It's pretty rare that any TV show ever made has a significant impact on culture and the entertainment industry. It's about a thousand times rarer that a TV show that only lasted one season remains a fan favorite for years after its cancellation. But that unlikely story is the story of Firefly.
Joss Whedon's space western was a brilliantly unique TV show that sci-fi fans have been lauding from the moment it hit the airwaves. But sadly the show was very prematurely ended by the Fox network.
Firefly was lucky enough to get a feature film called Serenity to wrap up it's most major storylines, but two hours simply isn't enough time to answer every question that Firefly got its audience to ask. And there are certainly plenty of questions to be asked. As a result, we were left with some major storylines that contained some of the most interesting plot threads, yet never got any resolution.
Here are 10 important Firefly storylines that were never resolved.
10 Did Mal And Inara Get Together?
Every TV show has it's will they/won't they couple that the writers draw out for an excruciatingly long time before actually pulling the trigger. And since Firefly only got one season and a movie, there was never any resolution to the Serenity's resident maybe couple, Mal Reynolds and Inara Serra.
The chemistry between the two of them was off the charts and it was clear that they seemed to be attracted to each other and annoyed by each other in equal measure. But in the end, they were two people who always had each other's backs and it would have been great to see them have some resolution in their relationship.
9 Did Simon And Kaylee Stay Together?
Simon and Kaylee spent the majority of Firefly's run being the super cute potential couple who just needed a good reason to finally declare their feelings for one another. And since imminent death is the perfect time to make such declarations, towards the end of Serenity when it looks like the entire crew is about to be devoured by reavers Simon finally tells Kaylee that her feelings towards him are mutual.
Kaylee made it clear that if they lived then they were 100% about to get busy (which they did) but it would have been nice to know if their relationship went any further.
8 What Was River Capable Of?
River Tam is clearly the most mysterious and enigmatic character in the Firefly universe. She seems to vacillate between the mental state of a helpless child to a literal genius, and she has proven to be capable of things no other normal human can do. But River's abilities seem to only kick in when she feels threatened, and her control over said abilities seem nonexistent.
Given how River seems to function in day to day life, it seems fair to assume that she has only scratched the surface of what she can really do, and it would have been interesting to see how far her powers go.
7 What Happened To River's School?
River Tam began her life as a normal albeit extraordinarily intelligent child, and her intellectual capabilities caught the attention of an incredibly shady school.
She went off with the expectations that she was going to get an exceptional education. But in reality she was tortured, experimented on, and escaped as a mentally unstable girl with apparent superpowers.
River escaped, but she was hardly the only student at the academy. So what happened to the school in the interim? Has it continued, or even gotten bigger? Have these students been deployed as some kind of special agents? And did they ever send other students to try to hunt down River?
6 What Was The Purpose Of The Academy?
The school that River attended and was then imprisoned in seemed to be in the business of collecting extraordinary children and trying to make them even more dangerously intelligent and skilled, even if they had to do so violently.
It's apparent that these children were being prepared for some very unusual tasks, but because the show never explored the academy beyond River's involvement, it was never clear what exactly their purpose was. We've all seen how dangerous River Tam was, so multiplying that by a few dozen or even a few hundred sounds like the most dangerous army in the 'verse.
5 Did The Alliance Look For A Cure To Pax?
The Alliance went very far out of its way to conceal the tragedy that occurred on Miranda and the dark origins of what are now known as the reavers, and it's easy to see why. Confidence in the Alliance would be nonexistent if people knew that they let an entire colony die a horrible death.
However, did the Alliance ever attempt to find a cure for the bizarre side effects of the Pax? It was a problem that they created so they would presumably have the best idea on how to solve it, and even if they didn't care about the human losses they undoubtedly would have wanted to avoid the embarrassment.
4 Did Miranda Change Things?
After the crew of the Serenity discovers the dark truth that the Alliance was trying to hide about the deceased and abandoned colony on Miranda, they actually manage to blow the whistle. They tell about what the Alliance did, the way that they covered it up, and the way that the entire universe has continued to be affected by the damage that their experiment did.
However, just because the information was revealed, that doesn't mean that anything actually wound up changing. And if things did change, in what way? Did that reignite the fires of rebellion in the people who never wanted to submit to the Alliance in the first place?
3 Were The People On Miranda Willing Participants?
The reasoning behind the Alliance trying to create a colony of very calm and pliable colonists is easy to understand, and no one could have predicted the tragic outcome that was going to occur when they attempted to make their idea a reality. However, is it possible that the colonists on Miranda were aware of the experiment that was taking place, and were willing participants?
I mean, it does sound like the kind of scenario you could sell people on. A colony where everyone is calm and happy all the time sounds like a near utopia, and the Alliance could have incentivized participation in the experiment.
2 How Did The Reavers Function?
The main threat to regular people throughout the course of Firefly and Serenity are the reavers. At the close of Serenity, it's revealed that the reavers were created by an experiment to make people more docile, and while the majority of the people who responded to the experimental drug by literally just laying down and dying, a small portion of them were driven to absolute madness by it.
While reavers seem like they are more animal than human, how do these wild barbarians actually keep their lives going? They don't seem capable of the higher thinking it requires to keep themselves alive for very long.
1 Where Did The Crew Come From?
The cast of characters who make up the crew of the Serenity has grown into their own ragtag family, and their adventures are what make up the story of Firefly. However, it would have been very interesting to see the backstories of all of these characters and see their journeys from their previous lives on to the Serenity.
As entertaining as the Serenity was, it didn't exactly seem to be the kind of prime real estate that children dream of working on ever since they were children. We know why characters like Mal and Zoe wound up there, but it would have been nice to see that development for all of the characters.