Firefly: S01E11 & 12: Serenity

Some dude (not a cast member) narrates the opening in his best Kentucky Fried Chicken accent.

The war to unite the planets was six years done, and the victorious Alliance was spreading its control further and further throughout the galaxy. Those who had fought for independence and so bloodily lost had no choice but to live by Alliance law.

Some never would, and those few found themselves drifting…. flying to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, to the worlds less civilised – some barely settled where the Alliance might not control their lives. These were hard worlds and work was where you found it.  Those who got by, lived by a simple creed.

Any job.  Anywhere. 

Mal, Zoe and Jayne are space-walking around a derelict spaceship.  Wash plays with his toysThey are attempting salvage (illegally), the cargo.

On board the Serenity, Wash plays with his dinosaur toys until a siren suddenly brings him to his senses.  He quickly radios the alarm to Mal, “Captain, we have an Alliance cruiser baring down on us.

The Captain hurries the job along, but the last thing he is going to do is leave his precious salvage!  He instructs Wash to shutdown the Serenity in the hope that the Alliance Cruiser (the Lav. Dortmunder) will think it just another derelict spaceship.  Meanwhile, Mal, Jayne and Zoe continue to move the salvage on board.

The tactic nearly works.  An officer on the Alliance Cruiser is mildly suspicious and calls for the ship to be scanned.  As the cargo is loaded onto the Serenity and the crew come aboard, Mal orders the ship to re-boot up and they fly away.  The officers on the Alliance Cruiser are surprised, but not too interested.  Wash reports that the Cruiser has maintained its course (i.e. they aren’t giving chase).

Later, Mal, Zoe, Jayne and Wash inspect their booty (erm…. salvage cargo) and Mal notices something slightly unusual.  The cargo a few boxes of very unappetising food bars that look like bricks (each brick is a high concentrate vitamin enriched food supplement which can keep a family alive for about a month!)

Mal and his crew are salvaging the cargo for a geezer called Badger (a particularly nasty dude with a Brit accent and boils on his face).  Unfortunately, Mal noticed that the cargo was marked in some way.  He keeps this secret from the rest of the crew and they all head off for the Persephone Spaceport.

Kaylee, the ships super sweet engineer, is excited that Mal intends to take on passengers at the spaceport.  I guess her sunny personality thrives on interaction with other people.  Mal isn’t as excited.  He just wants the money.

The spaceportMeanwhile, on the bridge, Zoe and her husband Wash, are kissing and cuddling and chatting about how cool it would be if they could take a couple of days off for a holiday.  Zoe is very loyal to Mal and wouldn’t consider a break unless she had his full support.  Wash on the other hand doesn’t feel that same sense of camaraderie and suggests that Zoe just tell him they are taking a few days off.

Zoe would never do that!  It’s really interesting to see how Wash sometimes takes second place behind Mal as far as Zoe is concerned.  There is only a little tension; Wash is a fairly easygoing character….. “I’m just the husband.” He concedes.

Mal comes onto the bridge and asks that Zoe send a message off to The Ambassador (meaning the ships resident prostitute, Inara).  She is currently servicing a client in a city/space port called Persephone.

Inara on the jobIn her shuttle, Inara gently brings her customer to ….. erm…. the end of his visit.  She gently chats to the young dude and it’s pretty clear that the guy is more than impressed with Inara’s abilities.  In fact he feels quite close.  Unfortunately, as Inara is leaving and he is forced to depart, he makes some silly derogatory comment about her speeding up her clock so that their time together would end sooner. Inara is clearly sensitive to it.  To be called a cheat after what they had done wasn’t a nice way of ending their business transaction. Inara’s skin maybe soft but it’s not thick. The comment stung.

Inara receives the message to return to the Serenity and she immediately zooms off. There’s something really exciting about beautiful woman operating heavy machinery! It’s that gentle but firm way she handles the gear stick I guess. The spaceport looks moderately cool too, there are some futuristic towers, giant bridge and heavy air traffic.

Mr BadgerSerenity lands at the Eavesdown Docks in Persephone and Mal, Zoe and Jayne go to see Badger (or should that be Mr. Badger). Wash tells Zoe something in Chinese, and she says, “We will.” I think he told her to be careful, and used Chinese to sound less mushy (but for all we know, he could have said ‘I want you to play with my love thing’). I wish there was a way to tell for sure if this show will stay on the air for more than one season, then it might be worth investing in English-Chinese dictionary.

Badger is checking some girls’ teeth, but not as a dentist. Looks like he’s a slave-trader! That AND he has boils – could they make the character any more revolting?

He already saw the bulletin describing Serenity (unidentified Firefly class vessel) stealing the booty, so their booty is too hot for him! (Sorry, could not resist). The bulletin also mentioned that food-bars are marked by government stamp, so Badger tells Mal that the deal is off.

Zoe explains politely to Badger that his attitude is unfair.  Mal tells him that it’s not his fault (it was Badger after all, who picked the cargo).  But Badger is adamant.  He explains that the deal has changed because of the circumstances, “The situation is more fluid.

Jayne is far less diplomatic, “The only fluid I see here is the puddle o’piss refusing to pay us our wage.”  Jayne has a wonderful way of cutting through the crap and getting straight to the point!  Unfortunately, Badger’s men pointedly decide to demonstrate to Jayne the error of his ways.  We got the distinct impression that there would be many more puddles before this scene ended.

Mal knows that Badger could easily take and distribute cargo marked with a Government stamp.  He challenges Badger, “I can’t help thinking there’s something else at work here.

I guess Badger was unimpressed (or more likely very impressed but having to go on the defensive). He dons his slightly-too-large Bowler hat and launches into a monologue, which clearly demonstrated what a complete prat he was, “What were you in the war, that big war you failed to win?” He began confidently, “You were a sergeant yeah?  Sergeant Malcolm Raynolds.  Balls and bayonets brigade (a macho Brit reference to infantry). Big, tough veteran.  Now you got yourself a ship and you’re a Captain. (core blimey gov’nor!  Get a bloody move on!).  Only I think, your still a soldier seeA man of honour in a den of thieves.  Well this is my goram (possibly means God Damn!) den, an’ I don’t like the way you look down on me (he really needs platform shoes as Mal is a good 8″ taller!)I’m above you, better than….. businessman see, roots in the community.  You’re just a scavenger.

Mr Badgers fancy hatMaybe I’m not a fancy Gentleman like you with your very fine hat,”  Mal replies menacingly, “but we’re here for business.  We do business.”  He concluded…. unmenacingly.  Badger deserved a right telling off, but I guess the number of guns he had pointing around the room strengthened the little thugs argument.

Badger further insinuates that if Mal and his crew stay on Persephone for much longer, the Alliance will catch up with them.  Mal’s ship wasn’t identified specifically (just that it was a Firefly class transport ship), but you just knew that that Badger would inform the authorities.

At the ship, a lonely but still chirpy Kaylee is looking at the passers by.  She notices an old geezer, a priest called Book glancing at the ship and exclaims to him, “You’re gonna come with us.”  He looks round feigning a mild interest, “You like ships,” she continues, “you don’t seem to be looking at the destinations, what you care about is the ship and……” she concludes with a big smile, “Mine’s the nicest.”

The firendly old monkThey exchange some friendly banter.  Book had apparently travelled on a Firefly spaceship many, many years previously, but it was an older model.  Kaylee asks why he doesn’t care where he is going,

Because how you get there’s the worthier part.” Says Book, smugly.

Kaylee asks if he’s a missionary and Book introduces himself.  He tells her that he is a Shepherd from the South Down Abbey, “I’ve been out of the world for a spell.  I’d like to walk it awhile. Maybe bring the word to them that needs it told.” (Ugg.  Some o’ th’ dialogue in this hyar show stinks!)

He seems interested in taking a trip to Boros with Kaylee (which warm blooded human male wouldn’t?) and when she politely inquires if he would be able to pay, he tells her that he has a little cash and….. a mysterious box.  She takes a peek and ‘Ooooh’s’ with delight.  I guess the Shepard is her first new passenger.

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Things aren’t looking as bright for Jayne, Mal and Zoe.  If they don’t get paid for the hooky cargo, they wont have enough fuel to fly or enough money to maintain their ship.  Mal decides that the only option is to sell the goods to Patience, an old lady on some distant moon called Whitefall.

Sir, we don’t want to deal with Patience again.” Objects Zoe.
Why not.”  Asks Mal.
She shot you.” Concludes Zoe decisively.  Ordinarily this would be a good argument clincher.  But when Mal has made up his mind, his counter argument can be un-arguable.
She did…. a bit.  …. It was a long time since Patience shot me and that was due to a legitimate conflict of interests.  I’ve got no grudge.  She owns half that damned moon now.”  And from that point, we knew we were headed for Whitefall.

As the three of them arrive at the Serenity, we see Kaylee has charmed aboard a few more passengers.  A rather ordinary looking dude (called Laurence Thomson ), and a less ordinary one.  Mal stops for a moment to look at the more interesting character.  He’s well dressed and demonstrates an arrogant air of distain.  “This is our Captain,” introduces Kaylee, politely. “And Captain, this is Simon.

The Captain looks sceptically at the well-dressed dude, but still manages to welcome him aboard (possibly because he looks like the only one able to pay the fare).  At this point, Wash arrives with some parts for the ships and Inara’s shuttle makes it’s way to the shuttle bay.  Wash tells her that they are in a hurry to leave.

As the Serenity silently meanders through the blackness of space, he tells the passengers about the eating and sleeping arrangements. He also adds that they will be stopping at Whitefall to drop off medical supplies.

As the passengers wander off, Inara surfaces from her boudoir (in her shuttle) and gracefully makes an entrance.  Mal introduces her to the Shepard as ‘The Ambassador.’

Shepherd is hugely impressed and mentions that he wasn’t aware that a state official was on board.  He bows graciously as he shakes her hand. Inara looks on nervously as Mal laughs.
I’m obviously missing something.  Funny.”  Says Book. Inara suddenly looks nervous.
Ambassador is my….” begins Inara.
She’s a whore Shepard.” Interrupts Mal, too eagerly.

Kaylee tells Book that Inara is a Companion. Mal concedes that Inara is ‘pretty much’ the ships Ambassador.  He explains that many planets wouldn’t even talk to the Serenity without a decent companion on board.  That’s the weirdest angle on diplomacy that I’ve ever heard!  Worse still.  The body language is all wrong.  Mals attitude to Inara seems, on the surface, disdainful – but it just doesn’t look right.

Welp!  If the Shepard was confused before he positively doesn’t know what to do with himself now.  He’s certainly surprised, and he doesn’t look particularly offended but his awkwardness puts everyone ill at ease.

This isn’t a problem for you is it?” He asks Book pointedly.  Mal clearly has no respect for the clergy.
Inara adds before Book can answer, “It’s alright.  I mostly keep to myself.”  The she turns to Mal and adds gracefully, “When I’m not whoreing.
Inara decides to leave.  “What, don’t you want to meet the rest of the bunch.” Asks Mal.
Why don’t you make sure they want to meet me first.

Mal looks on.  I think he regrets the way he handled Inara’s introduction.  Which, to most of us, seemed insensitive.

Kaylee takes a biteIn her quarters, Kaylee examines part of Books fee for travelling on the ship.  She opens the box and takes out a strawberry.  Pausing only for a second to look at it, she takes a bite and rolls her eyes with delight.

Kaylee had actually sneaked a preview of a wide range of difficult-to-get-foodstuffs that the crew and passengers all enjoy at dinner.  They thanked Book for sharing his cullinary treasure trove and everyone seemed in good spirits.  Again, Mal(who’s petulance was beginning to really annoy me) spoiled it as Book asked, “Would it be alright if I said Grace?
Only if you say it out loud.” He replied as he enjoyed a large mouthful of Books hospitality.  Everyone except Mal bows his/her head silently.

To break the tenseness, one of the passengers mentioned the rumour that a lot of the border worlds were in bad shape.

Well, some of it’s exaggerated and some of it ain’t.” Explains Zoe. “All those moons, just like the central planets.  They’re as close to Earth as we can make ‘um… gravity, atmosphere and such.  But….”  {Ugg}

Also when they’re terra-formed,” interrupts Mal, “there’s a load of dumb settlers on there with nothing but blankets, hatchets….. Maybe you heard.  Some of them make it, some of them…{Ugg}

Kaylee asks Simon, “You’re a Doctor right?

Yes, I was a trauma surgeon on Losaris (the capital City).” Said Simon. And when Kaylee mentions that he looks so young to be a doctor, Simon is mildly taken aback. He replies that Kaylee looks too young to be a ships mechanic.  Jayne watches this little exchange intently and his steely eyes hide (what looks like) a deep concern.

But maybe I’m giving him too much credit,Ol’ Kaylee here is just wishin’ that you were a gynaecologist.”  (!!?!) The humour in this show is a blast! Nasty and gritty. You don’t know weather to laugh or be offended for the characters.

Jayne!”  Says Mal. “You keep a civil tongue in that mouth o’yours or I’ll sow it shut.”  Yeah right!  Mal is about half his size and lets face it, Mal has a lot to answer for himself.   Jayne decides to make it worse by arguing and, like a naughty little boy, is sent away from the table.

Simon is hugely unimpressed with Jayne so far and asks the Captain what his role on the ship is. “Public relations” replies the Captain patronisingly.

At this point we have started to notice all the little interactions that make Joss Whedon shows so interesting.  We may have begun to ask ourselves, ‘which crew-members are closer to which?’  We could argue that Kaylee had a bit of a thing for Simon. We could also assume that Inara and Mal had one of those impossible mutual appreciations.  Could we also find some jealousy in Jayne’s reaction to Simon?  I’m sure all will become clearer as the season develops, but the intriguing part for me isn’t which of the group is pairing up so much as how they all seem to be at each others throats!  Also, Mal seems to be short for maladjusted, malicious and malcontent – with the exception of a few humorous lines of dialogue, some very quick thinking in front of Badger and the balls to confront Jayne, our hero has behaved like a real dickhead! 

Then, after the tenseness of the battle at the dinner table, we have the tenseness of Inara’s shower-scene.  Well, it wasn’t so much a shower as a bath in a bucket, but it still involved lot6s of gratuitous Back of Inaranakedness (all tastefully done of course – you’ll never see a nipple on a Joss Whedon show). Quite why we had to endue watching the lovely Inara taking a bath for so long, or what it had to do with the plot, I don’t know.  But it was lovely!

There is a knock at the door and without moving to cover herself, Inara calls Chin Chin (I think – I’m not too well up on my Chinese.  I’m assuming it meant ‘enter’).  Book walks in.  More back! -Waddabout some front!I guess he was there to attempt to apologize for his tenseness earlier.  Unfortunately the monk got an eyeful of the naked Inara and was about to get tense in a place he’d almost forgotten about!

What follows is a charming dialogue about how Inara expected to hear Book preach to her about immorality and lifestyle.  And Book in turn, explained how he had no intention of doing so.  The two began their relationship again and it was one of mutual respect.  Quite pleasant after the antagonistic humour of the previous scene.

All that changed again when Wash called Captain Malicious and told him that they had a spy on board.  A transmission had been made to the nearest Alliance cruiser from the Serenity.

Wrongly accused SimonMal heads straight for Simon and punches him in the mouth.  He accuses the doctor of  being the spy and Book enters the room to tell him that he has the wrong man.  How did he know this?  Because the real spy was stood across the room with a gun pointing at them.

Lawman TompsonIt seems that Thomson   was a lawman all along (do you recognise him by the way.  He played that nice brain eating fiancé demon in an episode of Angel? – I knew he was a baddie!)

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It becomes apparent that Simon is a fugitive and that it is he who the lawman is after.  Mal pretends (at least I think he was pretending) to be on the lawman’s side and offers to detain Simon.

Do you think I’m a complete back birth?”  Says Thomson nervously. “You’re trying to take a fugitive across interplanetary borders…..  As far as I’m concerned everyone on this ship is culpable.

Things get very sticky from then on as Mal tries to disorient the lawman and Book tries to calm him down.  As Kaylee enters the room with Jayne and Inara, Thomson is all but paranoid and shoots out desperately trying to bring things back under control.  Unfortunately, the bullet hits Kaylee in the tummy and she collapses to the ground.

Mal jumps on Thomson   and brings the situation back under control.  Jayne then decides to serve out his own justice and attempts to kill Thomson  .  He definitely fancies Kaylee!  Exacerbation all round as Wash reports that an Alliance cruiser has sent them a message to continue on their current course and make ready for prisoner transport.  Mal is suddenly faced with a whole load of decisions.

Captain Malcontent is quite happy to let the Alliance ship take Simon away but Simon can be just as nasty.  He tells them that Kaylee has a serious injury and that he wont save her unless they make a run for it.  Despite Kaylee’s doey-eyed flirtation with Simon, it seems he’s quite prepared to let her die!

There is lots of ‘oh no you couldn’t let her die would you!’ until eventually Inara tells Mal to do it.  He reluctantly orders Zoe to change course.  We see the ship turn in space and the engines accelerate – lots and lots of green stuff comes out and the ship zooms off without a sound (that is SOOOOO cool – it’s one of the few sci fi shows that doesn’t have that bloody silly whooooshing sound – shame the show has a cowboys in space motif!)

The Doc works his magic and Kaylee is saved.  The Captain and Inara look on concerned (and just outside, Jayne, hidden from view, sees the operation through the doorway – he seems even more concerned!)

Later, after the operation, things still look touch-and-go for Kaylee.  The Doc seems mildly confident that she will recover, but he doesn’t tell Mal and Inara this.  Mal’s malicious intuition takes control of him and he decides to see what Simon has hidden away in his very large packing case.  He runs off to the cargo hold closely followed by Simon and Inara.  Jayne catches up with Simon and holds him tightly – not a hug while Mal opens Simon’s large trunk.

He stands back in awe of the contents, for there, crouched in an icy mist is the naked and slight female form of a young girl.  He gazes at her for a while then utters a resounding, “Uhhh.”  Not a question, more like surprise.

I need to check her vitals.” Says Simon urgently (yeah right! – Him and most of the male viewing audience!).Oh is that what they call it?”  Replies Mal sarcastically.  He then launches into a bitter monologue of accusation, assuming that Simon’s cargo is his personal consort or slave.  He is interrupted when the young girl wakes. She screams, disorientated and scrambles out of the cryo-chamber.  She thawed out pretty quickly and Simon rushes to be with her.  She recognises him and he calms her down by repeating her name, River.

Simon tells the surprised group, that the young girl is his sister.  He explains. “I am very smart.  I went to the best Medical Centre in Osirus – top 3% of my class.  I finished my internship in eight months. Gifted is the term.” He says modestly. “So when I tell you that my sister makes me look like an idiot child, I want you to understand my full meaning.  River was more than gifted…….. she was a gift.

There was a school, a Government sponsored academy. We had never even heard of it, but it had the most exciting programme, the most challenging.  We could have sent here anywhere, we had the money but, she wanted to go. I got a few letters at first and then I didn’t hear for months.  Finally I got a letter that made no sense.  She talked about jokes that never happened, things that were never said.  It was a code, it simply meant….. ‘They’re hurting us – get me out.’

He continued his harrowing account of how he managed to contact some men who told him that his sister was in danger – that the government was “playing with her brain,” but that for a price, they could help her escape.  This they did and although she seems physically alright, he doesn’t know how badly she is injured, mentally.  All he is concerned with now, is keeping her safe.

Which is unfortunate, because he made the stupid mistake of travelling with Captain Malicious.  Mal has decided that they will continue to meet with the old lady at Whitefall and although mildly concerned at Simons story, he tells him that if Kaylee survives her injuries, he and River will be allowed to disembark at Whitefall.  If Kaylee doesn’t live then they will be thrown into space.

The rest of the crew (except Jayne) are none to happy at cold-blooded murder.  Wash and Book in particular are very upset.  But it is Inara who confronts the Captain directly.  “If you do this then I’m leaving“.
Maybe it’s better if you do.” Agrees Mal. “This job doesn’t concern you anyway.

Later, Book comes into the ships surgery to see how Kaylee is doing.  Simon tells him that it’s touch and go.  They chat a little before Book asks Simon why he chose the Serenity as the method of his escape. “Because it looked disreputable.”  He replied without humour.  Book asked, id Simon was aware of the ships name.  He went on to say that Simon could do well to check up on his history.

Intrigued, Simon went to his personal computer (a sort of Palm Pilot of the future) and checked out the word Serenity.  A plastic English accent spoke clearly, “In the war to unit the planets, the battle of Serenity was among the most deadly and decisive.  Located on Herra, the valley was considered a key position by both sides and was bitterly fought over. The independent faction with sixteen brigades and 20 air tanks held Alliance forces at bay for almost two months until superior forces…..” Suddenly, Zoe enters the room.

What does it say on the blood bath?”  She asked casually.   Simon blurted a response and Zoe explained that the battle took nearly half a million lives.

Mal was there with you?” Asked Simon.

Battle of SerenityHe was my sergeant.” Replied Zoe. “Commander of 30 young grunts. ….. Three days in, there were so many officers dead, he commanded 2000!  He kept us together, kept us fighting, kept us sane.  By the time the fighting was over, he had maybe 400 still in tact.  I said the fighting was over, but you see they left us there.  Wounded as sick and as near to mad as could still walk and talk – both sides left us there while they negotiated the peace…… for a week. And we kept dying.  Mercy, forgiveness, trust…… those are things he left back there.  What he has now is the ship.  The ship and us on it.

If that battle was so horrible, why did he name the ship after it”  Asked Simon after a respectful pause.

Once you’ve been in Serenity you never leave.  You just learn to live there.”  Answered Zoe sadly.

Wash has located a ship in deep space.  It’s headed straight for them.  Mal asks what type of ship it is and all Wash can tell him is that it’s an old Class TU spaceship that is dangerously running without core containment.

As it gradually comes into view Mal orders Wash to reverse.  There’s no point, “Oh god, oh god, oh god.”  They both recognise the Reefer ship as it approaches.

Reever and SerenityMal goes on the intercom and informs everyone that they are about to pass a Reever (possibly a raiding party).  He advises everyone to stay calm.  If they try to run then the Reevers will chase them (it’s their way apparently).  The crew take rather drastic steps at this point, we see them checkout their supplies of poison, and personal weapons.  It’s pretty clear that you do not want to be taken alive if a Reever comes for you.  It’s also pretty clear that they are outnumbered and unlikely to win a confrontation.

In the even, the Reever ship passes them by without incident.  Simon makes the mistake of asking Zoe what would happen if the Reevers boarded the Serenity. “If they take the ship, they’ll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing – and if we’re very, very lucky, they’ll do it in that order.”  Wow! And I thought the Alliance were bad!

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In the end, the Reevers ship (which looks like a big Thunderbird 2) passes by without incident.  Wash points out the magnetic grappler that is used to hoist their prey.  Mal isn’t interested.  He insists that Wash hold them on course.

As everyone breathes a sigh of relief, Mal decides to take Jayne to visit their lawman prisoner.  He tells him that they need to know exactly what he told the Alliance Cruiser.  Jayne has been instructed to extract this out of him with whatever means he feels necessary.

Jayne is well up for the job.  Mal confirms as he leaves, “Just scare him right.
Pain is scary?” Asks Jayne.

Thomson explains that they are all in VERY serious trouble.  Jayne learns that River is not just a fugitive, but also a valuable commodity.  You could visibly see Jayne’s eyes prick up at the word valuable. Thomson attempts to strike a deal.

Mal visits Kaylee and they chat awhile before she falls asleep.  It seems that she’s on the mend though still a little poorly.  Later, Mal is talking to Simon.  He awkwardly explains that it maybe Simon who should kill Thompson before the Alliance leave them alone.  Simon has neither the will nor inclination to do it.  “You also don’t have the time.”  Says Mal.
What do you mean.“?  Relies Simon.
Kaylee’s dead.”  He says (?!?!)

Simon is shocked and rushes off to the Medical room to see for himself.  When he gets there he finds that she’s recovering nicely and awake.
The mans psychotic.”  He says, shaking.

Captain Maladjusted is laughing with the crew on the bridge.  It was a cruel joke by anyone’s standards and it was surprising to see the rest of the laughing. “Oh, you should’ve seen his face.

Suddenly as little beep alerts them to a transmission.  It’s from Patience.  She’s hardly pleased to see Mal but appreciates the fact that he is up-front about the proposed goods for sale (being imprinted) and sends them co-ordinates for a meeting.  The conversation ends amicably.

There is a long pause before Captain Mal says, “I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again.

As they approach Whitefall we see a shot of Thomson  with some sort of sharp implement trying to cut through the rope that ties his hands.

LAnding at WHitefallThe ship lands on Whitefall and they make their way to the meeting point.  Mal looks at how they should handle themselves.  He sends Jayne to scout the perimeter to see if he can find the snipers (who will surely be there to kill them).  They had previously buried the cargo.  All that remained was the meeting itself.  “That should be enough.” Says Mal. “Are you sure?”  Asks Jayne. “Are you sure you ain’t gonna piss yourself and back down like you did with that Badger?

Back on the ship, the lawman overpowers Book(and beats him up even while he’s unconscious! – as you know, this gives the writers complete authority to kill the bastard!) From this point on, his hours were numbered.

Jayne the sniperWhen Zoe and Mal meet up with Patience, she is accompanied by three ugly looking dudes on horseback.  When Zoe asks about her escort, Patience relies that she wasn’t sure if Mal was looking for some sort of payback.  In the hills, a sniper is clobbered by Jayne.

I do the job right!

Sure enough, Patience had no intention of paying.  She waits for Mal and Zoe to turn their backs and walk away.  Mal patiently waits for them to do the same.  In the end, it’s Jayne that breaks the deadlock when he shoots one of Patience’s dudes through his top hat.  The resulting fire-fight was pretty cool looking even if it was completely implausible.  Zoe and Mal stand and deliver (and Jayne lying down) round after round to the unfortunate cowboys.  Zoe suffers minor injuries when she takes a bullet in the chest (She’s wearing body armour) and in the end, only Patience is left alive.  Mal tells her that he does the job and gets paid.

Suddenly Jayne rushes down the hillside.  Wash has told him that the Reevers have doubled back and are after them.  They only have a few short minutes to get back to the ship and leave.

Poor piccy quality - sorryUnfortunately, in the hold, Thomson is holding River at gunpoint.  As Jayne, Zoe and Mal climb aboard and notice the problem, Mal deftly raises his shootin’ arm and fires at Thomson.  The perfect shot hits the unfortunate lawman right between the eyes and he falls down dead!

Jayne and Mal throw the policeman off the ship and hurriedly take off.  The Reevers are VERY close by now and Mal runs off to the Engine room to see to Kaylee.  Meets up with Inara and quietly and tenderly orders her to ballast off (in her shuttle) if they are boarded by Reevers.  It was quite a touching scene and after watching it I’d challenge anyone to disagree that these two don’t fancy each other.

Wash has an idea, but he needs the help of Kaylee who is sat in the Engine room (still very poorly) she is told that she needs to initiate Full Burn on Wash’s mark.  Book helps out by following Kaylee’s instructions.  The Reever ship is gaining on them.

the Reever shipWith Kaylee’s help in the Engine room, Wash then pulls off a miraculous manoeuvre by turning the ship around and jetting underneath the on-coming Reever ship.  He then instructs Kaylee to initiate Full Burn, which blasts the Serenity into space at a vastly accelerated rate.

a big burnApparently, the Reever ship would not be able to make the same manoeuvre (presumably because it’s too big) and the Firefly is able to make its escape.  The ships crew breath a collective sigh of relief.

rip my clothes off honey!Mal and Zoe listen appreciatively as Wash tells them that they should be able to get to a fuel station where they will need to make some repairs.  Zoe however, decides to take her appreciation a little further. “Sir,” she asks, “I’d like you to take the helm please.  I need this man (meaning Wash) to tear all my clothes off.

Later, Inara is tending to Books wounds.  She listens to the old priest explain the irony of his predicament.  He’d fallen in with thieves, been chased by Reevers and watched a man he had vowed to protect get shot by the Captain. “And I’m not she the Captain was wrong.” Says Book.  It’s pretty ironic, Book seems the most out of place of all the passengers and crew.  What he didn’t mention of course, is that within hours of leaving his monastery – he’s confessing his problems to a whore! – Now that’s irony!

On the bridge, Jayne expresses his concern about providing a refuge to Simon and River.  Mal agrees, but then he asks Jayne how Thomson earlier managed to free himself.  Jayne denies that he helped him.  “But he did try to make a deal with you right?” Asks Mal.

No answer. “How come you didn’t turn on me Jayne?” Asks Mal with a slight smile (?!)
Money weren’t good enough.”  Replies Jayne unconvincingly.
What happens when it is?”  Says Mal slightly more seriously.
Weeeeell, that’ll be an interesting day.” Replies Jayne with a smile.  Very confusing banter that!  They both exchanged what many would consider ‘fightin’ words’ and yet it was all with a smile.

As yet, Jayne doesn’t seem to have done anything to make us think he was un-trustworthy, but maybe he did help Thomson.  I’m not sure he did.  Jayne seems too shallow and transparent.

Simon joins the Captain on the bridge as Jayne leaves.  They discuss his future and Mal suggests that Simon and River stay on board the Serenity.  It’s probably the safest place for them and Mal feels the need for a medical person on board. After a silly ‘why should I trust you?’ conversation, Simon accepts.

And there the show ends! Pretty good I thought. If it had been allowed to air in the proper order, maybe it would have stopped many sci fi geeks like myself wondering if the series would be as crappy as the first episode! In the end, the pilot set up the story very well.

Also (2019 update) apologies for the crappy image quality.  These images were grabbed in the days when you had to buy special equipment to take screen grabs and alas, my equipment was a bit cheep.

I’d rate this a cool 34,878 out of 10 – What did you think?

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Firefly reviews are © 2002 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors permission

Firefly names, characters graphical material and everything else associated with the series are the property of  Mutant Enemy, Inc. and 20th Century Fox.

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