Mark Re-Watches ‘Firefly’: Out of Gas

Today’s commission is from Kristin, who so brilliantly asked me to rewatch “Out of Gas.” I’d actually not seen this since I watched it way back in 2010, so this was a treat, y’all. It’s still one of my favorite episodes of this show!

So, here is the video file for “Out of Gas,” and all Mark Watches videos are now indexed here.

  • This episode (and “Objects in Space”) will always stand out to me as examples of what Firefly truly COULD have been had Fox given it a proper chance. I don’t consider myself one of those fans who wishes for the show to return to the air. Mostly that’s because I don’t even see how they’d be able to do that, given what happens in Serenity. Part of the show’s appeal to me comes from the fact that it’s attached to this meta-narrative of how it was cancelled. Yet I admit that I sometimes think about the potential Firefly had. There really wasn’t a show like it.
  • And “Out of Gas” is a fine example of how the writers could use this setting and these characters to tell spectacular stories. I’m a sucker for character development, so the in media res framing device for this episode allows us to see flashbacks that also  contribute to the continued characterization of the Serenity crew.
  • It’s also one grim, suspenseful journey. It’s upsetting! Over and over again!
  • On top of that, the cinematography is among the show’s best. There are so many fantastic shots in “Out of Gas.” I love the contrast between the dinner/birthday scene in the beginning and the still, lonely shots of the Serenity at its worst. Furniture is skewed about; there are shots of blood on the floor and walls; the ship has become an object with a story, but no life left in it. Which says a whole lot about how important it is that these people exist in the ship. They are the ones who truly give it life.
  • That fits in very well with the show’s greater themes and with the final scene, too. Mal wants assurance that these people will be there when he wakes up. While it can totally be read in a few different ways, I like the idea that he realizes how important his crew is to his happiness. The ship is not the same without them there.
  • This episode also served as a casual reminder that River, Inara, Zoe, and Kaylee are the best part of Firefly. Seriously, THEY ARE SO GREAT.

Make sure to check the Master Schedule to see what other commissions I have coming in the next 3-4 weeks!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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