as he does looking into the holds of ships.
Well he's been shut up in an abbey for six or so years. Don't you think you'd be a little bit oggle-prone your first day out?
Quote:

He's looking for Simon and River, I think. When we first see him, he's eyeing up a young man in a suit - looking to see if it's Simon, maybe.
You mean the man in the suit who's talking to two prostitutes? Just because he looks at someone or something doesn't mean he's "eyeing them up." You just pointed out that he spent lots of time looking into crowds, was he eyeing up all the people in them? I don't think so. And I do agree, to some extent, that Book was looking for the right kind of people; as I stated in my previous post.

Also, if Book were following Simon and River he's never taken any action concerning them. We know from "Trash" that he's been travelling on Serenity for almost a year. You'd think that in that span of time, he'd have acted in some way or another if he were indeed following River.

I think that dwelling on the theory that Book may have been following Simon and River is an unworthy distraction in trying to figure out what his hidden past is. I leave it to Whedon and his team of writers to prove me wrong.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 10:25 AM

ADEPTUS


Quote:

Originally posted by palehorse:
"Serenity"- bounty hunter

It was a federal agent following River in "Serenity." Jubal Early is the bounty hunter.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 12:20 PM

SAINT JAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by Adeptus:
Never said that Book was just a regular preacher.


I didn't mean to put words in your mouth.
Quote:

While you do have a point, you basically have to make unsupported assumptions to fit your presuppositions in order to arrive at this conclusion. Wouldn't exactly hold up in a court of law, a philosophical debate, or a logical argument.


I'm not speaking in any of those things. If you don't find my thoughts valid, feel free to ignore them. I did warn you that I didn't have a logical debate or solid evidence.

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Monday, February 9, 2004 6:42 AM

PALEHORSE


Quote:

Originally posted by Adeptus:
Quote:

Originally posted by palehorse:
"Serenity"- bounty hunter

It was a federal agent following River in "Serenity." Jubal Early is the bounty hunter.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.



No, I believe that it is made pretty clear that he is posing as a Fed in order to use fear of the Aliance to control the situation a bit(keep himself alive)

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Monday, February 9, 2004 6:59 AM

ADEPTUS


Quote:

No, I believe that it is made pretty clear that he is posing as a Fed in order to use fear of the Aliance to control the situation a bit(keep himself alive)
What gives you that impression?

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 12:44 PM

PALEHORSE


-The offer to cut Jayne in on the bounty for River and Simon.

-The "superior" interogation resisance technique

-The fact that he did not arrest the Tams on world

-Do we see an ident card?

I just think that these all point to his lying.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 1:17 PM

ADEPTUS


Well, if he was a bounty hunter, he was certainly the worst bounty hunter in the 'verse. Heh.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 1:24 PM

DUEY


My theory:

Book WAS an Alliance deep cover ops guy who did a lot of nasty things and knows both sides of the law. We all know the monastery doesn't need that much rabbit stew, ya'll.

But that doesn't change the fact that he genuinely IS a Shepherd. We see him reading the Bible and studying when he is by himself when there is no need for the pretense. He does have faith- his actions show it.

It's all about redemption. He did horrible things, saw horrible things, and reached outside of himself for faith. Redemption is possible, and he attained it through Christianity. That's why he's so scared at first- he's afraid going back to the old life will make him lose what he no doubt had to work so hard to find- or rather, to accept.

Plus, River doesn't see him as false. She sees the 'half a hump' thing, sure- that's just evidence of his dark past- but if he really were false, she'd know it.

As for getting along with Jayne: There's some good in Mrs. Cobb's baby boy. He's a pain in the ass, but he's got good in him, too. I see Book really trying to cultivate that, to be open to him to show him that there's more to life. After all, Jesus picked some pretty rough characters to be His friends, too.


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid." John 14:27

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 1:48 PM

PALEHORSE


Quote:

Originally posted by Duey:
My theory:

Book WAS an Alliance deep cover ops guy who did a lot of nasty things and knows both sides of the law. We all know the monastery doesn't need that much rabbit stew, ya'll.



Palehorse: Or he was an Alliance officer(see thread "was Book at Serenity Valey"



But that doesn't change the fact that he genuinely IS a Shepherd. We see him reading the Bible and studying when he is by himself when there is no need for the pretense. He does have faith- his actions show it.



Palehorse: Even regular people who hold to the many branches of the Judeo-Christian tree of faiths will study the Bible.



It's all about redemption. He did horrible things, saw horrible things, and reached outside of himself for faith. Redemption is possible, and he attained it through Christianity. That's why he's so scared at first- he's afraid going back to the old life will make him lose what he no doubt had to work so hard to find- or rather, to accept.



Palehorse: I'm thinking that he has made peace with himself and has found forgiveness in the calling, but still has to atone for his actions.
It is possible that the fear inside of him is actually of the process of reparation(meeting, and growing to understand and accept the feelings of a ship's captain so affected by the war that he named his ship Serenity)



Plus, River doesn't see him as false. She sees the 'half a hump' thing, sure- that's just evidence of his dark past- but if he really were false, she'd know it.

As for getting along with Jayne: There's some good in Mrs. Cobb's baby boy. He's a pain in the ass, but he's got good in him, too. I see Book really trying to cultivate that, to be open to him to show him that there's more to life. After all, Jesus picked some pretty rough characters to be His friends, too.



Palehorse: One of the basic behaviors of human beings in a new social situation is to find the person you can most closely identify with. Having been most likely business like in his past violence, Book sees Jayne as a familiar soul.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 8:20 PM

REDJACK


I think Book was an Alliance assassin BEFORE the war even broke out. He's considerably older than the others, remember.

I think he really is a Shepard now and has been in the monestary long enough to have earned those stripes.

It tracks that, having had to do some heinous act, his conscience stabbed him and he went into the monestary to find his soul again.

I think that he may have had foreknowledge of the project that River ultimately became part of but not have been an actual participant.

Since boarding SERENITY Book hasn't killed anyone, despite plenty of reason and opportunity. He's certianly capable of it. Indeed he's always one of those who lobbies against it. He seems to REALLY beleive in whatever version of whatever Bible it is that he's carrying around.

A truly evil person cannot sustain the fiction of goodness in such close quarters for any real length of time. When your O2 is running out, you revert to type.

Book ran straight to his Bible (though his Faith seemed a bit shakey in OUT OF GAS).

Each of Serenity's passengers carries secrets from their pasts but, so far, all those secrets seem to be extremely personal (as opposed to political or intellectual).

Book's a man with an evil past trying to make ammends.

IMO.



The Price of Knowledge is Knowing.
Audrid Dax

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 12:12 AM

AJ


Going back to the old Early comment in OiS, "that's no shepherd". Some have suggested that this was surmised from observation, but Early's done his research. He clearly knows all about EVERYONE on board, and how to push their buttons. He made damn sure (like with Mal), that Book wasn't going to have much of a chance to fight back.

Now I believe that he is a man of faith, maybe even a shepherd (at least officially) and possibly "doing penance" for something, but as others have pointed out, he's quite up-to-date on what's happening in the contemporary world, and his skills are certainly not rusty! I wouldn't rule out the possibility of him still being in active service (although definitely with a long history), such as undercover, but at the same time he could be in need of a low profile for some reason, and I'm largely convinced that he's not "tracking" River, or any of the Serenity crew.

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