Skip to main content

Firefly: the Tams

I touched on this on twitter but I wanted to flesh it out a little more. I was watching the episode "Safe". The crew is taking some cattle to a far off planet. They get there and the non-muscle part of the crew go into town so Mal and the muscle part of the crew can make a deal for the cattle. Shepard Book gets shot and Simon and River get kidnapped. Mal decides to leave so that they can get Book some help, leaving Simon and River for the time being.

Throughout the episode we are shown flashbacks of Simon and River. In one they are kids. Simon is doing his homework. River is correcting the math in the textbook. Their dad gives Simon some computer type thing in exchange for him becoming a brilliant doctor. Another one is Simon telling his parents something is wrong with River. They brush it off as River playing a game and warn Simon about hurting his career by interfering. Basically they want to show how much Simon has given up in order to save River.

I'm not sure if it was this episode or another one. But there is also a scene where Simon's father has to give up something in order to get him out of jail. The Tams are high society people who have reputations. So this was part of why their parents were hesitant to help. But seeing these scenes with their parents made me wonder what happened to them after Simon broke River out of the "school" she was in and went on the run.

It seems well known that Simon and River are wanted fugitives throughout the 'verse. So I think its reasonable to assume their parents know this. At the very least they know Simon is gone and he left because of River. So they should be pretty worried. If they know their kids are fugitives wanted by the Alliance they should extremely worried. And given their wealth you would think they would be searching for them. Surely they trust that their kids aren't criminals and think the Alliance is doing something wrong. So perhaps they could use their status to find some information or to lobby their case to important officials within the gov't.

Perhaps the show didn't have enough time to touch on this issue with the parents. Or maybe they just forgot. I'd lean towards not having enough time. And Serenity wasn't really the place for it. Though since the events in Serenity, you would think their parents could play an important role in using their wealth and influence for gathering support for overthrowing the Alliance.

Another angle I wanted to touch on was how the Alliance would use their parents. Once they knew Simon took River, would they bring in the parents for questioning? It would be reasonable for them to think they had something to do with Simon getting access to their facilities. And beyond questioning their role in it all, it would be smart to try and find out if they knew where their children are hiding. They could either blackmail them or negotiate a deal that would bring Simon and River back safely. Or being the evil gov't entity it is, the Alliance could just throw the Tams in prison and somehow let Simon and River know that they will be left there/tortured/killed unless they turn themselves in.

Like I said, there probably just wasn't enough time to address these issues. And after Serenity, Simon and River seem fairly content to be part of Mal's crew. Not to mention they could still be in danger. I think that's all I have. If you have anything else post it in the comments.