GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Inara's Jedi mind tricks

POSTED BY: SERGEANTX
UPDATED: Monday, May 31, 2004 12:10
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Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:50 AM

VETERAN

Don't squat with your spurs on.


Quote:

SergeantX wrote:
Wednesday, September 17, 2003 09:19

....After recently reviewing all the episodes, I'm more convinced than ever that Inara has abilities/skills/training that allow her certain powers of persuasion and perhaps subtle types of mental reading or control....



No doubt. She even says as much regarding Saffron when the crew is on the bridge after they've been "mucked" in Our Mrs. Reynolds: "She's been trained, as in Companion...." and a couple scences prior to that both Saffron and Inara compliment each other on technique. I even get the feeling that we were about to see how well Inara could fight she let Saffron go because she thought Mal was dead or dying and she wanted to be by his side.

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Saturday, May 29, 2004 7:17 PM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by HUMBLE:
But bewildering? I think not. He's expressed his thoughts of her on a number occasions as a whore, yeah? I think she thinks that he thinks he's above her, too good for her. Even in his low-class world as a smuggler and thief, he has the nerve to think himself above her. Imagine how this galls such a woman of her social stature. I'm willing to bet there is as much her own ego driving her interest in Mal as there is animal attraction. What say you to that?
HUMBLE.



I think that Inara's bewildered that he talks the "you're a whore" talk, but that anyone with eyes can see he's attracted to her. I'd imagine Inara hasn't run into many guys who try and
fight when they're attracted to her. That is some ego driving her, you're right about that, but I don't think the ego motivation is near as much as the physical/semi-emotional attraction. Perhaps to begin with, it was more physical, but she's been on the ship close to a year, lived in very close quarters with Mal, and probably seen how he reacts in almost any given situation. If, after that amount of time, it's still mostly physical, then Inara's not the person I thought she was.

I think I posted this on another thread a while back, but here's what I think about the Nandi/Mal Inara crying her eyes out thing --

I do agree with those who said Inara didn't expect it to hurt so much. However, I think that the reason it hit her like it did wasn't primarily that Mal slept with another woman. I think it was that Mal slept with another woman who had once been a Companion, but is now a plain ol' whore. He has made it very clear what he thinks about Companions (or at least Inara's being a Companion),yet he hops right into bed with Nandi. Now, from a girl point of view, what Inara likely thinks is "He calls me a whore. He ridicules my job. Nandi's had all the same training I have, is doing basically the same job I do,and she really is a whore, and he has no problem sleeping with her. Why does he like her better than me? What's wrong with me?"
Simplistic and perhaps a little childish, but I really do think that's why Inara was so upset about the whole thing. I've had reactions like to that when a guy I like hits on a friend of mine who is simliar to me in many ways. "What's she got that I don't that makes her more attractive?"

"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."

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Saturday, May 29, 2004 8:36 PM

HUMBLE


ANKHAGOGO-If a prostitute is equated to Companion, then the man who SHOULD be fighting for Inara is her pimp, not the outdated/obsolete chivalry of the Captain of a shipping vessel.

It IS ego driving Inara more than the physical attraction. It's a challenge to "bag" Mal or fun to keep teasing and tormenting him with her wiles knowing she's already made it clear that she won't be servicing members of Serenity's crew.

Mal didn't hop right into bed with Nandi. It seemed to me it took a little convincing on Nandi's part to get ole Mal to do the deed.

Nandi's prior Companion training was irrelevant. Maybe poor old Mal was just lonely(as evidence of this, being in OMR when he was telling Saffron of his days on Shadow.) and tired of mind games with Inara. Needed the company of the fairer sex. He DID manage to resist the charms of Saffron(Saffron as much admitted this to Inara in OMR.) probably thinking he had a chance with Inara and didn't want to blow it with her.

Let Inara cry her crocodile tears. She's getting what she wanted. Mal is the same as all her clients, right? No matter how much she is to blame with her pride, ego, and mind-games. I wonder what would've happened if Inara just TOLD Mal how she felt about him? What an abstract thought!

P.S.: Mal was NOT going to sleep with Saffron! Give the guy SOME credit!



HUMBLE.

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Monday, May 31, 2004 10:20 AM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by HUMBLE:
ANKHAGOGO-If a prostitute is equated to Companion, then the man who SHOULD be fighting for Inara is her pimp, not the outdated/obsolete chivalry of the Captain of a shipping vessel.



Uh, you either read that wrong, or I wrote it wrong --
What I said/meant that to say was Inara is confused that Mal tries to fight his attraction to her, not that Mal fights other people because he's attracted to her. And she doesn't get why he would be doing that, because probably most men who find her attractive just go ahead and make it really obvious, rather than trying to pretend the attraction doesn't exist.

Quote:

It IS ego driving Inara more than the physical attraction. It's a challenge to "bag" Mal or fun to keep teasing and tormenting him with her wiles knowing she's already made it clear that she won't be servicing members of Serenity's crew.


Wow, you must really have a low opinion of Inara. I'm not saying there aren't chicks like that, cause we all know there are, and I'm not saying that ego doesn't have anything at all to do with it, cause I'm sure it does.
But she told Mal she wouldn't be servicing crew for a very good reason -- she didn't know him at the time, and wanted to make it very clear that her rent wasn't going to be taken out in trade. As a girl, I think it was a perfectly logical thing to do to a total stranger. I'm sure she's run across scads of men who think it's ok to try and cop a cheap feel because she's a Companion, cause hey! She does that for a living, why would she mind? Men do it to women in clubs all the time, and most of those women certainly aren't any form of prostitute.
And I haven't seen anything that I've thought was Inara teasing or tormenting Mal. Sure, she's going to be more subtle than your average girl,
but as a general rule, Inara holds herself away from Mal more than she does from anyone else on the ship. If Mal was reaching out to her, that could be taken as her being a tease, but he isn't.

Quote:

Mal didn't hop right into bed with Nandi. It seemed to me it took a little convincing on Nandi's part to get ole Mal to do the deed.


What it took was cool guns, saki, and some one-on-one conversation. That's not convincing. That's hitting the right buttons, or, if you prefer, wiles. I don't think Nandi was wile-ing it up 100%, but I do think she made up her mind to snag Mal within moments of meeting him.
By Mal's own admission, it had been a "long time", and for him, meeting a woman and sleeping with her in such a short time period (what, slightly over a day?) is jumping right into bed with her. Actually, for anyone, I consider that jumping right into bed. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, mind. It's just an unusual action for Mal. Anyone who abstains for "a long time" has a reason,and I sure don't believe Mal was abstaining due to lack of offers. Therefore, he must have had a reason for sleeping with Nandi -- lonliness, just a clicking of personalities, whatever -- and Inara, not getting how Mal's brain works on the opposite sex, doesn't get why he chose Nandi and not her.

Quote:

Nandi's prior Companion training was irrelevant. Maybe poor old Mal was just lonely(as evidence of this, being in OMR when he was telling Saffron of his days on Shadow.) and tired of mind games with Inara. Needed the company of the fairer sex.


Nandi's training may actually be irrelevant to Mal, but it isn't to Inara, because she's gotten the very clear impression from Mal himself that he does think it's relevant.
Mal and Inara very rarely try to relate to each other on a seriously personal level, that we've seen. Oh, they do here and there, but it's generally in times of some crisis. So I, for one, am not surprised at all that Inara thinks Mal regards her as a Companion first and a person second. I don't think Mal has a problem with Companions in the abstract; what he has a problem with is being attracted to someone who is in a job he doesn't necessarily respect. But Inara's not able to understand that, and Mal's confused about it himself.

Quote:

Let Inara cry her crocodile tears. She's getting what she wanted. Mal is the same as all her clients, right? No matter how much she is to blame with her pride, ego, and mind-games. I wonder what would've happened if Inara just TOLD Mal how she felt about him? What an abstract thought!


Or how about this? Mal could tell INARA how he feels about her? Why does it have to be Inara that makes the first move?
If you're going to start laying blame,then put some of it on Mal,too. He's no more open about his feelings than she is. And why on earth would she consider Mal the same as all her clients? She's never had a Companion-client relationship with him. They've had a business relationship, which has apparently morphed into something neither one of them know what to do about. He's a man, yes, and a swell one at that -- but Inara
doesn't relate to all men like they're clients.
And if we're going to talk about pride -- Malcolm Reynolds is one of the proudest men I've ever seen. That boy has a head like a rock when his mind is set, and, being rather rock-headed myself, it's one of the things I like best about him. But it is prideful. I don't really see alot of purposeful "mind games" going on, but they've both done things that could screw with the other's head.
I'm just really confused as to why it seems like you're wanting to blame Inara for all the misunderstandings and whatnot going on between the two. If there's a communication problem -- and there so is-- it's due to both of them, not just one or the other. They're both seeing things from their own perspectives, and not discussing that perspective with the other. That's how most mistakes in communication happen. It's not Inara's fault completely, nor is it Mal's fault completely.





"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."

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Monday, May 31, 2004 12:03 PM

GRACEOM


At the risk of a "me too" post, I just wanted to say that I came back to respond to Humble at some length, but see that Ankagogo has already done so far more eloquently than I ever could have.

I don't see either Mal or Inara playing deliberate mind games with one another. Rather, each of them is trying desperately to protect themselves from the pain of being rejected by the other. Either of them might be able to break down the barriers with a confession of true feelings, but neither of them has yet shown willingness to work without a net of "I'm rejecting you before you can reject me".

There is also the issue of "Inara's secret". Something is going on with her that hasn't yet been revealed, but which might well cause her to evade deep emotional involvement even when her heart wants it. Hopefully the movie will answer some questions about that one.

It is interesting that Mal's made it very clear to Inara that he thinks her profession is beneath *her*, yet it didn't seem to be a problem with Nandi. He seemed very contented with the prospect of a future where he would return periodically to visit her (Nandi), while she carried on being a whore. Hard to imagine him being willing to share Inara in that way.

I also think Nandi's companion training *was* relevant to what happened between them. Yes, the attraction was evident from the first time they met, but Nandi knew without a doubt that Mal was in love with Inara. Inara covered her feelings better, and Nandi hadn't figured that part out until the deed was done. I wonder how Nandi would have reacted if she'd realized that much of the gulf between Inara and Mal was over Inara's profession... If she'd lived, I'm sure she would have knocked their heads together and made them be honest with one another (so of course Joss had to kill her).

Nandi hit the nail on the head: Mal and Inara are a lot alike.

Grace

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Monday, May 31, 2004 12:10 PM

GRACEOM


Quote:

Originally posted by Ankhagogo:

I think I posted this on another thread a while back, but here's what I think about the Nandi/Mal Inara crying her eyes out thing --

I do agree with those who said Inara didn't expect it to hurt so much. However, I think that the reason it hit her like it did wasn't primarily that Mal slept with another woman. I think it was that Mal slept with another woman who had once been a Companion, but is now a plain ol' whore. He has made it very clear what he thinks about Companions (or at least Inara's being a Companion),yet he hops right into bed with Nandi. Now, from a girl point of view, what Inara likely thinks is "He calls me a whore. He ridicules my job. Nandi's had all the same training I have, is doing basically the same job I do,and she really is a whore, and he has no problem sleeping with her. Why does he like her better than me? What's wrong with me?"
Simplistic and perhaps a little childish, but I really do think that's why Inara was so upset about the whole thing. I've had reactions like to that when a guy I like hits on a friend of mine who is simliar to me in many ways. "What's she got that I don't that makes her more attractive?"

"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."



I agree with all that, but I also think there's even more complications... As a Companion, Inara's been taught to believe that she's not a whore--she's something different, respectable, quality...etc. I think the events of Heart of Gold--not just Mal sleeping with Nandi, but being around her old friend, the house she built, the "ordinary" whores and their familial bonds with each other, really shook the comfortable foundations of Inara's sense of herself and her place in the 'verse. She's not exactly who and what she always thought she was, and that's a lot to have ripped away.

Grace

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