Mark Watches ‘Firefly’: Episode 2 – The Train Job

In the second episode of Firefly, which was actually the pilot for most people, the show settles in to what will be the main storytelling device for the rest of the season. (I think.) As the crew takes on another illegal job, they quickly learn that their line of work can have devastating consequences. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Firefly.

Aside from weird intro and an awkwardly choreographed fight, this episode is pretty much perfect in my book. And now, here’s comes my case to prove why I feel this way.

I was told by friends that FOX royally fucked up the viewing order of the episodes when they originally aired; it’s probably what contributed to the show’s decline and eventual end. So I watched this show with that in mind, that this was actually the first episode the public saw, and it actually made me angry. There was a neat little intro voiced over by Ron Glass, which helped explain the previously-unexplained war scene that opened the real pilot. It felt crammed into the beginning on purpose, to help explain what was going on to the new viewers of the show, but it least it cleared up some moments from the pilot.

What irked me was that if this was the first introduction to the show for anyone, they completely missed out on the fantastic characterization and intriguing plot set-ups that were supposed to be seen beforehand. This episode assumes that you’ve seen things in order, meaning there are little to no introductions to any of the characters present. That had to be utterly confusing for everyone watching!

But there’s no sense whining about the past, because at least the show exists. The Western themes are much more pervasive and blunt in this second episode. (I haven’t said how much I love the music yet, so: the music is fantastic. There.)  Mal, Zoe, and Jayne are in a bar when Mal confronts a man celebrating Unification Day. (FINALLY, I KNOW WHY EVERYONE KEEPS USING THE WORD “BROWNCOATS.”) It helps to explain why Mal has such an aversion towards the Alliance and also sets up the main conflict in this episode.

Much like Western movies, the scene operates with a distinct sense of good and bad. You cheer for Mal, Zoe, and Jayne. It’s clear that the drunken bar men are supposed to be gross, evil oppressors. And how does it all end? With a fantastic punch from Zoe, a chaotic battle, and a hilarious rescue by Wash that utilizes an absurd bluff that no one calls him on.

(For the record, I grew up on Westerns. My dad was obsessed with them, so I’ve grown to love them as well. Which is also why I was super embarrassed a week ago when I admitted I had never seen Duck, You Sucker! Worst fan of Westerns EVER.)

This episode establishes what I think will link most of these episodes together: in order to survive, Mal and his crew will take on whatever job they can find, legal or not, while simultaneously trying to avoid the Alliance at all costs. Having Dr. Simon and River on board proves to be a conflict for the latter, but the bulk of the story deals with the former.

In “The Train Job,” we watch as the crew accepts a job from Adelei Niska to smuggle a set of crates off of a train. Niska is largely forgettable until he has his assistant, Crow, opens a door to show the bloodied and very dead body of the last man who failed to do this job. Again, this show is fantastical, but repeatedly has moments like this to ground the characters in reality. Death is real. And after a pilot where multiple characters were shot, I believe that anything can happen to them here.

I avoided reading the episode description and was completely shocked when both Jayne was shot in the leg and Zoe and Mal learn the shipment was actually a supply of medicine for an impoverished mining town suffering from a painful degenerative disease. What happens here is an interesting moment for me. We’ve seen Mal’s own internal moral system, which fiercely defends his crew and somehow legitimizes taking on Dr. Simon and his sister, but it lax enough for him to shoot a federal agent in the head and, surprisingly, send Crow into the exhaust of his ship. (CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW FUCKING WILD THAT MOMENT IS??? COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED.) I haven’t quite figured out what sort of rules Mal operates under, but it seems to me that he believes the privileged and the well-off are fair game for him to do as he pleases as an amoral atheist. But he gravitates towards people who don’t have it so well, and he treats them with a tough-loving sense of respect.

Part of me also loved how outspoken he was about his atheism and how this clashes with Shepherd Book’s good intentions. It’s rare for a show on a mainstream network to even address the issue, let alone have a character espouse those ideas so openly. LOVE IT SO MUCH.

This episode was well-acted, well paced, and contained a suspenseful story that was largely wrapped up by the end of the episode, but still contributed to the larger narrative of the show. Unless everything after this is awful, I already know I’m going to like Firefly a great deal. This show is addictive already!

Thoughts

  • Mal’s arrogance might possibly be destructive. River’s weird predictions about him aren’t helping, either, but I’m hoping they’ll deal with Mal actually being wrong and it affecting his crew.
  • “Can I have your share?” “No.” “If you die, can I have your share?” “Yes.” BEST DIALOGUE EVER.
  • Kaylee is quickly becoming my favorite character. Her interactions with Inara are redeeming towards portraying sex workers on television. She doesn’t judge, she doesn’t condescend, and she treats Inara as her best friend. She’s interested in an entirely genuine way about being a companion and never bothers to assert herself as a superior woman because of her profession. On top of that, as a character, her bubbly energy never feels naive or stupid, as if she’s not aware of the situation she’s in. All the high fives on the astral plane, Kaylee.
  • Did not expect Jayne to get shot. This show is quick to hand out injuries.
  • Did not expect Mal to get a knife throw to the shoulder! Whoa, that was so quick. But the fight that happens immediately after that is so odd. I feel like it was choreographed. It didn’t feel natural.
  • I’m not one to smile or clap at characters being drugged against their will, but if it ends up with Jayne slurring a line about trying to shoot a man in the head, maybe I’m ok with it.
  • Whedon’s dialogue is sharp and witty, but never too clever for its own good. It feels authentic to the characters. I dig it.

One last thing:

WHAT THE HOLY FUCK IS THAT WHY ARE THEIR HANDS BLUE WHAT THE FUCK


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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342 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Firefly’: Episode 2 – The Train Job

  1. redheadedgirl says:

    Oh good. I'm not the only one who likes Train Job.

    I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to creators dealing with external constriants, and could The Train Job have been better? Yes- mostly by not having it be a half-assed pilot that was written in a weekend, and trying to introduce everyone and their issues in the first two minutes. That was choppy, but Joss did the best he could.

    But my favorite line is Kaylee's "Oh, crime!" in reponse to Simon's "What are we doing?"

    • hassibah says:

      People don't like this ep? I am so out of step with teh fandoms I guess. I loved the whole storyline and that it starts out with a badass barfight, what more do you need?

      • Tanbarkie says:

        I love "The Train Job," and I didn't even know it was "supposed to be a pilot" when I first saw it (on DVD, sadly). It just felt like "episode 2" to me, and slotted nicely in place that way.

      • hassibah says:

        Also it's a little thing, but I really like the actor that plays the dude that explains to them why they need the medicine.

      • bookling says:

        I think it gets hated on a lot because the fact that Fox aired it as a pilot hurt the show.

        • notemily says:

          Yeah and the fact that it's so inferior to the ACTUAL pilot in terms of pilotyness. Like, it'd be fine as a random episode but as a pilot it doesn't work.

          • hassibah says:

            Honestly I think the actual pilot is one of the best things Joss has ever done. MOST tv shows' pilots are usually hella dry and suck a lot worse than any other episodes of the show, so if the actual pilot didn't exist I still thought this was fine. As an individual episode, though, I think it totally rules.

  2. Jenny_M says:

    Oh, I am so glad you love Kaylee! There is nobody better than Kaylee in the 'verse, I am convinced of it. This may also have to do with the fact that I've had a massive love-on for Jewel Staite since she was a wee'un.

    This was the first episode of Firefly I ever saw, and I remember being very confused, but wanting more. I was a big Buffy fan, so even though I thought it was a jumble (not knowing that Serenity was the original pilot that never aired), I committed to stick with it, and I am so glad that I did.

    My only gripe is that Joss had to rewrite a lot of the episode so a lot of the dialogue feels a little…silly, after seeing Serenity. It's just a rehash, and that's a bummer – I would love to see the original script, just to see what was changed. ETA: Not that I blame Joss for this, of course. I just wanted one more opportunity to say F U FOX!

    • bookling says:

      I'm so glad for all the Kaylee love! People usually look at me like my head's on backwards when I say she's my favorite character. I love how she's kind of naive because she just sees the best in people. And the rest of the crew, especially Mal, feel like they need to protect her sometimes, but they never treat her like she's stupid. There's something else that I love about Kaylee, but I don't think it's really been mentioned yet, so I'll hold off.

    • Lolua says:

      Back in the day, "Flash Forward" with Jewel Staite and Ben Foster was a great tween show before tween shows became a big thing. Very quotable, too.
      – "Boys are like dogs waiting to be let out of the car."
      – (on soccer) "They seem to be procrastinating about this whole goal business."
      – "Excuse me while I go shove blunt pencils into my eyes."

  3. affableevil says:

    I adore Kaylee precisely because of what you pointed out – she manages to be upbeat and bubbly while remaining a competent mechanic. I like that she can be cheerful without being an airhead.

    • ldwy says:

      Same here. Love her!

    • affableevil says:

      Also Google tells me that the episodes were aired on Fox in the order of 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 1; 11-13 simply weren't aired. I can't see how they decided that this could possibly make sense to anyone :/

      • Meltha says:

        They didn't think it would. The show was pretty much given the ax as soon as it was put in the kiss of death time slot of 8:00 Friday night. Seriously, Fox just used it as a time filler. In my neck of the woods it was worse than that because they kept pre-empting episodes for basketball games and then never showed them.

    • Hermione_Danger says:

      Kaylee is in my top ten favorite TV characters of all time.

      I just love her. And the whole crew.

      GAH.

  4. elusivebreath says:

    So much to say about this episode!

    One thing I like about Firefly is how shit gets real as soon as the camera starts rolling. First we’re in the middle of a war zone, and now it’s a barroom brawl. I absolutely loved the holographic window, and the way Mal “always seems to be in an Alliance bar on Unification day.”

    I noticed that this episode had some Asians in it, lol. What else…? Oh yeah, why are Russians always evil crime bosses?? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Russian person on TV or movies that was not involved in crime in some way. Is this leftover from the Cold War?

    Absolutely loved the part where Simon tranquilizes Jayne. I think they kind of set it up that Simon’s character, while somewhat less obviously badass than Mal and some of the others, is nonetheless a pretty tough character. I thought this scene was a further illustration of that, and really, is there ANYBODY that thinks Jayne should be in charge of anything??

    (To be cont, b/c apparantly it's too long lol)

    • elusivebreath says:

      I’m still on the fence about Inara’s character. Out of all of them, she seems the least fleshed out, at least so far. We’ll have to wait and see, however.

      I loved the part at the end where you see the guys with the blue gloves on, after all of River’s “two by two, hands of blue” chanting. Oh, and the part where Inara was brushing Kaylee’s hair and Mal shows up. “Do you have time to brush mine?” HILARIOUS.

      Favorite quote: Jayne: "Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in command."

      • That's my favorite quote from this episode too! The whole thing, including Wash's "Did he just go crazy and pass out?"

        Every time I look up quotes on the internet for a wallpaper I make or something though I find a million different versions & I understand that people usually quote it off the top of their heads and can't remember it word for word. I wouldn't remember it if I didn't triple check it from watching the episode then put it into a wallpaper which I can reference to make sure I'm quoting it right.

        "Do you know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get an' beat you with till you understand who's in ruttin command here! And you can't change that by goin' all bendy…"

        I'm not correcting you… I just love quoting it. I'd say it's my favorite Jayne quote ever, but there are just so many I can hardly pick a favorite. Even now after I said it's my favorite quote from the episode I remember the space monkeys quote.

        "Kaylee, what happened in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"

        I love this series so much, it's so quotable.

        • elusivebreath says:

          Everything Joss writes is quotable!! I used to send out a Buffy quote of the day to all my friends via text message every morning and everyone loved it, even the people who didn't watch the show (what's wrong with those people??).

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      Of course Simon's a badass- he broke River out of some high security Alliance place!!!
      Jayne should never be in charge of anything but weapons.

  5. Fuchsia says:

    While I don't hate this episode like some fans do, I probably would've hated it if I had seen it as the first episode. A lot wouldn't make sense and I wouldn't know the characters nearly as well as I did after just watching the pilot. I think it does do a good job of setting up Mal as a character, but that's about it. In this episode, we learn that even though he'll take almost any job he can get to keep his ship flying, he does have some moral guidelines and will refuse/return a job if it violates those. I think that's important to know about him. It's not explained why, but Mal is just the "tough guy with a good heart deep down" captain.

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches Γ’β‚¬ΛœFireflyÒ€ℒ: Episode 2 Γ’β‚¬β€œ The Train Job | Mark Watches -- Topsy.com

  7. echinodermata says:

    When I was in my o-chem lab, we had these blue gloves like the ones in the picture – I kept thinking about firefly and kept singing the theme song in my head (which Whedon himself wrote – that's one talented man, there).

    In conclusion, unrelated Fillion gif
    <img src="http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/4199/fillionstrip.gif"&gt;

  8. Mitch says:

    *throws hands over mouth as well* OH GOD NOT PREPAAAAARED

  9. Hermione_Danger says:

    Hi,

    Please be careful when pointing out specific details like this. It is considered a spoiler because it gives Mark information he doesn't already have (in this case, that the hands of blue are important in some way). Thanks!

  10. theana says:

    Yaaaaay Firefly! I am so happy you are watching this Mark. I have gotten so many friends and family members into Firefly, and I really hope you continue to enjoy it.
    I won't say much more, because I am terrified of being a spoilersaurus, just that you can get those apple peelers you mentioned in the last post in a lot of places, my mom has two (and they are as awesome as you think), and that I am waiting with baited breath for your next post.

    Unrelated to Firefly, would you consider adding a link in the sidebars so that it is easier to jump between Mark Reads and Mark Watches? I don't always check for updates from home with handy bookmarks, and it would make my addiction to your posts that much easier to enable. Consider it?

  11. Hotaru-hime says:

    Blue hands are wearing gloves (you can see them crinkle over his fingertips). I don't know why though.
    This episode is awesome- Crow being shoved into the ship's exhaust was EPIC. But to use it as the premiere episode is fucking retarded- Fox set this show up to fail.

    • cait0716 says:

      I think they're blue because it rhymes with two. What other color/number rhymes are there?

      • πŸ˜› Tee hee And because wearing blue gloves all the time for no reason is a good way to look creepy in scientist way… I love thinking about these things, and how in real life there would be a real reason but in a tv show there would only need to be one reason. It looks good/creepy/sad etc. I look out for Tropes/stuff like this when I read and watch things, which lead me to pick a pairing in the first quarter of a first book which a lot of fans said they felt bashed them over the head when it was revealed at the end of the fourth.
        Ohhh that could loosely be translated as Harry Potter. I'm not referring to that, but Daine/Numair from the immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce.

      • rosepug says:

        Well, there's 3 by 3, hands of pea (green) – or pee (yellow).

        • Hmmmmmm somehow that just doesn't sound creepy.

          River: "Three by three hands of pea"

          Jayne: "Did she just say pee? Gross."

          Mal: "What does that even?"

          Wash: "Maybe they don't wash their hands after they go to the toilet…"

          Zoe: "That's just stupid honey"

          Wash: "Then they get all close to you and try to shake your hand and you know they didn't wash it but you can't say so."

          Yeah, I know, I'm silly. πŸ˜›

  12. Caitlin says:

    Blue hands? They kind of look like gloves to me. You can see the latex folds near the fingernails. Still, it’s a creepy image.

    • tiltingheartand says:

      nitrile gloves, actually. πŸ˜€ (only mad scientists use latex anymore. nitrile holds up better. and fewer people are allergic.)

    • monkeybutter says:

      Haha, I was about to say BECAUSE THEY ARE WEARING BLUE GLOVES! I guess Whedon decided that nitrile gloves are sterile and sciencey, and therefore creepy, and it works.

  13. ripchordgirl says:

    Oh hells yeah, I was about to go to bed but thought "I'll just check on Mark" πŸ™‚
    I love Niska, I kinda wish he was my grandad so he would be all sweet and Russian to me while being an evil crime-lord. *Imagines Christmas day, him giving me sugar cookies while eye-signaling one of his goons to continue torturing their prisoner*.

  14. Mimzy says:

    When he kicks the guy into the ship’s engine intake? That was fucking amazing. That was the very moment that made me oh so glad for my DVDs and oh so pissed because I had missed seeing this show when it was originally on the air.

  15. cait0716 says:

    So my thought process on The Train Job is always something along the lines of this:

    It wasn't the greatest episode. Well, it's never been on of my favorites anyway. Except that it has Mal shoving the guy through an engine. And Niska. And Simon drugging Jayne. And the line about the chain of command. And Inara slapping Mal around. And Inara praying for Mal. And and and… Ok, it's a pretty great episode. Probably not my favorite though.

    Also, I don't think I'd consider Mal an atheist. He believes in God, he just feels utterly betrayed by and angry at Him. His line "You're welcome on my boat, God ain't" doesn't seem like something an atheist would say, since it acknowledges the existence of God, just not the greatness of Him.

  16. Kim says:

    Once you finish this show and you are totally in love with Nathan Fillion, will you try Castle again? The first season at least. NF is a big fan of hiding easter eggs for the browncoats:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_L-uoxmfe8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoGh4u9SXiY

    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RoGh4u9SXiY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RoGh4u9SXiY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/W_L-uoxmfe8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/W_L-uoxmfe8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

  17. kayla says:

    Oh must find the episode thanks Kim!

  18. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    Really? I dunno….he seemed kind of silly and over-the-top until that point when he revealed the body. I think The X-Files has much creepier characters.

  19. Kim says:

    Are you looking forward to Cowboys & Aliens? SPACE IN WESTERN! Title's a little silly, but I trust Jon Favreau

  20. monkeybutter says:

    And a lot safer! Purple are my favorite, though.

    And yeah, I'm having trouble not marathoning it tonight on hulu.

  21. Marc064 says:

    My friend used my love of Firefly to lure me (previously anime-phobic) to Cowboy Bebop. Such an awesome series!

  22. Kim says:

    So weird to hear Mal described as amoral. I've always thought of him as a white knight. He might do something "bad" but it's a larger good to his personal compass–which points pretty true.

    I've always thought that, without Joss's skill at nuance, the men would boil down to some fairly standard romantic archetypes: Wash is the funny guy, Simon's the pretty boy, Jayne's rough & tumble, and Mal's the White Knight.

    • pica_scribit says:

      He's Robin Hood, isn't he? He robs from the wealthy, the nasty, the big corporations who can afford to take the hit, but never from the people who actually need the stuff.

      • hassibah says:

        He's not out to make it his life's mission to help everybody out either, though. I mean he will if there's the oppourtunity but mostly he just has a code of what he won't do and who he won't cross and he sticks to it. But he's still just out to survive, pretty much.

        It's a little thing but one of my favourite lines in all of the show is from the pilot where he's seeing Kaylee after she got shot and she's saying nice things about him (sorry I can't direct quote right now) and he answers "no I'm not, I'm a mean old man." It's a really simple thing kinda ironic and he was being but I think it totally encompasses him and what the end of the war did to him. Seriously, there is a reason why he is my favourite (non-hp) character.

  23. Penquin47 says:

    I sat down to watch Train Job. I knew it was a hastily-assembled pilot and would be kinda weird.

    60 minutes later I had a new favorite TV show, three new TV boyfriends and a TV girlfriend.

    "Always remember I love you." "Sir?" "Because you're my wife." "Right. Sir. Honey."

    I really liked the treatment of Inara, even though I didn't particularly care for the character (it's not that I didn't like her or anything, it's just that she was probably 8th out of the 9 main characters for me). It's not the stereotype of a hooker, it's not the inversion of "hookers are awesome", it's just a woman doing a job that she's gorram good at and that's how she's treated.

    • I loved that line. And I think this is the last time I'm going to comment on here because I loved a line, else it's going to get out of hand. Lets just say I love ALL the lines, EVER. This show is so awesome.

      • niamheryoumind says:

        This show has too many 'favourite' characters, lines, scenes, spaceships and everything else for me to go announcing them individually or trying to choose, too. All of it is my favourite! πŸ˜€

        • Yes, I could never pick favorite quotes or episodes but I reckon I have a fairly consistent order for top 5 characters.
          1. Wash. Always and forever.
          2. Kaylee and Jayne swap around for 2 & 3
          3. See above
          4. Zoe
          5. Mal and Inara swap around for 5 & 6.

          But what do you mean favorite ships? That's easy.
          1.Serenity
          2.Serenity
          3.Serenity
          4etc.

          • niamheryoumind says:

            re: spaceships.
            I mean in a broader sci-fi series/movie meaning. πŸ˜€ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_sp

            Serenity is always no.1

          • niamheryoumind says:

            PS: Did you know the cover of the movie dvd released in Australia had FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS coming out of Serenity's 'nose'? It was hilarious.

            • Reply to other comment: Well since I'm not usually into sci-fi that list would probably apply to the broader favorite space ships list as well.
              Reply to this one: No I didn't know that, The only cover I've seen has the characters with an explosion in the background. I did Google it and found 2 different covers with Serenity engaged in laser battle. That's hilarious πŸ˜€

              "Blow a new crater in this moon" *laughs*

  24. D.J. says:

    I was pretty sure I loved Simon after his monologue and the reveal of River in Serenity, but knocking Jayne out just sealed the deal for me. Holding down the fort until the Captain returns, in his own special and hilarious way.

    Mark, Kaylee's a doll for all the reasons you mentioned, but what I love about her on top of all that is while she's bubbly and innocent, she is definitely someone who knows her own mind and isn't afraid to express it. She has a real toughness all her own.

    • hpfish13 says:

      Seriously, Simon takes out Jayne in this episode!! Jayne!!! And he does it using his own particular skill set. That's one of the many things I love about this show, each of the characters is strong, but in their own special (and as you point out, hilarious) way.

  25. kaleidoscoptics says:

    Re: The blue hands: you'll notice those are gloves.

    Also YAY KAYLEE IS THE BEST THING EVER omg.

  26. bookling says:

    Okay, I really need to start re-watching Firefly again because I keep wanting to talk about things that I THINK are spoilers but I can't remember what episode they are mentioned in. (Not big plot points, but things like more information about what Companions do and something about Kaylee's character.) So guess what I'm doing tonight!

    • Karen says:

      I did the same thing yesterday. heh. I got up through episode 5 (one of my FAVORITES) before I made myself quit and wait for Mark to catch up.

    • notemily says:

      Yeah I'm watching these along with Mark, so I can remember what happens. I know the plot of every episode but I forget all the amazing bits of dialogue.

  27. DameDallas says:

    Same here! I watched the first episode two days ago and ended up watching three more before I passed out! I can follow one chapter at a time with The Hunger Games, but for some reason, I just HAD to keep going with Firefly!

  28. Diane says:

    As any Chuck viewer can tell you, Adam Baldwin plays intoxicated awesomely every time. πŸ˜€

  29. I came into this having seen it all, but I did the same thing with the Hunger Games. I was reading along with Mark fine and then last night I finished the first book :S

  30. ramondestroys says:

    Ahh, this episode was SO good.

    Crow going into the exhaust caught me TOTALLY off guard and caused me to yell "OH, SHIT!" Probably not a good thing to be yelling at 9am on a "sick" day.

  31. whatsername says:

    For me, Mal's outspoken atheism is all the more interesting when held up against the fact that in the Pilot he was wearing a cross, which I rather missed my first time around. It's one more reason for me though why the Train Job sucked (as a pilot) but did make an amusing second episode (which I like perfectly well).

  32. yashiyama says:

    So like, whenever I see that you post a review, I do a little dance. I call it my "Review Dance". πŸ˜€
    (LOL DON'T JUDGE ME)

  33. Danielle says:

    Oh god, the Hands of Blue. Fuck them, man. *shudder*

  34. Will says:

    I really think you need to include more quotes and/or screenshots in these reviews

  35. Enigmaticrose4 says:

    Hands of blue…..

    I can't say the rest without giving out a spoiler! πŸ™

    Keep watching! Your thoughts on this are so much fun to read.

  36. niamheryoumind says:

    It's easy to forget when things happen in the series and I'd forgotten how soon the Hands Of Blue turned up, not to mention how many memorable quotes had already happened.

  37. takashid says:

    two by two, hands of blue…

    i actually didnt notice the blue gloves first time i watched this, i just figured they were alliance elites, then when i rewatched and noticed that connecting to rivers line i was :O

    Also, that part with kicking the guy into the engine? LOVELOVELOVE IT. hes so casual "well darn" -kicks- XD

  38. jonni13 says:

    This is such a brilliant excuse to watch the series again! Luckily hubby is happy to go along with it.

    I'd completely forgotten about this episode, so got to enjoy the ride all over again!

  39. JabberwockyPie says:

    Just one thing I wanted to point out: Nathan Fillion has said in interviews that Mal isn't an atheist. He believes in God, he just REALLY DOES NOT LIKE HIM. (Which, you know, can't totally blame him with what happened in the war.) In some ways that's more interesting than an actual atheist.

    • notemily says:

      Yeah I got the impression that Mal thinks God abandoned him, and he's pissed off and wants nothing more to do with the whole religion thing. But just because he doesn't believe in a fair and just God doesn't mean he doesn't believe in A God.

  40. Hanah says:

    So people seemed to like my flaily capslock-y reactions to the pilot so I figured I'd write them again for this episode. But first, YES totally agree with basically everything you have put here Mark, especially Kaylee being your favourite because she is absolutely mine as well. <3333 I LOVE HER

    Oh god I'm excited for this already…
    LOL random dancing girl walking around the pub. Doesn't she get in the way?
    GO ZOE. Chinese Chequers is awesome
    Is that a Godfather impression? *snort*
    NO MAL DON'T DO IT. RESTRAIN YOUR RAGE
    Oh shut up annoying drunk man :/
    Boy you can smell the testosterone…
    NEVER STOP BEING A BAMF ZOE
    Those are AMAZING pretend windows
    Is Mal wearing a crop top?!
    IT'S AN OLD-FASHIONED COWBOY BAR BRAWL EXCEPT WITH PLANETS IN THE SKY. DID I MENTION I LOVE THIS SHOW?
    Oh now that's just awesome. Go Wash
    YAY KAYLEE (can totally spell these names now :P)
    Have I mentioned that I love the opening credits/theme song? It's really restrained but totally brilliant
    OMG that's horrific D: Poor River :'(
    Ooooh Latin symbolism. Foreshadowing?
    Oh my god what the hell happened in the engine room?! (Hee space monkeys!)
    I officially ship Kaylee/Inara. They are so cute and lovely. I do also ship Kaylee/Simon though. On reflection, I may omniship this whole cast…
    Inara is AMAZING. Shut up Mal, go be bitter somewhere else
    Oh hello sexual tension, I remember you
    Ha evil man with Tiffany lampshade. I cannot take him seriously. Loving the collar pin chum
    Uh..wtf? Also dude, please stop explaining. We get what you mean.
    OMG IT'S THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. IN SPACE <333
    So who is the person in yellow apart from obviously massively important?
    LOL FAIL
    Hahaha oh Shepherd, stop talking.
    I will say again, Zoe I love you.
    Omg omg omg I may die of cute
    Jayne you're such a grumpy bastard. And shut up about River >:(
    No no stop talking River can hear!!
    That…looks terrifying. OW
    Oh shit. Is this a trap?
    Did Jayne get shot? What are Mal and Zoe going to do? THE TENSION, IT'S NOT GOOD.
    Oh. Well. That was easy
    Oooooh is she seeing the future?
    ROCK ON SHEPHERD ILU
    So they stole the medicine to cure the planet? UH OH MORAL COMPASS DECISION
    Shut up Mal, now's not the time to get cocky
    JAYNE SHUT THE FUCK UP, SERIOUSLY
    HAHAHAHA 'Angels…' Simon you're awesome
    WOO INARA.
    Oh shit that's not good
    That guy is meant to be intimidating but I sort of just think he's sweet
    OH SHIT IS GOING DOWN DON'T LET KAYLEE GET SHOT AGAIN
    FUCK YES INARA. Oh, it was Jayne. WELL FUCK YES JAYNE THEN!
    Uh oh
    Go on, let them go sheriff. YAY
    I think we haven't seen the last of the cute little d- or not! GO MAL
    Incidental music on this show? Is fabulous
    Is that her creepy prophecy again? Are they going to be wearing blue gloves?! OH SHIT YES THEY ARE
    THIS SHOW IS STILL AMAZING AND I LOVE IT. THANK YOU MARK FOR FORCING IT INTO MY LIFE

    • BinahtheBold says:

      Hahahah this is awesome. It's like my internal monologue decided to comment on Mark's blog! πŸ˜‰

    • takashid says:

      once again this is hilarious. But you didnt mention the awesomeness of Mal kicking that douche into the engine! =(

      • Hanah says:

        I did! But I called him a cute little dude rather than a douche and then got distracted by the music before saying anything apart from 'GO MAL' so I'm not surprised you missed it. πŸ˜›

        BASICALLY IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME

  41. PJG says:

    In the real pilot, the first scene with Kaylee, Mal, and Jayne, Jayne is complaining about Kaylee being "too cheery" and Mal responds about how thats "our little Kaylee" and how no one can take her cheeriness away from her. Even when she's shot… she's still cheerful caretaker. That has an amazing way with machines/engines. They "talk to her."

    Seems somewhat of a sibling relationship with Kayless and Jayne, no?

    The opening shows the year to be 2571…. think about what was 500+ years in OUR past— 2010-500 = 1510. Just 8 years after Europeans widely discovering and getting active in the Americas….. culturally, what has stayed the same, what has evolved, what have we rediscovered of that time?? I like look at the world building in the show and sensing maybe its not quite so anachronistic as it seems at first blush.
    For instance, I love how the "priest" is now a Shepherd. No word one what faith it is (or amalgamation of faiths from our time) it may be, though Inara clearly has all sorts of eastern influenced religious articles ini her shuttle.

    • hassibah says:

      I actually thought Jayne had a crush on Kaylee, and it was at least part of the reason that he hated Simon (not all of it, but part.)

      • takashid says:

        i got that feeling too! when she got shot he was hovering outside the med bay looking all worried, i thought that was a sign that he liked her somewhat.

  42. takashid says:

    i guess they dont get sucked in because they dont stand behind it. Mal kicked him into the pull of the engine. The crew probably are all already on the ship when the engines are on usually, but this time they had some talking to do.

  43. tethysdust says:

    I really liked what they showed about Mal's morality in this episode. I was expecting it to be like a huge dilemma at the end, because they'd be afraid to go back on the deal with Niska. Instead there was:

    Paradiso guy: "When a man learns the details of a situation like ours, well then he has a choice."
    Mal: "I don't believe he does."

    Though Mal's moral code seems pretty unusual to say the least, I appreciate that he is someone who stands by his convictions no matter what.

  44. EldaTaluta says:

    I've nothing constructive to say.

    Instead, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. So much. I missed it when it originally aired, and am so angry with FOX now.

  45. bookgal12 says:

    Yes, yet another person has fallen for the awesomeness that is Kaylee! *insert manical laughter here* I love her interaction with Inara, she reminds me of how I interact with my friends from time to time. She also has enough positivity to kill the undead if she had to. It's been awhile since I have seen it, but it still has a hold on my memory. I love the fact that nature of cargo makes Mal make different plans, because he realizes that he is taking things away from those who really need it. I also love his interaction with Inara when she pretends he is her servant, it makes me wonder if that slap hurt or not.

  46. notemily says:

    "I'm thinking we'll rise again." I read a great article once on Firefly and how it borrows from Civil War imagery, and this is the most blatant example. I love that line.

    My DVD set doesn't have a voice-over from Ron Glass! How are you watching these?

    The moment where he kicks the dude into the engine is such a badass, awesome moment. I think a lot of people fell in love with the show right there. You know, people who like violence and dudely stuff more than interesting characters and witty dialogue. (Not me. Although I do appreciate badassery.)

    "They tell you to never hit a man with a closed fist, but it is on occasion hilarious."

    The part where Book talks about Simon going from the central planets to the fringes of the system totally reminded me of the Hunger Games! Evil oppressive government in the middle, downtrodden citizens on the edges. Whee!

    Kaylee is the best ever. Although the tendency for straight guys who like this show to make Kaylee their Ideal Woman kind of bugs me. Like, we get it, you like a girl who knows her way around an engine but is also adorable. Any kind of Ideal Woman Fantasy bugs me though.

    "So, what are we doing?" "Crime!"

    "Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?" One of my all-time favorite lines on this show.

    You know Inara loved to have an excuse to smack Mal in the face. Those two.

    I never notice if fights feel choreographed or not. It's not as interesting to me as character development.

    Ahahaha the blue hand guys. SO ~MYSTERIOUS~

    I love the "two by two… hands of blue" line, too. Joss is great at little poetic things like that, like the "Can't even shout, can't even cry" song from the episode of Buffy with the Gentlemen.

    I dressed as Inara for the opening night of "Serenity" and the outfit I wore was similar to the red one she wears here (it's actually one she wears in the movie, with a gold jacket over the red dress). I have the hair, so she's one of the few television people I can dress up as. The glasses kind of ruin it though. My dress was kind of badly made so I didn't look as awesome as she does, but it was fun anyway! My roommate dressed up too, but we haven't seen that outfit yet.

  47. lindsay says:

    Niska is all kinds of my favorite side-villain ever. He's like this adorably creepy old geppetto man I simultaneously want to hug and run the hell away from. You have no idea how much I wish him and Sam Elliot were my grandfathers. I want that SO MUCH.

    And Kaylee is totally my favorite (well, after River, because I love the crazies). Mostly because she proves that mechanics IS NOT JUST FOR BOYS, and she has a teddy bear on her pants.

    Also, as this is my first time commenting (I just recently got into reading your reviews), I would just like to say that you're awesome and I love you in a totally platonic-internet way. πŸ™‚

  48. Stephalopolis says:

    Whoa, holy info dump batman! Okay, so Earth ran out of resources, so they took to the sky? And that battle we saw at the beginning of episode one was the fight between the independent planets that didn't want to join the alliance and the pro-alliance planets? I still have some questions, but that opening did a lot to clear them up.

    Overall, it was a good episode. I like the fact that it confirmed that Mal is a "good" guy and does have some morals. And like you Mark, I like the fact that this is a mainstream show that is showing you can be "good" without being a Christian.

  49. Actually, when it first aired I refused to watch it because I thought it was a rip-off of CowBe.

    I know, I'm stupid XD. Of course, I didn't know it was Joss effing Whedon's back then. And after all I don't think he watches anime. But even then, they're both Space Westerns with AWESOME music about a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who do jobs and never get paid in a future without aliens, but in CowBe they're perfectly legal bounty hunters with Dark Pasts.

    BTW, I totally recommend Cowboy Bebop for a later Mark Watches, it's just 26 episodes and a movie and AMAZING. Really, everybody should watch it if only for the music.

  50. eleniel says:

    I just started watching Firefly for the first time and am reading your reviews as I watch the episodes. It is interesting to me that you find the portrayal of Mal's atheism to be positive; IMO so far it is falling into the "atheists are just mad at God" trope/stereotype/whatever. During the battle at the beginning of the pilot we see Mal pray and kiss a cross pendant: he clearly WAS religious six years ago, but now he's lost his faith (because of being betrayed/abandoned by his superiors, and so many of his comrades dying, I guess?) and, for example, goes out of his way to try and piss off Shepard just because he is a preacher. I'm not saying that losing faith isn't a valid character arc (and hopefully it will develop further, in which case I will totally rescind my criticism here), but it does fall into the annoying stereotype that atheists are just atheists because something terrible happened to them that they expected god to prevent and now they hate god. Most atheists (like myself!) are atheists because they… don't believe in god! So there's nothing to be angry at, by definition. (Though, at the same time, I wouldn't want it to be something he keeps completely to himself, either. It can be a fine line, especially with a… rude, or… blunt character like Mal.)

    Anyway, I do have faith (ha!) that this is something that will develop further, but this was just something that bothered me after the first two episodes.

  51. L says:

    You have to rewatch the eps with the commentary. So insightful. And i can't believe I just found this blog. XDD

  52. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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