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Firefly (Re)watch & Discuss: 1.01 Serenity

Athena

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Welcome to the Buffy Boards Firefly re-watch!

This week, we'll be watching the first episode of the first (and only!) season of Firefly, and the original pilot episode, - Serenity - written and directed by Joss Whedon. This (re)watch is open to new Firefly viewers and existing fans. Everyone is welcome to join in!

This episode 1 (re)watch takes place between 10th June 2017 - 17th June 2017. You can watch this episode at your leisure during that time and discuss the episode below.

Although Firefly has aired for some time, this and all future episode threads are a dedicated no spoiler zone! Please ensure any spoilers are spoiler tagged. :)

Serenity - S1E1
Synopsis​
Malcolm Reynolds is a veteran and the captain of Serenity. He and his crew are smuggling goods, but they need to pick up some passengers for extra money. However, not all the passengers are what they seem.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

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I'm first? I feel so special! :)

First I'd like to say with that opening battle sequence, that those are pretty good special effects for a show from 15 years ago! The whole 'so very pretty' scene was funny & then moving. ♥ The Beatles' reference (cry baby cry/make your mother sigh). Kind of funny how the 'ambassador' is the one who's considered the respectable one. I've heard this show described as a 'space spaghetti western'. Think maybe better described as a 'space chow mein western'. ;) I like all the fake/Chinese curse words/insults. Still use some myself. :p Jayne doing the math with his hands. :D 'Jayne your mouth's talkin', you might want to see to that'. :p Kaylee saying: 'all aboard!' Mal telling Zoe to 'shoot them, politely'. :p



I really like the Inara/Kaylee friendship. Kaylee's kind of everyone's little sister. Even Jayne was all concerned about her when she was injured! I thought that Kaylee was dead the first time I seen the show. Mal really is a 'bad man'. :p 'I believe that woman's planning on shooting me again'. The delivery: priceless. :p The description of what The Reavers would do to them if they were lucky - shudders! The scene where Jayne and Mal are talking about how The Alliance man escaped. They certainly make you wonder early on about the dynamics between those two. I like the scene at the end where Mal tells Simon that he & River can stay till they find 'some place better'.

Mal
: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.

Great opener! ♥
 

thrasherpix

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I've held off for now in part because I'm not sure how exactly to post. That is, just how strict are spoiler tags to be used? Among other things. I'll probably just be replying for awhile until I get a "feel" for how this works.
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
I decided to just go spoiler free, just in case :)

Athena

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That is, just how strict are spoiler tags to be used?
In your discussion of the episode, only visibly post stuff from this or any previous episodes. Anything from future episodes not yet discussed, or plots that may pertain to future episodes need to be spoiler tagged. It's just a little bit of courtesy to those who are watching for the first time.

I mean sure, most people know it only had one season, so that's not a spoiler, but something that happens to a character further down the line is a spoiler and should be tagged as such. :)

As for the discussion, say whatever you like - did you think the episode was good or bad, highlights from it, really anything goes. @HowiMetdaSlayer got it spot on ;)
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
thanks :)
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
That makes sense! Thanks :-)

Athena

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Finally got round to watching this tonight - in glorious HD too, for the first time :)

The first thing that struck me was, as a pilot episode, it actually does a decent enough job. It introduces all the characters on the ship, gives us some back story on the Battle of Serenity Valley, it shows us some decent conflict and peril - I don't understand why Fox didn't like it enough to run with it as the series pilot? o_O

Highlights for me include Kaylee's pure delight at the strawberry - just the joy on her face is priceless! I too love her friendship with Inara - it's great just to show women supporting each other. Zoe and Wash are great as a married couple who actually act like a married couple would act on a ship in space.

The Reavers were a genuine threat too - you could just feel the tension as they passed by initially undetected, but then soon realised the Reavers were hungry after all :eek:

The thing about Mal is, he's genuinely not a nice guy (he isn't lying when he says "Oh, I'm a bad man." - he will just shoot a guy on official government business. He probably would have abandoned Simon & River on some unnamed planet. He's rude to Shepherd Book about his religion. He calls Inara a whore several times. He shoots Patience's horse when she hides behind it. But at the same time he has this irresistible charm about him. He is loyal to his crew and to his friends. He realises he needs to help an innocent young girl stay away from the feds. He's willing to sacrifice himself and the crew to the Reavers to save Inara, Simon & River.

I had a few issues with the shots - in some it was almost like the ship was in the foreground and the characters were tucked away in the background somewhere. I also thought the lighting in some indoor ship scenes wasn't great, but the outdoor stuff was great. It's clear a lot of money went into the production, especially the initial battle scenes and the scenes in the desert with Patience and her gang.

As pilot's go, this one was pretty good :D
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

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I kind of disagree about Mal. I think he is a good guy overall. I think he has to make some tough decisions as Captain in that part of the 'verse. I doubt he would've actually dumped Simon and River. I think that that was more of a reaction, then thought through. I think that Joss and Co. do a good job of showing why he's like that, though. He's gruff about life and (especially) religion cause of what happened in the war. I think he's brash with Inara cause I think he might be into Inara and her profession bothers him. So he lashes out.
 

Blaze

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Well that's it, be happy BB, you finally made me watch Firefly.

The pilot was good, not great, but good. The highlight for me was the music, it's excellent.

I felt like this episode was nothing extraordinary, but it did a good enough job of introducing the character. The special effects were very good for the time. The world set up was also pretty cool. Mal reminds me of Han Solo. And there's definitely the classic Whedon humor.

I really like the Inara/Kaylee friendship.
lol I was totally watching this through my gay goggles. My gaydar was doing funny things at Inara, maybe that's just wishful thinking ;) I do like their friendship though. Actually I just like Kaylee's friendship with everyone.

It introduces all the characters on the ship, gives us some back story on the Battle of Serenity Valley, it shows us some decent conflict and peril - I don't understand why Fox didn't like it enough to run with it as the series pilot? o_O
I admit the battle at the beginning has me confused. But I imagine that's something that will come up later, or perhaps in the movie.

And wait what? So Fox did not air this as the pilot? What episode was the first one that they aired?

Zoe and Wash are great as a married couple who actually act like a married couple would act on a ship in space.
That was a highlight for me. It's not often on TV that we get to witness an already married couple that actually acts like one without all the angst that usually accompanies relationships in TV show. I hope it stays this way!

He's rude to Shepherd Book about his religion.
I thought that was curious, since they show Mal kissing his cross in the beginning. Of course that was one, 6 years earlier and a lot can change in 6 years, and two, it doesn't mean he's actually religious/his religion might be different than Shepherd's. Those are my hypothesis!

I wasn't a huge fan of how he talked about Inara, especially since there seems to be something going on there, and if there is, than it's a bit of a low blow to call her a whore.

But I agree that there's just this charm to him.
 

thrasherpix

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I thought that was curious, since they show Mal kissing his cross in the beginning. Of course that was one, 6 years earlier and a lot can change in 6 years, and two, it doesn't mean he's actually religious/his religion might be different than Shepherd's. Those are my hypothesis!
My assumption is that Mal lost his faith with the war. Though many people find ways to rationalize "unanswered prayers," I figured Mal decided that either God wasn't real (and had thus been a fool, or even feel betrayed by those who taught him to believe), or even worse, God was on the side of the Alliance. In either case, his bitterness at losing to the Alliance was something he never forgave God/religion for and so gave Book a hard time (since he couldn't do so to God).

Mal also seemed a lot more optimistic over all until he lost at the Battle of Serenity. He's downright cheery even under enemy fire, full of hope and sure all will turn out well. The disillusionment in his eyes as he learns they're to lay down arms, and how he just stands without even trying to dodge gunfire as people are being shot around him, was a damn fine piece of acting, and one I thought meant to define the character.
 

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My assumption is that Mal lost his faith with the war. Though many people find ways to rationalize "unanswered prayers," I figured Mal decided that either God wasn't real (and had thus been a fool, or even feel betrayed by those who taught him to believe), or even worse, God was on the side of the Alliance. In either case, his bitterness at losing to the Alliance was something he never forgave God/religion for and so gave Book a hard time (since he couldn't do so to God).

Mal also seemed a lot more optimistic over all until he lost at the Battle of Serenity. He's downright cheery even under enemy fire, full of hope and sure all will turn out well. The disillusionment in his eyes as he learns they're to lay down arms, and how he just stands without even trying to dodge gunfire as people are being shot around him, was a damn fine piece of acting, and one I thought meant to define the character.
Good analysis. This is my first time watching so I'm excited to learn more about this battle, assuming they will talk about it in future episodes.
 

GraceK

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My assumption is that Mal lost his faith with the war. Though many people find ways to rationalize "unanswered prayers," I figured Mal decided that either God wasn't real (and had thus been a fool, or even feel betrayed by those who taught him to believe), or even worse, God was on the side of the Alliance. In either case, his bitterness at losing to the Alliance was something he never forgave God/religion for and so gave Book a hard time (since he couldn't do so to God).

Mal also seemed a lot more optimistic over all until he lost at the Battle of Serenity. He's downright cheery even under enemy fire, full of hope and sure all will turn out well. The disillusionment in his eyes as he learns they're to lay down arms, and how he just stands without even trying to dodge gunfire as people are being shot around him, was a damn fine piece of acting, and one I thought meant to define the character.
I agree. My impression was that Mal was actually deeply religious. Not only does he kiss and wear a cross, he also mentions that God will protect them...I think when he lost the war he felt it as a deep, personal betrayal by God himself . It's like in the movie From Dusk till Dawn, Harvey Keitals character used to be a preacher until his wife died. After that, he felt God was dead, he lost his faith. Mal reminds me of that, because it's not just that he doesn't have faith anymore, it's like he carries a personal grudge against God, which is why he didn't want the Shepard on serenity.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

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Well that's it, be happy BB, you finally made me watch Firefly.
Yay! :)
lol I was totally watching this through my gay goggles. My gaydar was doing funny things at Inara, maybe that's just wishful thinking ;)
Don't get me wrong, Inara's gorgeous, but I'm Team Kaylee all the way! ;)
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Yeah, I love Inara and would love having her as a friend, but I'd actually be much more interested in Kaylee (in that way).
Blaze
Blaze
haha I like Kaylee too don't worry. I reserve final judgement for when I've seen the whole show

Fuffy Baith

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Well that's it, be happy BB, you finally made me watch Firefly
Yay! It's about time! Lol. I'll watch this tomorrow, I've only seen it twice.
My gaydar was doing funny things at Inara, maybe that's just wishful thinking
Haha! Well that's because Inara is very pretty! The actress is gorgeous, she looks so young in Firefly!
And wait what? So Fox did not air this as the pilot? What episode was the first one that they aired?
The first episode they aired was the second episode Train Job. The pilot was the last episode they aired. And they aired other episodes out of order. Probably didn't help the show.
 

thrasherpix

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I was totally watching this through my gay goggles. My gaydar was doing funny things at Inara, maybe that's just wishful thinking ;)
Not exactly a spoiler (though way too close), so if you don't want any hints then don't check what I shared here before seeing War Stories:

Wait until you find out where the expression "I'll be in my bunk" comes from.
 
Oh, btw, interesting enough when I was watching BattleStar Galactica, I got a serious vibe from Admiral Cain that I thought was odd...and like that she was attracted to Starbuck (a woman) which affected her reactions to her. I later heard from fans that she is.

And it's not that Admiral Cain is so authoritative and all that, I see women like that all the time and don't get that vibe (for example, ST Captain Janeway and Susan Ivanova on B5) She appears to be straight (at least she married a guy, which isn't conclusive, of course) so I'll just attribute it to stellar acting.
 
Blaze
Blaze
It better be a gay thing! Or else Imma be real mad at my gaydar (and by gaydar I mean she's totally bi lol)
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
BSG reference - FTW! :)

Blaze

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Yay! It's about time! Lol. I'll watch this tomorrow, I've only seen it twice.

Haha! Well that's because Inara is very pretty! The actress is gorgeous, she looks so young in Firefly!
The first episode they aired was the second episode Train Job. The pilot was the last episode they aired. And they aired other episodes out of order. Probably didn't help the show.
Only twice? :p Well that's more than me! And indeed, Inara is very pretty. But I have a sweet spot for Summer Glau, I have a bit of a crush on her.

And dam, no wonder the show didn't get more than one season, what were they thinking!?
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
FOX & thinking don't even belong in the same sentence ;)

Fuffy Baith

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Only twice? :p Well that's more than me! And indeed, Inara is very pretty. But I have a sweet spot for Summer Glau, I have a bit of a crush on her.

And dam, no wonder the show didn't get more than one season, what were they thinking!?
Yea and the last time was for the last rewatch almost 2 years ago! Lol. I'm not a big fan of the show, I don't really remember a lot. Lol. Summer Glau?o_O lol. Did you watch her in The Sarah Connor Chronicles too? I like her as an actress but never thought she was that great looking.

I'm not sure why Fox aired the show out of order. Sometimes they make dumb decisions. Lol.
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
The SCC should've been on longer. Was getting better! :/

Blaze

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Yea and the last time was for the last rewatch almost 2 years ago! Lol. I'm not a big fan of the show, I don't really remember a lot. Lol. Summer Glau?o_O lol. Did you watch her in The Sarah Connor Chronicles too? I like her as an actress but never thought she was that great looking.

I'm not sure why Fox aired the show out of order. Sometimes they make dumb decisions. Lol.
Hey don't judge! My crush on Summer Glau is 95% based on Dollhouse :p I have a crush on Bennett. I haven't see the Sarah Connor Chronicles, but a girl with guns, what's not to like (I actually hate guns, but a badass lady, that's sexy).

And I swear sometimes Fox makes it so stuff will get cancelled on purpose. If Firefly was filmed today with how popular Whedon is now, I can guaranty you they wouldn't have done this.
 

Fuffy Baith

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but a girl with guns, what's not to like (I actually hate guns, but a badass lady, that's sexy).
Haha! That's great, contradict yourself. "What's not to like about a girl with guns? Oh yea I hate guns." lol that's you.
And I swear sometimes Fox makes it so stuff will get cancelled on purpose. If Firefly was filmed today with how popular Whedon is now, I can guaranty you they wouldn't have done this.
well Buffy and Angel were both successful shows at the time so Fox should have known to trust in Joss. They also cancelled Tru Calling 6 eps into the second season ending on a huge cliffhanger! But thankfully they let Dollhouse finish its second season. So Fox has slowly progressed. Lol. I remember seeing the TV promos for Firefly when it was sitting, I might have even caught a bit of an episode, but for whatever reason I didn't end up watching it. So I guess it's people like me that are the reason it got canceled. Lol
 

Taake

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The first thing that struck me was, as a pilot episode, it actually does a decent enough job. It introduces all the characters on the ship, gives us some back story on the Battle of Serenity Valley, it shows us some decent conflict and peril - I don't understand why Fox didn't like it enough to run with it as the series pilot? o_O
I guess I kind of get it, I mean I love this episode but I do remember that the first time I saw it I thought it was rather dull and put off continuing the show for a while after. Maybe it's an acquired taste?
 
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