Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day Two Hundred and One - Firefly: Episode 14, Objects In Space, "Well, Here I Am."

Still needing the comfort of the familiar and pleasing, but not quite so desperate that I can't handle a little heartbreak and longing, today's entry was easy to decide on... being the last episode of Joss Whedon's ill-fated and much beloved Firefly.

There's so much to love about this universe. It's a Western, but Science Fiction. It isn't bothered by its space-faring trappings and strictures, instead using them to great effect when necessary and, the grand majority of the time, not even bothering... choosing to tell quiet, human stories of grit and perseverance.

Objects In Space doesn't spend a lot of time with the actual crew, a rarity for final episodes, instead spending most of its effort on the guest character, Jubal Early (Richard Brooks whom most folks would probably recognize from his work in the early seasons of Law & Order).

I like Jubal... he's an interesting foil.

Obviously a psychopath, Jubal has a calm, mellow charm that is offset both by his odd questions/musings and his stark shifts from friendly to threatening.

Most psychopaths portrayed on television are done so severely, showing their threatening nature with heavy violence and tense soundtracks. Jubal is much more interesting due to his systematic and rational takedowns of the crew and subsequent negotiations with River/Serenity.

For me, all the joy and interest in the character comes from his thought process. I mean, honestly, the "Am I a Lion?" scene with Simon is pure brilliance in its awkwardness... and the only rough parts come from the quick madness cuts while River dresses Jubal down over the comm system.

Objects In Space is also great thanks to all the callbacks to previous episodes. Whether it's the assault on Niska's Skyplex or Jayne getting slashed, it's always good to have a show that doesn't live on stand alone episodes, like Star Trek does for the most part as an example. Rich, organic, self-referencing continuity makes for often tremendous television.

It's sad to see a favorite series end, even though I've been here with Firefly many times before... and even though it does continue with the film Serenity... I just mourn for all the grand potential the series had yet to explore and never rightly got to, even with the movie and the comics. Hell, especially because of the movie, since many compromises had to be made to give the film enough oomph worthy of both a feature and a sendoff.

If you haven't yet become a Browncoat, I definitely recommend the series. It was one of the greatest scifi shows to air in recent years and was cut tragically short by the network.

But the dream lives on in all of us Browncoats out here, subsisting on Netflix and DVDs and Blu-rays.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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