have a question about the Firefly
spin-off movie, Serenity.
on in the film, when the Operative enters the facility known
as "the Academy", from which River has escaped, he scorns
the facility's head. The Operative says that in years gone
by a real man would have taken out his own blade and committed
suicide. The head of the facility laughs this off, so the
Operative forces him to fall on his blade.
then, when the Operative fails to stop Mal and the crew of
the Serenity from leaking out some secret news - which
he had been employed to stop - does he meet with Mal and confirm
to him that his superiors will not be pleased, and that he
will retire from the service. Why does the Operative not take
his own life?
believe it's not the fact that River was allowed to escape
that makes the Operative urge the head of the Academy to take
his own life. It's the fact that the head might have been
privy to information that River might have mind-read from
visiting members of the Alliance leadership. Such knowledge
could harm the government. That is the problem. The
Operative is quite prepared to let the Academy boss live,
until he learns of this fact.
the information that Mal leaks has already been broadcast
around the galaxy, the Operative's suicide would be pointless,
since it would not prevent the information from spreading.
The information has already been spread to the public domain.
However, you could argue that this failure is reason enough
for the Operative to offer up his own life, so perhaps he
simply isn't as honourable as he would like people to believe.