Safe: The Meaning

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 06:58
VIEWED: 2337
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005 1:32 PM


I just finished watching this episode earlier today (I bought the series in October, I'm just taking my time and enjoying it) and after it was all over I found myself wondering, What is the significance?

Throughout the episode there are many allusions to intolerance. Simon's parent's don't tolerate his worry for his sister, the Captain's tolerance for River and Simon dwindles in the beginning, the Alliance don't have a tolerance for people they don't see fit. Above all, however, we see religious intolerance and how that intolerance leads to ignorance.

We all know that the Captain isn't a religious man and that's something Joss makes sure to tell us everyone once in awhile. But I have to wonder, what is he trying to say with this episode? Was he making a statement regarding the Salem witch trials? About jumping to conclusions? Or just being ignorant and having a one track mind?

"Safe" is by far one of my favorite episodes. I would just like to know what some of you guys think the message of the episode is.

Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but you're all comin' to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you, than I have before. Sure as I know anything, I know this. I aim to misbehave.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005 5:23 PM


Yes, take your time indeed. I watched the series in a two week period in October after I bought the series. Once finished, well, it was a very uncomfortable feeling knowing that was the end of it and no more. The fertile imaginations of other flans posting on this website has helped ease the withdrawal symptoms.

What is the significance of Safe? I see the story as a great way to juxtapose many things. In Serenity, the pilot episodes, Mal kissed what I think was a cross hanging around his neck before his big heroic effort to bring down an aircraft. But, since the Independents lost the war, he lost his faith and became intolerant of religion to a point. He does allow Book a certain latitude. Mal also is willing to counter the intolerance of the Alliance by keeping Simon and River safe as possible.

As for the inhabitants of whatever planet it was where River was about to be burned as a witch, obviously there is an allusion to historic Salem and the danger of a religion that claims the authority to destroy all that is different. Maybe the allusion isn't merely to old Salem. Such religion seems to be alive and well today. It is interesting that some people, while claiming authority from God, recognize only the power to destroy and suppress through fear when the real recognition of God's power is the through the ability to create, build up, and gather in through love.

Safe within this episode is a condition had when one is with friends. The crew of Serenity is safe when together and watching over each other. Simon and River were not sure of their safety when about to be burned at the stake. They were not sure of their standing with the other members of the crew especially after seeing the ship lift off without them. True friends or family will not leave you alone as long as you impart to the love and well being among the group and live by the accepted standards of the group. Like Mal said to Simon, "Why we still talking about this?" Isn't that Mal's way of saying, "I love you. You are my friend. I will not leave you. I know you would come for me."

So many worlds. So little time.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005 5:45 PM


I really love this show.

Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but you're all comin' to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you, than I have before. Sure as I know anything, I know this. I aim to misbehave.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005 6:49 AM


So what about the fact that Reynolds left Simon and River to save Book? Was he sacrificing two of his "crew" to save one or was he somehow aware that Simon and River would be relatively safe until his return? Had Serenity returned an hour later, Simon and River would have been dead.

Certainly the episode juxtaposes Reynolds, the Tams adopted father, so to speak, with their real father, who blatantly stated he would not come if he got into any more trouble. Mal said the same thing - you get into trouble, I ain't coming...but he did, even when Zoe (who I see as Mal's consience in a lot of ways) seem to give approval to leaving them.

I love the way Reynolds deals with life one minute at a time, one crisis at a time. He never seems to plan ahead choosing to live his life moment to moment. I get the idea religion is a way of living in the future and he seems most concerned with living in the moment.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005 6:58 AM


I thought it was interesting that the girl talking to Simon saying those things about never knowin' where life leads you seeming so thoughtful and wise, then she's the first to go bonkers with the witch thing.
Like truth and lies co-exist, and even nice folk can be 'confused'.

Grey is interesting....

Chrisisall, a Warlock hisself






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