In Firefly Episode 9, Ariel, River and Simon take a drug that puts them in a proto-comatose state.

Around 17:30, River wakes up, says something, and startles Jayne. Jayne responds "What did you say?" but never gets an answer.

What did she say?

The subtitles I have just say "[Mutters]". But I assume that Summer Glau chose some words to say, even if they didn't form a logical sentence.

I've listened over and over, and my best guess is "Copper for a King". But I could be way off.

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  • What does "proto-comatose" mean? Is that a real word, or is it something from that show? – user14111 Jun 19 '19 at 6:35
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    @user14111 - It's a quote from episode 8 - River says (to Simon) "You're going to suspend cerebral, cardiac and pulmonary activity... in order to induce a proto-comatose state." – Valorum Jun 19 '19 at 6:37
  • @Valorum Well, is it a real word, or some gobbledegook they made up for the show? I'm guessing the latter. I don't find it in the online OED, but of course they keep adding new words all the time, so maybe they just haven't got to it yet. – user14111 Jun 19 '19 at 7:10
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    @User14111 - It's entirely made up. You can't be proto- comatose any more than you can be para-pregant or semi-dead. – Valorum Jun 19 '19 at 7:44
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    @Valorum Yet you can be MOSTLY dead. Mostly dead is still slightly alive. If someone was all dead, there's only one thing you can do. – Underverse Jun 19 '19 at 12:38

The official shooting script has the line;

[Behind Jayne (and unseen by him) River SITS UP INTO FRAME. She's just woken up and is a bit dazed, disoriented. She's inches behind him as she says --]

RIVER: A copper for a kiss.

[Jayne jumps -- she startled the hell out of him.]

  • As scary as she is? That'd startle me, too! – NothingToSeeHere Jun 21 '19 at 17:32

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