(S01E06) Once again I'm diverging from the original airing sequence of the episodes and am instead focusing us on the intended order of episodes. In this case, however, at least the production numbers tell the tale, as 'Shindig' is numbered #3, where 'Our Mrs. Reynolds' is #5.
This episode concentrated very much on the relationship (or lack thereof) between Mal and Inara, with some very cute Kaylee scenes thrown in for good measure.
At one point in the episode, Mal tells Inara that it's not her he has a problem with, it's her profession. It's interesting how, though being a "companion" is looked upon highly in the future, Mal still thinks like the past, where being a companion is simply a fancy term for being a whore. It could be that he just hates the profession out of pure jealousy, as it's clear even from the premiere episode that they have feelings for each other.
I will say that I thought the idea of a Victorian-era-like ball took the whole past-meets-the-future aspect of this show a little too far. I can accept the thought of poor colonists on planets who can barely scrape by, needing simple medicines and cattle to go about their lives, but Persephone was of an upper-class area. So why are they also living like the past, dancing in circles and looking all pretty? When I think of the Firefly time period, I see two statures of people: the poor, cowboy-like colonists and ex-Browncoats, and the very futuristic-looking, neat gadget toting Alliance people. So where do these rich snotty folks living in the past come in?
If you didn't already love Kaylee, this episode definitely does it. She's innocently ignorant of what it means to be a "proper" lady on Persephone, and wins over the stuffy gents with her sophisticated engineering talk.
Not one of my favorite episodes, but it'll do.
Jayne-ism of the episode:
Jayne: "What we need is a diversion. I say Zoe gets naked."
Jayne: "I could get naked."