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  1. #1171
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    War Stories


    The good;
    So lovely to see Kaylee and River playing together at the start like excited children with Mal and Inara looking on like a pair of devoted parents. Exciting ambush and final rescue and some nice comedy with Inara and her client and the crew's reaction to her. Also hints that River may be a lot more dangerous than we ever thought she might be and some nice character stuff between her and Simon.
    The bad;
    How exactly does Niska find out where Mal and co are doing the deal? Aside from that not much.

    Best line;
    Wash; "I am a large, semi-muscular man"
    also like;
    Jayne; (aroused by the sight of Inara kissing her female client goodbye); "I'll be in my bunk"
    Zoe; "Jayne grab your weapon!"
    portending of things to come;
    'No power in the verse can stop me' said by River and Kaylee in 2 VERY different ways.

    Packing heat;
    Nikka's thugs use Blazer R93's in their ambush and Uzis, Steyr AUG's and Baretta submachineguns in the station. Wash packs a huge Colt Cobra 44. Magnum in addition to his Mossberg shotgun, Simon a Glock and Kaylee has a Bren 10 pistol, Sonny Crockett's gun from Miami Vice. Anyone tell me what Book's gun is?

    Kinky dinky;
    The henchman is reading some truly ancient porn when the Serenity arrives, did the Alliance ban Playboy or something? Zoe tells Mal to 'Take me sir, take me hard', naughty schoolgirl style prompting Wash to give his wife a hearty spank on the ass as foreplay for their 'bunk time'..
    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Inara's first female customer. Mal confirms that he and Zoe never had sex.

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester


    Capt subtext;
    Inara's first female client, as Kaylee observes "They look so glamorous". Love her 'God!" expression as Jayne leers over them.
    The latent jealousy between Mal, Zoe and Wash comes to a head, noticeably Zoe never promised to obey Wash but does Mal. Of course she picks Wash to save over Mal which must reassure him. The central message seems to be that Zoe loves them both equally but Wash in a sexual romantic way and Zoe as a friend/war buddy.
    How'd they get away with that?
    Mal and Wash horribly (yet somehow quite amusingly) tortured by Niska. Stops being funny when he cuts Mal's ear off!
    .
    Total Serenity crew; 9-Book back. The whole gang don't hesitate to cowboy up and go Saving Private Mal.
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    Amazingly Niska escapes. Mal actually wants the guys to shoot the torturer rather than deal with him himself. Wash does his 'Leave no man behind' schtick whilst cocking about the smallest pistol you've ever seen.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks
    Bondage;
    Mal; 1
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1

    Knocked out; Mal knocked out/dead but then revived
    Book; 2
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;2
    Mal; 2
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1
    Women good/men bad;


    Kills; Inara takes no part in the combat and Kaylee never even fires her gun. Hard to tell amongst all the confusion but I'll give Zoe and Jayne 4 kills each and Wash 2. 3 kills for River. Despite both participating in the gunfight neither Book nor Simon kill anyone.
    Mal; 11-
    Zoe; 10-
    Jayne; 11-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;
    Everyone seems to be insatiably curious of whom the Companions are hired by, even Book, they're the futuristic equivalent of Heat magazine. She seems to specialise not so much in the sexual aspect of her job but in making everyone feel special.

    Know the face?

    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
    Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
    Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
    Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
    Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
    Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.

    Alliance good or bad?;


    Fanfic;


    Missing scenes;
    .

    Western cliches;


    Firefly speak;
    Gorram=goddam.
    Weak tea=not good
    Back birth=idiot
    Companion=high class courtesan
    Gengish=competent
    Doh-ma=understand/understood?
    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
    Chin-cha-da=hell
    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
    Ta-gow=Oh god!
    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
    Gosa=excrement
    Tien-sha-duh=rubbish
    Los-soh-ret=crap
    Dien-dyododo-chowen=bastard
    Wah=what the hell?
    Mah song=quickly
    Jin-seen-yung=idiot
    Nu-shu-quong=nice going
    Mai-hong=hello
    Sheinou-niou=no good
    Mei, mei=actually been informed that it means 'little sister'
    Niou-se=lame
    Shot; Jayne get's clipped during the rescue
    Mal; 2-
    Kaylee;1-
    Jayne;3-
    Book;1-

    Crew injured;
    Mal and Wash tortured half to death with Mal's ear cut off. Thankfully Simon reattaches it.

    Reminds me off;
    The desert hill where they get ambushed is the same one Buffy fights the First Slayer on in Restless.

    Questions and observations;
    Niska returns as a recurring villain, I've often thought that Dollhouse and Firefly fall short of Buffy and Angel's success partly because they didn't have the interesting and exciting returning villains those series specialised in. Apples again, I'm beginning to formulate a theory that the entire series is actually about fruit. Alan Tudyk states that he believed Wash flew a couple of missions for the Browncoats during the war then was interned by the Alliance before seeing any action. Jayne and Book are workout buddies. Note that Jayne still takes the time to loot the bodies at the ambush site (and presumably recover the drugs from there and the money later from Niska's space station). Note it's Book who rigs the bomb on the mule.
    So what is River who can effortlessly shoot three gunmen without even looking? Did the Alliance's experiments turn her into some sort of supersoldier and is that why they're so desperate to retrieve her? Or is she some form of X-men style evolving super being and the Alliance's experiments were designed to prevent her becoming dangerous? Or some secret weapon one of the sides developed during the Unification war and are now trying to cover up? Is that what scares Kaylee at the end?
    Zoe cooks for Wash at the end which takes in greater significance if you've watched 'Our Mrs Reynolds'.
    .
    Marks out of 10;
    . 8/10 and again bordering on 9, continuing the high standards of Ariel.

  2. #1172
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    Trash

    The good;
    Real white knuckle stuff with Zoe and Kaylee on the garbage barge, Indy snatching his hat close. Also love a paralysed, terrified Jayne at Simon's mercy calling out 'Anybody there?" only for River to stick her head around the corner of the door, for such a little thing she can be extremely sinister ("When did your little sister become unbelievably scary?"). 2nd appearance for Saffron and when you see her turn up you just know it's going to be a good one, the interplay between her and Mal and the *****y rivalry between her and Inara is delicious. Really like Monty too, hope we see him again, with beard or without.

    The bad;
    Doesn't anyone notice a bloody great spaceship like Serenity screwing with the garbage?

    Best line;
    Saffron; (of Mal) "He's my husband"
    Mal; "Well who the hell in the galaxy ain't!?"
    plus
    Doren; (after Mal has explained they're here to steal his property but that Saffron lied to him) "I appreciate your honesty...not you know, a lot...but...."

    Packing heat;
    The whole plot revolves around 'The Lassiter', an antique laser pistol of untold value (check out Jayne's double take when he hears the name). We've seldom seen projectile energy weapons in the Fireflyverse, most people seem to still rely on lead. Noticeably the police on the core worlds seem to use some form of advanced stun guns whilst those on the outer planets stick with bullets. Because they need more firepower out in the wilds or just haven't been issued the new weaponry yet? Inara with a gun, the first time we see her with one. Needless to say it's an elegant, delicate looking affair, maybe a Ruger .22 or something similar.

    Kinky dinky;
    Naked Mal. Give Joss his due, whilst he has plenty of female nudity on his shows he makes sure there's plenty of male eye candy too (Spike, Angel, all the Actives in the Dollhouse showers). He frisks Saf-Brid-Yol commenting he's "never been there before'.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost;
    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester


    Capt subtext;
    One thing that was suggested to me in feedback for my review of War Stories is that Inara's customer was able to provide sophisticated medical equipment at the drop of a hat which Simon uses to sew Mal's ear back on. At the end the crew wonder out loud how she's able to do that so easily but if we do believe that Inara is sick, maybe this was all intended for her as part of her treatment?
    Inara accuses Mal of avoiding the core planets not through his hatred for the Alliance or wish to avoid law enforcement but because he's jealous of her clients and wants to stop her working. Mal doesn't mind be called a thief, he just objects to being a 'petty' thief? Or does Inara just mean he's petty about her and a thief? Perhaps Inara resents Saffron so much because she recognises her as a fallen version of herself?
    How'd they get away with that?

    .
    Total Serenity crew; 9-Inara refers to 'our cut' and actually participates in the plan which is unusual for her (or at least she's the backup for when it inevitably all goes wrong). Simon and River inform Jayne they won't kill him for his betrayal because they consider him part of their crew.
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book


    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes.

    Bondage;
    Mal; 1
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1

    Knocked out; Jayne by an electric shock
    Book; 2
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 2
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1

    Women good/men bad;
    Even by his standards Jayne is amazingly crude to Simon and River, threatening to show then his 'man parts' and proclaiming that 'womenfolk ain't to be trusted'. Saffron leaving Mal naked in the desert in undoubteldy funny although would it have been acceptable to us if Mal had done the same to her?

    Kills;
    Mal; 11-
    Zoe; 10-
    Jayne; 11-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;
    Inara refers to her 'house mistress', presumably some form of high-ranking companion supervisor/tutor. She also refers to the Geisha dolls Mal has been smuggling, a similar profession to her own. Is she Mal's Geisha Doll? Mal calls Saffron a 'Dirty, dirty whore' as an insult, once again showing how his mind works. Saffron asks Doren if he regards her as his 'Princess in the tower', maybe suggesting she was a companion who made the mistake of becoming a kept woman as a couple of Inara's past clients have wanted of her.


    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
    Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
    Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
    Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
    Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
    Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.

    Alliance good or bad?;
    Mal actually shows real sympathy for Duren even though Saffron claims he's an Alliance war criminal, pronouncing him the one guy 'who don't have it coming'. Maybe Mal is starting to put the war behind him? (Or did his own share of looting which is how he afforded the Serenity?)


    Firefly speak;
    Gorram=goddam.
    Weak tea=not good
    Back birth=idiot
    Companion=high class courtesan
    Gengish=competent
    Doh-ma=understand/understood?
    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
    Chin-cha-da=hell
    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
    Ta-gow=Oh god!
    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
    Gosa=excrement
    Tien-sha-duh=rubbish
    Los-soh-ret=crap
    Dien-dyododo-chowen=bastard
    Wah=what the hell?
    Mah song=quickly
    Jin-seen-yung=idiot
    Nu-shu-quong=nice going
    Mai-hong=hello
    Sheinou-niou=no good
    Mei, mei=little sister
    Niou-se=lame
    Hey-shu-peegou=dumbass
    Moon brain=inbred?
    Jus-sa-gran=dupes/suckers
    Swa-shi=petty, small time

    Shot;
    Mal; 2-
    Kaylee;1-
    Jayne;3-
    Book;1-

    Crew injured;
    Mal gets a bloody nose from Saf-Brid-Yol.

    Reminds me off;
    Inara's pistol is reminiscent of Princess Leia's in Star Wars. The police vehicles remind me of US Navy Viking ASW planes. The phonebox amongst Doren's collection may refer to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Floating balloons on tethers as we saw in The Initiative and may refer to The Prisoner. One of the fences Mal suggests is called Ellison, again a famous sci-fi author.

    Questions and observations;
    All the mechanics on the Serenity seem to (literally) revolve around the one moving part, it's like the engine on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine or something. So what did happen to Heinrich the security guy? Saffron refers to a fence she has standing by on Prersephone to buy the Lassiter, does she mean Badger? Simon is noticeably dressing down now, no longer so dandy as he used to be (like Wes on Angel). Does River just sense Jayne's betrayal on Ariel or can she actually read his mind? Check out Kaylee's flowery cup, you just instinctively know it's hers. It seems to be you can now fix spinal damage with a simple injection.
    So, River tells Jayne that she can kill him with her mind? Does she mean by telling what she knows? Because she's so much smarter than him? Or does she mean literally, implying once again the supersoldier/Dark Phoenix from the X-men idea?
    .
    Marks out of 10;
    8 out of 10, an awful lot of fun to be had, as Mal says at the end, it's a good day. For me Firefly is very much hitting it's stride at this point.

  3. #1173
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    Join Date
    Nov 10
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    THE MESSAGE
    The good;
    Love the ice planets, someone should make those for real. We see more of Mal and Zoe during the war pre-Battle of Serenity and nobody pines as well as Kaylee does (except Willow?)
    The bad;
    Kinda a weak story with not that great a denoument.

    Best line;
    Zoe (to Tracey); "The first rule of war is never to let them know where you are"
    Mal (exposing himself to the enemy and firing wildly) "Here I am! Here I am!"
    Zoe; "Of course there are other schools of thought"
    also like;
    Jayne (non-plussed by Tracey's unexpected ressurection but observes) "Spry for a dead fellow!"
    and
    Tracey; "Do you think I'm stupid?"
    Mal; "In every possible way"
    not to mention
    Mal; "There's always someone out there keeping a bullet with your name on it. The secret is to die of old age before they get a chance to use it"
    which leads to;
    Tracey; "You killed me"
    Mal; "You killed yourself, I just carried the bullet for a while"
    Packing heat;
    Mal's still trying to offload the Lassiter from Trash but he may have to wait a while until the heat cools off. Jayne takes the opportunity to load up with ammo at the spaceport, considering all the different types of guns they use bullet resupply must be a nightmare. We see Zoe take a H&K G36 from the Alliance soldier she kills, the type of weapon we later see her and Mal use in the battle of Serenity. The Browncoats seem to use M16s and Mal has a H&K UMP submachinegun. Tracey takes a H&K P9 pistol from the crew.
    Kinky dinky;
    Jayne infers that seeing corpses puts him in the mood for sex but is quick to deny necrophilia. Naked Tracey.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost;

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester


    Capt subtext;
    Womack threatens the postman with homosexual rape in prison. Mal straddling naked Tracey.
    How'd they get away with that?
    Simon cutting Tracey, yeesh!
    .
    Total Serenity crew; 9-
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes.
    Bondage; I've been reminded that I didn't include Mal and Wash tied up by Niska in War Stories so...
    Mal; 2
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Knocked out;
    Book; 2
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 2
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1
    Women good/men bad;

    Kills; Zoe kills 2 Alliance soldiers during the war. Mal kills Tracey who seems very resilent, perhaps due to his organ smuggling surgery?
    Mal; 12-
    Zoe; 12-
    Jayne; 11-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;

    Know the face?

    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
    Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
    Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
    Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
    Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
    Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.
    Jonathon Woodward; 3-as observed in the commentary, a hatrick (but not the only one), the vamp Holden Webster whom Buffy slays in 'Lies my parents told me', the traitorous Knox in season 5 of Angel and now Tracey in Firefly, each character seeming good but betraying everyone at the end.
    Alliance good or bad?;
    Inara seems to be suggesting she return the Lassiter for a reward but Mal won't hear of it, maybe to avoid her getting in trouble or maybe he just couldn't stand dealing with the Alliance?
    Womack is operating by himself as obviously the Alliance consider organ smuggling illegal although it doesn't seem to bother Mal and co.

    Fanfic;


    Missing scenes;
    One rumoured storyline for later in the season is that Mal is approached to join a group of ex-Browncoats who want to restart the war and destroy the Alliance. He is then faced with the choice represented by Zoe on one side who wants to go back to the war and Inara on the other who says that would be madness.

    Western cliches;


    Firefly speak;
    Gorram=goddam.
    Weak tea=not good
    Back birth=idiot
    Companion=high class courtesan
    Gengish=competent
    Doh-ma=understand/understood?
    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
    Chin-cha-da=hell
    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
    Ta-gow=Oh god!
    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
    Gosa=excrement
    Tien-sha-duh=rubbish
    Los-soh-ret=crap
    Dien-dyododo-chowen=bastard
    Wah=what the hell?
    Mah song=quickly
    Jin-seen-yung=idiot
    Nu-shu-quong=nice going
    Mai-hong=hello
    Sheinou-niou=no good
    Mei, mei=little sister
    Niou-se=lame
    Hey-shu-peegou=dumbass
    Moon brain=inbred?
    Jus-sa-gran=dupes/suckers
    Swa-shi=petty, small time
    Trim=sex
    Roller=tank or armoured vehicle
    Jon-su=*****/hardass
    Wetware=smuggled organs
    Shot; -Wash shot in the face
    Mal; 2-
    Kaylee;1-
    Jayne;3-
    Book;1-
    Wash;1-

    Crew injured;


    Reminds me off;
    The spaceport very reminiscent of Blade Runner whilst the post office scenes are reminiscent of season 4 of Babylon 5 (goverments rise and fall but the postal system is forever). The police craft if reminiscent of the former US Navy F14 Tomcat fighter.

    Questions and observations;
    No aliens in the Fireflyverse, much like BSG. Simon just seems to live with his foot in his mouth (even River thinks he's a 'boob'). I guess being such a goodlooking guy and a successful surgeon he never really had to try to get girls before. His observation that every other woman in his extremely limited social circle is married (Zoe), a professional who refuses to 'service the crew' (Inara) and his sister leaving Kaylee as a last resort is about as sensitive as bombing Hiroshima.
    Jayne has a mother (and possibly a sister?) whom he sends money to. Jayne wears a hat which is unusual, in Firefly it's mostly the bad guys who wear hats. A very different version of pre-Serenity Mal here, funloving and seeming to think of the war as a great big game. Kaylee has rigged a hammock in the engine room, perhaps because of the events of Out of Gas? Or because that way Simon can just walk casually in on her which he couldn't in her room cabin?
    The mule has survived it's use as a kamikaze in War Stories and is lodged in the Serenity's hold. Interestingly Jayne who we think of as a tactically shaven gorilla shows suprising sensitivity, removing his hat at the sight of the corpse and telling Book that seeing the dead makes him value life all the more. Nice mention of Saffron, Mal&co thinking that the Feds are after the Lassiter because she sold them out.
    Shepherd once again shows an interesting depth of knowledge of the Alliance police.
    .
    Marks out of 10; 6/10 A little disappointing after the quality of the preceding eps, largely rescued by a few good lines.

  4. #1174
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    HEART OF GOLD

    The good;
    Stonking great battle, some lovely Inara/Mal stuff and sex aplenty for everyone. Small scene but I love the bit where Mal is doing his best John Wayne impression organising the defence of the brothel and then starts to panic when Pateleen goes into labour only to be saved by level-headed Simon (her kid must have the strangest trio of midwives ever).

    The bad;
    Silver foil can't hide the cheapness of the sets. Didn't they think to lock up or put a guard on Serenity overnight? If Jayne can take out the M60 gunner on the back of the hovercraft with his M14 can't he just slot Ranse and then it would all be over? You also wonder that Ranse just hands over his deadly, pride and joy pistol to the first stranger who admires it?

    Best line;
    Nandi;(of the Firefly crew) "If they're got guns and brains that's all I need"
    Inara; "Well they've got guns...."
    Packing heat;
    Too many guns to count but notably Jayne with his M14 and the return of Wash's Colt Cobra .44. Ranse wears a fancy laser pistol which is rare sight for a non-core world. I'm informed that Shepherd's weapon in War Stories was a Goncz GA-9 pistol, great gun enthusiasts on the Xena boards.
    Kinky dinky;
    Inara bursts in on Mal 'handling his weapon'. She prefers his dinky Colt 32 instead (Wash's 'Leave no man behind' gun from War Stories). Mal and Jayne indulge themselves at the bordello with Jayne in particular getting into some hi-jinks with his blonde to judge by his transmission to Mal just before the gunfight.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Mal finally get's some action. Jayne get's so much he might leave the crew in debt to the Madam.

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester
    Jayne; 1-at least 1 Heart of Gold whore and possibly many others
    Mal; 1-Nandi

    Capt subtext;
    Obviously the idea is that Nandi is a substitute for Inara. Does Mal take up with her because she's 'An independent' and not tainted in his eyes with her support for the Alliance? There are also male whores, one wonders are Companions exclusively female or do they also have male members...oh for a different phrasing.
    When Mal shows no interest in her girls Nandi wonders if he's gay? His answer that 'I LEAN towards the womenfolk' is strangely ambiguous. One could speculate that Ranse represents the dark side of Mal himself, you wonder after this ep will Mal continue to use the word whore as an insult?
    How'd they get away with that?
    The scene where Ranse humiliates Chari on the saloon balcony is just unwatchable

    Total Serenity crew; 9-
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    Having met the villain tough-guy Mal wishes to bravely run away. Jayne the callous womaniser actually likes to snuggle with his hooker. Pateleen shows the father his newborn son and then blows his head off in front of her baby with a .357 Magnum.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes. Misogynists who get what's coming to them.
    Bondage;
    Mal; 2
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Knocked out;
    Book; 2
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 2
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1
    Women good/men bad;
    Rans tells the woman pregnant with his child that if necessary "I'll cut it out of you!" He really is just scum, reminds me of Caleb. The scene where Mal compliments him "She's a beauty" and he takes it to mean his sidearm rather than his wife really sums up the character right there.
    Kills; I figure 5 each for Mal, Jayne and Zoe
    Mal; 17-
    Zoe; 17-
    Jayne; 16-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;
    In this case, low class hookers in space. Inara draws a distinction between Companions and whores but seems to have no problem with them. Nandi hints that there was a great mystery surrounding Inara's decision to leave the home of the Companion Guild where she was on track to go far.
    Know the face?
    The beautiful Melinda Clarke is familar to fans of Xena as Valesca and also plays a more exotic Lady of the Night on CSI. Be sure to check her out as the incredible S&M zombie in Return of the Living Dead 3. Photos from Return of the Living Dead III Looking at her you wonder did she maybe audtion for the role of Inara?
    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
    Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
    Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
    Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
    Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
    Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.
    Jonathon Woodward; 3-as observed in the commentary, a hatrick (but not the only one), the vamp Holden Webster whom Buffy slays in 'Lies my parents told me', the traitorous Knox in season 5 of Angel and now Tracey in Firefly, each character seeming good but betraying everyone at the end.
    Alliance good or bad?;


    Fanfic;
    Any or all of the crew indulging themselves in/deciding to work at the Heart of Gold (Kaylee "I love to make people happy and here that's now my job") plus several where Nandi does decide to take up Mal's offer and flee, her girls/boys setting up their new business on the Serenity itself.

    Missing scenes;
    Reputedly a scene where Ranse's wife comes to the Heart of Gold the night before the battle to try to convince Pateleen to just give her the kid, that she has everything to offer a child and it's the only thing her life is lacking, the only thing she can't do is concieve. Another supposedly has Zoe berating Jayne and Mal for sleeping with the Heart of Gold hookers, saying that no woman would ever act as they did and pointing out that none of the Firefly females took advantage of the male whores. At which point Kaylee looks suddenly guilty and slips quietly out the room...
    .

    Western cliches;
    Storyline is very similar to aspects of Unforgiven, The Magnificent 7 and Young Guns Pt 2. Nandi rather reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich's Cattle Queen of Montanna. Mal does the traditional 'stagecoach jump' from the horse onto Ranse' hovercraft.

    Firefly speak;
    Gorram=goddam.
    Weak tea=not good
    Back birth=idiot
    Companion=high class courtesan
    Gengish=competent
    Doh-ma=understand/understood?
    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
    Chin-cha-da=hell
    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
    Ta-gow=Oh god!
    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
    Gosa=excrement
    Tien-sha-duh=rubbish
    Los-soh-ret=crap
    Dien-dyododo-chowen=bastard
    Wah=what the hell?
    Mah song=quickly
    Jin-seen-yung=idiot
    Nu-shu-quong=nice going
    Mai-hong=hello
    Sheinou-niou=no good
    Mei, mei=little sister
    Niou-se=lame
    Hey-shu-peegou=dumbass
    Moon brain=inbred?
    Jus-sa-gran=dupes/suckers
    Swa-shi=petty, small time
    Trim=sex
    Roller=tank or armoured vehicle
    Jon-su=*****/hardass
    Wetware=smuggled organs
    Sly=gay
    Drops=narcotics
    Shot; astonishingly with all the lead flying around our heroes get away unscathed
    Mal; 2-
    Kaylee;1-
    Jayne;3-
    Book;1-
    Wash;1-

    Crew injured; not even Simon get's beaten up


    Reminds me off;
    Nandi is very like Tina Turner's character in Mad Max 3. Inara weeping when she discovers Mal has slept with Nandi is similar to Willow's when she finds out Faith has bedded Xander. Mal wishing to meet Ranse before taking him on is reminiscent of the famous Pacino/De Niro scene in Heat.

    Questions and observations;
    Jayne in a hat again, a stetson for the first time. Zoe wants a baby but Wash is reluctant given their precarious lifestyle. Inara actually get's into the fighting, holding a knife to Ranse throat. Nice quip from Mal when Nandi kisses him, he waits to see if he's going to pass out (as with Saffron). How did they know Chari was the traitor?

    Marks out of 10;7 out of 10, a fairly slight story but well told and some nice Mal/Inara stuff

  5. #1175
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 10
    Posts
    423
    OBJECTS IN SPACE
    The good;
    All of it, very, very good, especially love the opening of Summer as she prowls around the ship listening to everyone's thoughts, the character of Jubal Early, the crew's meeting to discuss River and her plan is inspired.

    The bad;
    River's reluctance to use firearms to dispose of Early seems a little strange, she's never seemed to have any reservations before. Plus shooting him would be a lot more humane than leaving him to suffocate?

    Best line;
    Simon; "My sisters a ship, we had a complicated childhood"
    plus
    Mal; "If I wanted medical jargon I'd talk to a doctor"
    Simon; "You ARE talking to a doctor"
    and
    Simon; "Come on out Summer, the nice man wants to kidnap you"
    Packing heat;
    River get's her hands on Jayne's Desert Eagle 44. Magnum (which dwarfs her), possibly because she senses the impending threat of Early. Jayne says it won't penetrate the ship's hull, that not even Vera could do that. Early has a 'finely crafted pistol' but it seems to be a pure prop gun rather than any contemporary firearm. On his commentary Joss says he doesn't like guns but Buffy aside you'd be hard put to accept that to judge by his shows/films.
    Jayne boasts about once hitting a man at 500yrds with a bent scope (Patience's men in Serenity?)
    Kinky dinky;
    Early threatens to rape Kaylee to get her co-operation. We take it that when he talks of giving Kaylee and 'present' and ridding her off a 'problem' he means River but maybe he takes her as a virgin and is telling her they're going to have sex? River observes he's all about "Power, control, pain'
    River voyeuristically 'mindrops' on Wash and Zoe getting kissy on the bridge (aside from Homer and Marge they seem to be the most sexually active married couple ever). Topless Simon for the straight girls and sly boys (Joss admits he doesn't mind giving his audience some cheesecake) plus him playing footsie with Kaylee. He also relates the story of some youthful streaking to celebrate his graduation as a surgeon.
    Book is celibate but avoids the question of masturbation.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; we don't know what happens between Kaylee and Early after he ties her up but I don't think so. She also relates a possible story about bedding a 14 year old 'genetic experiment' but again, unconfirmed.

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester
    Jayne; 1-at least 1 Heart of Gold whore and possibly many others
    Mal; 1-Nandi

    Capt subtext;
    Mal says that he's perfectly fine with Kaylee never having killed anyone, he wants to keep her the one sweet and innocent thing in his life. Early's fate, left hanging in space with an uncertain future is a metaphor for the series itself.
    When Jayne threatens that he and Wash will 'Go somewhere' over his teasing Wash says he hopes it's somewhere with candlelight.
    How'd they get away with that?
    Early threatening Kaylee is hard to watch as is his pistol whipping Inara across the face. Early licks the ship? Is he descended from Benton Fraser RCMP?

    Total Serenity crew; 9-
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    We expect Book to tell the truth about being knocked out but he actually lies. We think Jayne is reaching his arsenal when he pulls the curtain back but actually he's just grabbing a blanket. Kaylee actually gives in, surrenders to Early and let's him tie her up, betraying River to him.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes. Misogynists who get what's coming to them.
    Bondage; Kaylee tied up by Early
    Mal; 2
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Kaylee; 1
    Knocked out; Book and Mal by Early
    Book; 3
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 3
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1
    Women good/men bad;
    Early questions why men are physically stronger yet women have the children?
    Kills; Mal kills Early (or does he? Put him down as a possible)
    Mal; 17-plus one possible, Jubal Early
    Zoe; 17-
    Jayne; 16-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;
    Early exclaims "I'll be a son of a whore"
    Know the face?
    Richard Brooks a familar face for all Law&Order fans (until his replacement by Mrs Gere and then Kate Lochley) and truly excellent here in a role where he really plays against type.
    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
    Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
    Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
    Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
    Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
    Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.
    Jonathon Woodward; 3-as observed in the commentary, a hatrick (but not the only one), the vamp Holden Webster whom Buffy slays in 'Lies my parents told me', the traitorous Knox in season 5 of Angel and now Tracey in Firefly, each character seeming good but betraying everyone at the end.
    Alliance good or bad?;


    Fanfic;
    Plenty about the future adventures of Jubal Early. Amongst the means for his survival are;
    1) Venting air from his spacesuit to propel him back to his own ship
    2) Boosting the power of his magnetic shoes in order to attract him back to it
    3) Remote control of his own ship once Serenity is out of sensor range (it does seem to fly off under some form of direction)
    4) Firing his gun to use the recoil to direct himself
    5) Picked up by the blue gloves who are also trailing Serenity
    Unfortunately some include him making good on his threats to Kaylee.

    Missing scenes; or deleted scenes in this case
    1. Scene where we see Zoe and Mal being picked up by the rescue ships after the battle of Serenity. Very graphic with the ground littered with corpses and Zoe in particular looking as though she's on her last legs. It's a powerful scene but if they had left it in it would have detracted from Mal's 'loss of faith' moment in the pilot.
    2. Zoe tells Simon about the battle of Serenity in all it's gory detail, 500,000 killed in less than 2 months. What makes this more interesting is that she states that the Browncoats leaders left them to rot on the battlefield for a week, they resent the Independents High Command as well as the Alliance.
    3. Well I guess I owe Alan Tudyk an apology, there IS an incestuous subtext between Simon and River (at least on River's part) he didn't just make it up out of the blue in his commentary for War Stories. It's all actually quite innocent, like a little girl playing at weddings and casting her father or brother as the groom. She accuses Saffron of being a thief, the crew think she means snaffling the food but she actually means more than that. Mal's speech to Saffron about standing up for herself shows his attitude towards women and gives her the idea of how to hoodwink him. This scene also explains why Summer Glau had no lines in the whole of Our Mrs Reynolds.
    4. Inara announces she's leaving, excised because of the crazy order in which the show was shown so as to make more sense.

    Western cliches;
    Jubal Early is the name of a Confederate General in the US Civil War

    Firefly speak;
    Gorram=goddam.
    Weak tea=not good
    Back birth=idiot
    Companion=high class courtesan
    Gengish=competent
    Doh-ma=understand/understood?
    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
    Chin-cha-da=hell
    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
    Ta-gow=Oh god!
    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
    Gosa=excrement
    Tien-sha-duh=rubbish
    Los-soh-ret=crap
    Dien-dyododo-chowen=bastard
    Wah=what the hell?
    Mah song=quickly
    Jin-seen-yung=idiot
    Nu-shu-quong=nice going
    Mai-hong=hello
    Sheinou-niou=no good
    Mei, mei=little sister
    Niou-se=lame
    Hey-shu-peegou=dumbass
    Moon brain=inbred?
    Jus-sa-gran=dupes/suckers
    Swa-shi=petty, small time
    Trim=sex
    Roller=tank or armoured vehicle
    Jon-su=*****/hardass
    Wetware=smuggled organs
    Sly=gay
    Drops=narcotics
    Fa-ta-bien=impossible/nonsense
    Shot; Simon shot
    Mal; 2-
    Kaylee;1-
    Jayne;3-
    Book;1-
    Wash;1-
    Simon; 1-
    Crew injured;
    Mal gets a beating as does Simon again, Book get's a sore head. Inara get's a split lip from her pistol-whipping.

    Reminds me off;
    I guess I don't have to say Bobby Fett right down to his suit, gun and ship because Joss admits it in the commentary. Early threatening Kaylee reminds me of Glory and Tara in Tough Love.
    Early's remark of " Maybe I've always been here?" is very The Shining.
    Questions and observations;
    I had thought it was stupid that Serenity had controls allowing someone to seal the crew into their cabins from the outside but it was pointed out if the ship was depressurised they would need to be able to seal off each compartment. Note Kayleigh is the only one not to have any hidden thoughts for River to read, she's totally open. Book's thoughts make you wonder if he was previously a cop or judge? As early observes, "That's not a Shepherd" Jayne appears to cook pancakes. Note when River has the gun it's Kaylee who backs away most having seen what she's capable off. The crew still don't know about Jayne's betrayal on Ariel.
    Mal sure does love his double negatives when talking. Wash seems to delight in teasing Jayne although you'd wonder if he'd be quite so brave without Zoe to back him up? He also thinks telepathy is science fiction even when he's on a spaceship, very postmodern.
    It appears people eat horses in the future. Early is the kind of interesting recurring villain the series sorely needs. Unfortunately this is the final ep.
    Marks out of 10; 9/10, nice to see the series go out on a high

  6. #1176
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 10
    Posts
    423
    SERENITY; the movie
    The good;
    Obviously benefits from a greater budget especially in the lab scenes. Cool opening tracking shot. Love River and Zoe trading their little look during the robbery and love River's goggles. Stonking great spaceship battles in a series where we haven't seen that before. The scene where they slip through the Reaver fleet is truly creepy.
    The bad;
    Mal's getting an innoculation at the start. Never seen that before but it neatly informs us that Simon is a doctor. Disappointing that we get no Saffron or Jubal Early but you can't have everything.
    Best line;
    Mal; "If I'm not back in an hour come rescue me"
    Zoe; "And risk MY ship?"
    plus
    Simon; (to River who has just survived a Reaver attack, massive gunfight and crash) "Are you ok?"
    River; "I swallowed a bug"
    and
    Mal; "You want to be in charge?"
    Jayne; "Yeah"
    Mal; "Well...you can't!"
    Packing heat;
    Serenity finally gets some exterior arnament in the form of Book's Bofors like flak-gun. Maybe the Alliance allowed private citizens to own what weapons they like but forbade the arming of ships themselves? Inara uses some form of Companion bow and arrow, as Joss observes, very Wonder Woman. Jayne doesn't use Vera instead having an H+K G36 and his grenades. Mal has an Armalite AR-18 which he later gives to Zoe, most other crew use MP5Ks plus Zoe's Mossberg shotgun.
    Kinky dinky;
    River voyeuristically watches her brother and Kaylee having sex. Maybe the subtexters did have a point? Kaylee appears to have been using a self-pleasuring device which horrifies Mal (who seems to like to think of Kaylee almost as his virgin daughter) but intrigues Jayne. The crew still like to eavesdrop on Mal and Inara for gossip/thrills. Mal cross dresses again, disguising himself in a companion's dress and may have gone through Inara's clothes (for her scent or to try them on?)

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Simon and Kaylee, at last

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;2-Bester, Simon
    Jayne; 1-at least 1 Heart of Gold whore and possibly many others
    Mal; 1-Nandi
    Simon; 1-Kaylee

    Capt subtext;
    Note River actually sniffs Inara's bed in Kaylee's video. Mal considers Fanty 'pretty'.
    How'd they get away with that?
    All and everything the Reavers do! The slow sword impalement is also nasty as is desecrating the dead by strapping them to Serenity, even Book.
    Total Serenity crew; 7- When we meet the crew Inara and Book are no longer part of it (the ship and crew are literally and figuratively falling apart). Inara rejoins but Book and Wash die. River now takes Wash's place as the co-pilot of Serenity.
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River,

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    Facing the Reavers our heroes bravely run away. Indeed in the end they leave it to the Alliance troops to fight them, THEY save the day. Amazingly the villain actually survives. Mal pushes the guy off the mule and leaves him to the Reavers. We never do get to hear Book's story. Mal the noble hero never hesitates to shoot unarmed people.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes. Misogynists who get what's coming to them. Sex-bots. People with subliminal triggers.
    Bondage; River in cuffs
    Mal; 2
    River; 2
    Simon; 1
    River; 2
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Kaylee; 1
    Knocked out; Jayne and Simon knocked out by River, River knocked out by Simon's magic word
    Book; 3
    Simon; 3
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;4
    Mal; 3
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 2
    Women good/men bad;

    Kills; Inara really participates in the fight for the first time. I'll give Jayne and Zoe 10 Reavers each, River 30 and everyone else 5. Amazingly Mal only kills 2 people.
    Mal; 19-plus one possible, Jubal Early
    Zoe; 27-
    Jayne; 26-
    Wash; 2
    River; 33
    Simon; 5
    Kaylee; 5
    Inara; 5

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;
    Inara is working as an instructor at a companion training school which must be the best job EVER!
    Know the face?

    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    1. Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    2. Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    3. Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    4. Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    5. Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    6. Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    7. Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    8. Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    9. Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
    10. Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
    11. Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
    12. Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
    13. Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
    14. Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.
    15. Jonathon Woodward; 3-as observed in the commentary, a hatrick (but not the only one), the vamp Holden Webster whom Buffy slays in 'Lies my parents told me', the traitorous Knox in season 5 of Angel and now Tracey in Firefly, each character seeming good but betraying everyone at the end.
    So, 15 in total
    Alliance good or bad?;
    In this case Alliance bad but well intentioned. They wanted to create a society without violence which seems laudable but in the end turns into a nightmare. In the end the Alliance troops defeat the Reavers, saving the crew and rebuilding the Serenity. Whilst the Alliance seems set to continue it may be very different from now on.
    Mal says the war is long done and Joss comments that he's put it behind him. So when he tells Simon that needling the Alliance is one of the reasons he let's him and River stay is he being truthful?
    Simon really looks the part of the Alliance officer in the beginning. The Operative says that Mal isn't the hero and the Alliance isn't the evil empire. Joss himself remarks that he sees the Alliance as a largely benevolent force.
    So, who would you have sided with in the war? I have to say that Blue Gloves aside I'd lean towards the Alliance.
    Fanfic;
    The continuing adventures of Serenity post-movie obviously popular. One common thread is that with Wash dead Mal now has to choose between Zoe and Inara as his love. Another is the Alliance unravelling and the crew coming to terms that they've created chaos in the universe and actually seeking to create a UN type organisation/Galactic senate.

    Missing scenes;
    Reputedly had the series continued there'd have been an episode where Mal and Zoe are tracked down by a group of ex-Alliance soldiers intent on avenging a war crime that their Browncoat unit committed (like Principal Wood and Spike).
    The deleted scenes are largely unremarkable except for Inara teaching her Companion skills to her young pupils. More of that would have probably made the film more successful at the box office.

    Firefly speak;
    Gorram=goddam.
    Weak tea=not good
    Back birth=idiot
    Companion=high class courtesan
    Gengish=competent
    Doh-ma=understand/understood?
    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
    Chin-cha-da=hell
    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
    Ta-gow=Oh god!
    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
    Gosa=excrement
    Tien-sha-duh=rubbish
    Los-soh-ret=crap
    Dien-dyododo-chowen=bastard
    Wah=what the hell?
    Mah song=quickly
    Jin-seen-yung=idiot
    Nu-shu-quong=nice going
    Mai-hong=hello
    Sheinou-niou=no good
    Mei, mei=little sister
    Niou-se=lame
    Hey-shu-peegou=dumbass
    Moon brain=inbred?
    Jus-sa-gran=dupes/suckers
    Swa-shi=petty, small time
    Trim=sex
    Roller=tank or armoured vehicle
    Jon-su=*****/hardass
    Wetware=smuggled organs
    Sly=gay
    Drops=narcotics
    Fa-ta-bien=impossible/nonsense

    Shot; Jayne, Mal, Kaylee and Simon all shot
    Mal; 3-
    Kaylee;2-
    Jayne;4-
    Book;1-
    Wash;1-
    Simon; 2-

    Crew injured;
    Jayne get's staked in the leg and thumped by River. Mal routinely gets the stuffing beaten out of him.

    Reminds me off;
    River spying on Simon and Kaylee having sex reminds me off Dawn who was quite the voyeur with Buffy and Riley. The idea of a world without violence is something Joss reuses from season 4 of Angel. The Reavers are reminiscent of John Carpenter's film Ghosts of Mars. The opening scenes are very BSG whilst one of the guns in the bar fight looks like the ones they used on Babylon 5. The new mule is very Star Wars landspeeder (did they sell the Lassiter to pay for it?). Mal shoots the guy being eaten by the Reavers, very Last of the Mohicans.
    Now of course Miranda (meaning 'most wonderful') is Prospero's daughter in The Tempest. We've already seen Ariel (the wonder of the Alliance?), does this make the Reavers Caliban? "This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine". And of course it was adapted as 'The Forbidden Planet'.
    River's trigger is very like Spike's in Buffy. Alien is referred to again although this is a universe without aliens (The Operative refers to 'Building better worlds' which is the company's motto). Mal quotes The Ancient Mariner. The space battle is very Starship Troopers, Wrath of Khan, Babylon 5 and of course Star Wars. Zoe's assertion that they're not getting out alive is similar to Angel in Not Fade Away. Burning swing is very T2.

    Questions and observations;
    So we finally meet some real Reavers (we've only met one pseudo one before in Bushwhacked). But the Serenity crew never confront the Blue-gloves? Note when we see the slaughter at Haven Jayne still takes the time to loot. Who helps Simon rescue River? The Browncoat diehards who were to try and recruit Mal and Zoe if the series had continued? The Mal we see at the beginning is much more like the Mal we see in the pilot than the series. Wash the pilot always seems the last to know everything, he's rather left out.
    The Alliance now use sleek ships. Mal's record shows him to be a captain in the Browncoats which is why Zoe calls him 'sir' which she shouldn't do if he's a sergeant (although if he really did command 2000 men at one point he's actually an acting brigadier). Are the Reavers all gone, did the Alliance wipe them out? Jayne plays the guitar, I wonder if he know's The Hero of Canton?. The Alliance troops have new armour, very Halo like. Jayne points out that of Mal's 30 man platoon he and Zoe were the only survivors, bearing out Zoe's assertion that a hero is someone who gets other people killed and a leader is 'something of a monster' (like ruthless Angel at the end of season 5 and hardass Buffy in season 7). After visiting Ariel River begins to get visibly better. Jayne comes to terms with Simon by offering him his whiskey.
    Marks out of 10; 9/10, very good, if this is the last we see of the crew (and it almost certainly is) this is a fine send off for them.

    So, Firefly? Well, very enjoyable but I'd still say it's my least favourite of Joss' shows. Now of course maybe if it had lasted longer I would think more of it, if Buffy/Angel had only had 14 eps they wouldn't have grown into the great series they were. I think the best way to put it is that Firefly had the potential to be a great series. Interestingly Buffy was a largely unsuccessful film that was transformed into a tremmendously successful TV series with it's own successful spinoff. Firefly was a failed TV series that became a largely successful film.

  7. #1177
    Custom Title jon-el87's Avatar
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    Decided to check out the pilot episode on Disney+. Didn't care for it (and found it boring). First we're thrown into a flashback, with no context over what is going on. What this war is. Then they jump six years into the future, with a boring salvage mission. With the screen cutting between the boring extraction... and a grown man playing with dinosaur toys. Why? Why is this grown man sitting around playing with childrens toys? Am I supposed to connect and identify with that idiot? Because I don't.

    The phrase "space western" is a common term, in regard to science fiction. However, I've never seen it be taken quite so literal before. It's like the whole thing is a weird mix of the 19th century and the future, at the same time (that doesn't add up). A lot of people dress like it's the 19th century. Okay, look. I sometimes check out Youtube channels by women, who are into vintage fashion and style. But, those are individuals with an individual style (they don't all dress in the style of the same time period. Some the 1950s. Some Victorian/Edwardian style. Some have a more fluid style, shifting between eras), not one look for mainstream society.

    A lot of Chinese influence, to the point of characters occasionally speaking Chinese. You know, in that type of society, you would expect a strong Chinese/Asian presence. With, at least, on Asian main character. But there isn't. The only Asians are a few extras in crowd scenes. Some of the dialogue also attempts to sound "futuristic", but ends up distracting.

    The main hero is Mal. A cheap Han Solo rip-off. Only, he isn't a loveable rogue. He isn't even likable. With this Future/19th century mash-up, I find myself looking at him as a former Confederate soldier. Maybe make the cause for the war, that they were fighting, at the start, more clear. For all I know, his side was in favor of continued enslavement of an alien race (I'm getting to aliens in a moment). Anything that we find out, we only have his word for. We're not shown the evil of the "Alliance" (is that what they're called?). Only told that... by former enemy soldiers. Our main contact with the Alliance, is the dull salvage mission... when the Alliance lets them go, because they're getting a distress signal from a vessel. Can't really imagine an imperial Star Destroyer doing the same. But, the Alliance (the supposed bad guys) are willing to let Mal's crew go, because there are people in peril elsewhere, who needs them.

    When one looks at Mal as a Han Solo rip-off... I guess that the priest fellow is supposed to be Obi-Wan (only not interesting). Simon and River are Luke and Leia (only uninteresting). Adam Baldwin or Zoe is Chewbacca (both falling short). No idea why Morena's character had to be a prostitute (something that Mal keeps holding over her, which is part of the reason for me disliking him. I don't care what someone's job is, you don't get to be a jerk to them. Especially when her first scene seems to indicate that she was groomed for this occupation, since she was a little child), outside of an excuse for Joss to have her get naked (and include sex scenes). In addition to the extended River nude scene. Can't say that the characters are very memorable, outside of the Star Wars comparison that I just made. A comparison that only extends on a superficial level, to some of the main characters.

    This whole thing takes place in another star system, in the future. But there are no aliens. Everyone is a human. Even the reavers are just insane humans. No robots or androids either. Other sci-fi shows of this era (and earlier) tended to have aliens, robots or both. Guess that they felt that it wouldn't work, with the western style, that they were going for... and went so hard for, that some of the soundtrack is western music (just made me roll my eyes).
    Last edited by jon-el87; 08-26-2021 at 11:13 AM.

  8. #1178
    Custom Title jon-el87's Avatar
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    Episode 2: "The Train Job".

    The crew sets out to rob a train. A western plot so old, that it was done in The Great Train Robbery (1903), the first western ever made. And it's a literal train, that they're robbing. Not a transport in space, as one would expect.

    We keep moving from planet/moon to planet/moon, in these first two episodes. Yet, everywhere they go, they're always in a place that looks like the American west. They're always in the same star system. Traveling around the outer planets/moons. Even if you were to terraform the planet/moon, it wouldn't change the fact that it's a greater distance from the star, than Earth is to the sun. Resulting in the planet/moon getting less starlight. Less heat from the star. Which would make it colder (and darker), and less likely for it to have an environment that looks like the American west. Sure, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis often had the teams ending up in a similar type of environment (represented by the Canadian outdoors), when they went to different planets/moons. However, those planets weren't in the same star system. Also, they emerge wherever the local Stargate is positioned. A device placed there by the Ancients. It makes sense for them to position it in an ideal location (with access to plenty of food, water and useful material). On a planet/moon in the habitable zone. And settlements on the planet would be made near the Stargate, for easy access to transport. The crew on this ship could land anywhere on the planet/moon (not restricted to the geographic location where a teleportation device delivers them). The population of the planet/moon could've made their settlement anywhere on the planet/moon... or does the all of the planets/moons look entirely like the American west? That seems unlikely. Not to mention, to compensate for the lack of light and heat from the star, they would likely need some massive energy source (and a lot of hard work). Just to keep these outer planets/moons looking like this. Heck, merely terraforming planets/moons would be a massive undertaking. So, why are they doing it? They don't seem to be engaging in proper building of colonies on the planets/moons (that would create countless jobs in construction alone. For a colony to work, you would also need workers in all kinds of fields. Doctors, nurses, educators, engineers, electricians, lawyers, bureaucrats, just to name a few. These colonies should produce countless opportunities for the job market, in like every field imaginable). Nor any type of mining operation or something. So, what is their motivation for terraforming these places?

    The intro gives us some backstory, that we really should've had in the first episode. However, the backstory is very thin... and makes it sound like Mal and Zoe are ex-Confederate soldiers. The Alliance wanted a joined government or something, while some planets wanted independence. They don't go into why they wanted independence. Just that there was a disagreement (over what?) and a war broke out.

    Thought that the badges on the sheriff's shoulders looked dangerously close to the gold stars, that the Nazis made Jews wear. When I first saw the badges, I thought that was what they were.
    Last edited by jon-el87; 09-01-2021 at 12:06 PM.

  9. #1179
    Custom Title jon-el87's Avatar
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    Episode 3: "Bushwacked".

    The crew comes across a derelict ship, and picks something up from it... wait... that's Alien (1979). They were trying to rip-off Alien (and failing, I might add). Naturally, because this universe doesn't have aliens, robots or genetic experiments, the being is just a crazy person. No actual threat.

    The episode is 45 minutes long, but nothing actually happens for the first 15 (outside of finding this ship). When you only have 45 minutes, to tell a story, you can't spend 15-ish minutes on them just walking around. Sure, little happens in like the first 45 minutes of Alien, but that was a movie (featuring brand-new characters (i.e. we've never met them before) and a brand-new environment). This is an episode of television, and we've already had two episodes with the crew before this (so, no need to introduce them). The derelict ship has a booby trap, but it's quickly dealt with (with no tension). It is only after they discover the bodies (about 16 minutes into the episode), that they realize that the ship has been attacked by reavers... which feels like something that they should've considered as a possibility from the start. Given the limited options of this universe, the two most likely options would be a catastrophy onboard (one that would likely make it extremely dangerous to come onboard) or a reaver attack.

    After the crew's left the derelict ship, they encounter an Alliance ship. They don't try to run or anything. Just let the Alliance onboard, followed by boring interegation scenes (establishing nothing about the characters, that we didn't already know). At the end, the commander lets them leave. They don't have to try to escape or anything.

    Gave three episodes of this show a chance. Won't bother with the remaining ones. I can see why this show got canceled.

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