Firefly (2002–2003)
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War Stories 

Niska catches up with the Serenity crew.


James A. Contner (as James Contner)


Joss Whedon (created by), Cheryl Cain

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Nathan Fillion ... Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds
Gina Torres ... Zoë Washburne
Alan Tudyk ... Hoban 'Wash' Washburne
Morena Baccarin ... Inara Serra
Adam Baldwin ... Jayne Cobb
Jewel Staite ... Kaylee Frye
Sean Maher ... Dr. Simon Tam
Summer Glau ... River Tam
Ron Glass ... Shepherd Derrial Book
Michael Fairman ... Adelai Niska
Katherine Kendall ... The Councillor
Rolando Molina ... Bolles
John Dunn John Dunn ... Torturer
Michael Bentt Michael Bentt ... Viktor (as Michael A. Bentt)
Adam Pilver ... Vanilla Husband (scenes deleted)


Wash is jealous of the bond between Zoe and Mal and demands to go with Mal to trade the cargo of medical supplies with locals. However Niska's men capture and bring them on board. Niska tortures them both while Zoe collects money from the crew to pay a ransom for them. However Niska releases only Wash and takes Mal's ear to give to Zoe. But the Serenity's crew decides to fight to bring their captain back. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Parents Guide:

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English | Mandarin

Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Niska asks if Mal had ever read the works of Shan Yu, he relies with "You starting a book club? are you trying to torture me?" Nathan Fillion would go on to star as Richard Castle, a famous mystery/crime novelist, who is an avid reader as well as writer. See more »


(at around 15 mins) A dead guard moves his feet when a gun is fired close by. See more »


Simon: I never - never shot anyone before.
Book: I was there, son. I'm fair sure you haven't shot anyone yet.
See more »


References Star Trek: Voyager (1995) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Character studies like this one are why this show is so damn good.
15 September 2015 | by Mr-FusionSee all my reviews

With its harsh subject matter, it always surprises me (even just a little) that "War Stories" follows so soon after "Out of Gas". But it's a phenomenal character piece, this time centering on the Mal-Zoe-Wash triangle. And I like that, no matter what goes down here, it's really about them. What's great is that Alan Tudyk gets his time to really shine outside of his usual one-liner confines. Wash totally mans right up when the chips are down and proves his mettle among his more battle-worn peers. The torture scenes in this episode are rough, but also deeply rewarding in the end.

8/10 Also, we already know this, but Zoe's an incontrovertible badass.

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