NEWS HEADLINE DISCUSSIONS

Questions about Inara

POSTED BY: WULFHAWK
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 20:13
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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 12:06 PM

WULFHAWK


While with Serenity, Inara had sex with many clients, yet she cried when Mal had sex one time, the only time since Inara came to Serenity perhaps. Why?

Inara's friend from HoG is a former companion, but left the Guild to be a madam. Why?

Inara was clearly angry and jealous about Mals 'marriage' in OMR. Why?

In OMR, Inara explains that Guild training includes the use of body language, trigger language, and vocal controls. why?

Inara left the Guild, and a rising position within the guild, to travel the frontier with smugglers; yet she remains a Guildmember in good standing. Why?

In Jaynestown, Inara claims that being a man's 'first' is an honor and duty, and is an important part of what she does. why?

Take my love
Take my land

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 1:14 PM

SUCCATASH


Here's my best attempt to answer:

While with Serenity, Inara had sex with many clients, yet she cried when Mal had sex one time, the only time since Inara came to Serenity perhaps. Why?

Inara is jealous and unfair. She is a hypocrite, but this doesn't make her a bad person, just human.


Inara's friend from HoG is a former companion, but left the Guild to be a madam. Why?

Nandi tells Mal that she smashed a Dulcimer during a music lesson and realized a Companion's life is too restricting. Then she "trucked out to the border, and learned to say ain't..."


Inara was clearly angry and jealous about Mals 'marriage' in OMR. Why?

Once again, Inara shows her extreme unfairness and double standard views.


In OMR, Inara explains that Guild training includes the use of body language, trigger language, and vocal controls. why?

All this stuff makes them better lovers and companions. Plus, it keeps them in control of the situation.


Inara left the Guild, and a rising position within the guild, to travel the frontier with smugglers; yet she remains a Guildmember in good standing. Why?

That's the million dollar question.


In Jaynestown, Inara claims that being a man's 'first' is an honor and duty, and is an important part of what she does. why?

Good question. I'm not sure why having sex with virgin boys is such an important part of her job. In fact, it's kind of creepy.





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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 2:01 PM

TIGER


While with Serenity, Inara had sex with many clients, yet she cried when Mal had sex one time, the only time since Inara came to Serenity perhaps. Why?
Inara is jealous. Unlike SUCCATASH, though, I don't think she's a hypocrite. I think she stays a companion becasue she doesn't believe Mal feels the same way about her. I think she would quit if he asked her to so they could be together.

Inara left the Guild, and a rising position within the guild, to travel the frontier with smugglers; yet she remains a Guildmember in good standing. Why?
I don't think she left the guild, just the circle of power in the guild. It's apparent that Companions are spread throughout the Firefly verse, so her choice of becoming a traveling Companion may be strange only because, before that, she was on the fast track to power within the guild heirarchy.

In Jaynestown, Inara claims that being a man's 'first' is an honor and duty, and is an important part of what she does. why?
Would you want your first time to be with a clumsy and uncomfortable amatuer or a skilled and compassionate pro? The first time is always memorable, so I'm sure Companions have been taught to have special respect for it. Besides, it'd be easy for Companions to get a bad rep if they regularly f*!$#d up their clients' first times.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 2:31 PM

SUCCATASH


I don't know, Tiger. Inara has sex with lots of men, and then acts like Mal let her down.

Plus, she treats him like crap. I'd say her expectations of him are hypocrytical. She tells Mal that her sex life is none of his business, but then she makes Mal's sex life her business.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 3:55 PM

TIGER


When Inara catches Mal leaving Nandi's room, she says he shouldn't be emarrassed, she's glad he did it, etc., so she's not being hypocritical in her public reactions. Only privately does she cry her eyes out. I think Inara always tried to match Mal's (supposed) apathy toward her sex life by being equally as nonchalant about his. In OMR, she never publicly gets mad becasue he's married, only because of the way it happened. When she said 'the whole thing is degrading', outwardly she's commenting on how a girl could marry and obey a stranger just becasue an elder can't pay his debt, but inwardly she was just being mean becuase she was so hurt. (And Mal's come-back is interesting here - 'That's what she said about your line of work'. This exchange is the public expression of private longings which neither of them are willing to admit to the other).

Moving further from the original point, I honestly think Inara is waiting for Mal to ask her to quit. If he does, she knows he wants her; if he doesn't, she doesn't lose a great career over a pipe dream. The problem is, I don't think Mal would ever tell Inara how he feels unless she quit being a companion FIRST. Hence all the 'whore' comments - the likes of which might get Jayne banished from the dinner table but which the Captain finds perfectly reasonable from himself (remember what he did to Atherton for just implying what he says to her face?) Hey, he likes her but hates her job. It's understandable.

And then, of course, the last line of Firelfy we're likely to hear until the movie, is Inara saying in HOG, "I'm leaving". Why then? Mal chose Nandi over her for comfort when he needed it. (Of course it makes sense to US; she was nice to him for god's sake) but for Inara, that put the pipe dream out of fuel.

God it sucks that we can't see what'll happen next.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 4:07 PM

SUCCATASH


Quote:

Originally posted by Tiger:
...so she's not being hypocritical in her public reactions. Only privately does she cry her eyes out....

But...that is the definition of hypocrite. She puts on a false appearance, then privately behaves differently.

I agree with almost everything you say. I too believe that Inara would have quit the Guild if Firefly hadn't been cancelled. But I think her quitting would be a very big struggle, and not nearly as easy as you imply it would be. I don't think Inara is waiting eagerly for Mal to ask her to quit. Well, maybe deep down, but if so she hasn't come to terms with it and it certainly wouldn't be easy, in my opinion.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 4:32 PM

TIGER


It's not hypocritical when Inara puts on an act to cover her true feelings (it's just kinda sad). Her actions and her speech are consistent with each other, even though she doesn't really mean it. She would be hypocritcial if she told Mal he was wrong to sleep with Nandi even though she has sex for a living. In that case, her actions and her speech would be INconsistent with each other. But we obvioulsy agree on the underlying motivations.

You're right, it wouldn't be easy for Inara to leave the guild(I didn't mean to imply that, but maybe I did). It probably would have taken whole seasons for the Mal/Inara subplot to be resolved one way or the other, particularly because they both would have had to change their lives so much to be together.

I think Inara IS waiting eagerly for Mal to ask her to quit (more exactly, I think she wants him to LOVE her, and profess it, THEN ask her to quit), but I also think when the time comes she would balk, and dozens of episodes of Mal/Inara confusion would ensue.

Honestly, if it wasn't that we had seen Inara and Mal meet AFTER (presumably) she undertook her wandering ways, I would have thought they had met casually somehwere and she sort of ran after him because she finds the mystery in him she hasn't seen elsewhere.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 7:26 PM

SUCCATASH



If done correctly, I would love it if the Firefly movie showed a few scenes we've already seen (like Inara renting the shuttle in OoG, and what events lead up to it) with a different point of view. Kind of like Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Shadow" meets "Back to the Future 2 & 3".

I think it would be fun if, in the upcoming movie-- Book, Simon, and Inara have adventures that end in a familiar setting. I.E., Just before Book and Simon board Serenity. And, we must know why Inara wants to rent Mal's shuttle, as seen in Out of Gas.

I think all flashback scenes from OoG are up for grabs to reappear in the movie.

For example, what if the movie shows a newly hired Jayne, unable to resist his urges on Inara and she kicks his ass with cool Companion Ninja moves?


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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 1:54 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Wulfhawk:
While with Serenity, Inara had sex with many clients, yet she cried when Mal had sex one time, the only time since Inara came to Serenity perhaps. Why?



She loves Mal, and is not immune to "puritanical beliefs" concerning sex and love. His being with her friend, while supposed to be cool by her, made her face up to a hard situation. She does not want to be trapped by love, or be part of a family, (why?) but she finds herself jealous, or at least envious of her friend.

The problem is that sex and love are often confused for each other. Sex is often viewed as "an outward sign of an inward grace" or strong feelings of attachment. Companions are supposed to be immune to such confusions, but sometimes older emotional constructs bubble up from the subconcious unbidden at bad times.

And she probably knows that Mal sees himself, or at least thinks she sees him as beneath her social station, as too good for her. She uses it often enough to knock Mal down a peg or two when he needs it. So while they may love each other, their relationship is doomed. Differences in social standing, as well as political issues alone are stressful enough to keep their love unrequented.

Quote:

Inara's friend from HoG is a former companion, but left the Guild to be a madam. Why?


Insufficient data. The series was too short lived to investigate why either gal left the guild halls and temples.

Quote:


Inara was clearly angry and jealous about Mals 'marriage' in OMR. Why?



See above. An unmarried Mal is obtainable. A married one will never leave his wife, no matter how much he does not like the wife or love the other woman. Besides, being mistress to a married man is not something that Inara wants in her life, again.

Quote:

In OMR, Inara explains that Guild training includes the use of body language, trigger language, and vocal controls. why?


How best to separate the customer from his hard earned currency? Prostitution is an illusionary business. She sells the illusion of love, romance, adventure, etc. Yes, there is sex involved, but just plain sex is not as profitable as mixing it up with the semblance of love, romance, etc.

No guy wants to ask if a gal wants to try something that she may find gross, disgusting, humiliating etc. So by reading another person's body language, and all those unspoken words and invisible clues, the good companion figures out what the client wants, and either steers him into an area she is more comfortable with, or lets him know that its cool with her. Without the embarrassment of direct confrontation.

Quote:

Inara left the Guild, and a rising position within the guild, to travel the frontier with smugglers; yet she remains a Guildmember in good standing. Why?


Again, insufficient data. She ain't said, and the show got cancelled too soon for us to find out. Damn Faux!

Quote:

In Jaynestown, Inara claims that being a man's 'first' is an honor and duty, and is an important part of what she does. why?


How a man treats women in some ways is related to their first sexual experience. And how he looks at life later on. Again, the ties to romance, adventure, etc. play a role in how the person responds sexually, whether they see sex as a great part of life, or as an appetite, as if sex were "a drink of water"

We go in with all sorts of fears and insecurities. And how those work themselves out, colors the person's attitude later in life. A good companion can make a difference change a potentially scary experience into one of spiritual bliss.

Hope this helps.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 2:08 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Succatash:
I don't know, Tiger. Inara has sex with lots of men, and then acts like Mal let her down.

Plus, she treats him like crap. I'd say her expectations of him are hypocrytical. She tells Mal that her sex life is none of his business, but then she makes Mal's sex life her business.




I think that it is not so much a willing hypocricy as much as confusion about her own feelings.

Sex and love are different things. However, sex (until recently) caused babies. A new generation barbarian horde invading a civilization and more than willing to wreck it every year.

Because children are not just the future of a civilization, but potentially its greatest threat, societies have established traditions and morays on how to deal with sex. Such as, sex should only be done by folks who are married to each other. That way, if kids should pop up, they are popping up in a family that love each other, rather than single parents, or fighting parents. (That is the ideal and the plan. I know reality can be problematic.)

So, sex gets tied with love. Having sex with another person is taken as a sign that the two love each other, and are at least willing to risk bringing civilization down on top of them. People are taught that one does not have sex with one they are not in love with.

Modern medical technology decouples sex from child bearing, so the problem is not as serious. But still millions of years of evolution are not going to get changed overnight. Some of that residual emotions, like jealousy, are going to spill over.

Yes, Inara treats Mal like crap. She has to, if she is to maintain her independence, not just from Mal, but from the world in general. Love is a tie that binds, and never feels like a chain, although it can be quite stronger than steel. She may want Mal, his heart and his body, (she may not see them as divisible, or if divisible, worthwhile separating the two) but if she gets him, he owns her in her mind, in a way that scares her badly.

So, Inara having sex with lots of men, even "creepy" virgins is not a problem. Its all business. Mal is not a companion, is an "old fashion" kind of guy, and probably has sex out of a deep attachment to the person. She wants that, but it would be bad for her, (or so she thinks) She wants what she cannot have, and the only person preventing her from having it, is herself. She knows, even if Mal does not. And that has got to mess with her decision making processes.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 2:17 AM

DRAKON


Mal and Inara are an interesting couple. Mal wants Inara, but knows that she is well above his social standing. She is an honest businesswoman, he a thief and rebel, not much beloved by the jet set. And he cannot offer her the kind of world she lives in.

Plus, there is another reason (I think) Inara's job bugs Mal. Sex is not love, but it can be pretty darn close, and in a pinch, just as good. But, Inara is a professional. Mal will never know if Inara is playing him, manipulating him, or not. He can't have her, because even if he gets her, he won't know if its her, or just her performance. Does she really love him? Or is it all an act.

Mal is very touchy about someone using their femine whiles on him.

So we have this strange dynamic. Inara can't have Mal, because she don't want to get tied to people or family. Mal can't have Inara because he'll never trust that it is her he gets, and not her training. Inara is well respected, Mal would be "slumming"

Why not we grab Lorne, deprive him of sleep for a few days, and have him tell them to get a room. Then maybe Wash and Mal can talk about something else next time they get tortured.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 10:12 AM

MANIACNUMBERONE


SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

I always thought that Inara had this glorified picture of Mal in her head, and so when he finally did fall off the horse Inara had put him, it was a betrayal of what Inara thought she knew about him.
In essence, in was Mal who being hypocritical, not Inara. Inara never said she was against "whorin" sex, she just believed that Mal was from his attitude towards her... so when he did Nandi, he was the hypocrit. No doubt about it in my warped little mind.

-------------------------------------------
Inara: Who's winning?
Simon: I can't really tell, they don't seem to be playing by any civilized rules that I know.
-------------------------------------------

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 12:46 PM

SUCCATASH



That's...just plain crazy. Mal the hypocrite? Come on!

First of all, Mal didn't go whoring. His sex with Nandi was based on mutual attraction and admiration. She seduced him, after all. It was man/woman sex, not WHORIN'.

Inara's just a wacked out female, let's face it.

If Mal didn't live up to her expectations, that's Inara's fault, not Mal's.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 1:15 PM

MANIACNUMBERONE


I'm not saying Inara doesn't have her problems too, but Nandi did wonder when Mal was gonna take advantage of his position there. So, Nandi was the one goin' whorin and Mal just gave in. Even though he wasn't spoken for, Inara feels betrayed.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 1:20 PM

SUCCATASH


How would Inara react if Mal had started power sexing Kaylee? I bet Inara would be pissed off and then go cry in her shuttle.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 2:24 PM

MAGUINAN


I think the difference is that although Inara has plenty of sex, she doesn't have any romantic feelings for her clients. It just a job, it has no meaning for her. When Mal and Nandi slept together it was because Mal had formed a romantic attachment (however short-lived) with her. The sex part isn't a problem for Inara, she admits as much in the hall to Mal. The reason she's crying later is because it hurts that Mal has formed a romantic attachment to someone else. The sex is incidental.

Also,
Power sexing!

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Thursday, November 13, 2003 1:08 AM

DRAKON


You may not be far from wrong, Maniac. Which is why Inara had such a problem doing what Inara suggested he do, take advantage of her friend.

But I am willing to bet that Mal never calls Inara a whore ever again, now he understands that whores are independent.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Thursday, November 13, 2003 1:16 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Succatash:

That's...just plain crazy. Mal the hypocrite? Come on!



I believe that the original poster was speaking about Inara's perception, not whether that perception coincided with reality or not.

Quote:

If Mal didn't live up to her expectations, that's Inara's fault, not Mal's.


Bingo. Now she has to realize that.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Thursday, November 13, 2003 2:06 AM

DREAMGIRL


Quote:

Originally posted by maguinan:
I think the difference is that although Inara has plenty of sex, she doesn't have any romantic feelings for her clients. It just a job, it has no meaning for her. When Mal and Nandi slept together it was because Mal had formed a romantic attachment (however short-lived) with her. The sex part isn't a problem for Inara, she admits as much in the hall to Mal. The reason she's crying later is because it hurts that Mal has formed a romantic attachment to someone else. The sex is incidental.

Also,
Power sexing!




I think this is a good point Maguinan. I love the whole Mal and Inara thing because it is just plain romantic. I think they are two people who have been through difficult times and are at a place in their lives where romance is the last thing on their minds. Then they meet and both have to fight an overwhelming attraction to each other. Neither of them are prepared for dealing with strong emotions other than the desire to survive. I think thats why the anomosity exists, but when they are faced with danger and one or other might be hurt you see their concern for each other. Its not something anyone can analyse - it happens in real life if you are lucky - you meet someone that takes your breath away and makes your heart pound.

I know this is a simplistic way of seeing it and it breaks my heart that we will never see the relationship develop.

All the characters in this series are so great and so well portrayed.








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Thursday, November 13, 2003 7:45 AM

JAHZARA


Um, could someone have put spoiler tags or a notice at the beginning of the thread?
I was saving myself for the DVD.
I don't want anyone else to be unknowingly spoiled.

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Thursday, November 13, 2003 8:40 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Mal and Inara are an interesting couple. Mal wants Inara, but knows that she is well above his social standing. She is an honest businesswoman, he a thief and rebel, not much beloved by the jet set. And he cannot offer her the kind of world she lives in.


Oh irony of ironies.

That kind of relationship *can* work, you just gotta work at it, and when it does work, it's amazing, especially when it allows for unified problem solving on different social levels.
A good example of that is in Episode: Trash.

Zia - "Tell you what, let me negotiate and see if I can't run the price down."
Frem - "And if you can't ?"
Zia - "Then you break his legs."
Frem - "Ok."

Mal/Inara would be a very, very dangerous pair.

-frem
diefuxdie

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Thursday, November 13, 2003 8:42 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Gah, the quotes are from a conversation between me and my girl, not the episode... damn formatting!

-frem
diefuxdie

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003 8:13 PM

LINDYCAT


Dreamgirl is right on about this one.

I also think she is a girl or at least understands the structure of romance novels.

There is a reason other than the comic that the gag reel parodies FF as the love boat. When I first started watching this way back when, I said they made a romance novel in space. All the romances on the ship represent aspects of the Mal-Inara relationship at some level.

I do a bit of illustration with DG's points.

DG - "I love the whole Mal and Inara thing because it is just plain romantic."

LC- Damn right it is! And it’s that way for a reason, so you keep watching. Any female raised in western culture is conditioned to recognize the structure of this relationship, part by the general culture (marriage, historical precedence, and fairy tales), and even more so by Disney. On any given year do you know that women's romantic fantasies account for 51% or so of all books sold? Pretty big market share, and there is a reason for that.

DG - "I think they are two people who have been through difficult times and are at a place in their lives where romance is the last thing on their minds. Then they meet and both have to fight an overwhelming attraction to each other. Neither of them are prepared for dealing with strong emotions other than the desire to survive. I think thats why the anomosity exists, but when they are faced with danger and one or other might be hurt you see their concern for each other.

LC - your recognizing the power here that each wields. Inara is the heroine of the show, and Mal is the romantic hero. Remember when Book and Inara speak about what each finds interesting about Mal?
Inara 'Why do you find him [Mal] so fascinating?'
Book 'Because he is something of a mystery. Why do you?'
Inara 'Because so few men are.'

Inara, a rare woman of power (was headed for temple priestess, I imagine leader of the companions), breaks away from everything she knows to find the man of her dreams after seeing how so many men are predictable and uninteresting. She finds that in Mal and knows it the minute she meets him.

DG - "Its not something anyone can analyse"

LC - You’re wrong here, its big business knowing the structure of just what you are feeling. Lots of people analyze this stuff all the time, to a point where you can recognize it, if only subconsciously, if you are presented with just a part of the pattern. Let me quote from a good book on the subject.

Mean, Moody, and Magnificent - The Hero in Romance Literature

"The strong, domineering hero of the romance novel has long been the subject of criticism. What critics don't realize is that it is the hero's task in the book to present a suitable challenge to the heroine. His strength is a measure of her power. For it is she who must conquer him.

"Every good romance heroine must have a hero who is worth of her. And in most cases he is a mean, moody, magnificent creature with a curling lip and mocking eyes and an arrogant air of self-assurance - until he meets the heroine.

"She is the only person who can make him forget his natural courtesy, lose his rigidly controlled temper; when he is faced with her determination to do what she feels is right for her, he reacts in ways he knows to be despicable or at the very least unworthy of his principles. The spirited, somewhat bewildered heroine senses that she is the only person who has such a powerful effect on him, just as he is the only man who can make her reassess the foundations on which she has built her life until then. She is able to read the small signals that tell her he is trustworthy, even though his hardness and antagonism may repel her at first. And the signs of his helpless response to her are intercepted by feminine intuition. He may say he dislikes her, he may even act as though she is as treacherous as he believes her to be, but arrogant and overbearing, even brutal though he may be, he never acts in a way which makes her truly fear for her physical safety. A hero is kind to animals, to children, and to little old ladies.
"But even before she sees this, at some purely instinctive level, the heroine knows she can trust him. However, she also knows that the initial attraction is powerful but almost entirely sexual. She understands that there is much more to love than physical attraction, and she is not going to bestow her future on the hero until he, too, realizes this.
"It takes him some time. Heroes are men who admit to being difficult to live with, who demand extremely high standards in every aspect of their lives, who are natural effortless leaders, strong men, men with prestige and intelligence, whose faults are likely to be manifestations of strength and power....
"This powerful man, confident in his standing and his masculinity, sure of himself; competent and trustworthy, discovers during the course of the romance that without the heroine he is no longer able to enjoy his life. He needs her[i/]. He may kidnap her, he may force her into marriage, he may coax or intimidate her into his bed, but eventually he learns that her physical presence, even her sexual surrender, is not enough. He needs her to come willingly to him, not as a slave to be conquered but as an equal in all respects. He learns, usually with some pain, that to be truly happy himself he has to make her happy.
"As she learns to trust him, he must learn to trust her, to understand that he can reveal to her his hidden core of vulnerability. Slowly he comes to realize that the only thing that will satisfy him is her admission of love for him, her equal commitment to a shared life. Equal partners in every way, they will live out their life together.
"It is this which is the powerful and seductive fantasy at the core of all romance fiction.

DG - it happens in real life if you are lucky - you meet someone that takes your breath away and makes your heart pound.

LC - Couldn't ask for a better testimonial than that. I will say that if you know enough about how this works, you can create it IRL.... For those curious the main characteristics of the romantic hero are

Dominance
Assertiveness
Cynicism
Adventurousness

LC - You might at this point say, why the hell haven't they been able to get something going? Well, one, its a TV show and for there to be a big payoff there has to be a big buildup. The way they accomplished this was that Mal agreed that none of the crew and himself were to have relationships with her, and Mal is a man of his word (he had no agreement with her friend in HoG, but that would take longer than I have tonight to write on this board).

My guess for the movie is that Inara is gone to start the movie, and comes back to the ship sometime during. Mal will realize in that time that he is unhappy without her, and returns to being happy when she is there and ask her to stay. Will they hook up? Maybe. I could envision a couple ways in which this could be written that it would work out. If and when it comes back to TV, they will have to be out of a relationship (or have a big problem with it, like Buffy with her vampire lovers) to keep the show lively and emotional tensions high, but the movie could go either way (hookup or just more tension and complexity to the romance).

That's it for tonight.

LC

DG - I know this is a simplistic way of seeing it and it breaks my heart that we will never see the relationship develop.

LC - don't worry, we'll at least have the movie.

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