Heart of Gold
Heart of Gold
Production Code: 1AGE10
Original Airdate: unaired
Written by: Brett Matthews
Directed by: Thomas J. Wright
|Nandi - Melinda Clarke
||Helen - Heather Black
|Rance Burgess - Fredrick Lane
||Lucy - Angie Hart
|Petaline - Tracey Leah Ryan
||Emma -Doan Ly
|Chari - Kimberly McCullough
||Narrator - Jim Lau
|Belinda - Sandy Muluihill
Outside a large house in the dessert looking area, laundry is being hung to dry when a man rides up with a posse. He is there to claim an unborn child of one of the women at the house. He takes a DNA sample from the scared woman to test to see if it is his and rides off swearing he will be back for it if it is. The other women come out to comfort the woman, Petaline, and their leader Nandi promises that things will work out.
On Serenity, Inara startles Mal who is cleaning his guns on the dinner table. They exchange a few words before Wash comes in to inform Inara that there is a distress call for her. In her shuttle, Inara talks to Nandi who was also a Companion with her for a time and is now asking Inara if her friends could back her and her girls up even though Inara was supposed to shun her when she left the Companions to work her business. Inara assures her that the crew will help. After their exchange, Mal, who had been listening to the conversation, agrees to help. Inara explains to him that they are going to help a house of “whores” (not “Companions”- these girls are not with the guild) and that Mal and that the crew will be compensated one way or the other for the help. Mal is willing to help as a favor, but Inara insists that they keep things business like between them. The job is explained to the crew and they are offered the option of helping or not but everyone agrees to help (especially Jayne when he finds out they are going to the aid of a house full of prostitutes).
They arrive on the planet and the Heart of Gold bordello. Mal, Zoë, Inara and Nandi get right to work as a well dressed Jayne gets familiar with the girls. Kaylee admires the boy whores, Simon examines Petaline and the preacher is making lunch when a couple of the girls ask him for his religious services because it had been awhile since they had an honest Shepherd to pray with them.
In their meeting, Nandi explains that Rance Burgess (the man after Petaline’s child) runs thier moon and keeps them in desolate conditions because he likes to “play cowboy”. His wife can’t give him a child so he is using her girls to get one. Mal wants to meet Rance to size him up so he goes with Inara to a function he is attending. They meet, Mal plays with his head and embarrasses him before leaving and telling Inara the plan should be to get the heck out. Also that night, Rance learns that Petaline’s child is his.
Mal explains the plan to everyone, his crew and her girls, which is to get out of there, but Nandi won’t have it. She fought too long to get the land and establishment going like it is and she is going to stay and fight for it with or without Mal. Mal sees this as his “kind of stupid”. Everyone works to fortify the house as Simon and Inara tend to Petaline as she begins to give birth. Meanwhile Zoë and Wash discuss having kids, Jayne gets more play with the women and Mal talks with Nandi about Inara and how she could have had it really great and didn’t have to leave the house she was working in and go out to work on her own. Mal and Nandi continue to drink and end up sleeping together the night before the battle. Meanwhile, one of the girls from the house is informing Rance of how the crew and girls are planning on fighting and he isn’t worried by this at all because he believes what he is doing is right.
The next morning, the day of the battle, Inara runs into Mal as he is dressing and leaving Nandi’s room. She plays it cool and he stumbles for words but then takes her lead on playing it cool. But Inara then goes to cry alone in a room. Kaylee and Wash are going back to Serenity so they can fly low as a distracting tactic on the enemy but when they get there they find they have been boarded by some of Rance’s men and are being shot at. Rance and his boys start to ride in as Petaline gets closer to giving birth and the shooting begins. Then the informant girl from the house runs out a sort of secret tunnel to let Rance in.
Kaylee and Wash trap the bad guys on Serenity, though in the process Wash gets trapped himself so they can’t fly over and help out. Petaline gives birth to a boy as Rance busts in and takes the child. Nandi gets between Rance and the way out and Inara then gets behind him and is in position, threatening to slit his throat. Another girl then take the child from Rance but he still shoots Nandi, killing her, as he makes his escape. Mal finds Inara with Nandi’s body and goes after Rance furiously and successfully.
All the bad guys are tied up outside the house, including Rance who is still demanding to see his son. Petaline comes out with the boy and promptly shoots and kills Rance and the other guys are told to run off as well as the snitch girl. Nandi is given a loving ceremony by the girls and crew. Then on Serenity, as they prepare to leave, Mal and Inara have a sort of conversation that ends in her declaring that for both their sake, she has to leave.
Nathan Fillion described the episode in an interview in the January 2003 issue of Starlog magazine:
"It's about an acquaintance of Inara's who leaved the Companion Guild in order to operate her own bordello on a border planet," Fillion relates. "She calls Inara because she's having trouble out there with the powers-that-be, and we all go to help. Today, we're in the middle of a great big shootout."
Read the Script
Mal: "This is my first mate, Zoe.
I'll introduce the rest of the crew later. They're good people."
Jayne: "Can I start gettin' sexed already?"
Mal :"Well, that one's a bit horrific."
Kaylee: "Wash, tell me I'm pretty."
Wash: "Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion."
Kaylee: "'Cause I'm pretty?"
Wash: "'Cause you're pretty."
Zoe: "No one's gonna force you to go, Jayne. As has been stated -- this job's strictly speculative."
Jayne: "Good. 'Cause I don't know these folks, don't much care to."
Mal: "They're whores."
Jayne: "I'm in."
Kaylee: "Captain seem a little funny to you at breakfast this morning?"
Wash: "Come on, Kaylee. We all know I'm the funny one."