"Firefly" Ariel (TV Episode 2002) Poster

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My personal favorite
piratecat-231 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I love this show! While watching these episodes in order on the great SciFi channel I enjoyed the chemistry as much as the SG1 Team. But when this episode came on I found this is no above average plus show but perfection in film art. I missed the original airing in 2002 but who didn't. The ending with Captain Malcolm Reynolds and the mercenary Jayne having discussion about the definition of loyalty was fantastic. I was utterly and completely hooked. I am a browncoat forever because of it. A page right out the A team manual. This is a fast pace, action orientated, slick written, and A team stunt on a caper of the times. With Shepherd Book on leave at the Abby and Inara gone to her yearly guild provided check up it provides are A team to jump into mission impossible action. A must see, to see how the crew works together for the benefit of themselves. River who is becoming unstable more and more with the crew in need of a job to pay the bills Dr Tam becomes a criminal mastermind. He lays out the plan for the Captain and crew which also shows his worth is more that patching up gunshot wounds. Now a full member of the gang. He helps his sister with needs while attending to the crews needs due to that they have to take low key jobs while River is flying with them. We also see in this episode the lengths that the Blue Sun Corporation will resort to.
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Tweekums13 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is another contender for the title 'best episode in the series' and it is up against some stiff competition. When the crew go to Ariel, one of the core planets, so Inara can take her annual medical they are disappointed when Mal says that nobody else will be allowed to leave the ship. That changes when River attacks Jayne with a knife; her brother suggests that they could earn a lot of money by stealing drugs from an Alliance hospital and while doing that he could give River a brain scan so he could learn just what was done to her. The job appears to be going well until Jayne takes the opportunity to make a quick buck and be rid of Simon and River by selling them out to the Alliance... of course they double cross him and arrest him too. While being processed the three of them escape, just in time to avoid the arrival of two sinister men, the 'Hands of Blue', who eliminate anybody who has spoken to the Tams. Back on Serenity Simon praises Jayne's actions which led to their escape; Mal however realises that Jayne had betrayed two of his crew and thus himself so gives Jayne a talk which leaves him fearing for his life.

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.
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just great!
mshosking6320 March 2013
Great episode of great show, but one quibble: hi-tech pro killers choose noisiest, bloodiest, most attention-grabbing way to dispatch their victims, all of whom are on their side?! what's with that? Other than that - and wont begrudge the team a little hyperbole in an otherwise superbly restrained and understated show - it's a brilliant heist flick in 42-odd minutes. We came to expect it, but the pace of plot development, the economy of the telling, the sublime interaction between characters whose actors really like each other a lot, and the downright actual excitement of it all continues to amaze. I've been watching telly for 45 years, and I think this may be the best show ever (speaking of hyperbole...)
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Joxerlives6 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The good; Lot's of it, if I were to have 2 favourite scenes it would be the admissions nurse just casually accepting the dead bodies into the hospital and Mal remembering what drugs to take by writing it on his hand. Mal's final interrogation of Jayne also excellent, you get the idea he saves him to spare the rest of the crew having to deal with his betrayal rather than for his own sake. The scene where River, Simon and Jayne flee the blue-gloves is a masterclass in building suspense, they haven't seen anything but the approaching screams of their victims coupled with River's terrified babbling produce a real sense of dread.

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.
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