Dark Gilligan wrote:
It was less than a year in-story between the pilot and movie, not nearly enough time for those changes and evolutions to occur believably. In Simon's case in particular they were either forced or faked.
I'm again compelled to point out that the Simon of "Ariel" is just as competent, determined, strong, and effective as the Simon of Serenity
. He always had that potential within him, when he was in his element and when he was motivated by the need to protect his sister.
Simon was like me -- not good at being spontaneous or dealing with the unexpected, but quite capable when he had time to make plans and prepare himself. So he seemed clumsy and feckless when he was out of his depth, facing situations like interacting with frontier ruffians, participating in heists, and being seduced by Kaylee; but as we saw more than once on the show, particularly in "Ariel," he was perfectly capable of handling himself once he'd gotten a handle on a situation, once he'd been able to develop a plan for responding to it. We also saw this in "Objects in Space." When he was initially attacked by Early, he was taken down easily; but later on, when he'd had more time to size up his opponent, he was effective at waging psychological warfare against Early, turning the tables and making Early the confused, uncertain one.
So the Simon of Serenity
is exactly the same character as the multifaceted Simon Tam of Firefly
. In River's rescue, as in "Ariel," he was a man with a plan, a man acting out a practiced role in a context he was familiar with (medicine, high technology), and so he was focused, confident, and capable. In the present-day scenes, he'd been on board Serenity
for eight months, gotten accustomed to his crewmates and their lifestyle, and so he was in a better position to cope with it and was less tentative. And once it became clear that River was in danger, Simon showed unquestionable strength and determination in standing up for her, just as he always did.