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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Yo whaddup SA its ya boooooiiii! So I got drunk tonight while having a bi-weekly zoom chat with some friends to cope with our Covid hellscape, and after it was over I was still drunk and also lonely so I fired up Hulu, and what was on my recommends? Why Science Fiction of course! So while I'm still buzzing on Gin and Juice I thought I'd create a space where people can share their thoughts on their preferred science fiction while in an altered state of consciousness!

What's science fiction without some drugs anyway? We all love Dune right?

Anyway, lets get this show on the road:

Franchise: Firefly
Episode: Jaynestown


As a young child of 15, I was absolutely enamored with Firefly, and I think a large part of that obsession was that this was the first episode I saw. I wholeheartedly believe that this is one of the single best bottle shows I've ever seen on a science fiction TV show, ranking up there with DS9's Duet. Is that the booze talking? Maybe, I dunno. All I know is that I loving love every aspect of this episode.

So, the show's got three plot threads.

A plot: The crew of Serenity have shown up on a random moon to do some smuggling. The planet is the fiefdom of some rich landed gentry piece of poo poo, and his industry of choice is Plantation Mud Farming. The show explains to us that the clay that they produce on this planet goes into ceramics, and that ceramics are insanely valuable in the space age, including for making spaceship parts. "Ten times of the strength of steel at half the weight" is the foreman's pitch.

While Captain Malcolm Reynolds just wants to quietly get his job done and go home, life gets complicated for him when it turns out that one of his crewmates, Jayne Cobb, visited this planet a few years prior to pull a heist on the landlord, but the job went bad and he had to dump all his stolen money out of his spaceship to escape. The money landed right in the middle of the worker's town, and this resulted in Jayne being made a literal, unironic Folk Hero in the vein of Robin Hood. It isn't long until the town recognizes Jayne is back, especially given the fact that they literally put a statue of him in town square, and once he's revealed the crew have to find a way to turn this mess to their advantage before it blows up in their faces

B plot: One of the crewmates, Inara, is a Companion, which is basically a Space Concubine. One part prostitute, one part courtier, one part philosopher, Inara has been called in by the planet's resident Space Landlord to "make his son a man," because he's incredibly angry that he's still a virgin at 26.

C plot: Another crewmate, River, has some pretty severe psychological issues. While her brother takes part in the smuggling operation (and flirts with the chief engineer), much to his chagrin, she has been left in the care of Shepherd Book, a Space Missionary. Hilarity Ensues as he tries to babysit her.

So the plot progresses thusly:

At first the crew is kind of dumbstruck by this whole Folk Hero thing, but when Jayne gets found out and the town basically throws and impromptu festival in celebration for his return, Captain Mal is forced to take the situation into account and plans a "Jayne Day," celebration to cover their smuggling.

Meanwhile, Inara successfully sleeps with the Landlord's son, professing a sex-positive message about how virginity at the end of the day is a pretty meaningless metric, and despite his dad being an enormous piece of poo poo who treats his workers as slaves, his opinion does not matter in terms of whether or not Landlord's Son is a man or not. HE decides that by his maturity and his choices in life.

Also Meanwhile, River gets really upset at the logical inconsistencies in Book's bible and starts editing it with a sharpie and tearing out pages. Book tries to explain that believing in the bible's nonsense despite KNOWING its wrong is part of the real purpose of religion: faith. River doesn't get it because she's a super genius with brain damage, but she does seem to get that ripping pages out of the bible was wrong. At least until she has another freakout about Books' giant afro once he undoes his ponytail.

Back in A Plot, Jayne being showered with love and finding out the workers Rioted in his account to protect his statue and their falsely perceived Robin Hood wealth redistribution leads him to a heady, philosophical kind of place where he starts to be filled with some amount of awe over the positive impact he had on their lives. But the landlord isn't going to put up with his serfs having any level of empowerment or happiness and so plays his trump card: Jayne's partner from the failed heist, who he's kept in a dungeon for four years, is sprung from prison with the intent that he expose Jayne as a fraud and also murder him.

This leads to a big confrontation in town square. Jayne's partner tells the entire town that while they were making their getaway, their ship was damaged, and rather than throw away the money Jayne shoved HIM out of the ship, only dumping the cash after that to save his own skin. He then attempts to kill Jayne with a shotgun... only for a local to jump in the way, saving his life. Jayne puts a knife right through the man's sternum, and literally beats him to death in a brutal fashion in front of the crowd. He then launched into a furious, bitter speech, yelling first at the kid who took the bullet for him and then the entire crowd for idolizing him. "There ain't people like [a hero]. There's just people like me." And with that he topples his own statue.

As the episode closes the B Plot and C Plot then come home to roost. The Landlord tries to keep the crew on the planet by locking down air traffic control, but his son overrides them in defiance of his father, proving he's been a man all along regardless of whether or not he's had sex, and the episode closes on Jayne still fuming and trying to understand why that young man died for his sake. He suggests to Captain Mal that they're probably putting the very statue he knocked down back up as they speak.

Mal explains it in terms of faith: "It aint about you Jayne. Its about what they need." Jayne can only remark that "It don't make no sense."

Our love for him now ain't hard to explain. The Hero of Canton. The Man they call Jayne.

As I watched this I was quoting every line and singing along to every song as they popped up even though I haven't actually sat down in watched it in year, maybe as long as a decade. Only a tiny handful of TV scifi shows have stuck with me as completely as Jaynestown did. Every line of dialogue is so clever and perfect, ever beat of music of camera edit has meaning. Its TV scifi at its best. You should all go watch it right loving now if you can. I honestly don't even think there's a better episode of Firefly. Even Adam Baldwin being an enormous neo-nazi piece of poo poo can' ruin this episode for me.

I don't have a good conclusion for this synopsis. I just love Jaynestown. I love scifi. So up your cups and post Goons.

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reignofevil
Nov 7, 2008


Sometimes you gotta break the rules.


I picked a really good night to hit the liquor.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





As I wake up sober the next morning, I can't help but be impressed that my spelling didn't fall apart too bad until the end of that big post.

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