Serenity Sunday: Firefly Episodes 10 & 11

Hello everybody!  I hope you find serenity this Sunday.  Today, we are talking about Firefly episode 10, War Stories, and episode 11, Trash.  These two episodes compliment each other perfectly.  First, we see the return of characters we’ve previously met.  Second, episode 10 is pretty heavy, while episode 11 is a light-weight caper.  I am only going to touch on a few things from each episode.  If there is anything you would like to add, please comment below.  Also, if you need an introduction to our main characters, read this post.  Let’s do it!

Episode 10- War Stories


War Stories marks the return of Niska from episode two.  If you need a refresher, please read my post on that episode.  Based on that episode’s goings-on, Niska wants to settle a score with Mal.  He gets his opportunity when he learns that Mal is in the area trying to conduct business.  He kidnaps Mal and Wash (I’m coming back to Wash) and starts torturing them.

Wash and Zoe

One thing I loved about this episode is that I understand what both Wash and Zoe are going through.  Wash is feeling insecure because he feels that Zoe blindly follows Mal’s lead.  Zoe has a loyalty to Mal that comes from being in war with him.  As a former soldier, I understand that you can build these strong bonds with the people you eat, sleep, train, and deploy with.  This is something that civilians like Wash do not understand.  With that being said, I am also a spouse.  You want to know that at the end of the day, the one you married has unflinching loyalty to you.  Zoe proves this when it comes time to rescue Mal and Wash and Niska makes her choose between freeing her husband or freeing Mal.  She chooses Wash without hesitation.  She does this because she knows that Mal can take the pain of torture (I’m coming back to this as well) and Wash cannot.  But, I also like to think that even if he could withstand the torture as much as Mal, she would still choose Wash.

Mal is a little scary

Mal is subjected to a lot of brutal torture at the hands of Niska.  He’s being electrocuted, poked, and cut.  Niska even cuts off his ear and gives it to Zoe.  Mal eventually dies, but Niska brings him back to life so that he can continue to torture him.  Even after all of this, Mal manages to overpower Niska’s henchman and almost gets his hands on Niska.  What kind of crazy person is subjected to that amount of torture and dies, just to come back to life to kick ass?  No one should ever cross Mal…ever!

Sheppard, we need to talk

Back in episode 5, Sheppard is shot.  He was not going to receive treatment from the Alliance until he shows his ID, then people are tripping over themselves to help him.  This episode, he recognizes that Mal and Wash are kidnapped via ambush by sharpshooters.  Also during the gunfight with Niska’s men, he shoots without hesitation.  This brings me back to my original question: Who the hell is he?  Based on his knowledge of weaponry and tactics, I’m guessing that he was a high ranking officer with the Alliance prior to becoming a holy man.

Episode 11-Trash


After the brutality of episode 10, episode 11 was a nice change of pace.  This episode marks the return of Saffron from episode six.  She is up to no good as usual.  She convinces Mal and the crew to participate in a little caper where they steal a priceless artifact from a wealthy man who we learn was also married to Saffron (he knew her as Yolanda).

Saffron needs to pick another profession

Saffron is pretty much a grifter with companion training.  This line of work does not appear to work out for her.  In episode six, she is discovered.  In episode 11, she is married to one man (who knows her as Bridget) and he abandons her on a moon where she bumps into Mal.  Apparently, she tried to steal the artifact once before and failed.  Then, she tries to trick Mal by getting his help to steal the artifact and then abandoning him naked in the desert.  But he has Inara there to back him up and get the artifact before Saffron can obtain it.  Maybe she should just be a companion.

They know, Jayne

In episode 9 of the show, Jayne tries to turn in Simon and River for a big reward.  He fails, of course.  Up until this point, Simon was unaware of the role Jayne played in the siblings nearly getting captured.  As a matter of fact, he thinks Jayne is a hero.  River informs Simon of the truth.  Simon informs Jayne that even though Jayne betrayed him, he will always take care of Jayne because he is the ship’s medic.  And, in one of greatest moments on the show, River reminds him that she can kill him with her brain.  I love how River is evolving throughout the season.  By the time we get to the movie, she is an absolutely amazing character.

Wrapping it up

Episodes 10 and 11 further prove that Firefly is top-notch when it comes to writing and character development.  Had the series continued, I’m sure that we would have seen more of Niska and Saffron/Bridget/Yolanda.  Maybe we would have finally learned what is up with Book.  Watching this show again reminds me of how other shows are often convoluted or lazy when it comes to character or plot development.

Well, that’s it for Firefly episodes 10 and 11.  Next week, we watch episodes 12 and 13.  Until then, be sure to join me for my thoughts on episode 3 of Radiant.  Next Thursday will be my review of episode 3 of Ace Attorney.  Have a great week and I will see you later!

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