FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Companions 'Gilded Cage'

POSTED BY: BYTEMITE
UPDATED: Monday, December 20, 2010 22:47
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VIEWED: 9979
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Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:59 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


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Originally posted by Bytemite:
No worries, I didn't realize about your ex-wife...
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Well, we all see things through the prism of our own life experiences. It makes discussion interesting.

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I just kinda like Inara...
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I like her too, it's just this thing with Mal bugged me. I could understand Mal being shaped by his past but, until today, I didn't understand Inara. Now I'm just pissed at Joss. hahaha


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But I get that some people see her a selfish or high-maintenance...
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I'm not sure what to think anymore. I'm reminded of the last scene of Mal and Inara in the BDM. He imagines that she will be happy to get back to civilization and she replies that she's not sure. He responds with a smile: "Good answer." That's the first glimmer of hope I saw that they might actually get together. I could tolerate Joss giving her an illness as long as their together.

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...I use them in my stories...
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Do you have stories on here or elsewhere on the web? After all our discussions here I would be very interested in reading them.

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As for Joss Whedon, there's maybe some good news. I've noticed he seems to be getting better about letting some of his couples find a little happiness...
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God I hope so! Just let her live Joss! Please let her live! hahaha

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...she might even be saved.


From you keyboard to Joss' ear. hahaha

I just want for the Serenity crew what I want for everyone...contentment and a long, healthy, prosperous life. I don't mind a little drama along the way, a cliffhanger or two, but I want it to move in that direction, you know...Fantasy! ahaha

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 11:18 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote Pyramid!

That brings back memories of the crazy ones I used to make in threads on another board just for kicks. Ah, good times.

> It makes discussion interesting.

It does.

> Now I'm just pissed at Joss.

He kicks puppies. *nod*

>I could tolerate Joss giving her an illness as long as their together.

It's possible. According to a short story, there's four ways it could go: she dies and they don't get to be together, she doesn't die and they do, she lives and they don't get to be together, or she doesn't live but they get to be together. Judging by the context in the story, the first two options are the most likely, though we don't know which one it's going to be.

Also, there's the unfortunate truth that tautologically, if she dies then they technically don't really get to be together after that. I'm not sure if that sways the odds, though.

> Do you have stories on here or elsewhere on the web? After all our discussions here I would be very interested in reading them.

I had a little bit of a stress attack last month and deleted the ones I have on this site. I was a little crazy, it's true, and I've been trying to keep my stress down since then by either not posting or not fighting with anyone.

...I haven't been fully successful.

But! I am hoping to be able to post a picture on the forums here for Christmas. I probably won't post in the Blue Sun Room again, I'm a little too proud to do that. Plus it's kinda silly, it'd be like asking people to read my stuff all over again.

And besides, most of them were florid romantic crap anyway. In all honesty, I'm the least suitable person in existence to write romance, I have no idea WHAT I was thinking, I just guess Firefly inspired me and I had to write out my ideas no matter how bad it was.

>I just want for the Serenity crew what I want for everyone...contentment and a long, healthy, prosperous life.

Yeah. They sure have a long way to go though, don't they?

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 1:14 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Quote Pyramid!



hehe Well, this one was entirely accidental I assure you. I'm still figuring out this message board thing.

Quote:

I had a little bit of a stress attack last month and deleted the ones I have on this site.



I'm really sorry to hear this. I would have been very interested to get your take on the 'Verse. You argue your points here without being insulting. I respect and appreciate that.

Oddly enough, I feel the urge to create something, my take on the 'Verse, but I'm afraid it would just be trashed by others. I'm not sure I'm up for that.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 1:25 PM

BYTEMITE


You'd be surprised how supportive people are around here. There are certain ship lines that people are drawn to which can influence the response you might get, but people generally avoid ship to ship combat around here, so you shouldn't get flamed just for writing Kaylee x Jayne. And you seem nice, I'd read and review. :)

Quote:

You argue your points here without being insulting. I respect and appreciate that.


Sometimes! I get hot headed a little now and then, and I'm not always sure what comes out then, but I try not to be outright crude/offensive or insulting. I tend to mostly go on long rants if I feel like I've been insulted more than I actually insult other people... I think. I hope?

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 4:29 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Byte, I'm so sorry about your stories. Those were a lot of words up.


As for Companioning the Noun and Verb...

I do feel partially responsible for this thread--actually Sensation, should I get it up in a timely manner, deals with some of these questions.


1. Nandi companionizing Mal.

Yup. Full-on in my opinion. But the reason it happened WAS indirectly about Nandi knowing what she wanted. At first I thought it was Joss making drama because he could. Then I realized it was to illustrate more about Mal/Inara other than revealing she was actually as obsessed with him as he was with her. (oh no! real tears!)

And really, it was coming anyway, when all the theme pieces fell into place:

Inara the out-of-transport Companion has him hooked in their initial interview.

SaffYoBridge the ex-double-cross whachamacalit *cough* sweet serf girl (with Companion training ie seduction skills)...was too naked and articulate to ultimately resist. Though good-night kisses cut his decision kinda short.

Nandi the ex-COMPANION facing an angry posse and he are having drinks, after he's come to SAVE HER. (Noticing a THEME yet?)

Mal, at least you recognized how the evening THERE was obviously going to end.

I'd advise getting clear of them Companions. Your head goes all fuzzy.


[More later. Got to clear out now.]

--






Going for a ride.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:07 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
...There are certain ship lines...



Umm..."ship lines?" What are "ship lines?"

Sorry if that's a really dumb question.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:33 PM

BYTEMITE


They're kinda like battle-lines, but for shippers. But none of us really seem to fight anymore, so you'll be okay.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:39 PM

BYTEMITE


Anothersky: Yeah! This is something that people don't notice, all the ladies Mal goes for that we ever see are the companions.

There was a guy doing some really interesting reviews of the Firefly episodes, he actually came in expecting hype aversion but found himself squeeing over everything and his liking only getting stronger with every episode. But one of the things the guy kept missing is he kept interpreting Mal as actually MEANING when he calls Inara a whore, and thinking Mal is somehow sexist and misogynist.

And then he missed the "wait, what?! He just slept with a companion!" realization that totally reframes the entire Mal/Inara relationship problems about something beside Inara's profession and Mal being bossy and patriarchal. More like busy and petrarchal. :D

But otherwise it was really fun watching a new fan and how much they were enjoying each episode. :)

Sensations! I am so eager for this fanfic. I hope I don't miss your posting while I'm away...

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Friday, December 17, 2010 3:57 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

...he kept interpreting Mal as actually MEANING when he calls Inara a whore, and thinking Mal is somehow sexist and misogynist.

And then he missed the "wait, what?! He just slept with a companion!" realization that totally reframes the entire Mal/Inara relationship problems about something beside Inara's profession and Mal being bossy and patriarchal...



Forgive my piggy-backing here.

I'm not saying that Nandi didn't seduce Mal but I don't think it took much. And why would she have seduced him except that she admired and wanted him? I think Mal and Nandi had a lot in common. As Mal told her:"You're my kind of stupid." I don't see Inara as being Mal's kind of (stubborn, reckless) stupid. Nandi is more laid back. She doesn't serve Mal tea but Sake. And, of course, she is very proud of her pistol collection. I don't think this stuff was an act. besides, she was hot! I think she was a very easy person for Mal to admire and fall for. If Nandi had lived, I wonder if just that fact would have caused problems for Mal and Inara, regardless of whether Nandi pursued it or not.

Actually I like Nandi more than Inara because she is so down to earth and approachable. About the only person Inara seems to bond with is Kaylee.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 6:38 AM

BYTEMITE


Nandi is a companion, it's stated outright in the episode. She is from the core. Her rim-world attitude is something she picked up, but it is not her original personality. She is not nearly as independent as her tough act would have you believe: the most rebellious thing she's ever done is destroy a dulcimer, and she requires the help of Inara, and a gun hand, to do what she can't herself.

Mal is saving her whorehouse from a bunch of thugs. Nandi kind of owes Mal for this. Nandi doesn't know Inara is compensating Mal for his effort. Nandi has sex with Mal.

...Seems pretty clear cut to me.

As for Inara and pistols, see Trash and holding Saffron at gun point. Inara may have a more polished veneer than Nandi or Mal, but I'd actually say all three of them aren't so very different. In fact, if Nandi lived, I actually think there would have been predominantly Nandi/Inara, and that there would have been some Mal/Inara on the side.

Quote:

About the only person Inara seems to bond with is Kaylee.


And Simon, and Zoe, and River, and Wash, and Book, and Mal, when she's not fighting with him.

People seem to forget the scenes she has with Simon, like in Out of Gas, or stopping to talk to Simon and Kaylee in Jaynestown before heading out, or her friendly banter with Wash over the coms in the pilot episode, or all the times Simon has Inara look after River, or her talking casually with Zoe in Trash about Mal's tendencies to get in women trouble, her offering Benediction to Book in the pilot and in other episodes talking with Book about life on the ship.

This idea that Inara doesn't get along with the crew is prevalent in the fandom. It makes Inara look like some stuck up bitch who stays in her shuttle and doesn't associate with them. But while the show doesn't particularly focus on her one on one scenes with the crew (and there are LOTS), it's heavily implied that she does mingle. I'd argue the only people she doesn't seem to get along with are Jayne, who she finds a little boorish, and Mal, but their relationship is complicated.

But then, people are also looking from the perspectives of their own experience and what they expect to see too, as you said before, so I must accept your interpretation as valid even though I don't agree with it.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 7:49 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Nandi is...not nearly as independent as her tough act would have you believe: the most rebellious thing she's ever done is destroy a dulcimer...



Well, at least according to her, her whorehouse was once in the control of a man who had the girls strung out. She makes it sound like she killed him ie. he no longer plays the dulcimer? And she seemed pretty handy with a rifle. If she was really a wimp she would have taken Mal's offer and skeedattled.

Quote:

Mal is saving her whorehouse from a bunch of thugs. Nandi kind of owes Mal for this. Nandi doesn't know Inara is compensating Mal for his effort. Nandi has sex with Mal.

...Seems pretty clear cut to me.



Sorry sister, I don't buy it. The look on her face in the morning as she looks at Mal sleeping indicates a lot more than satisfaction at paying a debt!

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...if Nandi lived, I actually think there would have been predominantly Nandi/Inara, and that there would have been some Mal/Inara on the side.


OK..."I'm goin' to my bunk." hahaha

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About the only person Inara seems to bond with is Kaylee.


OK. Perhaps I was unfair to Inara here. Didn't mean to hit a nerve.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 8:29 AM

PLATONIST


Mal and Nandi, were the most contrived romantic pairing evar.


They were stupid together, letting their bravado for a fight and their self-serving egos get in the way of sound decision making, leaving Nandi dead and Mal without the woman he truly loves who is Inara. Nandi bragged too much about herself and her guns, Mal drank too much and pretended to care too much, their scenes together are almost purposely poorly written and clichéd ridden. I didn’t find their sex very erotic, it was almost painful, was Mal crying? And in the morning, I found their connection to be dropped and unfounded, the sex was done and over with, they really don’t have any true love for each other, complicated by Nandi realizing she spent the night with her good friend’s love, cause she wanted to, completing her pattern of acting impulsively, without thinking of the consequences. I think Mal and Nandi were both walking the line of feeling shame there, and that’s no way to start a healthy relationship.

And, to top it off, Inara looks more torn up at the funeral than Mal does. He looks like he can’t wait until it’s over with so he can talk to Inara about their feelings, and possibly get to finally boink the one he’s been waiting for.

How DOES someone go from a funeral for a woman he had sex with the night before to, so…I knew it…you were jealous before, weren't you? Nice one, Mal.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 9:31 AM

MINCINGBEAST


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Mal and Nandi, were the most contrived romantic pairing evar....

How DOES someone go from a funeral for a woman he had sex with the night before to, so…I knew it…you were jealous before, weren't you? Nice one, Mal.



Mal and Nandi are only slightly more contrived than Mal and Inara. That a romantic pairing is contrived is part of its charm.

Mal and Nandi are, in many respects, a more logical match than Mal and Inara, or at least as logical. They're alike in decent ways (leadership, responsibility for others, refusal to follow others rules) and awful ways (selfish, impulsive, and the swaggering bravado you identified). Howevever, considering how horrible HoG was it is virtually impossible to give a shit about them.

Also, in response to your closing point, you are clearly not male, and also assuming that Mal thought that his "ifs and maybes" could possibly lead to boning down. While the image of Mal, with Nandi's dna drying on his tool, courting Inara is totally repugnant, give our captain the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was just trying to make sense of recent events, and the painful tension between the two of them. Recall that he wasn't "asking her for anything."

Granted that this is exactly the kind of shit you say to someone when you are asking for something.


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Friday, December 17, 2010 10:45 AM

PLATONIST


Granted that this is exactly the kind of shit you say to someone when you are asking for something.



LOL, I knew I could depend on you to provide me with a little amusement today.

Yeah, Mal's untimely ill-fated proposition of "now that we’ve clarified that you were jealous, let’s say we move out of the friend’s zone, but only if YOU really want to" smells like a load of crap.

And, of course I'm not male, and that's why when I heard it, I knew right away it was a load of crap.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 2:31 PM

BYTEMITE


XD

MB, you always come through with the slightly horrifying shock humour. Also, ew. Also, XD


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Friday, December 17, 2010 2:38 PM

BYTEMITE


Toadsmoothy: eek, sorry, wasn't trying to scare you off. Yeah, Mal/Inara shipper, like I said. I do try to take it easier on people, platonist will be a little bit tougher. :)

It's really okay if you like Mal/Nandi. Not everyone DOES see it as companionizing, it's just how I see it as.

Nandi was pushing and prompting even when Mal almost cuts and runs at one point, she struck me as pretty persistent, and hey, I'm a girl, but I don't think Mal is an example of "everyone wants to jump him," you know? If he was, he wouldn't always be talking about how long it's been. So I guess I just assumed Nandi had an ulterior motive because she has nothing to gain sleeping with Mal and a lot to lose.

But, about the guy who was running the whorehouse before, maybe. I've never quite bought it was Nandi who killed him, He probably would've been the first guy Nandi EVER killed, and it's weird that she would be so cavalier about it in that case. Really, I think the guy ended up dying of a heartattack or something, and Nandi just decided to take credit for it. but that's spec and I can't prove it. :) Your interpretation there is probably more canon.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 3:02 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Mal and Nandi, were the most contrived romantic pairing evar.


They were stupid together, letting their bravado for a fight and their self-serving egos get in the way of sound decision making, leaving Nandi dead and Mal without the woman he truly loves who is Inara. Nandi bragged too much about herself and her guns, Mal drank too much and pretended to care too much, their scenes together are almost purposely poorly written and clichéd ridden. I didn’t find their sex very erotic, it was almost painful, was Mal crying? And in the morning, I found their connection to be dropped and unfounded, the sex was done and over with, they really don’t have any true love for each other, complicated by Nandi realizing she spent the night with her good friend’s love, cause she wanted to, completing her pattern of acting impulsively, without thinking of the consequences. I think Mal and Nandi were both walking the line of feeling shame there, and that’s no way to start a healthy relationship.

And, to top it off, Inara looks more torn up at the funeral than Mal does. He looks like he can’t wait until it’s over with so he can talk to Inara about their feelings, and possibly get to finally boink the one he’s been waiting for.

How DOES someone go from a funeral for a woman he had sex with the night before to, so…I knew it…you were jealous before, weren't you? Nice one, Mal.





Platonist, where you been all my life?



Well, I'm all outta words now. You took em out.

But I'm mouthy so I'll try anyway.

I don't toe ship lines myself, but really, I think Mal DID mean two things by "My kinda stupid", Toadsmoothy:

I always saw Mal sleeping with Nandi as both of them saying "because we can, because we're here"--because she can seduce him, because he can get fuzzy and inebriated, because both of them seemed almost defiant about it all, about their lives even. Like teenagers out past curfew. I think both of them are very tired of hearing no and other disparaging words, and, on the verge of possibly losing everything, are in a smaller version of "Hell, I'm gonna live!" (Thanks Kaylee, thanks ever so much).

Throughout his screentime Mal holds himself back in so many ways and then it's like he overcompensates every once in a while with something very dramatic, and usually stupid.


EDIT: Just read the rest. So is this going to go the full loop again into whether Mal/Inara is even feasible?

Because we know that war has already been fought. So what's life like right now on the Good Ship Canon? I try to stay out of the wars of attrition.

Two cents: Both are contrived (not necessarily equally) but you could see 'em, if there was a lot of Jossian rain-dancing. Nandi and Mal under the best of circumstances would be highly explosive though. Think Inara's patience and self-control would serve them well there.


EDIT-EDIT: So MB, what DO men say/believe in that situation?



--

Going for a ride.


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Friday, December 17, 2010 3:17 PM

MINCINGBEAST


Sorry, I was trying to behave, not shock Mr. Toad, whom I would like to stick around so that we may discuss Bonazana. I've spent years speculating on what Hoss' mouth tastes like, and I would like someone to share it with. Someone anonymous.

Until Platonist, whom I despise, emphasized the uncomfortable context of Mal's notorious "ifs and maybes" speech I took it for granted he was being romantic and brave. It never really occured to me that he was open to a charge of being gross. But this is a delight, because I like Mal at his vilest.

So if the context of Mal's feeble gesture at honesty with Inara was "I fornicated with your dead friend, whom the worms have only recently begun to defile, and this hurt you. Can we fornicate now, maybe?" I am delighted. In fact, this adds new dimensions to the fact that Inara cried and left. Rad. Cry moar.


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Friday, December 17, 2010 3:49 PM

PLATONIST


Well, that’s one way to look at it, but their love scene is so lacking, usually I'll pause and retread over a good sexy one a few times, ponder if I could ever be so lucky to find myself in such a position, literally sometimes;) but theirs, I skip over, I guess what it lacks, is passion, something I would expect from two supposing passionate people. They just fail to impress me with their wanting.

Another thing that bothers me is Mal leaving the bedroom, it’s like he’s escaping, he’s not even completely dressed, and he shuts the door quietly so she doesn’t wake, like he’s had his quota of intimacy for the week. And then when they see each other again, they don’t embrace or kiss. After she confronts him with, “not the whole truth”, he orders her to the window next to him to shoot people, with her rifle, without a worry that she could get shot. Oh, where did their love go?

It’s a harsh assessment, and I know it’s not meant to be the love of the ages; Mal and Nandi have a momentary connection with each other. More than anything, though, I view it as Nandi was horny and hot for the Captain who comes to her aide, Mal was drunk, horny and it had been a while.

Favorite line of Mal's:

“It takes more’n than a few drinks to render my judgment blurry”


Mal, stop.talking.now.

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Friday, December 17, 2010 9:40 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Toadsmoothy: eek, sorry, wasn't trying to scare you off. Yeah, Mal/Inara shipper, like I said. I do try to take it easier on people, platonist will be a little bit tougher. :)...



Everyone has their opinions. Mine are probably not that well informed and have more to do with my own psychoses than any kind of objective interpretation of the material. One thing I'm not going to do is get into a spitting match over a t.v. show. Firstly, I can't compete with people on here; secondly, I have no interest in trying.

I love the Whedon/Fox version of Firefly and most aspects of the movie, as I interpreted them. I am interested in others' interpretations but I'm not going to let certain ones ruin my enjoyment of this material. Such opportunities for enjoyment come too few and far between in this life.

My thoughts on and feelings about Firefly/Serenity have become an embarrassment to me here. So, I plan to just lurk for awhile.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:25 AM

BYTEMITE


Aw. We get heated, but I'm sure no one thinks your ideas are shameful. There's lots of people who like both Jayne/Kaylee and Mal/Nandi and also lots of people who really hope Joss doesn't kill off his characters, or even who wish he'll somehow bring Book and Wash back.

But you do what you have to to feel comfortable too. I have to disappear for a while myself now and then.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 9:32 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Aw. We get heated, but I'm sure no one thinks your ideas are shameful. There's lots of people who like both Jayne/Kaylee and Mal/Nandi...



I don't see the point of drawing up battle lines at all. I don't feel the need to bicker over fictional characters. I like all of these characters to varying degrees and can see a variety of scenarios playing out. I see these characters as essentially good people doing the best they can under trying circumstances.

Some think our Captain Mal is a selfish, lecherous hump, and use "Heart of Gold" as some kind of proof. They have every right to that opinion but I don't find anything in the dialogue or the emotions the actors portrayed to indicate this. If he were that sort of person the crew wouldn't follow him.

I don't hate either Inara or Nandi. Love triangles do happen and that doesn't mean the people in them are bad people, it means they're human. Besides, there was no words of commitment between Inara and Mal. People want to ascribe all manner of unseemly motives to these characters and I just don't see it. I take Mal and Nandi to pretty much mean what they say and if they made a mistake, I'm willing to cut them some slack. Of course, I'm just a fan not a literary critic.

Nothing I could say on this site would convince anyone of anything, so I've probably just wasted ten minutes of my life.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 10:31 AM

BYTEMITE


I'm sorry. And you've got a point about the shipping battles. We even joke about it.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:34 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Just want to be clear, Toadsmoothy. Dong ma?

The reason we're all on here, even MB with incisive and...scary...humor xD is that we find these characters awesome and hilarious. And we enjoy sharing our opinions and sometimes doing a little convincing to boot.

I really think nobody needs to get bothered-- either embarrassed or angry, because frankly, only the writers/actors would have the 'right' answer about interpreting the characters, and even if they did, it might come across different to viewers anyway.

A lot of this "proof" can be used in different contexts. I don't personally think Mal is a lecherous hump, but he is impulsive and it comes out in lecherous humpishness sometimes (depending on your view). Huzzah we're looking at a multifaceted character, of which there aren't many on tv.

So chill out and argue with all your geese on the table. Or sit back and watch the circus. But please, there's no need to cringe. Ain't nobody brought out the knives yet.

---



Going for a ride.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 5:56 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
...Another thing that bothers me is Mal leaving the bedroom, it’s like he’s escaping, he’s not even completely dressed, and he shuts the door quietly so she doesn’t wake, like he’s had his quota of intimacy for the week.



Just to correct you on this point. In the morning Nandi awakens first and looks over at Mal while HE is still asleep. If he was rushing out while still dressing it might be because he had a big fight coming up. And I never got the impression she would be hiding in the cellar while the fight was going on. Neither did Mal order Nandi anywhere but suggested she join him in an upstairs position. And while they didn't cling on one another in the morning I feel that would have been out of character for both of them. That being said, they did exchange several meaningful glances. Of course, if you take a moralistic view of their behavior the night before you might have missed or misinterpreted these things.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:19 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by AnotherSky:
...So chill out and argue with all your geese on the table. Or sit back and watch the circus. But please, there's no need to cringe. Ain't nobody brought out the knives yet.



Well, as I said up front, this is my first message board experience and I've only been here a few days, so maybe I'm just not used to this kind of thing.

I'm not convinced to your point of view re. Heart of Gold. As Inara indicated when she ran into Mal in the hallway, he and Nandi did nothing wrong. Which makes me think you have some moralistic axe to grind that even Inara herself rejected. Of course some people discount what the characters themselves say and go off on tangents totally alien to the script and the milieu of the 'Verse.

There. A goose or two on the table.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:50 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
...complicated by Nandi realizing she spent the night with her good friend’s love, cause she wanted to, completing her pattern of acting impulsively, without thinking of the consequences. I think Mal and Nandi were both walking the line of feeling shame there...



Boo hoo, poor Inara! I'm sorry but I ain't buyin' it. If Inara had wanted Mal she could have had him long before. It's obvious Mal has a weakness for Companions (Saffron and Nandi). Surely the quintessential Companion could have worn down his defenses in short order. But all she could find to do is repeatedly insult him and hold him at arms length. So he boinked Nandi. What's the big deal? When she met Mal in the hallway the morning after Inara herself said she didn't have a problem with it, that sex for her didn't carry moralistic overtones. So why do you and others here have such a problem? So, they had sex, who gives a shit? So, Inara was bawling afterwards. Who knows why? Maybe the ship's surgery ran out of Midol. I like Mal. I like Nandi. I like Inara. If Inara was sorry that Nandi beat her to the punch with Mal she only has herself to blame for that. She's a big girl. She can handle it.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 7:04 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by mincingbeast:
...I am delighted. In fact, this adds new dimensions to the fact that Inara cried and left...



Yeah, well. I'm happy you're delighted. Whatever trips your trigger chief.

As far as Hoss' mouth, I would imagine it tastes like long since rotted flesh seeing as how Dan Blocker has been dead quite a few years now. Perhaps necrophilia also delights you. I will pass however.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010 10:11 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Yeah, well. I'm happy you're delighted. Whatever trips your trigger chief.

As far as Hoss' mouth, I would imagine it tastes like long since rotted flesh seeing as how Dan Blocker has been dead quite a few years now. Perhaps necrophilia also delights you. I will pass however.



XD We have another good one! MBs humour is just as sharp though, keep on your toes!

As for me, I like all three of the characters myself, which you kinda saw when I suggested the relationship might go in a three-way direction more than anything else.

For me, it's not a moralistic thing, it's just the thought that Nandi was repaying Mal for helping her seems inescapable to me. This kind of thing happens, of course, so what they did doesn't bother me so much as I'm not sure Mal realized, which makes the exchange somewhat false.

Of course, it's not Nandi's fault if Mal is dense, either, so I don't hold any of them at fault. I just don't see the night of passion they had as any more than what it is: just one night.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:31 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:

For me, it's not a moralistic thing, it's just the thought that Nandi was repaying Mal for helping her seems inescapable to me. This kind of thing happens, of course, so what they did doesn't bother me so much as I'm not sure Mal realized, which makes the exchange somewhat false...



I suppose one could read that into it. I think they are saying and doing what they mean.

Nandi tells Inara: "Payment won't be a problem." Of course the type pf payment isn't specified. But, CASH payment (as opposed to sex payment) seems to be an option when she says to Mal:"I expected a whole lot more of you to be taking payment in our trade"...which seems to mean cash payment was an option for those who would choose it. And Mal explains to her why everyone but Jayne isn't taking sex as payment.

Inara also promises Mal (cash) payment: "You'll be compensated...I've put a little (money) aside...you will be paid. I feel it's important we keep OUR'S strictly a business arrangement." Of course we see here Inara once again holding Mal at arm's length. But, Mal rejects this:"You can keep your money, we won't be needin' no payment." Does he mean here that he intends to do the job entirely pro bono?

I guess there is room for differing opinions all over the place here.

But, I don't think Nandi had sex with Mal as payment for services about to be rendered. I don't think she is just telling Mal what he might want to hear when she says to him:

"I've been waiting for you to kiss me since I showed you my guns...I WANT you to bed me."

I assume that she means what she is saying. I also believe she was being truthful when, in the morning, she tells Inara that she didn't realize that she (Inara) was in love with him. Therefore Nandi can hardly be held culpable for hurting Inara's feelings. "I have shot mine arrow o'er the house and hurt my brother."

Now Nandi is displeased that Mal didn't tell her how Inara felt about him. But, how can Mal be certain that Inara loves him? She repeatedly pushes him away and treats him like dirt. What, is Mal suppose to never have sex for the rest of his life but just wait around for Inara to thaw out?! My opinion is that Inara is responsible for this whole debacle. If she wants a relationship with Mal, it's time for her to shit or get off the pot.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 4:52 AM

PLATONIST


I'm confused, are you saying Nandi and Mal ARE about sex and lust, and Mal and Inara are about complex deep feelings, such as love?

Cause that's what I thought, too.

I like all these characters; I just see them as deeply flawed as intended.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 7:32 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

"I expected a whole lot more of you to be taking payment in our trade"...which seems to mean cash payment was an option for those who would choose it. And Mal explains to her why everyone but Jayne isn't taking sex as payment.


The prostitutes trade is prostitution, taking payment in trade from prostitutes would be sex in lieu of money. So actually, she was asking why Mal wasn't acting like Jayne was acting, asks if he's sly, then offers him her boys as an alternative. I don't see her offering cash as an alternative at any point here.

And then she asks him about Inara.

This is when she realizes for certain that Mal has feelings for Inara. Inexplicably, despite her training, she then believes Inara has no feelings for Mal, which is actually a plothole in the episode because even people with no companion-like training are often able to see what's going on right away.

In any case, what Nandi does is to use her companion skills to try to help Mal get over Inara in compensation for him saving her people and the house.

It doesn't work, and when Nandi sees Inara the next morning, she realizes just how badly she accidentally screwed things up.

Now, okay, I'll give you that clearly Nandi enjoyed herself, either because, despite months or even years of no activity, Mal is pretty good, or because she's satisfied she's helped him, or both. But I also posit this is no different than when Inara is pleased with one of her clients (Fess Higgins, perhaps?), or the way Helen, the prostitute Jayne takes to, seems pleased with HIM. That's not an act, I imagine some prostitutes actually do enjoy some of their time with their John. But I also don't think it's necessarily an indication of a deep, meaningful, or long-term relationship. Nandi knew Mal would leave if they survived the coming fight, and she accepted it, and then we see Mal try to sneak out of Nandi's room in the morning.

Also, in regards to the above, just because I think Nandi is putting on a tough act in order to function as the brothel madam, I don't think any less of her. When Inara was putting on a tough act holding Saffron at gun point in Trash, when all of us know there's no way she would ever pull the trigger, it was very cool, and upped respect for her. Nandi develops a willingness to pull the trigger, either with the former brothel owner, or to fight to keep it here, but I see her as doing something similar, only long term.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 7:43 AM

PLATONIST


Now Nandi is displeased that Mal didn't tell her how Inara felt about him.



Nandi knows whatever she thought she had with Mal is over with at this point, because as soon as Mal hears that Inara has feelings for him, it's like Nandi… who?

I know you want to admire these characters, Toad, but I think you want to make more of the Mal/Nandi liaison than there is, they may be more similar in some ways, but Joss likes to explore opposite, but complimentary pairings such as Mal and Inara. It’s just more interesting for romantic storytelling and keeps the viewer engaged longer trying to figure out with the hell is going on between them, see the BDM if you haven't already.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 10:41 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
I'm confused, are you saying Nandi and Mal ARE about sex and lust, and Mal and Inara are about complex deep feelings, such as love?...



I don't know what Inara is about. If she's in love with Mal she has a piss-poor way of showing it. Of course the same can be said of Mal. Life is too short for such adolescent games. If you're in love with someone you let them know. If they reciprocate you're golden, if they don't you move on. You don't tell someone they're only a business arrangement and then get all upset when they bed someone else. And I don't buy that she is sparing his feelings because she's dying. That's not the way a mature adult handles life. She should say:"Mal, I have feelings for you but I don't think we should get intimate because I'm dying." Don't feminists understand maturity and honesty? C'mon.

As far as the night of sex between Mal and Nandi, who knows how deep their feelings went? And if it was only a night of lust, that doesn't mean they couldn't like one another. It wouldn't be the first time friends had sex knowing it would go no further. If Inara weren't in the picture Mal and Nandi could have been fuck-buddies. Nuthin' wrong with that. If Inara was an adult and truly didn't want a relationship but loved Mal and wanted his happiness she should have NOT caused a problem by getting upset. Of course it's moot because Nandi was killed.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 11:15 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Quote:

...The prostitutes trade is prostitution, taking payment in trade from prostitutes would be sex in lieu of money. So actually, she was asking why Mal wasn't acting like Jayne was acting, asks if he's sly, then offers him her boys as an alternative. I don't see her offering cash as an alternative at any point here.


If she doesn't intend to pay in cash does she expect her girls to sex-up Book? Simon? Wash? Zoe? and the rest of the crew? Nonsense! Clearly cash payments are on the table for those that choose that alternative.

Quote:

In any case, what Nandi does is to use her companion skills to try to help Mal get over Inara in compensation for him saving her people and the house.


That's a huge leap in logic that I don't see any support for in the script. Of course you have the right to invent any edits to the script you want as long as we're clear they are your version of events.

Quote:

It doesn't work, and when Nandi sees Inara the next morning, she realizes just how badly she accidentally screwed things up.


Screwed what up exactly? A contentious relationship that consists only of trading insults and giving each other the cold shoulder? Oh! Say it isn't so! hahaha If I were Mal I would have walked away from Inara long ago! She's nice in some ways but where Mal is conserned, she's a total pain in the ass! She isn't worth the frustration! Both Mal and Inara need to grow up and get on with their lives.

Quote:

Now, okay, I'll give you that clearly Nandi enjoyed herself, either because, despite months or even years of no activity, Mal is pretty good, or because she's satisfied she's helped him, or both.


What makes you think Nandi doesn't get her share of sex? Where is that in the script? You're just making stuff up out of thin air. If I walked into that whorehouse, Nandi would be my first pick!

Quote:

..I imagine some prostitutes actually do enjoy some of their time with their John. But I also don't think it's necessarily an indication of a deep, meaningful, or long-term relationship.


So? Some hot, meaningless sex ain't a bad thing! Just ask Kaylee! hahaha Or maybe they actually liked each other, which is what the say in the script, and they would have been friends for life. We will never know because Nandi is dead.

As far as the rest of it, the script doesn't indicate that Nandi is anything other than a tough broad, before this episode and during it. She only asked Inara and through her, Mal to help in this particular fight because she knew she couldn't take on the whole town alone and hope to survive.

Why are you so desperate to judge this one night of sex? Why do you need to load it with unseemly intentions?

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 11:54 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
...Nandi knows whatever she thought she had with Mal is over with at this point, because as soon as Mal hears that Inara has feelings for him, it's like Nandi… who?...



I disagree. First of all, the fighting starts soon after so there isn't a lot of time for soul searching. But, if you watch the episode, on the balcony before they start firing, there is a smile and significant glance that passes between Mal and Nandi. Later, while talking to Inara on the ship Mal expresses remorse because he feels he failed Nandi because she was killed and tells Inara that nothing would dissuade him from that conviction. Now that is anything but a "Nandi..who?" dismissal. Mal clearly has feelings for Nandi, even while he is trying to express feelings for Inara, and he admits as much to her.

Now, some people here rush to cast unfounded aspersions on this heart to heart between Mal and Inara but apparently these people think it impossible for a good person to have feelings for two people at the same time. I'm here to tell you, it happens. Human relationships, even between good people, are seldom so tidy as some want them to be.

Quote:

...I know you want to admire these characters, Toad, but I think you want to make more of the Mal/Nandi liaison than there is...



I'm simply saying they regard each other exactly the way they say they do in the script for chrissakes!!! I'm not the one clambering out on a limb here! And I can't for the life of me understand why so many here attack the moral character of Mal and Nandi for having a night of sex. Are there a lot of fundamentalist Christians on this site? If Mal had to wait around for Inara he might as well resign himself to becoming a monk in Book's abbey. The people all hung up on the Mal x Inara thing, well, it's like Mal's take on faith: "It's a long wait for a train that don't come."

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:10 PM

BYTEMITE


Um, okay, wow. Maybe it's just the others rubbing off on you, because they're being a lot harder than I am, but you're getting pretty belligerent with me here. Let's go back to that "it's just a show and we don't have to make battlelines" thing.

Quote:

If she doesn't intend to pay in cash does she expect her girls to sex-up Book? Simon? Wash? Zoe? and the rest of the crew?


Her exact quote:

"Truth is, I expected a whole lot more
of you to be taking payment in our
trade."

So yes. I think she did.

Quote:

That's a huge leap in logic that I don't see any support for in the script. Of course you have the right to invent any edits to the script you want as long as we're clear they are your version of events.


This is you starting to get insulting. I don't know if you saw the exchange in the Operative thread, but don't call me irrational. Please. I have very good reasons for all of my assertions.

Quote:

Screwed what up exactly? A contentious relationship that consists only of trading insults and giving each other the cold shoulder?


Both Mal and Inara got hurt. I said nothing about Nandi screwing up their relationship, but Nandi clearly REGRETS the HURT she accidentally brought to both of them.

If the relationship was nothing more than trading insults and giving each other the cold shoulder, I contend that it wouldn't have hurt, as it obviously did.

I also think you've neglected to observe the times where it's depicted they DO get along. I recommend the beginning and end of Shindig to you, the celebration in the opening of Our Mrs. Reynolds, the little smiles they exchange with each other during the dinner party in Out of Gas, the way they pal around on the space station at the start of The Message.

We only SEE the times when they're fighting because that makes good tv drama. But there's plenty to imply they both get more out of the relationship than the occasional fights.

As I said before, we are all entitled to our own interpretations, and yours is valid. But I haven't put down your assertions as illogical or unsupported by the script. So do please extend me the same courtesy.

Quote:

What makes you think Nandi doesn't get her share of sex? Where is that in the script? You're just making stuff up out of thin air.


YOU are making up things I never said. What I said was that Nandi was SATSIFIED by Mal. Does that imply that I think she didn't get her share of sex? In fact, Mal and Nandi were directly contrasted with Chari and Burgess and his forcing her to give him fellatio.

Quote:

Why are you so desperate to judge this one night of sex? Why do you need to load it with unseemly intentions?


Why do you need to assign intentions to my arguments? I believe I'm the best judge of what I am saying and what I think. Not. You.

I'm not going to be around the board for two weeks. I believe this may be for the best.



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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:19 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

I'm simply saying they regard each other exactly the way they say they do in the script for chrissakes!!! I'm not the one clambering out on a limb here!


What you are being is quite rude.

There is a lot of subtext in the script. It's there if you care to look for it. If you don't, it's no skin off my nose. Believe what you like. But don't insult us. The four of us haven't come up with this idea from out of nowhere, and as ever, the show is open to interpretation.

Quote:

And I can't for the life of me understand why so many here attack the moral character of Mal and Nandi for having a night of sex. Are there a lot of fundamentalist Christians on this site?


Yes, we're fundamentalists around here, who much prefer an actual practicing sex worker in a pairing to a reformed sex worker who has, judging from her funeral, found Christianity herself.

Your conflating us to having some sort of prudishness against sex and the sex worker profession is unfair and misrepresentative.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:29 PM

BYTEMITE


EDIT: No, I'm going to stay out of this now. If I get involved, I'm just going to get angrier. And in the past that has been seriously bad for my health.

A break will be good.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:32 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Um, okay, wow. Maybe it's just the others rubbing off on you, because they're being a lot harder than I am, but you're getting pretty belligerent with me here.



I apologize if I was belligerent and insulting. I think you're right. I came on here wanting to talk about nice things like Kaylee. I feel like I've crossed over to the dark side on this thread. Someone above told me to argue with all my "geese on the table" (still trying to figure out what that means) so I decided to throw those geese down hard. But, I didn't mean to make you unhappy. I hope you can forgive my rude behavior. I also hope you stick around as long as you can before you have to leave. I'll make a mental note not to be an asshole...at least not to you. :)

Toady

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:41 PM

BYTEMITE


I'm also sorry. I really started to get angry later on there. I tend to get really hot tempered a lot lately, it's stress.

Do stay, and talk about Kaylee. It was wrong for me to try to convince Inara is a better person than you think she is, because you are entitled to that after what you went through.

There is little I can do about staying around right now though. But if you want to, you'll hear from me again after the new year.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:52 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

...You're blaming her for DYING now?


umm No. I'm blaming her for not being open and honest with the man she supposedly loves. That's what mature, considerate people do in love relationships.

Quote:

Oh, that's very nice. Thank you.


OK. That was a cheap shot. I'm sorry for that. But, it wasn't addressed specifically at you but those seem to heap most of the blame on Mal, some of the blame on Nandi and none of the blame on Inara. I was frustrated.

Quote:

She shouldn't have caused a PROBLEM by getting upset? Right! Because Mal and Nandi sleeping together is HER fault, not a choice the other two made as adults, which later both regretted because they both care about Inara and didn't mean for her to get hurt.


Well, what does Inara want? for Mal to be her celibate whipping-boy for the remainder of her short life? Where's the love and caring in that?
If she doesn't want an honest, open, sexual, ie. mature relationship with Mal she should set him free to find happiness elsewhere.

Quote:

...I'm sorry, man, considering the very negative way you view Inara, whatever happened between you and your ex was clearly ugly, I can't blame you. But don't take it out on us because we LIKE Inara.


haha Well, my ex was a pain in the ass 'tis true, but I don't think that has undue bearing on the points I'm trying to make here.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:59 PM

BYTEMITE


I editted out this previous post because I thought it would pour more fuel on the fire. I'm sorry that you had to read it, it was written in anger. You are right, and I shouldn't have brought your ex into it.

A point I made previously, but lost, was this:

Quote:

If she doesn't want an honest, open, sexual, ie. mature relationship with Mal she should set him free to find happiness elsewhere.


I believe this is what she was trying to do when she decided to leave. But breaking off like that, it's never a clean cut, and part of her wants to stay still.

It's not her fault she was dragged back in the movie, but after everything was all over, and Mal seemed to be glad to have her around, she is very tempted to stay, and possibly tempted to be honest with him. Or at least that's how I see the movie.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:14 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

...I believe this is what she was trying to do when she decided to leave. But breaking off like that, it's never a clean cut, and part of her wants to stay still.

It's not her fault she was dragged back in the movie, but after everything was all over, and Mal seemed to be glad to have her around, she is very tempted to stay, and possibly tempted to be honest with him. Or at least that's how I see the movie.



I agree with you and the ending of the movie made me hopeful for them as well. I think they both have been very immature with each other and it has caused a lot of unpleasantness and hurt feelings..not only between their characters but on this thread. haha

One of them needs to look the other in the eyes and say: "I love you." Hopefully then the other will say: "I love you too." Then Inara must tell Mal that she is dying and Mal needs to tell Inara: "I will be with you no matter what, to the bitter end." Then they kiss, the credits roll, end of the BDM2. :)

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 2:01 PM

PLATONIST


...Mal clearly has feelings for Nandi, even while he is trying to express feelings for Inara, and he admits as much to her.



It's worse than I thought, because we all know it makes a gal feel special when a man expresses feelings for you AND your dead friend simultaneously. There's a certain profound authenticity in a sentiment like that, very believable.

No wonder Inara left…well that, and because even with all of Mal’s shortcomings she still loves him enough to spare him the pain and guilt of watching her die and not being able to save her. She sets him free, at your request, to fly the friendly skis of sexing women with Jayne, undeterred by space clap.

Cause that’s exactly what Mal is thinking while he’s lamenting over her vid in the BDM, Inara must know other Companions who I can bed…maybe she can hook me up, I’m feeling rather sentimental;)

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:00 PM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

...It's worse than I thought, because we all know it makes a gal feel special when a man expresses feelings for you AND your dead friend simultaneously. There's a certain profound authenticity in a sentiment like that, very believable.

No wonder Inara left…well that, and because even with all of Mal’s shortcomings she still loves him enough to spare him the pain and guilt of watching her die and not being able to save her. She sets him free, at your request, to fly the friendly skis of sexing women with Jayne, undeterred by space clap.

Cause that’s exactly what Mal is thinking while he’s lamenting over her vid in the BDM, Inara must know other Companions who I can bed…maybe she can hook me up, I’m feeling rather sentimental;)



Well, such an ugly interpretation doesn't merit a response. Perhaps you simply haven't experienced enough of life and love to know that it can't be summed up by romantic greeting card notions. I hope you do. It might broaden your perspective and foster compassion for human beings and their frailties.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:26 PM

PLATONIST


I'm sure all the women you've ever known and had compassion for, love you as much as
much as you love yourself Toad, cause that’s what women really need, is to feel validated and loved from a sap like you.






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Sunday, December 19, 2010 7:38 PM

GREENKA61


Hesitantly wading in:

I always thought Mal and Nandi were two peas out of the same pod, and there is mutual admiration and respect between them. Both have left their original homes for whatever reasons; both have created symbolic families with their respective crews/employees. There might be arguments within their "families", but god help anyone who tries to harm them or theirs. They are both stubborn and will stand their ground, even though a more prudent person might turn and run.

In addition, there is the added attraction for him that if they both survive the next day, she will make no claim on him or complicate his life any further (unless he wants her to).

I've heard those in the sex trade industry say that to some extent, clients are not paying for a night of companionship as much as they are paying for that companionship to go away the next morning. Now I don't think that Mal sees his night with Nandi payment for his services, as much as she is an equal that he can let his guard down with for one night who will make no further claims on him the next day. Not to mention that she talks like a woman and shoots like a man. If they manage to kill Royce, she's sure not going to want to go off with Mal. She's got her own life to lead.

For her part, he, in turn, can also let her guard down with Mal because he has lived through similar situations while staking out his own little corner of the universe. It doesn't hurt that he is an attractive, intelligent, considerate man, who has what appears to be a rare, fair feature in her part of the 'verse: he's actually in interested in her as a person and her life beyond her occupation, not to mention that he has values (relatively speaking – I’m holding up Royce and Jayne here for comparrision).

As for Inara’s tears, and I like Inara immensely, I think that she and he have become complacent in keeping up the “arm’s length” adagio the two of them are locked in. Let’s face it: the two of them are emotional cowards. It is much “safer” to keep up the push-pull, fight or flight bickering that they do than to risk real emotional passion and pain that they “might” feel if they ever give in to their attraction. I think her tears stem from the shock of seeing another woman be more adult about it and go in and take what she wants instead of worrying about (maybe) getting hurt. Hell. Everyone could be dead in a couple of hours anyway.

Thus end my musings for the evening. Your mileage may vary.



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Monday, December 20, 2010 1:33 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by greenka61:
Hesitantly wading in:...



Oh my God! I agree with everything you just said!

And you said it so well too!

Thank you

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Monday, December 20, 2010 5:24 AM

PLATONIST


Actually agree with what you said too, greenka61, as far as everyone’s behavior at HoG.
But there are consequences for TAKING what you want, as Mal realizes when he is regretful at the end, wishing he had never met Nandi. We know Inara has her reasons for not TAKING what she wants, she's dying, by keeping Mal at arm's length, she's thinking of him and not herself.

It's called self sacrifice, there’s no emotional cowardness in that.

Because, Inara's NOT a taker, she's a giver.

You’re right, Mal and Nandi both took what they wanted, Inara doesn’t measure up when it comes to finding ways to get what she wants, whether or not this is a weakness or strength is how one interprets human behavior.

Looking at the ending though, it’s Inara who stands tall and strong, musing on what she learned from her experience and finally making her decision to walk alone and let Mal fly free. Mal’s hope is crushed; he did the taking, and the living and the losing. Hopefully he learned something from the HoG, also.

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