A philosophical bounty hunter on board Firefly. I've been reading the Film Crit Hulk
lately and I'm coming to the belief that narrative is a flow of understanding (logical/emotional/thematic) running through points and it's interesting when that understanding is not one we normally think of but makes sense. So we when we complement an acting performance we're really saying that the body gestures and line delivery were what we believe represents an emotion which explains why the character is doing what they do. It can get more complicated The Joker's
TDK performance was conveying anarchy but it stands.
Objects in Space is that it's made interesting by having an unusual existential logic connect every scene and purpose every shot but to me the philosophy is a subjective truth. The commentary explained it and I believe I understood but my mind didn't grasp hold of the idea and so for a subset of the audience, it's never going to be possible to fully parse the episode. Nevertheless its intriguing and contains a very important character point for River, with this fascinating, slightly mad, very talkative bad guy and its easier to recognise that this is shooting for something greater than standard fair. If it weren't for one issue I would have ranked this the 5th best episode and in truth, I'd completely forgotten this issue inbetween views. But it exists.
The thing is we spend most of the time with the badguy and the drive is often coming just from the interesting things he's saying, yet this person we're spending company with is also the person who threatened to rape Kaylee
. Even typing those words feels wrong, in the Firefly universe Kaylee represents innocence, hope and happiness, people have commented that it's uncomfortable that one episode where she just holds a gun. Due to the weird way empathy works, I don't think there is any idea that can be more horrific and feel worse.
The episode doesn't cheat, it's a valid character choice, the bounty hunter who makes the threat is the type of psychopath whose cheerful but broken with zero empathy, it recognises his ultimate evil, wants us to be disgusted and doesn't justify it. But it happens, and for that this episode will always be an episode floating by itself, an object in space.