One thing I really appreciate about Firefly as a show is that it's about a bunch of nobodies. Most of my shows are about special people: the one girl in all the world, outside the government and beyond the police, the people who know the truth about the supernatural while most of the world is in the dark. But in the show, the crew of Serenity have no particular importance to the world. They're outsiders, perhaps, but at the end of the day, just regular folks.
Kaylee's backstory in Out of Gas is, for me, one of the most feminist moments in a Whedon show. When I first saw the episode, I just assumed the the woman Bester was sleeping with was not important, and would likely be hustled off the scene to make room for the important drama between the men (I love you, SPN, but...Lazarus Rising & Clap Your Hands If You Believe, ugh). Instead she was...Kaylee! Bester's claim that engines make her hot suddenly seems less sleazy and more...Kaylee! It's a great moment of humanizing a woman who on another show would have been nothing more than a sex object. Kaylee, not Bester, is the important character whom we have already gotten to know.
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