It’s Serenity Sunday! In episode 7 of Firefly, we find out that Jayne is something of a hero in certain parts. How did he get such adoration?
Hello everyone! I hope you find serenity this Sunday. Today, we are talking about Firefly episode seven, Jaynetown. This episode has a lot of little parts in it, but they mostly revolve around our friend Jayne and this crazy little town. Other parts of it are not connected to that story. However, they give us a little insight into some of our characters. More importantly, the side story gives us an interesting conversation topic. We are going to talk more about why it’s awesome how the b-stories are executed in a bit. First, I will refresh your memory about the episode. If you need a reminder of the characters click here.
Jayne: The Robinhood of Canton
Episode two is the most exciting episode, but Jaynetown is certainly the funniest. Mal is taking the crew to the town of Canton, home of the mud manufacturers. Yes, friends, they manufacture mud. When it comes to making money, Jayne is usually the first to jump off Serenity, looking for a payday. But, it’s different in Canton. You see, Jayne stole some money from the local magistrate a few years ago. He managed to escape, but now feels like a marked man when he returns. Much to everyone’s surprise and amusement (for both the crew and the viewer), there is a statue of Jayne in the town square. Jayne is a local hero to the workers because be robbed the rich magistrate, then dumped the money onto the workers. They think he is a hero, but he did it to lighten the load of the ship so he would not face capture.
Jayne’s heart grew three sizes
This episode shows us a softer side of Jayne. Before returning to this town, Jayne appeared t0 not care for anyone. But, after he becomes a hero to people who are basically slaves, he feels responsible for them. When one of the “mudders” sacrifice himself for Jayne, a guy that is normally tough is visibly distraught. He tells the people not see him as a hero, even though he knows they will anyway. What Mal explains to Jayne is that the statue is a symbol. My guess is that it is a symbol of rebellion and standing up for the little guy. Mal tells Jayne right when he says it isn’t about him.
Kaylee and Simon
I know I give Kaylee a hard time. I like her, it’s just that she has a tendency to slip into this baby talk I find annoying. But, I do like Kaylee. I like how she is persistent in her pursuit of Simon. That poor girl has a lot of work to do, breaking through the inherent snobbery that Simon likes to put on display. But, in this episode, she appears to make some progress. He even says she is pretty. He was drunk when he said it, but I’ve heard that “drunk men tell no tales”. This is the beginning of a relationship that we will see evolve later.
The Sheppard and River
While most of the crew laughs at Jayne on Canton, Sheppard volunteers to keep an eye on River. She manages to get a hold of Sheppard’s Bible. What she does next is genius television. She begins going through the Bible, using scientific/mathematical theory to correct it. Sheppard sits down and talks to River about faith and how you are not supposed to fix faith, it is supposed to fix you. What makes this scene so fantastic is that it shows two people with different points of view having a sincere discussion about faith. It’s not heavy-handed or self-righteous. In these divisive times, people can take a page out of Sheppard and River’s book.
There’s another side story feature Inara and a 30-year-old virgin. It’s used as a device to help the crew escape Canton. No need to elaborate on it.
Recently, I’ve been rewatching “My So-called life”. It’s a really good show but it has a tendency to give you these “who cares” b-stories. With Firefly, even the b-story holds value. River and Sheppard’s moments have nothing to do with Jayne’s story, but it was still interesting because it is topical.
Wrapping it up
Well, it’s the middle of the night and I need some sleep. I hope you enjoyed our visit to Jaynetown. Next Sunday is episode eight, Out of Gas. Until then, be sure to join me for Kill Bill, vol. 2 on Rod-Tino Tuesday. I know I owe you my Planet With review. You will see that for anime Thursday. You may get my Disenchanted review on Saturday, depending on my school commitments. Happy September one and all! Fall anime is almost here, thank goodness!