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Seduced, Betrayed, and Abandonded
Well we went, with great expectations, to see Serenity
at the midnight movie last night. And indeed I enjoyed it greatly, right up to the time
Whedon killed off Wash. It was not a thing which advanced the plot. It did not help character development. (For instance, it would have been a lot more interesting to see how Wash might handle Zoe's death than to watch yet another Warrior Woman with a stiff upper lip.) There was absolutely no reason for it other than to squeeze our emotions. As I walked out of the theater at 2:15am, sunk in misery and depression, I kept telling myself he was only a fictional character. But he was a fictional character whom Whedon spent a great deal of his considerable talent making warm, loving, and intensely likeable. He was my favorite character on the show and I genuinely feel I've lost a friend; someone I really cared about. And for no fucking reason other than to twist our hearts. Which is why I'll never again willingly watch a Joss Whedon production. I've been thinking about it most of the day; I won't even be able to re-watch the Firefly
dvds, knowing, as I do, what's coming. One stupid act ruined the whole thing.
It's entirely possible I'm wrong and unreasonable here. I've been struggling to fight off depression for several months and I've lost that battle today. I'm right down there in the depths where getting up and getting dressed seems both pointless and too difficult to even begin to consider.
|Date:||October 1st, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)|| |
I don't think you're unreasonable. With Dickens you know it's going to happen, and you can usually figure out who early on. Adventure movies from the thirties or so are the same. With modern adventure movies you have a right to expect differently. The shape of the adventure movie story isn't such that that kind of death fits in neatly. Particularly not one which is, after all, really an enlarged episode in a series. It's likely to feel artificial.
The trailers for Serenity didn't look like much fun, anyway, to me: they looked like exactly what I don't want to see in a spaceship movie. But the final decision about what movie I will see is always what my friend Gloria wants to see, and so we saw An Unfinished Life, and I'm not sorry.
was telling me about one series that she started and decided she simply wasn't going to finish. (And you know how some people are about not wanting to stop reading books in the middle, even when they're bad? She's that way about whole serieses, nearly. So this was a significant thing.)
As she put it, she's ok with main characters dying. People in fantasy books go into battles, some of them are going to get hurt. But what she wasn't willing to accept was an author over and over again killing off main characters in ways that required them to be twisted out of character to make the death plausible
-- it seemed that the author wanted to prove that he could do that, and considered that more valuable than being true to the characters.
Sounds like there was nearly a bit of that here -- killing off the lovable character to prove that one could do it. Ugh, indeed.
|Date:||October 1st, 2005 05:02 am (UTC)|| |
I saw a preview screening several months back, and had the same reaction you did. For several weeks. I believe I yelled something along the lines of "FUCK YOU, JOSS!" at that moment. And I wasn't able to watch any Firefly DVDs for nearly a month.
I've come to terms with it. I found that I genuinely had to mourn for Wash, but, once I did, I found that I was able to love all his scenes as much as I ever did -- albeit with regret, now knowing that Zoe is never going to meet that beautiful baby that the two of them would have made.
I saw the movie tonight, for the second time. And, as I knew what was to happen, I was okay with it.
|Date:||October 1st, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)|| |
One other comment: one reason that we made sure to go with a group of friends was that we didn't want our friends to see Wash die without us there to support them.
|Date:||October 1st, 2005 06:20 am (UTC)|| |
Zoe is never going to meet that beautiful baby
Maybe she's already pregnant. Who knows what else went on during the interval since she and Wash had that conversation?
|Date:||October 1st, 2005 06:33 am (UTC)|| |
It's possible. Or maybe she had Simon set aside some sperm and eggs, knowing how dangerous their jobs were.
Even if that happened -- Wash will never meet that baby.
Thank you for understanding and saying so. I've been feeling melodramatic and idiotic all day. At least there's 2 of us.
It's worse because for me, Wash was us. He was Joss. He was both the Mary Sue of the author and of the reader (um, viewer). So killing him is ... suicidal!
I just got back from seeing it. I was pretty crushed too. Not in the same way you were, but Wash was my favorite as well.
agreed on the gratuitous randomness of it. i always thought ff had about two characters too many for the ensemble to really work, but damn, wash wasn't one of the redundancies...
I was spoiled for it so I was just numb, between the arbitrary nature of the death and the idiot plot that got them there. I tend to be of two minds about deaths that show us that, well, people sometimes die in these situations--I understand the impulse, and yet, and yet.
PS--story-wise, it *did* get me thinking that possibly at least River was toast, if not all of them, so it did set up the feeling of additional danger. But yeah, the choice of Wash was an unfortunate one, I thought, for the reasons you said.
I think I understand how you are feeling, but I don't think I agree with you. Well, at least not completely.
The death made it feel less like a Star Trek or Star Wars outing at the local cineplex. (It also made it less like a Spider Robinson early novel, but that's a whole other issue and, after his speech at Torcon, I've cut him a lot more slack.)
I will admit that I've not watched many of the Firefly series and was not attached to the character as much as you were. I don't feel, however, that even knowing how he would end up, that the character would have refused to fly the ship. What the goal had become seemed worth the effort.
Well, you know, it's true: people die in those situations. However, I think another character would have been a much better choice. Either Jayne or Zoe could have gotten killed in the fight with the reavers and it would have been less arbitrary. I also think it would have been more interesting to see Wash deal with Zoe's death rather than the other way around. And I can think of SCADS of interesting things to do with the entire crew reacting to Jayne's death.
I don't know if I agree. I mean you have your reaction to the whole thing and that is your reaction which is fine but I think the more seen is the tough one dying that you see in films. Then the week, gentle and generally all around nice person gets lots and lots of revenge. Thats the way I see it anyway. Sorry it hit you so hard. :( Plus Joss might of had reasons we don't know about for killing him and not others. Maybe maybe not.
|Date:||October 1st, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)|| |
I found something
which might explain why this bothered you so much:
"Something unspeakably surprising and awful happens to one or more persons you love during the course of this film. I have absolutely no objection to this. What I do object to is the utter lack of catharsis that the editing currently affords the audience after it happens. A couple of fans were complaining that it hamstrung their ability to laugh and thrill joyfully for the remainder of the film, and I can't say I blame them. This could be fixable with a single close-up, or a private moment of grief. I'll leave it at that."
It's true the ending was very rushed and didn't include proper catharsis/grieving. It's also true that it was completely arbitrary and there were other characters it would have made more sense dramatically to kill off. See my reply to lsanderson
Unfortunately, the death of Wash lines up with Whedon's philosophy. He always goes for the biggest hurt. Nobody gets to stay happy in the Whedonverse so the gentle, happily-married guy gets it. Wash was Zoe's Tara.
|Date:||October 2nd, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)|| |
I would have found it less realistic had no-one died in the course of that sequence. Frankly, I expected worse - my bet was that at least one of the Tams was not going to survive the battle of the blast doors, as well as either Zoe or Jayne.
As for Zoe, woman of steel - she promptly volunteered for a suicide mission holding the gate. This isn't at all like the 'normal' Zoe, and I thought was excellently handled. The other characters didn't point out that perhaps she was reacting to Wash's death, they simply didn't leave her. Nothing was said, but what was unsaid was clear.
|Date:||October 2nd, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)|| |