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Firefly: War Stories

Wash: "What this marriage needs is one less husband."

This was a clever, well-written episode about an important but as yet unexplored triangle: Zoe, Wash, and Mal.

It wasn't surprising that Wash was jealous of Zoe's closeness to Mal. Wash specifically mentioned that it bothered him that Zoe obeys Mal. Even the most secure husband would have to feel a twinge. It was very interesting that even before Niska gave her a choice, Zoe chose Wash's life over Mal's, without hesitation. Does she indeed love her husband more than her best friend? Or did she ransom Wash first only because she knew he wouldn't be able to withstand any more torture, and she knew Mal could?

Like most Firefly episodes, this one featured extremely clever dialogue. The whole Wash/Mal sequence with the blindfolds and the electrodes was almost like a comedy skit, although the fact that Mal kept arguing with Wash throughout the torture in order to keep him angry made Mal seem almost superhuman. But then the funny stopped and it just got horrible. Why does every young male nerdy writer/director worship Quentin Tarantino? Guess it could have been worse than an ear. But still, may I say, ick.

The best part was Wash and Zoe saddling up to rescue Mal, and the rest of the crew deciding to go with them. I liked that Wash followed Zoe's lead in the attack without hesitation. I liked the pride that Zoe showed in Wash's exceptional piloting skills ("That's my man"). Shepherd Book was awesome, as well; will we ever learn about his past?

And then there was River. The subtext in this episode, mentioned early on, was that River was also a torture victim as well as a mystery. And we finally saw River do something extraordinary: she took out three guys with a gun, without looking. Kaylee, way out of her depth in the attack, was the only one to see her do it. Kaylee was freaked. I bet they're not playing together again any time soon.

I've been waiting for an episode about Wash and Zoe. Even though this wasn't really what I wanted, it was excellent.

Bits and pieces:

-- The subplot with the apples was well done. Again there was mention of the scarcity of fresh fruit, and the way Mal and Zoe ate apples was used effectively to give us an interesting story about their past together.

-- Also fun was Inara bringing "home" an important female client, an event that certainly excited Jayne. ("I'll be in my bunk.")

-- While Wash and Zoe were arguing, he called her "lamby toes" and she called him "sweetcakes."

-- Did Mal actually order Zoe not to marry Wash, or was Mal just saying that to make Wash angry? And did Mal and Zoe ever have a physical relationship? Were they faking it in that hilarious little "wife soup" coda? ("Take me, sir. Take me hard.")

-- Niska got away. And they lost their substantial profits from the Ariel job. Too bad.

-- Early in the episode, Kaylee said, "No power in the 'verse can stop me." River repeated it after she killed those guys in the space station. River may be right.

Quotable quotes:

Mal: "I love the pitter-patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots."

Wash: "It's Jayne being so generous with his cut that confuses and frightens me."
Zoe: "It does kind of freeze the blood."
(Jayne was obviously still feeling guilty about what he did to Simon and River in "Ariel.")

Wash: "I love that you two are old army buddies, you have wacky stories with rib cages in them, but could you have an opinion of your own, please?"

Simon: "You are my beautiful sister."
River: "I threw up on your bed."

Mal: "Okay, I'm lost. I'm angry. And I'm armed."

Wash: "She's terse. I can be terse. Once in flight school, I was laconic."

Zoe: "We're getting him back."
Jayne: (looking down at Mal's ear) "What are we gonna do? Clone him?"

Niska: "Do you know the writings of Shan Yu?"
Mal: "You starting a book club?"

Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?"
Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

Zoe: "Jayne, this is something the captain has to do for himself."
Mal: "No! No, it's not!"

This was mostly a four star episode, but I'm subtracting one for the ear. Three out of four stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. I've tried to avoid saying this, but I can't help myself: Gina Torres is insanely hot. That final look, with the vest and the loose hair, was just awesome.


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