Incidentally (concerning the chain of command), who actually owns Serenity? Is Mal the sole owner, or does Zoe also have a share? In Out of Gas, did Mal say “my money” or “our money” when they discussed the purchase?
Can’t remember which ep, but Mal bought and owns her.
I seem to recall that Zoe mentioned Mal spending his money (and getting robbed), but I’ll have to check. I think Mal is the owner (he always says “my boat”, “my ship”), but Zoe and the others get a share of profits from jobs done, in lieu of pay.
OK, back to the episode…
I was already hooked by the pilot , but this made it all more unmissable. And it wasn’t the “deep pass to turbine” scene, or that opening scene (more meaningful having seen the Battle of Serenity Valley bit from the real pilot), but the River arc, and Mal’s explanation for having the fugitives on board:
“because it’s the right thing to do”. First siting of blue hands guys…creepy SOBs.
My fave quotes:
River: “Mal. Bad…in Latin”
Jayne: “Time for some thrilling heroics”
Mal, to Book “You’re welcome on my boat. God ain’t”
One quote that hasn’t been mentioned here yet, is by Kaylee. After she’s explained to Simon how the heist is supposed to go.
Simon: So, you’ve done this before
Kaylee: Oh No! But it sounds right.
She’s perfect ok, I have a crush.
As others have indicated, given the ridiculous circumstances in which this episode was created, it’s a miracle it’s even watchable, let alone as watchable as it is. Definitely a bottom-half episode for me, but y’know, even so, when this aired, it was the best thing on television that month.
The first time I watched this one, I missed the engine-kick, and couldn’t figure out why my friend was laughing so hard until we backed it up. To me, the funniest part of that is the second guy, and how readily he agrees.
Best line of the show … “Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?”
That’s a Whedon trademark. Plot cliches arrive right on cue, and then another character calls them on it. In Buffy, it was one of Xander’s main roles, for instance.
HIjack: there was an episode of Buffy that revolved around Spike’s betraying every member of the gang, talking smack about them to one another. Near the end, they figure out what’s going on, and Xander looks confused, and says, “Wait a second–you mean Spike’s been lying to us all this time?!”
It was delivered in a really unconvincing fashion, and I was thinking, “Man, they obviously didn’t hire this actor for his acting chops,” as Xander furrowed his brow in a terrible attempt to look surprised.
The next instant his brow relaxed, and he said, “Okay, I can’t even pretend to be surprised.” And I realized that Joss had got me yet again :).
“The Yoko Factor,” a standout Buffy episode – he played them like a fiddle. Although IIRC the reveal came in the next episode, which was probably “Primeval.”
By the way, the commentary in this episode says that one of the bad guys (I think the one run over by the mule) was the guy who was usually Angel’s stunt double. (I hope I have that right).
I have to mention this somewhere, and I can’t wait! I spent today in Jury Duty in LA county superior court with none other than… Niska! A man so psychotic he got pulled into the worst jury pool, a three week affair. It was really funny because just last night I watched War Stories.
I wished an attorney to get up and say, “Does anyone know about the poetry of Xian Shu?”
Anyway, I know he’s not in this episode, but I had to post somewhere, and this reaches the right fans:)
“Foreman of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?”
“Yesss… Now we are SOLID.”
I just get all gooshy when the sherrif says something about if a man knew the details of a job like that he’d have a choice to make, and Mal says “I don’t believe he does.”
He’s so ethical!
And then he kicks the guy into the engine. So. Good guy? Bad guy? He’s very firm about doing what he believes is right, but he doesn’t think it’s wrong to kill someone who’s threatening him. On the one hand, so idealistic about handing the medicine back - he doesn’t think there’s even the choice of keeping the profit, on the other hand, totally pragmatic about taking a human life if the situation calls for it. I can go for that!
The more I watch the series, the more I come to appreciate Jayne. Sure, you shouldn’t trust him out of your sight and he’d sell his grandmother for pocket money, but within that particular set of parameters, he stands by his people. In the opening of the episode he joins in a fight that he doesn’t even consider his fight, though I’m not sure that’s because he couldn’t see a better way of weaseling out of it, or because he just likes brawling. But I guess he’s sort of unwieldy but useful, and Mal seems to be banking on being able to control him sufficiently.
He sells them out. Mal should have left him in the airlock.
Not just someone that’s threatening him. Someone who’s threatening him AND who ‘needs killing’. Mal has no problem being judge, jury, and executioner if it comes right down to it, but he wouldn’t kill an innocent person to protect himself. After all, he didn’t kill Simon, and Simon was a huge threat to their existence.
Do you watch ‘Deadwood’? Mal’s ethics are probably along the same lines as Seth Bullock’s (except Seth has no sense of humor). Seth is an honorable man, honorable being defined in the context of a harsh frontier existence. But Seth has killed people. In the season opener, he’s assigned to guard a prisoner who is going to hang for his crimes. A mob comes to take the prisoner, and Seth puts his own life on the line and steps between the mob and the prisoner. After the situation is defused, Seth hangs the guy anyway. See, he took an oath of office, and it meant something to him. He’d put his life on the line if he had to. But if a bad guy needs killing? No problem.
Deadwood’s hanging around near the top of the Netflix queue, we should get the first disc soon. Looking forward to it. The plus side of having no TV (to stay sorta on topic ) is that we saw the Firefly episodes in the more appropriate order - saw the real pilot before the Train Job. The down side is waiting to see shows that everyone’s raving about and that we should really, really enjoy.
Carnivorous Plant, I know Jayne’s morally bankrupt, but he still somehow manages to appeal to me enough that I make allowances for the lower than a snake’s belly in a ditch factor. Hmm. Not an entirely rational response to the character! I think mostly he’s just looking out for himself but if his interests coincide with the rest of the crew’s, he will do his share of the fighting. Which. Um. Yeah. No, not much going for him, I guess.
I knew I said I’d join in on this back in the original Serenity thread, but things got kind of hectic with out-of-town family dropping in unexpectedly.
On the shiny side, I got them all hooked on Firefly!
Since I viewed the series in disk order, I thought The Train Job was a good follow-on episode to further define the main character’s moral landscape. We already knew Mal would not hesitate to off someone from his killing of Dobson near the end of Serenity, pt. 2, and that was one slick draw-fire-holster-don’t-miss-a-step sequence, but we clearly see that it is done out of a brutally pragmatic self-preservation motive (Reavers on their backtrail and closing fast).
The evolution of the story of The Train Job shows the crew will work for a psycho like Niska, but that even they have limits. Greg Henry played the sheriff, and if anyone saw the movie Payback, they’ll remember him from that. He did an excellently nuanced performance (listen to me, I sound like a gorram critic!) as the tough-yet-sensible frontier sheriff.
Mal’s kicking Crow into the engine may also be seen as “brutally pragmatic” but much less immediate than in Serenity, pt. 2. Crow’s refusal to accept his role as messenger-boy is, IMO, as much (if not more) the real reason he went into the engine, rather than threatening Mal (and by extension, his crew); the threat was just the cincher on Mal’s decision. IMO.
My favorite lines:
What puzzles me is Mal not being on his guard when they went back to Niska’s home system in War Stories. If I had crossed a psycho like Niska, I would certainly have had Jayne and Vera at a safe distance covering my back.
How many “cold” killings does this make for Mal now, two? The cop in the first ep, and Bear here? (I’m not counting the ones killed, if any, during a firefight.)
Eh…I don’t think you can count the fed as a cold killing. Let’s face it, while it might not have been an actual firefight, the last time the guy had a gun in his hand he accidentally shot someone who was just standing off to the side.
Maybe not, but Mal wasn’t actually in a firefight, and in fact just walks in on the scene. I’m thinking more of a “Mal shot first” count.