Firefly: Season 1, Episode 5

Out of Gas (25 Oct. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 9.5/10 from 3,072 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 10 critic

When Serenity's life support system fails, Mal orders the crew off the ship - but he stays behind.



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Episode cast overview:
Steven Flynn ...
Lacey #1 (as Roderick L. McCarthy)


On Simon's birthday, Serenity's engine stops turning and an explosion knocks out auxiliary life support, severely wounding Zoe. With few options, Mal orders the rest of the crew off the ship, but he stays behind hoping for a miracle. The story is told in multiple time frames shifting from Mal's time alone on the ship to the events prior to the crew's departure. Flashbacks to Mal's initial meetings with many of his crew members are also a part of the narrative, showing how and why Mal and Zoe decided to buy the old Firefly-class ship, as well as revealing it wasn't love-at-first-sight for Zoe and Wash when he was hired as the Serenity's pilot, as well as how Inara charmed her way into letting Mal rent out one of the Serenity's shuttles for herself, how Mal met the mechanic/engineer Kaylee in a compromising position, and how the crew met Jayne who was an tough, but dumb, interplanetary bandit. Written by Azure_Girl

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



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Release Date:

25 October 2002 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The red button Wash rigs to call the shuttles back and return the crew to Serenity was removed from the set on one of the last days of filming by Alan Tudyk, as by that time the cast and crew knew they were being canceled. Scenes on the bridge for Firefly: Out of Gas (2002) were filmed the next day, and the button is noticeably absent. Alan then mailed the button to series creator Joss Whedon, with a note saying "When you get your miracle, just hit this" (quoting Wash's line). Whedon was hoping to revive the series, which he did, in the form of the film Serenity (2005). See more »


In the flashback when Mal and Zoe first walk onto Serenity, Mal's coat has the bullet hole where one of Patience's men shoots him during the pilot episode. However, because the pilot was not originally aired until after the show was canceled (and then in an edited version), at this point in the original on-air order the coat's damage has no origin and cannot be considered a continuity error. The repaired hole has always been visible, even in the opening fight sequence of "The Train Job", the first on-air episode. The viewer has no reason yet to question the age and condition of the coat or any damage. Only in the episode order of the DVD set does this become apparent as a lapse in continuity. See more »


Inara: The Alliance has no quarrel with me. I supported Unification.
Mal: Did ya? Well, I don't supposed you're the only whore that did.
Inara: Oh, one further addendum. That's the last time you get to call me "whore".
Mal: Absolutely. Never again.
See more »


Referenced in Firefly: Ariel (2002) See more »


The Ballad of Serenity
Written by Joss Whedon
Performed by Sonny Rhodes
See more »

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User Reviews

Best. TV. Episode. Ever.
16 December 2006 | by (Evanston, IL USA) – See all my reviews

"Out of Gas" is the "Citizen Kane" of television episodes. Everything about it is perfect: the stellar cast, Tim Minear's brilliant and moving script, David Solomon's direction (fantastic pacing), the melancholy soundtrack, the clever lighting--everything. I can watch this ep over and over, which I can't say about any other ep of any TV show I can think of.

I disagree with the other commentator that "Out of Gas" should have been the final ep; the best series finale to "Firefly" was never made because it would have given closure to seven years of outstanding television.

52 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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