Firefly 1.06, Safe: 'We should start dealing in those black market beagles.'
First off, Malcolm is an awesome character... when he's not being a dick. Which, really, is most of the time. He's got a rather large chip on his shoulder-- again, I'm going with the whole 'disappointed idealist' theory-- but he eventually does the right thing. He doesn't seem to like the fact he's still a good guy under all the grime, but there you go. He also really doesn't like you to call him on it. See his conversation with Simon at the end-- "You're part of my crew. Why are we still talking about this?"
He thought he was doing a real good job of acting a right bastard until about fifteen minutes before the end. Forgive me, but snappy, cynical dialogue like this makes me squee:
MAL: Well, looks like we're here in just the nick of time. Wonder what that makes us, Zoe?
ZOE: Pretty big damn heroes, sir.
MAL: Ain't we just.
You have to give him this-- he's awesome at big rescues that make you want to squish him instead of pounding a rock on his head.
Other reactions to this episode... I like Zoe. She's calm under pressure and, like Malcolm, she recognizes that she should be self-serving in a hostile universe, even though she can't quite make herself do it. "Jayne's right," Zoe tells Mal, as they're on they're way to rescue Simon and River-- but this does not imply that Zoe actually agrees with Jayne. She can't stop being noble any more than Mal can, but-- as Aby and I have been discussing-- she has Wash to humanize her and remind her not to live in the past.
There was a lacking-ness of Wash in this episode. He did have snappy lines though. I still don't like Jayne any better. Riffling through his missing shipmates' things like some ghoul makes me like him even less. I've been told he has a redeeming moment later in the series. *radiates skepticism*
I appreciated the look into Simon and River's past. Whedon seems big on sibling love (see Buffy and Dawn) and low on parental love. Joyce Summers is, as I think I've said before, the really only loving parent we see in his universe. (Well, her and Fred's parents, but we don't see them much, and I thought they loved her in a more hopeless way, because she was so far out of their realm.) Anyway, I wasn't surprised when the whole happy family facade collapsed for Simon and River. Many families do, under pressures like that. It seems to me that, if you want to live well in the Alliance, the rule is to smile and keep your mouth shut. Simon's questions clearly crossed that boundary, and-- unwilling to part with his comfortable lifestyle even for his daughter's sake-- his father turned him away. I'm still not sure how I feel about Simon. Just when I think he's bordering on a annoying level of Wesley-ness circa BtVS season three, he turns around and shows just how much he cares for his little sister. And I melt.
The witchcraft thing? No comment, really. Human beings are very much "it's different-- kill it!" *snorts* Stupid homo sapiens. *makes face* But River dancing was very pretty.
Two more things:
1) Kaylee/Inara. Or, Meredith's unvarnished reaction: "OMGsqueethedomesticityofshopping!Kaylee/I
2) I'll be interested to see just what got Book his speedy service. It's nice to know he's not as clean as he looks.
Also, I love dinners on Serenity. As Amber says, Ohana means family-- even the loving, dysfunctional ones you make yourself. Especially those.