Saturday, April 23, 2011

T Is For Tam. River Tam.

That's right. I found another way to talk about Firefly and Serenity. Today's all about one of the most ass kicking characters around. And I mean that in every way possible.

She is, of course, River Tam.

If you're unfamiliar with the awesomeness that is River, you really don't know what you're missing. The remedy for this is to go out and watch all fifteen episodes of Firefly followed by repeated viewings of the Big Damn Movie Serenity. As in Immediately.

Raise your hand if you're sick of hearing me gush about this show/movie. Now raise your hand if you're like me and you can't get enough.

Yep. That's what I thought.

When we first meet River, it's at the end of the first half of Firefly's intended pilot Serenity. Captain Tightpants kicks the lid off the big mystery box and there she is-- naked and asleep. We find out she's a fugitive from some government mad scientists who've been using River as a lab rat for years. Her brother's given up everything in order to free her and now they're both on the run. We don't know what's been done to her. Over the course of the series, we learn that she's off the charts brilliant and off the charts traumatized. In the epsiode, Ariel, we learn some of the reasons why. She's also a seer. And in the episode, War Stores, we learn she has some mad sharpshooter skills. But it isn't until the Big Damn Movie that we really figure out what's going on.

(I'd like to take this opportunity to growl at the Fox television people who decided to cancel Firefly before Joss got to tell his story in full.)

Two of my favorite River quotes:

"Also, I can kill you with my brain." (From the unaired episode Trash)

"No power in the 'verse can stop me." (From the episode War Stories)

One of my favorite quotes about River:

"She is fine. Except for being still crazy, she's a picture of health!" --Malcolm Reynolds in the BDM.

And then there's the action stuff. As I said yesterday, the River Tam bar fight scene in the BDM, rocks my world. I want to learn to kick ass like that. No way would I be nearly as graceful or successful, but it sure would be awesome. I found a clip on YouTube that is just this scene, no additions or editing, but it doesn't have any embedding capabilities. If you want to see it, click HERE. Below I'm posting a clip that does have embedding capabilities. It's kind of a River Tam tribute film:

The title of this clip, "River Tam Beats Up Everybody" is inspired by the XKCD comic of the same name.

If they made that movie, I would be the first one in line. Who's with me?

Anyway, this blog has gotten very long as I thought it might so I'm going to end it here. We're having a River Tam party in the comments today so post your favorite River Tam moments, quotes, facial expressions, whatever you want. Let's celebrate River!!

Oh, and have a great holiday weekend, everyone.


  1. Sorry, everyone, that the comic is apparently too large for this blog. My lack of techno know how renders me incapable of fixing it. If you'd like to see the entire comic, you can click here:

    River Tam Beats Up Everybody

    (and, with luck, that link will work)

  2. Love, love River Tam and every one else on board the greatest smuggler ship ever. I still have anger issues whenever I think about the fate of this amazing 'verse at the ham-fisted hands of Fox. I'm a Browncoat for life.

    One of my most favorite River scenes is in the BDM when she says "You take care of me, Simon. You've always taken care of me. My turn." Then she dives through the closing doors, grabs the medkit, throws it to Simon and squares off against the Reavers. I get chills just thinking about it.

    Great comic and my sentiments exactly.

  3. I'll go see it!
    Shame on FOX for axeing the best show they ever aired. (Yes, even better than the X-Files.)

  4. Can't pick one moment. Smart, hot girl holds her own with wit and force...EVERY scene worth watching.

  5. Ah yes, River Tam, one of the most kick ass characters ever created. What makes her fight scenes great is that Summer Glau was a dancer before getting involved in the Whedonverse, so it always comes out amazing! I think this is why there are so many mentions of "She always did love to dance."

    I mentioned my favorite facial expression yesterday, namely her reaction to when Simon asks "Am I talking to Miranda now?" Though one of my other favorite River moments is her speech to Badger in Shindig - one of her few lucid moments in the series. "Sad, little king of a sad, little hill. ..." Amazing!

  6. Awesome post! I am so going to go watch Serenity right now. I am also growling at the meanies who cancelled Firefly. Yeah for River!

  7. My wife and I were watching Firefly reruns just last week. As a fellow Browncoat, I offer my favorite River line: "They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see the sky and they remember what they are."

  8. This mustn't air in the UK as I don't recall spotting it before, perhaps one day.

    As for the comic if you go from DASHBOARD to edit the post and switch from COMPOSE to HTML (the two tabs just above the edit post box) you can scroll down to the cartoon bit at the bottom. I assume its a picture. When you get to the code for the cartoon just look for height and width numbers. On this blog the width should be 500 or less, just change the numbers. Be sure to do the same to height and width so if you half one half the other, then switch back to COMPOSE


  9. I really wish there would be a sequel so we could see River helping Mal fly the ship a little more.

  10. @Murees- I ended up watching Serenity after I wrote this post!

    @RJR- Thanks for the blogger help.

    @Susan- I also wish there would be a sequel. I just want more!

  11. LOVE.

    Had to share this with the husband.

  12. I loved River Tam. Firefly was so awesome...go go Sommer Glau.

    Happy Easter. Here's a lil something for you

  13. *nods really hard* River is so awesome. My hubby and I watch Firefly/Serenity over and over again, and still love it :)



  14. River was my first introduction to Firefly. (Looong story.) I started watching it because the idea of what Simon had gone through for River and what River had gone through on her own pulled me in. (I love, love, love their sibling relationship.)

    I also love that Summer Glau worked like crazy to do her fight scenes.

    Now I want to go rewatch Serenity for the millionth time...

  15. Alright! I've written this down and WILL watch. Thanks for the recommendations, I hope I'll be this passionate about it.

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  16. I have to agree, River Tam is badass and I'd love to kick ass the way she did (but not be traumatized beyond reason.)

  17. Seriously? No one said the VERY best line River uttered in the entire series??

    "Keep on walkin', Preacher Man."