It’s Serenity Sunday! I hope you are ready to get deep into your feelings because we are watching episode 8 of Firefly! Mal’s leadership is on full display!
Hello everybody. I hope you find serenity this Sunday. Today we are talking about Firefly episode 8, Out of Gas. There is no other way to describe this episode but great television. It is tense and emotional, without being super melodramatic. It gives us an example of leadership and sacrifice that you do not often see in the real world, let alone in a television show. But, we will talk about this later. As I always say, if you need an introduction to the crew of the Serenity, click this post. Let’s get into the episode.
Just a little bit of a disclaimer in case you want to watch the episode later: I’m telling you what happens out of sequence. This episode is mostly flashbacks and it’ll be hard to explain and understand if I go in order.
At his point, the crew of the Serenity is pretty cohesive. Today, they are sitting at dinner, laughing at Sheppard’s anecdotes. The crew, specifically Kaylee, surprises Simon with a cake since it’s his birthday. At this point, there is a large explosion. It disables Serenity, ignites a fire, and knocks Zoe unconscious, doing some sort of internal damage. Zoe is rushed to the infirmary for treatment. While Simon tries to stabilize Zoe, Kaylee investigates the source of the explosion. She learns that something in the engine failed, causing the disabling of the ship and the life support. They are in the middle of nowhere and are running out of oxygen. Mal orders Wash (who is very upset) to send out a beacon. He then tells the entire crew to get in the little shuttles and go as far out as they can in the hopes of attracting some attention. He remains on the cold ship, running low on air. A ship finds the Serenity and tries to hijack it, shooting Mal in the process. But he manages to get the part he needs for the ship, get the hijackers off the ship, and place the part in the engine. He would have died if a revived Zoe did not make the shuttle turn around and go back to Serenity.
We already know how Simon, River, and Sheppard find their way to Serenity. In the flashbacks, we learn how Mal became the captain, and how the crew became the crew. It is smart to put this episode later in the season. Sometimes, it can be annoying to have an introduction of a bunch of people that we have yet to give a crap about. By episode eight, we are invested in this crew. Now, we can get to know them a little better. Kaylee’s origin story is my personal favorite. She is having sex with the mechanic who is supposed to be on board. But, she impresses Mal and Kaylee takes the guy’s place.
A Real Leader
You always see and hear people talk about whose a leader, what makes a good leader, why someone is a good leader, and so forth. Mal personifies leadership in this episode. He is calm, even though his best friend and second-in-command is unconscious. He knows what needs to happen and gets the ball rolling. He is willing to make tremendous sacrifices for those he claims to lead. They matter to him, so he does what he can to keep them safe. Leadership…take notes people!
Wrapping it up
We only have six episodes and a movie left before I wrap up Firefly. So what’s next? I’ve been going back and forth about which show I want to cover. So, beginning in November, I will start watching the creepy show Twin Peaks. Not the new version, we’re going back to the original. Each week, I will discuss an episode, concluding with the movie that put a bow on the entire series. I am looking forward to discussing the show with you. Next Sunday, we watch episode nine of Firefly, Ariel. Until then, don’t forget about Once Upon a Time in Mexico for Rod-Tino Tuesday. Anime Thursday will see the return of Angels of Death. This show has issues. Have a great week and I will see you on Tuesday.