Whoa. Good Myth.

"Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction."

"We live in a space ship, dear."

So, I finally finished watching all of Firefly. A shame, really. Like I said earlier, I knew before even purchasing the series that Firefly had been cancelled. At least it didn't end on a cliff-hanger. That would have truly sucked.

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For those of you who have seen the series as it originally aired, the DVD is slightly different. There are three episodes that never aired ("Trash," "The Message," and "Heart of Gold"), and the order of the episodes on the DVD is not the same as the order in which they aired. For some reason, the Fox big-wigs decided to skip the first episode, the two-hour long "Serenity," and instead show this episode last. This was a big mistake, I think, because this episode really does a good job of introducing the characters,while also setting the tone and background material for the rest of the season. While I'm sure most people could pick up at any point during the season and get a reasonably good understanding of what is going on (because just like comic books, each episode in an ongoing television show needs to be self-contained and serve as an introduction), picking up in the middle is a distraction: rather than focus on the story at hand, the viewer is busy trying to figure out who everyone is and what motivates each of them.

So you have no frame of reference. You're like a child who wanders in in the middle of a movie and wants to know--whoops, lost my train of thought there.

Other than perhaps the last episode, "Objects in Space," the rest of the series isn't quite as good as the first episode. Which is not to say it's bad in any way, just that it doesn't compare.

firefly4.jpg"Objects in Space," though, as Julian noted, is simply amazing. There is a scene in the beginning of the episode, where the viewer sees through the eyes of River, an extraordinarily gifted, mentally disturbed, and spontaneously violent young woman. River steps on what she thinks is a twig, bends down, looks at it, picks it up and says, "It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think." From the way she holds the twig and points it, you know it's a gun before the camera returns to "normal-person" view. This sequence reminded me of American Beauty and A Beautiful Mind, and it perfectly captured River's fragile mindset, as did the rest of the episode.

The anti-government, pro-freedom tone was noticeable in each episode, but not overly so. Joss Whedon, the creator of the show, who wrote and directed most of the episodes, did not take the easy road that George Lucas did: he didn't portray the all-powerful single planetary government as pure evil, nor did he make the "good guys" near-perfect saints. There are moral quandaries here that should make us feel uncomfortable rooting for the characters as they nonchalantly kill and steal for profit. But at the end of the day, there is honor and a certain kind of moral code to live by.

Whedon really captured something here - something in the interplay between the starkly different personalities of the shipmates, and in the fusion of space and western. It will be a shame to see it go. But perhaps, if DVD sales and the rumored upcoming movie do well, this will not be the last we hear of Firefly.

"Yeah, and if wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak."

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If you're wanting more

If you're wanting more space-western sci-fi similar to Firefly, you may also enjoy Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star.

"kill for profit"? Meaning

"kill for profit"? Meaning the Magnificent Seven bit (that sets up "Mrs Reynolds") or have I forgotten something?