I do worry, however, about Season 2. What made s1 work in the second half was the arc. But the *last* time a flawed Whedon show tried this — Dollhouse, which also had lame standalones in the first half of s1, good arc in the second half — they went back to lame stand-alones early in season 2 long enough to get it canceled before returning to good arc. I worry Whedon comes from a time in TV's history when stand-alones were just expected, and that he tends to try 'em. And I can totally see A of S going back in that direction. Which would suck.
But maybe not. And the second half of s1 was fun. It wasn't as good as Buffy/Firefly, to be sure, or even Dollhouse; but it was enjoyable. Which nine eps in I really didn't think it ever would be.