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1-14: "Objects In Space" 2002.12.13 (recap)


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#61

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Posted Jul 30, 2007 @ 3:55 PM

No one's mentioned the funniest line in the episode!

Wash: But a psychic? That's like something out of science fiction.
Zoe: We live in a spaceship, dear.
Wash: So?

#62

Eegah

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Posted Jul 30, 2007 @ 8:20 PM

Oh boy, here we go. I'll just give the standard line that it's like someone today saying "We have cars" in response to something being science fiction and leave it at that.

Edited by Eegah, Aug 3, 2007 @ 9:05 PM.


#63

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Posted Jul 31, 2007 @ 12:27 AM

Oh boy, here we go. I'll just give the standard line that it's like someday today saying "We have cars" in response to something being science fiction and leave it at that.


I know, I know. I don't think the line made much sense within the context of the show either...but I still laughed out loud.

#64

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Posted Jul 31, 2007 @ 9:36 AM

I am perfectly fine with them sacrificing authenticity to get a laugh. I have no complaints at all.

Well, I would have complaints if they did it all the time. And maybe they would have if the series had survived. [Moment of silence for the mistakes that Joss and co. didn't get to make.] But since it's just that one time, I vote for "awesome."

#65

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Posted Jul 31, 2007 @ 12:35 PM

I am perfectly fine with them sacrificing authenticity to get a laugh. I have no complaints at all.

Well, I would have complaints if they did it all the time. And maybe they would have if the series had survived. [Moment of silence for the mistakes that Joss and co. didn't get to make.] But since it's just that one time, I vote for "awesome."


Yeah, it bugged me on "Buffy" because they did it all. the. time. But this was a rare occurance, and it was very funny, so I loved it. And you could say it makes sense, if the crew has knowlege of old Earth That Was sci-fi books and movies. Unlikely, given that Mal didn't know what the Mona Lisa was, but possible.

#66

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Posted Jul 31, 2007 @ 1:06 PM

And you could say it makes sense, if the crew has knowlege of old Earth That Was sci-fi books and movies. Unlikely, given that Mal didn't know what the Mona Lisa was, but possible.


Would it be fair to think that in a future world designed by Joss Whedon, sci-fi books and movies would have more of a long-term cultural impact and importance than the Mona Lisa?

Of course, in the BDM, Mal did know about The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

#67

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Posted Aug 1, 2007 @ 1:07 PM

Hi! New Firefly fan here. I loved this episode, even though some parts of it went over my head at times (the existentialism stuff)

I think Early is very into his senses given the way he licks the ship and appreciates what is solid. But the Zen comes in because he does not seem to trust the way the mind creates meanings for things. Can I trust my memory that I was once elsewhere? Can an empty space belong to someone?

I wanted to point out that this is another thing Early and River have in common, particularly that they experience the ship with their senses.

In the beginning of the episode, River is walking through the ship and experiencing it...touching the walls, walking barefoot down the steps...Whedon refers to how Summer did the opening scenes in his commentary.

What obviously distinguishes Early and River's way of experiencing what exists, is that River appreciates what she sees, or feels, as the essence of things. She senses the essence of the ship it seems, when she walks down the steps. It is more than just a step to her...it seems full of metaphysical energy or something. The gun as well: It is not merely a gun, as we would think. She takes it in as a twig amonst a room of leaves. (She sees it as a live thing, imbedded with more meaning than what its tactile use is).

Early, however, is only concerned with the tactility of objects. He cannot sense that they have greater meanings. Instead, he doubts the objects and cannot see how it is any more than what he has experienced. If Early had seen the gun, he wouldn't see it as a twig, but he would just thing it was 'nothing.' He wouldn't find an essence in the object, as he doesn't believe it has an essence when it is not being used.

When River takes over the ship, Early can't understand it. River can, though. Even if she wasn't PART of the ship, she felt its essence, she 'experienced' its rooms and corners, (when she tours the ship as seen in the opening scenes) and she feels connected to it at a higher level than Early does. Early can't figure out how a ship could be anything but...a ship.

I knew from the beginning that River wasn't 'part' of the ship. I had assumed she was in the pilot room and was using the intercom (I didn't remember Simon and Early looking on the deck). I still don't get how she could talk to the crew members independently of the others though. How could she talk to Nathan without Simon and Early hearing her?

Great episode all in all.

#68

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Posted Aug 6, 2007 @ 11:19 PM

I haven't had time to post on every episode I've watched due to work, but my mom and I finished the series last night and I'm both depressed and happy.--SoftCocoa77

Hi! New Firefly fan here. --MisMichie

So I just finished the show after a blitz through the last two discs in the DVD set and all I have to say is NOOOOOOOOOO!--FriarFabulous

I too have landed here after avoiding this thread and the last disc of the DVDs for 7 months. I want to welcome the new people--it's so great that people keep joining! and echo what the posters above have said. I thought this episode was thought-provoking and a peek into what was going to become the BDM. I can see both sides of the "we live on a spaceship" debate that began back in the Old Firefly Thread. I wanted more of Simon shirtless. And I can't believe there isn't any more. I feel so melancholy.

#69

myspoonistoobig

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Posted Aug 20, 2007 @ 2:09 PM

What obviously distinguishes Early and River's way of experiencing what exists, is that River appreciates what she sees, or feels, as the essence of things. She senses the essence of the ship it seems, when she walks down the steps. It is more than just a step to her...it seems full of metaphysical energy or something. The gun as well: It is not merely a gun, as we would think. She takes it in as a twig amonst a room of leaves. (She sees it as a live thing, imbedded with more meaning than what its tactile use is).

Early, however, is only concerned with the tactility of objects. He cannot sense that they have greater meanings. Instead, he doubts the objects and cannot see how it is any more than what he has experienced. If Early had seen the gun, he wouldn't see it as a twig, but he would just thing it was 'nothing.' He wouldn't find an essence in the object, as he doesn't believe it has an essence when it is not being used.


Holy Heidegger, Batman!

That is one things I appreciate more about Firefly than Buffy or Angel - the depth of philosophical themes that were embedded in it. Not that early season Buffy and Angel were shallow, but compared to Firefly - there is a lot going on here, is all.

As for the above quote, I completely agree and would add that Joss seems to be playing with ideas straight out of Being and Time, Heidegger's greatest work. River experiences the Being, the Sein, of the object; she conceives of it in a way that brings awareness of the worldhood of the world. Early, however, seems to be approaching the world in a more utilitarian way, in that he understands objects to have an essence in the work that they do, in the way that they are used. What is interesting, however, is that Heidegger specifically says that the essence of a thing is discovered in its usage: a tree only becomes itself when it is transformed into lumber and built into a house, for example. Maybe in this way, River and Early are more connected in their approach to the experience of the world than may appear at first.

It has been a long time since I read Being and Time, so pardon any misapprenhensions of the philosophy on my part.

#70

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Posted Sep 8, 2007 @ 5:49 PM

River actually uses the first-person pronoun quite a bit in her conversation with Early and later with Mal. Perhaps a sigh that this is where she is finding herself.


The conversation with Early wouldn't count, as she's assuming the personification of Serenity during half that conversation, splitting her "I" consciousness. She also only "I"s to Mal as Serenity. When we see them meet again, I'm pretty sure her lines are: "Permission to come aboard." "That's a popular theory." "He takes so much looking after."

She mostly refers to herself in the third person, when she's talking about River. So, I think the original comment was spot-on. I don't think until the end of the BDM does River have a sense of "I" about her, really.

I love this episode. I don't like the Joss commentary. To me, philosophical concepts are facinating when we SEE them, but not when they're talked about for an hour.

One of the interesting things to me is that Early does a thing we've seen River do before. Earlier in the series, she had her cow moment ("They weren't cows inside. They forgot how to be. But then they saw the sky...") and her Bible moment ("I tore these out of your Symbol, but then they became paper"). She is changing these objects by "imbuing" them with different meaning in different contexts, much the same way Early talks about River's room. So, I would disagree that they do that in opposite ways, but rather think that they think in fairly similar ways - River is just both purer and smarter than Early. He's low, dirty, and not nearly as smart as her, but they have a similar way of thinking. It's why she feels very close to him, I figure.

Also, they have different purposes: Early's purpose is purely selfish, whereas River - being burdened with an extreme intuitive quality - has to "hold" a lot of other consciousnesses besides her own.

#71

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Posted Sep 9, 2007 @ 9:39 PM

One of the interesting things to me is that Early does a thing we've seen River do before. Earlier in the series, she had her cow moment ("They weren't cows inside. They forgot how to be. But then they saw the sky...") and her Bible moment ("I tore these out of your Symbol, but then they became paper"). She is changing these objects by "imbuing" them with different meaning in different contexts, much the same way Early talks about River's room. So, I would disagree that they do that in opposite ways, but rather think that they think in fairly similar ways - River is just both purer and smarter than Early

I tend to think that River was interested in the essence of the thing. She wasn't concerned with the use so much as what it was at a given point in time; the cows weren't cows until they saw sky. The Symbol becomes paper when it is removed from its source. But it isn't that the paper or the cows lose their purpose. For Early, although he seems to recognize the change in objects as River does, the concern is with their use. Whether or not the room still has purpose if it isn't housing anything. They seem to follow two very different philosophical paths in what the changes mean. Early is wrapped up primarily in the physical IMO; the use of the thing is greater than the essence. River seems to function on the opposite level.

#72

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Posted Nov 12, 2008 @ 10:09 PM

Okay, definitely some cheesy moments in this episode, which I just saw for the first time, but absolutely best line, and best delivered, about the sturgeon. Beginning of the episode, Mal is apparently trying to dissuade Inara from settling on some fish-related planet, "because all you can do is gut sturgeons. I mean, let's be honest, sometimes we all get that urge" but that's not a good reason to settle there. I'll have to hunt for the exact quote.

I was distracted by the fact that Early = Paul Robinette from early Law & Order. The character was a weird mixture of menacing and very humorous. Very entertaining. "Well, here I am."

Edited by LilJen, Nov 12, 2008 @ 10:28 PM.


#73

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Posted Nov 13, 2008 @ 4:08 AM

For Early, although he seems to recognize the change in objects as River does, the concern is with their use. Whether or not the room still has purpose if it isn't housing anything. They seem to follow two very different philosophical paths in what the changes mean. Early is wrapped up primarily in the physical IMO; the use of the thing is greater than the essence.

This came out in the way he used things in an alternative way. He used their rooms, and the ship as a whole, to trap them. He used a ladder to hide and ambush Simon. Even with people, they took a little more effort, but he used Kaylee to find out where River sleeps, and later tried to use Simon to lure her out. This kind of thing has happened before in the show, like in Trash where the crew used the garbage disposal to get the loot out. But Early's alternative uses all had nasty motives, both in the immediete sense and the big picture of him wanting to capture River. Or even his job, which he sees as a way to hurt people and to have power over them. He was a lot better at it than the crew too. I suppose having no preconceived ideas about the function of objects, that's only natural.

#74

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Posted Apr 28, 2009 @ 10:38 PM

One of the more striking moments hasn't really been mentioned:

Simon: Are you Alliance?
Jubal Early: Am I a lion?
Simon: What?
Jubal Early: I don't think of myself as a lion. You might as well though. I have a mighty roar.
Simon: I said "Alliance."
Jubal Early: Oh I thoughtó That was weird.

I don't know why, but this has really stuck with me for some reason.

#75

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Posted Jul 3, 2009 @ 3:58 PM

I've been fascinated by the analysis of Early in this thread - even after watching with commentary, I hadn't really come to grips with how Early views his world, but these pages have really helped.

Even though I no longer believe it, I still have a fondness for my earliest interpretation. I thought Early was a low-level psychic, and the oddness of his behaviour, and particularly of his speech, was the result of River's far more intense emanations, if you will, bleeding into his consciousness and causing confusion. I didn't think this was how he normally behaved - I thought this was a new phenomenon on this ship, which is why he seemed to be so aware and perplexed by the disconnects ... like the "Oh I thought- that was weird" quote above. His perceptions were skewed, and he was baffled, but trying to carry through and attain his goal.

#76

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Posted Sep 26, 2009 @ 7:02 AM

"Am I a lion?" just seems to go along with the context-blindness that River and Early share, first introduced in the gun/branch scene at the beginning of the episode. River is doing something that in her context-less mind is neutral, but it's interpreted by everyone else as a crisis and an indication that she's dangerous, because of the social role of the object she's picking up. But as we see later (IIRC), Early uses apparently innocent objects as weapons; objects can be dangerous or not dangerous regardless of their context. I think that in the episode commentary, Joss compared those two scenes, saying that River and Early have the same context-less way of looking at things, but River tends to see things' beauty while Early sees how to use things as a weapon. For example, even in context Kaylee's most defining characteristic is beauty--her innocent and joyful approach to life. Everyone else treasures her for this, but Early immediately sees that Kaylee is an easy person to cow, because she's so open.

Although the theme of divorcing objects from their meaning is meant to be a philosophical one, my affection for the episode comes from straightforward identification. I have Asperger's, so sometimes I am context-blind, and I relate to the gun/branch scene where the others project negative motivations onto River because of the social context of the gun. (Not that I pick up guns, but you know. Metaphor.) I think the point of the episode was supposed to be "you can look at things like River does, or you can look at things like Early does," but my reaction is to see it as "here are two people who both are context-blind, but that in itself doesn't make them crazy or good or bad; one person interacts with the world in a moral way, and one does not." At the end of the episode, everyone accepts that River, though different, is competent and kind.

#77

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Posted Feb 6, 2011 @ 1:40 AM

I don't know why, but this has really stuck with me for some reason.

Gina Torres' delivery of this line is echoing in my head lately:

Wash: Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?
Zoe: Either blow us all up or rub soup in our hair. It's a toss-up.

The "it's a toss up" part is delivered in such an awesome way. I think I'm intrigued by it because I cannot even properly replicate it. Something about her intonations just rocks. Man I miss this show. (I can't believe she had a kid, and with Lawrence Fishburne of all people. So weird.)

#78

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Posted May 29, 2011 @ 10:25 PM

re: the C+ rating from twop back-in-the-day
This ep was extremely different in tone than the others. It had a major role played by a guest star (and the role was... weird). It's a River-centric ep, which leads to all kinds of perception issues. Most of the characters are locked in their bunks for most of the ep, and cute cuddly Kaylee gets threatened with rape.
The episodes had been played out of order, and IIRC we hadn't seen "Serenity (the pilot, not the movie)," "Heart of Gold," "Trash" or "The Message"... all of which were heavy on character development.
Sooo, yeah. Watching it when it originally aired, you missed a lot of dual meanings and subtleties because you just didn't know the characters that well and you couldn't tell where Joss was going. I think most people had a wtf feeling after it ended.
Then they played "Serenity" the following week and it was like, "ohhhh, I see now." We didn't get the other three eps until the dvd came out.
And this is coming from someone who had to borrow copies of the entertainment section of the newspaper to find out when it was on every week and set a vcr with borrowed tapes... yet never missed an episode.
Fans that come to the show now have the benefit of seeing things in the order they were intended, and with commentary if they choose. Don't be too hard on the early twopers for grading it low... they literally didn't know what they were missing.

#79

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Posted May 31, 2011 @ 2:25 PM

Agreed that this was a more "out there" episode, given the whole psychological bit. Certainly it had its comic parts, especially Jayne going back to sleep. Of course, now we can see the little nuances, like Early saying Book wasn't a shepherd, and hints that River could have become much like Early, but for Simon's love.

It was definitely so nice to see everyone come together at the end, when it was splintered in the beginning. Ah, what we missed by the cancellation.

#80

dynamic17

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Posted Jul 29, 2011 @ 12:09 AM

This is a very complicated and psychological episodes.

Best line: "You aren't in my gorram mind, you're in my gorram ship!"

Was anyone else reminded of River's dressing down of Badger in Shinding when she was psyching out Judal?

#81

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 7:59 PM

Not for me, although she did borrow from their brains she was playing a game with Badger and roleplaying. It was almost flirting. With Jubal it felt more like chess. Serious.

This episode was never my favorite, as others said the darkness, and Kaylee being threatened. However there were lots of good lines, and in a way it would have been interesting to see what would happen if Jubal survived. He seemed to be a forerunner to the Operative, in a way.

Then again, I wonder what lots of characters might have been like with a revisit. I've just finished a rewatch of the series, and after the last scene of this one, I again want the rest of the episodes. Any good fic that takes place after this episode?

Edit: Answering my own question, I've rediscovered http://stillflying.net/ .

Edited by andi pandi, May 8, 2012 @ 1:18 PM.


#82

dynamic17

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Posted Jul 23, 2012 @ 4:26 PM

Yes, Jubal was somewhat like the Operative. This episode, like the movie, was very River centric.

Whedon's philosophical musings on the audio commentary are worth a listen.