I’ve been thinking about blue hands lately due to Flash Forward.
If you’ve been watching, then you know that certain people with the blue hand are either trying to thwart the good guys from figuring out why the flash occurred, or they are simply the bad buys of the bad guys who did not see anything in their flashes, and are now following some nihilistic impulse to finish things off on their own terms.
Of course, one immediately thinks back to men with “hands of blue” in Firefly. These were the guys that had ESP zoning in on River, working with the secret government group who helped to create her.
Knowing that Flash Forward is very loosely based on a book by (gag) Robert Sawyer, and Firefly of course from the mind of Sir Joss, I wonder what the more base symbology of the blue hand might be. I can’t be sure that Sawyer included it in his book since I haven’t read it, so I guess it’s possible that it’s an introduction or maybe even an homage to Firefly.
In both cases, the hand is a symbol of knowledge–of life and death, maybe, rather than good and evil, though some might argue there’s layering of meaning there. In both cases, the wearer is identified as a bringer of death, and as one who wants to use others for a specific purpose–for sure in Serenity, and seems to be going that way for Flash Forward.
I thought for sure that it would be easy to find some older meaning for blue hands on the Interwebs, but there’s nothing directly involved. I’m sure there’s a Joss scholar out there who will know something. Here’s what I did find:
The eye-in-hand amulet. A popular one being a blue-glass charm from Turkey. Since the amulet is meant to be a magical protection from the evil eye. What can one make of a group of men who claim a hand of blue without the eye – that they are blind to their evil, or that they are immune from the charm because they are able to subvert its characteristics? It’s definitely true in the case of River that her life depends on avoiding the “gaze of evil”. Even as she has the extra “eye” of her ESP to sense when they are nearby.
This is one of those times when i wish Joss could stop by for tea. I need to know if this is based on something deep or just a tv coincidence…