Firefly ep by ep; rewatch and reviews

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by saturn5, Aug 4, 2010.

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  1. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    I agree. I love "War Stories" because it shows the depths of Mal's character, and the loyalty among the crew towards each other.
  2. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Right about the bondage but I'll stick with my mark

    Trash

    The good;
    Real white knuckle stuff with Zoe and Kaylee on the garbage barge, Indy snatching his hat close. Also love a paralysed, terrified Jayne at Simon's mercy calling out 'Anybody there?" only for River to stick her head around the corner of the door, for such a little thing she can be extremely sinister ("When did your little sister become unbelievably scary?"). 2nd appearance for Saffron and when you see her turn up you just know it's going to be a good one, the interplay between her and Mal and the bitchy rivalry between her and Inara is delicious. Really like Monty too, hope we see him again, with beard or without.

    The bad;
    Doesn't anyone notice a bloody great spaceship like Serenity screwing with the garbage?

    Best line;
    Saffron; (of Mal) "He's my husband"
    Mal; "Well who the hell in the galaxy ain't!?"
    plus
    Doren; (after Mal has explained they're here to steal his property but that Saffron lied to him) "I appreciate your honesty...not you know, a lot...but...."

    Packing heat;
    The whole plot revolves around 'The Lassiter', an antique laser pistol of untold value (check out Jayne's double take when he hears the name). We've seldom seen projectile energy weapons in the Fireflyverse, most people seem to still rely on lead. Noticeably the police on the core worlds seem to use some form of advanced stun guns whilst those on the outer planets stick with bullets. Because they need more firepower out in the wilds or just haven't been issued the new weaponry yet? Inara with a gun, the first time we see her with one. Needless to say it's an elegant, delicate looking affair, maybe a Ruger .22 or something similar.

    Kinky dinky;
    Naked Mal. Give Joss his due, whilst he has plenty of female nudity on his shows he makes sure there's plenty of male eye candy too (Spike, Angel, all the Actives in the Dollhouse showers). He frisks Saf-Brid-Yol commenting he's "never been there before'.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost;
    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester


    Capt subtext;
    One thing that was suggested to me in feedback for my review of War Stories is that Inara's customer was able to provide sophisticated medical equipment at the drop of a hat which Simon uses to sew Mal's ear back on. At the end the crew wonder out loud how she's able to do that so easily but if we do believe that Inara is sick, maybe this was all intended for her as part of her treatment?
    Inara accuses Mal of avoiding the core planets not through his hatred for the Alliance or wish to avoid law enforcement but because he's jealous of her clients and wants to stop her working. Mal doesn't mind be called a thief, he just objects to being a 'petty' thief? Or does Inara just mean he's petty about her and a thief? Perhaps Inara resents Saffron so much because she recognises her as a fallen version of herself?
    How'd they get away with that?

    .
    Total Serenity crew; 9-Inara refers to 'our cut' and actually participates in the plan which is unusual for her (or at least she's the backup for when it inevitably all goes wrong). Simon and River inform Jayne they won't kill him for his betrayal because they consider him part of their crew.
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book


    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Will
  3. Obey Wann Former RMFF CR & SW Region RSA

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2000
    star 6
    Wow, your standards are.... tough. No 10 for War Stories or Jaynestown? What is a 10/10 for you? ;)


  4. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    The best line in "Trash," in my opinion, is at the beginning of the episode,
    While Mal and Yo-Saf-Bridge are point guns at each other, Mal's friend says, "You two know each other?"

    That kind of humor and the camaraderie is what made Firefly as a show for me.
  5. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Firefly has yet to totally hook me, no 10/10 for me yet


    THE MESSAGE
    The good;
    Love the ice planets, someone should make those for real. We see more of Mal and Zoe during the war pre-Battle of Serenity and nobody pines as well as Kaylee does (except Willow?)
    The bad;
    Kinda a weak story with not that great a denoument.

    Best line;
    Zoe (to Tracey); "The first rule of war is never to let them know where you are"
    Mal (exposing himself to the enemy and firing wildly) "Here I am! Here I am!"
    Zoe; "Of course there are other schools of thought"
    also like;
    Jayne (non-plussed by Tracey's unexpected ressurection but observes) "Spry for a dead fellow!"
    and
    Tracey; "Do you think I'm stupid?"
    Mal; "In every possible way"
    not to mention
    Mal; "There's always someone out there keeping a bullet with your name on it. The secret is to die of old age before they get a chance to use it"
    which leads to;
    Tracey; "You killed me"
    Mal; "You killed yourself, I just carried the bullet for a while"
    Packing heat;
    Mal's still trying to offload the Lassiter from Trash but he may have to wait a while until the heat cools off. Jayne takes the opportunity to load up with ammo at the spaceport, considering all the different types of guns they use bullet resupply must be a nightmare. We see Zoe take a H&K G36 from the Alliance soldier she kills, the type of weapon we later see her and Mal use in the battle of Serenity. The Browncoats seem to use M16s and Mal has a H&K UMP submachinegun. Tracey takes a H&K P9 pistol from the crew.
    Kinky dinky;
    Jayne infers that seeing corpses puts him in the mood for sex but is quick to deny necrophilia. Naked Tracey.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost;

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester


    Capt subtext;
    Womack threatens the postman with homosexual rape in prison. Mal straddling naked Tracey.
    How'd they get away with that?
    Simon cutting Tracey, yeesh!
    .
    Total Serenity crew; 9-
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes.
    Bondage; I've been reminded that I didn't include Mal and Wash tied up by Niska in War Stories so...
    Mal; 2
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Knocked out;
    Book; 2
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 2
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1
    Women good/men bad;

    Kills; Zoe kills 2 Alliance soldiers during the war. Mal kills Tracey who seems very resilent, perhaps due to his organ smuggling surgery?
    Mal; 12-
    Zoe; 12-
    Jayne; 11-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;

    Know the face?

    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)
    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible
    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel
    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)
    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.
    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.
    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men i
  6. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    I would agree with this sentiment. It seemed to be a little shallower story, however it does have among one of the most memorable, and potent lines of the whole series:

    One of the best aspects of Firefly, and sci-fi in general, is the exploration of humans and their foibles, and strengths. This is one of those episodes that explores the depths of the bonds between Mal and his old life in the Browncoats, and his new life with his crew. It explores more of his history, as well as his character that Badger references in "Serenity." In that episode, Badger calls Mal a soldier in a den of thieves. As the show progresses, we see Mal struggling between the soldier, the man of honor, and the smuggler trying to get by in the 'Verse.

    Also, there is the Western cliche of a lawman working the other side of the law to save his own hide.
  7. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    HEART OF GOLD

    The good;
    Stonking great battle, some lovely Inara/Mal stuff and sex aplenty for everyone. Small scene but I love the bit where Mal is doing his best John Wayne impression organising the defence of the brothel and then starts to panic when Pateleen goes into labour only to be saved by level-headed Simon (her kid must have the strangest trio of midwives ever).

    The bad;
    Silver foil can't hide the cheapness of the sets. Didn't they think to lock up or put a guard on Serenity overnight? If Jayne can take out the M60 gunner on the back of the hovercraft with his M14 can't he just slot Ranse and then it would all be over? You also wonder that Ranse just hands over his deadly, pride and joy pistol to the first stranger who admires it?

    Best line;
    Nandi;(of the Firefly crew) "If they're got guns and brains that's all I need"
    Inara; "Well they've got guns...."
    Packing heat;
    Too many guns to count but notably Jayne with his M14 and the return of Wash's Colt Cobra .44. Ranse wears a fancy laser pistol which is rare sight for a non-core world. I'm informed that Shepherd's weapon in War Stories was a Goncz GA-9 pistol, great gun enthusiasts on the Xena boards.
    Kinky dinky;
    Inara bursts in on Mal 'handling his weapon'. She prefers his dinky Colt 32 instead (Wash's 'Leave no man behind' gun from War Stories). Mal and Jayne indulge themselves at the bordello with Jayne in particular getting into some hi-jinks with his blonde to judge by his transmission to Mal just before the gunfight.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Mal finally get's some action. Jayne get's so much he might leave the crew in debt to the Madam.

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester
    Jayne; 1-at least 1 Heart of Gold whore and possibly many others
    Mal; 1-Nandi

    Capt subtext;
    Obviously the idea is that Nandi is a substitute for Inara. Does Mal take up with her because she's 'An independent' and not tainted in his eyes with her support for the Alliance? There are also male whores, one wonders are Companions exclusively female or do they also have male members...oh for a different phrasing.
    When Mal shows no interest in her girls Nandi wonders if he's gay? His answer that 'I LEAN towards the womenfolk' is strangely ambiguous. One could speculate that Ranse represents the dark side of Mal himself, you wonder after this ep will Mal continue to use the word whore as an insult?
    How'd they get away with that?
    The scene where Ranse humiliates Chari on the saloon balcony is just unwatchable

    Total Serenity crew; 9-
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    Having met the villain tough-guy Mal wishes to bravely run away. Jayne the callous womaniser actually likes to snuggle with his hooker. Pateleen shows the father his newborn son and then blows his head off in front of her baby with a .357 Magnum.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes. Misogynists who get what's coming to them.
    Bondage;
    Mal; 2
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Knocked out;
    Book; 2
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 2
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 1
    Women good/men bad;
    Rans tells the woman pregnant with his child that if necessary "I'll cut it out of you!" He really is just scum, reminds me of Caleb. The scene where Mal compliments him "She's a beauty" and he takes it to mean his sidearm rather than his wife really sums up the character right there.
    Kills; I figure 5 each for Mal, Jayne and Zoe
    Mal; 17-
    Zoe; 17-
    Jayne; 16-
    Wash; 2
    River; 3

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;
    In this case, low class hookers in space. Inara draws a distinction between Companions and whores but seems to have no problem wit
  8. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4

    OBJECTS IN SPACE
    The good;
    All of it, very, very good, especially love the opening of Summer as she prowls around the ship listening to everyone's thoughts, the character of Jubal Early, the crew's meeting to discuss River and her plan is inspired.

    The bad;
    River's reluctance to use firearms to dispose of Early seems a little strange, she's never seemed to have any reservations before. Plus shooting him would be a lot more humane than leaving him to suffocate?

    Best line;
    Simon; "My sisters a ship, we had a complicated childhood"
    plus
    Mal; "If I wanted medical jargon I'd talk to a doctor"
    Simon; "You ARE talking to a doctor"
    and
    Simon; "Come on out Summer, the nice man wants to kidnap you"
    Packing heat;
    River get's her hands on Jayne's Desert Eagle 44. Magnum (which dwarfs her), possibly because she senses the impending threat of Early. Jayne says it won't penetrate the ship's hull, that not even Vera could do that. Early has a 'finely crafted pistol' but it seems to be a pure prop gun rather than any contemporary firearm. On his commentary Joss says he doesn't like guns but Buffy aside you'd be hard put to accept that to judge by his shows/films.
    Jayne boasts about once hitting a man at 500yrds with a bent scope (Patience's men in Serenity?)
    Kinky dinky;
    Early threatens to rape Kaylee to get her co-operation. We take it that when he talks of giving Kaylee and 'present' and ridding her off a 'problem' he means River but maybe he takes her as a virgin and is telling her they're going to have sex? River observes he's all about "Power, control, pain'
    River voyeuristically 'mindrops' on Wash and Zoe getting kissy on the bridge (aside from Homer and Marge they seem to be the most sexually active married couple ever). Topless Simon for the straight girls and sly boys (Joss admits he doesn't mind giving his audience some cheesecake) plus him playing footsie with Kaylee. He also relates the story of some youthful streaking to celebrate his graduation as a surgeon.
    Book is celibate but avoids the question of masturbation.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; we don't know what happens between Kaylee and Early after he ties her up but I don't think so. She also relates a possible story about bedding a 14 year old 'genetic experiment' but again, unconfirmed.

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;1-Bester
    Jayne; 1-at least 1 Heart of Gold whore and possibly many others
    Mal; 1-Nandi

    Capt subtext;
    Mal says that he's perfectly fine with Kaylee never having killed anyone, he wants to keep her the one sweet and innocent thing in his life. Early's fate, left hanging in space with an uncertain future is a metaphor for the series itself.
    When Jayne threatens that he and Wash will 'Go somewhere' over his teasing Wash says he hopes it's somewhere with candlelight.
    How'd they get away with that?
    Early threatening Kaylee is hard to watch as is his pistol whipping Inara across the face. Early licks the ship? Is he descended from Benton Fraser RCMP?

    Total Serenity crew; 9-
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River, Book

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    We expect Book to tell the truth about being knocked out but he actually lies. We think Jayne is reaching his arsenal when he pulls the curtain back but actually he's just grabbing a blanket. Kaylee actually gives in, surrenders to Early and let's him tie her up, betraying River to him.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes. Misogynists who get what's coming to them.
    Bondage; Kaylee tied up by Early
    Mal; 2
    River; 1
    Simon; 1
    River; 1
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Kaylee; 1
    Knocked out; Book and Mal by Early
    Book; 3
    Simon; 2
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;3
    Mal; 3
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
  9. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    SERENITY; the movie
    The good;
    Obviously benefits from a greater budget especially in the lab scenes. Cool opening tracking shot. Love River and Zoe trading their little look during the robbery and love River's goggles. Stonking great spaceship battles in a series where we haven't seen that before. The scene where they slip through the Reaver fleet is truly creepy.
    The bad;
    Mal's getting an innoculation at the start. Never seen that before but it neatly informs us that Simon is a doctor. Disappointing that we get no Saffron or Jubal Early but you can't have everything.
    Best line;
    Mal; "If I'm not back in an hour come rescue me"
    Zoe; "And risk MY ship?"
    plus
    Simon; (to River who has just survived a Reaver attack, massive gunfight and crash) "Are you ok?"
    River; "I swallowed a bug"
    and
    Mal; "You want to be in charge?"
    Jayne; "Yeah"
    Mal; "Well...you can't!"
    Packing heat;
    Serenity finally gets some exterior arnament in the form of Book's Bofors like flak-gun. Maybe the Alliance allowed private citizens to own what weapons they like but forbade the arming of ships themselves? Inara uses some form of Companion bow and arrow, as Joss observes, very Wonder Woman. Jayne doesn't use Vera instead having an H+K G36 and his grenades. Mal has an Armalite AR-18 which he later gives to Zoe, most other crew use MP5Ks plus Zoe's Mossberg shotgun.
    Kinky dinky;
    River voyeuristically watches her brother and Kaylee having sex. Maybe the subtexters did have a point? Kaylee appears to have been using a self-pleasuring device which horrifies Mal (who seems to like to think of Kaylee almost as his virgin daughter) but intrigues Jayne. The crew still like to eavesdrop on Mal and Inara for gossip/thrills. Mal cross dresses again, disguising himself in a companion's dress and may have gone through Inara's clothes (for her scent or to try them on?)

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Simon and Kaylee, at last

    Inarra;3+1 possible, Atherton.
    Wash; 1-the missus
    Zoe; 1-the hubby
    Kaylee;2-Bester, Simon
    Jayne; 1-at least 1 Heart of Gold whore and possibly many others
    Mal; 1-Nandi
    Simon; 1-Kaylee

    Capt subtext;
    Note River actually sniffs Inara's bed in Kaylee's video. Mal considers Fanty 'pretty'.
    How'd they get away with that?
    All and everything the Reavers do! The slow sword impalement is also nasty as is desecrating the dead by strapping them to Serenity, even Book.
    Total Serenity crew; 7- When we meet the crew Inara and Book are no longer part of it (the ship and crew are literally and figuratively falling apart). Inara rejoins but Book and Wash die. River now takes Wash's place as the co-pilot of Serenity.
    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River,

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
    Facing the Reavers our heroes bravely run away. Indeed in the end they leave it to the Alliance troops to fight them, THEY save the day. Amazingly the villain actually survives. Mal pushes the guy off the mule and leaves him to the Reavers. We never do get to hear Book's story. Mal the noble hero never hesitates to shoot unarmed people.
    Whedon cliches;
    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks. Women in boxes. Misogynists who get what's coming to them. Sex-bots. People with subliminal triggers.
    Bondage; River in cuffs
    Mal; 2
    River; 2
    Simon; 1
    River; 2
    Jayne; 1
    Wash; 1
    Kaylee; 1
    Knocked out; Jayne and Simon knocked out by River, River knocked out by Simon's magic word
    Book; 3
    Simon; 3
    Kaylee; 1
    Jayne;4
    Mal; 3
    Wash; 1
    Inara; 1
    Zoe; 1
    River; 2
    Women good/men bad;

    Kills; Inara really participates in the fight for the first time. I'll give Jayne and Zoe 10 Reavers each, River 30 and everyone else 5. Amazingly Mal only kills 2 people.
    Mal; 19-plus one possible, Jubal Early
    Zoe; 27-
    Jayne; 26-
    Wash; 2
    River; 33
    Simon;
  10. Raph1613 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 4
    Well put.

    I still can't believe none earned a 10 from you.
    "...there are different schools of thought..."
  11. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Subverting the Hollywood cliche:

    "I am a leaf on the wind. See ho-" [face_skull]
  12. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    Well put.

    I still can't believe none earned a 10 from you.
    "...there are different schools of thought..."[/quote]
    "Some people juggle geese!"

    Anyway, I also find it hard to believe that none of them got a 10, but that is just me. "Objects in Space" is one of my favorite episodes, because it shows the depth of the relationship between the different crew members, and how far, especially Simon, the crew is willing to go to help one another.

    Jubal Early was definitely the villain that the show needed, a constant threat, rather than just the ambiguous Alliance.I think the Operative stepped in to that roll nicely as well, though we definitely see a harder edge to Mal, much like what we see in "Serenity" and "The Train Job" as compared to late episodes.

    I honestly would not mind seeing another movie, with the fall out from the movie "Serenity" and the Operative going rogue, and maybe being hunted by the Hands of Blue.
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