[FONT=Times New Roman]The good;
Kaylee is the belle of the ball and isn't she WONDERFUL! Mal swordfighting and lots of good stuff with Badger, especially his conversation with River. Adore Mal's looks of amazement as Jayne knows what 'pretentious' means.
The cows in the final scene are amazingly quiet whilst Mal and Inara are talking.
Kaylee; "Great party, huh?"
Debutante; "Not as good as last year"
Kaylee; "Why, what did they have last year?"
Debutante; (looking Kaylee up and down) "Standards"
To quote Cameron on The Sarah Connor Chronicles 'Bitchwhore much?"
Kaylee; "Maybe that's him over there?"
Mal; "That's the buffet table"
Kaylee; (hungrily) "How will we know if we don't ask?"
Swords this time. Badger's men use an MP40 Schmeisser, an Uzi and an AK-47, the guest at the party seems to have a Colt .32 pocket pistol. Jayne packs what looks like a Mossberg shotgun on the Serenity.
Naked Wash and Zoe get it on again, Zoe complimenting Wash that he 'knows all the steps'. Inarra's outfit at the party is also quite something. Kaylee comments that Mal's outfit shows off his backside and Inara subsequently spanks it with her sword.
Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Inara is hired for the evening but we've no idea if they have sex or not so I'll put him down as a possible.
Inarra;1-a paying customer who wishes to make her his kept woman, 1 possible, Atherton.
Wash; 1-the missus
Zoe; 1-the hubby
Wash jokingly refers to 'jealous men like me' regarding Zoe but is he really joking or sending Mal a not so subtle message? When Kaylee says 'Look at the pretties' Mal asks if she means the girls or the clothes? Mal and Jayne snigger as Badger implies he has his hands on some diamond testicles. Mal observes Atherton is such a catch 'I'm liable to sleep with him myself'.
How'd they get away with that?
Mal gratuitously stabbing Atherton after he's defeated him in the duel. Mal's remark comparing Kaylee to a sheep dancing on it's hind legs is INCREDIBLY insensitive, Jayne's gynacologist joke in the ep Serenity is less offensive.
Total Serenity crew; 8(9?)
Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Book, Simon, River(?).
Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
After sex it's Zoe who wants to sleep and Wash to stay awake. When Mal claims he cannot run Inara correctly points out that he runs away all the time. Mal is far from stoic when complaining about his wounds later.
Whedon cliches; (see I spelt it right!);
Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys.
Women good/men bad;
It's not enough for Atherton to simply hire Inara for her charms he wants to own her completely and deny her to other men, like she's some form of possession.
Happy high-class hookers in Space (the title the porn industry wished they'd thought of!);
Inara greets several other companions at the party. They are used by rich men as status symbols, who has the best one get's the most kudos. At the end she freezes him out, no other companion will now work for him after how he's treated her. Mal refers to the companion training school as a whore academy (jeez the man has NO CLUE!)
Know the face?
Larry Drake is familar to 80s TV viewers as Benny in LA Law, the nicest man in the world and to horror fans from Darkman and Dr Giggles where he plays the nastiest men in the world. He also stars with Whedon alumnis Alyssin Hannigan in American Pie 2 and Amber Benson in the dreadful B-movie Gryphon.
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.
Alliance good or bad?;
Would the Alliance allow slavery (or dueling?) on their worlds? Or are they like the Union forces in the American Civil War/British Empire in the 18/19th century, abolishing it wherever they go?
Mal and Inara getting together after this ep is common but a sizeable minority like to pair her up with Atherton, presumably the same folks who think Kate Winslet should have stuck with Billy Zane in Titanic (Mae West's quote of wanting a man who's "handsome, rich and cruel" springs to mind") If you like things a LOT more adult there's also one where Kaylee's admirers invite her to an after hours party and then indulge in group sex with her, more or less consensually (ie she starts off as less but ends up as more).
Reputedly there was a scene where we see Mal unload the walking arsenal he carries in his pockets before entering the ballroom plus a derringer he has Kaylee carrying for him in her stockings tops. Also a scene where we Larry Drake's character and Badger fall out and Inara gossiping with her fellow companions at the dance.
Nice in a western series to finally have the Serenity with a hold full of cattle, once again food is one of the most precious commodities in the Fireflyverse, especially some good steak as Jayne observes earlier in the episode.
Weak tea=not good
Companion=high class courtesan
Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
Mal pretty badly sliced up in the duel at the end.
Reminds me off;
Deranged River talking in her faux cockney accent is VERY Drusilla indeed. Inara the high class lady of the night is very Darla and her love/hate relationship with brooding hero Mal somewhat akin to Darla and Angel. Mal's hatred of slavery is reminiscent of Han Solo. The bitchy girls at the party are awfully like the Cordettes on Buffy. Kaylee's hilarious expression as Mal tells her that he has a job for her is very like Willow's when Riley's wife Sam makes suggestions for Xander's wedding in the s6 Buffy ep 'As you were'. Wash is a bad poet, much like Spike and not really an action man as with Xander. Jane comments that the Serenity crew are the misfits who don't fit in much like the Scoobs at Sunnydale High.
Kaylee's rescuer at the party does indeed remind me of an older Clark Gable as the commentary observes but also of Dr Huer from the old Buck Rogers TV series.
Questions and observations;
They still have the peerage system in the future. Unfortunately they've also got slavery too, even on a fairly civilized world like Persephone . 'Magic' Jane Espenson, hooray! Inara seems to have a thing about slumming, she really is out of place in the Firefly crew and certainly in the bar Mal and Jayne take her to. More social climbing by Badger but he's useless at it, crustless sandwiches (cucumber?) mixed with wood alcohol hooch, no wonder he needed Mal to be the middleman for him in the deal, at least he can fake class convincingly. Kaylee's surname is Lee Fry. She once again shows her love of fruit, both mangoes and strawberries as does Badger who's at the apples again. Zoe's remark about Jayne slitting her throat and taking over the ship again suggests he's the unofficial 3rd in command. However he wants to rescue Mal when Badger comes to the ship.
Mal is in many ways too honest and honourable for the criminal world, he's probably more like the Alliance than he cares to admit but can't stand submitting to their authority.
Marks out of 10; 7/10 pretty good .