FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Inara?

POSTED BY: XELROHIRX
UPDATED: Friday, March 16, 2007 00:31
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Friday, March 2, 2007 5:40 PM

XELROHIRX


I always wondered, was there something wrong with Inara? I kept wondering, during the episode "Ariel" when Simon gave the group the job to infiltrate St. Lucy's Inara went to the yearly insemination for companions. She never said she was fine she said, "same as last year". She suddenly left her companioning homeworld even with promise of promotion at the Academy... I always wondered, is there something wrong with her? Did she run for some reason. There were plenty of other episodes that gave some mention of Inara's not perfect health or at least state of being. She went with the Captain to "expand" her client-base, which most know is bullcrap. I've watched the show every day (at least one episode) they're still hilarious and I still question Inara and her strange secretive nature. Her love for the Captain, and yet there is something holding her back, what does she have to lose? I just wondered if perhaps Joss was planning on a sickness or maybe an illness she hasn't spoke of but had planned to spring on the audience at a later date. Any other feelings on this?

wow... just... wow...

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Friday, March 2, 2007 5:57 PM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Well, the only thing that's I think we may or may not have come to agree on is that Inara ran from Sihnon for some reason we can only speculate unless Joss plans on dying anytime soon (he said he'd write all the secrets of Firefly out before he died). I don't think he had anything illness-related, although... she may have some psychological trauma she's covering up?

As far as Mal/Inara - it has something to do with Mal's distaste for her profession, and perhaps her hesitancy to be tied down, or be unable to control herself when in love (my opinions only).


Rules and voting: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=22892

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Friday, March 2, 2007 6:40 PM

XELROHIRX


Inara never gives to much away. I seem to think it's illness related, I know she's covering up something, she has to be with as much secrecy as her job requires for "discrete" encounters. I seem to think it can't be to bad of an illness otherwise the Guild wouldn't let her conduct herself with clients. I seem to think it's something she can't control or maybe you're right and it's something psychological. Perhaps that's why she has such an awful time with Mal, perhaps that's why she won't admit to him that she's completely in love.

To argue the point a little, I think Mal doesn't hate her profession, I think he pities her. I think he feels sad for a women that has to be with multiple men to find a layer of happiness or at least some kind of stability or independence. Well I don't want Joss to die, gosh that would be horrific... I just want to find out some of these answers... I've been bugging the crap out of Fox.com forums to get them to allow Joss a second attempt at Firefly. That would be amazing... *sigh*

Hmm... Well done young one!

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Friday, March 2, 2007 6:59 PM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Don't bother with F*X - Joss wouldn't work with them again even if they came to him on hands and knees. I don't have a link, but I'm positive he's said so somewhere (Whedonesque, maybe?).

Anyway, to argue the point back - I don't think Mal pities her, because I don't think that the multiple men are necessary for Inara to find happiness. The part that I feel draws Inara to being a Companion is the therepeutic nature of it - sort of a psychologist with sex, if you will. She helps people by relieving their stress, and I don't think sex is essential for that to happen (it sounds odd, but I'm sure there wouldn't be a problem if a client just wanted tea and a massage).

And while I agree that being a Companion gives Inara a certain level of independence (both financially, and in her comfort zone, so to speak), I don't think Mal bears any pity towards her for that, either. He said it's the act of being in love with someone that turns him off to her job, but that doesn't affect his opinion of her except in that he's uncomfortable with the fact that she's okay with the pretentiousness. He would have a much higher opinion of it if it was treated more like "fk buddy for the day." It's the lie about something so huge and special.

Well, I don't want Joss to die either (unless he's old, or has a terminal illness) - I was kidding (well, mostly kidding, anyway).


Rules and voting: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=22892

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Friday, March 2, 2007 7:03 PM

STINKINGROSE


I think you mean "examination".
Insemination she presumably gets plenty of on a regular basis.
Ahem.

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Saturday, March 3, 2007 1:53 AM

XELROHIRX


I double checked on "insemination" is the word used in that episode actually. I tend to agree with you, maybe it was a word slip? :0) Anyway it seems we are both correct

Hmm... Well done young one!

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Saturday, March 3, 2007 11:36 AM

FASTMOVER


Quote:

Originally posted by xElrohiRx:
I double checked on "insemination" is the word used in that episode actually. I tend to agree with you, maybe it was a word slip? :0) Anyway it seems we are both correct

Hmm... Well done young one!



I think it must have been a word slip too. Otherwise it would mean that she would be going to get impregnated again, and that doesn't seem to make sense...

I am evil, I am sly, and if you get eaten no one will cry.

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Saturday, March 3, 2007 5:54 PM

ORANGEHAT


I doubt that anything physical was wrong with Inara I have a feeling there was a eureka moment in her life where she realized everything she was was a fake, a dress up act, perhaps she felt like she was choking, that everything she knew was a horrible lie but instead of crawling away to die (Robert Service reference anyone?) she left everything that trapped her in her body and ramified her mind to a place where she could have nothing but the bleak black 'warmth' of space. There is so much comfort in nothing. * Simply put I think she needed to get away from everything she was without leaving everything she knew.*

Not only would the complications of her profession get in the way of a 'love affair' with Mal, him having too much pride to share, she doesn't know what love is she probably deems it as a physical attration, something shes very much used to and her feelings probably scare the crap out of her!

That nerdy hat

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Saturday, March 3, 2007 11:16 PM

XELROHIRX


Touche sir... Touche.

I believe you are correct in this, although I still have a gut feeling... something is wrong with Inara. Although you do make a lot of sense.

Tooshie or Touche? ^-^

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Saturday, March 3, 2007 11:34 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Quote:

Originally posted by xElrohiRx:
I double checked on "insemination" is the word used in that episode actually. I tend to agree with you, maybe it was a word slip? :0) Anyway it seems we are both correct

Hmm... Well done young one!



Hmm...not trying to jump to conclusions here, but maybe the slip is a translation goof? Cuz I am pretty damn sure in my copy of the boxset, Inara refers to her yearly medical appointment as a Guild-mandated "examination" to ensure she can have her licence renewed officially. Not that I am saying you're not a native English speaker or live somewhere in the world where English ain't the official language. Just seems like something a slip in dubbing or subtitling would cause


' border='0' alt='Sweet Charity' />


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Sunday, March 4, 2007 12:00 AM

XELROHIRX


I'm a native speaker of English, lmao. BTW, I was referring to later in the episode when she comes back from the examination. Reguardless it's not a big deal... O.o

hmmph!!

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Sunday, March 4, 2007 8:07 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


My sincerest and humblest apologies then...never meant to cause offence, just offer possibilites

And it must be quite the slip when nobody on-set caught originally, the network and TV censors missed it and this is the first time I have heard the idea mentioned


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Come bid on my delectable derriere at the Sweet Charity auction! Buy me for a good cause;D

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Sunday, March 4, 2007 10:28 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by xElrohiRx:
I'm a native speaker of English, lmao. BTW, I was referring to later in the episode when she comes back from the examination. Reguardless it's not a big deal... O.o

hmmph!!




I've been trying to find it, but... where exactly does it say "insemination"? Don't they just talk about cold exam tables and needles when she comes back?

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Monday, March 5, 2007 12:23 PM

DONCOAT


Has anybody tried turning on the subtitles? Of course we all know how comically wrong they can be, but it would give an independent "ear" on the issue.

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

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Monday, March 5, 2007 12:52 PM

ZEEK


First off "insemination" is no where to be found in the shooting script. No one even says the word examination either apparently. So, I don't know where any of that is coming from.


Anyway I think we see 3 times that Inara is aloof about examinations. First when she doesn't want Simon to examine her after she kissed Mal in Our Mrs. Reynolds. Then in Ariel she sort of dodges the subject of her exam. Then (and this one's a stretch) in Out of Gas when Mal tries to look at her bloody lip she catches him before he can touch her.

Some sort of blood disorder maybe? Could it be contagious? Seems like a bad thing to have if you're bumping uglies a lot.

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Monday, March 5, 2007 1:23 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Personally, I like to think Inara, like every active Guild member, is a Typhoid Mary. Like she's a carrier for a tailor-made virus that attacks without mercy, but she's immune. Might explain the scene in the pilot when she is contemplating the vial. Cure or a concentrated dose? And before someone asks why would Companions be made into Typhoid Marys, I would argue it's the height of poetic justice to have people who live by "the sword" die by it. Probably an antidote in the tea Companions serve to clients`

And to cover Zeek's points, I think someone could logically argue reasons for Inara's reticence about being examined each time:

1) Simon's request to examine her after smooching Mal in Our Mrs. Reynolds? Uh...she doesn't want it know she smooched Mal cuz there would be traces of the Goodnight Kiss drug on her lips?

2) Inara's reticence to talk about her yearly medical appointment in Ariel? Uh...let's see...Guild-required confidentiality, none of their fucking business, some less-than-happy diagnosis she doesn't wanna share (i.e. cancer, Parkinson's, etc.)

3) Inara flinching at Mal's touch of her busted lip Objects in Space? Uh...it hurts! And she probably came close to being raped by a crazy bounty hunter, so I don't think intimate touch from someone like Mal (someone she actually wants touching her) would be on the top of her list of things to do right then


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Come bid on my delectable derriere at the Sweet Charity auction! Buy me for a good cause;D

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Monday, March 5, 2007 1:57 PM

KAYLEELOVE


Because this is long winded, I'll put my conclusion first and if you want to read my explaination, go ahead

It's possible that Inara's parents were planning for her to be the companion of one man, that is marry her to a rich man (like an arranged marriage common in Indian culture) Companion training must be really expensive, the to-be-husband could have paid for it all if Inara's family couldn't just because he really wanted a quality wife. Maybe when Inara came of age, she didn't love him or he was really old and she chose to run away. She probably would have been disowned

reasoning coming up to this:
I think the reason she dodges examination in Mrs. Reynolds is because she doesn't want anyone to know that she kissed the captain and when the captain sees her bloodly lip, she could have just been uncomfortable having the captain so close to her with all the drama

I wonder about Inara's family. Did her family approve of her choice as a companion? There was another thread recently about Inara's ethnic background being Middle Eastern or Indian. I really think that she's Indian because of the buddah in her room and her clothes are more Indian style. Anyway, if you go into Indian tradition, people only fall in love once; widows were looked down upon if they remarried and there was even suti--wives being burned (alive) with their dead husbands ---the guild may have learned a lot about being good companions from the Indian tradition but I don't think the family honor aspect of Indian culture would ever allow for a woman sleeping with a lot of men to be of high social stature, rather the opposite; her family if still thinking Indian culture would disown her

What if she made a decision long ago to pick her career over her family? What if they didn't agree with her choice and asked her to leave? What would it mean if she actually did pursue a relationship with the captain--that is would it be to give up her career for family after being so focused on her ambition?

I was always curious about the companion training. How can they start at the age of 12--wouldn't their parents have a say in the matter at that age? I kinda remember Inara saying at the academy that when she was in it they talked about discipline a lot more and never started sexual training as young as they are now. How would they know that's the career they want to do for the rest of their lives?

Is there like a 12-16 or 18 program for non-sexual pre-training? Because if there were, I don't think Indian parents would be opposed to training on things like tea making and foot washing, but maybe there's a point where companions decide if they want to be one person's companion or entertain many clients. (expanding her client base might have been from one to many)

What if Inara's parents were planning to have their daughter to be the companion of one person, like marry her to a rich person who wants a really quality wife (maybe an arranged marriage), but the guy was too old for Inara, or she just didn't love him and she ran away

It's interesting how Inara's culture is neither the mainstream western or chinese heritage. I actually have Pakistani ethnicity myself but even growing up in the US, Indian/Pakistani families still teach their kids their values even if it's not the mainstream values


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Monday, March 5, 2007 6:07 PM

XELROHIRX


I think Mal scares her a little, IMO. So yes the flinch would make sense, again the not wanting to be examined in "Our Ms. Reynolds" that was out of embarrassment for kissing Mal whilst knocked out.

I didn't mean to make people upset when I made this post, but doesn't there seem to be something amiss with Inara, the detachment from feeling or at least the reason why she is so secretive of everything, sure the companion lifestyle calls for discreteness but to be honest what girl doesn't kiss and tell at least someone. *shrug*

Hmmmmmmmmmmm Indeed.

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Monday, March 5, 2007 9:22 PM

KAYLEELOVE


well after you've kissed a lot of people, doesn't it get boring after a while? I mean empty love making isn't really exciting is it? so why go tell people about it...

she made a few comments to Kaylee such as "I think I'm loosing my touch" If things are going badly, you'd think she wouldn't go into detail

anytime she made a comment, it would have to be something bad or good

bad would make her not like her profession anymore

good would could start her thinking she really likes the person and that would be detrimental to her biz

Mal doesn't go spilling his guts to people, so why should Inara?

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Monday, March 5, 2007 9:35 PM

KAYLEELOVE


By the way, is there anything about Inara's parents or that she was an orphan in Firefly cus I don't think I remember anything else said about her past

I know my "running from an arranged marriage" idea is way out there but I wonder in the development of the Firefly verse, where all the other cultures would go I mean India does have the 2nd biggest population in the world today, doesn't it? isn't it growing in population faster than any other nation?

and how in the world did whoring become a thing of great respectability in the future?

I'm having way too much fun talking about this, I'm not upset or anything and I hope no one else is from my comments

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Monday, March 5, 2007 11:46 PM

XELROHIRX


No actually I rather like hearing it. :)

You're absolutely right about Inara not telling anyone her business, but I wish she would. lmao It'd make her all the more alluring, or would it? Mal... Mal really got what he needed in the "Hearts of Gold" episode and honestly it's my favorite. You see Inara's true self, you see her break... such a moment in the show, the last disc of the box set was truly my favorite. Joss said the music in "The Message" was changed or was basically the "goodbye" music to the series because they knew the cancellation was coming. Inara and River have to be my favorite characters, probably because they are the two that cause the most drama or chaos on the ship. Inara with her love spats with the Captain, and River for her destructive personalities.

I don't know about Inara's parents or past, but I do really craved to find out if River/Simon got to confront their parents... I believe that would've been an episode to truly remember. I think Joss would've had fun writing and it, and not only that but it would've been very awesome to see what Captain Malcom Reynolds would've had to say to the parents when they would've (I'm assuming here) disowned Simon and River. To be honest I think the Captain thinks his crew as his family, he didn't seem to give two craps when Wash died in the movie, but other than that he really does take care of everyone the best he can. Admirable and lucky are they for being on his ship, I'm sure River and Simon are in the best of places. Inara... I think she is too, hopefully we find out sooner or later what is the deal with her and her feelings; nothing is more complex than a companion in love.

lawlies

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 2:32 AM

SHINYED


Mal & Inara are very attracted to eachother, and they love eachother deeply, but it's a love that will never blossom.
He cannot put out of his mind the hundreds or thousands of men she's bedded, and she, despite her longing for him, knows that he'll never accept her past. It's a real Greek tragedy.
As Serenity ends she tells Mal she might stay on the ship, and he says good answer....so maybe there is hope for them afterall.....I think she finally realizes that she wants real love & a real relationship...something she'll never know as a companion.



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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 7:55 AM

KAYLEELOVE


Quote:

Originally posted by ShinyEd:
Mal & Inara are very attracted to eachother, and they love eachother deeply, but it's a love that will never blossom.
He cannot put out of his mind the hundreds or thousands of men she's bedded, and she, despite her longing for him, knows that he'll never accept her past.




I know what you mean about her past and Mal not accepting it but I think that Heart of Gold was, in a way, the turning point so that Mal could respect Inara's past. When you meet all of these ladies, it's easier to see that whoring is their job, not the only think they think about. I mean they were interested to have Book say a few words and they wanted to raise the child

For Mal to think that Inara could have had sex with all those people without attachment, is just so hard for him to get his head around. The fact is Inara and Mal have feelings that are much more than any sexual vibe because they are rooted in friendship--she already has a deep respect for him, so the next step before they get together is for him to respect her past. All of the arguing in the world wouldn't have convinced him, but introducing him to Mandi's world did.

As Mandi explains to Mal, she doesn't give anything to a man that she doesn't have to... so really it reiterates that it's only a job, a way to get by in a rough world. I think Mal saw that Mandi was much like Mal, a strong independent leader taking care of her crew. I don't think Mal could really have slept with her if he didn't respect her and you know he respects her when he goes to avenge her death.

So yeah I loved Heart of Gold because of finally seeing the real Inara in her break down and even though it puts Inara back a couple steps in being able to admit her feelings to the Mal, it finally gives Mal a leap forward in being able to accept Inara. You can see at the end of the episode, he's ready to "be truthful" about his feelings, now if he hadn't just slept with one of her best friends (however necessary it was for him to respect whores), they might have gotten somewhere *frustrated sigh*





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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 8:03 AM

KAYLEELOVE


hey a little cliche, but wouldn't it be funny if there was a fanfic written about Serenity landing in a Las Vegas type planet and Inara and Mal finding themselves hiding out from thugs in a chapel, perhaps accidentally getting hitched and arguing the whole time? :)

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 9:35 AM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Quote:

Originally posted by KayleeLove:

and how in the world did whoring become a thing of great respectability in the future?



When did slavery come back around to being acceptable? These questions, and more, on "Whedon, You Bastard!"

I think the show gives us even less of Inara's past than it does Book's. We know he never married (but he still could have had kids), and we know he was once involved in some sort of position where he got a lot of information about crime and battles. All we really know about Inara is that she is a Companion from Sihnon.


Rules and voting: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=22892

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 9:49 AM

KAYLEELOVE


Quote:

Originally posted by yinyang:

When did slavery come back around to being acceptable? These questions, and more, on "Whedon, You Bastard!"




Hey can you bump it? I can't see Whedon, You Bastard in the top 100

Thanks

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 10:37 AM

ORANGEHAT


And the rant begins.....
First off Inara is my LEAST favourite Character, I suppose I'm an overly logical person (dear friends have called me cold hearted because of it...gotta love 'em) Inara has no real purpose for being on the ship. She's completely useless (as she can't fight, how many times was the captain all "go to your shuttle fly away from danger?!? PLUS when the reavers were passing by in the Pilot the 'needle' she was holding was not a cure, it was something to induce death should the Reavers take the ship) not to mention that her secretive-ness was never really as over played as the Shepherds, so there isn't even that certain allure that comes with Books character. She's supposed to be all knowing and good at reading people but *she can't even hide her own emotions* OUR MRS REYNOLDS she obviously rolls her eyes and looks nervous when the doctor approaches her to be examined. She couldnt be MORE obvious. (Going off the idea that she doesn't want anyone to know she kissed Mal) I don't understand how she is supposed to be the 'cool cummber' of the show, when she blatanly reveals her weaknesses (ie. Mal) Personally I have found ways to 'romanticize' how her character SHOULD have been, even though I can plainly see shes a warm cuddily person. She's only good for the minor sex appeal/tension. Preferences are preferences, she only proves to useful on the Train Job and even then... :P. I would love to give her character some sort of detachment from humanity due to her 'job' but I don't think its what the show was really going for. She always stands up for who she is/ what she does and takes an annoying amount of pride in it.

*** But to talk about the actual question at hand...Inara wants to hide all of her weaknesses in the hopes of appearing strong and independant hence why she won't let Mal take care of her***

That nerdy hat

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 12:00 PM

ZEEK


See I think the fact that Inara's way of brushing off medical exams and such is just the kind of way Joss would do something like this. To the casual eye everything is perfectly explainable. However, if there was a secret that kept her from wanting to be examined we'd all see later how she avoided it every time.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 6:39 PM

XELROHIRX


That's Joss for you! ^.^ Magnificent it is to see how things unravel and how we clearly saw something and never gave it two thoughts. Damn Fox... damn them to hades!

BAH!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 10:48 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by OrangeHat:
And the rant begins.....
First off Inara is my LEAST favourite Character, I suppose I'm an overly logical person (dear friends have called me cold hearted because of it...gotta love 'em) Inara has no real purpose for being on the ship. She's completely useless (as she can't fight, how many times was the captain all "go to your shuttle fly away from danger?!?



By "no purpose for being on the ship", do you mean "for being on the show" or why do you point this out?

Because, logically, Inara's only purpose on the ship is to pay rent for the shuttle she uses, since she's a passenger. All her extra input is just that, extra, and brought on by the purely emotional connections she has forged on the ship.


Her friendship with Kaylee is a source of support for her, she's nearly the only person on the ship who doesn't put pressure of some sort on Simon and she's definitely the only person on the ship with who Mal can be someone other than the "Captain", because she's not crew.



And as for her clumsy evasions in "Our Mrs. Reynolds", I think you're ignoring that she's still drugged up, just as fuzzy in the head as Mal is in those first moments, slurring speech and slow on the uptake. Generally, Inara is very good at hiding her emotions or at least making it clear that they are her business and hers alone.



Why do you find the pride she takes in her job and the way she stands up for herself to be "annoying"? :)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 8:07 AM

KAYLEELOVE


Yeah about the pride thing, I don't think any person can really live without a certain degree of pride. The more someone is attacked for something they do, the more they naturally try to defend their actions and make justifications.

We may not agree with the way that she makes her money because right now in our society and history it's "wrong". BUT if she was in a school since 12 years old that programmed her to believe that being a companion was good and something to be proud of, then she probably not only believes that what she does is okay, she has a whole core of people who can say that believes it is a respectable thing as well

For example, in our society (I'm from the US so I mean US or western society also) it is okay to drink alcohol but some societies don't think so. To them, a person being proud of drinking alcohol is really annoying. But it's not going to stop people who do drink from thinking nothing is wrong with it because they have known since they were teenagers that drinking alchohol is good way to have fun because society says so.

Inara, like the all of us, has been influenced by her environment to learn right and wrong so if the series kept going, I think we would have seen her develop from being a product of the core to wanting what really is good: a genuine loving relationship with only one man

Inara may not be the person we want her to be but it seems there is good in her because she has a deep respect for Serenity's ideals and that she is changing to want to be better is what the show Firefly is about, we obviously see Jayne and Mal grow and Inara is set up to grow as a character

Inara's existence makes Mal's character more dynamic as well. The way that he treats women says a lot for how honorable and likeable he is. Zoe is like a sister, Kaylee is like a little sister or neice, Anybody on his crew is off-limits for him to be with because he couldn't order them around effectively if he was romantic with them. To see that he has feelings for Inara and holds himself back from pursuing something because of his responsibility as captain is another way we gain respect for him (Jayne on the other hand doesn't get this respect from the audience or the women on the crew because of his bargaining for Saffron, comments about Zoe, etc)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 5:39 PM

GOLDY


Quote:

Originally posted by KayleeLove:
We may not agree with the way that she makes her money because right now in our society and history it's "wrong".



I do think that prostitutes do face a general stigmatization in society today, but I'd like to point out that there *are* plenty of places in the Western world where it is perfectly legal. The Netherlands, for example. Or New Zealand. Moreover, Inara's character is more reminiscent of courtesans or geishas - it's not just about sex. To call it wrong, or to assume that Inara somehow feels dirty or saddened by her profession is too simplistic. Inara comes from a long tradition, one she seems to take pride in. Certainly, I don't think she would see her work as wrong - in fact, I'd say she relies on it as a means of independence and fulfillment.

Obviously, we don't know what her reasons for leaving Sihnon were. We can speculate and come up with crazy theories about her dying or having some sort of incurable disease or being older than she actually is, but at the end of the day, we still don't know.

We *do* know that she takes her work very seriously, and even though she loves Mal, she's not willing to simply throw caution to the wind and leave it for him. Especially when he seems to jump at every opportunity to insult her and her profession.

In terms of Inara's "importance" to the ship, well, everyone has their own opinion. Personally, I find Inara one of the most intriguing characters on the show. I don't think she's useless at all, even if she doesn't have a specific job in making the ship run day-to-day. She's a fairly key player in terms of keeping the emotional tone, and that's important. If anything, I'd say it would have been nice to see her interact with more of the crew outside of Mal, but that is what fanfic is for, after all. And I'd say not knowing what her secret is doesn't take away from her character at all.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 7:03 PM

MARINA


I seem to recall someone in one of the audio commentaries hinting at the theory... I thought I remembered which one and when, but I don't. Does anyone else recall?

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 6:08 AM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by marina:
I seem to recall someone in one of the audio commentaries hinting at the theory... I thought I remembered which one and when, but I don't. Does anyone else recall?


In out of gas they said her conversation with Simon about not wanting to die at all had something in it that was a hint. Everyone looks at that line in the conversation, but we really don't know what the hint was.

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 7:21 AM

SPACEANJL


I posted a thread a long time past about the Companion's Guild, and my thoughts on it's purpose. I know Joss is a Frank Herbert fan, and I always think of the Bene Gesserit.

Highly-trained, highly educated women who can move at the highest levels of society, know a lot of secrets and have a great deal of political influence. (Serenity OVC: Companions live like nuns, work like geisha and often rise to social or political prominence when they retire.) Inara was on the fast track to being House priestess at House Madrassa. Then she quit. Cut and ran. Didn't quit the Guild, but left the House. So maybe she found out something about the way the place was being run that she couldn't deal with.

I like the bloodwork theories. Joss likes blood, after all. The whole blood/sex/power riff he has going was built out of the Victorian Gothic vampire mythos. Maybe there is some controlling agent within the blood - the Minear plot of the Syringe of Doom was just plain nasty.

Maybe...Inara is a lot older than she looks. A serious amount older than she looks. Less fangy and more soul-sucking? There's one for the horror fans. The Companion's Guild are vampires, unaffected by an alien sun. Or maybe you just have to get really old in the service before you find that a tan becomes terminal...

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 12:40 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
Then she quit. Cut and ran. Didn't quit the Guild, but left the House. So maybe she found out something about the way the place was being run that she couldn't deal with.




But in that case...

If it was something against Guild spirit that so disturbed her, why wouldn't she try to change it? Notify the Guild?

And if the disturbing thing wasn't against Guild spirit, why wouldn't she quit?

Just running away from something possibly harmful to others (or why else would it be so disturbing) doesn't seem like something an intelligent, independent woman would do. It just paints Inara as artificially weak and stupid.

Not to mention, it kind of undermines one of the truly original concepts of the show: sacred prostitution and an independent, women-run network of support for highly respected prostitutes. Why would Joss build something positive and not historically precedented like that and just have it be another failure and lie? Kind of.. anti-feminist, almost, which doesn't seem like Joss at all.


Why this need to vilify the Guild?

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 1:54 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:


But in that case...

If it was something against Guild spirit that so disturbed her, why wouldn't she try to change it? Notify the Guild?

And if the disturbing thing wasn't against Guild spirit, why wouldn't she quit?

Just running away from something possibly harmful to others (or why else would it be so disturbing) doesn't seem like something an intelligent, independent woman would do. It just paints Inara as artificially weak and stupid.

Not to mention, it kind of undermines one of the truly original concepts of the show: sacred prostitution and an independent, women-run network of support for highly respected prostitutes. Why would Joss build something positive and not historically precedented like that and just have it be another failure and lie? Kind of…anti-feminist, almost, which doesn’t seem like Joss at all?


Why this need to vilify the Guild?



Why does the Alliance get vilified in the series and BDM, AgentRouka? It's supposed to be this wonderful example of civilization and enlightenment, yet Mal and every other Independent fought against its influence with everything they had. Why? It's because the Alliance was offering all this supposedly wonderful stuff in exchange for losses of freedom and identity in the name of human unity.

We know dick squat about the Companion's Guild except for the odd tidbit that has been either given by Inara and Nandi, or inferred based on things we have seen and heard during the series, comic books and movie. We want to assume the Guild is some unprecedented force for female empowerment and independence from historical roles and stereotypes. However, we have been given almost no chance to look at various parts of the Guild's structure and hierarchy like we have with the Alliance. We do not have any canonical idea of how the Guild handles internal disciplinary matters, traitors, violent clients needing to be dealt with before a Companion is injured or killed, or threats to its power and sisterhood. We have no idea about the requirements a candidate has to possess and the pre-requisites they need to go through to be accepted into the Guild’s training houses or what a Companion has to agree to in order to be declared a licensed and acknowledged member of the Guild.

Joss supports gender equality and has used his creations to push the idea of a woman being capable of taking on what has been a predominantly masculine role and excelling at it, and the Guild is an idea that take a new path with its emphasis on female-oriented sexual conduct for the purposes of healing and counselling; however, he has never shirked from a chance to cast the critical gaze on things that would undermine such strides. Including a matriarchal entity that could have more skeletons in its collective closet than we can assume or think of. We don’t know where Joss & co. were going to take us had the series gone for 5 or 7 seasons, so while I would staunchly support any effort to oppose complete vilification of the Companion’s Guild and its members…I would not grant it automatic amnesty from having a dangerous and self-centred agenda at its core. Who know what kind of lengths the founders of the Guild were required to take to ensure the safety of those who initially served it…

BlueEyedBrigadier


' border='0' alt='Sweet Charity' />


Come bid on my delectable derriere at the Sweet Charity auction! Buy me for a good cause;D

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 2:48 PM

AGENTROUKA


But the difference between an overtly large, meddlesome goverment and the Guild is that the former is very much a historical reality. And not just historical, actual. There's a point in portraying it to be partly evil, just like there's a point to portraying the ungorverned hicks in "Safe" as evil. Two extremes that both don't work right.


The Guild.. we haven't had something like that, ever! It has to be constructed before it can be deconstructed, but people insist on deconstructing and "exposing" it before even trying to look at the good, it seems.

Making the Guild evil, story-telling-wise completely takes the focus away from the actual, fascinating point, which is the idea of respecting prostitution. Not just the "honest", dirt-poor prostitution that Nandi represents and is easy to sympathize with because they are helpless damsel in need of protection from the evil men who disrespect them. Not that, but the idea of prostitution that demands a respected place in society. And the idea of a fullfilled life for women that's not centered on either romantic, monogamous love and family or on chaste devotion to some kind of service.

It just seems like a lazy, easy-fix for undermining the idea of Companionship, and Inara's life choices.

"The Guild is evil! Oh, Inara finds out and must leave the Guild! Prostitution controversy solved without actually addressing it!"

If the Guild is evil, then we don't have to worry about whether Inara has a point in loving that life, rather than choose Mal and a life of crime. It's the easy way out of the tough questions, and I don't think Joss was going for that.

Can there be evil lurking in parts of the Guild? Possible. But why does it have to be at its Core? Why does it have to have been there from its inception? Why can't it have been funded - and still be running mostly - on some actual, fundamental principles of support and protection for its members?

It disturbs me that the majority of viewers seem to completely reject that idea.

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 3:23 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


You are completely right, AgentRouka. I was only trying to point out that there could be hidden facets to the Guild that are not as bright and shiny as everything seems. It could be a rotten core or a rot stemming from a bruise on the surface that grew outward to alter the entire entity.

And you have a valid point that people should not be immediately assuming there's something rotten on the planet Sihnon simply because it would be dramatic or it would solve the conflict between Mal and Inara over Inara's work and the Guild itself to have it under the control of a bunch of evil zealots or something. Will that stop people from using the idea as a plot point? Probably no

I guess I am just trying to express the opinion that we know nothing truly solid about the Guild and its operations. All evidence points towards a historically unprecedented entity that has spent years fighting valiantly to alter human perception about what is seen to be glorified prostitution and who carefully protects those under its auspices. But we don't know if Joss was going to allow for a revelation about the Guild that would alter perception once again about what the Guild represents to the 'Verse at large. Hell, given enough time, there certainly would have been a story or two about Independent war atrocities and how veterans like Mal, Zoë and Monty would have to deal with knowing their side wasn't as honourable as they had assumed or hoped. So I personally am willing to accept the idea that as much as the Guild is a goal to strive towards, there could be stuff about it that Inara isn’t thrilled with. Why she stays or pushes it would be a great exploration of Inara Serra, Guild Companion, and Inara Serra, woman of independent mind and body

BlueEyedBrigadier


' border='0' alt='Sweet Charity' />


Come bid on my delectable derriere at the Sweet Charity auction! Buy me for a good cause;D

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 4:01 PM

ORANGEHAT


Wellllll about the whole Inara bashing I did up there....that was just a rant I had to get out of my system and five minutes later I did not feel the same dislike for her you may have felt radiating from my words:P If you compare the first thing I wrote about her it doesn't support the second thing I said.


Perhaps Inara is dying. Perhaps that's why shes so afraid to get close to Mal for fear that her life will end shortly and finds no reason for starting something. Though there was quite a lack of foreshadowing...Sure one instance of her mentioning how she doesn't want to die- its really nothing without the comentary telling us its something...- I say I don't want to die all the time...though I do have an autoimmune disease that could possibly kill me....Hmmm why didn't I put two and two together!Inara must have Scleroderma :P. Though her body parts would not be that pretty and she would probably not work as a good companion, unless she has it in her organs and no legions have appeared on her skin....its all very possible. That could also mean that the needle she had in the pilot episode was really Methotrexite to treat the disease and it was secret foreshadowing that we would only make sense of after we found out! Ohhhh Joss you genius!

...See this is my problem..I come up with an idea and just run with it for no apparent reason. I don't even have to believe it to write paragraphs...I apologize again for wasting time...

But if you look at the main ideas: Disease (of your choosing), feeling deaths grasp/ realizing how fleeting life can be, and meds it kinda makes sense....right???

That nerdy hat

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Thursday, March 8, 2007 11:36 PM

GOODMECHANIC


I think the clue to Inara's past revealed in Out of Gas is more likely to be about somebody suffocating than it is to be about a simple fear of death. Of course she doesn't want to die; no surprise there. The only other notable statement in the scene appeared to me to be how upset Inara became when Simon began explaining precisely how the human body responds to gradual suffocation.

"Half of writing history is hiding the truth."

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Friday, March 9, 2007 2:11 AM

SPACEANJL


AgentR, I've started a thread about the Reasons for River, which is taking in some of the same ground here. (Technocrippled, and unable to put a link to it.)

I have to assume you haven't read my stuff, because I've tried to be a lot more rounded in my view of Inara, her lifestyle and her choices. I don't see the Guild as evil, per se. And I have a great respect for those who used to worship Astarte and those in her likeness. (Ever wondered why I called my character Ilargia?) I just have an innate distrust of large political organisations.

And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


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Friday, March 9, 2007 9:04 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
I have to assume you haven't read my stuff, because I've tried to be a lot more rounded in my view of Inara, her lifestyle and her choices. I don't see the Guild as evil, per se. And I have a great respect for those who used to worship Astarte and those in her likeness. (Ever wondered why I called my character Ilargia?) I just have an innate distrust of large political organisations.

And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.





Hey there, spaceanjl.

Well, I'm glad to see it appears that I misunderstood you. I'm sure I'll check out the other thread when I find the time. :)

Just one thing, the Guild is not a political institution. It's a private one. Sure, it's members may have contact with politicians and engage in politics themselves after they have retired, but the Guild itself is not expressly political, but rather spiritual in nature, and has a fairly obvious purpose, and to ascribe it political motivations and then build on those assumptions to paint them malicious does point out a certain amount of bias against not just large political institutions.

It's just such a stereotype - the tricky, manipulative prostitutes with ulterior motives. People seem so much more eager to explore the hypothetical downsides than the fairly obvious upsides.



Btw, since you point it out and I've mentioned it before, no, I have not read your fic, and since it's Mal/River flavored, I do not intend to. I'm starting to be a little confused, and I don't mean to offend when I say this, that you mention your fanfic as a reference in every discussion, since I'd rather not have to read your fic like a required source to learn your opinions when it is the canon show we are talking about...

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Saturday, March 10, 2007 1:25 AM

SPACEANJL


See, my point. My fic ain't M/R, but I won't mention it again. I just wanted to point out something that expanded my argument.

No organisation that spans the known 'Verse can avoid being political. Serenity OVC pg 12 - 'legalization and strict federal regulation of the sex trade.' They have to have an in with the Powers That Be to survive.

I think we will just have to agree to differ on this one. After all, the most successful political body in history is the Catholic Church.

I like the idea that these women are powerful, independent and able to direct their own lives. That they provide a service of healing and comfort. That they are intelligent, rounded human beings. That they do stand for a way of life that does not centre on destruction. I just think there are plot line possibilities in the idea that they may have one bad apple somewhere. (If Inara had got too close to that, she may have felt it healthier to be elsewhere for a while - or even been manouvered elsewhere for her own unwitting safety.)



Joke: Anyway, I think my writing should be considered a valid source material.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007 7:36 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
No organisation that spans the known 'Verse can avoid being political. Serenity OVC pg 12 - 'legalization and strict federal regulation of the sex trade.' They have to have an in with the Powers That Be to survive.



Like McDonald's needs an in with every government to survive? The food industry is strictly regulated, as well, in that they have to follow certain standards dictated by law - such as sanitation standards - but the individual Companies are still private.

Quote:

I think we will just have to agree to differ on this one. After all, the most successful political body in history is the Catholic Church.


Because it started out as a political body to begin with. Long before the idea of freedom of religion ever came up.

Quote:


I just think there are plot line possibilities in the idea that they may have one bad apple somewhere. (If Inara had got too close to that, she may have felt it healthier to be elsewhere for a while - or even been manouvered elsewhere for her own unwitting safety.)



And I have never said that there couldn't be a bad apple. But a privately acting, unsupported bad apple, possibly under investigation within the Guild, that would be far more interesting and unstereotypical as the idea that it's an institutionally, if secretly accepted bad apple.

Maybe there is a conspiracy within the Guild, I'm not saying there can't be. I'm just saying that if the inherent structure of the Guild, the top level, the officials, if they accept the badness, and thus the Guild is essentially currupt at its Core, that would be pretty unoriginal and useless story-telling. A waste of a great idea that hasn't been on tv yet. And I think it's unlikely they were going to go that route.

As for Inara, I can only accept your idea of her having been maneuvered away - which wouldn't explain her personal conflict, though - because she is not the kind of person to just accept injustice in any way. It contradicts what we have seen of her on the show.

Quote:


Joke: Anyway, I think my writing should be considered a valid source material.



At least give page numbers or cliff notes!! *g*

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Monday, March 12, 2007 11:14 AM

DONCOAT


Okay, here's a twist: what if the Bad Apple was Inara herself? What if she was angling to push the Guild into a political role ("I supported Unification") and got pushed out by those who were trying to maintain the Guild's original mission?

Then "I'm not running from anything" would be true. She's living on the Rim because the Guild won't let her work in the Core, to keep her out of any possible position of influence -- which it certainly seems she was originally heading for, if Nandi had it pegged right.

I'm not saying I necessarily buy this idea, but it's worth mulling over.

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

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 10:23 AM

KAYLEELOVE


What if she was close to a bad apple? Say she was being sponsored by someone (that is someone was paying for her education) who wanted unification and he just happened to fall in love with her like many of the other men she's encountered. She says in the first episode "I think I'm losing my touch" which would suggest that in her past more than 50% does fall in love with her.

I think one of the strong ideas in the Firefly verse is that humans are just humans. As much as we say we progress or regress or struggle with ourselves, we will always be that much;just human. None of us truely pure. None of us truely evil. If you go either way as you see on Miranda you either die or become something which is not human. It's the reason why history repeats itself, we are dealing with the same human elements of pride, love, fear, hate...

Sure it is natural to enjoy physical pleasure but there are other aspects to our being that will also never change. We naturally fall in love. This emotion is dangerous to a companion because the only way to maintain one's livelihood as a companion is to suppress the natural love that grows between a couple. Part of Inara's growth on the ship seems to be that she discovers love--family love and romantic love she just doesn't know it or maybe she's afraid to feel it.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 6:45 PM

TRAVELER


I would like to know how someone becomes a Companion.

Did Inara chose to become a Companion or was she taken away as a child.

If her family was to poor to raise her they may have given her to the Guild.

Or it may be prestigous to have a Companion in your family. Just as the Tams wanted Simon to be a doctor, Inara's family may have choose her to be a Companion.

In "Heart of Gold" you learn you can leave the Guild, but then you are a common whore and you see how much respect they receive.

So Inara either continues to stay within the Guild's protection or become a common whore.

So Inara has to have annual checkups. Makes sense if you think of the venereal diseases that must be around.

In "Ariel" when Kaylee asks about relationships, Inara says, "It's complicated." So Mal may not meet the standards of the Guild. This could answer the question why she pulls away from him. A relationship with Mal may force the Guild to abandon her and she would loose her standing in society. It may seem selfish. But it would be hard to give up the high status the Guild offers her. I've noticed all her clients are in the "A" list.


Traveler

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 7:06 PM

PLATONIST


Inara is on a self-discovery quest- a Chautauqua, a narrative in search of truth and ethics ("we are all lost in the woods" or "I guess we're all running from something")

I think she discovered something about herself ("just tell me I'm a big girl") that changed her perception about herself. And I don't think it was an illness (she shows no symptoms) or that she takes meds to stay young because she'll be beautiful for a long time.

I think it could be something that she perceives as non-human; like where she came from. She does have some fairly apparent bonding issues. She runs away from Mal's love and her family.

Morena said in an interview that it was a biggy and it was bad. And Tim M. keeps repeating on the OoG commentary that she is as "perfect" as a girl can get. It is 500 years in the future and it is science fiction. So, I'm starting to lean in the direction of selective gene sequencing, with an out of womb gestation. Pretty scary huh?, but Josh did write Resurrection and he mentions Gattaca in the Visual Companion and Brave New World in the Serenity commentary.

sooo any comments?

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007 4:33 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by traveler:
I would like to know how someone becomes a Companion.

Did Inara chose to become a Companion or was she taken away as a child.

If her family was to poor to raise her they may have given her to the Guild.

Or it may be prestigous to have a Companion in your family. Just as the Tams wanted Simon to be a doctor, Inara's family may have choose her to be a Companion.



In the Serenity RPG guide book it explains that Companion school is entirely voluntary. The first part of education is similar to any normal school and only after the girls graduate from the neutral aspect of the Academy, are of age and want to become Companions do they rceive the special Companion training that includes all the sexual stuff.

Quote:


In "Heart of Gold" you learn you can leave the Guild, but then you are a common whore and you see how much respect they receive.



Even Nandi could have chosen to persue any other kind of work. She couldn't have been a Companion anymore, but she could have worked in an office or a department store or on a farm. She chose to become a whore. No one forced her.

Quote:


So Inara either continues to stay within the Guild's protection or become a common whore.



I doubt that Inara would work as a whore even if she chose to leave the Guild. She could do pretty much any job she wants, she has many qualifications.
So her reason for staying in the Guild must be that she actually wants to be there.

Quote:


In "Ariel" when Kaylee asks about relationships, Inara says, "It's complicated." So Mal may not meet the standards of the Guild. This could answer the question why she pulls away from him. A relationship with Mal may force the Guild to abandon her and she would loose her standing in society. It may seem selfish. But it would be hard to give up the high status the Guild offers her. I've noticed all her clients are in the "A" list.



That's one possibility. But I wouldn't call it "selfish". No one has a duty to be in a relationship with someone they love, so not doing that isn't selfish. She's just choosing her own priorities over love.

But maybe when Inara says "complicated", she doesn't mean the Guild at all, and it's really her who has the issues. Maybe she feels a relationship would impair the work she loves.

Who knows. :)

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