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Firefly Episode 13 "Heart of Gold" - Tvsquad.com Review

Keith McDuffee

Wednesday 30 August 2006, by Webmaster

(Unaired) Everytime I see the title of this episode (and the name of the town, I believe), I can’t help but think of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I can only imagine that those responsible for naming this episode meant it as a tribute to the Douglas Adams books. Then again, maybe someone’s just a big Neil Young fan.

In this episode we get an even closer look at the non-relationship between Mal and Inara. It’s interesting how Mal, who has always been looking down on Inara’s profession, so easily gives in to Nandi. I think it shows most definitely that it’s not Inara’s profession that bothers him, it’s that Inara’s in that profession. Anyway, it makes sense to me.

It’s in this episode that Inara opts to leave Serenity, as it’s obvious the relationship she and Mal would like to have together just isn’t possible. They don’t approve of each others’ professions, and they’re both too similar in their stubborn ways. It makes sense now how things turn out come the movie, where Inara is no longer on the ship, though we do have one more episode...

In the ’Trash’ episode, there was an "antique" laser pistol on display in the museum-like room Mal breaks into. What I guess I didn’t understand was how few pistols there seem to be in the Firefly universe. And the best thing about the presence of laser guns in Firefly is that they work as they really should, meaning when someone shoots a laster, it’s not a broken bullet-like beam that flies through the air. A laser is light, and it travels as fast as light, so if you’re firing a laser gun, it’s just going to be a long steady beam that cuts through things like a knife.

I’m glad something so cliche didn’t happen, but I remember when I first saw this episode, I’d thought the baby would be born at the last minute of the gun battle and everyone would see, quite definitively, that the baby was not Burgess’s. As in obviously from a father of a different race. Gladly they didn’t do this.

For some reason I felt the special effects were a bit lacking in this episode, perhaps because it wasn’t quite polished yet. I did love the effect at the beginning of the episode, as the camera zooms in from space onto the ranch buildings. It was very Google Earth-like, wasn’t it?

There were so many good lines in this episode (like Mal’s comment to Nandi about passing out from kissing), though as I’ve traditionally done, I’ll leave you with another quote from good ol’ Jayne.

Jayne-ism of the episode: Zoe: "No one’s gonna force you to go, Jayne. As has been stated, this job is strictly speculative." Jayne: "Good! Don’t know these folks, don’t much care to." Mal: "They’re whores." Jayne: "I’m in."