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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Would the three of you please kick my ass?"
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October 16 2006

Alex Epstein studies "Our Mrs. Reynolds." A recent post on the screenwriting blog, Complications Ensue, examines what elements in the script make this episode so engaging.

Good find. And "Our Mrs. Reynolds" is such an enjoyable and unpredictable episode. It's amazing how Joss manages to make everything so vibrantly alive, and yet make everything flow from what has come before, right down to the offhand and hilarious mention of Vera ending up playing into the climax. And I agree that this is one reason why misleads in Joss' work generally, and Firefly are so convincing. You really think that Kaylee's dead.

(He also didn't mention how "Serenity," the episode, never made the audience wait for the other shoe to drop. There was always a half-dozen things going on at once, making the universe he's created much larger than one could have expected.)
I don't know if "make sure when you mislead the audience, you actually mislead them instead of doing a crappy job of it" is really something you have to explicitly teach, but hey, it's certainly admiring of Joss.
Considering the hundreds if not thousands of times I haven't been misled, I think so. Although the person who misled me best wasn't Joss; it was Ms. Bianchi.
Everytime I watch Firefly, there's also something new to admire.
You also have to give some credit to the actors, who are able to pull off the mis-direction so smoothly that when it happens you want to applaud them for their talent. I know Mark Sheppard has said that Joss writes the thoughest dialouge he has ever had to preform, that it automatically brings you up a level to be able to pull it off. He said it could not get his first monolog as Badger until his friend Adam Baldwin told him the secret, Joss write for Joss. Once he understood where the dialouge came from he was better able to understand how to so it. I think Christina Hendricks should have been nominated for her performance on Firefly, with the amount of changes her character had to go through and still be believable.
One of the most apt descriptions for "Our Mrs Reynolds", which I think was given by Joss, and after I'd heard it I realised it was the reason I liked the ep so much, was that it was like a screwball comedy. Cute.

And for a show with so few episodes to go from something as dark as 'Bushwhacked' to screwball comedy and then heist film stuff like 'Ariel' and 'Trash' - pretty damn clever. Shame we never got to see what else 'Firefly' could have pulled off (she says for approx. the 1,000th time)
Funny story. I never really liked "Our Mrs. Reynolds" because it was always gnawing at me how a con woman like Saffron could infiltrate an Amish-y community, and why she would, for that matter. Wouldn't it seem like it might be a very long time before a ship worth stealing (with a crew not too heavily armed with weapons or brains) paid a visit to such an isolated group? Cut to the release of "Firefly The Official Companion," with the full episodic scripts in it. Turns out there was a line cut from the episode where Saffron explains that (guess it's a spoiler for those who don't have the book) , which turned the whole thing around for me. Watching the episode with that in mind, now it all made sense and I finally enjoyed the reversals and the misdirections and the screwball as much as everyone else. I should have known Joss would never let me down! ;)
I never tire of watching this episode. It's an old friend like the movie Casablanca. It feels like a screwball dramedy, really. Baccarin and Fillion are Kate and Cary. One of my current favorite moments is when Mal says "we got one thing in common: she and I are the only ones don't think this is funny." Cut to Inara. Might be a third...

I always get sad, too--for the 10,000th time, Myth.
I also was bothered by the contradiction of Saffron's position in the community, and I'm not sure that the line quoted really satisfies my objections. Even if he were a partner, wouldn't the rest of the community notice when she shows up among them again and again, and find something suspicious in that? Okay, I can think of scenarios to explain it - the rest of the "marriages" weren't as public as the one to Mal, so she could have some credible reason for going off with ships and coming back, but it's still a stretch.

Other than that, I love the episode.

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