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Old August 20 2010, 05:16 PM   #64
Fleet Captain
Re: Firefly ep by ep; rewatch and reviews

Mal wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I agree, I think "Out of Gas" is one of the best hours of television.
What else would you put in your top hours of TV?

Now that I think about it, for me they'd probably be:
  • TNG's Lessons
  • DS9's Hard Time
  • Angel's Reprise
and maybe rounding out my top 5
  • Space Above & Beyond's Who Monitors the Birds.
with, I suppose, an honorable mention for Doctor Who's Blink and for Babylon 5's Intersections in Real Time.

Seems like a great idea for a thread...
You pipped me at the post for 'Who monitors the birds?' I would also add;
Classic BSG-The Return of Starbuck
New BSG-Scar
Star Trek; Deep Space 9-In the pale moonlight
and the ep of Ultraviolet whose name I can't recall but in which Vaughn is trapped in the warehouse with the sealed vampire coffins just as the sun starts to set


The good;
Lot's of it, if I were to have 2 favourite scenes it would be the admissions nurse just casually accepting the dead bodies into the hospital and Mal remembering what drugs to take by writing it on his hand. Mal's final interrogation of Jayne also excellent, you get the idea he saves him to spare the rest of the crew having to deal with his betrayal rather than for his own sake. The scene where River, Simon and Jayne flee the blue-gloves is a masterclass in building suspense, they haven't seen anything but the approaching screams of their victims coupled with River's terrified babbling produce a real sense of dread.

The bad;
Simon saving the patient is very blatantly designed to make us feel better about the crew stealing medicine from a hospital (but I love River's smile of pride when he does it).

Best line;
Inara; "What have you guys been up to?"
Kaylee; "Oh, we killed Simon and River, stole a bunch of medicine"

Kinky dinky;
Wash wants to take Zoe to a naked beach

Notches on the Serenity bedpost;
Inarra;1-a paying customer who wishes to make her his kept woman, 1 possible, Atherton.
Wash; 1-the missus
Zoe; 1-the hubby

Capt subtext;
Inara is going for a medical examination which she says is routine. But if we follow the theory that she's actually sick ....? Mal once again demonstrates his intimacy with Kaylee, hugging her in a very familar fashion at the end.

How'd they get away with that?
The blue gloved men repeatedly cutting into River's head to perfom brain surgery, ugh! Then to top it all they slaughter the cops with a device which causes uncontrollable bleeding from it's victims.

Total Serenity crew; 8 for this ep, Book is 'away at an abbey'? Do we ever get any other explanation than that? Simon refers to Serenity as 'home'. Mal makes it clear that he continues Jayne's act of betrayal against any of the crew to be against them all
Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River

Subverting the Hollywood cliche;
Simon teaches Mal, Zoe and Jayne enough ER speak to get into the hospital but the admitting nurse just accepts their word as paramedics that the patients died. But Jayne's put so much effort into learning all these medical terms he insists on using them. Which I think is very human. When struggling with the guard it's Jayne who is the one to be bitten when it's normally the other way around, the hero is the one who traditionally does the biting to even the odds against a superior oppenent.

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

Bondage; Simon, River and Jayne in cuffs
Mal; 1
River; 1
Simon; 1
River; 1
Jayne; 1

Knocked out; Simon and River drugged into near death. Jayne knocked out by Mal.
Book; 2
Simon; 2
Kaylee; 1
Mal; 1
Wash; 1
Inara; 1
Zoe; 1
River; 1

Kills; Jayne kills the Alliance marshall with his bare hands
Mal; 11-
Zoe; 6-
Jayne; 7-

Happy high-class hookers in Space;
Inara is expected to undergo a standard medical as a companion once a year (or is she? see subtext). She states the Companion policy about non-commercial dating is 'complicated'.

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 in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.
Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
Ira Steck; 2-The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies my parents told me'.
Michael Nagy; 3-one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon' and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep Dopplegangland.
Cathy Cohen; 2-the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep The Replacement.

Alliance good or bad?;
Zoe and Mal are so rabidly anti-Alliance they won't even set foot on a core world or even look out the window (afraid they might like what they see?). The rest of the crew doesn't share their prejudice and are keen to to get off the ship, Kaylee never having been on a core planet before. Does Mal protect River and Simon from the goodness of his heart or to stick 2 fingers up to the Alliance? The Serenity crew steal medecine from a hospital, sure they can replace it but still?
On the other hand the blue-gloved men have conducted horrific medical experiments on River and brutally slaughter a station full of cops just because they heard River talk?

Firefly speak;
Weak tea=not good
Back birth=idiot
Companion=high class courtesan
Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)
Purple belly=officious bureaucrat
Ta-gow=Oh god!
Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate
Wah=what the hell?
Mah song=quickly
Nu-shu-quong=nice going
Sheinou-niou=no good
Mei, mei=ok(?)

Shot; Jayne shot by some form of stun weapon
Mal; 2-

Crew injured;
Jayne viciously sliced by River and gives her a busted lip in return. Jayne busted up by the guards and by Mal.

Reminds me off;
Simon saving the patient is a scene right out of The Fugitive whilst the blue-gloves are very X-files. Forget to mention it in Out of Gas but of course Bester is the name for both a famous sci-fi author and Walter Koenig's character from Babylon 5.

Questions and observations;
Ironically the ambulance is a Soviet Hind-model helicopter gunship in disguise. What does 'copper for a kiss' mean? Is it like 'Penny for the guy'?
Why do the blue-glove men seem to kill anyone who has heard River talk, even Alliance police? To cover up the secret of what they did to her or does she have some form psychic illness that they're scared she's passing on? Ironically the one time they actually make some decent money it's all the idea of Simon, who Book aside is probably the least criminally inclined of the entire crew, even Jayne impressed by his plan.
Do they sell the drugs they steal for their medical or narcotic value?
Marks out of 10; 8/10, very good stuff, hugely entertaining, we see the Firefly crew pull off a complicated heist and do it with much more aplomb than the Scoobygang or Angel investigations ever managed. We think the main character of the piece is going to be Simon but in a clever turnabout instead it actually turns out to be Jayne and his crisis of conscience is very well written and acted by all.
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