So Shepherd Book ... at what point did they decide he was a former badass? It was definitely after the pilot
Pilot Book is kindly but naive, timid, unsure of himself, unfamiliar with the lifestyle he signed up for. But next episode, "The Train Job," he's self-assured, worldly, and most importantly, informed -- he recognizes Nishka by name.
And by the next ep, "Bushwhacked," he's an Alliance VIP.
He was obviously reverse-Homer Simpsoned.
Private server for the Sage-Phoenix family.