I’ve been re-watching “Firefly.” Again, though I think it’s been about three years since my last viewing. I’ve got two episodes left, if you don’t count the film “Serenity” as an episode. Repeated consumption of any work of fiction begins to magnify its flaws. But “Firefly” still holds up despite the niggling inconsistencies and the choices obviously dictated by budgetary considerations.
The opening – that is, the opening intended by the series’ creators – is strong. But for me “Firefly” doesn’t really hit its stride until episode 5 “Safe,” its sweet spot being the run from “Our Mrs. Reynolds” through “Ariel.” I’m looking forward to the final episode, “Objects in Space” which is every bit as good as “Our Mrs. Reynolds” or “Jaynestown.”
The show strikes a very particular chord with a lot of viewers. I think it is partially the expression of freedom through travel, depicted in contrast to the grubby stuck-to-the-land experiences of the settlers on the pioneer planets and the nine-to-five drudgery of the core world inhabitants. But I think the deeper appeal is the comradery, the sense of kinship or close friendship the series shows intermittently between conflicts. This appears primarily in galley, with the crew sitting around the dining table. Those are the scenes I think I derive the most pleasure from.
Mr. Whedon and company created a masterpiece. Whether it would have sustained its quality over multiple seasons or would have suffered the diminishing returns most shows seem to is unanswerable. But I’m grateful for what we got. A flawed gem, true. But shiny.