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Date Posted: 12:33:39 10/11/03 Sat
Author: shambleau
Subject: Re: Unspoiled Serenity Cruise - "War Stories", "Trash" (UNSEEN EP)
In reply to: KdS 's message, "Unspoiled Serenity Cruise - "War Stories", "Trash" (UNSEEN EP)" on 06:50:27 10/10/03 Fri

I don't think that the episode was referring to Sun Tsu's "Art of War". Some other guy.

As for "the demystification of warrior mythology" as the ep's "reason for being", I'm not sure it was. One reason among several, okay, I'll buy. Sort of. I think the ep was more ambivalent on that subject than you do though. Violence may not be ennobling, but the bond formed between Mal and Wash, as the result of violence, was. And Mal's charater WAS revealed by torture. After that ep, I wanted to join the crew, and I'd have followed that guy into hell. And when the whole crew went to rescue Mal, the lump I got in my throat was because they all, gentle little Kaylee included, were willing to use warrior methods to get their captain back. It felt...ennobling.

As far as other themes, I see an ep that's dealing with an issue that'd come up before on the show, Wash's uneasiness with the closeness between Mal and Zoe. Not only that, but the resolution of the ep led to Wash's integration into the crew on an even firmer basis. That is the overarching theme they were going for for the first year. To me, these early episodes are steps on the way to the growth of a family, a la BtVS and AtS. Wash would die for Mal now, not just for Zoe.

It's the same process we've seen before with other eps. Just as Safe and Ariel brought Simon into the fold, Jaynestown and Ariel pushed Jayne into moving a couple of inches past thugdom (buying apples for the crew is not just guilt, it's the beginning of a connection). We'll see a similar path with River later on.

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