I'm now finished three out of the four discs of my Firefly boxset. I'm not going to review every episode, just give some general thoughts. Safe is one of my favourite episodes so far, mainly because it focuses so much on Simon and River, their relationship and their background. It also just emphasised my love for Simon, who's under just as much stress as River, although it's of a different kind. I mean... God, I sympathise with Simon so much. I know what it's like to be around people who don't care about your opinion. I know what it's like to be around people who have no respect for you. I know what it's like to work with people who are just not on your intellectual level, who don't have your interests. Am I the only person who think that a lot of the crew are acting defensively against the fact he's a doctor? Of course, I'm not saying Simon is a saint: he is a snob, he can be stiff, but he's also young and sheltered. When he got up on River's pyre and hugged her, I wanted to cry and also clap, because that is who Simon is. He'll stick by her for better or for worse. He is motivated by love. He is basically good (which is probably what Kaylee finds most attractive). Think about it, he's a doctor: he could really take some serious revenge on those people with his skills, but he doesn't. When he's got Jane on the table at the end of Trash and he's talking to him, I got really excited, thinking he'd make some really great threat. But when he said that Jayne would always be safe on that table, I wasn't disappointed. Because that's Simon. He's a doctor. He wants to heal people. It reinforced the message stated in Ariel: that Simon is a GREAT doctor and he really shouldn't be stuck on Serenity. I loved Jayne seeing Simon in his element. The look of shock on his face was very satisfying. (In fact, I loved Ariel in general for the way Simon's intellect came to the fore and showed everyone that they shouldn't underestimate him.) Also, Simon only said Jayne would be safe while he was on the operating table, which was backed up by River's wonderful line of "I can kill you with my mind". River reminds me a lot of my own little sister in some ways: if anyone insults or tries to hurt me in some way, she gets very protective. I think we all know that the only reason River slashed Jayne in the chest (I cheered, mea culpa, but I did) was because of how he treated Simon. River may tease and irritate Simon but God help the stranger who even dares to disrespect him.
Incidentally, Mal's line in Safe made me smile. "Maybe, but she's our witch." Good stuff. I loved finding out more about Shepherd Book - am I the only one who thought he looked like Einstein with his hair loose? I wish we'd found out more about Saffron, though: how did she end up on that planet? If she got her training from the Academy as a Companion, what happened to make her go on the run? Just too many loose threads. Of course, Inara shutting her in the rubbish tank was hilarious and very satisfying. It's interesting how the three women (Zoë, Inara and River) all agree on Saffron's character. I would have loved to see Saffron's reaction to River since I see River as the only character who might possibly unnerve Saffron. But that's just me.
Thoughts on Kaylee: Kaylee says to Simon in Our Mrs Reynolds that she's never heard him swear, but she heard him swear about Serenity and Mal in Safe in the shop. I'm aware that time passes between episodes, but come on, I doubt she'd forget that. It really rubbed me wrong that we got introduced to her by having sex with Serenity's previous mechanic. I know it's meant to be funny but... it just didn't strike me as funny. I don't see Kaylee randomly sleeping with handsome men, even if it is to get close to the engine. She's always portrayed as such a romantic, idealistic character that I felt such an encounter was out of character for her. That's not a criticism of her so much as the idea. I get the theory but it didn't play out for me. One last remark on the subject of Kaylee: sweetie, I know you're freaked out that River killed those men without blinking an eye, but if she hadn't, Serenity would have been taken over and you'd all be dead or on the brink of it. So please get over it. I do think that what freaked her out the most was the way River used her very own line: "No power in the 'verse can stop me." But her nervous acting still made me roll my eyes and think She's the reason you're still alive and on this ship right now. A 'thank you' wouldn't go amiss.