Mark Watches ‘Firefly’: Episode 7 – Jaynestown

In the seventh episode of Firefly, the crew visits the Canton territory for a job, returning to a place Jayne once had trouble with. When Jayne learns that his actions turned him into a local hero, he revels in the opportunity to be liked for once. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Firefly.

Oh goodness, this episode is seriously incredible. I don’t even think my notes for it include a single complaint at all. It’s dense, hilarious, revealing, and has possibly my favorite ending to an episode yet. I am so entirely happy that you guys told me I should watch this show.

There are four plot lines twisting throughout the narrative and I’ll do my best to address them all, since they all play so heavily into the end of the story.

This episode deals with a citizenship that is openly oppressed; I found it interesting that Whedon/Ben Edlund called them “Mudders.” It seems like a direct reference to some of the more brutal slurs directed at people who live in the Middle East or in Africa, and the life lived by these people, who harvest mud for nearly no pay and with no real rights, is possibly the most direct form of oppression in Firefly. It’s not even a metaphor at this point; it’s pretty much spelled out by the foreman.

What unfolds was so shocking to me that, just like the characters on the show, I simply sat there, jaw open. In the center of the work field stands a life-sized statue of Jayne composed out of mud.

I couldn’t believe it. And there’s no better character on this show to have this episode center around: Jayne, while hilarious and usually well-meaning, isn’t exactly the most likable person in the world. So having an entire time worship him? Brilliance.

As this is unfolding, we get to see a bit more into Inara’s world. I have to give a lot of credit to Ben Edlund, the writer for this episode, for taking her scenes so seriously. We’ve only sort of had references to what Inara does as a companion, but here we see everything aside from the sex act itself. There’s no jokes at her expense and the episode makes no attempt to demonize her profession, treating it with just as must respect as she treats it.

Sex work, when displayed on television or in movies, is rarely this sensitive or positive. I’m not saying it’s absolutely perfect, but I appreciate the steps the writers on this show have taken to assure that we’re not falling into the same familiar and damaging tropes we’re all accustomed to seeing.

Simultaneous to this (there’s seriously a lot going on in “Jaynestown”), Book offers to look after River as Simon goes in to town to help out Mal and the crew with their job. I don’t claim to be much of an oppressed minority for my (lack of) religious belief, but being atheist means that I’m either underrepresented or misrepresented by virtually every medium in pop culture. (The last episode of Glee that I ever watched dealt with atheism and made it into such a hilarious stereotype that I finally gave up on the show.)

Now, I’m not saying River is an atheist or that her scenes with Book are necessarily some grand atheist statement at all, but I kind of couldn’t believe the scene where she corrects the Bible was ever allowed on FOX at all. There’s a definite humor the the event, at least initially, before Book becomes upset at the very concept of it all. Despite being so brief, his explanation of “faith” was heavier than I expected. Maybe it’s just a short scene, but I liked that the show dealt with a person like River, whose intellectual mind attempts to make sense out of the Bible, and her interactions with Book, who falls on the opposite end of the spectrum.

It’s not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. I know plenty of intellectual theists and plenty of atheists who trust their instincts over their brains. I suppose that I fall somewhere in the middle. My issues with religious institutions and with the greater idea of theism is explained by intellectual rigor and logic, but at base, it’s all emotional. I could probably find a way to logically justify some sort of religious belief and I don’t doubt that it exists. My problem, then, comes down to feeling: As long as I have tried, I simply don’t have that feeling inside of me that there’s anything greater than what’s on this earth. I’ve heard so many people describe it, from my mother to some of my best friends, to my godfather and his family when I tried my best to be a faithful Catholic, to many of you who have spoken up when we’ve breached the subject of religion in past reviews of Harry Potter and Twilight.

It all comes down to that: I’ve always felt vacant and alone in the universe. I tried for years to find a reason for that vacancy, but stopped around my freshman year of college because…well, it all felt so dishonest to me. No matter how many sincere attempts I made to believe, I knew deep down that I was lying to myself.

Wow, what did I just type? Anyway, I have a feeling that River and Book are going to have more run-ins this season, beyond their interaction in “Jaynestown.” CALLING IT NOW.

Back in Canton, a visit to a local bar reveals just how revered Jayne is in the community. The crew listens to a folk song written about why Jayne is so loved, looks of horror plastered on their faces. It suddenly occurs to Jayne that he and his partner had dropped a load of cash from their ship in order to escape; however, the local community viewed it as some sort of “Robin Hood” act of charity and used his likeness and behavior to empower themselves against the Magistrate and the upper-class citizens of Canton. Mal uses the opportunity to act as a cover so that the local officials will be distracted and they can remove the illegal cargo without trouble.

Jayne, on the other hand, quickly warms up to the idea of being a hero, accepting as much free alcohol and sex as he can, playing up the part of the hero. It’s a fun character development for him, since he has very little experience in being liked so ferociously.

But, like most things in this series, appearances are rarely what them seem. We learn that Jayne’s “heroic” actions are even less heroic than we thought: turns out he actually threw out his partner at the same time he dumped the cash, leaving the man to fend for himself and ultimately get arrested by the Magistrate. Oh, and losing an eye in the process. There’s that too. Oh, and he’s been let out of his imprisonment specifically so he can murder Jayne. That as well.

The confrontation between the two is a transformative moment for Jayne and I have to applaud how the episode-long joke is suddenly turned into something deeply seriously and undeniably disturbing. When Stitch, Jayne’s old partner, reveals what he actually did four years earlier, I was shocked that the crowd didn’t immediately turn on Jayne. Instead, when Stitch tries to shoot him, a teenage Mudder dives in front of the shot, sacrificing his life for Jayne.

Jayne is horrified that someone would give their life for his, especially after learning the real truth of his actions. His own sense of self-worth clashes with what these people believe about him and he’s at a loss to learn that they don’t even care. He tells them that there are no heroes like the Jayne Cobb they have imagined; no one will ever just give them help. Watching him knock over the statue was heartbreaking because it represents the “good” side he doesn’t believe he has, that this community so steadfastly believes is real.

The final conversation in the cargo bay exemplifies the sort of thoughtless hope that many oppressed people might cling to in order to derive meaning from their struggle. “Ain’t about you, Jayne,” Mal tells him, “it’s about what they need.”

This doesn’t make sense to Jayne, but he’s never been at the bottom of the social and political food chain. He can’t understand the need to have a figure to look for for freedom.

I find that a lot of Firefly relies on well-written jokes at the expense of various characters. (Mal’s “marriage,” Jayne’s heroism, Simon’s cluelessness, for example.) Yet the show also seems to take those exact jokes to make incredibly serious points; by the time I reached the end of the episode, I felt bad that I’d laughed at Canton, just like I felt bad at laughing at Mal’s marriage once Inara pointed out how fucked up it was.

Damn, I love this show.


  • Finally, Kaylee and the doctor get together! Even if it was very drunkenly, I enjoyed it, until, of course, Simon had to say something stupid again. Man, they are going to make an awkward pair, but I like it.
  • “Have good sex!” Kaylee’s genuine enthusiasm is the best thing ever.
  • “Wow, Simon, that was so…historical.” Exact point I suspected this would be the episode that Kaylee and Simon finally confessed their feelings for each other.
  • Book’s hair. Just…wow.
  • The entire conversation between Inara and Fess about masculinity is SERIOUSLY GODDAMN FANTASTIC. And take note, readers: masculinity is not dependent on sex. A++++ Edlund forever.
  • Drunken Wash should show up more. He really should.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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255 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Firefly’: Episode 7 – Jaynestown

  1. pica_scribit says:

    I find this episode to be really moving on so many levels, which is odd, considering it's a Jayne-centric episode. You wouldn't expect it, would you? But I get all sniffly and misty-eyed whenever I watch it.

  2. Hermione_Danger says:

    YESSSS. I love this episode. Simon's cursing and repetitively deciding that this is what going mad feels like…just…agh. It's absolutely, hilariously funny around the edges; then in the middle there's this deceptively dark story about heroism and symbols. I love shows built like that, and when Firefly does it, well…

    • bookling says:

      The funny thing is that Simon never actually cursed in this episode. Not even when he was getting the crap kicked out of him by One-Eye. Oh Simon, being all proper. I love when he asks for a menu at the bar.

      • Hermione_Danger says:

        HA. I always think he curses when he sees the statue, but you're totally right. His lack of cursing, then.


        • Mauve_Avenger says:

          Actually, right after the Jayne statue is revealed, Simon says "son of a bitch" and then it cuts to commercial break.

  3. Lily says:

    This is my absolute favorite episode of Firefly. It touches on such wonderful points.
    I do love the way the address religion in this show. The writers and actors do a wonderful job of allowing several different ways of belief to be shown, without glamorizing or demonizing any of them. It's rare to find a show that is as comprehensive in their fairness. Neither Book nor River are shown as the "right" way to be, and it allows for each side to express their way of thinking (even if River's is slightly less easy to comprehend due to the way her brain works).

    • ldwy says:

      I agree. I love that in addressing religion, one view doesn't come out looking "right" while the others are demonized or simply turned into jokes, as we see in so many shows. They did this really really well, and I was impressed by the whole episode.

      • notemily says:

        It's really interesting to me that they never address what, exactly, the religion is or what its tenets are. I mean, it's obviously supposed to be a form of Christianity, but they don't come out and say it. And I don't think I've seen Saffron's whole "as the earth to the plow" thing in any actual Bible, not that I'm the authority on the subject.

  4. echinodermata says:

    I WAS WAITING FOR THIS REVIEW EVER SINCE YOU ANNOUNCED ON BUZZNET YOU WERE DOING FIREFLY. Honestly, the next couple of episodes are totally memorable as well, so I'm totally looking forward to them – it'll make my finals week more bearable.

    Ugh, god, I love the song – here's Adam Baldwin singing it:

    And, wait, Edlund wrote this episode? How did I never know that? And looking at his imdb page, he wrote Angel's "Smile Time" too. I am impressed, Mr. Edlund.

    • cait0716 says:

      This is the video that someone on twitter mentioned has a small (tiny little) spoiler in it. It's not huge. It could be overlooked. But perhaps you should wait on this video until you've finished the series.

      • echinodermata says:

        Honestly, I considered warning, but I thought saying it's a bit spoilery is more spoilery than not – it could so very easily be overlooked that I figured bringing attention to it is worse.

        I dunno, I am slightly conflicted.

  5. buyn says:

    The Hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne. I love that song to pieces. Also, Mr. Baldwin sings it in a link above, so that is a very good video. Very good.

  6. ramondestroys says:

    -Kaylee and Simon are totally going to do it and it’s adorable.
    -“Had to find some tape.”
    -“I’ll go, just… stop describing me.”
    -Oh, Wash… “That’s kinda what I meant.”
    -River was on to something by fixing the Bible, haha.
    -Poor Sheppard Book and his hair.
    -Ah, so the Magistrate isn’t the customer, his son is.
    -“Too much hair.”
    -“You guys had a riot… on a count of me? My very own riot?”
    -Oh, Jesus… Jayne screwed over his partner… OF COURSE.
    -Inara and Fess talking about Manhood was awesome. My friends could learn a lot from that…
    -The confrontation between Jayne and Stitch was great, from beginning to end. Heartbreaking, really.
    -And everything is warm in my heart again thanks to Kaylee and Simon’s last conversation of the episode.
    -Jayne and Malcolm’s conversation at the end of the episode was a great way to end it. It’s nice to see Jayne feel something.

  7. ramondestroys says:

    PS. My favorite episode so far also!

  8. elusivebreath says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes! One thing about Whedon's shows that is just brilliant is how funny they are, but at the same time, they aren't comedies. Kind of like real life, haha. The whole idea of Jayne being a hero made me laugh out loud, and yet, by the end, you see the way it affected him (not to mention the people who believed it). It makes me wonder how they were affected when all was said and done and Jayne flew away, leaving this awful truth in his wake.

    I absolutely loved River and the Bible, and like you, I was really surprised that they aired it. It's kind of sad that I would be so surprised because there's nothing inherently wrong with questioning the Bible, and it honestly makes sense for someone who comes from such an intellectual background. I'm not saying that being intellectual really has anything to do with one's beliefs, only that they are more likely to be looking for logic and facts over faith, IMO. The whole thing with the hair is one of the highlights of the entire series for me!

    • elusivebreath says:

      Simon and Kaylee are super cute together, especially when he's awkward. Gotta love it!! I didn't watch an extra episode last night because I was one ahead, so I'm looking forward to going home and watching the next one!

      Lol, my comments are always too long!!!

    • tethysdust says:

      Right before the hair, though, it seemed like River kind of got what Book was trying to tell her. "…I tore these out of your symbol and they turned into paper, but I want to put them back…"

      • Hermione_Danger says:

        I *love* that line. She understands, in some way, the difference between the physical book and the symbolism of it. River in her semi-lucid moments = my favorite person (besides my dearest darlingest Kaylee of course).

  9. totiebinds says:


    • Hermione_Danger says:

      ZOMG. So I was on campus, bored, in the library, and the person across the table kept humming.

      And it sounded really familiar, but I couldn't quite make it out.

      Then I realized what it was, and couldn't restrain myself from singing, "Stood up to the man / and gave him what for!"

      It was an awkward moment for both of us, I think.

  10. hazelwillow says:

    Yay! I love this episode. Book's hair is my favourite. And I have nothing more intelligent to add. 🙂


  11. Narcissaa says:

    FAVOURITE EP FAVOURITE EP FAVOURITE EP. Well one of three joint fave eps. ILU2 Ariel and War Stories.


    Just the statue moment for now but I am open to requests.

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    All of River and Book's interactions in this episode were brilliant. I particularly love the line "I tore these out of your symbol and they turned into paper." Something about it just really pulls at me. ILU RIVER.


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  12. cait0716 says:

    This is such a great episode! The River/Book interactions throughout are wonderful. I love Simon awkwardly playing at being a rich merchant. And Simon asking for a menu gets me every time.

    I went to a college called Harvey Mudd and the student body there were called mudders, so I ended up identifying with this episode perhaps a little too much. We never did get around to inventing mudder's milk, though.

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      Harvey Mudd? That makes me think of a Star Trek episode…

      • cait0716 says:

        That was Harcore (Harry) Mudd… That is what my parents thought when I got accepted though, so I got to sit through both of his episodes several times.

    • Ann says:

      Haha I go to Scripps, I was thinking the exact same thing. It feels like more of an endearment than a pejorative to me. Also: Mudder's milk IRL sounds like it would end up being more dangerous than 4Loko.

  13. Karen says:

    Do you happen to know what episodes of Angel Edlund wrote?

    • pica_scribit says:

      I bet you can find a list if you look him up on Wikipedia or IMDB.

      • Karen says:

        I tried wiki, but I didn't then to check imdb. haha. Anyway, it looks like he was mostly involved in season 5 with a bit of season 4, so I actually wouldn't have seen most of what he did on Angel. (I stopped watching around the end of season 3.)

        • pica_scribit says:

          Season 3 was weak and Season 4 was…sort of unwatchable, in my opinion. I think Joss must have been a lot less involved in the show at that time, focusing his efforts more on Buffy. But Season 5 was very strong, though, and had a lot of awesome moments.

          • cait0716 says:

            Season 4 of Angel was also Season 7 of Buffy, Season 1 (and only, sob) of Firefly, and Joss' first comic book of Fray. There was a lot going on. But season 4 is better on the re-watch. It has it's moments anyway. But, yeah, it was tough to watch it the first time through

          • hassibah says:

            Wow that's interesting, I feel completely the opposite. I thought season 3 was the strongest and season 5 had a handful of brilliant episodes but the overall story arc was weak as hell.

  14. Anonymouse says:

    River made this episode for me. Books reaction when she told him she was "fixing" his Bible was priceless.
    I think that how Firefly addressed religion was beautiful. River and Book show how the two different views (religious and not) can coexist and even have a civilized conversation ABOUT FAITH! I think more people need to realize that…

    Also, Kaylee/Simon are easily my favourite pairing in the series! They're so awkward and funny. And I think (almost) everyones been in a relationship like theirs. Or maybe just me…

    On a completely unrelated note, have you watched Dr.Horrible yet?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      • pica_scribit says:

        Welcome to the Cult of Whedon! Just about everything that man touches is pure, solid comedy-while-still-being-serious-social-commentary gold.

      • celestineangel1 says:

        Ooooh, Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer! SO DIFFERENT FROM MAL. (And oddly, not so different from how FIllion presents himself at public events like Dragon*CON.) But YAY so glad you've seen Dr. Horrible!

      • So glad you've seen it. I found it heart-wrenching. I both hate and love when a tv show does that to me. 🙂

  15. Cass says:

    "Have good sex!" is possibly the phrase from this show that has entered my and my friends' lives with the most endurance. It's our typical farewell when one of us is going to get laid. 😉

    Also we sing "The Hero of Canton" when we get drunk.

    Arg – there is a link I want to give you, but it has to wait till you've watched another episode.

  16. Hotaru-hime says:

    Oh man, I love this episode. It's my very favorite! The song is awesome!
    Ugh, we're halfway through the series. This is so depressing.

  17. Kaci says:

    You're going to have to give me a moment to gush because Ben Edlund is my favorite TV writer EVER and I'm so obsessed with his shows that when my friend ran into him at Comic Con last year, she video taped herself explaining to him that he was my hero and him saying hi and thanking me. SO I NEED TO GUSH HERE.

    BEN EDLUND IS A GOD AMONG MEN AND NO ONE WILL EVER CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. Smile Time, Bad Horse, The Tick, The Ghostfacers, Jaynestown, episodes of The Venture Bros, IS THERE NOTHING THIS MAN CAN'T DO? NO. NO THERE IS NOT.


    Okay. So, yeah, I agree with pretty much everything you just said, but I do have to say that yeah, Glee does reduce everything to a hilarious stereotype, but that's kind of its charm to me. I mean, remember when we met Quinn's father? He's supposed to be a religious right-winger and the very first time he walks in a room, he's carrying a scotch, making his wife go pour him another, and hurrying off so he doesn't miss Glenn Beck. That's at LEAST as stereotyped as atheism was, and probably a lot funnier. I'm not saying the writing is great (it's awful), but IDK, I kind of like that it's so bad? I glory in cliche and cheese. Heh.

    ANYWAY, back to the review: I will never get over Kaylee's enthusiasm for everything. If anyone can watch that girl an not grin like an idiot, they have no soul.

    • bookling says:

      Ben Edlund also writes for Supernatural! WHICH MARK SHOULD PROBABLY ALSO WATCH, HINT HINT.

      • Kaci says:

        He does, and he wrote the Ghostfacers episode, which is still my all-time favorite. I would agree that Mark should watch SPN, except it has sucked so hard for the last two seasons that I don't think I could inflict them upon him. If he wanted to watch the first 2.5-3 seasons, though, that I could get on board with. 🙂

    • "I will never get over Kaylee's enthusiasm for everything. If anyone can watch that girl an not grin like an idiot, they have no soul."
      There is no way to disagree with this! That girl is just THE BEST!

  18. Jahizzle says:

    I loved River being slightly less crazy in this one. And I loved her lines.

    “Keep walking preacher man.”

    “River, come out. He’ll put the hair away.”

    “It’ll still be there. Waiting.”

    Too funny.

  19. murgatroid1 says:

    This is definitely my favourite so far. I love me some Simon/Kaylee fun 😀

    Has anyone else noticed that Simon looks like the love child of Darren Criss and Matt Smith? Seriously.
    <img src=""&gt;

    Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees this…

  20. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches ‘Firefly’: Episode 7 – Jaynestown | Mark Watches --

  21. jsh357 says:

    This is my favorite episode of Firefly, and you covered everything about it pretty well. I think my absolute favorite thing about this show is that it humanizes characters that we so normally would see as boring archetypes in this unbelievably subtle fashion; by the end we've completely forgotten that Jayne is, on the surface, a skulduggery right-hand man.

    Also THE SONG, LOL

  22. Cartman86 says:

    Don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but you should check out Joss Whedon's acceptance speech at Harvard when you are done with this (and Buffy if you decide to watch it). He won a Humanist award and he talks about his atheism and what he means when he says people need "faith". There are spoilers in it so I would wait.

  23. Hypatia_ says:

    "Have good sex!…What?" is possibly my favorite Kaylee line of the entire series.

    Also, I love the part when Mal tries to get Kaylee to go do something in the bar: "It's going REALLY WELL." "Oh…" Mal is totally shipping Kaylee and Simon. As well he should.

    • cait0716 says:

      Aren't we all shipping Kaylee and Simon? They're so cure. And he's so clueless. Every time it might work out he sticks his foot in his mouth again.

  24. embers says:

    THIS is one of my very favorite episodes of Firefly, and it was the one that convinced me that this Joss Whedon show was his best show ever (remember we still hadn't seen the pilot episode, that was aired last, after the show was cancelled). The concept that religion and hero worship are not based on any kind of under lying truth, but that they are both just blind faith arising from the individual needs to make their life worth living….

    Joss spoke very specifically about his own lack of spiritual belief here:
    He doesn't believe in any religion, but everyone believes in something….

    • affableevil says:

      Mark, please don't watch that video – major movie spoilers :s

    • Hermione_Danger says:

      That video is really interesting (I love the way he talks!), but there are movie spoilers in it. Please remember, when linking, to let Mark know if the thing you're linking to is spoilery or not. Thanks!

    • cait0716 says:

      I love that quote from Angel. It pretty much sums up my world view

  25. pica_scribit says:

    I just realised that tomorrow's episode is Out Of Gas. EXCITE! Favourite episode of the series!

  26. bookling says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Okay, I know I said the last episode was my favorite, but this one is my favorite, too. I love how Jayne reveals at the end that he doesn't believe in heroes, or good people who help others for no reason. Aw, Jayne.

    "Keep on walking, preacher man." River "fixing" Shepard's bible is one of my favorite things. Noah's Ark is a problem. I think my favorite bit is actually right before River is scared by Book's hair, because she's kind of apologizing, in her own River way.

    Kaylee is also awesome this episode. I love the way she basically tells Mall to get lost because she's trying to mack on Simon, and I love her messing with Simon and saying that they'd had sex the night before. Ha! But really, they're so awkward it's painful to watch.

  27. goddamgaloshes says:

    This is so exciting! I must confess, I have an intense fixation on watching others experience my favorite things for the first time. I love that you GET IT. Like another commenter, I came here from Whedonesque and read all your Harry Potter reviews when I should have been working on my linguistics research paper… 😀 Anyway, I just wanted to say how fun this is; your absolute enjoyment is a pleasure to experience. Thank you so much.

    Also, I CANNOT WAIT until the next review. Seriously… YOU HAVE NO IDEA. How fun. 😀

  28. thiamalonee says:

    Yay! Posts make me so happy! I would just like to state that this weekend, itching for a Mark fix, I was driven to rewatching the Firefly commentaries. That's right, I could only replace you with Joss, the other writers, and the actors.

    Just a thought- have you ever seen Veronica Mars???? Because I think it would be a fab palate cleanser tv show to put in between all the sci fi (this is my excuse for you to watch it earlier). Plus, seasons 1 & 2 are some of the greatest TV arcs ever written. Just sayin'.

  29. acbatz says:

    I had to share this picture from a recent wedding that I coordinated – they named all of the tables after famous couples in history including this awesome pairing:

    [IMG ][/IMG]

  30. Ashley says:

    I have "The Man They Call Jayne" as my ringtone. It's basically the best.

    • I have the main Firefly theme as my ring tone and The Hero of Canton as my alarm tone for waking up in the morning 😛 My phone is so nerdy, a metal version of the Halo theme is the personalized ring tone for my boyfriend and my message tone is the whistle song from Kill Bill 🙂

  31. So, religious talk done, i have to say THIS IS PROBABLY THE BEST EPISODE! Like you said, there is nothing to complain, I really liked Inara's interaction with the soon of the Magistrate, it's just fantastic and something i've never seen on television before.
    And damn, Jayne's statue and all his "hero" thing, i never laughed so hard at an episode!

    And the closing of all the story, when Mal tells him "it's about what they need"… damn, that's deep, and i was thinking exactly that when Jayne destroyed the statue! I was like "DUDE! they don't care about the true story! They live in such a fucked up situation, they NEED some symbol to gather them and give them strength to fight and all! =("

    Really like how this shows has so much comedy and at the same time talk about such serious concepts, way beyond the classical "do good things" we see in most places… FOX, i hate you o much for canceling this show!

    Ok, now let's all sing along! Yay! o/

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=";hl=pt_BR"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=pt_BR&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  32. Ok, that didn't work… how do i embeed a youtube video here?
    Just click the link! =D

  33. notemily says:

    "Have good sex!"

    "All right! Fine! I'll go! Just… stop describing me." FAVORITE SIMON LINE. Yes, even better than "this must be what going mad feels like."

    "Well then. Come to the right place!" I don't know why, but I love that guy. He's such a salesman.

    It's really interesting to take this character, Jayne, who has so far been comic relief and hired muscle, and put him in a situation where he has to really think about his own morality and whether he deserves to be held up as a hero. I agree with you, Mark, this episode is pretty amazing.

    "I only make the people I own use my title." OH WHAT A CHARMING GUY YOU ARE.


    "The Man They Call Jayne"–I never thought of this before, but could that be a "Boy Named Sue" reference? Whedon's propensity for playing with gender when naming his characters is so ingrained into his shows that I don't even notice it anymore unless someone points out that Jayne's name is feminine.

    "We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!"

    I love the look on the dude's face when his dad starts going on about he's "not yet a man." He's just like "OH GOD NOT THIS AGAIN."

    "TO JAYNE!!!" "TO JAYNE!!!" … "TO ME!!!"

    Simon getting drunk and talking about his saving lives and flirting with Kaylee (sort of) is great in much the same way that Inara getting drugged in the last episode is great. They get to break out of their usual buttoned-up roles and play a different side of their characters.

    I like how he talks about how Kaylee is prettiest when she's covered in engine grease. <333 but then he sticks his foot in his mouth AGAIN. I love that Kaylee doesn't take any shit from him, though.

    Since River speaks in metaphors and stories all the time, I'm skeptical that she would be so confused by a Bible, which is basically that. But the scenes are funny, and she does sometimes get pretty literal/logical about things.

    "My very own riot?" Hee, Jayne. <3

    When Inara says "it's a ritual… a symbol," it occurs to me that this episode is all about symbols–the statue of Jayne, the Bible, the loss of virginity, Simon's politeness, etc. And what they mean to people, even when they're deconstructed and shown to not have much solid meaning behind them.

    As for atheism… I used to believe in some sort of spiritual force guiding the universe, but that was when I was a kid. And I agree with you–maybe if I had a religious experience, I would change my mind, but so far in my life nothing like that has happened. I believe in human consciousness, which is something I know exists and can do wonderful things.

    I love that Simon and Jayne use their mutual dislike of each other to help each other. Simon could have sold Jayne out when Stitch came to him, but instead he let himself get beaten up. Jayne, when asked about Simon, says "He ain't a one of mine." And he's telling the truth really–he and Simon would never associate with each other if they didn't have to. But he's also saving Simon from Stitch. It's pretty cool.

    Simon is even cuter when his face is all beat up. I HAVE ISSUES OKAY.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      This comment rules! I love your insight on all of the symbols in this episode. This is one episode that I never considered especially deep but thanks to Mark Watches I'm gleaning all sorts of new meaning from it. That's why I love this site.

      As for finding Simon cuter when he's beaten up – I think it's because it makes him look simultaneously tougher and more vulnerable. I think that's a time-worn combination for cuteness/sexiness.

      • notemily says:

        This is one episode that I never considered especially deep but thanks to Mark Watches I'm gleaning all sorts of new meaning from it. That's why I love this site.

        Me too! I noticed that when we were all reading Harry Potter. Connections and parallels I never would have noticed on my own were brought to my attention by MRHP commenters. <3 you all.

    • notemily says:

      Replying to myself because I forgot one of my favorite lines:

      "But you took that end! And… well… you TOOK it!"

      The best part is the reaction on the part of the Mudders. They're all like "Fuck yeah! We DID take that end! Woo!"

    • cait0716 says:

      RE: Jayne having a feminine name. I once got into an argument with a bartender in which he claimed that Joss Whedon emasculates all his male characters. I personally don't think he does, but being about three beers in at that point, all I could really come up with was "Jayne never gets emasculated!" The bartender just looked at me and went "His name is Jayne?" and the argument was kind of over, since I had honestly never put that together before. I'm still mad I lost that one, though.

  34. Beth says:

    Here is what bothered me about this episode, and it's so small, but I'm that person. If that dude, Jayne's old partner, was imprisoned in a tiny box where he wasn't even able to stand for YEARS, how was he able to go running off as soon as he got free to kick ass and take names. His muscles would have atrophied, no? He's not going to be able to leap out of there all Hulk-like!

    • elusivebreath says:

      I thought that too, but who knows, maybe they let him out to exercise once in awhile lol

    • Pseudonymph says:

      I thought that too. He would be atrophied and also probably deformed from being curled in a semi-fetal position for four years. Maybe he wasn't always in the box? Maybe just at night? Or maybe I just let it go because I'm a fangirl.

    • Tanbarkie says:

      Push-ups. Lots and lots of push-ups. Powered by VENGEANCE.

  35. Emily says:

    (apparently my comment is too long… being forced to split it into 3)

    I loved the Jayne storyline also. It was hilarious until the end when his old partner tried to kill him, killing the fan instead. I feel like his reaction was so perfect for his character and it really showed us a great deal about him. I would have iked to have gotten a backstory about how he came to be who he is, but his comment about how there are no real "good" people who would drop money kind of insinuates that he was not raised in a generous environment. I really enjoyed the closing dialogue between Mal and Jayne about why they viewed Jayne as a hero. Not only does it show their close relationship, but also, it was spot on in my opinion. Folk heroes are not the perfect individuals stories paint them out to be, but rather a symbol or rallypoint for those who view them as such.

  36. Ladyluck says:

    I think this was my fave eps. The comedy of it that turns into a deep look at what it means to be a hero. And the song! 🙂
    The discussion between Mal and Jayne at the end in the cargo bay is one of the best scenes.
    Jayne had the potential for the most character growth during the series….which we will never see now. 🙁

  37. shadeedge says:

    My favourite part of this was Kaylee for a moment pretending that she and Simon had slept together, perhaps just to get him back a bit for his foot-mouthery. It's all the more funny because you don't expect her to play that sort of joke.

  38. Isabella says:

    Oh, my God that episode of Glee! D:

    I genuinely came out of that episode (as the atheist I am) feeling incredibly offended.


  39. Asta says:

    Jaynestown is definitely up there as a favorite episode for me and I l just love Ben Edlund . He is one of my absolute favorite script writers of all time right up there with Joss. He's also one of my favorite writers on Supernatural. do you watch Supernatural? OMG YOU SHOULD REVIEW SUPERNATURAL!

  40. CamusDude says:

    Incredible job with this series of posts Mark! I love "seeing" the show again through fresh eyes. I also feel like you view the show much like I do. Perhaps that's because your paragraphs about your personal atheism, and coming from a Catholic background, could have been written by me about myself! I can't wait for the rest of the series (and the movie, I'm assuming?)

  41. CamusDude says:

    Sorry, not sure why my comment from yesterday posted again when I came back to continue reading the thread. You can delete the duplicate and this comment, if you like.

  42. MichelleZB says:

    Yet the show also seems to take those exact jokes to make incredibly serious points

    This is a characteristic that almost defines all the Whedon shows. They'll turn a joke into an unbelievably serious point. Seriously, Mark, watch Buffy. All the Whedon shows are great–but Buffy is where it all began.

  43. Naazneen says:

    My favourite moment in this episode is the look on Simons face when he see's the statue. And when they start singing in the bar. OMG. So damned priceless!

  44. lindsay says:

    Oh man, I am so happy you go to this episode. It's totally my favorite – I want the Hero of Canton (as sung by Adam Baldwin) as a ringtone on my phone. Seriously. I want that.

    You're definitely right about the River/Book scene – I don't call myself an atheist because I don't like the label and its connotations, but I don't believe in any form of god, either, and that scene was beautiful. I'm not even talking about River's attempt to understand it (which was hilarious); Book's speech on faith was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard and actually made me wish I could live my life with that kind of conviction. Religion never made more sense to me than that speech. (Also, how funny was the bit with his hair? "Too much snow and the roof will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger.")

    The only thing I have to complain about in this episode is where Stitch came from. This is likely the most ridiculous, unrealistic thing I have ever seen Joss Whedon pull, and it bugs the hell out of me for only one reason: IT'S NOT FREAKING POSSIBLE. This sends me into a RAAAAAGE. Stitch was stuck in a TINY ASS BOX for FOUR FREAKIN' YEARS. Forget the fact that he can somehow WALK AFTER BEING STUCK IN A SITTING POSITION FOR THAT LONG, but he was stuck in a place with NO LIGHT, seemingly VERY LITTLE air because I don't know about you but I didn't see any air holes, and NO ONE TO TALK TO THE MAN WOULD HAVE GONE INSANE BY THIS POINT WAT. JUST… WHAT. UGH. I mean, even assuming that they fed him and maybe let him out to stretch his legs once or twice a day, the fact still remains (pointed out by Stitch himself) that they locked him in a box for four years. Even if they let him walk around once in awhile, his leg muscles would be nonexistent after that long, he would probably not be able to see because the sun would be literally blinding, and he WOULD BE OUT OF HIS GODDAMN MIND. Humans can't keep living in that sort of existence; it's an impossibility, we would lose the will to live and waste away. And even if someone could stay physically alive, s/he wouldn't be anywhere near sane enough to talk, let alone hold a gun.

    I realize Stitch was a means to an end and all, but they should have thought ahead and given him a better, actual prison. Not a tiny-ass box in the middle of Mud Central where it had to be hot as hell and HOW IS HE ALIVE I DON'T UNDERSTAAAAANNND.

    I'm done now. >.>

    Other than that, it was a great episode. 😀

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