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TWoP ScienceFiction Forums (Firefly Thread)

February 12th, 2004

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11:52 pm - Dissecting...

Swendson: Simon spends a lot of time in my brain. He's a character who seems to be so much on the verge of something that there are so many different scenarios of how he might turn out.

liquidize56: Simon was the character that *got* me too... And yes, I desprately want to know what he will become. I think that really is an integral part of all the sadness... the wasted (or not) potential.

puffgirltwo: i love simon

Swendson: I know I've used this in a story, but with all that Shan Yu talk in "War Stories" and applying the volcano metaphor to River and Mal, Simon is the one who really seems to be living suspended over that volcano.

liquidize56: *heee* puff

Swendson: He's had everything else taken away from him, so now he has the chance to find out exactly who he really is.

liquidize56: Yes. Yes he does. Though, at first he spends a lot of time mulling over what he was. Which is understandable. And a lot of time focussed on River (& being a doctor) so that he doesn't have to focus on himself...

puffgirltwo: i don't know if he feels free yet to focus on himself

Swendson: I think he keeps himself busy because if he gives himself time to really think about where he is, he'd totally freak out. His situation is pretty overwhelming.

liquidize56: It's in those snap decisions he has to make that he finds out who he is... & in those few unguarded momets where he can relax & stop thinking... (all this is IMHO, obviously)

liquidize56: Do you think he ever really would feel free enough to focus on himself, puff? Only after he manages (if he does) to cure/help River?

Swendson: And I think he's a little uncomfortable with some of the things he is learning about himself.

Swendson: I know he was being kind of snarky with Book when discussing his criminal mastermind stuff, but I wonder how much of that was being a little uncomfortable about how good he was at being criminal.

liquidize56: *nods* He has been through the a wringer. And it's amazing taht he doens't freak out more than he does. That he's able to survive, & even laugh...

puffgirltwo: well the thing is that we don't even know if he can cure river

liquidize56: I agree shanna, I like that. A lot.

puffgirltwo: so it might all come to a head some other way

Swendson: I think he's a little bit in denial, to a large extent. He's not thinking about the big picture. He's not even letting himself really come to terms with what's been done to River.

liquidize56: Can you just imagine what it will do to him when he learns he can't? Oh gawds poor Simon...

puffgirltwo: i know. he'll need a hug.

Swendson: He was the last one to acknowledge what she's capable of. And even then he was trying to find an excuse.

Swendson: That's what's so frustrating about where Fox left us. He was really on the brink of something.

Swendson: I desperately want to see how the events of "Objects in Space" changed things.

liquidize56: No, he's so focussed what she was... and how if she can't go back to what she was, he'll feel like he's failed. & then there's the doubting he's a good doctor, which is the one piece of himself that he still has...

liquidize56: How do you think it changed him? & yes, that is why we all want to write OiS codas;-)

Swendson: He just seemed to be able to start acknowledging that River has been truly altered, that it's not just some condition he can cure.

Swendson: I think her sanity might even be helped if he quit trying to "cure" her and instead focused on trying to help her cope with how she is now.

Swendson: I think a lot of her problems stem from the fact that she's getting sensory input from sources she hasn't learned to process. She needs to learn how to sort out those things and process them in a rational way.

liquidize56: Yes. Agreed. That makes great sense.

Swendson: After seeing what she can do, he might be at the point where he can acknowledge that and start working with her in that way.

liquidize56: Yes, but he's built so much in the belief that he can "fix" her...

Swendson: But I also think that the face-to-face encounter with the bounty hunter would affect him. I'm just not sure how. It's a very vivid reminder that he's being hunted, that he's never going to be safe.

liquidize56: *nods* He's realized what it would feel like if he lost river again... if he lost what he's gained on the ship. Cause he does have some semblance of a life... So he doens't want to leave. But it's also a reminder that he should...

liquidize56: leave, I mean.

puffgirltwo: i don't think he wants to feel comfortable on the ship

Swendson: I think that threat to Kaylee would really wig him out.

Swendson: I don't think he's ever going to let himself feel truly comfortable or at home anywhere. He's walked away from one home/family. I don't think he can make himself do it again.

liquidize56: So he could either start trying to sever the ties he's formed... (only to return after his absense causes the serious maining/death of a crew member?) or realise how little time he has/to make every minute count...

Swendson: So he's not going to let himself feel like he's at home or feel like he's found a family because that will make it too hard to leave if he has to, and he knows he's going to have to at some point.

liquidize56: & yet agian, we're rehashing my OiS coda... that still remains unfished, damnit...

Swendson: I think he's more likely to become a little more emotionally withdrawn.

Swendson: He'll stay where he is for the time being because it seems to be best for River, but I could see him emotionally backing away. Doing his job, but staying detached.

Swendson: And probably keeping his bags packed at all times, just in case.

liquidize56: & yes, the kaylee thing effected him muchly. He realised that while he's kill for river (& die for River) he wouldn't let Kaylee die for River.

liquidize56: & interstingly, in War Stories... he'd kill for Mal. He didn't really think about it... but he would hvve done it.

puffgirltwo: hmmn

liquidize56: *sighs* Well, I took the non-withdrawn take for my OiS coda... cause I want it to be reasonable happy... damnit.

puffgirltwo: you think he wouldn't let kaylee die for river? if it was really one or the other?

liquidize56: actually... (do you mind if I find a quote from my OiS coda to answer this?)

Swendson: I think that's the situation he fears the most, ever having to really choose between them.

Swendson: And thus, probably more withdrawal. He can't put himself in a situation where his loyalty to River might be tested.

liquidize56: Word, shanna. Now I'm going to have to do the quotage... (does anyone mind?)

Swendson: But meanwhile, I think she's finally starting to understand what he's dealing with.

Swendson: Go for it!

puffgirltwo: quote away

liquidize56: I want to give some background of the speech... so it's going to be quite a bit... (thanks!)

puffgirltwo: i just don't think anyone will ever be as important to simon as river. they might come pretty close, but that's it. he's given his whole life away for her.

liquidize56: So, this is after Simon takes more meds, so his tngue has been loosened a bit...

"Kaylee, if I hadn't picked this ship, you would never have been shot. That psychotic madman [insert Chinese here] would never have threatened to rape you. You wouldn't have had to go through any of it." Simon swallowed heavily. "But the truth of the matter is that if I hadn't chosen this ship, River and I would most likely have been captured and the Alliance would have taken her back to that place.
liquidize56: And I wouldn't be able to help her. In fact, I'd probably be dead. And River would be worse than dead. So I can't really regret it. It's always going to be River first, I have to save her, protect her.And I wouldn't be able to help her. In fact, I'd probably be dead. And River would be worse than dead. So I can't really regret it. It's always going to be River first, I have to save her, protect her.
I still don't know if what I have here is helping her enough… Since Early tracked us from Ariel, it probably is no longer safe for us here. But I can't bring myself -- force myself -- to leave.
And River doesn't want to -- I have to do what's best for her. And it's getting harder. If it came down to Serenity or River, since River didn't actually become the ship -- the choice wouldn't be easy anymore. Not that it was particularly easy the first time. River really does love this ship. I gave up my whole world for River - she is my whole world. But I couldn't...."
"I made a choice -- and it wasn't -- I'm used to making choices, as a surgeon… Split second, life and death choices. I was good at them.
And finding River - it was a choice, but really, at the same time it wasn't. It was something I had to do. But this was a life and death choice. And I learned that while I'd die in an instant for River -- I'd kill for River -- I wouldn't let you die for her. I don't want you in the middle of this." He reached out to finger the tiny darned patch on her coveralls that was nearly invisible to the naked eye unerringly. "Not again."
While it was a choice, it wasn't the choice. It wasn't that simple. There was nothing simple about any of it. Because, mixed in with his decision was the fact that he could still possibly help River,
though there had been no real certainty in that. So he chose them both -- couldn't definitively have chosen between them. And that is what scared him the most. The knowledge that one day he'd most likely have to.

liquidize56: And I'm done... Sorry, I probably started taht off way to early... shouldn't ahve included all of it. :-(

Swendson: Interesting.

puffgirltwo: no, interesting

Swendson: It's hard to figure out, based on what we know, what he would choose.

puffgirltwo: my take is more that the situation he fears isn't having to choose, so much as putting river in more danger because he's distracted by his own personal feelings.

liquidize56: Eeee. Thank you! (thta's the first itme I've shared this bit of the story...)

puffgirltwo: it's why he doesn't think he's allowed to have personal feelings

Swendson: Would he allow himself to have his own happiness? It's almost like he's afraid that if he lets himself be happy, River will pay the price.

puffgirltwo: exactly

liquidize56: Nice point, puff. Really nice point. I like that, a lot.

Swendson: Not to mention the fact that just about every time he comes close to Kaylee, he ends up pretty badly hurt.

liquidize56: OMG. that's very true. I hadn't relaised that.

Swendson: I was so nervous all the way through "The Message" because the pattern was that after the date gone wrong and Kaylee getting mad, he'd get hurt.

Swendson: I just knew he was going to get hurt somehow. Not shot, because he'd never been shot as of "Objects in Space," but hurt somehow.

liquidize56: & i think the difficulty in figurig his choice is what's making this damn story so hard to write. Cause I've got it all written except the ending Simon/Kaylee conversation...

Swendson: But a night with Kaylee sleeping in his arms, and he gets beat up and cut badly.

Swendson: The cuddling and laughing on the sofa, and then the near-miss kiss, and he gets shot and beaten badly.

Swendson: The boy's going to get a complex.

liquidize56: Well... I guess he was emotionally hurt, with Kaylee's flirting... but you're right. I'm thankful he didn't get beaten up worse in that ep...

liquidize56: Poor Simon. *L* I hope it didn't (doens't) continue, cause if they ever do kiss... Eeeep!

liquidize56: & now I would love a fic that explores that in a comedic way...

Swendson: I'm wondering also what her reaction would be, post "Objects in Space." Now that she knows from personal experience the danger he's in, would that scare her off, or make her understand him better?

Swendson: Would she ever come to the conclusion that maybe she's not brave enough or strong enough to be with him?

Swendson: Because really loving him and trying to make anything work with him would require a lot of strength and courage.

liquidize56: See, I've seen Kaylee as being more, you have to live each day as if it's your last, type advice/thoughts...

liquidize56: Though that is an interesting take...

liquidize56: They've been in life or death places before, & I figure Kaylee deals by trying to make the most of everything.

Swendson: Loving him would mean accepting the situation he's in and dealing with it. It might also mean loving him enough to either be willing to let him go if that's what's best for him

Swendson: or to let everything else she loves go to be with him.

puffgirltwo: kaylee is hard

liquidize56: I have a feeling Kaylee wouldn't realize that until it was too late...

puffgirltwo: i want to say that she wouldn't freak, because she's a glass is half full kind of girl

Swendson: I don't think Kaylee has really acknowledged the life-or-death nature of things. She seems to act like they're living in the middle of a storybook adventure, and all the dangerous things that happen are just part of the adventure

puffgirltwo: but then there's her reaction at the end of ws that makes me unsure

Swendson: not something that's actually dangerous.

Swendson: She takes most things far too lightly. I don't think it's crossed her mind that she ever might really die or that Simon might really get killed.

JulesRae417: I think Kaylee knows that bad things happen, but they have just only happened to bad people in her life

JulesRae417: she's been lucky

Swendson: To some degree, it's almost a blind optimism. Things will work out because they always have.

JulesRae417: she wont be for much longer if she stays with the crew though

liquidize56: Though I like to think, although she wants it to be a fairytale romance, that she'd realize (probably somewhere in the middle of it all) that while she loves him, and all, that it can't be a forever thing... that she'd take

JulesRae417: So part of her has come to think that no matter how bad, everything will work out if you believe enough

JulesRae417: Mal once seemed to thik the same

liquidize56: the moments she gets, & that will have to be enough (even though it isn't)

JulesRae417: That if you gave everything you had it would be ok

Swendson: She definitely has a romantic approach to life. Like the way she idealized Tracey, just from his recording.

JulesRae417: he learned in the worst way and look what happened to him

liquidize56: Hmmm... had anything bad happened to anyone not bad in her life? (trying to think of an exception... Nandi?)

Swendson: She seemed to take that recording as some grand, romantic, poetic thing.

JulesRae417: not someone she cared about

Swendson: She didn't really know Nandi that well.

liquidize56: True.

JulesRae417: And god only know what would happen to Mal when this happens to Kaylee

JulesRae417: she's his innocence

Swendson: She just seems to have this idealized storybook view of the world. Simon is Prince Charming, and he's fought the dragons to save his sister.

Swendson: But then she also was the same way with Tracey, where he was this tragic, romantic figure, and it never crossed her mind that he might be a lying manipulator.

liquidize56: She is a hopeless romantic. I do relate to that. I've lead a pretty sheltered life. I *know* bad things happen to good people, but often I life in my little bubble & hold nto blind optimism. I try to see the best in things.

liquidize56: Which is why i also really relate to (& love) Kaylee too.

Swendson: I'm bad about writing my own mental endings and getting frustrated when real life doesn't go that way.

liquidize56: Yup, she wants to see the best in things... *grins* I know the feeling shanna.

Swendson: At least this way, she can hang onto the daydream.

liquidize56: I don't know what would destroy that optimism... for Kaylee... & you're right, I don't knwo what that would do to Mal. (Tara's Lex Tallionis looks at that too)

liquidize56: The old "The only way to definitely fail if if you don't try" gone, horrible, horrible wrong?

Swendson: I think that's a lot of Kaylee's frustration with Simon, that she's cast him in her mental fairy tale as the knight in shining armor, all gallant, handsome and brave. And he is. But he's also shy and awkward.

liquidize56: & yes, I have a tendancy to build things up in my head... hope for the best & plan for the worst...But usually I bite the bullet.

liquidize56: Eventually, and with lots of encouragement...

JulesRae417: I did eventually learn to instead daydream about the worst and that way whatever happens is better then what I could come up with

JulesRae417: pessamisstic optimism

Swendson: I was just talking about pessimistic optimism this week. Or optimistic paranoia. Plan for the worst-case scenario, then you can handle anything else that happens.

tenth muse1: ah. I experience both frequently. *grin* grew up with it. it's called New England Puritanism.

JulesRae417: it works

JulesRae417: most of the time anyway

liquidize56: *nods* & Kaylee definitely overreacts. But I do
understnad. WHen I ahev a crush, I overanalyse & take personally everythign they say. I *know* that I shouldn't, but I do. I've so overreacted (not as badly)

liquidize56: & asked the leading questions...

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