Episode IV, titled Our Mrs.Reynolds

We’ll be covering every episode of Joss Whedon’s Firefly series over the next 14 weeks every Friday. One new episode per week. If you have Netflix, the entire show is available for Instant Queue. Our three authors are Alex, found at @alexwhale on Twitter, Lora found at @theinsomniakid and Corissa found at @corissapoley. Enjoy!

 

Lora

Still gone for a week. But rest assured, she’ll be back. 

 

Alex

Our 6th episode delves further into Whedon’s penchant for the unexpected.  In an entertainment era awash in regurgitated sequels to movies that don’t deserve them, and remakes of films and television franchises that faded into irrelevancy decades before the last middle-aged misanthrope ceased collecting the branded lunch boxes and sponsored miscellany of kitsch memorabilia, much of Whedon’s work stands as a paragon of original and genuinely intriguing storytelling.

Our Mrs. Reynolds serves as one such instance of a tale that could have unfolded in many disparate and somewhat-orthodox ways.  Up until the moment of Saffron’s turn, we are witness to the compelling story of a simple peasant girl used as an object of payment by a backward culture.  We see Mal’s struggle to resist both the preconceptions of his crew regarding his presumed intentions, and the temptation of Saffron’s professed devotion.  After she betrays her fraudulent matrimony in a moment that elicits actual shock from the viewer, the narrative becomes something else entirely.  While the crew returns to relatively familiar territory as they soon find themselves fighting for their lives, the sudden detour heightens the suspense.  Whedon’s ability to lull an audience into having set expectations for the outcome of a plot before changing the game plan entirely is masterful, and his talent is well displayed in this episode.  Watching it again has only increased my anticipation for his upcoming film Cabin in the Woods, as well as my commitment to avoid any further information about it until I’m seated comfortably in the theater, awaiting the moment when the lights dim and Whedon begins to show me something quite unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Corissa

In Our Mrs. Reynolds, I was mainly drawn to the patterns of romantic deception between Mal and Inara. Although the episode is mainly focused on Mal, I was acutely aware of Inara’s confusion in this episode. It’s completely obvious to the entire crew that Inara is interested in Mal, but she won’t vocally admit it or do anything about it. She remains, as always, reserved and snippy towards him. Rarely do I find that Inara annoys me but in this particular episode it becomes very clear that she is simply deceiving herself. She even becomes suspect when Mal says something about how she passed out – indicating that she had kissed someone who had the drug. Yet Mal doesn’t see it in her answer, despite obvious clues.

It’s a frustrating love match because, I’ll be honest, every bone in my body is telling Inara to reveal her emotions. It’s fascinating that though she is still a prostitute, she manages to reserve herself far better than many of the brutal characters we see in Firefly.