Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds
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Biography for
Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds (Character)
from "Firefly" (2002)

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Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds is the main character in the TV show Firefly and the movie based on it, Serenity.

The story takes place approximately 500 years in the future in another star system humans have colonized and it is now controlled by a union called the Alliance. Mal is the owner of a Firefly class transport spaceship called Serenity, which he and his crew use to haul cargo, sometimes legal and many times not. They are also thieves and pull robberies and other illegal crimes whenever possible.

Mal comes from the world of Shadow where his family owned a ranch. His father died when he was young and he was raised by his mother and many ranch hands. It is unknown if he has any brothers or sisters. During the war for independence from the Alliance, Mal was a Sergeant in the 57th Brigade of Browncoats for the Independents, and led his platoon into many battles. Ultimately, he was forced to surrender after the Battle of Serenity Valley on Hera, and soon after the war ended with the Browncoats losing. During the war Zoe Washburne was under his command and proved to be a fierce fighter and loyal subordinate. After the war Mal purchased the old Firefly and called it Serenity after the battlefield. Zoe joined him as first mate.

Both Mal and Zoe have a deep hatred of the Alliance and any and all forms of authority. Mal lost all sense of hope and faith during the horrific war and is now an almost empty shell of a man, and keeping his ship and crew safe is his main purpose in life. He also has a sense of nobility about him, helping the weak and those in need when he can. We get the sense that he is a good man which circumstances have made into a criminal (one can also view him as a soldier who makes a distinction between friend and foe). His sheltering of Simon and River Tam from the Alliance is but one sign of this noble and caring attitude. Mal has a keen ability to make plans, which usually go wrong, but he also has the ability to think on his feet and improvise. He'd rather settle arguments with a gun or his fists than any other way, but will back down if the odds are not in his favor.

Mal has very different relationships with the others on board Serenity. During the course of the show there was a great deal of unresolved romantic tension between himself and Inara Serra, a registered Companion who lives on the ship. Mal trusts Zoe to watch his back and depends on her a great deal. Jayne Cobb the mercenary is one person Mal doesn't trust and many times the two men have almost come to blows. Kaylee the mechanic is like a younger sister to Mal, while Simon Tam and Mal have a great deal of tension between them because of the actions of Simon's mentally troubled sister River which causes problems at times. Mal sees River in a different light from Simon. He see's her as a tool with her ability to "see into things" and as an equal on the ship as crew member. He also dislikes how the Alliance tampered with her, trying to make her "better" which is something he doesn't hold with. Shepherd Book is like an adviser to Mal. Wash the pilot and Mal have a cordial relationship that has occasional problems since Zoe is Wash's wife and he doesn't really understand the bond that Mal and Zoe have from the war.

Mal is a hero but a flawed one, a criminal, but an honorable thief and ultimately someone who is a natural born leader.

Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds was born in 2486. Assuming he is 31 as Nathan Fillon was at the point of the series, then the series takes place in 2517, and the movie Serenity takes place in 2519.

Page last updated by ehaefs, 8 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: stevp, erdprods, shadow_dragon_awh, fiore-15, tparker-23

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