In Sanctuary (Angel 1.19) Detectives Lockley and Kendrick converse casually but meaningfully while investigating one of Faith’s innumerable crime scenes. They talk about pithy junk before Kendrick challenges Lockley’s faith in ooga-booga-stuff with unassailable, empirical and logical reason by nailing her with a topical X-Files reference, which Lockley corrects by undercutting Kendrick’s faith in his generally cocky cop-hipness. Whatever. The most remarkable aspect of this interaction is that all of the plainclothed and uniformed cops trooping around the room are sporting blue(-gloved) hands in an episode that aired 02May00, which is just about 28 months before the BlueHands guys made their first appearance on Firefly.
Sanctuary was written by Tim Minear and Joss Whedon, who must have noticed the striking visual peculiariarity of the viagra/TidyBowl-mitts-effect and simply incorporated that unsettling visual event into the repertoir of the disturbingly bureaucratic and lethal Blue Hands duo, like an ace-in-the-hole. The other intriguing similarity resides in the Firefly episode, Safe, in which some stress is placed on the irony of the episode-title in that nobody we care about (not even two very rich generations of Tams) is remotely free of danger — and just as Angel confidently comforts Faith in the certainty that no harm can befall her in the comfort of the sanctuary his ultra-low-profile fortress will afford, a heavily-armed Council of Watchers taskforce descends like nightmare terrorists into her morbid gloom and attempts to put the boot to the big damned hero-vampire, rogue slayer and most anybody dumb enough to be caught in Angel’s subtextual asylum.
I’m not saying that any of these casual observations are important or terribly meaningful, but they’re nothing less than noteworthy, either.