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"Firefly: Heart of Gold (#1.12)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Firefly" Heart of Gold (2003)

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Lever Action Style

10/10
Author: piratecat-2 from Albuquerque New Mexico USA
1 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Classic wild west shoot out. Maginificent 7 or 9 style episode of the future. Clichés of the ole west but who doesn't like that. Traditional trademark of the show. Humor, fun, and action climax. Our Big Damn Heroes looking for work fined a job through Inara. An old friend needs help. Inara knows just the man her man to get it done. Nandi an owner of brothel on an arid world out in the border has local trouble. She is in need of some gunslingers. Mal and crew is their answer. A rancher who favored one of the girls feels the baby she is carrying is his. He and his wife childless want to steal it from her. The girls are kin to Nandi. Hiring the crew will save the day. Double cross by a harlot the crew's job has turned into gunfight at the OK Corral. A good plot with humor that turns into action firefight. American western episode in the classic sense. The ending does work out with a twist. Not to mention it has an effect on Inara and Mal's relationship. Just another day in the life of our BDHs.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Jayne's idea of heaven!

9/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
26 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Wash reports that somebody is calling to request help Mal naturally assumes the call is for him; in fact it is for Inara. The call is from an old friend who gave up being a companion and is now running a brothel on a frontier world. She is having problems with a local rancher who is determined to take the unborn child of one of her girls; a child he believes is his. Most of the crew immediately volunteer to help and Jayne's initial reticence vanishes when he hears they the people asking for help are whores! Once there Jayne avails himself of their services, Simon helps the pregnant girl and the others prepare for an attack. While waiting Mal gets close to Inara's friend Nandi and ends up sharing her bed; Inara claims to be happy for them but it is clear that she is also a little bit upset. When the attack finally comes there is plenty of action which not everybody will survive.

This is another quality episode; although to be honest they all are. The story has exciting action, genuinely emotional scenes and quite a few laughs; usually involving Jayne who clearly thinks he has died and gone to heaven when get inside the brothel! It was nice to see Morena Baccarin take centre stage for once as Inari seldom gets such a key role. Of course the rest of the regulars performed well as did guest starts Melinda Clarke, Fredric Lehne and Tracy Ryan as Nandi, the odious Ranse Burgess and pregnant girl Petaline. The setting to the story perfectly fitted the 'space western' theme of the series; possibly more than any other episode.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The best little whorehouse in the galaxy

7/10
Author: Joxerlives from United Kingdom
9 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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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