This was a great episode where we learnt that Jayne is really not to be trusted, Adam Baldwin is great in the role managing to make the character believable untrustworthy as well as being very funny. It was also good to learn more about what had happened to River and what effects it has had to her. The 'Hands of Blue' men were suitably creepy and it was surprising to see so much blood in a usually light-hearted series when they dispatched their victims.
The bad; Simon saving the patient is very blatantly designed to make us feel better about the crew stealing medicine from a hospital (but I love River's smile of pride when he does it).
Best line; Inara; "What have you guys been up to?" Kaylee; "Oh, we killed Simon and River, stole a bunch of medicine"
Kinky dinky; Wash wants to take Zoe to a naked beach
Inarra;1-a paying customer who wishes to make her his kept woman, 1 possible, Atherton. Wash; 1-the missus Zoe; 1-the hubby Kaylee;1-Bester
Capt subtext; Inara is going for a medical examination which she says is routine. But if we follow the theory that she's actually sick ....? Mal once again demonstrates his intimacy with Kaylee, hugging her in a very familiar fashion at the end.
How'd they get away with that? The blue gloved men repeatedly cutting into River's head to perfume brain surgery, ugh! Then to top it all they slaughter the cops with a device which causes uncontrollable bleeding from it's victims.
Total Serenity crew; 8 for this ep, Book is 'away at an abbey'? Do we ever get any other explanation than that? Simon refers to Serenity as 'home'. Mal makes it clear that he continues Jayne's act of betrayal against any of the crew to be against them all Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Simon, River
Subverting the Hollywood cliché; Simon teaches Mal, Zoe and Jayne enough ER speak to get into the hospital but the admitting nurse just accepts their word as paramedics that the patients died. But Jayne's put so much effort into learning all these medical terms he insists on using them. Which I think is very human. When struggling with the guard it's Jayne who is the one to be bitten when it's normally the other way around, the hero is the one who traditionally does the biting to even the odds against a superior opponent.
Knocked out; Simon and River drugged into near death. Jayne knocked out by Mal. Book; 2 Simon; 2 Kaylee; 1 Jayne;2 Mal; 1 Wash; 1 Inara; 1 Zoe; 1 River; 1
Kills; Jayne kills the Alliance marshall with his bare hands Mal; 11- Zoe; 6- Jayne; 7-
Happy high-class hookers in Space; Inara is expected to undergo a standard medical as a companion once a year (or is she? see subtext). She states the Companion policy about non-commercial dating is 'complicated'.
Alliance good or bad?; Zoe and Mal are so rabidly anti-Alliance they won't even set foot on a core world or even look out the window (afraid they might like what they see?). The rest of the crew doesn't share their prejudice and are keen to to get off the ship, Kaylee never having been on a core planet before. Does Mal protect River and Simon from the goodness of his heart or to stick 2 fingers up to the Alliance? The Serenity crew steal medicine from a hospital, sure they can replace it but still? On the other hand the blue-gloved men have conducted horrific medical experiments on River and brutally slaughter a station full of cops just because they heard River talk?
Reminds me off; Simon saving the patient is a scene right out of The Fugitive whilst the blue-gloves are very X-files. Forget to mention it in Out of Gas but of course Bester is the name for both a famous sci-fi author and Walter Koenig's character from Babylon 5.
Questions and observations; Ironically the ambulance is a Soviet Hind-model helicopter gunship in disguise. What does 'copper for a kiss' mean? Is it like 'Penny for the guy'? Why do the blue-glove men seem to kill anyone who has heard River talk, even Alliance police? To cover up the secret of what they did to her or does she have some form psychic illness that they're scared she's passing on? Ironically the one time they actually make some decent money it's all the idea of Simon, who Book aside is probably the least criminally inclined of the entire crew, even Jayne impressed by his plan. Do they sell the drugs they steal for their medical or narcotic value?
Marks out of 10; 8/10, very good stuff, hugely entertaining, we see the Firefly crew pull off a complicated heist and do it with much more aplomb than the Scoobygang or Angel investigations ever managed. We think the main character of the piece is going to be Simon but in a clever turnabout instead it actually turns out to be Jayne and his crisis of conscience is very well written and acted by all.