What satisfied, and impressed, me most was the process of discovery. Putting a scene together with actors who could find the real life, the moments that define characters and the relationships that live between the lines. I didn’t just watch; I was living it. Right there. Though for only moments at a time, I could be Mal. I couldn’t help it. You’ve got everyone dressed up, in the cargo bay, looking at, talking to, and treating me like I’m the captain. There were strange moments, weird suspended seconds when I bought it all. If you have ever watched an episode and felt a connection with a character, felt he was speaking to you, or for a moment were somehow transported and felt you were on the ship listening to the conversation beside you -- that’s the feeling. Those instants that take you away, pull you in. I WAS THERE. I lived those moments. I got my ass saved by Zoe so many times. I mooned over Inara. I hit Jayne with a wrench. There were moments I could believe it. You’d have believed it, too, thanks to Joss. Looking at Kaylee, I could tell what kind of man Mal was. Speaking to Zoe, I could tell what kind of leader Mal was. Arguing with Wash and Jayne, I knew the limits of Mal’s patience. They made me Mal. Looking back, I know now that everyone in the cast was, in essence, his or her character. What makes Jayne so Jayne, is that Adam is a Jayne. Jewel is a free spirit who was cast as a free spirit. Alan is a clever smart ass who questions authority. Ron once gave me the shirt off his back (true story -- still a favorite of mine), Gina is alluring and powerful, Morena is elegant, Summer is grace, Sean owes me money. . . .
There is something in those characters that people identify with. I see it in people’s faces when they try to convey to me why or how it hit home for them. A specific episode, a moment, or a line that was particularly truthsome to them. Others have trouble putting their finger on it, but I see in their eyes a little Firefly burning. I understand, my friend. You ask me? It’s family. A group of people who, though flawed, would cross through hell for each other. For you. You’re feeling what I was feeling. I understand. I was the captain.
It is something many of us long for with good reason--it is the way we were created to live.
(Image: copyrighted by 20th Century Fox via Wikipedia) fireflyctgy