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Firefly (Re)watch & Discuss: 1.13 Heart of Gold

Athena

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This week, we'll be watching the thirteenth episode of the first (and only!) season of Firefly - Heart of Gold - written by Brett Matthews and directed by Thomas J. Wright. This (re)watch is open to new Firefly viewers and existing fans. Everyone is welcome to join in!

This episode 13 (re)watch takes place between 2nd - 8th September 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. :)

Heart of Gold - S1E13
Synopsis
Nandi, Inara's friend and a former Companion, asks her for help: she needs to defend her brothel from Ranse Burgess, a powerful man who impregnated Petaline, one of her employees. He is determined to take the baby once it is born.
 

Taake

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Oh man, I completely forgot about this episode. I mentioned the final one in the Newsletter because I thought that was what was next, lol. Guess I do not have a heart of gold :p
 

Mylie

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A lot of the episode made me uncomfortable and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I did feel a lot of Inara though.
 

HelloIAmHawt

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I think this is a really good episode, but one that suffers from the show's abrupt ending. I've always enjoyed it for what it brought to this world, especially in terms of prostitute vs. companion--the divide between our world and theirs seems to get a bit smaller once we see that sexuality isn't all sweet nothings and empowerment. Not sure if I love that we wheel back on the sexuality bit, but it's interesting either way.

There's room to complain about the handling of Nandi's character. She is fridged with the intention to slightly move forward a romantic plotline whose trajectory was already on the correct path.

Despite that complaint, there a lot that could have come from this (in terms of the progression of Mal/Inara), but as this is nearly the end of the show, we never really get the payoff for this one.
 

thrasherpix

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"If they've got guns and brains at all..."

"They've got guns..."
:D

And I liked some of Jane's dialog (and the look Zoe gives him one time that would let him know he needs to shut up now) and...especially...Kaylee when she first arrives.

I'd like to know more about their 'verse. I can understand why Companions get special treatment, though Shepherd seems unusually uncomfortable there.

And Companions have House Priestesses? What's the religion? :confused:

And while at it, why is Inara crying? I understand the surface reason, and it's like when Willow does the same. But given Inara's upbringing, it doesn't make sense to me. Granted, there's too much that is left unknown which is why I'm wondering (and I think think of possible religious reasons that are never stated). I expect it's probably the old "no matter how different wo/men are, they're still wired the same, as if they come off a factory belt" because many writers lack the understanding just how subjective their own views are, or maybe aren't allowed to "confuse" the viewers too much. (This is a flaw in many works where everything is different, perhaps even inhumanly different, but the writers still can't imagine anything different from what they're used to...and ironically, even unknown aliens are portrayed as very similar to the writers when even plenty of cultures right here on Earth known to the writers are more exotic ! I call it "human beings in funny costumes syndrome" and should probably limit it even further like "Americans in funny costumes" or whatever the nationality of the writer, or at least the target audience.)


Of course it's a Christian funeral, though there was no reason to think the one buried was Christian, and reasons to think she probably wasn't, but maybe that was just to help the Shepherd feel better (since he states he follows a carpenter, and I recall River commenting on Noah's ark in his book in a previous episode). I remember when a cat came to me to die. I took the dead body to the local cat lady who is devoutly Pentecostal and she made it a Christian burial (yes, for a cat), and I kept my own prayers to Freya and Bast (the latter especially appropriate to me) silent, and maybe Inara did something similar given Shepherd doing the funeral and at least some of the people there being devout enough to want a Shepherd to read passages to them.
 

Athena

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I have mixed feelings about this episode. On the one hand I find it quite enjoyable, on the other it makes me wildly uncomfortable. I don't really like Nandi as a character and I really don't get any chemistry between her and Mal - their sex scene feels so forced and weird. Why did they even have to have sex? Purely to create drama for Mal and Inara, which is already there.

I mean, I really get why Fox didn't know what to do with Firefly, ultimately cancelling it, based on this episode. "Bunch of crooks on a spaceship protect a whorehouse from a misogynist" isn't the easiest genre to sell to a family friendly network. And speaking of misogyny, they don't come any more misogynistic than Ranse Burgess. I despised him, I know that's the point, but what was his purpose? Just to have a child with anyone? I like that his wife simply doesn't care that he's been visiting the local prostitutes. Maybe she's just not allowed to care? :rolleyes:

There's some good things in this episode, but it makes me so uncomfortable they're easily forgotten. I wonder if we'd not had this episode whether Firefly would have lasted longer?
 

thrasherpix

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I doubt Ranse married out of love. His wife was probably forced to marry him against her will, though it's possible she just married his wealth and power rather than him (but I don't see a self-righteous narcissist marrying anyone unless it serves his purposes, in which case he wouldn't give a damn what the woman he was marrying would think about it). Heck, maybe his wife took steps, ranging from reasons of revenge to even pity on any child of Ranse, to make sure she could never bear him a child.

She does seem to come to Ranse's defense when Mal says he didn't think it was entirely legal, but there are other reasons than personal loyalty that could compel her to do so.
 

Athena

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Oh and I forgot to mention that Zoe mentioning to Wash about having a child. They would indeed make beautiful babies.

Honestly, they're the best married couple on any show I've ever seen. They're #relationshipgoals
 

Taake

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- their sex scene feels so forced and weird. Why did they even have to have sex? Purely to create drama for Mal and Inara, which is already there.
Let the man have his fun! :p They've been on that ship for months, he turned down Saffron, he needs to get some. ;)
 

thrasherpix

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Let the man have his fun! :p They've been on that ship for months, he turned down Saffron, he needs to get some. ;)
And I just remembered another line I loved from that ep: "I'm just waiting to see if I pass out." :D
 

Fuffy Baith

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I really like this episode. It's not the best but it's one of the better episodes I think. It reminds me a little of Mad Max: Fury Road. I think where it fails is in the motivation to save these prostitutes. And Nandi's reason for not leaving is understandable, but lack sympathy. We don't know Nandi, we don't know these girls. Why are we saving them from a guy that just wants his child? Yes, Ranse is a terrible man and probably deserved to be shot. Also, the pregnant prostitute first off looks a little bit like Alexis Bledel to me, and secondly I didn't find her to be a compelling character until the end. I did like her line "Say hi to your daddy, Jonah. Say bye to your daddy Jonah." That was the only time I found her to be interesting.

I love Kaylee asking Wash to tell her she's pretty. Stupid Simon! lol.

I really do feel bad for Inara here. Sure Mal has every right to sleep with someone, and he should be. But, Nandi should have known right off that Inara was into Mal, not the other way around. Also, Nandi does nothing really to make me think that Mal would sleep with her. She's just like, kiss me, take me, and so he does. And then, of course, she dies! How convenient for Mal and Inara. I don't like the ending where Inara says she's going to leave.
 
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