Firefly: People: River
River is a borderline psychic although she’s more likely a borderline psychotic. She can read minds and has the annoying habit of not only telling people what is on her mind, but also the thoughts of others! That’s a very inconvenient skill!
Whereas the crew may not always appreciate her abilities, The Alliance certainly does (though we don’t yet know exactly why, she’s good, but she’s not THAT good if you know what I mean). She once had frightful experiments performed on her by an organisation called the Academy. It was run by some strange characters with blue hands! Erm… actually, Simon tells it better: “There was a school, a Government sponsored academy. We had never even heard of it, but it had the most exciting programme, the most challenging. We could have sent here anywhere, we had the money but, she wanted to go. I got a few letters at first and then I didn’t hear for months. Finally I got a letter that made no sense. She talked about jokes that never happened, things that were never said. It was a code, it simply meant….. ‘They’re hurting us – get me out.’”
Simon managed to contact some men who told him that his sister was in danger and that the government was “playing with her brain,” but that for a price, they could help her escape. She was smuggled out in a cryo-pod and Simon managed to get the pod and himself onto the Serenity before Mal forced him to open it.
Although River seems physically all right, Simon doesn’t know how badly she is injured, mentally.
Her brother is very protective of her. Nobody knows quite how badly she is damaged but she seems to be making a slow recovery. She has demonstrated that she has some powers of telepathy, but these haven’t been useful to anyone and indeed, seem to upset River even more.
They are eager to see what effects certain experiments had on her brain. She was kept by them against her will and was eventually rescued by her brother. They are both fugitives as a result. In fact, River is a VERY valuable commodity to the Alliance Academy who want her back. We have so far seen two dudes who are after her – they have strange blue hands!
If you were to meet River in the pub she’d slap your face! If you were a gentleman you’d have been slapped for lewd suggestive thoughts regarding her legs and if you were a lady SadGeezer you would have been slapped because you thought about her diabolical taste in clothes. River would shun all contact and would leave pretty quickly.
Her parents Gabriel and Regan are not too supportive of her plight and her wealthy up bringing has not had the same effect on her resourcefulness as it had on her brother, Simon.
River is played by Summer Glau. I don’t have much information on Summer other than she previously played a part as a prima ballerina in an excellent episode of Angel called, ‘Waiting in the Wings’.
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