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Firefly: Trash

Saffron: "He's my husband."
Mal: "Well, who in the damn galaxy ain't?"

Just another wacky caper episode, and a return engagement with Mal's blushing, psychotic ex-bride, Saffron-Bridget-Yolanda.

We thought Saffron was the Artful Dodger; this episode suggested that she was also Rapunzel, that she had hidden depths. (Were they setting up a future love interest for Mal? We may never know.) Saffron is a good character, but I wasn't all that wildly interested in knowing more about her. There were other parts of the episode that I found more intriguing. Like Mal anticipating Saffron's treachery all along. Like Inara as Mal's failsafe secret weapon.

Was Mal really trying to keep Inara from working in a back-handed kind of way? Why isn't he just straight with her about his feelings? That Mal/Inara conversation was (for me) a lot more interesting than all of the Mal/Saffron scenes. Especially since Inara implied that the Niska misadventure in "War Stories" made Mal afraid to pull another dangerous job, hence the wobbly-headed geisha doll caper.

There was a nudity/vulnerability theme going on, too. When Saffron showed emotional vulnerability, Mal told her, "Seen you without your clothes on before. Never thought I'd see you naked." She countered by stripping Mal of everything and literally leaving him naked. That final scene, with Mal striding about stark naked in front of the crew and acting like nothing was amiss, was just adorable. But I think there was more to it. I think it implied that Mal got his nerve back with this caper, that Niska didn't leave Mal emotionally stripped, after all.

The other interesting dynamic was Simon and River confronting Jayne about his betrayal on Ariel. Simon, who has become one of my favorite characters, chose an interesting way to confront Jayne with his treachery. I have no doubt whatsoever that Simon meant every word, that Jayne would always be safe on Simon's table. River's threat at the end ("Also, I can kill you with my brain") was probably enough to keep Jayne in line for quite awhile. At least until the memory fades.

Bits and pieces:

-- "Our Mrs. Reynolds" occurred half a year ago. I wonder if a year there is a year here?

-- No visible wounds on Mal from "War Stories," and we certainly got a good look. Maybe his ear hurts when it's raining. What was that tattoo on his upper thigh?

-- I enjoyed the Empire Strikes Back cloud city Bellerophon estates. (Isn't Bellerophon the guy who rode Pegasus, the flying horse, in Greek mythology?)

-- I probably don't have to elucidate, but the title, "Trash," didn't just refer to the trash collector that Kaylee reprogrammed. It was also about Saffron, and to some extent, the Serenity crew, since they got that "dregs of society" thing going for them.

-- Liked Zoe punching Saffron out. Somebody had to do it.

-- Monty was in the war with Mal.

-- I often watch episodes a second time with close captioning on so that I can be certain I caught all the dialog. Sometimes there are amusing errors. At one point, Mal called Saffron, "Yo-Saff-Bridge." The close captioner decided this phrase was Chinese.

-- This week's planets: Bellerophon, Monty got pinched on Beylix, and there was mention of Persephone.

Quotable quotes:

Jayne: "Well, as a rule, I say girlfolk ain't to be trusted."
River: "Jayne is a girl's name."
(Somebody finally said it.)

Jayne: "If she starts in on that girl's name thing, I'll show her good and all I got man parts."
Simon: "I'm trying to think of a way for you to be cruder. I just-- it's not coming."

Saffron: "Mmmm. You missed a spot."
Mal: "Can't miss a place you never been."

Mal: "You're using wiles on me."
Inara: "I'm using what?"
Mal: "Your feminine wiles. Your Companion training. Or, some might say, uncanny ability to make a man sweaty and/or compliant, of which I've had just about enough of today."

Inara: "I'm not sleeping with you, Mal."
Mal: "Uh, no. I think I would have noticed. I think my keenly trained senses..."

Wash: "We're in space! How'd she get here?"
Mal: "She hitched."
Wash: "I don't recall pulling over."

Durran: "You've returned to me the only thing I truly treasure."
Mal: "Well then, this is a day I'll feel good to be me."

River: "Also, I can kill you with my brain." Can she? Or was she actually being funny?

Good, but not memorable. Two stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Randomly watched this one last night. I haven't seen Firefly in so long, I forgot how young Nathan Fillion was! Probably the lightest of Firefly fare (which is why I watched it after I was emotionally debilitated by the Dollhouse finale), this episode is one of my 14 favorites. :)

    I was curious about the tattoo too, Billie, so I googled it and discovered it's some ancient Egyptian symbol for peace or something Nathan Fillion got when he was 19.

    Never been a fan of Simon's but I liked him not-threatening Jayne. And "Also, I can kill you with my brain" is legend. River rules.

  2. "Our Mrs. Reynolds" occurred half a year ago. I wonder if a year there is a year here?

    Yes! Excellent question. So many follow-up questions: how many days are the years on the various planets and moons? How many hours are a day? Does the Alliance make everyone follow a central calendar? (They probably do.) Does Serenity have a ship's clock they use to keep time? If you put one twin in a FTL spaceship and keep the other one in a box with Schrodinger's cat as a companion animal, after one Earth year passes, which twin will be angrier?


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