Serenity Sunday: Serenity

Hello everybody!  I hope you find serenity this Sunday.  Well, we’ve come to the end of our Firefly journey.  Today, we are talking about the movie Serenity.  If you have never watched the movie, it is a good film and a fitting way to end an epic show.  Every time I watch it, I am immediately immersed in the world.

I’m thinking the best way to wrap up Serenity Sunday is to talk about each of the characters via the movie.  We are going to wrap up their individual stories.  Let’s do this!

Sheppard Book


Since episode 14, Sheppard Book (Ron Glass) has settled on a planet with a group. When we see him he is thugged out in cornrows and a gun.

While talking to Mal, he reminds us that he has a lot of knowledge about Alliance military activity.  I’ve concluded that he is definitely former Alliance intelligence.

Near the end of the movie, Shappard Book is killed by The Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor).  This motivates the crew to finish this once and for all.



Inara (Morena Baccarin) has settled on some planet.  The Operative finds her there and uses her to lure Mal and the crew to the planet.

Inara gets to fight and shoot a bow and arrow in the movie.  She also decides not to stay on the planet when the fight is over, but roam around with Mal and the crew.



Poor Kaylee (Jewel Staite).  Kaylee spends most of this movie in tears.  She sees a lot of death and she is ill-equipped to deal with it.

Before you get too sympathetic for our little Kaylee, she does get a happy ending, one that I will explain in a second.



Jayne (Adam Baldwin) has had it!  He believes that River is too much trouble and she needs to go.

But, towards the end of the movie, he gets over it and decides that he wants to fight the Alliance.  Leave it to Jayne to want to go out in a blaze of glory.



You get the feeling that all Wash (Alan Tudyk)  wants to do is fly Serenity and love his wife.  Unfortunately, life does not always go according to plan.

After piloting Serenity in a masterful fashion and saving everyone’s life, Wash is killed by a Reaver ship.  I do not know how Zoe kept it together as much as she did in those circumstances.  But, she does.



As you might have guessed, Queen Zoe (Gina Torres) is devastated by the death of her husband.  We watched her act with reckless abandon against the Reavers when she is usually calm and level-headed.

Near the end of the movie, we see her at her husband’s grave in a gorgeous white dress.  Not a dry eye in my house.



Is it just me, or did Simon (Sean Maher) get hot between the last episode and the movie?  He also went up personality-wise in my estimation.

The beginning of the movie shows us how he managed to escape with River out of that horrible facility.  We also see him do everything he can to try and protect her from The Operative and any other trouble.

We finally get to see him profess his affections for Kaylee.  They finally hook-up and all of that awkwardness is a thing of the past.  Whew!  Finally!



I bet you’re wondering why Mal (Nathan Fillion) is not the last person I talk about since he is our captain and the main character in the show.  It is because this movie is not really about him.

During the movie, we see Mal being Mal.  He is emotionally guarded, but still a brilliant fighter and strategist.

He is also a good person.  He knows that River is troubled and dangerous, but he does not fault her for this.  You get the feeling that he sees someone that is hurting and wants justice for her.

Mal defeats The Operative, a man that is smug to the point of nausea.  But at the end, Mal helps him see the truth and he is never the same again.



What makes this movie absolutely amazing is that we see things through River’s (Summer Glau) eyes.  But I may be simplifying what happens.

You see, River shows us something that when I first watched the movie, absolutely surprised me.  But, it gets to the heart of why The Alliance is hell-bent on retrieving River.  It also shines a light on a real-life issue.

The reason The Alliance is threatened by River is that they are afraid she will tell their dirty little secret.  The Alliance is responsible for creating the Reavers.  They did not de-evolve from living on the fringes of space, but from human experiments gone wrong.

Isn’t that always the way?  Some megalomaniacs think that they have the key to controlling people.  They only succeed in doing damage that is irreparable.

River leads Mal to ground zero of the Reavers, where he took a video proving that The Alliance is culpable for creating these monsters.  She may not have stopped the creation, but she shines a light on it, weakening Alliance control.

I almost forgot to mention, we get to see River fight.  Correction, we get to see River kick ass!

Final Thoughts

Firefly and Serenity are why Joss Whedon is such a legend.  His shows are why I love sci-fi/fantasy.  It is the storytelling.

A lot of shows nowadays feel trite and safe.  Anyone can have affairs or betray family.  That is easy.

Try taking a space story and putting a wild-west spin on it.  Then, show the cruelty, elitism, and classism of people without being cliche about it.

Tell a story about the line between marriage and duty.  Tell a story about growing love, without slapping us in the face with it.

Tell us about a leader who can be cruel and kind.  A man who is protective of his crew, yet expects them to do their part.

Tell the story of a prodigy who is haunted by things she’s only seen in her mind.  Show me how she overcomes her trauma and saves the world.

Now tell that story in 14 episodes and a movie, and make it good.  Joss Whedon does in one season and a movie what other shows cannot do in five or six seasons.

Thank you Joss Whedon.  Thank you, Serenity!

Wrapping it up

Well, that’s it for Serenity Sunday!  I’m a little sad.  Honestly, I do not know what will happen next week.  Maybe I talk about Psycho-Pass, maybe not.

Until then, be sure to join me for Radiant episode 6 on Tuesday.  On Thursday, we watch episode 6 of Ace Attorney.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all my veterans out there!

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