But in a way, both episodes of Firefly that we'll show Tuesday night at the Mission Theatre -- "The Message" and "Heart of Gold" -- are about death.
A death figures in "The Message." The threat of death looms in "Heart of Gold": that's what happens in battle, to state an obviousness so obvious it screams obviousness. The Whedon-and-Co. humor is there -- the infamous cap, Kaylee and Jayne's reactions to the prostitutes -- but the dangers of the colonized solar system where the crewmembers of Serenity live hang over our beloved spacefarers. And when there's loss, the show doesn't shy away from showing how strongly that loss affects them.
And there is another end looming: the end of Firefly itself. A particular music cue for a particular scene (I'll be vague, but the Browncoats know what I refer to) was written not just about the loss of a character, but about the loss of the show; at that time, the cast and crew had just learned Firefly was cancelled. In fact, composer Greg Edmondson worried the resulting cue was too emotional, too demonstrative; but he had summed up in music exactly what his colleagues were feeling. This stark, lovely, eccentric universe, with its possibilities as well as its dangers, was going away.
I'm glad that didn't happen. The show's DVD set sold in a way Hollywood didn't expect. The fandom developed further, and friendships began that would never had happened without the Firefly connection. The movie happened; the fan comics Serenity Tales happened, giving us (and letting us imagine) more stories in the Firefly 'verse; Serenity Now happened, and keeps happening.
Death happens. Ends happen. We deal with this, one way or another, well or badly, depending. Or we don't deal with this; that's possible, as well. But we have, at some level, the urge to make what happens before death, before an end, matter. We work. We love: platonically, sexually, paternally/maternally, or many other ways. We make friends. We eat good food. We make jokes. We travel. We cheer what deserves cheering, we boo what deserves booing. We imagine what -- if anything -- happens next.
In this specific case, the specific "What's Next" is "The Mission" and "Heart of Gold." The week after that, it's "Objects in Space" and, if all goes well, some sort of bonus footage (of which I know nothing, so don't ask me). The first Tuesday in September, it's the free screening of the movie Serenity, giving us the finale we didn't quite get with the TV series.
And then there's...what's next.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...
Hey, philosophy can come from many places.
See you tomorrow at the Mission.