'Firefly (Flashback)' recap: An Inconvenient Untruth

The clever pun of the title "Jaynestown" – the seventh episode in the Firefly canon – winked in the direction of a tragic bit of recent human folly: Jonestown, where gone-crackers cult leader Jim Jones totally lost his nut and tricked 909 followers into mass suicide. That’s a heavy reference for a mostly light-hearted affair that fleshed out Adam Baldwin’s cartoonishly tough Jayne. Then again, Firefly didn’t give a gorramabout religion, and regarded most forms of faith as iterations of a bad joke: The need of people crippled by self-consciousness or wounded by damaged self-esteem to believe in somethingoutside themselves for strength and direction, even if that something flies in the face of sound logic and scientific learning, common sense and basic human decency. At best, Fireflyseemed willing to allow the individual the freedom to believe in any kind of bulls--t, just as long they didn’t push it on people as God’s Truth or hurt anyone with it… unless they deserved to be hurt. "Jaynestown" – the Firefly version of Glee’s "Grilled Cheesus" (which, coincidentally, was repeated this past week) -- was an irreverent romp about misplaced faith and misguided hero worship, spiritual and secular. I enjoyed the episode, even if its metaphorical whining had a whiff of preachyness about it.  Yet even this was interesting to me. Firefly was a show that had some real fire in its belly -- that was animated by a deep anger about The Way The Things Are.  Watching it anew on The Cable Network Formerly Known As Science Channel (it’s just "Science" now; awkward), I appreciated again the debate invited by its passionately pouty point of view…  even if I didn’t agree with the perspective itself. Read More...



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