Firefly: Shindig (1 November 2002, Vern Gillum)

firefly-shindig-mal-kaylee-dress1

Spoiler warning: these reviews reveal plot twists.

While Mal tries to negotiate a bit of business, Inara takes on a possessive client. And then the two men collide at a party…

Written by Jane Espensen. Directed by Vern Gillum.

Best performance: Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is the baby of the gang and therefore whatever emotion she goes through we feel in spades.

Best bits:
* Inara and Mal’s banter. You could watch it all day. They clearly want each other.
* The town of Persephone has a dress shop that has live models in its windows.
* Jayne’s confusion over whether a clearly upset Kaylee is upset or not.
* Badger’s back from episode one; as is his hat.
* Badger says someone has taken a dislike to him. “Did he see your face?” asks Jayne.
* Mal and Jayne’s smirks when Badger inadvertently says something smutty.
* Kaylee – in her enormous dress – showing up at the party.
* Inara’s saying how much she dislikes the swearword gosa when she sees Mal arrive at the party. “Oh, gosa,” she says to herself.
* “Yes, sir, Captain Tightpants.”
* Kaylee’s obsession with the buffet table.
* Jayne, Simon and Book playing cards and betting with daily chores.
* At the party, Kaylee charms a gaggle of men by talking about engines.
* Mal punches Atherton, the twat who’s paid to spend the evening with Inara.
* Mal’s double-take when he realises the upcoming duel involves swords.
* River mimicking Badger’s English accent. Dick Van Dyke would be proud.
* Having won the duel, Mal nobly declines to kill Atherton… but can’t resist poking him with the sword a couple more times.
* The reveal of what the all-important shipment is: a herd of cows.

Review: It’s another very smart script – watch it tell a story, reveal character, make jokes, provide cute scene transitions, spin numerous plates and not neglect anyone. And it’s made with style and a huge sense of fun. Marvellous.

Nine little pieces of wrapping paper blowing around out of 10

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