If anyone ever wonders why I don’t make more Tam siblings stuff, it’s because I notp Tamcest so hard I get a bit distressed when I gif any canon moment of them and it gets tagged incest.
The scene where she’s feeding him berries? You don’t see it?
Not really, especially considering that’s something I’ve done platonically with a variety of close friends and my own siblings pretty often.
And River is mentally unwell which makes shipping her with anyone even if its not incest problematic. River is not in control of herself. Simon adores his sister, that is all that is in the berries scene. He loves seeing her happy and normal.
And the line ‘everything I have is right here’ needs to be in context. Its proven wrong at the end of the episode. Simon has lost his career, his parents, he’s been abandoned by the crew to live or die on a backwater moon and his sister is all he has left. But they came back for him. River isn’t all he has and while the whole Mal ‘you’re on my crew’ part is hollow (Mal didn’t seem to have any qualms about ditching them) its Kaylee telling Zoe that she didn’t think it was right and its Zoe telling Mal that Jayne is right (and when you agree with Jayne you’ve made a bad call) that shows Simon and River have friends that care about them.
One of the more subtle Tam sibling moments I like is Wash’s funeral. In the script Simon was meant to have one hand on River’s shoulder. In the final cut River is a good distance away from him, on her own two feet. They relied on each other for so long and now they are getting back to normal and are going to live their own lives.
"Your home is great, we just joined this club together, and I like you and want to be with you- but I have to go back home, where I have no friends and everyone who’s met me is fooled by a robot wearing my clothes,
to remain on watch for nothing in particular, in case the financially secure adult relative who put me in an orphanage needs a greater tactical advantage than being the strongest, fastest, toughest creature on the planet and shooting high-energy radiation out of his eyesbecause I’m not allowed to change the status quo in this book that much.”
“The infirmary, the blue room. […] You understand Simon’s space is very cold. Simon, I always kept in blues and purples in a very Alliance color scheme. Because unlike Mal, with whom he’s always conflicting, he does sort of represent the Alliance, even though he’s on the run from it. He represents, you know, a kind of perfectly handsome, brilliant, well-meaning person, the thing that the Alliance is supposed to be about.”
—Joss Whedon, Serenity director’s commentary
I love that in the ‘Keep Flying’ short story Mal imagines Simon’s daughter as Violet, a mix of blue and red.