What is a show/movie theory that you came up with?

Remember S. Epatha Merkerson, who played the head of the police squad in Law & Order?

Well, we were watching an old episode where she was battling cancer. She looked bad. My gf pointed out what a great job they’d done with her hair and makeup. I told her that the actress was actually going through cancer treatment and they wrote it into the show. She eventually died IRL and on the show.

My gf called me on it. I found S. Epatha Merkerson‘a Wikipedia page. She’s alive and well. I was 100% sure if my version of reality.

She was/is a fairly prominent anti-smoking activist who frequently spoke about losing two close friends and very nearly losing her sister to lung cancer, so that may have played into your mistaken memory. A cursory search online seems to indicate that a lot of fans of the show thought the actor actually had cancer IRL, although I think her dying IRL is your unique Mandela Effect moment.

In Jaws, Quint and the shark are actually the same character. I’ve come up with a bunch of examples to support this theory, but here’s three:

-They’ve both lost a tooth.
-Quint describes himself as a loner (“There’s too many captains on this island…”), Hooper describes the shark as a “rogue.”
-Their deaths are both the result of the same air-tank.
-(One more) Quint holds a toothpick in his mouth in the exact same position the shark later chews on the air-tank.

I would have bet my car that she’d died. Memory is so fuckin weird.

Psst… @Czarcasm, check out post 14. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yeah, I agree with both those guys.

The further adventures of Thelma and Louise

They survive a perilous slide down the talus below Dead Horse Mesa and plunge into the river where the car floats for a while and eventually sinks on a sand bar. The pair discovers an idyllic log cabin .maintained by Seldom Seen Smith, the much married Mormon created by Edward Abbey. They become wives of Smith and continue to wreak vengeance on abusive misogynists. Also foil a recovery attempt by Hal and Daryl.

I just watched Officer and A Gentleman for the first time on HBO or Starz the other day.

My theory is during the fight at the end, Gunny Foley (Gosset Jr) intentionally kicked AOC Mayo (Gere) as hard as he could in the crotch, not necessarily to “win” the fight, but to render Mayo sterile. After the whole fiasco with AOC Worley, Foley didn’t want Mayo’s new girlfriend (Winger) to potentially pull the same crap and lose his top candidate. I mean was there ever any doubt that Mayo, the smartest, best looking, most charming, most likable, most athletic, most pragmatic, karate master of a candidate was going to pass? Heck, the girl who could barely make it up the climbing wall and the dude who couldn’t figure out how to shine his belt buckles passed.

Everyone cheers when Mayo carries Paulo out of the factory, oblivious that he can never have children due to his exploded testicles.

Her dying in the show is Mandala effect, too. Her cancer was in remission in the last scene of the last episode.

But her hair…as Van Buren, she wore a wig, because she thought an NYPD lieutneant wouldn’t wear her real hair. So the cancer “wig” was her real hair.

I had the same theory - and would have thought that was specifically why Alda was cast in the role

I’ve long thought this; further, I think the machines were never the “heavies” of the piece. In Matrix-history, humanity simply couldn’t compete with AI, and humans lashed out and started the war in a last-ditch attempt to retain supremacy.

The machines collected up the shattered survivors, and have been repairing the damage the Final War did to Earth before releasing Humans once again. The Matrix is an Ark.

I decided that the machines in the Matrix were just sadistic sons of bitches who hated humanity and were keeping people alive not for power, but for torment. Of all the different hells they’d tried, this world is the one that produced maximum misery. The whole “you’re batteries” was either their self-justification (because they’re bonkers) or else it’s another layer of fucking with humans.

Actually, her real hair was braids, which she wore in her first appearance in L&O in the ep. “Mushrooms,” where she was a house-cleaner, and the mother of a murdered child.

The actress thought an ambitious woman like Van Buren would have her hair straightened and styled, not natural (braids are a type of natural), and so she covered them with a wig that was supposed to be Van Buren’s real hair, not a wig in-universe (and it was a really good wig-- I would not have guessed it was a wig). She swapped it for a cheap wig that looked like a wig when she was undergoing treatment, until finally, she cut off her braids, and went for a very short look, no wig, or anything, and that was the actress appearing with her own hair for the first time on the show.

Wigs, FWIW, can, or can’t look good depending on what you spend. A lot of Orthodox women I know spend serious money on the wigs they wear everyday, and they look real-- which would seem to defeat the purpose of a wig, if you ask me.

When my mother was doing chemo, she went to an expensive wig place, and had one fitted to spec, and dyed and styled to look just like her own hair. As soon as her hair started to fall out, and cut it very short, and started wearing the wig, and you never would have known if you hadn’t been told. It looked that good. She spent serious money on it, though. I mean serious.

Most people with cancer couldn’t afford to spend what my mother spent on that wig.

Interesting theory, with some foundation, but I’m going to ride to the defense of our mostly gallant crew and use Vera to shoot it full of holes. Sorry, but you can’t come at the Captain like that. . .

The crew demonstrates time and again that they are MOSTLY decent people. The jobs they take hurt no one but the Alliance, and when they accidentally take one that does hurt ppl, they go up against Niska to make it right. They take a job keeping bandits from stealing from honest farmers, Magnificent-7 style. The protect a whorehouse from a rich bastard, for next to no pay. In the movie, they agonize about having to leave a townsperson to die at the hands of Reavers, and are outraged when the Alliance killed a whole planet with Pax. Mal won’t take advantage of YoSaffBridge, even when she was. . . so. . . very. . . tempting. These don’t seem like the sort of folk who harbor a dark, genocidal secret, and if they hate Chinese people, why do they make such flowery use of the language when angered? You’d think they’d reject the language along with the people.

It’s not EXPLICITLY stated, in terms of a declaration of secession or anything, why they fought the Alliance, but time and again, it’s stated the Alliance were meddling, looking to impose themselves on the outer worlds. People shown to be part of the Alliance, by and large, aren’t good people, and the more money and power they have, the worse they are. Simon’s parents are assholes who worry more about their reputation than the well-being of their young daughter, and they seem to have no regard for the brilliance of either of their children, totally disregarding Simon’s deciphering of River’s code. They are cold, self-centered people.

The Alliance looks to impose order above all. The movie caps off the series, showing the development of the experimental Pax drug to pacify populations, but that killed more than 99% of the population and turned the rest into crazed Reavers. They want to make a perfect world - all of them. THEIR idea of perfect.

We’ve remarked in this thread about how similar the names Browncoats and Brownshirts are, but maybe take notice of the grey-black, Hugo-Boss-looking uniforms of Alliance military officers.

Given what else we know from the series, it seems much more likely that Joss made use of tropes. He borrowed the Confederacy’s “brave soldiers fighting a lost cause” trope for the Browncoats. He looks to have borrowed expansionism, order, control and the quest for perfection from Nazi Germany for the Alliance. He probably borrowed from other sources I/we haven’t noticed, or perhaps would have borrowed from them given a full series run. This doesn’t mean they were, any of them, direct stand-ins for anything or anyone in history. He just picked up some tropes and used them for his own purpose. They’re good tropes.

Finally - and most importantly to me - knowing what the series endgame was (the secret of the Pax and the Reavers), how would have making the Browncoats genocidal served the story? Now we’d have genocidal ‘good guys’ fighting Nazis. How would that even work, and who would watch that? Don’t give in to an M. Night Shyamalan twist just for the sake of a twist. It’s messy and pointlessly slops up a perfectly good plot.

I never come up with cool headcanon for anything, and I’m jealous of folks who do. I’m sorry to poke at yours so much, but you came at the Captain. . . :slightly_smiling_face: God, this is long. This has turned into one of those, “There’s something WRONG on the internet!” situations, hasn’t it? :flushed:

I do wonder why there were so few Chinese people, though. Maybe I’ll take a shot at this headcanon thing.

Perhaps there weren’t an equal number of Americans and Chinese, and/or, early on, disease or disaster took many of the Chinese. They were around long enough to make an impact on the culture and language, but a large chunk were removed from the gene pool after just a few generations in the new system. Much like people do now(Chinatown, etc), they each mostly clustered together in different settlements, and so many Chinese could be killed all at once, leaving a relatively small amount that had lived with the Americans. Maybe an asteroid hit? A terraforming accident? Disease? An accident on the ships as they traveled to the 'Verse? Possibilities abound when settling a new solar system. In this scenario, it could have just as easily been the Americans that took the hit, but it didn’t work out that way.

Thank you, and good night. :yawning_face: :wave: