GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Serenity: Better Days Issue #3 Wednesday 5/14/2008 Told ya it was a Firefly/Serenity episode! Here be SPOILERS!

POSTED BY: ANONYMOUS1
UPDATED: Thursday, August 21, 2008 17:05
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Saturday, May 10, 2008 2:01 PM

ANONYMOUS1


The conclusion of the next Firefly/Serenity episode in comic book form. Re-readable! Shiny! Sexy!

http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=15-190




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Sunday, May 11, 2008 1:34 AM

KATESFRIEND


If it's even half as good as the first two, we're in for quite a treat! What an episode this series would have made....sigh.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008 6:06 PM

ANONYMOUS1


W E D N E S D A Y!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 4:07 AM

SINKINRUBBERDUCK


How come i never hear about these comic book series lol. I know of those Left behind and i have that, and now i know about this one.

Is there anymore i should know about ?

Firefly's too pretty to die!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:51 AM

THATWEIRDGIRL


As mentioned in another thread recently, A Shepherd's Tale is on the planning board.

---
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
-- Charlie Brown
www.thatcostumegirl.com
www.thatweirdgirl.com

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 11:17 AM

CHRISISALL


Well, I got issue 3 today, and devoured it quick. Flat out great. I feel like I just saw a new ep of the series...plus the art was outstanding!!! And as with the previous three comics, I WILL buy the trade when it comes out.
Lookin' forward to the next.

Now I gotta watch live-action tonight.

Temporarily satisfied Chrisisall

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 11:30 AM

THATWEIRDGIRL


you want me to sign it?


I think the artist, Conrad, has Inara and Zoe down pat.

---
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
-- Charlie Brown
www.thatcostumegirl.com
www.thatweirdgirl.com

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 11:48 AM

DAVESHAYNE


Never thought I'd say this but

Select to view spoiler:


Gorramn' Mal is a real asshole. Really selfish in the biggest way possible. OK they (Whedon and Matthews) had to come up with a way for the money to vanish because our crew just doesn't stay wealthy but for Mal to conspire against his crew with some random goons so that nothing in his dysfunctional life would change. That's just flat out wrong.



David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 1:34 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
That's just flat out wrong.

But interesting...although

Select to view spoiler:


it contradicts Mal's need for coin in Serenity just a bit...


Still, a good comic IMO.

Easy Chrisisall

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 3:31 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
That's just flat out wrong.

But interesting...although

Select to view spoiler:


it contradicts Mal's need for coin in Serenity just a bit...


Still, a good comic IMO.



Yeah it's just making me re-evaluate Mal. Doesn't really contradict the movie though just makes it a bit more ironical.

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 3:43 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:

Yeah it's just making me re-evaluate Mal.

IMO Mal has never been above bein' a idiot...

He's not one to lead, remember.

Chrisisall

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 4:34 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:

Yeah it's just making me re-evaluate Mal.

IMO Mal has never been above bein' a idiot...

He's not one to lead, remember.



But his usual stupid involves helping others - especially his crew - this stupid is different.

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:53 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Joss and Brett are so good!!! The artwork so shiny!

This IS a Firefly/Serenity episode!!!

And Inara is so good at reading Mal.

Like in Firefly episode: Bushwacked When Mal gives a little speech about "any peace to be had" and Inara says
"And just when I think I've got you figured out." Firefly The Official Companion Volume One.

And in Firefly episode: Our Mrs. Reynolds When Inara figured that Mal had realized she had kissed him.

I have to watch the series and movie again, I swear there is at least one more example of
where Inara read Mal totally wrong.

Not to say in his thoughts he was worried about the crew breaking up because of the money. Not
to say in his thoughts he wanted some of the money gone. Not to say that in his thoughts he
wants everyone to stay. Like Serenity: Those Left Behind, he can't admit that until after they leave.

Inara thought Mal was a dust devil. Spoiler in case you want to figure this on your own or wait for it to be
revealed in a future Firefly/Serenity episode

Select to view spoiler:


Inara thought that Mal would invite a man on his boat who needed to come upstairs with a big knife
to convince people to tell where the money was.

River...




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Friday, May 16, 2008 5:23 AM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by Anonymous1:
episode

Select to view spoiler:


Inara thought that Mal would invite a man on his boat who needed to come upstairs with a big knife
to convince people to tell where the money was.

River...




So you're saying Inara was mistaken? Because the evidence suggests otherwise.

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Friday, May 16, 2008 9:49 AM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
So you're saying Inara was mistaken? Because the evidence suggests otherwise.



I would say yes she was. If not of the conspiracy, then atleast of the motivation.

Select to view spoiler:


Notice how Mal's captors just walk away at the end instead of nabbing Zoe (and him)?



As for how they knew the location... what exactly were Kaylee/Simon/River doing during the whole episode?

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Friday, May 16, 2008 9:59 AM

KNIGHTREYEDER


Gott'em on the way, now I've got some new Firefly stuff to get fired up about. Thanks for posting this!

_________________________________________________
Mal's expression in the scrapyard when he first see's Serenity says it all.

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Friday, May 16, 2008 10:24 AM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:
Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
So you're saying Inara was mistaken? Because the evidence suggests otherwise.



I would say yes she was. If not of the conspiracy, then atleast of the motivation.



So what other motivation does Mal have for throwing away zillions of credits?

Quote:

Select to view spoiler:


Notice how Mal's captors just walk away at the end instead of nabbing Zoe (and him)?



As for how they knew the location... what exactly were Kaylee/Simon/River doing during the whole episode?



Select to view spoiler:


I think it's fairly obvious that the gang that stole the money are not the Alliance goons that took Mal. Kaylee and Simon are on the bridge of Serenity while the fight against the military industrial complex guy is taking place. River is just outside the bridge and goes all killbot on one of the thieves that wandered away from looting the hidey place for some reason.



David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Friday, May 16, 2008 12:11 PM

NBZ


If (and this is still not established - it is a big step) we accept that Mal gave it up, a bigger "reason" would be freedom. A chance to walk away and not be taken to a potentially pre-decided court of law.

Alliance (potentially bounty hunter) scum: What a great day! one person caught, another almost in the bags too. Our reward will be great.

Mal: Hang on... you will get paid to capture us? ...

Of course that still does not mean he would willingly allow someone on his boat. Too much to risk. Too much could go wrong.

Another (for me greater) possibility is that the ship was tracked through the beacon for the broadwave. Simon/River/Kaylee gave away the stash to survive.

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Friday, May 16, 2008 1:36 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Select to view spoiler:


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:
If (and this is still not established - it is a big step) we accept that Mal gave it up, a bigger "reason" would be freedom. A chance to walk away and not be taken to a potentially pre-decided court of law.



He already got his get out of Alliance Prison free card from Ephraim after the firefight. "We good here?" "Good enough."

Quote:

Another (for me greater) possibility is that the ship was tracked through the beacon for the broadwave. Simon/River/Kaylee gave away the stash to survive.


Except if that was what went on one would expect that it would have been shown somehow. Sure it could have happened in which case Kaylee would be all, "I'm sorry cap'n" and Simon would be like, "We we're outgunned we really didn't have an option." and River would be, "Paper. I was going to paste them into a symbol but they fluttered away on the breeze."



David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Friday, May 16, 2008 1:51 PM

NBZ


Quote:

Select to view spoiler:


He already got his get out of Alliance Prison free card from Ephraim after the firefight. "We good here?" "Good enough."





which would have been *after* his prior negotiations.

Firefight/robbery seemed to take place at around the same time.

As for he crew 'fessing up - or not - their reactions were not shown. Did River alert the other to the guy she had kicked? no idea.

So my main question asking where Simon/Kaylee/River is still very important.

The main questions over the robbery are:

1. How did they know the crew had money.
2. How did they know where the ship was.
3. How did they know where the money was.

For 1, the possibilities seem to be a0 they were told, b) they guessed based upon the crew's lavish holiday, or c) they were stalked through the past, maybe by whoever the original money belonged to. (Jayne was recognised by the monk...)

For 2, a) they were told, or b) they tracked the signal.

For 3, a) they were told, or b) they were especially good at searching/knew where to look in fireflys, the money has some how trackable.

Another possible scenario: Jayne set up a trust fund for himself. Hired a few goons to get the money when he knew it would not be defended. Something to fall back on if times get rough for him.

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Friday, May 16, 2008 2:52 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Select to view spoiler:


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:
which would have been *after* his prior negotiations.

Firefight/robbery seemed to take place at around the same time.



Right. So when did he negotiate with Ephraim and co.? Easier to suggest that he arranged with a third party to loot the ship when a distraction ad been arranged. The Alliance looking for Dust Devils became the diversion probably by accident.

Quote:

As for he crew 'fessing up - or not - their reactions were not shown. Did River alert the other to the guy she had kicked? no idea.


Suggesting that they didn't do anything of note.

Quote:

So my main question asking where Simon/Kaylee/River is still very important.


But not very relevant.

Quote:

For 1, the possibilities seem to be a0 they were told,


Which is the only one we have textual evidence for.

Quote:

b) they guessed based upon the crew's lavish holiday,


Everybody on that planet was having a lavish holiday.

Quote:

or c) they were stalked through the past, maybe by whoever the original money belonged to. (Jayne was recognised by the monk...)


That would work if there was any part of the comic showing, I don't know, a group of people looking for their money. Which, by the way, wasn't that hard to get to so if the original owners were still in a position to get it why did they wait for our BDHs to get it and then follow? Makes no real sense.

Quote:

For 2, a) they were told,


Again the only option with textual evidence.

Quote:

or b) they tracked the signal.


The signal that led to the rendezvous spot way the hell away from Serenity?

Quote:

For 3, a) they were told,


Again the only explanation for which we have textual evidence

Quote:

or b) they were especially good at searching/knew where to look in fireflys, the money has some how trackable.


That one I may have to give you since with 40000 of those wrecks in the air somebody else may have figured out that as a good hiding place.

Quote:

Another possible scenario: Jayne set up a trust fund for himself. Hired a few goons to get the money when he knew it would not be defended. Something to fall back on if times get rough for him.


A) Jayne isn't that smart.
B) Even if he was that smart there is no way he's going to trust a group of random strangers to give him back his share.
C) Jayne should remember what happened the last time he got stupid regarding money and turned on Mal.
D) Jayne really isn't that smart.



Also spoiler tags are there for a reason. It's probably to late for this thread but in the future....

Edited to add:

I do appreciate your many and creative attempts to redeem our captain's good name. I just think it's to far of a stretch to be at all likely.

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Friday, May 16, 2008 5:37 PM

NBZ


No probs. (as for spoiler tags - I would expect the people vary of them to get out of here as soon as the discussion got into the details... probably not a good assumption.)

Mal giving it away is the scenario hinted at, yet it makes no sense to me. I am not trying to clear his name - I know his character has dark sides. He robs not just from the rich, he kills and a lot of other stuff too. Just, having him give the money away does not seem to fit. There were probably less costly ways to keep the crew together.

Throwing "creative" theories around, Simon was the only one not comfortable with taking the money from a monastry. We know (ok, I think) him and Inara are Buddhists and they got sort of caught sneaking around together. Maybe it was them? (well, not likely as Inara seemed to think Mal losing the money was... sweet. Weird.)

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Friday, May 16, 2008 7:19 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Inara is wrong.

She said

Select to view spoiler:


"Without looking anywhere else"

Inara thinks it was Mal. But there is no evidence it was Mal. Only Inara's thinking and she is not a good Mal
reader.

Inara thinks the bad guys never looked anywhere else. Inara doesn't know a guy came heading for the cockpit with
a real big knife and tried to sneak up on River...on the upper deck far from the cargo bay.

Kaylee is talking about incoming at three o'clock and River goes into the hallway. Same time as the missles hit
the ground and open up.

The guy was heading to the cockpit with a big knife to convince whoever was on board to show where the money was.

Wouldn't have had to do that if Mal had told them where the money was. Wouldn't have had to done that if they
just knew which compartment it was in. Too many hiding places on a Firefly. "Bushwacked" episode. As soon as
they open the compartment and saw how much money was in it they would have taken it. Too tempting to let one
guy haul it out while the other searches hallways with a knife looking for more riches.

They did not know where the money was. And they knew there was money because Jayne tried to overpay every
companion on the planet with way too much money. Captain said as much at the restaurant when that was held up.

In Shindig, Mal talks about the cattle and how it makes them a target for every scavenger out there. Mal knew
the money was making them a target cause of the restaurant. And that means River knew it. Can River also use
math to predict the future? Real good odds that the money is going to get them all killed before they can split
up and go there separate ways.

River kicks the guy in the chin or throat...maybe just like she kicked Simon in the throat to keep him from
talking.

She just saved Simon and Kaylee from getting tortured by robbers trying to find the money.

River told them where the money was to save them. And I think Mal figured it out and is covering for River.
Because it could be nobody else but River. And her motive was to keep the crew safe. Remember that is why
she left Serenity in the movie.



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Saturday, May 17, 2008 6:39 AM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by Anonymous1:
Inara is wrong.



Or you could go with the simpler explanation that Inara was right. Elsewise Joss and Brett are guilty of the worst storytelling ever.

David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 7:52 AM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
Elsewise Joss and Brett are guilty of the worst storytelling ever.



Now that sounds impossible.

We will know for sure if Inara is right or wrong in a future episode of Firefly/Serenity. Stay tuned!


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Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:34 PM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:
Elsewise Joss and Brett are guilty of the worst storytelling ever.



heh, I have been debating this. It would have taken but two or three panels to clear this all up. But then, I guess if there was more space they would want to concentrate on other stuff.

Another thing is it can be hard (for me atleast) to judge the tone of a scene in a comic. If OMR was a comic and we had not seen how Inara was "taken down", Mal's assumption would have been the natural thing to assume.

Back on topic

Select to view spoiler:


even though I think it was a little late for these... if it WAS Mal - a better explanation than selfishness would be the need for freedom from his captors.

Either way, one thing which is not clear is why they left without Mal and Zoe. "bonding" over a little fire fight does not cut it for me.



Then again this issue has managed to get quite a bit of discussion, so maybe it is genius. A masterstroke in storytelling.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:33 PM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:
Back on topic

Select to view spoiler:


even though I think it was a little late for these... if it WAS Mal - a better explanation than selfishness would be the need for freedom from his captors.

Either way, one thing which is not clear is why they left without Mal and Zoe. "bonding" over a little fire fight does not cut it for me.




Select to view spoiler:


So what you are saying is that Mal cracked under torture and bribed his captor into releasing him with the location of the loot? Does that seem likely to you? Besides the whole implacable enemies find respect for each other after being attacked by a third party has a rich history in the literature of the western.



David

'Geeks can't admit that anything worthwhile was invented before 1981. Soon, "making cocoa" will be called "milk hacking."' - Lore Sjoberg

http://xkcd.com/386/

I has myspace - http://www.myspace.com/daveshayneforpresident

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:39 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Anonymous1:


River told them where the money was to save them. And I think Mal figured it out and is covering for River.
Because it could be nobody else but River. And her motive was to keep the crew safe. Remember that is why
she left Serenity in the movie.



Fascinating...good brainworking there, A.

Impressed Chrisisall

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 2:00 PM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by daveshayne:

Select to view spoiler:


So what you are saying is that Mal cracked under torture and bribed his captor into releasing him with the location of the loot? Does that seem likely to you? Besides the whole implacable enemies find respect for each other after being attacked by a third party has a rich history in the literature of the western.




Nope.

Select to view spoiler:


I am suggesting that IF it was Mal - he could have bribed them to not go after him and Zoe.

Zoe more or less broadwaved to the whole world that She was a dustdevil - a terrorist (granted not everyone would understand the message...). That would not be something to easily ignore for Alliance "justice" hunters.



I do not buy the respect line much. It may be so, but what difference would it make? less torture on the way to a courthouse? (ofcourse going down this line of thought more or less guarantee's Mal's involvement...)

@Chrisisall, Anonymous1: If River was the leak, how would Mal find out, and why would he "cover"?

It too was my first thought that it was River (

Select to view spoiler:


even before I got the Inara mal convo part

), but that does not mean her actions need to be covered for. Nor does it mean that they were rational.

Is there a chance this will be revisited in A Shepherd's Tale? Any idea when that is supposed to take place?

And then there is the whole Inara/Simon subtext which started in the pilot episode. What is their story? (a year ago a speculated that Inara was the "in" for Simon choosing Serenity for that particular leg of the journey... that she also has her own business that she is conducting under Mal's radar. Sounds very much like a conspiracy, but the new info does not detract from it.)

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 5:50 PM

ANONYMOUS1


I can't figure out what part to put a spoiler tag on anymore.

May be SPOILERS below. If you haven't read Better Days 1-3 or want to figure this stuff without reading others' theories...get out of this post. Quick!

Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:
Anonymous1: If River was the leak, how would Mal find out, and why would he "cover"?



The very reason Inara gave. How did they find the money in the best hiding place? Someone had to tell them. Mal knows it wasn't Jayne...Jayne would not have trusted anyone with the money. Only ones on the ship...Simon, River and Kaylee. Mal knows it wasn't Kaylee. That leaves Simon and River. Mal knew the money was making them a target. Mal could have actually accused Simon of removing the threat and River stunned them both by saying it was her. Or Mal could have just been thinking and trying to figure out who revealed the secret hiding place and River walked by and said it was her. Can't you just see the stunned look on his face. She wouldn't have had to mention that she can kick people in the throat.

River's actions need to be covered for the reason Inara gave. To keep the crew together. Mal kept quiet about Jayne turning on Simon and River.

Mal kept quiet about Simon visiting Inara and suggested she do that too.

Mal is good at that. Covering for his crew.

On why let Mal and Zoe go.

Mal never heard Zoe's you don't have what you want speech. He was not awake. Zoe said Spike knew that he didn't have what he wanted.
Still he was going to take Zoe and put her on trial. And Spike said that stuff at the beginning about getting a fair trial and all. Zoe stood a much better chance at trial than Mal. Mal wasn't going to confess or plead innocent or anything. But if Zoe was on trial, Mal might just start making some speeches. Be bad for the Alliance if Zoe won the case.

So he was going to take Zoe away and then they fought on the same side. Band of Brothers stuff. They worked together. Mal had just saved them all by bringing down the ship.

Also in Better Days #1, Spike said to Inara "Still hunting the same independents for the same masters. I's just less honest now our uniforms and pride replaced with suits and lies." So Spike wasn't too happy with what he was doing anyways.

Mal said "you shooting at the right thing for once" to Spike. And Spike beating up Mal. Why? To get him to confess to being a Dust Devil maybe.

Might be some history there. To be shown in a future Firefly/Serenity episode.

How about that side look Wash gave Mal before the punching? Thinking Wash misses that he never punched Niska.

Also in Issue #2, River says the hotel isn't safe. Did she mean just the hotel or the whole stay on the planet? Still thinking she can predict/see the future.

Did anybody else pop in Firefly DVD Shindig episode to check out the scar to see if it was the same scar as the bad guy with the robots. Seemed different. But hmmm, that scar could have come from a sword. Guy knew Mal's name. Maybe Ath is going around marking up people's left side of their face because he has a scar there.

On Serenity: Better Days #1 With Inara and Spike, did you think when the "KKRAKK" happened, that maybe Inara knows how to snap someone's neck for like real. She knows a lot and could probably really hurt someone if she decided she should.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 7:13 PM

GWEK




I've skimmed this thread and there are so many spoilers that I'm not sure who's saying what anymore... but I just finished re-reading the miniseries in it's entirety and here's my take on things:

Somebody screwed up. Could be Joss and Brett. Could be the artist. Could be whoever edited. But somebody screwed SOMETHING up.

By the way, I'm referring here to the whole "How and why did the money disappear?" debate.

There are a few things about it that are pretty clear to me, but at least one pivotal thing that's not.

First, what I'm pretty sure of:

1) Mal is responsible for the money going away.

Inara calls him on it and he does nothing to deny it or mislead her. Sure, he COULD just be going along with what she's saying, but the fact that this is the final scene gives it weight in a story sense. This is the period that punctuates the sentence of the story, and it tells us that in order to keep is family together, Mal is willing to shaft his family.

2) Ephraim doesn't back down out of any sense of honor or mutual respect. He backs down because he's outnumbered.

When the situation begins, he has two soldiers for back-up (possibly three... more on this below) and a shiny spaceship with a bunch of armanent. He is ostensibly facing "just Zoe" and has Mal as his prisoner.

Cut to a few pages later. His ship has been blown up, one of his men is dead, and he and his remaining man are injured. Instead of "just Zoe," he's now facing four opponents (Zoe, Mal, Wash, and Book), with the sniper who killed his man (Jayne) still in hiding and able to attack.

Not a good situation for Mister Sanda, and he's smart enough to know it.

Ephraim says nothing to indicate that he gets "paid by the head", so there's no reason for him to risk death in gunning for Zoe. When he explains his job to Inara, it sounds like he does this as a regular thing, and when he talks to his men in issue 2, it seems like he's not doing this for the money, but because he believes in it (shades of both Mal and The Operative here).

Now, let's get into a little bit of speculation.

3) Did Mal and Emphraim cut a deal?

The disappearance of the money would seem to indicate that they did BUT the dialogue doesn't bear this out.

While Joss does not make things easy for the audience, he rarely if ever "cheats", and I can't see any line or moment that would cue us in to a deal between Mal and Ephraim. Indeed, when Mal is being tortured by Emprhaim he says nothing, and there's very little in the dialogue during the fight that seems to be meant to be taken in more than one way.

Joss and Brett are both better writers than that, so if the intention WAS that a deal was struck between Mal and Ephraim, it's a little disappointing that there's not one line, one moment, that the reader can point to and say "Ah, yes, I thought that meant something different, but now I understand that this was where the writers clued us in a little bit."

4) Where was the Fifth Man?

So if Mal and Sanda didn't strike a deal, what happened? Not sure, and not willing to say that they didn't... just that if they did, it was sloppily written or edited.

I can think of a few possible scenarios, and a lot of it depends on the location of The Fifth Man.

In issue 2, we see Sanda prepping four fellow soldiers: a bald man, a black man, and two men with military haircuts (brown and red). During the operation in issue 3, the bald man is sent to Serenity, and the black man and one of the military-haircut guys (impossible to tell which, due to inconsistent coloring) are with Ephraim.

So where is The Fifth Man? I suggest that there are at least three possible locations for him, and each presents it's own set of problems.

SCENARIO A: The Fifth Man is with the bald man, at Serenity. This seems to be the simplest--and perhaps likeliest--scenario. We see two men driving away with the crew's money at the end of issue 3 (more on this in a moment), which means that two men have to have come to Serenity to take it. So while the bald man was heading up to keep things quiet on the bridge, the fifth man was busting out the money.

The failing of this scenario, however, is that we never see any implication of a deal taking place between Mal and Ephraim (or any of his men), so if this is what happened, the reader, just like the crew, has been left out in the cold.

SCENARIO B: The Fifth Man is the spotter that Book sees. This scenario is more problematic that the first one, on a number of counts.

First, the spotter--who is gray-haired and possibly Asian--does not match the appearance of any of Ephraim's strike force from issue 2. There are a number of fairly simple solutions--ranging from him being an additional member of the team to sloppy art--but all seem to imply some sort of mistake on the part of the creative team.

Second: if the Fifth Man is with Book, Sanda doesn't have enough men to rob Serenity, where we clearly see TWO men leaving. (again, more on this in a moment).

SCENARIO C: The Fifth Man was piloting Sanda's ship. Although this scenario places the fifth man in a different location, it is largely interchangeable with Scenario B (in the big picture, at least). The main difference is what problem comes with the scenario (5th man as spotter means inconsistent art; 5th man as pilot means Sanda has more men than indicated, so sloppy editing).

This brings me to my last question:

6) Who drove off with the money? On the surface, the answer to this question seems pretty simple, right? It was two of Ephraim's men... or was it?

Both of the men leaving Serenity have brown hair, while Sanda's man who we see on Serenity is BALD. The man in the passenger seat, although he clearly has brown hair, seems to be holding his head, so the likeliest answer is inconsistent art, but other possibilities may be worth speculating on.

Is it possible that the two men in the car--the two men who stole the crew's money--are NOT Ephraim's men? Sure, they appear to be wearing military uniforms BUT 1) the vehicle they're driving doesn't necessarily seem to be the same "style" as their ship, 2) there are enough moments of questionable art consistency that they could be mis-drawn.

So where does that leave us?

Way I see it, either Mal cut a deal with Ephraim (and/or his men) or Mal cut a deal with SOMEONE ELSE.

If Mal cut a deal with Ephraim, there's some sloppy art, and Joss and Brett may have been a little sloppy in that they didn't "let the reader in on it."

If, on the other hand, the intention was that Mal cut a deal with someone ELSE to steal the money and the events with Ephraim and his men simply screwed up the timeline, we've got one panel of sloppy art (the folks driving away SHOULDN'T be in military uniform) and--again--the possibility that the audience wasn't "let in on the joke" (although, thematically, the idea that the crew is ALSO dealing with robbers at the same time as Sanda's group AND the scared man and his robots seems to work).

While I think the first scenario is more likely, let's take a look at one last element, which I like to call...

What the heck was Mal thinking?

Let's say that Mal made a deal with someone OTHER than Ephraim. His intention was probably that the ship would be robbed while the crew was off it... They land, vacation, and return to the ship to find the money gone! Disappointing, but the crew is never in danger (at least until events place some of them back on the ship).

on the other hand, if Mal's deal was with Ephraim, what was his plan, exactly? Ephraim doesn't seem particularly inclined to trade Mal for Zoe peacefully even after a deal has been struck AND he sends at least one armed man to Serenity. So what's going on in Mal's head? "I'll cut a deal with this guy so he can steal all the crew's money and probably kill me and Zoe anyway"? Selfish? Stupid? Probably both, yeah.

If we look at Mal's motives for dealing with Ephraim, they seem pretty questionable and flawed, if you ask me.


www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 8:10 PM

EMBERS


I do need to reread all three issues, and then reread this thread before I'll feel ready to comment here....
but it does my heart good to see such a lively thread about our BDC (big damn comics)



New Firefly fans should check this out: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=15816

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 10:50 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by GWEK:
His ship has been blown up, one of his men is dead, and he and his remaining man are injured. Instead of "just Zoe," he's now facing four opponents (Zoe, Mal, Wash, and Book), with the sniper who killed his man (Jayne) still in hiding and able to attack.



Yes! Mister Sanda had another reason to let Zoe go. Outnumbered. Hadn't thought of that one. I'm sure he knew about the sniper. He could tell someone was shooting at the scar guy's ship.

Jayne killed no one in Serenity: Better Days. Darn, there are no page numbers. Jayne says "That weren't me!". Scar man with fingers on the two triggers. Two streams of bullets hitting the ground. One stream killed one of Mister Sanda's men.

One shell pops out of Jayne's gun. Jayne says "That thing's hide is too thick..." He was shooting at the ship.

Thought of another reason for letting Zoe go. Mister Sanda said "It baffles me how a lady of Inara's standing came to associate with one of these war criminals." Maybe he is not so baffled now after fighting along side Zoe and Mal. He also said "one".

Is Inara's standing simply that she is a companion? Hmmm.

The fourth man is piloting the ship and manning the guns. Don't see him, can't really tell from the shadow in the cockpit, but Mister Sanda
says "Perhaps if you had a ship with guns". So I think he would have left one man at the controls and not given up that advantage and he was informing Zoe by saying that. Ship also had missles. Very useful to take out a sniper. Epecially if a spotter told you where the sniper was.


The fifth man is the spotter with Book.

The robber on the ship is not part of Mister Sanda's team.

I've got proof.

The ear pieces.

The spotter has one. All of Mister Sanda's team have one.

The robber doesn't have one.

Then that made me think what if the robber was really one of Mister Sanda's special Ops team and took off his ear piece because he was betraying Mister Sanda. Could Zoe have arranged for Book to "distract" the spotter with a boatload of cash. She paid off Niska. Then I dismissed that idea because these are Special Ops AND I REALLY BELIEVE RIVER DID IT. The Special Ops team still use codes from the war. Zoe and Book or even Mal couldn't count on the spotter or any of the Special Ops team being bribed by money. Wonder what Book did to distract the spotter.

Wish the robber's flak jacket and outfit didn't look so much like the Special Ops team. Army surplus store? Mister Sanda said to Inara, "Our uniforms and pride replaced with suits and lies. Does suits mean jump suits? The special ops team carries very large guns. Even when strapped to the back, you can see the gun butt over the shoulder. You can't see that on the robber even though you see a strap across his chest.

Still no ear piece. If he was part of the Special Ops team on a mission for Mister Sanda, he would have had his ear piece on. Amd if he was betraying Mister Sanda, you would think he would still have his ear piece on so he would know what was going on.




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Sunday, May 18, 2008 4:55 AM

NBZ


Quote:

GWEK wrote:
Somebody screwed up. Could be Joss and Brett. Could be the artist. Could be whoever edited. But somebody screwed SOMETHING up.



That does seem to be the case. Unless we all are somehow missing the bigger picture.

As for Mal getting someone else (a third/4th/5th party) to rob the crew, the trouble for me is less his motivation, more him allowing others on his boat.

Mal is truly capable of screwing anyone over, but is he capable of allowing unsupervised access to his ship?

As for the captors letting them go because they were out gunned, they did not seem to show any hard feelings. no "I'll get you next time". No "Drat's" or any other saying typical from any evil body. (yes I am exaggerating a little, but they seemed a little too comfortable with letting them go).

As for Jayne not trusting anyone to do the job for him because of what he learnt on Ariel... What he learnt on Ariel was that he cannot trust the Feds. Can't rule him out totally, or any other member of crew. Even Zoe or Book. Actually, Book leads to interesting questions... because it easy to see him as the thinking type...

(as for my "position", I do not buy that Mal did it out of just greed. After whodunnit is open for consideration for everyone. All 9 members of the crew.)

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 5:40 AM

GWEK


Quote:

Jayne killed no one in Serenity: Better Days. Darn, there are no page numbers. Jayne says "That weren't me!".


You're right. My mistake. I was doing a LOT of flipping and re-reading as I posted.

Still doesn't change the fact that I think Sanda's reason for standing down was being outnumbered.

Quote:

Thought of another reason for letting Zoe go. Mister Sanda said "It baffles me how a lady of Inara's standing came to associate with one of these war criminals." Maybe he is not so baffled now after fighting along side Zoe and Mal. He also said "one".

Is Inara's standing simply that she is a companion? Hmmm.



So are you implying that he lets them go because he sees them (Zoe) as more than war criminals? While that's POSSIBLE, this seems to be very similar to the "He now respects them" angle and there is, unfortunately, no evidence to support that.

Quote:

The fourth man is piloting the ship and manning the guns. Don't see him, can't really tell from the shadow in the cockpit, but Mister Sanda says "Perhaps if you had a ship with guns". So I think he would have left one man at the controls and not given up that advantage and he was informing Zoe by saying that. Ship also had missles. Very useful to take out a sniper. Epecially if a spotter told you where the sniper was.


I agree that this seems quite possible, but we see evidence to definitively confirm this one way or another.

Quote:

The fifth man is the spotter with Book.


Possible, but as I said before, the spotter does not look like any of Ephraim's men from issue 2. Poor art? Quite possibly.

Quote:

The robber on the ship is not part of Mister Sanda's team. I've got proof. The ear pieces. The spotter has one. All of Mister Sanda's team have one. The robber doesn't have one.


I respectfully disagree on multiple counts.

First: I think to call him "the robber" is already drawing a conclusion. Let's call him "the intruder."

Second, while the intruder does, indeed, not have a headset, he looks IDENITICAL to one of Sanda's men. If he's supposed to NOT be Sanda's bald man, this is an incredibly poor artistic choice.

Third: Missing an earpiece? Big deal. So he wasn't wearing it because he was in a stealth situation. Also, consider that no matter what scenario we look at, there appears to be at least one panel of inconsistent art. Seems more likely to me that the artist forget the earpiece rather than intentially drawing two different characters (a "robber" and a "soldier") as visually identical.

Quote:

Then that made me think what if the robber was really one of Mister Sanda's special Ops team and took off his ear piece because he was betraying Mister Sanda. Could Zoe have arranged for Book to "distract" the spotter with a boatload of cash. She paid off Niska. Then I dismissed that idea because these are Special Ops AND I REALLY BELIEVE RIVER DID IT. The Special Ops team still use codes from the war. Zoe and Book or even Mal couldn't count on the spotter or any of the Special Ops team being bribed by money. Wonder what Book did to distract the spotter.


This seems to be getting way to complicated!

Quote:

Wish the robber's flak jacket and outfit didn't look so much like the Special Ops team.


But it's not just the outfit. Look at the FACE. Look at the haircut. This is one of Sanda's men OR very poor art. The artist clearly thought it was one of Sanda's men, at least. That, I'm positive of.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 6:08 AM

GWEK


Quote:

Unless we all are somehow missing the bigger picture.


I freely admit that we might all be missing something... but given the number of people who are looking at this closely, I don't know how likely that is... Usually, SOMEONE catches something.

Quote:

As for Mal getting someone else (a third/4th/5th party) to rob the crew, the trouble for me is less his motivation, more him allowing others on his boat.


I understand what you're saying, but consider the two scenarios:

1) Mal let's robbers he has likely cut a solid deal with on his ship with the crew NOT there, potentially endangering the ship, but keeping the crew safe.

2) Mal cuts a deal with some military guys he can't trust and who he knows will likely abduct Zoe so that said military folks are quite possibly on the ship at the same time as the crew, thus endangering crew members.

A deal with Sanda seems more troubling and out of character to me.

Quote:

Mal is truly capable of screwing anyone over, but is he capable of allowing unsupervised access to his ship?


Consider that it's quite possible that the access WASN'T supposed to be unsupervised. If he hired a third party, I suspect it was done sometime before "the Shepherd's dream" in issue 2, which means it was BEFORE he knew Sanda was even involved. At that point, he could have controlled the situation and might even have planned to be onboard himself.

(Just playing Devil's advocate here.)

Quote:

As for the captors letting them go because they were out gunned, they did not seem to show any hard feelings. no "I'll get you next time". No "Drat's" or any other saying typical from any evil body. (yes I am exaggerating a little, but they seemed a little too comfortable with letting them go).


Why are you saying Sanda's evil? He's just doing his job. Sure, he's failed at his job, but not necessarily because of Mal so much as the scarred man. There's really no REASON for him to hold a grudge, is there?

I think you're attributing "typical villain" motivation to a guy who is not a typical villain.

Quote:

As for Jayne not trusting anyone to do the job for him because of what he learnt on Ariel... What he learnt on Ariel was that he cannot trust the Feds. Can't rule him out totally, or any other member of crew. Even Zoe or Book. Actually, Book leads to interesting questions... because it easy to see him as the thinking type...

(as for my "position", I do not buy that Mal did it out of just greed. After whodunnit is open for consideration for everyone. All 9 members of the crew.)



Not quite sure what you're getting at here, but if we deconstruct the episode from a writing point of view, it seems pretty clear to me that Joss and Brett intented for Mal to be responsible for the theft of the money. The METHOD that this plays out is unclear, but if it were anyone other than Mal, the episode (because that's what the 3-issue miniseries really is) would have been written differently.

Looking at things from a writer's perspective, we can rule out as a suspsect anyone who's "real" fantasy we saw, because they have a stake in the money staying. That cuts out Kaylee, Wash, and Jayne right off the bat, leaving Mal, Inara, Simon, River, Book, and Zoe.

There is not enough dramatic focus on River, Simon, or Book for them to be such an important part of the story. These characters are not prime movers in the story in any way. Also, we DO see fantasies from them, even if they are suspect, and this is, to some extent, the writers' way of exhonerating them.

That leaves Zoe, Mal, and Inara, who happen to be the characters the story focuses on.

If Zoe were the culprit, there would definitely be a Zoe-Mal scene (sort of a "I did it for you, Captain" moment). Now, personally, I think that would have been an AWESOME twist (that Zoe is willing to endanger her future with Wash for the good of the crew and the captain), but if that were Joss's intention, we would have known.

Now, we come down to Mal and Inara, who are the characters the final scene is all about. Their final conversation is, not surprisingly, about them keeping secrets from one another. But it's quite plain that Inara is NOT keeping anything money-related secret from Mal (rather, what she's keeping secret is why she would need to see Simon on the sly... and I don't for a second believe it has to do with them having sex). That leaves us with the obvious--and most dramatically appropriate--culprit.



www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 6:46 AM

NBZ


Quote:

Why are you saying Sanda's evil? He's just doing his job. Sure, he's failed at his job, but not necessarily because of Mal so much as the scarred man. There's really no REASON for him to hold a grudge, is there?


Call it my style of humour. (afaik, I am the only person in the world that "gets it" - in this scenario Sanda is evil "from the point of the crew". Using relativity to describe an absolute. or mincing my words. take your pick.)

But then again, he was beating on Mal beforehand instead of just keeping him in custody, so there may be a grudge somewhere.

When you compare the two deals, yeah it does seem more like the former (maybe that is why the guy was heading up - looking for the "no show" Mal?). Still don't buy it, but it fits a little more.

Thing is, none of the robbery had any context. It just happened.

The Jayne bit is more or less linked another poster who suggested that it was not Jayne as he had learnt not to trust others from Ariel. I just pointed out that he learnt not to trust Feds from there, not not to trust in general, which I think is his default disposition. (another thing ruling Jayne out is that we know h stays with the ship even when the going gets tougher - "Those Left behind" and the start of the BDM would be good points for him to get out without getting too much suspicion.)

As for Inara/Simon, I agree. But there is something there. some dealings either as a doctor/patient or on some other level.

Going back a little... let's assume it WAS Mal. This also brings up the question of the Lassiter. Was he really struggling with selling it, or was he also play acting?

Secondly, he got someone to steal the money. Now what? Would he let them keep it all? have a share/secret stash for rainy days? Not many people would just let it all go. Would he?

or does he have secret casino gambling debts?

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 8:30 AM

PLATONIST


I know I'm late to the party, and as fascinating as this thread is... has anyone considered that Sanda has figured out (much like, the Operative, Nandi, Mal's crew, Inara's students, the viewers, my cat) that Inara and Mal have feelings for each other that go beyond traditional tenet and landlord relations? And since Sanda paid for sexual services, from Inara, he my hold a more personal grudge against Mal and use that knowledge as blackmail that could endanger her standing with the Guild. Hence, hush money.

My #3 is in the mail, but this was my initial impression as a possible scenario from reading #1 and #2. As much as Mal hates Inara’s work, his choices are always based on protecting and defending her, as hers are for him. And the both of them rationalize each other’s negative behavior away because their communication is seriously lacking any real honesty so they keep misfiring and skirting the real relationship issues that are obvious to the rest of us, that what they really WANT is each other. And, that has nothing to do with money or a grand fortune.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:30 AM

NBZ


I will need to have a look again, but did Inara really have a client on this occasion?

(Unless the Sanda engagement is from before...)

and Spoiler for Platonist or anyone who has not yet read Issue 3:

Select to view spoiler:


In an Inara scene what was she doing with the buttons? was that sending a communication or just prepping for takeoff?


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Sunday, May 18, 2008 10:11 AM

PLATONIST


Sanda is Inara's client from #1 and schedules a second engagement in #2. At which point, I thought that she may have taken him out herself, as she surmises that the Dust Devil, of which he speaks of, is someone on Serenity.

I see this episode as Zoe taking responsibility for her previous actions and staying loyal to Mal, and Mal protecting Inara's reputation, and Inara protecting her family, as best she can before she has to leave because she has so blatantly lost her professional objectivity because of her feelings for the Captain. As War Stories is a Mal/Zoe/Wash episode, to me, this one is a Zoe/Inara/Mal episode.

Am I completely off base?



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Sunday, May 18, 2008 10:44 AM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Am I completely off base?




No, I thought Inara could very easily kill Mister Sanda when we saw her kraaak his neck.

And that is maybe another reason she thinks Mal did it. Because she would have. Because she knows the lengths she would have gone to protect her family. And she thinks Mal would do the same. And that is why he is standing in shock at the end. Because the woman he loves thinks he would do such a thing and thinks it is sweet.

When the graphic novel comes out later this year, we will see if any art mistakes are fixed. They fixed Mal's eyes in Serenity: Those Left Behind graphic novel.

Right now, I'm saying this IS a Firefly/Serenity episode. If it was on TV we would not be wondering what actor played the intruder. Or would we, maybe he would have been wearing a mask but the same outfit. Because maybe just like here, we are not supposed to know. We are supposed to wonder and try and figure it out and then it is revealed in a later episode that it was RIVER!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 11:34 AM

PLATONIST


Yeah, and it sounds to me that River probably knew Mal's intent and let the robbery unfold because she reads strong emotions the best, and nothing spins and evokes intent and emotions in Mal as much as Inara, as we see evidence of River's fade to Mal as Mal watches Inara's infamous vid in Serenity.

And that would be a nice tie into the movie's ending when she knows Mal is going to go into his slurpy love talk coming from his resolution with Inara in the corridor.

So Mal brokerages the deal and River follows thru?

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 12:19 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
So Mal brokerages the deal and River follows thru?



I don't think Mal would risk his crew and ship by brokering a deal. Better to leave town.


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Sunday, May 18, 2008 12:35 PM

PLATONIST


I'm with Gwek on that one; I think Mal thought they would be off the ship busy on vacation.

Mal had a hand in the missing money, but ironically not for the reasons Inara thinks.
Just like Inara didn’t trip, did kiss, but not for the reasons Mal thinks.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 12:45 PM

ANONYMOUS1


Don't you think if Mal was going to stab the crew in the back, he would have had the guts to do it to their faces.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 1:07 PM

PLATONIST


Like I said I haven't read #3 yet, but I'm speculating that Mal used the money as he saw fit, in order to keep everyone safe. It is selfish and clearly a unilateral decision, but it comes out of love and not malice.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 5:32 PM

GWEK


Spoilers ahead for those who haven't read #3... so you've been warned.

Mal's motives for getting rid of the money are pretty clear, and, in fact, are laid our throughout the miniseries.

In issue one, he's shocked by the amount of money--and on second reading, I realize it's NOT because the crew has finally hit it big, but because he's instinctively realizing that his little corner of the 'Verse is about to get blown up.

In issue two, while everyone else is living it up, what does Mal say? "Let's not forget who we are" (or something like that). He knows that money changes everything.

Also in issue two, when folks are discussing their fantasies, why does Mal get up and leave? Multiple reasons. One is that he's listening to folks leaving him behind. Not one person has a dream that involves Mal (well, except Inara, but that's before the money even shows up). Another is that he's is, as Inara will later call him on, already living his dream. Money helps everyone else live their dream, but destroys his.

So while Mal's actions seem to be surrounded by a little bit of murk, his motives seem pretty clear to me.

As for what happens exactly, I'm not saying it plays out this way, but let me throw this out:

--Crew hits it big; heads off for vacation.

--Mal, hearing folks fantasies, realizes that the money is going to destroy his family, so he contacts some two-bit criminals and arranges to have them steal the money.

--Mal and Zoe recognize that the Alliance is here for Zoe.

--Mal heads off to talk to Inara but is ambushed by Sanda.

--With Mal captured, Zoe plans to exchange herself.

--Sanda sends one guy to Serenity to keep an eye on things while the rest of his crew deals with the exchange.

--Simultaneously, Mal's thieves sneak onboard Serenity BUT ARE NEVER SEEN BY THE CREW OR THE READER/VIEWER. We only ever see them in the single panel where they escape. I'm positing that the bald man that River takes out is NOT one of the thieves at all.

--Big fight. Sanda, outnumbered and outgunned, backs down.

--Crew finds out they've been robbed.

--Inara calls Mal to task.

Now, I ain't saying that's how it happened, just that this is one possible way it COULD have gone down. While there are certainly discrepancies, there are no more or less discrepancies than with some other versions, and I think this particular iteration calls Mal's motives into question less than some other options.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 7:35 PM

PLATONIST


A possible scenario, Gwek, but to a viewer that would create dramatic inconsistencies with Mal's character. Mal is a big boy and not naive enough to believe or expect that he is to be a part of his crew's fantasy life. And we know he certainly doesn't want to be included in Jayne's. I can't see him staging a theft based on the possibility that Zoe and Wash leave Serenity to start a family that he's not a part of as Captain Uncle Mal. Sorry, that's getting a little freaking weird and a side of a character that I would never want to see. He knows you can't dictate others lives and control their desires. And it seems that he and Zoe were already separated after the war, and he lived through it, as some fans like to believe that he never would. And of course the two crew members that don't need or want the money (Book and Inara) are the ones who end up leaving, and we know how Mal reacts to that.

Plus, where would that leave the potential for other storylines, are we to always believe that anytime they hit it big Mal would sell them out, because he is to insecure to let others move on with their lives? Viewers would anticipate the outcome before the heists are in the planning stage.

To some degree I agree with you that Mal is uncomfortable with that amount of money and what it means for his little band of misfits so he takes the opportunity to get rid of Sanda by sending him into early retirement and unload the money at the same time. Now the plan may backfire and the original crew that hid the money may come for it and Sanda gets left in the dust, but that would be out of Mal's control and Sanda would still need to honor his side of the agreement, which is to let Mal and Zoe walk and leave Inara the frack alone. Mal's intentions would be still considered honorable as he is protecting the crew and his implied sweetie.

And at the ending, Inara wants to believe in the very best of Mal’s intentions just as he wants to be her hero, so I wouldn’t put much stock in her view point as being anything close to what really happened, and as long as she believes Mal to have done right he isn’t going to say anything to contradict it.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 8:34 PM

GWEK


Quote:

A possible scenario, Gwek, but to a viewer that would create dramatic inconsistencies with Mal's character. Mal is a big boy and not naive enough to believe or expect that he is to be a part of his crew's fantasy life. And we know he certainly doesn't want to be included in Jayne's. I can't see him staging a theft based on the possibility that Zoe and Wash leave Serenity to start a family that he's not a part of as Captain Uncle Mal.


Yet that is essentially what he does (not literally just because of Wash and Zoe, but because of the whole "dream" falling apart).

Quote:

Sorry, that's getting a little freaking weird and a side of a character that I would never want to see.


Then I strongly recommend squinting your eyes really hard when reading issue 3 of BETTER DAYS, because I don't think there's much question as to why of Mal's actions, just the how of them. :)

Quote:

Plus, where would that leave the potential for other storylines, are we to always believe that anytime they hit it big Mal would sell them out, because he is to insecure to let others move on with their lives? Viewers would anticipate the outcome before the heists are in the planning stage.


That is an interesting, and possibly moot, question.

With FIREFLY no longer on the air, I think it's quite likely that we would have seen some form of the themes seen in BETTER DAYS, but it might not have been this particular variation.

Consider that a regular TV series produces approximately 22 episodes a year. One 3 issue miniseries (in the hands of Joss, anyway) is roughly equivalent to a single episode, so if Joss were producing monthly (and he's far from that), we'd be getting 4 episodes a year, which means that a single season would take 5.5 years for a single season.

Since Joss has stated that he had a 7-year plan for FIREFLY, I suspect that what we're getting from the comics are highlights of what he had in mind for the entire run. So, for example, it's possible that the idea of the crew hitting it rich might not have come up until, say, Season Five.

Quote:

And at the ending, Inara wants to believe in the very best of Mal’s intentions just as he wants to be her hero, so I wouldn’t put much stock in her view point as being anything close to what really happened, and as long as she believes Mal to have done right he isn’t going to say anything to contradict it.


I respectfully--yet completely--disagree.

Mal NEVER accepts the mantle of anything near to "hero" unless he's more than earned it. That's Jayne's department ("the hero of Canton"). Indeed, Mal often downplays his nature, and is often brutally honest with Inara. On the rare occassions that he does mislead her, it has to do with their feelings for one another, and nothing larger than that.

Thematically, much of BETTER DAYS is about fantasy and dreams, and while not all of them are honest, Mal is the ONLY one who's dreams we don't see (well, technically, Zoe, too, but she seems to agree with Wash's). Why don't we see Mal's fantasy? Because, as Inara says, "You're doing it. You get by and the crew stays together. You ger rich... then everything does change." And Mal's response: "This is where I am, Inara. Ain't a place of wishes."

This, really, is the final statement of the episode, and unless Joss and Brett have suddenly become unreliable narrators (like the crew over at LOST), then we have to accept what Mal and Inara are saying at face value because it works thematically and contextually.

As uncomfortable as it may make us about the motives of our captain, it's pretty plain to see, and I don't see much solid support for any legitimate alternative.


www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Monday, May 19, 2008 9:04 PM

PLATONIST




SPOILERS!

SPOILERS!

SPOILERS!

Alright, most definitely agree that Mal had something to do with the stolen money. At this point I'm fairly certain. Inara calls him on it and he is unwilling to deny it. They both read each other dead on in that last scene. And, Mal doesn't beat around the bush in regards to Simon being in her shuttle. He goes from angry and jealous to realization and hidden concern in 3 frames flat. They swap secrets without giving too much away.

The when, how and by who of the robbery are purposely left ambiguous, but the intent on Mal's part is to keep his crew together, without the complications of the money. And even that seems to be fuzzy and possibly layered.

I wonder if he kept some for a rainy day.

And what is up with Simon and what does he know about Inara and when will Mal beat it out of him? Stay tune. I wish we had a whole season.





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