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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"The R. Tam Sessions"

Written and directed by Joss Whedon
Released in 2005


The strengths and weaknesses of a young girl are revealed in a series of counseling sessions at an Alliance facility.


Watch all five R. Tam sessions at YouTube


Didja Know?


Though they take place before the episodes of the Firefly TV series, "The R. Tam Sessions" were shot as promotional webisodes for the Serenity film of 2005 (see the three PopApostle studies of the film beginning with "Triggered").


Firefly/Serenity creator Joss Whedon also portrays the interviewer in these sessions.


Didja Notice?


The background logo at the beginning of each session excerpt is later seen on the shimmering force field door of the records room at an Alliance facility in "Triggered", possibly, the logo of The Academy, which is revealed in these sessions to be where young River was being held and educated by the Alliance.


River's favorite class is Physics, of which she was already in the graduate program.


River's fellow students at the Academy called her Little Mouse.


River tells the interviewer that Simon has said she has the "third eye". This is a term used to describe the intuition or clairvoyance of certain people who seem to know things about others without being told, or of knowing the future.


River explains to the interviewer that Simon is a trauma surgeon in Capital City. This is the capital of Osiris, one of the wealthy central worlds of the Alliance.


The interviewer remarks that Dr. Mathias is proud of River's progress in the Academy. We don't see the doctor here, but we later will witness his death (unnamed) at the hands of the Operative in "Triggered".


River mentions the Pax. This is a shorthand name for G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate, a chemical compound that was tested by the Alliance on the planet Miranda to pacify the citizens, effective on 99.9% of individuals (the other .1% become Reavers, as revealed in "A Better World").


River makes a comment about finding a pea under 20 mattresses "and you wonder why I'm not sleeping?" This is a reference to the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea" by Hans Christian Andersen about a princess whose royal identity is proven when she feels an uncomfortable lump while trying to sleep on a stack of 20 mattresses lying upon a pea.


Memorable Dialog


they call me Little Mouse.wav 

would I still be allowed to dance.wav

I can see you.wav 


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