Devon’s Best of Season 3 – E14 Firefly and Serenity

What the hell are Browncoats, and why should I care? I always asked myself this question as I traversed the exhibitor hall of Phoenix Comicon or attended other geeky events across the Valley of the Sun. People’s obsession with Nathan Fillion made very little sense to me. Alan Tudyk was the pirate in Dodgeball and Summer Glau was the terminator in Sarah Connor Chronicles. And Joss? Joss is a dude with a cool name who made Buffy, and I sure love me some Buffy.

Two years ago I was flipping through channels on my parent’s couch over Christmas break and came across a cowboy gun fight on a spaceship, and who doesn’t like space westerns, right? So I spent the next two hours watching Serenity. I laughed at all the right moments and cringed at *that* death, and I thought I understood what Browncoats represented. Only after watching Serenity did I learn to appreciate Captain Mal and his band of merrymen (err… merrypeople) making their way through the galaxy.

In 2015, Educating Geeks covered “Firefly” & Serenity and having an unabashed love for everything River Tam, I listened to the podcast the day it was released, back in September.

Part way through listening to the podcast, I suddenly realized that I’d never actually watched “Firefly”. I knew “Firefly” through Serenity, the companion film, but I’d never actually seen the short-lived, cult classic television show. Of all the awesome Educating [Geeks] podcast recordings this year, “Firefly” & Serenity stood out for me because it encouraged me to consume the pop culture. Typically if I’ve never seen/read/played the topic of the podcast I’d skip that episode so it wouldn’t spoil it for me, but this podcast made me realize I never fully enjoyed this Joss Whedon creation.

I went back to “Firefly” immediately and watched the entire show in two days. I loved it. Having seen Serenity and understanding how they wrapped up the story lines, I could better appreciate the show and the development of the narratives and characters.

  • My favorite podcast moments include:
  • 3:23 The discussion of “new generation browncoats”, of which I am not clearly a part.
  • 7:12 The discussion of the broadcast order versus the order of episodes that Joss envisioned. (Trust me, watch the Netflix order and you will be fine.)
  • 7:49 Andrea discusses the fact that she watched Serenity before”Firefly” – the same way I saw this.
  • 10:32 Discussion of characters. Bri, our educatee, couldn’t come to care for the characters. Drea disagreed, but she pointed out that viewing Serenity first was advantageous to her understanding the characters as she watched “Firefly”.
  • 14:23 Favorite characters. Mine? River Tam, all the way.
  • 22:02 Discussion of Zoe & how awesome she is.
  • 30:00 Discussion of Mal as a leader, heartthrob, and human being.
  • 36:10 Discussion of the final episode of Firefly entitled “Objects in Space”.
  • 45:17 Discussion of the Reaver’s origin.
  • 52:30 Discussion of Inara & how absolutely kick ass she is.
  • 59:00 The podcasters go around and share their favorite quotes.

Which brings me to my favorite bit in this Whedonverse. Throughout much of “Firefly” River Tam is the mentally damaged genius kid sister to over protective Simon Tam, but once Simon is gunned down late in Serenity something changes. Something clicks in River, and this seemingly savant, awkward young girl looks at her brother and says, “You take care of me, Simon. You’ve always taken care of me. My turn.”

She then she runs towards the Reavers who are about to decimate the entire crew. As the doors reopen, she stands among the dozen dead, covered in blood, with a simple sickle in hand. River Tam is a kick ass lady, and that’s my favorite quote.

Summer Glau (River Tam), shot by me, at Phoenix Comicon in 2015.

Summer Glau (River Tam), shot by me, at Phoenix Comicon in 2015.