Firefly: Season 1, Episode 12

Heart of Gold (4 Aug. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
8.5
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The Serenity responds to a distress call from Nandi, an old friend of Inara's, who is running a brothel on the moon of Deadwood. The unsavory leader of the moon's only town where the ... See full summary »

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Title: Heart of Gold (04 Aug 2003)

Heart of Gold (04 Aug 2003) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Nandi
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Chari
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Ranse Burgess (as Fredric Lane)
Tracy Ryan ...
Petaline (as Tracy Leah Ryan)
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Helen
Angie Hart ...
Lucy
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Storyline

The Serenity responds to a distress call from Nandi, an old friend of Inara's, who is running a brothel on the moon of Deadwood. The unsavory leader of the moon's only town where the brothel is located has gotten Petaline, one the girls, pregnant and is demanding that he be given the baby. Nandi enlists the help of the crew of Serenity to defend the brothel and keep the baby with its mother. Written by Shiro

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4 August 2003 (USA)  »

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Trivia

In the theater scene, depicted on the screen in the background as shadow art, are ships leaving the planet Earth and arriving at various planets. One of which appears to be a Firefly class starship. See more »

Goofs

Baby Jonah is a fake baby doll when Rance Burgess comes out of the room after abducting it, then it turns back in to a real baby. See more »

Quotes

Mal: You're my kind of stupid.
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Connections

References Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ballad of Serenity (Instrumental)
Written by Joss Whedon
Performed by Sonny Rhodes
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User Reviews

 
The best little whorehouse in the galaxy
9 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

HEART OF GOLD

The good; Stonking great battle, some lovely Inara/Mal stuff and sex aplenty for everyone. Small scene but I love the bit where Mal is doing his best John Wayne impression organising the defence of the brothel and then starts to panic when Pateleen goes into labour only to be saved by level-headed Simon (her kid must have the strangest trio of midwives ever).

The bad; Silver foil can't hide the cheapness of the sets. Didn't they think to lock up or put a guard on Serenity overnight? If Jayne can take out the M60 gunner on the back of the hovercraft with his M14 can't he just slot Ranse and then it would all be over? You also wonder that Ranse just hands over his deadly, pride and joy pistol to the first stranger who admires it?

Best line; Nandi;(of the Firefly crew) "If they're got guns and brains that's all I need" Inara; "Well they've got guns...."

Kinky dinky; Inara bursts in on Mal 'handling his weapon'. She prefers his dinky Colt 32 instead (Wash's 'Leave no man behind' gun from War Stories). Mal and Jayne indulge themselves at the bordello with Jayne in particular getting into some hi-jinks with his blonde to judge by his transmission to Mal just before the gunfight.

Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Mal finally get's some action. Jayne get's so much he might leave the crew in debt to the Madam.

Capt subtext; Obviously the idea is that Nandi is a substitute for Inara. Does Mal take up with her because she's 'An independent' and not tainted in his eyes with her support for the Alliance? There are also male whores, one wonders are Companions exclusively female or do they also have male members...oh for a different phrasing. When Mal shows no interest in her girls Nandi wonders if he's gay? His answer that 'I LEAN towards the womenfolk' is strangely ambiguous. One could speculate that Ranse represents the dark side of Mal himself, you wonder after this ep will Mal continue to use the word whore as an insult?

How'd they get away with that? The scene where Ranse humiliates Chari on the saloon balcony is just unwatchable

Subverting the Hollywood cliché; Having met the villain tough-guy Mal wishes to bravely run away. Jayne the callous womaniser actually likes to snuggle with his hooker. Pateleen shows the father his newborn son and then blows his head off in front of her baby with a .357 Magnum.

Whedon clichés; Misogynists who get what's coming to them.

Women good/men bad; Ranse tells the woman pregnant with his child that if necessary "I'll cut it out of you!" He really is just scum, reminds me of Caleb. The scene where Mal compliments him "She's a beauty" and he takes it to mean his sidearm rather than his wife really sums up the character right there.

Kills; I figure 5 each for Mal, Jayne and Zoe Mal; 17- Zoe; 17- Jayne; 16- Wash; 2 River; 3

Happy high-class hookers in Space; In this case, low class hookers in space. Inara draws a distinction between Companions and whores but seems to have no problem with them. Nandi hints that there was a great mystery surrounding Inara's decision to leave the home of the Companion Guild where she was on track to go far.

Know the face? The beautiful Melinda Clarke is familiar to fans of Xena as Valesca and also plays a more exotic Lady of the Night on CSI. Be sure to check her out as the incredible S&M zombie in Return of the Living Dead 3. Looking at her you wonder did she maybe audtion for the role of Inara?

Fanfic; Any or all of the crew indulging themselves in or deciding to work at the Heart of Gold (Kaylee "I love to make people happy and here that's now my job") plus several where Nandi does decide to take up Mal's offer and flee, her girls/boys setting up their new business on the Serenity itself.

Missing scenes; Reputedly a scene where Ranse's wife (the 'prarie shrew') comes to the Heart of Gold the night before the battle to try to convince Pateleen to just give her the kid, Pateleen can have others and all the violence can be avoided, that she has everything to offer a child and it's the only thing her life is lacking, the only thing she can't do is conceive despite modern technology and numerous miscarriages. And Pateleen tells her she's sorry, she truly understands her maternal desire but that she feels the same way about her baby and thus can never give it up.

Another supposedly has Zoe berating Jayne and Mal for sleeping with the Heart of Gold hookers, saying that no woman would ever act as they did and pointing out that none of the Firefly females took advantage of the male whores. At which point Kaylee looks suddenly guilty and slips quietly out the room...

Questions and observations; Jayne in a hat again, a stetson for the first time. Zoe wants a baby but Wash is reluctant given their precarious lifestyle. Inara actually get's into the fighting, holding a knife to Ranse throat. Nice quip from Mal when Nandi kisses him, he waits to see if he's going to pass out (as with Saffron). How did they know Chari was the traitor?

Marks out of 10;7 out of 10, a fairly slight story but well told and some nice Mal/Inara stuff


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