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 2,982 users  
Reviews: 6 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



Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 October 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mal narrates the pre-credit opening rather than Book. The introduction at the beginning of the show in this episode is somewhat different from the normal introduction, but close-captioning displayed the words for the normal introduction. See more »


The leather rope necklace that Zoe wears is a symbol of her commitment to Wash (like a wedding ring), but in the flashback scenes in this episode where Zoe and Wash first meet and when Mal and Zoe first enter Serenity, she is wearing the necklace. (However, the information of the commitment symbolism comes from the costume designer on the DVD commentary for the episode "Shindig" and might not be canon as created by Joss Whedon or the other writers. Therefore this may not be a true continuity error if the symbolism exists only in the designer's concept.) See more »


Mal: Let me show you the rest. And-and try to see past what she is and onto what she can be.
Zoë Washburne: What's that, sir?
Mal: Freedom is what.
Zoë Washburne: I meant, what's *that*?
Mal: Oh, yeah, just step around that. I think something must have been living in here.
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

Shining beacon of hope and other good stuff.
4 November 2014 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Out of Gas is the best Firefly episode. It is the most dramatic, as the crew meets with the most threatening scenario they've encountered on the show till now. It is the most emotional and endearing, since it delves into the crew's backstory, specifically - how it is that they've all ended up on the Firefly (aside from Simon, River, and Book, of course, as we've seen them board during the pilot). It is also the most hilarious, because looking at these characters as they were years ago, and their first meetings with the ever-sarcastic Mal, is tremendously funny.

I do want to mention Objects in Space as the 2nd greatest Firefly ep, but Out of Gas is definitely the more epic and moving one. Pure class - 10/10.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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