“Heart of Gold”
Written by Brett Matthews
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
An old friend of Inara’s runs a brothel on a backwater moon, and the most powerful local man knocked up one of the girls there. He now feels entitled to the baby, but he’s completely horrible, so he ain’t getting his hands on that child if Nandy has anything to say about it. She calls Inara for help, and Mal and the whole crew come down to batten down the hatches and get ready for a fight. One of the girls rats the plan out to Rance. Sparks fly between Mal and Nandy, and they sleep together. Inara is crushed when she finds out, but keeps it well hidden from Mal. Simon, Inara, and River help the expectant mother deliver her baby while the rest fight Rance Burgess and his gang of cowboy thugs. The crew and the girls win the battle, but Rance kills Nandy. Mal chases him down on horseback before he can get too far away, pistol whips him, and drags him back. The new mama brings her baby boy out to meet his daddy, who she then shoots in the head. They have a funeral for Nandy. Later, back on the ship, Inara tells Mal she’s planning to leave, just when you think they’re about to have the big talk about their feelings.
Not really a fan of this episode. Rance is an over-the-top scumbag, and if I have to watch something about a brothel, I’d much rather see it shut down and the former employees given help to build lives around less degrading forms of employment than an episode where they fight for their right to continue servicing louts on a crappy planet. How is it a happy ending for them to still be stuck in that situation?
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Mal and Nandy are actually a pretty great fit. Lots of passion, very similar ways of thinking. Extremely bull-headed about what they think is right, even if the odds are super against them.
Zoë wants a baby! I think I would’ve expected Wash to be the one more excited about that than her. She doesn’t come across as especially soft and maternal, but he definitely seems like a fun, goofy dad.
Why is Wash so nervous about having a baby? If Zoë, who is definitely the greater pessimist of them, thinks having a baby on the ship will be fine, then they should go for it! And he’d be a fun, goofy dad!
Inara’s arc seriously makes very little sense without the terminal illness factor. It’s really the only logical reason for not just giving in to what she wants. Because otherwise, deciding to leave the ship just when it’s painfully clear she and Mal are in love is just some kind of lame fear of attachment type move. Bah.
Holy crap, Jayne wore his best clothes for this mission. Button-up shirt and slacks instead of the usual sweaty t-shirt and cargo pants. Because whores. I suppose it’s kind of sweet and almost respectful that he wants to make a good impression.
Kaylee, maybe you should make the first move with Simon if you’re so bummed you aren’t dating yet. He’s made it pretty clear on various occasions that he likes you, and he’s made it equally clear that he’s such a spaz when it comes to courtship that he’s unlikely to try anything bold.
Simon is incredibly good at staying calm and acting like he knows what he’s doing, even when this is his first time delivering a baby. I imagine that’s a very comforting strategy to take, as far as the patient is concerned.
It seems like nothing grosses River out. Everything’s incredibly fascinating, even the very messy process of birth.
I really love that Book’s kindness doesn’t only extend to people trying to live righteously. A person living in sin is much less likely to want to change if the so-called “good” people are only ever judgmental and cold than if they’re encouraging and kind.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.