FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Inara's true age

POSTED BY: PIRATECAT
UPDATED: Monday, January 1, 2007 11:41
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Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:25 PM

PIRATECAT


Ok in Out of Gas ep something has bothered me from the get go. Inara supports unification said during flasback. Ok we have a 5 year galactic civil war. 6 years later we see the crew of Serenity first ep. That's 11 years. Unification day 6 years exactly in the Train Job. Inara tells book she has been with the crew 8 months. In Bushwacked she tells the Fed she's been almost a year 2 months gone by give or take. OK if we go by Mal's, Zoe's, and Jayne's age by realife that would make sense. Kaylee's, Simon, and River's from flashbacks all kids. Book ok too. Inara would have to be 10 years old or no older than 15 if we went Morena's age of show and time begining or end of the unification war. To say she supports unification strikes me of a women in her 30s not early 20s. Just has always bug me what was that serum in the needle in Serenity ep.



"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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Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:40 PM

BLACKBEANIE


I read somewhere she's 27.

The Crow: Serenity
Coming 2007

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Friday, December 22, 2006 12:24 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Perhaps you could also consider Rebecca Gayheart's age (which was 31)?

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Friday, December 22, 2006 12:52 AM

AGENTROUKA


I'm with the 27 crowd.

That would make her 16 for the start of the war and 21 for its end.

"Supported" doesn't have to mean active support of the Unification war. She could have simply been in favor of it, politically and philosophically.

27 seems like a fitting age. Young enough to be at the prime of her career without the immediate threat of fading beauty, old enough to have some life experience and to have cultivated her career to the point where she is now.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 2:32 AM

SHINYED


I agree that something doesn't quite add up with Inara's timeline.

In Heart of Gold, Nandi tells Mal how Inara was the "best" companion in the house, and how anyone going in there would have chosen her...now Nandi, at least to me, clearly seems to be 5-10 years older than Inara, and even mentions how Inara "hasn't changed".

Other Inara question.. When she flys off in her shuttle does she typically provide companion services to her customers in the shuttle or in their homes....why would rich guys want to do it in the shuttle, when they could have her in their own bed? ...after all, being with a Registerd Companion is not looked down upon in any way in this 'verse...it's actually a status symbol. I always believed that Inara was just waiting & dying for Mal to just grab her, plant a big one on her, and sweep her off her feet.....but then we'd maybe never have all the incredible emotional interplay between the two that is there in every single episode.

Christina Hendricks...Tzu fu nee, bao bei!

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Friday, December 22, 2006 3:11 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by ShinyEd:
I agree that something doesn't quite add up with Inara's timeline.

In Heart of Gold, Nandi tells Mal how Inara was the "best" companion in the house, and how anyone going in there would have chosen her...now Nandi, at least to me, clearly seems to be 5-10 years older than Inara, and even mentions how Inara "hasn't changed".




I wouldn't say that Nandi is that much older than Inara. 4 to 5 years, tops, and certainly more marked by a life of deprivation that she has chosen, compared to the splendor Inara enjoys even on the Lovable Rustbucket Serenity.

And hey, "you haven't changed" seems like a nice but insiginificant compliment to make to a woman over her mid-20's who was a glorious rising star, beautiful, powerful and respected when they last met.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 3:23 AM

SHINYED


Hey Agent,

You make good points.....maybe we should all just keep watching the shows again & again, and just accept them for the true gems they are...no real need to delve into the minutia...just enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

Christina Hendricks...Tzu fu nee, bao bei!

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Friday, December 22, 2006 3:25 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by ShinyEd:
Hey Agent,

You make good points.....maybe we should all just keep watching the shows again & again, and just accept them for the true gems they are...no real need to delve into the minutia...just enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

Christina Hendricks...Tzu fu nee, bao bei!



I'm all for the rewatching and rewatching! :D

But delving into the minutiae is fun, too... *G* The cool thing abou the show is that it doesnt crumble under close inspection. It's.. fully inherently logical! Well, almost, hehehehe.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 4:19 AM

BAGHEERA


I'm not sure if she mentioned it anywhere, but I got the impression that she was in companion training during the war, and that she was in the 14-16 year old range at the time.

I also got the feeling that she was simply being argumentative with Mal by stating she supported Unification, and that she actually harbored browncoat/independence sympathies. (backed up with her refusal to break ties with her "independant" friend in Heart of Gold).

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Friday, December 22, 2006 4:37 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:

I also got the feeling that she was simply being argumentative with Mal by stating she supported Unification, and that she actually harbored browncoat/independence sympathies. (backed up with her refusal to break ties with her "independant" friend in Heart of Gold).



I wouldn't go so far as to say she harbored sympathies. For all we know, Inara's apathy and/or distrust of the Alliance is either recent or not too unusual within the actual Alliance population. Simon's father seemed to be quite nervous about the government and his "permanent record", for one. But this is six years after the war ended, and she might have held different opinions as an impressionable younger woman.

Not to mention, Inara may not have truly shunned Nandi, but she hasn't contacted her in a long time, either. Not to mention, the Companion Guild is not the Alliance and Nandi being an "independent" isn't the reason she was shunned, but rather the pretty vicious circumstances of her "resignation". She essentially threw a tantrum and destroyed Guild property.

Shunning would seem a bit harsh, but there's some motivation.


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Friday, December 22, 2006 4:50 AM

MAVOURNEEN


Quote:

Originally posted by ShinyEd:
Hey Agent,

You make good points.....maybe we should all just keep watching the shows again & again, and just accept them for the true gems they are...no real need to delve into the minutia...just enjoy!




There are Browncoats who watch the episodes like you say, and then there are the minutia delvers like agentrouka.
Most of us oldtimers *coughhackwheeze as I drag my walker around* (HA!) have seen the episodes so many times we delve. We delve a lot.

For example, if you look REALLY closely at the scene in The Message where Kaylee is in the hammock listening to Tracey's recording, behind her is a Han Solo frozen in carbonite toy. It's proppped up over her shoulder.




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Friday, December 22, 2006 5:00 AM

SHINYED


I firmly believe that Browncoats who delve represent no real threat to society at large; and they should not be mocked or shunned. Delving IS fun, but there are slippery slopes out there in this cruel 'verse.

Thanks for mentioning Kaylee's Han Solo toy......I've never noticed that!....Good delving!

Christina Hendricks...Tzu fu nee, bao bei!

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Friday, December 22, 2006 5:04 AM

PURPLEBELLY


So Kaylee is 5,000 years old, and it's her that's taking the shots -- or is she just out of cryo -- or is the Solo figure a talisman of the group that broke out frozen-River and routed the Doc to Serenity so that Kaylee could be covert support?

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:15 AM

CAUSAL


Or--maybe that's no toy! Perhaps it really is Han Solo. And the 'verse is an alternate universe where the rescue of Han from Jabba's palace failed. And since Star Wars was "a long time ago", the human race has gotten much, much taller, so that's really Han frozen in carbonite!






(To self) God, what a geek.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:20 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by PirateCat:
Ok in Out of Gas ep something has bothered me from the get go. Inara supports unification said during flasback. Ok we have a 5 year galactic civil war. 6 years later we see the crew of Serenity first ep. That's 11 years. Unification day 6 years exactly in the Train Job. Inara tells book she has been with the crew 8 months. In Bushwacked she tells the Fed she's been almost a year 2 months gone by give or take. OK if we go by Mal's, Zoe's, and Jayne's age by realife that would make sense. Kaylee's, Simon, and River's from flashbacks all kids. Book ok too. Inara would have to be 10 years old or no older than 15 if we went Morena's age of show and time begining or end of the unification war. To say she supports unification strikes me of a women in her 30s not early 20s.



I fail to see why her age has anything to do with the question of whether or not she would have supported unification. Perhaps she was very politically aware for a 15-year old. Or maybe her parents were. Maybe her family stood to gain from unification, so they talked it up. The mere fact that she would have been 15 when the question of unification was a live issue doesn't establish an inconsistency. I (a 30-year-old) go to school with 18-year-olds who would have been about 15 when we invaded Iraq, and they have definite (though not terribly well-informed) opinions on the issue. And I was in high school during Gulf War I, and I remember many of my fellow students protesting that. I also remember the 1992 presidential election. Many of my high school friends had strong feelings one way or the other. So the mere fact that Inara was 15 doesn't mean that she couldn't have been well informed enough to have a position on the issue. In fact, given Inara's intelligence that would seem quite reasonable.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:24 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:
I also got the feeling that she was simply being argumentative with Mal by stating she supported Unification, and that she actually harbored browncoat/independence sympathies. (backed up with her refusal to break ties with her "independant" friend in Heart of Gold).



Her refusal to break ties with Nandi seems to have more to do with her friendship than with an "independence sympathies." Other than that, can you think of anything that would lead you to believe that she had such sympathies? I certainly can't.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:29 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


I've had a theory for quite some time that Inara is much older than she seems, and I think it is one of the main reasons she is hesitant to declare her love for Mal.

My take on what was in her syringe is an anti-aging drug, and the look on her face in that scene seemed to indicate her thoughts were like, "Well, that was all for nothing, wasn't it?"




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:34 AM

CAUSAL


Oh god--not the immortal-Inara theory again...

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:37 AM

HERA7


Here is something to consider, how old is Nandi? Inara and Nandi went through training together, so they have to be close to the same age. Nandi remarks how Inara looks the same since they last met. This brings up the question asked before, is or was Inara taking some sort of anti-aging treatment?


Hera7

Mechanic & Cook
"So thats where that bolt went to."

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:45 AM

DTUCK


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Oh god--not the immortal-Inara theory again...



Yes indeed. That whole "There can be only one" thing... always wondered why she was proficient in swordplay.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:45 AM

THUNDER


I don't know about age but one of the producers said that the needle was full of a drug that killed anyone that had sex with her after she took it. The The episode was going to be that she was taken prisoner by the reavers & when Mal finds her all the reavers on the ship are dead.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:47 AM

CAUSAL


And if you believe that, you need to have your sarcasm detector check out--it may be out of adjustment.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:52 AM

MAVOURNEEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Thunder:
I don't know about age but one of the producers said that the needle was full of a drug that killed anyone that had sex with her after she took it.



Silliest. Rumor. Ever.


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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:55 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Tim Minear's favorite sci-fi show is Friends

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Friday, December 22, 2006 8:37 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
I've had a theory for quite some time that Inara is much older than she seems, and I think it is one of the main reasons she is hesitant to declare her love for Mal.

My take on what was in her syringe is an anti-aging drug, and the look on her face in that scene seemed to indicate her thoughts were like, "Well, that was all for nothing, wasn't it?"




I think the fact that Inara says "We started training at 12, remember?" to Sheydra in the movie indicates that this theory is highly unlikely. She would have been part of a class of Companions, growing up, they would all know her age, so it couldn't be a secret practice just involving Inara.

If this was a practice concerning more than one Companion, it would already be known to the entire population. Companion life is pretty high in publicity and they meet and re-meet people all over the place. Dots would be connected.

And if their use of anti-aging drugs was well-known, then there would be no reason for all this secret angst.


It's a theory I've always wondered about. What gives people the idea in the first place? Just Nandi's comment?

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Friday, December 22, 2006 9:48 AM

DIZ


Not a rumor. Tim Minear mentioned the plot to show an audience of aspiring television writers and filmmakers how to break a story. This was not at a convention of Firefly fans, so there was no reason to expect he was joking about it. There is a DVD of his lecture, and those who've seen it said he was dead-serious when he was talking about this plot. I've also heard it was a left-over plot from when Joss had envisioned Firefly as much darker. Then there is this transcript from the actors at a convention, after being asked if they knew what was in the syringe:

Morena – I know what it was.

Nathan – Me too. Do you know what it was? (To Summer)

Summer – Yes.

Nathan – We all told her what it was but we’re not allowed to tell you.

Morena – I can’t tell you. It’s not a suicide thing. It’s much worse than that.

Summer – So super cool.

Morena – It’s super cool and super disgusting and sad.

Nathan – and totally awesome and top secret.

Morena – Use your imagination.

Now Nathan is a big kidder, but Summer and Morena aren't so much. And if they wanted to be funny, there's far better ways to be funny. I believe them, and it adds up from all the clues people have dropped.

As far as age, I think Inara is far older then she looks. This is the future, remember. How old does Nicole Kidman look? 25? Maybe 30? She turns 40 in 2007. I can't imagine why--so far in the future--someone who is 60 can't look 25. Now if she's doing something to *make* herself look young, I don't know. There are a lot of mysteries about Inara, and I just hope one day we learn them.

---------------------------------
Welcome to Serenity - Joss Whedon

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Friday, December 22, 2006 9:48 AM

DIZ


Grr... double post. Some day I hope to learn how to use these here intranetty thingys.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 9:51 AM

DAVESHAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by PirateCat:
Inara would have to be 10 years old or no older than 15 if we went Morena's age



I don't think it makes much sense trying to figure Inara's age based on Morena's.

David

"Not completely as well as the series of Firefly..." - From a review of Serenity at amazon.de

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Friday, December 22, 2006 9:57 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Oh god--not the immortal-Inara theory again...


I didn't say immortal, just older than she looks.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 9:59 AM

CAUSAL


Oh...very well, then.

Oh God--not the much-older-than-she-looks-Inara theory again.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 5:54 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Until Joss gives us her backstory, that theory is just as valid as any other.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:05 AM

CAUSAL


Right, except...not.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:17 AM

BAGHEERA


Alright, I never meant to imply that Inara supported the browncoats during the war, more that when she told Mal she supported the Alliance, she lied.

I doubt that she was politically active during her training... as has been said... she was fairly young... and while some children are young and idealistic in their youth... they dont stay that way in the alliance and manage to get anywhere...

I look at her past similar to Simon's... she was defacto Alliance so long as she didnt work against it... but she had her concerns and sympathies, but she didnt act on them... finally... SOMETHING occurred which drove her away from the core...

Where she meets Mal... there was a great deal of tension between the two... and Inara has ALWAYS used arguments with Mal to ignite/defuse the tension... so I saw the alliance comment as an early occurrence of that.

In regards to her friend 'the whore', I think that example served to highlight Inara's sympathy for those that cant manage to live up to "the shining light of civilization" created by the Alliance... which pushes away all that cant conform to the status quo to the darkness and borders.

Sympathy and Support are two entirely different words though, and Inara's between a rock and a hard place... much as Simon was... Simon had his love for River to force him to abandon all he once had... but most of what Inara has is her station and traditions... and she isnt quite ready to do that, unless perhaps Mal was ready to speak up and ask her to... "I'm a big girl...."

I also didnt mean to say that she had those sympathies as a child, simply when she CHOSE Mal's ship to go to...

She sympathizies with those that "fight the system", because she cant find the strength within herself to do so...

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:25 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:
... and while some children are young and idealistic in their youth... they dont stay that way in the alliance and manage to get anywhere...



Except the Operative, of course. Idealism doesn't neessarily mean the same thing as "moral." The Operative was obviously very idealistic--he believed that the Alliance was making better worlds. There's nothing to suggest that Inara didn't agree with that whole-heartedly. The mere fact of her shipping out on Serenity doesn't establish that she'd rejected the Alliance (after all, she has no problem going to worlds like Ariel, and even suggests taking Book to an Alliance ship). Her not being in the Core could be due to something completely different. I think this is sort of like insisting that Jayne is, at heart, a big teddy bear and all-around nice guy, when in fact, that just ain't so. Why do Mal and Inara not get along? Because he's fiercely independent, and she isn't so much. And before anyone objects that of course she's independent (she's on Serenity, isn't she?), let me just ask: if she's so independent, why didn't she leave the Guild?

Also, the period is your friend. Do not fear the period.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:31 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:
Where she meets Mal... there was a great deal of tension between the two... and Inara has ALWAYS used arguments with Mal to ignite/defuse the tension... so I saw the alliance comment as an early occurrence of that.



I absolutely agree with that. Inara never once questions or doubts Simon's story about River and the Academy. In fact, she's ready to give up her place on the ship to protect him further. (Although we never once see her criticising or denouncing the Alliance, either.)

And in their first meeting, she obviously tried to distract Mal. Ignite the situation, as you say. He wants to pry into her business, she drops the "supported Unification" bomb he can't ignore, hehe. And technically, she doesn't even lie, because she most likely did, 6 years ago. *g*

Quote:


but most of what Inara has is her station and traditions... and she isnt quite ready to do that, unless perhaps Mal was ready to speak up and ask her to... "I'm a big girl...."

(..*snip*..)

She sympathizies with those that "fight the system", because she cant find the strength within herself to do so...



I'll disagree there. Mal is obviously justabout to spill his feelings whens he interrupts him from finishing and saying it, and her speech is a very honest explanation to him, why she is leaving. His family ties her down, she is leaving before she can't break away anymore.

Independence is as important to Inara as to Mal. 'Choosing', 'my decision to make, not yours', those are keywords between them and I don't think she's clinging to her job because it's all she has. I think it's all she has because she wants it to be. Those Rules Mal so complains about give her a unique freedom, to be independent, untouchable and free to help and show affection to others without being trapped into the downsides of love, which are loss, betrayal and uncertainty.

I think she's trying to be very Buddhist about her life (though not for religious reasons) - be free from all attachments and desires, because that way lies suffering. A committment phobia.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:42 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Why do Mal and Inara not get along? Because he's fiercely independent, and she isn't so much. And before anyone objects that of course she's independent (she's on Serenity, isn't she?), let me just ask: if she's so independent, why didn't she leave the Guild?




Because it would, effectively, render her less independent. :)

Right now she has generous means at her disposal and the backing of a large organisation to keep her safe. She's doing a job that she enjoys and can essentially do nearly everything she wants, be anywhere she wants, help anyone she wants and is widely respected.

Without the Guild - depending on how much money she has saved up - her world would shrink. Look at Nandi's life. That is only desirable to a very small amount of people.

Inara could take a steady job in another field, but she would still depend on her boss and likely not be able to travel so much, have the kind of variety she now enjoys, or the kind of relative freedom from society.

She could go completely independent, run a business, but that's still another kind of dependence, a constant stress factor and relying on the ability to gain and hold customers.

Hell, Mal, in his way, is not all that independent, either. He has to all but sink to his knees in the dirt in front of Badger in the pilot episodes because he's whatcan be considered dirt poor. His ship's falling apart and he can't always afford the repairs it needs. He can't settle anywhere he wants because he's a wanted man and what exactly kind of future is he looking at when Kaylee wants to have a family, Jayne wants to move on, Wash is insistent on not having a baby on a flying death trap (scratch that last one, he's, oh, dead.) It's a bubble he lives in.

Inara's independence lies in her "independent means" afforded by the infrastructure of the Guild. It's not the same kind that Mal has, but an equal kind. Their restrictions are very different, as are their freedoms, but they each considerable in their way.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 7:13 AM

BAGHEERA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:

Except the Operative, of course. Idealism doesn't neessarily mean the same thing as "moral." The Operative was obviously very idealistic--he believed that the Alliance was making better worlds.



Oh yes, certainly, I should qualify my original statement about idealism and the alliance with a quote (prolly messed up as always) from Godfather...

"I wish you well in your business endeavors... so long as those endeavors and my own do not conflict."

Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:

His family ties her down, she is leaving before she can't break away anymore.

Independence is as important to Inara as to Mal. 'Choosing', 'my decision to make, not yours', those are keywords.

I think she's trying to be very Buddhist about her life (though not for religious reasons) - be free from all attachments and desires, because that way lies suffering. A committment phobia.



Yes, quite. She's a very complicated person, and while at times she keeps him from confessing his love to her, at other times she WANTS him to confess.

"I'm a big girl, tell me I've been naughty, throw me down on the bed and spank me, just please don't let me run away from everything again"

Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:

Right now she has generous means at her disposal and the backing of a large organisation to keep her safe. She's doing a job that she enjoys and can essentially do nearly everything she wants, be anywhere she wants, help anyone she wants and is widely respected.



Ooh... you hit upon an aspect I hadnt noticed.

She HAS used her status as a companion to not only keep herself safe, but those she cares about. ie.. the Train Job.

She has stated that "the policy on companion dating is complicated", which I take to mean that the ability to live your own life when it may conflict with the Companion Guild's desires may be complicated, difficult, or against regulation. Company that with what her friend says about companions ALWAYS continuing music lessons and such and such, and you end up seeing a rigid stratified culture where you get ahead not by innovation, but by taking the same engine and slapping a different case onto it.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 9:44 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:
Yes, quite. She's a very complicated person, and while at times she keeps him from confessing his love to her, at other times she WANTS him to confess.

"I'm a big girl, tell me I've been naughty, throw me down on the bed and spank me, just please don't let me run away from everything again"



Well.. I don't quite see it that way. Certainly not the spanking, secret "Control me" fantasy that people love to put into the mind of independent women. (I'm sensitive about it because fanfic is stuffed with it. Apologies.)

I don't attribute the "I'm a big girl, just tell me" quote from "Objects in Space" to her relationship with Mal anymore than I attribute his "None of it means a damn thing" quote just to it. The latter is pretty emblematic for Mal's entire sense of disillusionment and cynism, the former could refer to any amount of meaningful secret from her past.

Obviously, Inara indulges herself in a crush and all the according behavior to a point, but at the end of the series, when it really comes down to it, she stops him from speaking. When leaving, she doesn't want to draw it out.

I'm not saying that part of her didn't want him to try and stop her, but I don't think it's a secret, disappointed hope that he didn't. She doesn't want to be "forced into her own happiness" and her decision had been made before Mal ever opened his mouth.

Quote:


She has stated that "the policy on companion dating is complicated", which I take to mean that the ability to live your own life when it may conflict with the Companion Guild's desires may be complicated, difficult, or against regulation.



Well, it's ambiguiously phrased.

Kaylee: What's the Companion policy on dating?

Inara: It's ...complicated.


It's a very wide open way of replying. For all we know, there might not even be a policy. It could be a rigid rule or it could be just Inara avoiding the subject. It could be all Companions or it could just be.. her.

Quote:

Company that with what her friend says about companions ALWAYS continuing music lessons and such and such, and you end up seeing a rigid stratified culture where you get ahead not by innovation, but by taking the same engine and slapping a different case onto it.


Nandi: I was at practice. You never stop practicing, you know, not a true companion.

Nandi, as is already obvious, detests constriction, but any artist never stops practicing and Companions presumably have a very high standard of quality and offer a variety of services.

I think "you're playing it, not feeling it" as her instructor kept repeating, might even be a very well-written metaphor for what Nandi was doing with her entire career as a Companion. She wasn't it, and the pressure of it built up into one big tantrum of an explosion.

Continuous practice doesn't seem like too harsh a condition, especially as it is a kind of self-benefit. It seems like a stretch to immediately interpret this as a rigid, stratified structure without innovation.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:05 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Inara's independence lies in her "independent means" afforded by the infrastructure of the Guild. It's not the same kind that Mal has, but an equal kind. Their restrictions are very different, as are their freedoms, but they each considerable in their way.



Yes, I'm sure she would have volunteered for duty with the Independents if only there'd been a recruiting station near the training house.

I'm just curious why we have to have Inara be sympathetic to the Independents, instead of taking at face value that she was honest in her assertion that she supported unification. I think that it makes the show much more nuanced and interesting to have that constant source of uncomfortableness there. Joss isn't exactly a black-and-white sort of a writer (see, e.g., Jayne), so I have no doubt that the discord between Mal's history with the Independents and Inara's support of unification was intentional. Seriously, I know that the Browncoats were supposed to be the good guys, and we're for the good guys, but maybe it isn't as cut and dried as everyone-on-Serenity-is-a-good-guy. Jayne sure as hell isn't, and Book may not exactly be either. I know that Inara isn't still on Sihnon, and I think that they were going to explain that at some point--but I just have a hard time believing that it was because of her secret support for the Independents and her driving need to get out to the border.

________________________________________________________________________
Grand High Poobah of the Mythical Land of Iowa, and Keeper of State Secrets



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Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:07 AM

BAGHEERA


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Certainly not the spanking, secret "Control me" fantasy that people love to put into the mind of independent women. (I'm sensitive about it because fanfic is stuffed with it. Apologies.)



Heh.. maybe I went a lil overboard with that innuendo... I dont think she wanted Mal to control her... but I do feel that she was waiting for Mal to say "Wait !!! Don't go !!! I need you here !!!".

Quote:

I don't attribute the "I'm a big girl, just tell me" quote from "Objects in Space" to her relationship with Mal anymore than I attribute his "None of it means a damn thing" quote just to it. The latter is pretty emblematic for Mal's entire sense of disillusionment and cynism, the former could refer to any amount of meaningful secret from her past.


Yeah, you got me there. Perhaps they are being used in both a general and specific capacity. I was under the initial impression that she didnt really take Lord Petticoat's offer to become his personal whore seriously, and that she would flinch from being a caged bird... but perhaps a small part of her WAS considering accepting, as he told her she was wanted and needed... something that Mal didnt have the strength to do... (mind you, I figured most of the dwelling on the offer had to do with seeing how Mal would react)

Quote:

When leaving, she doesn't want to draw it out.


except of course for leaving behind 'her best stuff'.

Quote:

I'm not saying that part of her didn't want him to try and stop her, but I don't think it's a secret, disappointed hope that he didn't.


actually, im kinda with you on that one. she was a pragmatic, independant woman... and even IF she wanted to be loved and needed (which doesnt mean being controlled, as in Lord Petticoat), she wanted Mal to do it on his own terms... and by the time she had left, it was becoming apparent that Mal didnt have the passion, or whatever, to confess to her (ironically enough, there were all "dozens of suitors confessing their love to save her from this life" which she didnt take half as seriously as Mal).... she wasnt trying to be a dramaqueen and look for a casablanca moment in either direction... but she did leave Mal an out in case his passions did stir, in the form of her stuff, which he obviously never took up on.

Inara was fairly smart in that regard... how much time passed til the movie ? a year... and still he had trouble ... but oddly Inara still hadnt attached herself to someone... so it wasnt that she was just looking for any old person ... but rather the right person... at the right time of their life...

Quote:

She doesn't want to be "forced into her own happiness" and her decision had been made before Mal ever opened his mouth.


Yep. exactly... but... i think if Mal had been willing to expose himself to her, she would have remained... at least, thats how Kaylee took it... "drive us all away, just like Inara" ...

i interpret as meaning that the captain's relative indifference to Inara drove her away to look for her home elsewhere...

Quote:


It's a very wide open way of replying. For all we know, there might not even be a policy. It could be a rigid rule or it could be just Inara avoiding the subject. It could be all Companions or it could just be.. her.



well... i'm not certain the truth of the matter has much bearing on its influence to her independant sympathies... ie... i find her unlikely to lie to Kaylee... evade, yes. but not lie... so in that respect, i think she was telling the truth in that something about her being a companion made her 'dating situation' difficult... perhaps that wouldnt apply to another companion... but i got the impression that in order for Inara to date, something would have to get less complicated, and that it would make her break away slightly from her companion background.

Quote:



Nandi: I was at practice. You never stop practicing, you know, not a true companion.

Nandi, as is already obvious, detests constriction, but any artist never stops practicing and Companions presumably have a very high standard of quality and offer a variety of services.

I think "you're playing it, not feeling it" as her instructor kept repeating, might even be a very well-written metaphor for what Nandi was doing with her entire career as a Companion. She wasn't it, and the pressure of it built up into one big tantrum of an explosion.

Continuous practice doesn't seem like too harsh a condition, especially as it is a kind of self-benefit. It seems like a stretch to immediately interpret this as a rigid, stratified structure without innovation.



Thanks for the line, I'm better at remembering the emotion of a scene then the words, and I'm too lazy to poke around in scripts, I'd feel like a lawyer arguing a case instead of dissecting what a character might have been thinking.

In fact, your quote illuminated me... When I first read the 'constantly practicing', I got a snicker at the innuendo... and then with your comment "you're playing it, not feeling it" it kinda clicked...

Nandi may have become a companion believing it would be the best way to satisfy her earthly desires, and while she took the classes in music, art, and politics as something to be "passed", her heart wasnt in it, and she admitted to herself that she didnt want to be a 'full fledged' companion, she just wanted the physical aspects of it... which is why Inara called her a whore, and why Nandi chose that profession anyways... and why she's no longer on a core planet, being a 'woman of ill repute'.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:18 AM

AGENTROUKA


Hey Causal.. is there a reason you used my quote in your post? Because I'm not seeing a connection there. *much confused*

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:20 AM

BAGHEERA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:

I'm just curious why we have to have Inara be sympathetic to the Independents



because an alliance loyalist would have ratted on river and simon first chance they got ?

jayne and book were specifically defined as NOT 'friendly' with alliance, but even they aided the feds.

Quote:


Seriously, I know that the Browncoats were supposed to be the good guys,



i'm not sold on the idea of browncoats being good guys. they're just the other guys... and especially in a verse where one side is the law, the other side will by nature be largely criminal. which is also separate from good and bad. (the line between good criminals and bad criminals is quite clearly shown at times on Firefly)

Quote:

but I just have a hard time believing that it was because of her secret support for the Independents and her driving need to get out to the border.



You're the only one saying she supports the Independants here.

I said she was too young at the time to give a damn one way or the other, but years later when she meets Mal, she sympathizes with them. NOT supports... sympathizes.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 12:11 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:

but perhaps a small part of her WAS considering accepting, as he told her she was wanted and needed... something that Mal didnt have the strength to do... (mind you, I figured most of the dwelling on the offer had to do with seeing how Mal would react)



To me, it's more about manipulating him into shutting up. He can't stop pushing and insulting her even at an event like that party where she's present in a professional capacity and telling him that Ath made her an offer - even one she doesn't consider seriously - is enough to make Mal nervous enough to be peaceable. She knows that he's attracted to her, not just physically, and she's not above using that to her advantage - or to Simon's in the pilot eppy. She likes torturing Mal in that way, perhaps to get back at him for the constant disrespect for her choices.

Not to mention, even if Mal asked her to stay, this would essentially solve none of the things that stand between them. Her job, his inability to accept it, the unfairness of demanding that she be the one to give up everything for what is essentially a chance, 50/50, at something. Or maybe even less, considering how many relationships ever work out forever.

(My shippy heart says "Foreveerrrr!" but my shippy heart is neither Mal's nor Inara's head.)

Quote:

except of course for leaving behind 'her best stuff'.



Which might also have been a way of making sure she's leaving behind a piece of herself on a ship she loves. It may even have been her excuse for seeing them again at some point, but that doesn't imply that it's all about Mal! Coming! To! Get! Her!(tm)


Quote:

and by the time she had left, it was becoming apparent that Mal didnt have the passion, or whatever, to confess to her (ironically enough, there were all "dozens of suitors confessing their love to save her from this life" which she didnt take half as seriously as Mal).... she wasnt trying to be a dramaqueen and look for a casablanca moment in either direction... but she did leave Mal an out in case his passions did stir, in the form of her stuff, which he obviously never took up on.


I'll disagree here. Mal is actually pretty demonstrative in his way.

Asking her not to stay with Atherton in Shindig is a big one. In Mal/Inara speak that's almost a declaration. And Inara? Walks away.

He refuses to take payment for helping Nandi simply because she's Inara's friend. Inara? Tells him she'll pay because she wants theirs to be a business relationship only. Watch his heart crack at that one.

He's about to be "truthsome". Inara interrupts him from saying what they both know before he can utter it out loud.

It's not passion Mal lacks, in my opinion. It's both his attitude ("I don't disrespect you, I just disrespect all your life choices and the work you love and define yourself by and thus by default imply that you're either a sell-out or too stupid to live.") and the fact that their lives are so impossible to combine.

If he could accept her job without judgment, love her unconditionally, I think Inara could easily give it up. But that unspoken - among the spoken - implication that her job makes her unworthy, that's a big obstacle.

Quote:


Inara was fairly smart in that regard... how much time passed til the movie ? a year... and still he had trouble ... but oddly Inara still hadnt attached herself to someone... so it wasnt that she was just looking for any old person ... but rather the right person... at the right time of their life...



Six months, roughly. I don't think she was ever looking, really, so it doesn't surprise me in the least that she wasn't "attached". Mal's the unplanned exception in that he ever even made her contemplate and want an attachment.
What I find to be a huge step is that she possibly hasn't taken any clients, either. (Which it says in the early version script that was floating around, so it's semi-canon but not binding.)

Quote:

Yep. exactly... but... i think if Mal had been willing to expose himself to her, she would have remained... at least, thats how Kaylee took it... "drive us all away, just like Inara" ...

i interpret as meaning that the captain's relative indifference to Inara drove her away to look for her home elsewhere...



Even if Kaylee meant that - which I don't think, I think she meant the insults and such - what does little Kaylee actually know about the key moments in Mal and Inara's relationship? She wasn't present for any of the defining parts. Nandi, the sword fight practice, their booze sharing, their talk on the catwalk, their shuttle fights, anything, and I doubt either Mal or Inara took the time to tell her. Kaylee's not exactly a reliable source there.

Quote:



so in that respect, i think she was telling the truth in that something about her being a companion made her 'dating situation' difficult... perhaps that wouldnt apply to another companion... but i got the impression that in order for Inara to date, something would have to get less complicated, and that it would make her break away slightly from her companion background.



Might be true. All I'm saying is that there is no support for the theory that the Guild is an inflexible or somehow oppressive (or beware, evil) organizsation.

Quote:




Thanks for the line, I'm better at remembering the emotion of a scene then the words, and I'm too lazy to poke around in scripts, I'd feel like a lawyer arguing a case instead of dissecting what a character might have been thinking.



Heh, maybe I'm living all my secret lawyer fantasies...! *G*

Quote:


Nandi may have become a companion believing it would be the best way to satisfy her earthly desires, and while she took the classes in music, art, and politics as something to be "passed", her heart wasnt in it, and she admitted to herself that she didnt want to be a 'full fledged' companion, she just wanted the physical aspects of it... which is why Inara called her a whore, and why Nandi chose that profession anyways... and why she's no longer on a core planet, being a 'woman of ill repute'.



Well, I don't think Nandi would be living in dirtpot like the planet we see in "Heart of Gold" if she wanted to practice prostitution for the sake of physical urges. Maybe her tendency to nurture and heal is what inspired her toward Companioning. Those are things she really has in common with Inara.


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Saturday, December 23, 2006 12:18 PM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Hey Causal.. is there a reason you used my quote in your post? Because I'm not seeing a connection there. *much confused*



Well, you were making much of Inara's "independence"--and I'm just not convinced that's why she's out on the border barely getting by. And even if she was out there because she needed to be out on her own, that hardly establishes the thesis that she was secretly in support of the Independents during the war.

________________________________________________________________________
Grand High Poobah of the Mythical Land of Iowa, and Keeper of State Secrets



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Saturday, December 23, 2006 12:24 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Hey Causal.. is there a reason you used my quote in your post? Because I'm not seeing a connection there. *much confused*



Well, you were making much of Inara's "independence"--and I'm just not convinced that's why she's out on the border barely getting by. And even if she was out there because she needed to be out on her own, that hardly establishes the thesis that she was secretly in support of the Independents during the war.





...

I was using the term in its original definition, not the fictionally political one, in that instance.

I already earlier pointed out that I do not think Inara is or was a supporter of the Independents. Just that she has shown apathy and distrust toward the Alliance (which I consider to be wide-spread even on Core planets) and a willingness to aid in breaking the law and sheltering Alliance fugitives.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 5:54 PM

BAGHEERA


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
She likes torturing Mal in that way, perhaps to get back at him for the constant disrespect for her choices.



He doesnt disrespect her or her choices.

Quote:

Her job, his inability to accept it, the unfairness of demanding that she be the one to give up everything for what is essentially a chance, 50/50, at something.



He accepts her and her job fine. There's a big difference between tugging at the pigtails of the gal you like to get her attention, and pulling the hair out of her head. (look how he treats Inara's friend to see how comfortable he is with whores).

If anyone doesnt respect Inara's job, its Inara herself.

Quote:

Or maybe even less, considering how many relationships ever work out forever.


I'd like to hold some faith that Inara's abilities are enough to be able to discern who is and isnt compatible with her, which is why she puts Mal through such rigorous testing... when a mate is chosen with barely a glance.

Quote:


Which might also have been a way of making sure she's leaving behind a piece of herself on a ship she loves. It may even have been her excuse for seeing them again at some point, but that doesn't imply that it's all about Mal! Coming! To! Get! Her!



She didnt see them again, except when pressured by the operative... and its not so much about Mal "coming to get her" as Mal showing some initiative in the relationship. If he doesnt want the relationship bad enough to say so, then she realizes it stands little hope of permanence.


Quote:


Asking her not to stay with Atherton in Shindig is a big one. In Mal/Inara speak that's almost a declaration. And Inara? Walks away.



If I recall correctly... Inara screamed out something like "Please dont kill him daddy ! I love him !"

and while I saw the presence of some selfishness in Mal's 'last request', I thought it was borne more from selflessness for Inara, he KNEW what Ath was, and wanted to ensure Inara's need to be needed didnt let her fall prey to him.

Quote:


He refuses to take payment for helping Nandi simply because she's Inara's friend. Inara? Tells him she'll pay because she wants theirs to be a business relationship only. Watch his heart crack at that one.



Watch Inara's crack as she says that. He turned down payment, not because she's Inara's friend, but because Inara asked him for help. If Inara's friend had asked him and offered payment, he likely wouldnt have held any reservations about taking it.

Quote:

It's not passion Mal lacks, in my opinion.


When it comes to defending those he cares about he's very passionate... but when it actually comes to admitting he cares about those people... he turns cowardly... I cant really explain it too well, except that I'd suppose its intended as an aftereffect of losing everything he cared about at Serenity valley. He gave it his all, and it didnt mean anything.


Quote:


If he could accept her job without judgment, love her unconditionally, I think Inara could easily give it up. But that unspoken - among the spoken - implication that her job makes her unworthy, that's a big obstacle.



Not really... Inara's friend got past that obstacle in only a few minutes.

The obstacle relating to Inara's job lies in her own mind, and not Mal's... and Mal's obstacle lies in his cowardice regarding women

Quote:


What I find to be a huge step is that she possibly hasn't taken any clients, either.



Huh... wasnt aware of that, would seem to back up my idea that the problems with being a companion were hers and not Mal's.


Quote:

what does little Kaylee actually know about the key moments in Mal and Inara's relationship?


Kaylee probably knows more about Mal and Inara's relationship then Mal does... just like Inara knew/knows more about Kaylee and Simons relationship then Simon did. (although Simon wasnt QUITE so yellow in that regard as Mal, just a little slowerpaced then Kaylee would have liked)

Quote:

She wasn't present for any of the defining parts....and I doubt either Mal or Inara took the time to tell her.


Inara did.

Quote:


Might be true. All I'm saying is that there is no support for the theory that the Guild is an inflexible or somehow oppressive (or beware, evil) organizsation.



a guild is by nature more inflexible then its members would be individually, and given how rigid and stratified the remainder of Core society is, its not a stretch to assume the guild is equal to that society, being a byproduct of it.

"evil and oppressive" well, that's a bit harder to discern... but again... if you see hoofprints on the farm, you first think horses, not zebras.

Quote:

Maybe her tendency to nurture and heal is what inspired her toward Companioning. Those are things she really has in common with Inara.


regardless of what aspects of whoring she found appealing, she didnt find the "full package" of being a companion appealing... and she did turn to the dirtpot of a planet instead of turning to medicine or something on a "civilized" core planet.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:14 PM

PIRATECAT


Everybody on this boat has secrets even ones coming on board. There has been some good posts with theories I didn't know, great stuff. Maybe a new series about FF will be called unsolved mysteries. Book their's another one. Inara is from Sihnon a core planet the other Londonium. I believe she is alliance all the way. My thing is her secret is she left the house to not be suspecious on her youth. Maybe she's taking illegal drugs. Her reason for picking Serenity is like Mal's when she saw it she fell in love with it. Still her reason for going out to the border planets is a mystery. I just don't know dog gone you fox. How did this show get cancelled.

"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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Saturday, December 23, 2006 7:17 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:

but perhaps a small part of her WAS considering accepting, as he told her she was wanted and needed... something that Mal didnt have the strength to do... (mind you, I figured most of the dwelling on the offer had to do with seeing how Mal would react)



To me, it's more about manipulating him into shutting up. He can't stop pushing and insulting her even at an event like that party where she's present in a professional capacity and telling him that Ath made her an offer - even one she doesn't consider seriously - is enough to make Mal nervous enough to be peaceable. She knows that he's attracted to her, not just physically, and she's not above using that to her advantage - or to Simon's in the pilot eppy. She likes torturing Mal in that way, perhaps to get back at him for the constant disrespect for her choices.

Not to mention, even if Mal asked her to stay, this would essentially solve none of the things that stand between them. Her job, his inability to accept it, the unfairness of demanding that she be the one to give up everything for what is essentially a chance, 50/50, at something. Or maybe even less, considering how many relationships ever work out forever.

(My shippy heart says "Foreveerrrr!" but my shippy heart is neither Mal's nor Inara's head.)

Quote:

except of course for leaving behind 'her best stuff'.



Which might also have been a way of making sure she's leaving behind a piece of herself on a ship she loves. It may even have been her excuse for seeing them again at some point, but that doesn't imply that it's all about Mal! Coming! To! Get! Her!(tm)


Quote:

and by the time she had left, it was becoming apparent that Mal didnt have the passion, or whatever, to confess to her (ironically enough, there were all "dozens of suitors confessing their love to save her from this life" which she didnt take half as seriously as Mal).... she wasnt trying to be a dramaqueen and look for a casablanca moment in either direction... but she did leave Mal an out in case his passions did stir, in the form of her stuff, which he obviously never took up on.



I'll disagree here. Mal is actually pretty demonstrative in his way.

Asking her not to stay with Atherton in Shindig is a big one. In Mal/Inara speak that's almost a declaration. And Inara? Walks away.

He refuses to take payment for helping Nandi simply because she's Inara's friend. Inara? Tells him she'll pay because she wants theirs to be a business relationship only. Watch his heart crack at that one.

He's about to be "truthsome". Inara interrupts him from saying what they both know before he can utter it out loud.

It's not passion Mal lacks, in my opinion. It's both his attitude ("I don't disrespect you, I just disrespect all your life choices and the work you love and define yourself by and thus by default imply that you're either a sell-out or too stupid to live.") and the fact that their lives are so impossible to combine.

If he could accept her job without judgment, love her unconditionally, I think Inara could easily give it up. But that unspoken - among the spoken - implication that her job makes her unworthy, that's a big obstacle.

Quote:


Inara was fairly smart in that regard... how much time passed til the movie ? a year... and still he had trouble ... but oddly Inara still hadnt attached herself to someone... so it wasnt that she was just looking for any old person ... but rather the right person... at the right time of their life...



Six months, roughly. I don't think she was ever looking, really, so it doesn't surprise me in the least that she wasn't "attached". Mal's the unplanned exception in that he ever even made her contemplate and want an attachment.
What I find to be a huge step is that she possibly hasn't taken any clients, either. (Which it says in the early version script that was floating around, so it's semi-canon but not binding.)

Quote:

Yep. exactly... but... i think if Mal had been willing to expose himself to her, she would have remained... at least, thats how Kaylee took it... "drive us all away, just like Inara" ...

i interpret as meaning that the captain's relative indifference to Inara drove her away to look for her home elsewhere...



Even if Kaylee meant that - which I don't think, I think she meant the insults and such - what does little Kaylee actually know about the key moments in Mal and Inara's relationship? She wasn't present for any of the defining parts. Nandi, the sword fight practice, their booze sharing, their talk on the catwalk, their shuttle fights, anything, and I doubt either Mal or Inara took the time to tell her. Kaylee's not exactly a reliable source there.

Quote:



so in that respect, i think she was telling the truth in that something about her being a companion made her 'dating situation' difficult... perhaps that wouldnt apply to another companion... but i got the impression that in order for Inara to date, something would have to get less complicated, and that it would make her break away slightly from her companion background.



Might be true. All I'm saying is that there is no support for the theory that the Guild is an inflexible or somehow oppressive (or beware, evil) organizsation.

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[b




AgentRouka I think you hit the nail on the head in regards to Inara and Mal. I keep remembering the deleted scene from the BDM in Inara's old shuttle while on the way to Mr. Universe's moon. Inara asks Mal why he didn't ask her not to go. He responds by making excuses, getting up and walking away. It really wounds him again.

In my shippy heart there would have been big slurrpy kisses here with declarations of love instead of Mal walking away, but it would have been too easy and not true to the characters.

Even at the end of the BDM when things are looking up between them when Inara says she may stay the issues between them aren't all resolved either. There's still a lt of doubt that things will work out.

As for the Guild being inflexible or oppressive you have to remember that it's an old organization with a long traditional history. Change and innovation come very slowly, espcially if it contradicts any of the traditions that have been handed down for hundreds of years.




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Saturday, December 23, 2006 8:06 PM

2X2


Quote:

Originally posted by Diz:
Not a rumor.



Yeah, it is true.
Morena talked about it at her Q&A at SFX in Toronto in September this year, and confirmed that it was a drug that would kill anyone who had sex with her.

~2x2~

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006 1:30 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Bagheera:

She likes torturing Mal in that way, perhaps to get back at him for the constant disrespect for her choices.

He doesnt disrespect her or her choices.




Doesn't he?

Mal: I might not show respect to your job, but he didn't
respect you.


That's one of the most complex quotes in the show. Because.. if her job is something Inara chose freely and believes in (she gives the appearance of both, certainly, and if she doesn't then Mal doesn't know) just how deep can a respect be that somehow deliberately separates her from those choices and that belief in order to respect one but not the other?

In other words, what about Inara does he respect if he can so easily discount the things she holds in very high regard? Wouldn't her belief in those things be grounds for contempt? If not, why not? Is it because she's somehow "misguided" like a feeble child?

That's not a clear-cut line Mal is sitting on.

To be clear, I do believe that deep down, Mal doesn't have a problem with her job, that he respect Inara and her choices, and that his displayed contempt for her job is a defence mechanism.

However, even with her powers of intuition and understanding, Inara still sees the behavior that Mal displays, the contempt and ridicule, and just what sort of weak woman would completely discount that kind of treatment, even knowing what triggers it?

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He accepts her and her job fine. There's a big difference between tugging at the pigtails of the gal you like to get her attention, and pulling the hair out of her head. (look how he treats Inara's friend to see how comfortable he is with whores).



However, considering Inara's decidedly hurt reaction when Mal introduced her to Shepherd book, I'd say this is more than pigtail pulling at least half of the time. There's a viciousness to his voice when he says it the first time and the fact that he keeps saying it, even when Inara reacts with as much vehemence as she does during their sword practice in 'Shindig' says that this isn't always goodnatured.

Nandi, being a whore and not a Companion, (a distinction Mal loves to derride) is in a different category. There are no class issues, no complex feelings between her and Mal. And as I said, I don't think Mal has a problem with prostitution in generall, but he has a problem with Inara being one, which is why he attacks her for it, under the guise of attacking her profession.


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If anyone doesnt respect Inara's job, its Inara herself.



I'm confused. What do you base this on?

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I'd like to hold some faith that Inara's abilities are enough to be able to discern who is and isnt compatible with her, which is why she puts Mal through such rigorous testing... when a mate is chosen with barely a glance.



Testing? What testing does she put him through? Not to mention, her mates are chosen with deliberation ("a compatibility of spirit") and professionally. Clients is the term. Her emotions there are of secondary importance, and this gives about zero insight into her private sexual habits, aside from the fact that she doesn't appear to indulge privately at all while on Serenity, nbotwithstanding the uncertainty about Guild Rules regarding that subject.

I don't think that choosing a life partner (especially when one ostentatiously is not looking for one) is that much easier for a Companion than it is for any other person. Half or more marriages these days end in divorce and I bet that most of those people were very sure of their compatibility. There are many unpredictable factors and emotions are not the best guide. Inara's volatile when it comes to Mal, and considering their already strained relationship I'm fairly puzzled how you can see this as her testing a life partner she has apparently decided on. She obviously has strong feelings of attraction for him but I don't see any motivation or evidence of her long-term plans or any testing.

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She didnt see them again, except when pressured by the operative... and its not so much about Mal "coming to get her" as Mal showing some initiative in the relationship. If he doesnt want the relationship bad enough to say so, then she realizes it stands little hope of permanence.



But so far ALL the initiative has come from Mal to begin with, only to be rebuffed by Inara. Do you have an instance where Inara makes an actual overture to Mal? I have zero.

I don't see where you're coming from with this at all.

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Asking her not to stay with Atherton in Shindig is a big one. In Mal/Inara speak that's almost a declaration. And Inara? Walks away.



If I recall correctly... Inara screamed out something like "Please dont kill him daddy ! I love him !"



In that scene she doesn't. She says Atherton's going to get up early and walks away. Leaving Mal alone.

Later, when Mal is about to DIE she asks Atherton not to kill him (no "daddy" (eww!) and no "I love him") , which seems a lot less binding. She would have asked for Kaylee, too. Not wanting Mal to die is not as much of a stretch as making a private and fairly unmistakable admission.


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and while I saw the presence of some selfishness in Mal's 'last request', I thought it was borne more from selflessness for Inara, he KNEW what Ath was, and wanted to ensure Inara's need to be needed didnt let her fall prey to him.



If Mal had nothing to be shy about, he'd look her square in the eye and speak with a solid voice. He dies neither, He's drudging, looking down, fidgeting, nor does he warn her about Atherton.

If he was being selfless, he wouldn't be acting that way.

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He refuses to take payment for helping Nandi simply because she's Inara's friend. Inara? Tells him she'll pay because she wants theirs to be a business relationship only. Watch his heart crack at that one.



Watch Inara's crack as she says that. He turned down payment, not because she's Inara's friend, but because Inara asked him for help. If Inara's friend had asked him and offered payment, he likely wouldnt have held any reservations about taking it.



I agree absolutely. But Inara did say it. If she was all that interested in a relationship with Mal, and testing him and his committment/interest... why would she reject this pretty obvious overture in such a harsh way?


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Not really... Inara's friend got past that obstacle in only a few minutes.



He's not in love with Nandi, either. Nor does he want to embark upon a relationship with her. Nor is Nandi rich and used to a standard of life that Mal could never offer her in exchange for giving up a life of sleeping with other men. Nor has Mal spent a year insulting Nandi, for that matter.

I really don't see that parallel as valid.

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The obstacle relating to Inara's job lies in her own mind, and not Mal's... and Mal's obstacle lies in his cowardice regarding women



And what do you suppose that problem of Inara's is? Because, I don't see it. I can easily imagine Inara having both her career and her relationship with Mal, but I can't imagine Mal being okay with that, so... which one of the two is the one with the problem?

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Huh... wasnt aware of that, would seem to back up my idea that the problems with being a companion were hers and not Mal's.



Not necessarily. Could be she just wanted a sabbatical to regain her equilibrium after she left the ship with all those people she loves. It doesn't really imply an attitude about her entire career choice.


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She wasn't present for any of the defining parts....and I doubt either Mal or Inara took the time to tell her.


Inara did.



Umm.. when?

The only evidence of her ever even once saying something about Mal was a very neutral "That man doesn't know what he wants" when Kaylee starts up the subject in the capture Mal watches in his bunk in the movie.

I don't think Inara would have talked to Kaylee about her feelings for Mal when she was so ambivalent about them in the first place.


Quote:


a guild is by nature more inflexible then its members would be individually, and given how rigid and stratified the remainder of Core society is, its not a stretch to assume the guild is equal to that society, being a byproduct of it.



The Guild is centuries old, which could be a great deal older than the current shape of the Core society, which also means its structure doesn't have to be shaped by the kind of rigidity that Zoe and Mal like to ascribe to the Core.


Quote:

"evil and oppressive" well, that's a bit harder to discern... but again... if you see hoofprints on the farm, you first think horses, not zebras.



I think it's a mistake to equate Guild and Alliance. Both a separate structures with very different purposes. Anything connecting them beyond their Core-centrism is pure assumption.



Wow, if this didn't turn out quite long. *g*

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