In one of River Tam's incredibly choreographed fight scenes, she takes on a bar full of bad-asses and leaves them all biting the dust. Has anyone ever done a body count (apart from Jayne)? Did she actually kill anyone?


1 Answer 1


I've just re-watched the scene. She hits or kicks 29 times, each time landing a blow sufficient to drop the person she just hit. It isn't possible to count the number of individuals she killed as several are possibly just stunned to the point of unconsciousness but at least one person gets shot, at least one person gets stabbed. Neither appears to be an immediately fatal wound.

From the official novelisation:

Zoe asked, "Do we know if anyone was killed?"

Thinking on that man who gut-shot himself after River broke his arm, Mal said, "It's likely. I know she meant to kill me 'fore the doc put her to sleep—" He looked back at Simon. "—which how exactly does that work anyhow?"

It may interest you to know that in the original stunt walkthrough, her bodycount was about ten higher than in the end-result.

  • I will never be able to watch that scene the same way again. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 17:51
  • @Gandalf - I'm wondering if they toyed briefly with the idea of replacing Summer Glau with a muscular Californian man in drag.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 17:56
  • That was a guy? [sob] Now you have truly shattered all my illusions. I'm starting to wish I had never asked the question. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 17:58
  • @Gandalf - I don't usually dole out personal advice, but I'd strongly suggest that you should never go to Bangkok.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 18:17
  • For a thrill like that all I have to do is walk down 9th avenida in the "Combat Zone" at 9pm on a Saturday night... Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 18:21

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