"Key members of Parliament have personally observed this subject," Mathias equivocates. "I was told that the Alliance's support for the project was unanimous. The demonstration of her power is..." Simon asks how she is doing physically, but Mathias thinks he means her physical performance: "Like nothing we've seen." Simon stalks the room. "All our subjects are conditioned for combat, but River -- she's a creature of extraordinary grace." True that. She is one of those girls that is acceptable-looking at rest, but becomes beautiful when she's moving. River moans, and Simon looks directly at her, something Mathias basically has yet to do. "Yes. She always did love to dance."
The man in uniform hits the floor with his strange device, kneeling. A head-level shock wave drops all the doctors and aides and soldiers in the room. "River, it's Simon. Please, it's Simon. It's your brother." In terms of the philosophical framework of the show, it's important to note a few things that will help us make sense of the unholy mess that is this movie: the linguistic difference between "River" and "Reaver" is negligible at best. That's always been the point, but it becomes medically precise in the movie. Likewise, the difference between "Simon" and Core Planet "Sinon" is similar, if softened. She's nuts, he's anal-retentive, but he's older, primary, so he wins. The centrifuge of the 'verse keeps it all centralized, and that is -- not some kind of weird obsession with the Southern side of the American Civil War, as some seem to think -- the point. Chaos, control. This is about Reconstruction, as Joss ever is, not slavery. Or it is about slavery, but not like that. Point being, Simon's shiny and beautiful but broken inside, she's visibly nuts, but knows the truth about everything -- it's just that nobody can understand when she speaks. Her signal-to-noise is ugly at best. They are the spectrum, and between the two of them, they fuck up everything they touch. He unstraps his sister and she's pretty wobbly. He gets up and runs to the door, taking off his armor. Suddenly, she's standing right behind him, across the room, freaking him out.
"Simon. They know you've come." Cut to the hands-of-blue guys, whom we won't be seeing again, in a pink-lit room, acting creepy and mobilizing some forces. He sends her to find a escape hatch at the sound of doors. "Find out." As the second wave of soldiers comes running down the hall, we pan up to see River, legs braced against the walls, against the ceiling like Spider-Man. It's beautiful and cool. Simon forces a door open onto a wide shaft, open to the sky. Red lasers of death go clunch, clunch, clunch as the tunnel up is sealed off one level at a time. A small ship appears overhead -- Simon's collaborators in the rescue -- and lowers a platform as lots of guys shoot and try to force their way into the shaft. Simon and River climb onto the platform and a voice calls, "Stop. Backtrack. Stop." The image of their escape runs back, and the Operative, Chiwetel Ejiofor from Dirty Pretty Things and She Hate Me, walks through the image of them -- which self-consciously mimics the first Star Wars poster, that iconic image of Leia crouched and her brother standing above -- and is interrupted by Dr. Mathias: all of this was just another level of the image. The world of the lab has become the flashback. Note please that there are enough cameras in the Alliance worlds to create a three-dimensional image of this escape: the Alliance world is one of constant surveillance; Serenity moves through the spaces between-times. As we all do, criminals or no.