The Man They Call Jayne

Talking about Firefly again, sorry not sorry.

I can't help it. I'm really having a hard time doing anything useful these days, since I'm rewatching both the series and Serenity. I cannot shut up about it. Unfortunate, but true.

I've forced friends to watch it, too, and I'm sort of on tenterhooks wondering if they'll like it.

Anyway, I was rewatching the Jaynestown episode and I have to mention this: I really didn't like Jayne at first. I suppose it was the pilot. I was really unsure where he stood and I had this feeling that he was going to betray Mal at some point, and that's something that freaks me out about characters, you know? I've personally been betrayed by a friend (granted she doesn't own a Vera, and it's unlikely she'll be able to kill me with her bare hands) and that's not something I'm okay with ever.

Plus he was mean to River, which is just awful. The girl's not right in the head. (I'm sort of okay with people being mean to Simon. It seems par for the course, and his face just seems to be begging for punches. I like Simon, I just think he's the sort of guy who literally needs to be punched every few episodes. It's the pretty face, I take it.)

But we get to Jaynestown and I just get turned around. It isn't until Ariel that I really figured I loved Jayne, but that's only because of the residual trust issues. From Jaynestown onwards I figure there's something more to him and that it's not so simple, this guy.

I just think he's the sort of guy who grows on you eventually, like you're not sure where he stands at first but then he shows himself to be of sterner stuff and that's that. The repeated mention of the teachings of Xiang Yu and the freaking volcano, well, that's something Jayne passes with flying colours. He knows shame – certainly something I didn't think he was capable of at first. But when he figures he doesn't want people knowing of his betrayal, well, that's something worth noting.

He's still a jackass, but as long as I know whose side he's really on, I figure I've got enough space in my heart to love this scamp.

Which brings me to this problem: I don't know how to rank the crew. I love them all, and I'm not sure there's a least favourite one in my list now. I guess Book has to be the least, since I don't really think about him that much, but he's the Samuel L. Jackson of preachers, so I can't not love him. Maybe Inara?

I think I only rewatch Joss Whedon shows, but Firefly is the first one to go through repeated and consecutive viewing. I finished it last week and started rewatching again. How obsessed is that?

Since I don't know how to end this, I might as well just quote the most important lines in the Jaynestown episode:

He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor

Stood up to the Man and he gave him what for

Our love for him now ain't hard to explain

The hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne!

 

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7 thoughts on “The Man They Call Jayne

  1. 1. New theme? I like!

    2. Husband and I watched this show while it was originally on, and tried convincing SO MANY PEOPLE to watch it. They didn’t. Until years later and it had been cancelled and then I get all ragey because IF THEY HAD WATCHED WHEN I TOLD THEM TO we might have had more of the show.

    3. Vera. Hee.

    • I didn’t even remember seeing it on our local screens (cable wasn’t big back then, and we didn’t get all the American shows; just the popular ones) and wouldn’t be clued in until it was gone. Now I’m so sad I didn’t know about it earlier. I think I was sort of fearful of watching it, too, knowing it’s just 14 episodes and a movie. Why open myself up to a world of hurt, right? But I figure the pain is worth it since this is an incredible show!

      Anyway, I’m just insane about it at the moment. My brain isn’t functioning and such.

      By the way, read about your move! Hope you and your family are settled down and enjoying your new home 🙂

  2. Sigh, Jayne. I saw this pop up in my reader today and sighed a happy sigh. At work. Where I don’t think I’m supposed to do that. Whoops.

    He is my favorite. And was from the beginning. Because I always like the bitter, somewhat bad boys. Always.

    I think I have to go with you with Inara being my least favorite. I don’t HATE her. Unless I hate her a little because she made Captain Tightpants all hot and bothered, and I always thought he could do a little better, that’s all.

    • I think Inara’s character needed a bit more development. She was mostly there so someone could snipe back at Mal and not get a backhand to the face.

      I was afraid of Jayne at first because I didn’t know if he’d turn Judas. Only after Ariel did I start finding him funny. I think his relationship with Simon (and River) is one of my favourite aspects of the show. It goes from outright antagonism to sharing alcohol and fighting Reavers together.

      • DID YOU KNOW…I was watching that Browncoats Special (or whatever it was called) not long ago, and they were saying that if the show had stayed on, Inara’s big secret was going to be that she was dying, and that was why she signed on with Serenity in the first place.

      • Yes! I read that somewhere. It makes sense in hindsight, since she seemed unwilling to talk about her checkup in Ariel. Plus in the comics Mal saw Simon coming out of her shuttle and thought they were having an affair. She still refused to explain, apart from saying that Simon’s a doctor.

      • Right, once I heard that, all the different pieces started to click into place, and whereas before, I’d been ambivalent toward her (at best), I suddenly found her character to be much more sympathetic.

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