March 13, 2006

i’m scared of what we’re creating

Posted in books, movies tagged , , , at 11:21 am by placeinthestars

I finally got my hands on Summer Campaign and Mrs. McVinnie’s London Season, neither of which I had read before.

I enjoyed both immensely, though the similarities between Will Summers and the hero of Miss Whittier Makes a List go beyond their both being captains in the Royal Navy.

However, you *know* Will won me over when Jeannie asked him, “Why are you doing this for me?” and he said, “Because you’re crew.”

Oh, Mal.

Of all the things that could have bothered me about Serenity as a movie, the one with Mal acting as if Simon and River weren’t crew was the one that bothered me most. Because that’s so important in the arc of the show, for both plot and character reasons.

But with the help of some good fanwanking by someone in my comments a while back (I can’t remember who, so speak up if it was you), and also by Jacob in his recap of the movie over at TWOP, I’ve decided that it’s not that Mal has suddenly stopped seeing Simon and River as crew, or that he never did at all (which is probably the true intention but pfft to that), but that Simon is placing River’s needs above Serenity’s, and Mal can’t do that (well, he sort of does it when he carries her back onto the ship, but he does that mostly because of Zoe’s point that he shouldn’t have left the guy behind on Lilac). Simon and River’s individual safety cannot be put above the crew’s. They have to be downgraded in Mal’s mind so he can justify leaving them.

It’s not perfect, but it’s better than me just ignoring his behavior in the beginning of the movie, which I was kinda sorta doing, because otherwise, a lot of his character development from early in the series has disappeared, and it makes what may be my favorite scene of the whole show – when he chastises Jayne for betraying him at the end of Ariel (which I watched last night.) – meaningless. And for me, the show trumps the movie in terms of characterization. I have to square the movie with the show, not vice versa.