I've managed to rope Sam into Firefly, surprisingly enough. He's frightfully embarrassed to have anything to do with the Whedon-verse, simply out of his distain for BtVS. Kaylee, however, has really turned his head, and even beaten out Boomer as his girl-of-the-desktop-wallpaper. ^^; The man has no taste-- Kaylee is awesome, but.. beating Boomer? *Please*.
Firefly 1.05, Shindig: 'I'll buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have some money to buy a slinky dress?'
I've been looking forward to this episode, simply because I saw a picture of Kaylee in her foufy dress, and was imagining how cute and kid-in-a-candy-store she'd be at a party. And I was so very right! She was absolutely adorable. I loved the wistful look on her face when she saw the dress, and I adored her, surrounded by men, munching on strawberries and talking shop. This was a really good episode for her character. I was also highly amused when Malcolm went to fetch Kaylee to help him.
"She's not speaking to him," I told Sam, before anyone on screen said a word.
"I'm not speaking to you," says Kaylee.
I also loved the look Zoe gave Mal, when he made fun of Kaylee's starry-eyed look at the boutique. Kaylee really is everyone's little sister.
Seeing Malcolm at the party was interesting. Despite the fact he didn't know how to use a sword, it seemed to me like he did know a few gentlemanly ways (how he held Kaylee's hand, how he danced with Inara) and that intrigues me. I'd like to know more about his background before the Battle of Serenity. He's something of a hero and an anti-hero all rolled into one-- he resents that Truth, Justice and Mercy do not always prevail, even though his better judgment tells him this is simple common sense. He's angry at the galaxy, and he actually has a reason to be. For some reason, he seems to take that anger out on Inara sometimes. I think, to him, her job represents everything he finds reprehensible about The Alliance-- the callous use of people without regard, the politics, the meaningless promises. He also has this 'no one can be mean to you but me' attitude towards Inara. It reminds me a lot of the basis for some Spike/Xander fics but, while this premise doesn't bother me in same sex couples (whether f/f or m/m) it bothers me in heterosexual couples. I guess it's all in how I perceive the balance of power.* Mal/Inara annoys me in particular because, while she has to deal with a certain amount of distain from her customers, she shouldn't have to put up with it from him. I'd have kneed him in the balls a long time ago.**
Inara surprised me a bit in this episode, as well. She's a very kind soul, and I think that's what drew her into this sort of last-ditch profession, but she also displayed a veneer of pretension at the ball that seemed at odds with her open nature. Of course, I don't blame her-- you'd need it, in that job. She seems more willing to compromise, which I think irritates Malcolm. I tend to lean towards his dislike of the 'upper crust' and all that nonsense; it seems to me a waste of time and effort. Inara, however, is an excellent actress, and hey, a girl's gotta do what she can to make ends meet. I did positively *squeal* when she began teaching him to sword fight-- that's the type of female empowerment I adore.
Other cute bits included the Zoe/Wash sexual olympics (I loved his comments about Jayne, the 'dress code' and his poem to her), River pulling a Dru, and Jayne offering to get naked.*** On the completely shallow end, I would have loved to riffle through the set wardrobe for the dance, and Inara looked stunning in her dress. Also, I expect Malcolm, when he recovers, will get his ass re-kicked by Inara for taking Kaylee to that party. ^__^
Still haven't figured out the Chinese influence in the show, though I can read many of the signs, I'm still waiting for something to explain it's pronounced presence in a melting pot culture.
Whew, long entry. Forgive me. ^^; All in all, I can't wait for more!
*Yes, I have control issues.
**Also, I am violent. ^^
***No, Jayne. Please don't.
****simply from my experience with Japanese-- they share a character system that evolved on different tracks. Many Japanese characters still use Chinese pronunciation in compound words.