• Never saw this one (it was one that didn’t air), but a quick bit research reveals that’s Kimberly McCullough (the incomparable Deena on The Shield) as Chari (curse her sudden but inevitable betrayal) and Frederic Lehne of Lost, The X-Files, and many other goodies as Rance. They both deserved better.

    • Drunk Napoleon

      Lehne gets the way better end of the deal in that he plays Rance basically the same way he always does, and the effect is that Rance is an overgrown child who never got told no and somehow got handed too much power (huh, that seems more relevant than it used to). McCullough’s whole purpose in the plot is to a) betray the bordello, b) get publicly raped by Rance and c) get thrown out at the end. Neither really gets a story to play with, though.

      I always liked Lehne as an actor but the only thing I’ve seen him in that allowed him to be maximum awesome was Lost, where he gets to be playful, an asshole, a solidly professional ownage deliverer, and best of all totally morally righteous in his crusade; he’s one of the few people to totally get Kate and to fully believe she needs to be taken down, which makes him very fun to watch. In the cartoony remake of The Fugitive I have in my head, I cast him as the detective chasing a world-weary William Fitchner.

      • Ha, and if you threw in a twist that he’s actually Fichtner’s long-lost brother I’d completely buy it.

        Lehne could have played his character in Lost as a Gerard knockoff, but like you said, there’s a real moral heart there. In the wheelspinning of the third season, there’s that unforgettable moment in “I Do” (it’s on the level of Catch Me If You Can) where he genuinely offers to stop chasing Kate if she genuinely commits to going straight–and she can’t. I always felt that was the truest expression of who Kate was. Oh, and look who had a guest shot in that episode!

      • clytie

        Did you ever watch Supernatural? He plays one of the big bads in the early seasons.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          I’ve seen bits and pieces but never his parts, though I reckon I can figure how he plays a guy called “The Yellow-Eyed Demon”.

          • ZoeZ

            OH, THAT GUY. Yeah, nice slimy relentlessness there. /saw the first five seasons of Supernatural

    • clytie

      You mean, Kimberly McCullough (the annoying Robin Scorprio on General Hospital). She has played that role off/on since 1985, and will resume soon.


      • thesplitsaber

        Scorprio??? thats AMAZING.

    • thesplitsaber

      Woah woah woah theyres no way this episode wastes the talents of anyone more than Mindy ‘my career survived Return of the Living Dead III, Spawn, AND a tv show with Dennis Rodman’ Clarke.

      Hell you could sell a whole show just on the dreamy still of her and Fillion. In fact fire the female lead of whatever Filions doing next and just hire her.

  • There is one very memorable bit between Kaylee and Wash about how, if he were not married, he would take her in a manly way. It was very sweet and really got to the heart of Wash.

    The rest? I have seen this one once. I liked it at the time. I suspect it would probably rankle me as much as it did our fearless critic if I went back and watched it again. And I might actually think about how it compares with Unforgiven,

    • Drunk Napoleon

      “Cause I’m pretty?”
      “Cause you’re pretty.”

      (I’m assuming from that comma that this was gonna be a longer comment that got posted before it was finished, so I’ll reply further if it gets edited)

    • exorcissy72

      I’m in the same boat, I’ve seen this episode once, mmmaybe twice, I remember liking it but now I’d probably be annoyed by it. I do remember thinking that this episode would have played better on cable as I think the subject matter was hampered by a network.

  • Miller

    “Ranse is a slimy, predictable, boring character; he reveals nothing interesting about himself, his world, our world, or our characters”

    It’s been a loooooong time so this perception may be off, but I sort of thought that was the point. Nandy and Mal are similar in many ways, but she’s trying to live an off the grid life without the propensity for violence that life demands (and that Mal carries with him, which is why he’s needed in the first place) and that means she’s vulnerable to dicks willing to use their own violence and who aren’t concerned about that being a cliche. The execution could very well be wanting here but the tediousness and awfulness of Ranse does reveal something about the world — it sucks in an implacable, stupid way and being out on the edge doesn’t mean you can get away from it.

    • Drunk Napoleon

      Yeah, but as you anticipate here I think there are way more interesting ways to express that – Niska is also a genuinely awful human being but he’s fun to watch in and of himself that Ranse isn’t.

  • ZoeZ

    I have seen all of Firefly multiple times except for this episode, which I disliked so much I’ve only seen it once. This… would mostly seem to validate that decision.

    But I would support “borderello” as a term, honestly.

  • DJ JD

    I also did not care for this episode much, as – as I’ve said before – the Companions just never worked for me as a device to begin with, and going to the lower, more vulnerable place that prostitutes have often existed in reality in the Firefly universe while still keeping the Companions all Companion-y just didn’t add up. I didn’t actually mind the love triangle, exactly; I thought it was a logical weak spot of Mal and Inarra’s whatever-it-is, in that they aren’t actually together, whatever they’re doing, and Inarra made an honest choice when confronted with that tension. The villain, though, I agree 100%. I like @disqus_hde7I14XwM:disqus ‘s idea that he represents the harsher outside world that can’t be avoided, but I remember thinking “yes, okay, he’s the bad guy, I get it!” watching this episode. At least give him something to care about, guys.

  • thesplitsaber

    It should also be mentioned this episode just looks like crap. The set design, the futuristic touches are just terrible and it feels like its at least two passes away from a decent script.

    I wanna say they shot this when they knew they were getting canceled-Fox slashed their budget and it shows on screen. At one point during the laughable ‘siege’ sequence im pretty sure theyre huddled in a room that clearly has aluminum foil for a wall.