FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Mal knew.. right?

POSTED BY: SHINYLETSBEBADGUYS
UPDATED: Thursday, December 21, 2006 14:11
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:10 PM

SHINYLETSBEBADGUYS


Howdy ya'll, got another question for ya;

In Our Mrs. Reynolds when Mal confronted Inara at the end of the episode, he knew that Inara had kissed him not Saffron right?

A friend of mine and I are convinced that he did, that he was just doing his thing by messing with Inara, but I have to make sure. How do I do this? Ask Joss, well maybe at a later date, but I'm more than satisfied seeing what ya'll think about it.

So: Mal knew Inara kissed him, not Saffron
or
Mal was just doing some wishfull thinking, and being dense

"None of it means a damn thing"

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:13 PM

THEREALME


I am convinced that at that time (before Heart of Gold) Mal loved Inara but would not consider the possibility that she loved him. I think that he really was being dense, that he did NOT know.

It plays funnier that way, too.


TheRealMe, Captain of the Sereni-Tree

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:49 PM

NEWOLDBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by ShinyLetsBeBadGuys:
Howdy ya'll, got another question for ya;

In Our Mrs. Reynolds when Mal confronted Inara at the end of the episode, he knew that Inara had kissed him not Saffron right?




I don't think so. Mal is *S*O* clueless with women, as are all the other men except Wash, that he has no idea how Inara feels about him. He's living out the "hot Lesbian chicks" fantasy...

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 9:48 PM

USMCHELLRAISER


Or, maybe being afraid isn't the same as not knowing. He didn't have to ask, she answered the question as soon as he began asking it. He also cares enough about her but was totally not ready to open himself or pursue a relationship with her at that time, so he wouldn't have to "in-your-face" it, he probably just wanted to know for sure.

"...There is a fine line between giving a woman what she's asking for and giving her what she wants without her having to ask..."

Or, he blew it. But Mal has never been stupiid in the show, his moral compass just guides him to make decisions that simpler and more polar people on the show couldn't understand.

"...let's not ruin an otherwise pleasant day with unnecessary bloodshed..."

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 10:37 PM

VERSEEXPLORER


I say DENSE, Although that does sound sooo negative. This relationship was to last over several seasons that's why they bicker so much. In real life you might know someone that is attractive that you never agree with, and having a relationship with that person is the last thing that you think will happen.

He thinks she's attractive, and he might have fantasies about her. He just doesn't know how much she cares for him. He knows something isn't right, but when he figures it out, he come up with the wrong conclusion - Inara kissed Saffron.

And as someone else mentioned. It plays funnier that way.

Just my opinion.




_______________________________
Mal: Saffron, you're pleasing, you're all kinds of pleasing, and uhh...it's been awhile, a long damn while, since anybody but me took a hold of my plow.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:15 AM

JOSSISAGOD


In my opinion, Mal was knocked the out when 'Nara kissed him, that and the fact that he's pretty dense, lead me to believe that Mal DIDN'T know that Inara kissed him.

Fe'nos Tol
JOSSIS(Most Definitely)AGOD

Self appointed Forsaken! Been on the list for a while now!
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Thursday, September 28, 2006 1:44 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


I concur with my peers; Mal did not know that Inara kissed him.

As stated above, Mal has feelings for Inara, he may very well love her, but he thinks she does not care about him. He is so unwitting in matters of male/female relationships that he did not even consider for a moment that she had kissed him and not Saffron.

__________________________________________
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"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 2:16 AM

KATESFRIEND


I think Mal knew and was just messing with Inara about her potential feelings for him - testing the waters, so to speak. Mal was not portrayed as that dense in the series. He figured out Jayne's betrayal fast enough in Ariel. He masterminded the Alliance/Reaver destruction in the BDM. But most importantly, as Joss likes to link incidents together between episodes to tell a bigger story, there's a very telling scene in Out of Gas. When Inara tells Jayne that Companions don't kiss and tell, Mal's response is to say "So there is kissing?" and then give her that smile that says SO much more. I don't think I'm reading too much into it. I think Joss did it on purpose for that reason. Mal knew, he just didn't know what to do with the information yet. So he played with her mind.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:42 AM

MAL4PREZ


I have always believed that he DIDN'T know, but I think his joy wasn't the hot f/f action thing. He was mostly just pleased to not be the only one taken in by Saffron's acting.

Dense, certainly. But embarrassed at all the crap he was taking over kissing Saffron was the big thing. IMHO.

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 4:12 AM

THEREALME


In my opinon, if Mal DID know that Inara kissed him, then he would not mention anything to Inara.


TheRealMe, Captain of the Sereni-Tree

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 4:45 AM

ZEEK


I don't think he knew at all. I don't think that's how it would have played out at all if he knew. Joss was more messing with us. We all think "omg he knows now!" and then blammo we're hit with the truth. He's just a dope. It was a great end to an already hilarious episode.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 5:03 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Katesfriend:
I think Mal knew and was just messing with Inara about her potential feelings for him - testing the waters, so to speak. Mal was not portrayed as that dense in the series. He figured out Jayne's betrayal fast enough in Ariel. He masterminded the Alliance/Reaver destruction in the BDM. But most importantly, as Joss likes to link incidents together between episodes to tell a bigger story, there's a very telling scene in Out of Gas. When Inara tells Jayne that Companions don't kiss and tell, Mal's response is to say "So there is kissing?" and then give her that smile that says SO much more. I don't think I'm reading too much into it. I think Joss did it on purpose for that reason. Mal knew, he just didn't know what to do with the information yet. So he played with her mind.



But Mal's knowing would completely contradict "Heart of Gold" where Mal sleeps with Nandi because he does NOT know that Inara has feelings for him.

Not to mention, the feelings between Mal and Inara are something that both take pretty seriously. So seriously, that they act like complete drannits about it. If Mal had such a solid confirmation of her feelings, such an unexpected and real angle, I doubt he would waste it on purpose, just to mess with her.

Look at how hurt he is when Inara talks about their "strictly business-like relationship", and at their tentative reconciliation at the end of "Shindig". This thing between them is important to him and personal. Look at the fluster when he asks her not to stay with Atherton.

I just can't see Mal blowing the first and only actual chance in that way.




In other words, plant me firmly in the "He did NOT know" camp.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 5:50 AM

SHINYLETSBEBADGUYS


Well ya'll, so far it looks like including myself 4 people think Mal knew and 8 people think he didnt know. Everyone's theories make a lot of sense, and though we'll never know for sure I think its better this way.

Whether you firmly believe he knows or didnt know, I think everyone can agree that it is ambiguous. And looking at the rest of the series, I think ambiguity looks like the most likely answer.

When that scene was written it was probably not mal DEFINITELY knew or definitely DID NOT know, but more like did she know that he knew or did he knowingly not know she was knowing him being not in the know...know..knew. You know?

Hahaha regardless, I think if Joss' goal was for people to linger on that scene and keep them wondering then he has difinitely succeeded.

Keep posting though! Everyone's got their favorite relationships, Mal/Inara is obivously mine one because of the ambiguity and two because who hasnt been there?

"None of it means a damn thing"

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:55 AM

BROWNCOATJIM


Mal wasn't being dense so much as he was being a GUY, which, I will freely grant you could be construed as one in the same.

I think he was really just entertaining himself with the idea of Inara in a little bit of PGGA (Provocative Girl-Girl Action), an idea that most men would find endlessly fascinating (i.e., I'll be in my bunk).





WE'RE GONNA CRASH? I DON'T WANNA CRASH!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 2:35 PM

DONCOAT


What browncoatjim said. Mal was indulging his fantasies. At this point (and, I think, right up until Heart of Gold) he was clueless about Inara's feelings for him.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 2:42 PM

BROWNCOATJIM


I think he really believed that Inara really couldn't gorram stand him, and it was fun for him to needle her because of what he perceived to be his unreturned affections.

WE'RE GONNA CRASH? I DON'T WANNA CRASH!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:38 PM

MIRACULOUSBUMM


Well, I think he didn't know Inara kissed him in Our Mrs, Reynolds, cuz, as said before, he doesn't think Inara cares about him. But...
I think he knows Inara has feelings for him by the end of Heart of Gold. Can we agree on that point? I'm pretty sure he figured that out after Nandi said to him, "You didn't tell the whole truth about Inara's feelings for you yesterday." (probably not verbatim there.)

--------------------------------------------------



Always havin' a good time!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:46 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Quote:

Originally posted by ShinyLetsBeBadGuys:
Howdy ya'll, got another question for ya;

In Our Mrs. Reynolds when Mal confronted Inara at the end of the episode, he knew that Inara had kissed him not Saffron right?

A friend of mine and I are convinced that he did, that he was just doing his thing by messing with Inara, but I have to make sure. How do I do this? Ask Joss, well maybe at a later date, but I'm more than satisfied seeing what ya'll think about it.

So: Mal knew Inara kissed him, not Saffron
or
Mal was just doing some wishfull thinking, and being dense

"None of it means a damn thing"



Personally? I would go down a middle path. "Shindig" has already happened. So he and Inara have had some...interesting moments concerning what they feel about each other. My argument is that Mal does think Inara ain't raring to get him into bed...but he's not completely sure. He's dense...but not in the way everyone on the No sides has him being. To me, Mal's thinking along the lines of "Inara thinks I'm a petty thief and an ass...doesn't she?"

Basically, I wanna put forth the theory that he's dense to a point. He ain't missing the signals...just misreading them. Cuz trust me when I say that's mucho easy to do;)

So...Mal's more waffly than he seems. "Our Mrs. Reynolds" happens and suddenly he finds out Inara was found unconscious in his bunk. Presumably, Jayne or Simon gives him the heads-up on how she knocked him out before he learns about Inara's situation. We have zero clue if Inara has ever visited Mal's bunk before, but ya gotta assume Inara's has some serious training when it comes to poise and balance. Which leaves Mal with an interesting question: since it seems rather difficult to believe Inara would slip and fall, how did she end up unconscious?

Now...most people here think Mal would simply decide Saffron seduced Inara and they kissed, ending with Inara unconscious. But I would propose that Mal would come to wonder how she ended up in his bunk if Saffron got to her. Saffron's not the biggest woman around and I doubt Inara's light as River is. With this line of consideration, Mal has to start thinking on scenarios where Inara gets into Mal's bunk just after Saffron smooched him and he passed out. But he's gotta dismiss that rather quickly, cuz as much as he thinks Inara dislikes him, she would try and alert the crew to his condition...and Inara would certainly not be in the right frame of mind to get seduced.

Mal's now at a rather difficult mental juncture about deciding on what he thinks happened. He's basically stuck with either Inara getting traces of the GK-laced lipstick on her via physical contact with him or her having a klutzy moment as soon as she sees his unconscious body in his bunk. Either way, the scenario has Inara having a certain type of emotional reaction to seeing him laid out by Saffron...one that would ask him to believe Inara cares more than she lets on.

He ain't sure, so he sets up a moment where he can see if Inara will react in a certain way when he asks about how she ended up knocked out. Only problem is that he's dense and interprets her response as embarrasment to getting suckered somehow (cuz that is a lot easier to deal with than knowing Inara's got a jones for him and is emotionally paralyzed by her fears).

So yeah...basically I wanna argue that Mal was a lot more aware than people give him credit for. He doesn't know for certain, but I think by "Our Mrs. Reynolds," he's starting to wonder if something's going on with Inara. She's been on the boat for about a year by then (or close to) and you would assume she would have packed up long ago if she was truly affected by how Mal handled things. But she's still there, she's inserted herself into situations to protect the crew when she could have simply charmed any law enforcement and gotten out of her rental contract...and she possibly had an emotional reaction that led to her getting knocked out;)

BEB

Literature has shown us some of humanity's greatest achievements; history, some of our greatest failures -- Alun Lewis

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 5:04 PM

RIVER6213


I don\'t think Mal really knew at all.

-River

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Thursday, September 28, 2006 7:35 PM

AGENTROUKA


BlueEyedBrigadier--

your theory does make a certain amount of sense,
except for the factthat an "emotional reaction" would still not imply a romantic attraction or even a sexual one.

He already knows from "Shindig" that Inara cares enough about him not to want to see him dead (and judging her character, it can be easily inferred she'd probably not want to see JAYNE dead, either, and seeing him passed out like he was, it could cause an emotional reaction for anyone with some sensitivity.

Incidentally, it's Mal who does most of the revealing in "Shindig", while Inara runs out on him in the middle of it. (hello, "Heart of Gold" mirror!)

Pretty much all the revealing Inara does on the show is outside of Mal's presence and her interactions with him tend to leave room for the "Just friends, decent person, general human affection" sort of justification. He even knows she has an inklling of his feelings for her (See the tense scene in the pilot episode), but for him? Much foggier.

So it's not that easy for him to assume or even suspect anything as silly and foolish as her kissing him out of sheer relief, or if so, not to react more emotionally to that himself.

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Friday, September 29, 2006 5:46 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
So it's not that easy for him to assume or even suspect anything as silly and foolish as her kissing him out of sheer relief, or if so, not to react more emotionally to that himself.



Of course not! Then it wouldn't be Mal, now would it;)

Basically, I was trying to lay out the fact that Mal doesn't think Inara has the hots for him by the time of "Our Mrs. Reynolds." But I wanna argue he isn't 100% sure. Things are starting to coalesce (sp?) and he's starting to wonder.

I like to think he's holding back on his reactions cuz he's: 1) emotionally paralyzed from losing so many people he cared about during the War, so even if he believed there's something mutually vibe-like between himself and Inara, he ain't gonna act on it less he's got some proof he ain't gonna get metaphorically shot like a crippled dog; and 2) she's a woman trained to interact with a wide variety of people, so he's not inclined to be seemingly playing into her wiles.

BEB

Literature has shown us some of humanity's greatest achievements; history, some of our greatest failures -- Alun Lewis

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Friday, September 29, 2006 11:14 AM

PRIVATEDECLAN


Mal didn't know; that scene was just for suspense and a comedic way to end an episode.

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Saturday, September 30, 2006 11:24 PM

VERSEEXPLORER


Quote:

Originally posted by browncoatjim:
Mal wasn't being dense so much as he was being a GUY, which, I will freely grant you could be construed as one in the same.



LOL So true. Even a smart clever guy like Mal is not always quick to pick up subtle hints from a woman. He gets the strong approaches of Saffron and Nandi, but being a guy he's just a little dense in reading how Inara feels about him.


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Saturday, September 30, 2006 11:39 PM

ELOISA


I think he didn't know, for one reason or another, largely referencing forwards to HoG. My sister and her boyfriend are both absolutely convinced that he did know Inara'd kissed him. We don't talk about it to avoid the shouting.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006 10:43 PM

BROWNCOATSAWAY


i think once a show starts putting characters as love interest it's starts getting dull. for example the x-files would of been a very different show if scully and mulder had hooked up. i really found wash and zoe relationship weird. i like that suspense of are they ever going to get together. it would be kind of shiny if mal and zoe hooked up. not that would happen but sort of interesting.

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Friday, October 20, 2006 1:26 AM

FLATTOP


Quote:

Originally posted by BEB
I like to think he's holding back on his reactions cuz he's: 1) emotionally paralyzed from losing so many people he cared about during the War, so even if he believed there's something mutually vibe-like between himself and Inara, he ain't gonna act on it less he's got some proof he ain't gonna get metaphorically shot like a crippled dog; and 2) she's a woman trained to interact with a wide variety of people, so he's not inclined to be seemingly playing into her wiles.



I like it.

I think Mal suspected (and enjoyed the thought, and rejected it because he didn't want to play into his own "lonely pathetic dreams"/Inara's wiles), and replaced it with an alternate fantasy that didn't emotionally involve him/gave him the chance to laugh rather than be laughed at.

----------
Do you know what your sin is Captain?
Aww hell, I'm a big fan of all seven.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:10 AM

TERRI


Do you know what? I don't think he did know. I mean, so, let's say that Mal felt a certain way for Inara, I don't believe he had any idea what she felt for him, any more than she knew what he felt for her. Is Mal that clueless? Not generally. But on the subject of women (especially Inara) he's always shown himself to be a little less than understanding. The only woman he really seems to "get" is Zoe, and only because she's just like him.


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Monday, November 20, 2006 12:12 AM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:

I have always believed that he DIDN'T know, but I think his joy wasn't the hot f/f action thing. He was mostly just pleased to not be the only one taken in by Saffron's acting.

Dense, certainly. But embarrassed at all the crap he was taking over kissing Saffron was the big thing. IMHO.




I don't disagree on any particular point. Mal was eager to find another dupe to have fallen for Saffron's play.







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

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Monday, November 20, 2006 11:06 AM

MANTRA101


When I first saw that ep. I thought when he was talking to her at the end that he did know the truth and he was just messing with her. Some people are scared to move to the next step and just like to keep things the way they are.



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Monday, November 20, 2006 11:23 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by USMCHellraiser:
Mal has never been stupiid in the show,

Yes he has. Frequently. Reliably. As Zoe cheerfully points out at every opportunity.

So, no. He didn't know.

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

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Monday, November 20, 2006 11:44 AM

USMCHELLRAISER


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
Quote:

Originally posted by USMCHellraiser:
Mal has never been stupiid in the show,

Yes he has. Frequently. Reliably. As Zoe cheerfully points out at every opportunity.

So, no. He didn't know.

-----

Out of curiuosity- are there five times when he was stupid in the show? I ask five since you said "frequently".

falling for the Saffron scheme in their first encounter was more a symptom of being too compassionate than anything. Almost any man who's not gay would have fallen for the same thing, and if the situation had been reversed, a lot of women would have (and do every day, sadly) too.

I need to go back and watch the show some more, it's been a month or so.

"...let's not ruin an otherwise pleasant day with unnecessary bloodshed..."

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Sunday, November 26, 2006 8:18 AM

EMBERS


oh you can always excuse all Mal's mistakes as being human,
but he does frequently make mistakes and jumps to the wrong conclusion.


He should never have taken a job w/Niska (which ended badly)
He should have known better than to punch out Atherton Wing at the party (although that ended fine! LOL)
He should listen to Zoe, and others more rather than fly off the handle so quickly....
He comes up with crazy plans (as Zoe told Kaylee "you may not be recalling his other plans", in other words: they usually go wrong)

I'm not saying he is stupid, not by any means, but he is impulsive which often leads him wrong.

Of course this question is different, it isn't that kind of mistake. This is the kind of mistake where it is easy for Mal to believe that Inara ALSO fell for Saffron's wiles, than that Inara was upset about him and kissed him (I don't believe for a second that that possibility ever crossed his mind).
I don't think it seriously occured to him that Inara was attracted to him until 'Heart of Gold'

JMPO of course


visit: http://weekinwhedon.org/wiw/

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Sunday, November 26, 2006 9:56 AM

FAQA


He's a MAN.

No red-blooded man will EVER discount the possibility of a woman that hot engaging in lesbian activities......

Seriously, he wasn't thinking on that level. He just thought he'd caught her in a lie, happy to see the sanctimous Companion brought low.

Remember, both are moronically oblivious to each other's feelings at this point.

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Thursday, December 7, 2006 5:04 PM

SIXGUN


Mal is not dense. He's in the wrong line of work to be dense. He's actually quite crafty. I believe he simply jumped to the wrong conclusion from the evidence, the conclusion he *wanted* to have happened. However Mal feel's about Inara herself, we all know he doesn't approve of her occupation, part of which involves manipulating men (using her wiles). It was much more satisfying to him to believe she fell for Saffron's little act, in other words, she got a taste of her own medicine. Mal's response was one of smugness.

I'm not sure I understand the original poster's assertion that he thought Inara kissed him instead of Saffron. He knew good and well Saffron did and knew that's what knocked him out. I think Mal knows Inara has some feelings for him and vice versa. It's just one of those deals of they're from different worlds, he's a petty thief, she's respectable, it'll never work things getting in the way. They acknowledge their feelings but don't intend to act on them. It never occurred to him she would kiss him lying unconcious on the floor. That's too overt a show of affection toward him on her part.



Well, as a rule I say girl folk ain't to be trusted.

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Thursday, December 7, 2006 6:20 PM

JVP


Don't think he knew, no.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:15 AM

CHARLENE


No way he knew! I am sure he was being dense!

I was so furious with him!

In fact Our Mrs. Reynolds was the first Firefly episode I've seen and I was *so* amazed about the chemistry between the cast! Boy, I miss the show.

(no, thats not a tear in my eye, well okay, it is, but I just don't understand how anyone could cancel this show, that's so cruel)



--------------------------------------------------

I am 94% Like River Tam

The Fugitive. You are clever and dangerous, which is a nasty combination.
The fact you are crazy too just adds to your charm.
They did bad things to you, but you know their secrets.
They will regret how they made you.

--------------------------------------------------

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Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:30 AM

PIRATECAT


I agree with Charlene. Mal and Inara are so unlikely to get together. He's a reb and She's a yankee. His home planet shadow destroyed by the alliance [role playing book]. Fights on the Independent side. Tries to start a new life brings a companion on board for buisness. Then she is openly proalliance not good. So then Mal picks at her then on. But Inara's grace wins Mal over. He realise she ain't that bad.


"Battle of Serenity, Mal. Besides Zoe here, how many-" "I'm talkin at you! How many men in your platoon came out of their alive".

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Thursday, December 21, 2006 2:11 PM

BAGHEERA


Quote:

Originally posted by embers:
oh you can always excuse all Mal's mistakes as being human,
but he does frequently make mistakes and jumps to the wrong conclusion.


He should never have taken a job w/Niska (which ended badly)
He should have known better than to punch out Atherton Wing at the party (although that ended fine! LOL)
He should listen to Zoe, and others more rather than fly off the handle so quickly....
He comes up with crazy plans (as Zoe told Kaylee "you may not be recalling his other plans", in other words: they usually go wrong)

I'm not saying he is stupid, not by any means, but he is impulsive which often leads him wrong.



I wouldn't rightly say any of those examples prove he makes "mistakes". The job with Niska being a prime example... Mal was smart enough to know the job reeked, and smart enough to know that he didnt want to know what he was acquiring... but when that knowledge made itself known to him, he was forced to behave righteously.

Things can go wrong even though no mistake is made, and the smart man will succeed where an average man will flounder.... leaf on the wind, anyone ?

so in response to the original question...

A) Did Mal know Inara had feelings for him ?

Definately. (you can interpret scenes differently though... for my part, I'm keen to think that in Objects in Space, Inara thinking "I'm a big girl, just tell me" and "None of it means a damn thing" or whatever the quotes her... were referring to her wanting him to confess his love to her... and his fear that love dont mean squat... it certainly didnt do him or the browncoats any good during the war, now did it ?) (and in regards to the rebel vs. yankee thing... i'm not entirely sure Inara did support the alliance... I think she may have picked up on Mal's obvious browncoat leanings, and played devil's advocate just to see how he would respond... as she's said... she's drawn to his mystery, and certainly has no qualms about lying or starting a fight with him to try and get him to be straight with her).

B) Was Mal smart enough to discern that Inara kissed him and not Saffron ?

Yes. (Jayne's defection being a prime example of this)

C) Did Mal actually know Inara kissed him ?

Probably not. Mal's greatest strength is his ability to instill love and emotion in himself and those around him, but its also his failing. He showed quite blatantly how easy he can fall to a companion's guile by Saffron. (granted, Inara does say Saffron IS a talented liar and all)

Mal WAS smart enough to see that Inara's story didnt hold water (in fact, if he DIDNT see that, he'd have to be stupid, since every effort was made to show her drugged state afterward).

I'm of the mind that the image of Saffron's naked body was still fresh in his mind, and that picturing Inara's lips on her let his hormones blind him to the thought... (much as Inara was blinded to the possibility of poison in her grief for Mal).

D) the big question... Would Mal have figured out Inara kissed him later ?

Yes. Its quite likely he even figured it out before the series was cancelled as well, but he was still working through his postwar difficulties.

(cant remember the name of the tophat guy in the pilot and shindig) but he essentially says that while Mal may captain his own ship now, he still thinks he's a sergeant back in the war. (in fact there's a few references to Mal being stuck in the war mindset by other characters.

What does this mean ?

Well, i think it means that Mal prefers to lead by the general consensus of the crew and not to "command" them directly, as a captain would be able to. In fact, the few times Mal actually gives an order, is when failing to do so would bring harm to the people he cares about, or violate his own morals, etc...

As much as Mal claims the ship isnt a democracy, and noone else has a say, and he's the captain and all, I dont believe he actually got over his fear of BEING the captain until the 'big scene' in the movie.

What's this all got to do with Inara ?

well... I think he knows the general score with the both of them... but he's not comfortable 'being the captain, the man, and taking charge' in the relationship... and she's waiting for him to tell her he loves her, cant live without her, and sweep her off her feet...

he loves her, he knows she loves him... but at the end of the series he still feels that regardless of their feelings he will do what he will do, she will do what she will do, and none of it matters to the world.

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