So I saw Serenity a few years back in my college theater, and found it decent, though I had a hard time relating to the characters. Now I'm finally giving Firefly a try. After a rough first half-hour (I was starting to contemplate giving up), the pilot suddenly got good, what with the appearance of River and the shoot-out. I was stoked. Now I'm four episodes in (just finished Shindig), and my patience is being sorely tested. After three (apparently) self-contained episodes, we haven't learned a single thing about anyone we didn't get from the pilot. Oh, wait - River can speak a mean Irish accent. Er, right. Even the early Enterprise episodes gave us more development than that. There's also been basically zero movement on the River plot. Lots of people thought HBO's Carnivàle moved too slowly, and there are certain stylistic parallels between it and Firefly, but even Carnivàle's slowest and worst episodes gave us some movement, either from the Brother Justin storyline, the Carnivàle/Ben storyline, or both. I don't think you can skip a single one and not notice something missing. So, my question is... when, if ever, do Firefly's episodes start mattering to their immediate successors? Because this whole train robbery/Alliance capture/duel stuff just feels like filler.