FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Firefly 1.13: 'Heart of Gold'

POSTED BY: ENTILZHA
UPDATED: Thursday, January 11, 2007 02:51
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VIEWED: 4786
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Thursday, July 7, 2005 1:41 PM

ENTILZHA


The first time I saw this episode, I focused on all of the good points, especially the character development. It wasn't until later that I realized that there wasn't much more to the episode, and for that matter, there wasn't much of that in the first place. This was the only one of the unaired episodes that I read the shooting script before watching as well, and I think that it ruined it for me, because a lot of the moments I had been looking forward to had been edited out. For that reason alone, I have avoided the test screenings of "Serenity"; for that matter, I've avoided the vast majority of the comments and discussion on the new film. I certainly hope the film isn't like this episode!

Here's my review for Firefly 1.13: "Heart of Gold":

http://www.entil2001.com/series/firefly/season1dvd/ff1-13.html

Overall, this episode is an interesting concept, and the resulting consequences were clearly the point of the entire situation. While the shooting script still contained a number of unfortunate flaws, the final cut left out some of the nuances, thus compounding the errors. The villain is never very compelling, and frankly, Nandi’s inconsistent characterization, a requirement of the plot, is a major drawback.

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Thursday, July 7, 2005 1:43 PM

GROUNDED


What's inconsistent about it?

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Friday, July 8, 2005 8:03 AM

ENTILZHA


I get into that in rather great detail in the review...

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Sunday, October 30, 2005 3:04 PM

MINRA


"At the same time, she’s aware of the fact, perhaps belatedly, that she has crossed over a line. Mal is willing to take on a rather dangerous job with no payment on her behalf, and she didn’t even have to ask."

It's the writers who crossed the line and pussified Mal beyond belief. Firefly loses its reality when the combat veteran who has decided "no more lost causes" decides to engage in a hopeless battle for no good reason. Only the writers (and the audience) know that the crew is going to get out of that unnecessary situation alive.

The charity and heroism cards here are played over the top and it breaks continuity and believability. In reality Inara, and the entire whorehouse themselves, would be posing serious questions whether they ALL WANT TO DIE over a whore's wish to keep a child.


"He won't kill anyone UNLESS HE HAS TO." - Nathan Fillion on Mal

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Saturday, November 12, 2005 8:43 PM

YORG


Here's how it is. Even though Joss likes to write his overall characters and plotlines as non-cliche as possible (which in itself sometimes is cliche), he still gives nods to his inspirations.


Heart of Gold is your classic western showdown. One side is holed up inside of a building and the other side (usually the "bad guys") assualts from the outside with greater numbers and better weapons.

I dunno if there are many western fans around here, but I have seen my fair share of weapons since I like a good handful of them, and it's something that is a popular event in westerns.


Lets see, Joss has covered:

A train robbery
A stage coach robbery
Transporting a herd of cattle
A brothel
A showdown
A bank robbery


As for regualr sci-fi fair, Joss has covered:

A traitor on board
A bounty hunter
Ship running out of life support systems
A psychic
An emergency without a medic

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Sunday, November 13, 2005 8:40 AM

SERENYTY


Meh, it was a decent episode. Not my favorite, but better than most of the best episodes of the stuff on TV.

I just have to post this: Am I the only one who thinks that Petaline (or however you spell it) sounds like a medicine for infants? Or a baby-dietary-supplement? I'm just curious, because that name...

~A message from Serenyty~

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Sunday, November 13, 2005 9:43 AM

PINGJING


I agree, Serenyty, I kinda liked this episode. What I like is Mal and Nandi - they're both stubborn fools, and they have a fantastic dynamic together. (Though I think I may be alone in that opinion.) I also liked the triangle setup, and Inara's heartbreak - she acts that part so convincingly, it makes me want to cry every single time.

Granted, the plot wasn't great but there are more than enough reasons for me to like it.

And this is more than a bit off-topic, but if Heart of Gold isn't a favorite because of its plot, then why on earth do so many people like The Message? I know how much sentimental value it has, as the last episode to be filmed, but still...

Julia

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Sunday, November 13, 2005 1:20 PM

SERENYTY


Quote:

Originally posted by pingjing:
I agree, Serenyty, I kinda liked this episode. What I like is Mal and Nandi - they're both stubborn fools, and they have a fantastic dynamic together. (Though I think I may be alone in that opinion.) I also liked the triangle setup, and Inara's heartbreak - she acts that part so convincingly, it makes me want to cry every single time.

Granted, the plot wasn't great but there are more than enough reasons for me to like it.

And this is more than a bit off-topic, but if Heart of Gold isn't a favorite because of its plot, then why on earth do so many people like The Message? I know how much sentimental value it has, as the last episode to be filmed, but still...

Julia


See, it's weird that you say th at.

I love The Message. Personally, I think it's a great episode, but that's just me.

I love all the Firefly episodes, so...

~A message from Serenyty~

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Sunday, November 13, 2005 1:41 PM

PINGJING


Quote:

Originally posted by Serenyty:
Quote:


See, it's weird that you say th at.

I love The Message. Personally, I think it's a great episode, but that's just me.

I love all the Firefly episodes, so...

~A message from Serenyty~



It's not just you - it's the majority of flans, I think. I'm alone in my wayward thoughts... Not that I hate the whole episode, it definitely has its moments, especially the last scene.

Julia

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Monday, November 14, 2005 5:11 PM

SERENYTY


Quote:

Originally posted by pingjing:
Quote:

Originally posted by Serenyty:
Quote:


See, it's weird that you say th at.

I love The Message. Personally, I think it's a great episode, but that's just me.

I love all the Firefly episodes, so...

~A message from Serenyty~



It's not just you - it's the majority of flans, I think. I'm alone in my wayward thoughts... Not that I hate the whole episode, it definitely has its moments, especially the last scene.

Julia


I commented on Firefly Talk (the podcast) about the last scene. . I put it as my favorite scene. The music is GORGEOUS!!! I can't wait for the Firefly soundtrack.

~A message from Serenyty~

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:14 AM

CITIZEN


A stage coach robbery
Which one was that?



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you Beeeer Milkshakes!

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:56 AM

SAKROVISHE


silly HoG comment, but it is interesting how all sci fi movies set eons of years from now, in the age of whizzing space ships and intergalactic travel, still all depict dramatic childbirth, where you'd think by then they would be using nano-techno-epidural-over-the-counter-in-case-of-birth-packs all over the place. I guess it's too tempting to resist for injecting tension into a story and keeping the audience on the edge. Perhaps this wasn't so bad in HoG overall in the line of the story, as it was in Revenge of the Sith where Padme was in pain to her death with the birth of twins who happened to be a last minute "surprise", even as technology was good enough to be building Darth Vader back to full power from a half dead Anakin.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 2:08 PM

JLIN


I just finished my second viewing of Heart of Gold and I liked it much better the second time around. I tried to focus more on the everyone except Mal and Nandi (I still don't like that combo).

It was by far my least favorite episode the first time I watched them and almost couldn't bring myself to watch it but I'm glad I did.

Thank Universal for airing Firefly in HD at
http://universalhd.com/Firefly/

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 3:50 PM

TRAVELER


I like how Joss treated Jayne. I focused on him in "Heart of Gold". He started out in his crude manner, but when he was alone with the woman he choose I noticed he was really nice to her. Jayne sat down her and was honest about the what was going to happen and he didn't talk down to her. He even showed his trust in her by giving her an assignment of handing him his weapons in proper order. You hardly ever see Jayne treat anyone outside the crew with that kind of respect.


Traveler

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:05 PM

MISSTRESSAHARA


Heart of Gold I can take, but the Message seems like an unfinished episode. My least favorite, despite Tracey's character.

What on earth is aaaibment?

If I'm a bitch, then life just got interesting

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:10 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by pingjing:
I agree, Serenyty, I kinda liked this episode. What I like is Mal and Nandi - they're both stubborn fools, and they have a fantastic dynamic together. (Though I think I may be alone in that opinion.)


I frankly love their dynamic and have an (unpopular) love for the pairing. I think they had much more chemistry than Mal and Inara ever have and they just meet better.
I love this episode, and I loved it more when I read the essay on it in 'Finding Serenity'.

[]

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:13 PM

PIRATECAT


Traveler, when does Jayne treat anybody on the crew nice. He cusses like a sailor in front all the women including River a teenager. Then the Ladies of Ilrepute he adors like princesses. He's funny dude. Guns and whores make Jayne a happy man. I like this episode for the Magificent 7 style but the high brows put it down. Today babies are considered cheap but in cowboy days family is what it is about and children are a blessing. I liked Nandi too. She was real madame. Nandi played Sarin in Broken Bow eps of ST Enterprise. I saw it on scif and go wait I know that alien. HoG was kick butt action all the way.


"Battle of Serenity, Mal. Besides Zoe here, how many-" "I'm talkin at you! How many men in your platoon came out of their alive".

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:40 PM

ASORTAFAIRYTALE


I have to say that while this episode was probably my least favorite one, it was definitely not a bad episode. I mean really, how bad can a Firefly episode be? But yeah, I do think that it was funny how Jayne was in that one, and PirateCat was right in saying that he really isn't too nice to anyone else in the series. Also, I liked some of the guest characters in it. Petaline was a pretty good one, ("Say hi to your daddy...say goodbye to your daddy.") and Nandi was an okay character too...but that whole love scene was a bit much if you ask me. This one was good for showing the whole sci-fi/western genre better as well. In closing, I think that it was a good episode, just not quite as good as the others.

---------
Love keeps her in the air when she outta fall down, tells you she's hurting before she keels. Makes her a home.


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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:41 PM

TRAVELER


Hello PirateCat:

Your right about nice. Jayne is one crude person. But he got pissed off when Kaylee got shot. And I think he would have taken the bullet himself if he could. And he treats Simon and River bad because he does not think of them as part of the crew. Mal had to point that out to him in the airlock and with the help of a wrench. I'm still not sure if Mal got completely through Jayne's thick skull on that one. Just know Jayne would not try what he did on Ariel again unless he really thought Mal would not find out and Jayne is not that smart. Book seems to be the one person Jayne talks plain to. They have a couple of short conversations that Jayne actually speaks like a human being to Book. I don't know if Jayne has respect for Shepards or Book just brings it out of him. Book does have a way of with people. River is about the only person who reacted to him when she saw his hair.

Edit: Got that word all cockeyed. Didn't do a very good job editing my last post. It is now corrected.


Traveler

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Thursday, January 11, 2007 2:51 AM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by minra:

"At the same time, she’s aware of the fact, perhaps belatedly, that she has crossed over a line. Mal is willing to take on a rather dangerous job with no payment on her behalf, and she didn’t even have to ask."

It's the writers who crossed the line and pussified Mal beyond belief. Firefly loses its reality when the combat veteran who has decided "no more lost causes" decides to engage in a hopeless battle for no good reason. Only the writers (and the audience) know that the crew is going to get out of that unnecessary situation alive.



The person you describe ain't the Mal I know. :)

In the Battle of Serenity, Mal lost his faith in God: "God? Whose colors is He flyin'?" Mal basically lost the belief that he can count on help from above: "I ain't looking for help from on high. That's a long wait for a train don't come." It doesn't mean Mal lost his basic good nature, or the desire to do right by his people. platoon or crew. In fact, it only strengthens these qualities in him, as he realizes he's on his own.

Superficially, Mal seems to despise whores. But in reality, Mal considers them his kinda people: under the heel of others, and always taken advantage of, like himself: "She still has the advantage over us." "Everyone always does." It's not heroism that makes Mal leap to the opportunity to help them, but simply the fact that he's suddenly in a position again to make a difference. He really cannot be that person for Inara. Remember Shindig? "I am grateful, you know, for the ill-conceived and high-handed attempt to defend my honor, although I didn't want you to." But with this job, Mal kills two birds with one stone: he gets to help his kinda folks (who actually need his help, for a change), and, sideways, he gets to do it for Inara. Inara actually realizes this, and (on that personal level) rejects the gift and insists on paying him.

Mal takes on "no more lost causes"? Yeah, but I'm looking at some fair compelling evidence says he does. :) River, for one. Sure, he's pissed: "It's a tale of woe, very stirring; but in the meantime you heaped a world of trouble on me and mine." But he does the right thing anyway. And in the BDM he explains again how he had the perfect way out. But he didn't take it. It's not his way, as Book says. And then he kinda jokes about it: "I have a way? That better than a plan?" But it defines him nonetheless.

And it ain't no charity, either, why he helped them whores. Mal, you could say, is simply like Robin Hood that way: he only takes from the rich and shameless; not from the poor. That's what he meant when he told Inara: "My work's illegal, but at least it's honest." And in the Train Job, when Mal accidentally discovers that he HAS taken from those who can't afford to miss it, after all, he prompty returns what's theirs -- at great personal peril (considering he knew he had to deal with Niska).

Mal is a man after my heart. Or, I should do him better justice and say, I try and be a man after his.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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