OK, I've calmed down since my last post. I'm now in two frames of mind about Wash's death (and Book's, to a slightly lesser extent).
I wrote for a local TV show for 3 years. I know how difficult it is to write something that will engage the audience, that will make them want to keep watching. I always admired Joss for his uncanny ability to write characters we truly care about, along with his great talent for dialogue.
As a writer, I know Wash's death was a bold, brilliant and even courageous stroke. It set up the ending perfectly and gave the audience a jolt - which is precisely what good writing does. As a writer, I know it was exactly the right call.
But as a Wash-loving Browncoat ... damn.
x-posted to _the_firefly_