Firefly Watch: Episodes 10 and 11

This is my sixth post in my ongoing series wherein I discuss Joss Whedon’s show Firefly.  Links to all of the previous posts can be found here.

Firefly Episode 10 – War Stories

 

I briefly discuss each episode, but this one has more spoilers relating to the plot than most.

This is an interesting episode for two reasons.  The first is that is calls back to one of the earlier episodes as we run into Niska again.  He was the crime lord from The Train Job, and he has a reputation to uphold about not letting anyone get away from him as Mal did in that episode.  The second reason I really liked this episode is that it gave more backstory about River.

After Mal and Wash are captured doing what should have been a simple drop, Zoe goes to try and buy their freedom.  Niska being who he is, decides to only let one of them go, Zoe chooses Wash and returns to the ship.  So of course they have to go rescue Mal.  After the crew gets over the insanity of the mission, everyone decides to help, including Book, Simon, and Kaylee.

Book obviously has a much more interesting past than he has told anyone on the crew, and I really hope they explore it more in the next four episodes.  I just realized that I’ve said that about 4 or 5 times in reference to different characters in the show, and I’ve meant it every time, the characters really are that interesting.  The part of the episode that really intrigued me was at the very end dealing with River.  Kaylee goes into shock towards the end of the episode when faced with having to possibly shoot some of Niska’s soldiers.  River comes in, picks up the gun and quickly dispatches 3 soldiers without blinking.  She then says “no power in the ‘verse can stop me.”

So the mystery of what was going on with her clears up a little more.  The Alliance was obviously training her to be a superior soldier.  This also explains why they were messing with the part of her brain that deals with emotional regulation.  If you have a brilliant tactician who is completely cut off from their emotions you would have a very powerful weapon on your hands.  Considering Summer Glau (River) is billed second for Serenity, I’m sure that at least her part of the storyline comes to a conclusion, even if other threads of the story are left unresolved.

Not a whole lot else to say at this point except that I’m really intrigued by everything going on in the show, I love the characters, and I can’t wait to watch the remaining episodes.

Firefly Episode 11 – Trash

 

Another recap from a previous episode, Saffron shows up again, this time offering to cut Mal in on a job for a priceless artifact.  The various crewmembers work extremely well at setting up Mission Impossible types of stories, and this is the second time in 3 episodes that they’ve done it.

I had a couple of small issues with this episode though.  The first came when they were just about to steal the gun they’re after and the owner walks in on them.  Just brain the guy, take the gun, and leave.  Especially once he says that he’s called the cops on you.  The second part came at the end, Mal knows that Saffron is going to try and double cross him at some point, hence the final twist at the end of the episode (which really was well done).  So why does he even put himself in a situation where she could get his gun?  Setting up the opening/final shot of Mal naked in the desert was funny, but kind of suffered from idiot plotting.

Even though they played a very minor part in the episode, Simon and River probably had the biggest move in their story.  Along with the brain damage that the Alliance did to River, they’ve also done some other strange things.  One of the effects of this is that she displays ESP in various episodes.  For example, in Out of Gas she realizes that there is going to be a fire before the explosion occurs.  She is also able to read minds, and I think that Simon is starting to realize this.

Jayne gets knocked out in the episode, and of course Simon is called upon to help him, which of course he does.  But there is a very short and very effective scene where Simon confronts Jayne and asks him how much he was offered to sell them out.  Mal was able to figure it out immediately, but he didn’t tell anyone else on the crew.  Jayne was obviously remorseful since he bought apples for everyone in the crew, but didn’t tell them why.  This scene ends up doing a wonderful job of building Simon’s character by showing that he’s willing to trust someone that obviously can’t stand him, and it does an even better job of increasing the mystery around River when she threatens Jayne.

As I’ve said with every episode, really solid and I enjoyed it.  I’m starting to get upset because I’m running out of episodes though.  It really is depressing.

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