After scuffling with one of Inara's clients during a royal ball where the Serenity crew is hired by a diplomat to smuggle some unusual cargo, Mal is challenged to a duel of swords by the snobbish and arrogant royal Atherton Wing.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Badger (as Mark A. Sheppard)
Carl Bresk ...


While pursuing a smuggling job, Mal and Kaylee go undercover at an upper class fancy dress ball. Inara is attending the same ball with her wealthy client, Atherton Wing. In an attempt to defend Inara's honor after Atherton makes an offensive comment, Mal punches Atherton in the face. Outraged, Atherton challenges Mal to an old-fashioned duel using swords. Meanwhile, Badger returns and under Atherton's payroll, holds the Serenity crew hostage, while River begins showing some more of her sane side in a verbal confrontation. Written by Azure_Girl

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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As the crew begin to wander through the streets of Persephone, a ship with an oval front section followed by two square sections lands in the background. This ship is the Starlight Intruder from the Star Wars graphic novel series "Dark Empire". See more »


Inara and Atherton, as well as the two couples before them, are announced to the party when they pass the podium near the dance floor. However, when Kaylee and Mal are announced, it is at the back entrance of the hall, well before they reach the announcing podium. See more »


Dr. Simon Tam: The Captain's a good fighter, he must know how to handle a sword.
Zoë: I think he knows which end to hold.
See more »


Referenced in White Noise 2: The Light (2007) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Favorite Episode
22 February 2006 | by (home) – See all my reviews

It's hard, when pretty much every episode is my favorite one, because each one brings something completely new, funny, and awesome. Shindig is a great episode because it's upbeat and amusing, without getting dark or "series-plot" heavy. It really isn't about River's past, or Book's identity. It's a day in their lives. It shows us what they do on a day to day basis, more or less. Again, the effects are used wonderfully and not over done, the acting is as tight as it gets, and the god the humor. Nathan again proves his range as an actor having some of the funniest lines in the series while still being completely serious. It's a beautifully shot episode, and paced near perfectly. It's a great window into Whedon's universe and we really get a great deal of information about the "upper" culture (whereas we mostly got the "lower" before). As any Firefly fan I'm sure I could rant on for hours about my love of the series, but I figure 2 minutes is long enough.

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