Thursday, November 1, 2012

Firefly Rewatch 2012: "Our Mrs. Reynolds"

I'm back from my trip and catching up on the nerd initiative (post-vacation) to rewatch the brilliant-but-cancelled Firefly, to mark the show's ten-year anniversary. This week: "Our Mrs. Reynolds." Original air date: October 4, 2002.

One thing I've been doing as I rewatch Firefly is observing how much has changed in the ten years since these episodes aired. One change that you can't help but notice in "Our Mrs. Reynolds" is, well, Mrs. Reynolds. In 2002, almost no one knew who this pretty red-haired girl was:
In 2012, well, come on. Christina Hendricks, am I right, everyone?

Even before Mad Men was a twinkle in Matt Weiner's eye, Christina Hendricks proved she knew how to hold it down. She owns this episode as a young woman who is offered as a wife to Captain Mal - except he was so drunk during the ceremony that he doesn't remember marrying her, and this poor naive girl is terrified that she has displeased him somehow. She's the anti-Zoe: she relinquishes all control to her husband and wants only to make him happy. Then she starts seducing everyone and drugging them, and it turns out that our Mrs. Reynolds isn't what she seems to be. And I just sit there and watch as Firefly throws me another plot twist. 

I think my favourite part of this episode was the moment when "Saffron" (using quotes since that's not her real name and we don't know what to call her) meekly reveals to Mal that she's his wife, and Mal (for the first time in the series so far) can't think of anything, witty or otherwise, to say. He is rendered completely speechless from the shock. It's just a brilliantly scripted bit in a show that I normally love for its dialogue.

What is it about this show that just gets to me? You know, other than the dialogue, the characters, the plotting, and the fact that there will probably never be another show like it? I still can't put my finger on it, but I'll keep catching up until I find out.

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