Don’t read this if you haven’t seen Serenity yet. No, I really mean it, don’t read this.
No holds are barred; I’m going to be very very explicit about the movie and why it angers me.
Yet more spoiler space.
Don’t read it. Really.
OK, I warned you.
So Joss Whedon, the one-trick pony, has done it again. Let’s make a list of characters who committed the cardinal sin of not being indispensable enough: Doyle. Joyce. Tara. Anya. Fred. Wesley. Book. Wash. Goddamnit, Wash. I’m told that Ron Glass, who played Book, came back to do the movie on the condition that he be written out. He didn’t want to do it anymore, which I can sort of understand, though it’s too bad we’re never going to get any more of that character’s back story. But I have not heard anything along those lines from Alan Tudyk, AKA Wash. Wash had to die because Joss, every once in a while, needs a pointless death just to show us that he’s not some pussy who lets his characters live because people like them. There’s something in his little brain which insists that if someone the audience cares about doesn’t die, they won’t take him seriously. And it can’t be a death that means something, a death that accomplishes anything, oh no–it has to be “Oh look, a sharp pointy thing just rammed through the front viewport for no particular reason, just when we thought we were down and safe.” Only Tara had a death so completely pointless, though at least Joss drove plot with it. Wash doesn’t even get that. I can’t say that I’ll never watch anything Joss produces again; I know myself better than that. But this movie has finally driven home the concept that it’s not safe to get involved with the characters on his shows; it’s not a good idea to invest any emotion in them, because the instant Joss feels he’s not being appreciated as an artiste, down they go. It’s a cheap trick, but it seems to be the only one he’s got. He should be ashamed of himself.