GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Views from a non-Browncoat...

POSTED BY: SPACEANJL
UPDATED: Thursday, February 21, 2008 09:22
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VIEWED: 3492
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Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:02 AM

SPACEANJL


...This being my husband, who has watched some of the series, (because I made him) but somehow failed to get the conversion.

He was just ambling about whilst I was on site yesterday, and he suddenly said;

"Well, Mal and Inara was never going to work, was it?"

Huh?

"She's a big picture sort of person, and he's...not. No, she might care for him and all that, but she's never going to spend her life hauling cargo round space and shooting people."

Which was very interesting. I mean, he knows who's who, but he's not seen all of it, and he tends to steer clear of my ramblings. So you have someone who has seen episodes and the BDM without our intensity.

But the big picture thing snagged me. He picked out something that I've been writing around with those two. It's not that Inara couldn't love Mal, but she isn't the sort of person to be happy just sitting in the background and waiting for him to come home from a hard day in the criminal underworld. And I'm not sure she's someone who has ever considered her future in terms of husband and kids after she 'retires'.

So...Inara Serra for President? I have my own ideas about the Guild and the politics of the 'Verse. OVC states that Companions have social and political prominence when they retire, and they move in the kind of circles that would certainly let them know where the bodies were buried, politically speaking. Maybe Mal wasn't so out of line when he referred to her as the Ambassador. Anyone else want to comment?


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Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:22 AM

NVGHOSTRIDER


I kinda had that idea my own self. But what would keep them from loving eachother and hooking up every once in a while? Not much I gather. Besides. They'd probably end up hating eachother being stuck in the same space together for too long.


Gots mad skillz, loves playing with matches.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:27 AM

SPACEANJL


I think Inara might cope with compartmentalizing her life like that, but Mal, not so much. I think he likes his crew/family around him and immediate. And I don't think he's a man who likes to share his toys, if you get my drift.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:37 AM

NVGHOSTRIDER


Oh yeah. Drift gotten very well.


Gots mad skillz, loves playing with matches.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:28 PM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
they move in the kind of circles that would certainly let them know where the bodies were buried, politically speaking.

Or literally, as the case may be.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008 7:56 PM

OUT2THEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
...And I don't think he's a man who likes to share his toys, if you get my drift.



Mal's got toys ? Huh , wouldn't have imagined that , myself , considering his distaste at Kaylee's mention of that item of hers that requires batteries...

Maybehaps the toys were what Inara would bring to the Mal-bunk...Might've been some of those 'sundries' from that trunk of hers that he didn't look in...

Kinda see your point , though...Can't imagine Mal would fancy 'sharing' suchlike articles...

Eww...Bad--In the Latin...

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Thursday, February 14, 2008 10:08 PM

PLATONIST


I can see where you are coming from on one level, SpaceAnJL, but Inara isn't a typical Companion. I mean, what is she doing on that ship?

Unfortunately, whether you think they will work or not, I think Joss may ship Mal/Inara, else wise he would have sent her packing and back to the Training House at the end of Serenity.

They seem to be Joss's take on a comic romantic pairing, as he mentions it several times on both movie commentaries.

And he obviously enjoys writing their banter.





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Friday, February 15, 2008 1:19 AM

SPACEANJL


I read something from Joss in the OVC about Inara being the girl Mal left behind, a star-crossed pairing. She was planning to leave the ship in what would have been mid-series (damn you, F*x!) so I think he was going to use her as a window and insight into a wider level of the 'Verse.

'Sides, when has Joss ever made a relationship easy? Death always seems to be an option (though not always a barrier, for the fangy elements...)

And there is of course that very question, Platonist. What was Inara doing on that ship? That particular ship? Or just one heading out into less travelled regions? (And I do have my own ideas about it.)

I just thought that an 'outsider', as it were, picking up on the idea, was interesting. (But then, my husband owns more classic sci-fi than me, and is a big Herbert fan, too.)

Gotta say, 'Casablanca' is one of my favourite films. And I could see that element of sacrifice in Inara's character, if she thought it would be a better thing for everybody in the long run.

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Friday, February 15, 2008 2:20 AM

ZZETTA13


SPACEANJL
I tend to agree with your husband on this. Still it does come through in Firefly and Serenity that Mal and Inara do care deeply for one another. Yet I think if they did happen to hook up Mr. Reynolds may become tired of his g/f-wife saying “ I’ll be in my bunk with (insert latest clients name here)”. Think that would become kinda old for the captain of Serenity pretty quick
Z

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Friday, February 15, 2008 2:56 AM

JONGSSTRAW


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:

... "she might care for him and all that, but she's never going to spend her life hauling cargo round space and shooting people."


I don't think any of them are either. The Serenity "lifestyle" would be short-lived at best. Crime is a game for the young, so I think it would be inevitable that the crew would dis-band at some point and go their separate ways....Kaylee meets a guy, falls in love & gets married....Zoe has Wash's baby, and settles down on a border planet somewhere...Jayne, unfortunately, is killed in a bar fight by a guy who shoots him in the back, Inara goes back to the world of the Guild and becomes a resident advisor (will live and die never having married), and Mal........well he ends up running a saloon in some forgotten corner of the verse.


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Saturday, February 16, 2008 4:09 AM

SPACEANJL


That whole 'crime is for the young' bit...I would find it more interesting with the idea that you might have the oldest gang of reprobates in the 'Verse. You ever read Pratchett? Cohen the Barbarian and the Silver Horde. Very old barbarian heroes. It takes a certain talent.

I think Jayne stands a better chance of outliving most of them - you might notice that in the 'Train Job', he was the one sitting with his back to the wall and facing the door. Plus he's been shot - it just seems to piss him off. Him, I could imagine running a saloon. Or possibly a small town.

Simon is going to grow up grumpy - House with a slightly nicer disposition. If he ever lives planetside, it better be somewhere with a really good junkyard. Y'know, somewhere for the kids to play whilst Mom's fixin' stuff.

Zoe...if Inara does become something important, she might need a bodyguard. (I've been reading C J Cherryh again, and I always hear Jago as sounding like Gina T)

Mal lost the only ground he would ever live on, I think. He'll keep flying for as long as Serenity keeps in the sky. And while Serenity flies, she'll need a pilot.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008 6:36 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
That whole 'crime is for the young' bit...I would find it more interesting with the idea that you might have the oldest gang of reprobates in the 'Verse. You ever read Pratchett? Cohen the Barbarian and the Silver Horde. Very old barbarian heroes. It takes a certain talent.

I think Jayne stands a better chance of outliving most of them - you might notice that in the 'Train Job', he was the one sitting with his back to the wall and facing the door. Plus he's been shot - it just seems to piss him off. Him, I could imagine running a saloon. Or possibly a small town.

Simon is going to grow up grumpy - House with a slightly nicer disposition. If he ever lives planetside, it better be somewhere with a really good junkyard. Y'know, somewhere for the kids to play whilst Mom's fixin' stuff.

Zoe...if Inara does become something important, she might need a bodyguard. (I've been reading C J Cherryh again, and I always hear Jago as sounding like Gina T)

Mal lost the only ground he would ever live on, I think. He'll keep flying for as long as Serenity keeps in the sky. And while Serenity flies, she'll need a pilot.



Haven't read Pratchett (I will soon if dear daughter consents to lend me one of hers), but I can see Mal at least, roaming around the 'verse with arthritic joints, hobbling around in a tattered Browncoat, gray hair and still doing a bit of crime as long as Serenity can fly.

Jayne will either be the last dead or the first. Just depends on what he does.

I can see Jayne running a saloon only if he can crack a few heads every once and a while. Otherwise I see him still a mercenary until the very end. Stopped either by a bullet or dying of alcohol poisoning while with a whore.

Love your description of Simon as House with a nicer disposition. So true. He needs a nice backwater where he's really needed and lots of repair work for Kaylee.

Zoe will stick with Mal until the end. I don't see her leaving Mal and Serenity at all.

I don't see Inara remaining a Companion unless she goes back to the Training House to teach and I think that's a stretch. At the end of the BDM she is disillusioned with the Alliance and is at a crossroads in her life.

Inara would have to find some way to be of use if she decided to stay on Serenity. I agree that she would be very unhappy just waiting for Mal to come back from his life of crime. Who could stand that?

If Inara leaves Serenity, I see her teaching on a planet or moon maybe not as sophisticated as Persephone (to many old clients there) but one with some sort of emerging upper class. She would be cofortable teaching etiquette, the arts etc. to the children but she wouldn't be happy deep down.







http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/









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Monday, February 18, 2008 12:29 AM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
...Terms of husband and kids after she 'retires'.

I have my own ideas about the Guild and the politics of the 'Verse. OVC states that Companions have social and political prominence when they retire, and they move in the kind of circles that would certainly let them know where the bodies were buried, politically speaking.




and thereby hangs a fic i've been working on for six months now and it still aint ready!:) balancing all the possible developments and keeping them in character for Inara is a difficult business. one issue not mentioned here is her reaction to the attack on the training house. The Operative but also his squad - what did they do after Inara lit the flash bomb and ran?
The worst case scenario would be that they wiped the place out - ala Haven and the Sanchez Bros. and everyone else supposedly. Best case - the oh so polite Operative took his men and left - some time later a few of the facts emerged and those Girls with parents and family suddenly left... since they were living somewhere proven to be UNSAFE.

Anyway Inara's reactions to these events could be interesting. Also what she thought of the whole Nandi business (not in relation to Mal but) in relation to her murder and the 'Independent' girls and what happened to them.

ramble on!

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Monday, February 18, 2008 1:06 AM

ASARIAN


I'm one of them rare folks who think Mal and Inara DO work. :) Sure as the turn of the worlds, they're from worlds that turn differently. And I ain't saying I ain't seeing difficulties, but at the end of Shindig, sitting on that grid, they're so comfortable with each other, that I can really see it happen.

Sure, Inara'd prefer more conversation and somewhat less petty theft and getting hit with pool cues, but look at how naturally she stashes away that bundle of cash Mal took off the bay guys (money they earned with the sweat of their slave-tradin' brows). Like as not, Inara IS part of that crew. Whatever social matrix keeps her outwardly constrained to experiencing society from on high, in her heart-of-hearts, I believe she wants to be on Serenity.

And Mal? Because of his chosen role of rebel, there is, equally outwardly, always this near obligatory resistance against anything even reeking of Alliance and high society. But Jane Espenson, who wrote Shindig, worded it best: Inara is not truly comfortable amid the Persephone 'nobility', much as Mal ain't entirely comfortable at Badger's tea-party! That's why, somewhere in the middle, I see a large enough slice of 'Verse for them to meet and build on.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Monday, February 18, 2008 4:26 AM

CHAPTERANDVERSE




Nicely put Asarian. I have never been a Mal/Inara shipper, but you make some damn fine points.
Ever considered entering politics?

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Monday, February 18, 2008 7:49 AM

SMAUG


Quote:

I'm one of them rare folks who think Mal and Inara DO work. :)


You can count me in on that also. I have been a huge Mal/Inara fan from the get go.

I've rambled on about them in posts far too much to repeat any of it here.

But if you look at one thing. Between the series and the movie (as shown in the comic books), Inara does leave Serenity. In the movie we find her in a companion training house. Now I don't believe it is said explicitly but from everything that is said and shown, it appears that Inara is NOT seeing any clients. She's become a teacher, passing on her skills to new girls. If that is in deed the case, Inara has already stopped doing something that was one of the roadblocks keeping them apart.. and it's up to debate weither or not Inara at this point would ever go back to seeing clients again.

And as Asarian stated, neither one of them is completely comfortable in the direction they lean. Pleanty of room in the middle for them to find common ground. Inara LOVES being on serenity.. for a reason we do not know yet (she seems to be running from something or someone). So it's not like for them to be together that Mal has to move to some central planet and "settle" down or anything. And as seen in trainjob, shindig, heart of gold, and trash, Inara can more than do her fair share when it comes to "petty theiving".

It can sort of be seen as a reverse "Original Sin". Where instead of the guy being drawn into her world of outlawing... she is drawn into his. Sort of.. but not exactly of course. lol.

But in the end.. I think their story is about them comming together... not them BEING together. Weither we get 2 more movies or if the show went on for 10 years. I doubt we would have seen a happy Mal and Inara together. If we did.. a storm would be brewing and something bad would happen... probably the death of one of them. Hopefully not, more likely we would either see them come together, then split apart, then come back together and so on. OR it would only be in the end that we would finally get a glimmer of hope that they will end up together, and then left to each our own desires of what would happen between them as the final story (movie or tv episode) came to a close.

At the end of the movie, which MAY be the last offical on screen(not book/comic book) version of Firefly we ever see, that's exactly what happend. Mal asking Inara if she's ready to get back to civilied life? And her looking at him and answering "I don't know" with a moment of hesitation and a small nervous smile of hope.

"Good answer".

A glimmer of hope and left to our desires of what will happen between them. Yes Mal.. if that's the last we ever see of them on screen ever again... it is a good answer... a good answer indeed.

Smaug..

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Monday, February 18, 2008 10:21 AM

BROWNCOATOFNH


Quote:

Originally posted by Smaug:
At the end of the movie, which MAY be the last offical on screen(not book/comic book) version of Firefly we ever see



Ouch!

"I aim to misbehave"

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Monday, February 18, 2008 1:48 PM

PLATONIST


Agreed, Smaug, a coming together storyline more than a being together story.

And a good answer at that... Joss describes their ending resolution (on the commentary) as the promise of something, hopefully a chance in a sequel to see these two characters interact again.

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Monday, February 18, 2008 2:20 PM

11THHOUR


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
So...Inara Serra for President?



Sure!



She is a highly capable and accomplished person possessing many skills...

11th

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:06 AM

MDBROWNCOATGIRL26


1st post...

I admit, I'm a Mal/Inara shipper because I'm a hopeless romantic. However, one thing that always complicates things for them, IMHO, is what would Inara do if she retired from active Companioning? I can't imagine Mal being willing to settle down on a planet while Inara teaches, or Inara waiting on Serenity for Mal to come home from the latest job. On the other hand, Simon and Kaylee have similar obstacles and got together anyway, so who knows?

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:27 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


The thing about Mal is, we don't really know his likes and preferences in women. He might not even know, but the point being, he's definatly not Jayne. Jayne would hit anything that moves. Goes along w/ his 'won't be around here long anyways, might as well get what I can ' attitude.

Mal ? He remains a mystery . 'Saffron' opened a door into Mal's personality that even Inara hadn't , in getting him to talk about his past, his home. There's plenty there that Mal keeps stored away. There's something there, whether the war took him away from his life, or his farm and family was wiped out....hard to say.

We know how Inara feels about Mal ( Our Mrs Reynolds - the kiss ) and ( Heart of Gold - her crying ), but is Mal's view of Inara really love, or something else. He clearly respects her, but in Shindig, is he fighting for her affections, or simply playing out his view of how things should be. He doens't get/ like her job, and I'm not convinced he'd ever come to grips w/ it. He jokes about her 'whoring' and all, maybe his ex became a companion? Or possibly someone close? Lots there that's to be resolved.

It is not those who use the term "Islamo-Fascism" who are sullying the name of Islam; it is the Islamo-Fascists. - Dennis Prager

" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 12:44 AM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:
I'm one of them rare folks who think Mal and Inara DO work. :)



I don’t disagree that Mal and Inara could work – or that it should work… I just find it so touching that there’s so little chance it WOULD work.

(Woodwork? – hmm maybe they share a passion – cue dreadful Ghost type slow mo love action over a hot lathe, it was good enough for Witness! And hey, firefly? We’ve seen the future and it’s kind’ve - Amish)

The very comfortableness they share – and oh, there are so many lovely instances (mainly in the shuttle) where they almost seem to forget they’re not together – is what they seem so afraid of – and what would need to be surmounted. Sure the BDM proposes a vague shift in that direction – but it aint that much (“I don’t know” “Good Answer”) and, hell most of it’s on the cutting room floor.

Considering that season 1 disposed of Inara as a minor cliffhanger towards the end of the series I have no doubt that a return was intended. The question being – did the writers themselves have any idea as to where the two characters were going? Had any storylines for Season II been worked out before cancellation? I can imagine Inara returning as a key guest star (ala Saffron in Season 1) not necessarily as a regular – this might have actually allowed real exploration of her character.

But then Firefly morphs into Serenity a whole more complex series. The gulf between Inara and Mal seems wide in Those Left Behind and any re-connection in the movie is (as above) tenuous especially given the events of the film itself. The question becomes ‘where next?’ for all the characters.

Nandi attracted Mal because of her desire to be ‘Independent’. (The idea that she was just some sort of substitute Inara doesn’t hold up for me – especially since Mal is thinking of Saffron just as much as Inara when the two make out).
Inara’s “I supported Unification” clearly stung the Captain.

I agree with what I’ve read elsewhere – that Inara’s ultimate existential choice (coz Joss y’know) must be about freedom and power. Does the Guild licensed role of Companion really provide this?
Saffron represents the ‘bad’ use of both her freedom and her power over men.
Nandi something ‘better’ especially since she is attempting to build and create… but this still results in her death (as with Book and Haven)– and which is anyway a tough road.

Come the BDM and everyone is clearly running against the Alliance – Inara forced for the first time to see the nastiness the Alliance actually represents (beyond the ill treatment of River).

So – was the Training house in the BDM a reaction to what Inara witnessed around Nandi? An attempt to provide something more secure and Guild oriented. If so, the Operative’s invasion of that space shows the futility of such a scheme. Inara might therefore decide 1) to actively resist the Alliance and join with the crew of Serenity in so doing. 2) To go back into the guild and attempt to wield political power as a result. 3) Give up and just return to the life of a shuttle based Companion.
Her relationship with Mal would therefore be different depending on her choice of action.
Mal himself would be facing similar choices. Post-BDM would he develop a more active anti-Alliance role – or go back to a reassuring semblance of what used to be? (Ignoring his personal arc, such a retrogressive step would be difficult anyway considering how many safe havens are gone and how many people might be after his blood as a result).

I can imagine a plausible enough TV scenario where Mal and Inara are together as the crew rescue others like River from the nasty Academies… The Serenity crew providing the muscle and Inara providing ‘Academies’ of her own where refugees could be hidden and where some might actually become Companions – leading to an eventual situation where the Weapons are able to turn on their creators. But… this would mean a definite atmospheric shift for the show… ‘Firefly’ becoming ever more distant – and I agree completely with Platonist about the demise of the good old ‘shuttle days’ alas.

Fortunately, I can imagine other possible arcs just as convincing where Inara has become a political figure within the Guild (possibly as House Priestess finally) and where this becomes the new cause of distance between her and Mal. (which again allows her to be a guest on the show in stories that actually involve her for a change).

This would allow Saffron to return for her own guest appearances. If Mal and Inara are solid – Saffron becomes a fairly null character as a result. Watching Darla on Angel proved to me that ‘bad’ but charismatic characters (most likely originally envisaged as minor players) could be given genuinely moving storylines and important, complex arcs of their own.

In a dream parallel universe such is the case with ‘Firefly’ – now in it’s fifth season, Saffron has come and gone and left a bloody wake behind her (and no dry eye in the house) – Mal and Inara, for so long unable to reconcile their emotional and political differences, (resulting in Inara’s successful spin-off show, now into season 3) are beginning to move towards a mature new phase in their relationship… after River pursued a rogue Academy agent to Sihnon and in the psychic (yet somehow kick ass) holocaust that followed forced both to recognise each others’ inner feelings.
Unfortunately, even as Dr Simon Tam (now bearded, natch) promises he can reverse the killer conditioning the ‘Agent’ has suffered – that very Agent shows signs of feelings for Mal*. Etc etc and on and on and no resolution till the shows inevitable but epic conclusion.

Somewhere in the midst of all that there is Kaylee and Jayne and Zoe and the gorram engines keep breakin’ down and guns that don’t work and small communities sweating for a living and the need for coin and better food and bungled jobs and Badger and – cue theme music.

*or possibly that’s Calypso the cheeky yet loveable scamp of a naturally gifted pilot urchin girl rescued from some backwater hole. Zoe “She needs a good home Captain – and she’s one helluva flyer.” Mal “I get that. It’s just…” Zoe “What Sir?” Mal “She bothers me.” Had to be.








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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 4:42 AM

SMAUG


Quote:

especially since Mal is thinking of Saffron just as much as Inara when the two make out)


I don't think Mal "thinks" of YoSaffBridge at ALL. After that first "almost" seduction because she was all "Naked and articulate", once Mal saw YoSaffBridge as the low down lieing dirty deciever.. any "romantic" or "I'll be in my bunk" thoughts about her are pretty much non-existant. She's now more of an arch-enemy than ANY type of romantic rival for Mal's effection.

He even said it at the end of "Our Mrs. Reynolds". Something to the effect of "You even think of pulling that seduction stuff on me, I will riddle you will holes".

Quote:

The question being – did the writers themselves have any idea as to where the two characters were going?


Considering Joss has his hands in every episode irregardless of who was writing it, it all comes down to him. And yea.. I do believe he has at least a broad stroke of an idea of where he ultimatly wanted Mal and Inara to go and end up when the final story comes to a close. Doesn't mean he has every nut and bolt, and also doesn't mean the river wouldn't take a different turn here or there along the way. But yea.. I think he has a pretty solid idea.

Quote:

I can imagine a plausible enough TV scenario where Mal and Inara are together as the crew rescue others like River from the nasty Academies…


I don't think that's Mal's way. Or even the flavor of Firefly at all. I think Firefly is about a ragtag group of people just trying to get by and "keep flying". And staying under the radar as much as possible. It's about taking jobs and petty theiving. It's about running out of gas and the ship falling apart. It's not about the "alpha" heros.. it's about the people that any of us might be where we put into this universe, born and raised in this senerio. So I don't think Mal is going to have any part of rescuing anyone he doesn't know from any academies, unless he is getting paid of course.

I don't think, short of a full out new war between the indepentants and the alliance, that Mal is going to go looking for a higher calling. He just wants to patch up his hurts and be on his way. Mal didn't choose to go looking for what he did in the movie, he made a decision to bring River and Simon back on board after the Maidenhead fight because of he strong sence of "crew" and "family".

Once that decision was made, then he was almost forced to do everything else just to try to find a way out. Once the operative killed Book, left no ground for them to go to, and then even went to Inara, the "higher calling" was sort of forced on Mal, he didn't go looking for it.

So now that he is out of it.. I just don't see them pursuing any other kind of higher calling (of course it will again come looking for them). No.. I see him going on, just like always.. just trying to keep flying.

He will always hate the alliance, but doesn't mean he's going to continue fighting a one man war against them.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:03 AM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

I can imagine a plausible enough TV scenario where Mal and Inara are together as the crew rescue others like River from the nasty Academies…


Quote:

I don't think that's Mal's way. Or even the flavor of Firefly at all. I think Firefly is about a ragtag group of people just trying to get by and "keep flying". And staying under the radar as much as possible. It's about taking jobs and petty theiving. It's about running out of gas and the ship falling apart. It's not about the "alpha" heros..



I AGREE!!!:) it's NOT Firefly
(but in that respect TTB and the BDM aren't either - they're Serenity, hello Big Damn Alpha Heroes) and it's not something that as a Fic writer i would do (or want)
- but it IS plausible for the characters i think and would be a viable show from the executives point of view. The fun and difficulty with speculation Post-BDM is that the movie is an epic - there are great issues that would have to be addressed during any following show. Gradually, i hope.
As a fic writer i have aimed for a plausible mix (of 'Firefly' and 'Serenity' of my own but i have never thought for a moment that it is definitive in any way. That's why i enjoy so many different writers' works in the BSR.

of one thing i am sure if we were lucky enough to be granted a new show in any format, at any time - it would not be the Firefly of old. it would be something new.

hope that made sense!:)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:58 AM

MAL4PREZ


The problem I have with Mal and Inara compatibilty issues is that Inara as we see her in the series and movie is not a fully developed character. She's got secrets. She's got some big ole story behind her: the event that sent her scurrying out of the Core and onto a dirty little Firefly. (Well, it is!) There's some reason she's uncomfortable in Persephone high society and attracted to Mal, even if she denies and runs from that attraction. I mean, some reason besides the obvious fact that he's hot LOL!

I see a human side to her personality that only comes out in a few little bitty scenes. I think the perfect, polished Companion that doesn't belong with a man like Mal would have slowly disappeared and a truer Inara would have taken over. Kind of like how Cordy became less and less the self-centered spoiled bitch after a few seasons and more of someone who could believably have a romance with Angel. (Honestly, I liked the bitch much better LOL!)

So saying that Mal/Inara would never work ignores all this potential for depth in Inara's character. It also dismisses all the work Joss put into establishing common ground and a feeling of comfort between them. The fact that they have very different and unlikely backgrounds only makes it more interesting - why do they share what they do (which is clearly more than sexual attraction) when they are so very different?

All of which is why I think that they do have a future. I don't at ALL think it's wedded bliss and a passel of little ones underfoot, (I admit - it's possible that I rule that option out because I find it boring as hell and I think Joss does too, given his track record with couples ) but I don't think Inara's intentions to leave the ship translate to any plan for the character to leave the show. No matter if she did leave for a time - her backstory was going to be central to some future plotline, perhaps a whole season's worth of plotlines.

Which is, of course, nothing but my measly .02.

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:10 AM

CANTER


I recently started re-watching all the first Buffy and Angel episodes.

And what struck me most is the way the character relationships changed.

Who watched the second season of Buffy and thought Buffy and Spike would end up together? There was no indication whatsoever of what was in store for them. They hated each other and fought to the death on more than one occasion.

And what about the Angel and Cordelia relationship? When you watch the first three seasons of Buffy, there's no way you'd think Cordie and Angel would end up falling for each other....and yet when it happened, it almost felt natural.

That's the beauty of Joss Whedon. He takes his characters on this wonderful, lifelike ride, but to places we, the viewers, would almost never predict.

What would he have done with the Firefly crew? It's impossible to speculate, since we can't begin to know what sort of rigours he would have put them through to change their outlooks or perceptions of themselves and one another.

The one thing I do know, is that anything is possible, and it would have been wonderful to watch.



Big Damn Browncoat Vote http://richlabonte.net/tvvote/index.html


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:46 AM

PLATONIST


I think both of you make valid points.
Of course, I'm going to add a few of my own.

I do think Joss had a clear idea of where he wanted these two characters to end up, and I say it most likely would have been toward the end of the show or trilogy, because there is much story telling potential in the mean time. They have a lot of obstacles to overcome, enough material for the run of the show.

And, the movie only showed us, that they have feelings for each other and that they are both aware of those feelings.

Sorry to disappoint you guys, but Inara will never be President or House Priestess. She is just NOT that ambitious, anymore. Watch the series and movie. The girl doesn't leave her room or shuttle. When she is not crying over Mal, she spends most of her time in front of the Buddha, like a chaste nun at a girl's prep school. Her political life isn't going to happen.
Serenity’s Ambassador is all she'll claim on that front. She'll have her day with the Guild and it won't be pretty.

Nandi and Saffron (former Companions) are incarnations of different versions of Inara. They are essentially Inara's foils, not Mal's. We watch Inara's reactions and character development in both those scenarios. The last scene in OMR is Mal and Inara, the last scene with Saffron, in Trash, is with Inara, not Mal. The last words spoken to each other by Mal and Nandi are about Inara's feelings. The funeral scene in HoG is Inara grieving for her friend, the last scene in HoG is Mal and Inara on the catwalk, when she speaks those words that send Mal into an emotional spin.

IMHO, Mal's and Inara's story is a simple love story complicated by the two of them believing in all the trappings of things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Inara's profession, Mal still fighting a war, Serenity's facade of
symbolic freedom, all the walls and emotional barriers created by foolish pride and societal rules ... yabba, dabba the list goes on. And when all that is gone (let's start with the missing Guild in the BDM) what is left? Two people needing to be on a broken down cargo transport ship, at the corner of no and where.

If I were a fanfic writer or interviewing for a writing job for Firefly, that's where I would have started, exploring those issues.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 9:00 AM

PLATONIST


Oh, also, I don't adhere to comparisons between Whedon's shows. Different verse, different life views from both writer and characters.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 9:36 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Oh, also, I don't adhere to comparisons between Whedon's shows. Different verse, different life views from both writer and characters.

I think it's valid to point out that Joss wasn't likely planning some kind of Firefly Partridge Family. It's just not his style.

At the least, can you agree that Joss changes his characters over long, careful arcs? That's the point I was making with the Cordy/Angel comparison. Details of character and the basic nature of relationships change in Whedon shows. The Inara/Mal we saw in the first 14 episodes is not the full story of either of them, especially not Inara, imho.

I maybe wasn't clear that I agree with you and other posters that I think Joss had a solid idea of where he wanted to go with these two. I'm not saying I know what he was planning - I surely don't! But I think Inara's secret would have been similar to River's Miranda secret (in the sense of storyline formation only!) They're both plots he imbedded from the get-go, to be pulled out in later seasons. After all, the man went into this show with plans for making seven seasons. So, my point is that what we've seen between Mal and Inara was merely groundwork.

Seven seasons. Trying not to be bitter...

Edit: forgot to say - Platonist, I love your interpretation of Nandi and Saffron as regards to Inara. Good stuff!

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 3:43 PM

PLATONIST


"The Partridge Family" LOL...mal4prez, I can always count on you to remind us of inane pop cultural references that epitomize some of our Browncoat sisters and brothers take on the Firefly verse, especially those writing fanfic that have Mal married in a loving, giving, wonderful, open relationship with perfect kids and a beautiful self sacrificing wife, but tragically flawed, of course. It always leaves me asking what freaking show they are watching, because it sure isn’t Firefly. And, then, all the wonderful comments? Huh?

And yes, I agree on long careful arcs, and Inara's hasn't been developed, yet.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:08 AM

SMAUG


Quote:

There's some reason she's uncomfortable in Persephone high society and attracted to Mal, even if she denies and runs from that attraction.


I have posted much longer ramblings on this so I will try to be brief. But the way I see it is that they are caught in a catch 22. Inara is waiting for Mal to simply "take her", so to speak. Yet Mal is waiting for her to quit being a compainion, of her own choice, before he would do so.

Her attraction to him, IMO, is that she has lived a life where every man she ever meets wants her. How many men was it shown or implied wanted her to stay with him? But do they really want HER? Of course they want Inara the companion, but do they want Inara the woman? They don't thus why she never would consider the offer. Even with Athertan, I believe Inara was never really considered his offer, but just wanted to see how Mal would react to the knews if Mal thought she was considering it.

Yes, Mal disrepects her job, but not her. Maybe even calling her a "whore" is one way to keep her at arms lenght. But deeper than that.. does Inara see in Mal the only man she has ever met that maybe doesn't want Inara the companion, but truely wants Inara the woman? We see time and time again that it's only Mal that she seems to let down her guard down around and we begin to see the real Inara buried under the shell of the companion, even if her guard is down only for them to argue (or flirt, depending upon how you look at it )

Also in a deleted scene from the BDM, it shows Inara having a conversation with another companion (can't remember her name) where this other woman was able to get Inara rather flustered in just bringing up Mal. Again.. Inara letting her guard down and showing her true self. At the end of the conversation, Inara mentions that Mal never even laid a finger on her and then her friend adds "Maybe that's why you left?"

Quote:

but I don't think Inara's intentions to leave the ship translate to any plan for the character to leave the show. No matter if she did leave for a time - her backstory was going to be central to some future plotline, perhaps a whole season's worth of plotlines.


I agree.. Inara leaving was simply a way for Joss to show and explore the universe outside the walls of Serenity, and possibly for us to start to get a peak at Inara's backstory.. and learn her secret. She would have come back to Serenity (MAL) at some point for some reason. The movie hastene'd this and more or less cut out everything we were going to see through Inara's eyes while she was gone, but make no mistake, she would be back.

I beleive she left because of how hurt she was that Mal slept with Nandi. Which is ironic considering that is what Inara does as an occupation. But again, Inara does it as a job, Inara the woman would choose to sleep with Mal. I do believe she is drawn to the strenght that she see's in Mal, although running from trying not to be tied to that strengh was just an excuse. Deep down Inara WANTED Mal to stop her from leaving.

It's a shame that those scenes between her and Mal were cut from the movie.

Ok.. enough rambling.. I could go on forever..

Smaug...





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Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:22 AM

SPACEANJL


Well, this one has taken off.

Maybe it's just me, but I rather like the idea that 'Firefly' could be about more than just straightforward couple relationships (yeah, this from someone who thinks Jayne's going to be happily married, I know...) I can't help looking at the 'Verse and thinking how much bigger it is than our guys. There's all sorts of weirdness for them to get involved in. And I know it is important for people to make connections and be happy etc, but it would be nice if it wasn't the whole be-all-and-end-all of fic and discussion.

(Slightly hypocritical) grumble over.

Basically, I think Inara is facing the same thing that faces an awful lot of women every day. You Can't Have It All. Very few people get to have the career, the relationship, the whole damn life working out just perfectly. Something has to give. Mind you, maybe she's discovering that she doesn't want the glittery career, and would like to settle down - that can mess with the head of someone who has spent years forging a career at the expense of other things. Believe me on this.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:31 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Of course Inara n Mal would work.

Everybody does the opposite of what they want to do when it comes to love. It messes with you. Inara included and while she can see reason in not staying, love won't let her go... Not for ever.

People change overtime, and while these two free spirits appear far too solitary to come together, it is actually just that kind of personality that succumb to such things in the end.

The world is full of people who 'never' saw themselves as settling down, yet they do. That's life and love. Your opinions change, your sensibilities alter and your resolve wares down. Eventually both Mal and Inara know they will have to settle down so why not for each other?

I think more likely what is happening with the both of them is that this reality is hitting them, and they are having to adjust to it. Of course they'll put up a fight that's their nature, but love will prevail. It always does.






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Thursday, February 21, 2008 9:22 AM

LEIF


The big thing here, IMHO, is that Mal or Inara have to change significantly before a serious relationship could work. I believe that would have to fall to Inara.

Mal lost his birth world, he now only feels safe in Firefly. It is his home, the crew have become his family. This is demonstrated in the confrontation with Jayne at the end of Ariel, and Mal's refusal to get rid of Simon and River. Even after they have "left" the ship in BDM, Mal still scoops up River and brings her back to Firefly. I don't see Mal "settling down" unless the Alliance is completely broken. In a way Mal is living "wounded" and will be unable to change for a long, long time.

Inara has shown hints of changing. Her complicity in the heist in Trash, and her amazon like (nice outfit, btw) bow work in BDM. She is already a good pilot, she chides Mal "you never could fly this thing" in regards to her shuttle. (My BDM quote may be off, I can't look it up at work.)

I see Inara becoming Firefly's main pilot. Not as flashy as Wash, but good and reliable in that role. At the end of BDM the Alliance was "weakened" so that could mean more legal jobs for Serenity would be possible.

Speculation is fun!

Leif




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