A couple of years ago, during a Firefly reunion special, Gina Torres (Zoë Washburne) said that there’s nothing like a scifi fan, like warm honey, poured all over you. And, if we are talking about Firefly fans, then barrels of honey are indeed needed.
However, during the same reunion, producer Tim Minear revealed some of the plans for Firefly, plans which were supposed to be seen through in the second season. But this isn’t the subject of this article.
Instead, one of the stories that would have certainly angered some fans, especially those that consider Joss Whedon to be a writer that empowers women, was pitched by Joss Whedon even in the beginning of the series.
As the producer says, in one of the episodes it was hinted that Inara is suffering from a deadly illness. It is a blink and you’ll miss it scene, which can be seen in the episode Out of Gas: Simon says that he doesn’t want to die suffocated, while Inara says that she doesn’t want to die at all (granted, this isn’t as much of a hint, but more like something Joss Whedon wanted to build upon).
So on with the story, Inara is dying and she has a magical syringe which keeps her alive. However, as a side effect, if anybody wanted to make love with her he (or she) would have died (sounds much like Ninja Scroll, right?)
Moving one, Inara is kidnaped in this never made episode by the Reavers. Mal comes to the rescue, but when he boards the Reaver ship he finds all the assailants dead. They didn’t fight with anybody, they just died.
Thus it was implied that Inara was raped by all her abductors, which lead to their death. In the end, Mal kneels in front of Inara and takes her hand, treating her like the lady she was – in a way, this final scene of this episode was supposed to suggest that Mal felt sorry for not arriving earlier, for actually not saving Inara at all.
As said, this was one of the first stories pitched by Joss Whedon for the show. It was dark. But if this arc was to be translated in the series, where would Firefly be now? Would it have managed to gather so many fans?
Would Gina Torres need as much honey as she needs now?