Firefly
Serenity: The Big Damn Movie

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Jayne bags the Reaver and kicks him down the chute. He and Kaylee discuss the Reavers a bit more, and Jayne gives a funny speech. "I do not get it. How's a guy get so wrong? Cutting on his own face, raping and murdering. I'll kill a man in a fair fight, or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight, or if he bothers me, or if there's a woman, or if I'm getting paid. Mostly only when I'm getting paid. These Reavers, the last years, they show up like the Bogeyman from stories. Eating people alive? Where does that get fun?" Kaylee's scavenging from all the wreckage, inspecting parts, seeing if they're useful. "Shepherd Book said they was men who just reached the edge of space, saw a vasty nothingness, and went bibbledy over it." Which explanation was sufficient for me, back in the day, but this movie takes what's essentially a philosophical show, about negotiating between two ethical extremes and relying on yourself to provide the ultimate moral compass, because that's what Joss Whedon writes TV shows about, and makes it a political movie, which means the whole "staring into the abyss makes you crazy" argument is not going to hold water, because it's politics in action and not a hypothetical Rousseauist tract. In case you were confused, Jayne will explain the difference now: "Oh, hell. I've been to the edge. Just looked like more space." Above him, tellingly, River lies face up on the catwalk. "I don't know, it can get awful lonely in the black," muses Kaylee, and brings the philosophical aspect back around to point at Mal. "Like to get addlepated ourselves, we stay on this boat much longer. Captain will drive us all off, one by one. Just like Simon and River." In the deleted scene, you see her sad face as she says the last line, "Just like Inara," but here we fade to Mal's bunk, where he's watching a vid Kaylee shot while Inara was preparing to leave, after "Objects In Space."

Inara laughs. "Kaylee, are you ever going to put that capture down?" But Kaylee's so excited with her toy: "We got to have records of everything, Inara! A bona fide Companion entertained clients on this very ship! In this very bed!" Inara smiles. "Well, I can't do my work here. And I don't think the Captain approves." Kaylee begs to differ that this means she must leave: "The Captain wants you to stay as much as..." but Inara interrupts her right there, not wanting to broach that subject any more than Mal ever does. "That man doesn't know what he wants." He puts it down.

Serenity docks on the ironically-named Beaumonde, and Kaylee is instructing Simon on what to do once they've left. Her innocence is so completely congruent with her earthiness; I love how she can get her heart broken a thousand times by one gay doctor, or the empty Mean Girl victims on Persephone, but still knows you don't buy drugs sight unseen, and likes to fuck in the engine room. You know? There's a Kitty Pryde for every story, but I think Kaylee's the best and truest example. Willow's irritating repression, Fred's irritating everything, but Kaylee's just a sweet girl with her heart on her smudgy sleeve. "Don't talk to the barkers, talk to the Captains. You look the Captain in the eye. Know who you're dealing with. I wish there was..." Mal steps between them, unloading, and he and Simon awkwardly do not touch, or look at each other. "You shouldn't ought to be so clean. It's a dead giveaway you don't belong, you always got to be tidy." She's almost crying, and can't look at him. "Don't pay anybody in advance." She's going to keep talking forever, if possible. "And don't ride in anything with a Capissen engine, they fall right out of the sky." Unable to continue, she breaks off and joins the Captain. River watches her leave, and Simon asks if she wants to stay with them. She looks amazing, these lovely tendrils in her hair, a slinky black dress with a silk kimono-jacket over it. "It isn't safe." He agrees pompously ("No. I fear it isn't safe anymore."), and takes off. "For them," she says to herself.

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