I am very glad that I chose to watch the pilot episode of Firefly. After having seen 3 episodes from the middle of the season, it’s cool to go back and see how things got started. The first scene in the episode depicts Mal and Zoe during the war. In the later episodes, everyone refers back to Mal and Zoe being in the war together, but this is when we get to see them in action. After seeing this scene from the war, we realize how much they are used to relying on each other, because they were the only ones from their squad left alive after a long and intense battle. It really brings new meaning to their relationship.
The next, and main, part of the episode takes place 6 years later, when Mal is the captain of Serenity (the ship). We see how Book, Simon, and River come on to the ship, and for me, having heard all the stories of Simon and River being fugitives, it all makes more sense after seeing this first episode. We see Mal’s utter stubbornness and need to be right and have everything work, but we also see his intense loyalty to his crew and his ship. So much so, that he is willing to make a deal with a woman who shot him once, because he doesn’t want his crew to get captured because of the cargo he decided to pick up.
In this episode, we also get to see more of Jayne’s character. He’s surprisingly loyal to Mal, and he takes pride in his strength and meanness, but he doesn’t use his strength to bully the crew, just to bully the people trying to kill the crew.
My favorite part of this episode has nothing to do with story line, emotion, or character development, but with a t-shirt. One of my favorite websites has a line of geek pop culture shirts, and my favorite was a t-shirt with a stegosaurus saying to a tyrannosaurus rex, “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” I found it amusing, because of course, t-rexes eat stegosauri, but I had no idea where the line was from, and I didn’t know the context, so I always felt like I missed some crucial part of the joke. The first time we see Wash in this episode, he’s sitting at the controls, playing with two plastic dinosaurs: a stegosaurus, and a t-rex. He makes the dinosaurs have a dialogue, and they seem to be friends until the t-rex declares that he will eat the stegosaurus, to which the stegosaurus replies, “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” This line does not in any way help the plot of the story, but I found it quite satisfying to finally see the context of one of my favorite t-shirts.
I am very pleased with the stories in the Firefly episodes that I’ve seen, and I hope that they continue to be just as enjoyable as I continue watching them for my English class. I especially can’t wait to see more of Jayne and Book, and perhaps some more t-shirt ambiguities will be cleared up. I’ll try to keep you posted on what I find most enjoyable about Firefly, but it’s just so much better to watch them yourself.
Tell me what your laugh lines are!
Curse your inevitable betrayal!