GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Thoughts on Book. . .

POSTED BY: STATIC
UPDATED: Sunday, February 8, 2004 15:22
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Saturday, February 7, 2004 10:10 AM

STATIC


Okay. . .I have no idea how many times this dead horse has been beaten, but here are my OWN insights. . .

So, however many of us have commented on Book's 'thought' during OiS, "I don't give half a hump. . .etc. etc." I twisted my brain in knots trying to figure out why that would be directed at River. . .and in ANOTHER thread, it was suggested that he probably DIDN'T direct it to her. SOOOOO. . .I can't believe it never occurred to me until AFTER the many discussions as to where his background lies. . .it's almost OBVIOUS now. . .he is a former Alliance Fed! It makes sense! He is a GENUINE sheperd now. . .seen the 'path of God' and has chosen to follow it devoutly but BEFORE he was a Sheperd, he probably made the guy in "The Message" look like 'Little Mary Sunshine". It would explain why, at a glance, he could tell where the guy's command stripes came from, it would explain his knowledge of weapons and ships, it would explain an ADDITIONAL reason why he was so vehement in trying to protect the life of the "Lawman" from the pilot episode. . .AND. . .if you know your basic psychology. . . (dum-da-da-DUM!!!)

It explains why he was SOOOOOOOOOO torn up after his apparent 'failure' near the end of the first episode!

When you 'renounce' a life or lifestyle, and throw yourself into another. . .ESPECIALLY one that is as DEFINED as the priesthood, your motivation to do well in your new life is EXCEPTIONALLY strong. . .because you are normally trying to go in a completely OPPOSITE direction from where you were originally. Book had 'seen the light' so to speak, or one too many bodies, or had too much blood on his hands. . .hell. . .maybe he is in hiding HIMSELF. It's a common literary device for a criminal or somesuch to hide in the church. . .especially if he's had a true change of heart. And we all know that Book had spent the past several years in the Abbey. . .perhaps this was his first time 'out' since he donned the collar. . .and the next thing he knows, he's on a ship full of thieves, two fugitives, a prostitute and a former peer has just been gunned down DESPITE his oath to protect him. . .and remember what he said to Inara later, something along the lines of, "And I don't think I was sorry to see it happen" or somesuch. . .imagine how the world must come crashing down for someone who's so proud of himself for escaping a certain way of life. . .into a new life . . .only to find himself thrown BACK into his old life?

So. . .what do youse guys think?


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"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 10:25 AM

DTT


That was almost exactly what I was thinking, with a couple of possible additions. Being in the abbey for "a few years" could mean that he went in right after the war. Could it be that he was some kind of war "hero." Also, he has an amazingly intimate understanding of Shan Yu -- possibly a set-up for an Angelus/Angel sort of scenario?

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 10:39 AM

SERENA


Quote:

Originally posted by Static:
He is a GENUINE sheperd now. . .
So. . .what do youse guys think?



OK, except in OIS, when Simon is critisizing Early for beating on Book, Early responds by saying "he's NOT a shepherd".
And Early has a lot of knowlege of Serenity and her crew.

"Every well bred, petty crook knows that the small, concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting."

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 10:40 AM

STATIC


I wouldn't say his familiarization with Shan-Yu was 'amazingly' intimate. . .he may just be very well-read. I mean, have you ever NOT seen him with a book? And it's not always his bible, either.

I think he was a particularly mean/nasty Federal Marshall who liked to dish out 'frontier justice' so to speak, or was pretty rough with people whom he rounded up before turning them over to his superiors.

I keep thinking of the exchange from "The Fugitive" with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. . .

"I didn't kill my wife!"
"I don't CARE!"

Now. . .in THIS exchange, Jones is not cruel or nasty, just focused on his job. He's not a detective, not a judge, his only job is recovering fugitives and returning them to prison. Ford is a fugitive, and his innocence is someone ELSE's problem.

I picture Book as the same sort, only he gets off on 'the chase' and he probably would smack his quarry around. . .kill folks who got in the way. . .that sort of thing. . .I can just see him standing over someone he's just run down. . .someone swearing he's been falsely accused and then Book says, "I dont' give half a hump whether you're innocent or not. . .so where does that leave you?"



==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 10:46 AM

STATIC


Actually. . .

Alot of folks have been saying that Early "has alot of knowlege of Serenity and her crew."

But he doesn't show to have any particularly deep or intimate knowlege beyond what ANYONE would probably gather after following them for some time. . .he said he picked up their trail after the job on Ariel. We know he was 'eavesdropping' on them through the hull of the ship. . .might not've been the first time. . .but he only REALLY shows us that Kaylee is the mechanic and there is a companion who uses one of the shuttles. Now. . .Bounty Hunters work very closely with Law Enforcement. I'm given to think that Early might be acquainted with Book, either directly, or from some sort of reputation, and Early's statement isn't meant to say, "No, he's just fooling you," but more to mean, "Hey. . .I used to work with that guy. . ." well. . .think of "Cort" in "The Quick and the Dead". . .Cort WAS a preacher. . .had renounced violence, the whole nine yards, and it was Herod, his former partner-in-crime who kept insisting that Cort had NOT truly changed. . .that his nature never WOULD.

I'm thinking Early's observation was in the same spirit.

==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 11:16 AM

SERENA


Quote:

Originally posted by Static:
I'm given to think that Early might be acquainted with Book, either directly, or from some sort of reputation."



If Early was acquainted with Book, why'd he smack his head so viciously after Book was already unconscious?
a) We know that Book assists people working with the Alliance -see Serenity when Book goes to warn Dobson, and at the end when he is "confessing his failure" to the prostitute (aside: interesting juxtaposition).
b) And we can assume he has some ongoing relationship with the Alliance, considering how fast they assited him with medical attention in Safe after they saw his Ident badge.
So, why didn't Early make use of that relationship? Enlist Book as an insider, or at the very least ask for him not to interfere?
He didn't just smack Book to make him unconscious. He smacked him hard enough to rattle his brains.


"Every well bred, petty crook knows that the small, concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting."

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 11:31 AM

STATIC


Quote:

Originally posted by Serena:
Quote:


If Early was acquainted with Book, why'd he smack his head so viciously after Book was already unconscious?



Well, perhaps because he's cruel by nature, or perhaps because one shot to the chin is more than it takes to knock him out solid. . .and with the Lawman in the first episode, I'd suggest 'panic'.

Quote:


a) We know that Book assists people working with the Alliance -see Serenity when Book goes to warn Dobson, and at the end when he is "confessing his failure" to the prostitute (aside: interesting juxtaposition).



This goes back to my original argument. Book has embraced the life of a priest, and recognizes, good or not, that an officer of the law is just that. Even Christ told his followers to acknowlege and respect those who enforce the law, and he was talking about the Romans. Book just didn't want so see someone die when it wasn't necessary. When he was crying over is failure, it's because in his mind and heart, he'd failed in his first REAL attempt at his new life as a man of God.

Quote:

b) And we can assume he has some ongoing relationship with the Alliance, considering how fast they assited him with medical attention in Safe after they saw his Ident badge.


I'm willing to bet that even in the future, the wheels of bureocracy turn very slowly and are well-hindered with lots and lots of red tape. As long as Book didn't leave the service of 'King and Country' with bridges burned behind him, there's no reason the Alliance would feel obligated to revoke any 'perks' he had involving his service . . .and even if he did, it's my experience that the bigger the machine, the more cracks there are to fall through. Some Alliance marshal who decides for one reason or another that he needs to drop out of the game and join the church. . .would probably be smart enough to hold onto his ident card 'just in case'.



I realize, of course, that I may be wrong. . .but for that matter, we may ALLLLLLL be wrong. JW and TM have been pretty tight-lipped in commentary about Book.



==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 5:19 PM

SHINY


Quote:

Originally posted by Serena:

If Early was acquainted with Book, why'd he smack his head so viciously after Book was already unconscious?



He didn't. That was Dobson. Early just slid down the stairs/railing and kicked Book in the head to knock him out.

RIVER
Purple elephants are flying.
MAL
Good. Thanks for the update.

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 5:36 PM

CAINUNABLED


Book knows about ships. We really see that in 'Serenity' when he has his first conversation with Kaylee and also when he is able to help in the engine room towards the end. He was able to get medical attention aboard an alliance vessel without question in another episode. He knew about law enforcement sectors and procedures. If you consider the above, then the idea of Book being a war vet holds some merit. I would also wager a guess at him not only being a war vet, but a high commanding officer on the side of the Alliance. Taking the path of the righteous is his way for atonement.

Till human voices wakes us, and we drown.

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Saturday, February 7, 2004 10:22 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


If Book is such an expert at weapons, ships, spotting ensignia on officers uniforms,etc, wouldn't it be safe to say he'd have some basic hand to hand skills ? It just seems odd to me that Book gets his ass kicked a couple of times too many (and too easily ) if he's such an important military type. I'm not suggesting there isn't more to the story of Book than we see, but he does seem to fight more like a preacher , and less like a covert special ops agent, or what ever he's suppose to be.

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 6:02 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Cainunabled has come closest to my own thoughts on Book. My theory is that he was an Alliance officer, relatively high ranking, and was more than likely involved in the siege at the Battle of Serenity. Due to the brutality of that encounter he has great remorse for his part in the slaughter, and has been paying penance in an abbey for several years. He knew about Mal's experience there as well, and left the abbey when he heard of Mal's acquisition of Serenity, hoping to pay penance in a more personal way.

Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 7:01 AM

STATIC


Okay. . .to Auraraptor. . .Book DOES show skill in hand-to-hand fighting in "Serenity" when the Lawman first shoots Kaylee. In the ensuing chaos, it's Book who steps in, throat punches him and knocks him on his ass. When the Lawman jumps him later, well. . .Book thought the guy was tied up, and the guy DID come through the door just as it opened up with a fire extinguisher.

ecgordon: There's something in your post that doesn't sit well with me . . .when you say that Book left the abbey when he heard of Mal's acquisition of Serenity.

Mal was just a sergeant at the battle of Serenity, only in command by default at the end. In the deleted scenes, Zoe says, "You won't find our names in there." or something to that effect. Also. . .Serenity wasn't named Serenity until AFTER Mal bought her. . .so it's not likely that Book would have had any idea ahead of time WHO Mal was or what his history was. The idea of paying penance is still good, and what I've been 'sticking with' from the beginning.

==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 8:39 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


To Static - just because their names were not in the encyclopedia does not mean that someone in the Alliance command at Serenity would not have heard of Mal and his valiant stand.

Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me.

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 12:00 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Gee Static,now you're gonna 'make' me go watch the Serenity episode all over again- darn you!

I think there could be alot more to Book than we know. HOWEVER, does that mean that his past MUST be tied to the Alliance, and no one else ? Why does it have to be just one or the other, Alliance or Independents ? I'm thinking 3rd party, another front perhaps? Just an idea.

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 12:07 PM

STATIC


Oohhhhhhhhhhhh gee. . .what a darn shame. . .you have to go watch 'Serenity' again.

You know, when I was a kid, my parents tried to punish me by taking ALL of my toys and boxing them up and sticking them in the attic for a week. They figured out later that it was MUCH more effective for them to take all of my BOOKS instead.

I can see it now with MY kids. . .

"That's it. . .no FIREFLY for a month! And I'm taking the ripped copy of my original series DVDs that you have hidden under your mattress, too! Didn't think I KNEW about them, DID you?"

In regards to your question, "Why does it have to be just one or the other?" I totally agree. I can often be the 'downer' when it comes to discussions of this nature, often suggesting that the answer may be alot simpler than one would think at first. . .like my suggestion that the Alliance soldiers wore Nazi helmets because FOX had a surplus of them in costuming, etc.

==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 12:26 PM

ADEPTUS


Static man, you and I are definitely on the same page here. Check out my posts on this thread ( http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=3657) and this thread ( http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=3344)

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 12:29 PM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
To Static - just because their names were not in the encyclopedia does not mean that someone in the Alliance command at Serenity would not have heard of Mal and his valiant stand.



I dunno, if the Alliance knew Mal, I think they would have been in jail by now - or under surveillance. I'd guess there were (and probably still are) some Browncoats out there who fought to the last. I'm intrigued to know the story between Mal's face at the end of the Battle, and OoG. I guess there would have been some flashback episodes.

"I threw up on your bed"

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 2:16 PM

STATIC


Quote:

I dunno, if the Alliance knew Mal, I think they would have been in jail by now - or under surveillance.


See. . .here is where I might differ from most others here. . .maybe it's the 'grizzled old soldier' in me. . .

Mal was definitely a soldier and leader of men, and he did great things during the battle of Serenity. . .but we have to remember. Serenity was not the only battle of the war. I don't think Joss had any intention of making Mal a great hero of the war for EITHER side. In war, heroes are made every single day by the actions they take to save the lives of those they lead or serve with. What Joss was showing us was not how Mal influenced the WAR, but how the WAR influenced HIM. These stories could just as easily been about Tracey, Zoe or Monty. They were all there and they all lost something precious. I think if Mal had been. . .OVERLY signifigant, he'd probably still be in an Alliance jail. Mal has never mentioned that he and Zoe are running from a 'past' of any sort. . .he's just trying to stay as far as possible from being under the Alliance's DIRECT influence. Sure, he has an Alias and avoids contact with the Alliance whenever possible. . .because he is a THIEF and a SMUGGLER. There was never any sort of indication that he had any illegal dealings BEFORE the war. In fact, I gather from his conversation with Zoe in OoG, that his original intent didn't involve illegal salvage or smuggling. . .but he probably figured out pretty quickly that the money is better and faster in that realm.

I imagine Book has a very similar past, maybe on the other side of the law, maybe not. So maybe he WASN'T an Alliance Fed. . .whatever his past is, he certainly had a 'working' relationship with them.

That leads me to my next question. . .are the Federal Police (marshals) and the Alliance military-types the same body? Are they different organizations WITHIN the same body? Or is it like we have today, where they're separate bodies? The reason I ask is because the Sherrif of Paradiso and his female deputy both wear badges, and the Marshal in OoG flashes an identical badge from a wallet. I didn't notice any badges on cruiser personell.

==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Sunday, February 8, 2004 3:22 PM

ADEPTUS


Quote:

That leads me to my next question. . .are the Federal Police (marshals) and the Alliance military-types the same body? Are they different organizations WITHIN the same body? Or is it like we have today, where they're separate bodies? The reason I ask is because the Sherrif of Paradiso and his female deputy both wear badges, and the Marshal in OoG flashes an identical badge from a wallet. I didn't notice any badges on cruiser personell.
Well I personally believe that the Alliance Police Force is just a branch of the Alliance military. They wear very similar uniforms and have military class vehicles, but they do seem to be seperate from the Navy/Army.

The reason Mal likes the border worlds (and is wary of core worlds) is because Alliance control and enforcement gets scarcer the further out you go. You're unlikely to find a local Alliance police station on any of the border worlds, that's why crime is easier (and more abundant) out there.

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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