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November 05 2007

(SPOILER) An answer to Book's mysterious past? Morena Baccarin reveals the big secret at the Serenity LA convention. Or is it just a case of classic misdirection?

PDX Browncoats Cortex linked on Whedonesque! Wooohoo! :D

Nathan is probably lying. Who knows? See? Just when you think you know something, you might not know it at all.
Heehee, I love that this many years on there's still plenty of giddy speculation.
So Nathan was at Starfury? Where are the convention reports? And pictures?
So Nathan was at Starfury? Where are the convention reports? And pictures?

Some snippets and my pictures.
Well, that's not inconsistent with what most people thought i.e. he was involved with The Alliance in some way and possibly did something very bad.

Or could it just be an oblique joke about Ron's time on "Barney Miller" ? Note that i've never seen that so don't know if his cop on there was super-clean (so Nathan's being all ironical and such) or a bit dirty (so Nathan's being all referentially and such). Wouldn't put it past him to actually phone Joss though, he's done similar stuff with mobiles before, judging from past con accounts.
I reckon Book being a dirty cop is an obvious answer; there is probably a lot more to it, and Nathan was possibly pulling our legs. Book being a dirty cop is just a generic answer, Joss would have applied depth and development to that assessment, and that statement in itself is not all that shocking. It is what Book would have done as a cop that would have been shocking.
I think he would have to be a very senior dirty cop in order to get a reaction like that from the Alliance in 'Ariel'.
It's strange to me that there is still debate on this topic saying that it was one of the few loose ends that Serenity wrapped up pretty well. I guess other people don't see it that way. I had just assumed.
Now Inara's secret box. If that one isn't answered soon I don't know what I'll do. Really want to know and it's such a little thing but it eats at me, lol.
Inara's secret needle box was revealed awhile ago, and actually repeated this weekend at Serenity LA.
Do you mean in 'Safe' Simon when he's been shot ? Yeah, that was like a "Head of the Met" or "Head of MI5" type of response - folk went a scurrying right quick.

(given their response, either someone quite high-ranking OR an Operative is probably more consistent since they seem to have very wide ranging discretionary powers i.e. if you piss one off he won't need a warrant, or even much of a cause, to make your life miserable/a lot shorter)

And yeah, clearly the "big secret" wouldn't be Mal going "Hey, y'know Book ? He was a dirty cop. Anyhoo, what's for dinner ?" there'd be more to it.

(but how was it wrapped up in 'Serenity' theMidnighter ? I guess there was some implication that Book had been an Operative but all we really saw was that he knew a lot about stuff a priest shouldn't know a lot about - not news, since he'd already shown that in 'Firefly')
I'm with theMidnighter, I feel that the Operative's story is a sort of stand-in for Book's, that there was something on a similar scale that went down where he had been a devoted operative and was disillusioned but was dangerous enough and had enough dirt on everyone that they wouldn't dare chase him down. And, yeah, Tim has told everyone the mysterious contents of Inara's box several times if I'm not mistaken. Dark stuff :)
In Firefly we didn't know Operatives existed. So we didn't see that as a possibility for Book. Once we knew, it seemed likely that is a job he's done. So, "wrapped up" in that sense.
And Morena confirmed Tim's explanation at SFX in Toronto last year.

[ edited by Lioness on 2007-11-05 13:58 ]
Yep I can certainly see that interpretation but to me saying it's basically resolved that Book was an Operative is quite a stretch. "Wrapped up" says, to me, that you can only reasonably read it in one way i.e. we've seen incontrovertible evidence for one and only one interpretation and reading it another way requires wilfully ignoring that - Book being an Operative is in no way the only reasonable reading that fits the (scant) evidence we have.

S'no biggie, just a matter of perspective I guess.
I reckon why Inara is running away is a bigger secret; why did she leave Sihnon?

This is never properly explained, she says to Simon in Bushwacked 'we're all running away from something.' and there is no decent explanation right now without extensive extrapolation from facts we have right now...
I don't think its the only reasonable read, I just feel that its a strong possibility, so much so that it doesn't hang out there and taunt me as much as some questions do . Also seems like you're saying there's only one reasonable read for the meaning of the phrase wrapped up... ;) Kidding! Meta-interpretative fan-snark!
Also seems like you're saying there's only one reasonable read for the meaning of the phrase wrapped up... ;)

I'm choosing to read this as "Flirble casnoogle hefata hefata schaweeeen" which, frankly, is just crazy talk. It's all crazy talk ! Nothing makes any sense if you read it in this way ! So, in conclusion, Book cannot possibly have been an Operative.

QED.

(hereafter known as the "Big Scary Hair" defence - TM, Pat. Pending)
I really always wanted Book to have some slightly more crazy explanation. Him having Alliance clearing just screams "He was with the Alliance!" to me. Go figure, I guess. I always wanted Joss to take it somewhere completely different. Like organized crime or something. Somewhere that would leave everyone surprised. A dirty cop is sort of predictable.

Can someone clear up for me what was in Inara's needle box? I never saw that that was all cleared up.
Whether anything said at the Con was true or not, I think Nathan and Company got the desired results. Reread this thread lol. Lively bit of discussion going on. :)

Anyway, it's obvious that "Jaynestown" gave us the Major clue about Book....
Rogue Hairdresser Extraordinaire :D !
For me bad cop doesnīt necessarily equals operative. I still think that Inara is the actual ex-operative of the crew and that she ran cause she couldnīt do it anymore... but thatīs just my theory.
Holy handgrenade, that is some short hair Morena is sporting - I know Jewel said Morena had no hair, but she wasn't half wrong - this is cancer treatment short. Wonder if that is for a role or something. Probably a bit longer in the star gate movie.
I'm choosing to read this as "Flirble casnoogle hefata hefata schaweeeen"
Hey, Saje, be a bit more careful with your interpretations. Where I come from them's fighting words.
In that case please accept my most narginky fratabates barboo, no carnadelli intended ;).

Can someone clear up for me what was in Inara's needle box? I never saw that that was all cleared up.

Hmm, if people're talking about the syringe in relation to the sort of "chemical vagina dentata" storyline then, last I heard, Tim Minear had responded when asked that he "didn't know" if that story and the syringe were related (linkage - search for "Inara"). Has that changed to something more definitive since ?

But the gist, leafblown, was that Inara had something she could take so that if she was raped, she would (presumably) secrete some sort of toxin and the rapist would die (kind of the ultimate deterrent and pretty sensible in a profession where rape's a constant risk). There's a great fan-fic called "Ice in Crystal" that explores the storyline (and which I assume is still at this link but i'm not a LiveJournal member so can't login to check).
Very nice photos, bix.

I don't think Book was an Operative, either. I think the Operative's story was meant to fill in as a parallel in a way, but I don't think Book's relationship to the Alliance was ever quite the same as the Operative's. His story moves him toward faith, not away from it. His arc is the opposite of Mal and the Operative's, but they overlap in territory in the middle. As much as I'd like to know if my guesses are right, it doesn't bother me that he kept his secrets, either.
double post

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-11-05 16:50 ]
While I don't think Book was necessarily an Operative, but as Sunfire says, parallel enough to fill in the blanks. Its not inconceivable that one could lose faith in their path and find themselves exploring faith of another kind, assuming you believe that Book is really a preacher and not still a part of the Alliance Government. *cough*

"Flirble casnoogle hefata hefata schaweeeen"


You speak Pylean!? Well, Pltz grlb, finachke herbglin to you my friend!
I beg your pardon ? How dare ... why, i've never been so insul ... ohhh finachke - ah yep, absolutely and twice on Parztktkl Day, thanks. And the same to you and yours.
Ron did come out on stage later and mention that what Nathan said was a lie. . .
Parallel, but more like the anti-Book. If anything Book was like Mal early on. I suspect that Operatives would have been trained from early in life (since they believe in their mission so completely), and I don't think Book would have been. He's definitely had some sort of Alliance training, but he doesn't seem like a product of the Alliance like the Operative, Simon, and Inara all were.

Oh and I missed this before:

I know Jewel said Morena had no hair, but she wasn't half wrong - this is cancer treatment short.

What! She looks great. That's nowhere near bald, in any case. I expected to see a buzzed head after reading this thread.
"Elfin" i'd say, looks good IMO (though clearly Morena could shave clumps at random with a blunt Bic, colour it randomly, maybe rub in some year-old engine oil and still look lovely. Hell, she could probably make a mullet look glamorous FFS ;).
Wonderful pictures, b!X. :)

I'd always thought Book was someone high in the govt who found out about operative-type operations and had a crisis of conscience. Dirty? Possibly, but a man who had a line he wouldn't cross.
Little bit of trivia: Going back to RavenU's concerns on this thread about Sean possibly forgetting the chairs - she'll be amused to learn that the con opened an hour and a half late on the first day becuase the chairs were late!
But Nathan said before that Book was a landscaper.
I just assumed he was an operative. "Dirty cop" doesn't explain the level of respect he gets from random Alliance people or his knowledge of how operatives work.

I guess I'm not in the loop on Inara's secret. Can someone spoiler text it or something?
Heh, BrewBunny, it wasn't just the chairs. It was the tables as well. The nightclub staff didn't even know they were supposed to have any.

Good communication, huh?
"Dirty cop" doesn't explain the level of respect he gets from random Alliance people...

Could have been forged papers. ;)

ETA: While it's true that the con doors opened an hour and a half late on the first day, the talks themselves were on time.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-11-05 21:27 ]
Yeah, leiasky, that seemed to be pretty much how it all ran. My first thought when I learned about the chair thing was, "Great, now I've got to go back to whedonesque and eat crow over giving RavenU all that grief." And my first thought the next day when I saw the results of the "professional" photos (taken outside in an alley in harsh mid-day light with no tripod or courtesy countdown from the photographer, resulting in numerous closed-eyes shots) was, "Man, he should have hired RavenU to do the photos."

That minor kvetching aside, I thought that the group panels were a lot of fun to see. Jewel and Morena were fantastic together, and Jonathan, Yan and Nectar's Rat Pack act on Sunday morning was hilarious.

[ edited by BrewBunny on 2007-11-05 22:01 ]
It seems plausible.
But Nathan said before that Book was a landscaper.

Yes. A dirty landscaper.

I don't think that many doors have been shut on Book's past, although the "operative as allegory" theory is close. I doubt he was on the run, or he would have been persona non grata with the Alliance -- no emergency medical miracles, certainly. He may or may not have had a line he wouldn't cross; getting slapped around by consequences is a good way to form those lines long after you've passed that "point of no return."

I also don't know that it's necessarily true that he previously had any more faith than Mal or the Operative had. If faith is truly "belief without proof" then doubt is a key element of faith. Whatever dirt lies in his past, I think that Book had a big part in causing it to happen, and I believe he became a Shepherd as his penance.
Well, the possibility of doubt anyway but surely if you have actual doubts you don't have faith (or your faith is in crisis at least) since, as you say MissKittysMom, faith is about believing anyway no matter what the evidence may tell you (whereas doubts are about listening to that evidence) ?
But the gist, leafblown, was that Inara had something she could take so that if she was raped, she would (presumably) secrete some sort of toxin and the rapist would die (kind of the ultimate deterrent and pretty sensible in a profession where rape's a constant risk).


I had asked Morena about that hypodermic at the party Saturday night, and she told me to ask again during the Q&A during the panel Sunday, and she basically confirmed that this is what it was...
whereas doubts are about listening to that evidence

Doubt is the counterpoint of faith. The yin of the yang, to abuse a mixed metaphor.
But Nathan said before that Book was a landscaper.

Yeah, but he also said Alex Tully in Drive was a landscaper. We all know how true that turned out to be.
Alex Tully was a rogue landscaper.
leiasky said:

Ron did come out on stage later and mention that what Nathan said was a lie. . .

Nobody else noticed this comment?

Anyway, about Inara...yeah, we know about the syringe, but what was she running from?
Anyway, about Inara...yeah, we know about the syringe, but what was she running from?

They wouldn't answer that at all. Morena didn't think she should but Jewel wanted her to tell. I think it's amazing they are even concerned about spilling secrets from a canceled show. It shows how much respect they have for Joss, and that they still have hope for more.

Edited to fix who wanted to tell and who didn't

[ edited by danregal on 2007-11-06 08:14 ]
Doubt is the counterpoint of faith.

Yep, I agree with this but (sorry to harp on it MKM ;) that's not the same as saying:

... doubt is a key element of faith.

IMO (which I take to mean you must have doubts in order to have faith). Evil is the counterpoint to good but you don't need to commit evil to be good (it only needs to exist as a possibility, something to "measure" your goodness against) just as you don't need to entertain doubts to have faith (though in real life, i'd bet most people of faith do have doubts). In that sense it's not the same as e.g. bravery where you need to feel fear to be brave.

Ron did come out on stage later and mention that what Nathan said was a lie. . .

Nobody else noticed this comment?


Well yeah, it's mentioned in the linked post but if they're being playful they both might say anything (and Nathan had already claimed it was Ron that was the liar when he claimed not to know Book's secret previous to that - so whose accusation trumps whom's ?).
IIRC, Ron Glass didn't say that what Nathan said was a lie. He just called him a liar. Small difference, but could mean so much.

The panels were fun, I agree. The chairs were torture.

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