(Spoilers) Firefly Film Festival #14 "Objects in Space"

NE Texan is out of town and I can’t wait any longer…

Welcome to episode fourteen of the Firefly Film Festival.

As discussed here, we’ll be reviewing and talking about one Firefly episode each week.

In this thread, please remember the following as a warning to yourself and courtesy to other posters:

  • There will be unboxed spoilers about the current episode in this thread; you are forewarned.
  • Please use spoiler boxes if you want to bring up points from later episodes.
  • Please use spoiler warnings if you want to use info from the movie. Also be prepared for massive jealousy.
  • Label what the spoilers are about so that readers can decide whether to open the box.
  • We’ll be talking about both the episode and the DVD commentary here.

Note for those of you who have just started to watch Firefly on Sci-Fi: feel free to bump and continue any of the threads in this festival.

Previous episodes:

  1. Serenity
  2. The Train Job
  3. Bushwacked
  4. Shindig
  5. Safe
  6. Our Mrs. Reynolds
  7. Jaynestown
  8. Out of Gas
  9. Ariel
  10. War Stories
  11. Trash
    12.The Message
    13.Heart of Gold

Time for a thread on this week’s episode: Objects in Space. “Come on out River. The nice man wants to kidnap you.” And countless other REALLY good lines.


I just loved this ep because it had the old Assistant Deputy DA from Law and Order. Some very good camera work though, I especially loved the blooper reel bit for this episod, with the Millenium Falcon :smiley:

Assuming that River is reading everyone’s thoughts as they’re having their different conversations, you get some interesting insights about the characters. Jayne’s feeling bad about selling them out, Book doesn’t seem to be quite as concerned with the innocence of others, though the though could have been focused at either Jayne or River. Wash and Zoe didn’t seem to have any exact thoughts, though its’ interesting to note that they do in fact hear violins when they kiss. Inara is upset that Mal is holding back, Mal seems frustrated that he’s as worked up over Inara as he is, believing it shouldn’t matter to him. Simon’s somewhat sore that he can’t be on Osiris being the genius surgeon because he had to go rescue his sister, and Kaylee’s thoughts seem to consist of a somewhat unpleasant look in River’s direction, perhaps a combination of some scorn for the hardships that River puts Simon through, and some wariness after the “No power in the verse” incident.

“He takes so much looking after.”

“Are you Alliance?”
“Am I a lion?”

I got nothing else at the moment.

Can you believe this is our last episode? I’ll miss you guys so much! What will we do next? :: wiping away tears ::

Best thing on TV ever. Okay, maybe #2 after man walking on the moon. the commentary is amazing too.

It’s a shame the show was cancelled, if only because it means we never got to see more of Jubal Early. Or would subsequent appearances have only cheapened him? Ooh! Jubal vs. Saffron, with the crew dragged in between them!

What’s this millenium Falcon clip?

“Are you Alliance?”
“Am I a lion? I don’t think of myself as a lion. But you might as well. I have a mighty roar.”
“No, I said Alliance.”
“I thought… Huh, that’s weird.”

Simon: “And which part of your plan dictated the necessity of beating up a Shepherd?”

“That ain’t a Shepherd.”

Verrrry interesting.

“Ya know, you ain’t quite right.”
“I know, it’s a popular theory.”

“Little man loved fire.”

Now we wait…September 30th seems a looooong way away.

I know… I was thinking a wrap-up thread would be nice, but other than a discussion of which one was the best episode, I don’t really have a concept. Also, there’s the hope that others will pick up the previous threads as the episodes are repeated on Sci-Fi.

I love the way River wanders through the ship unseen. In the commentary, they tell you that Summer Glau is a ballerina. You can see her training in this episode, especially in a couple of scenes: 1) when she bends over to look at the stick/gun (one of my favorite shots), and 2) when she balances on the railing while listening to Kaylee tell the group that she fired shots during “War Stories.”

Also, did anyone else get the feeling that Inara knew Early from before?

There are an astonishing number of quotable lines in this ep, but still it doesn’t seem forced. Another couple:

“We’re deep in space, corner of No and Where.” (Mal to Simon after he takes the gun away from River."

Wash: “Psychic though, that sounds like something out of science fiction.”
Zoe: “We live in a spaceship, dear.”
Wash: “So?..”


Early is one weird guy. The vague ramblings seem to be an act, though, since he gets very focused and down-to-business when River turns the tables on him.

I got the sense that his conversation with Inara wasn’t so much that he knew her, but knew she was a Companion. Unlike people like poor little Kaylee, who was completely surprised and panicky, Inara’s training and experience makes her highly composed and savvy, and he probably knew that. Course, it could be read the other way, that’s just my interpretation.

Jayne: “Anybody remember her comin’ at me with a butcher’s knife?”
Wash: “…Wacky fun…”
Jayne: “You wanna go, little man?”
Wash: “Only if it’s someplace with candlelight.”
Zoe: “Sir, I know she’s unpredictable, but I don’t think she’d harm anyone.”
Jayne (off camera): “Butcher’s knife!”

One of the many neat things about this episode – it provides a tour of the whole ship, both inside and out. You see Jubal walking on the outside (does he have magnetic boots?) and peering through the skylight over the kitchen/dining hall/common area (the homiest part of the ship). With the action inside, you can get a good sense of the spatial layout of the cargo hold, the crew quarters, the engine room and the bridge. The ship really is a character in its own right. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d rather live aboard beat-up, jerry-rigged Serenity than any of the squeaky-clean versions of the starship Enterprise.

Actually, I like all the ships in “Firefly”. Jubal’s ship looks like a state-of-the art model; very sleek and efficient, probably customized. The huge Alliance ships look like towering government office complexes in space.

Jubal’s spacesuit/body armor also looks like an advanced model; take off the helmet and it looks like a bad-ass leather outfit, as compared to the bulky, utilitarian spacesuits the crew has. In fact, Jubal definitely fits Joss Whedon’s philosophy about bad guys – that an interesting villain sees himself as the hero of his own movie.

Tell me I’m not the only one who, just for a moment, thought that maybe River really had achieved oneness with Serenity?

Plot point: how did Mal get into a space suit and up out of the airlock so quickly? Maybe there was more time than it seemed given the editing.

“Yeah, and if wishes were horses, we’d all be eatin’ steak.” – Jayne

I had missed this ep during the show’s first TV run; seeing it for the first time on the DVD, as the closer, it really hit home what a little treasure this show was.

Richard Brooks (Jubal Early) continues the tradition of brilliant villian performances, but the real star of the episode is Serenity herself. What a great set. Kudos also to creator Joss Whedon for his stylish direction. The episodes he directed were consistently the most visually inventive of the lot. Storywise, once again he cleverly weaves what seem to be unrelated narrative threads into a unified theme, in this case, River’s gifts and crew’s poor comprehension of their power, and of her.

A couple of other thoughts while they’re still rattling around my tiny little mind:

I read that last one in part as a decision to make it clear that Wash and Zoe’s love for each other is sincere, demonstrated by their being the only ones on the ship who weren’t hiding anything in their minds.

One major recurring theme of the show was that the crew a sort of family, with Mal as the father figure; this was portrayed very clearly in the lovely scene at the end where River symbolically returns to the family by dropping from Early’s ship, gently down into Mal’s outstretched arms.

Props also to the wonderful oboe theme that accompanied Early’s scenes.

Not much else to do now but wait for the film’s release. Damnation.

Zoe: Anyone we can’t spare.

I think River set it up beforehand. When Jubal is walking Simon around the ship you see a shot of the space suit helmet laid out. Its normally left in the bin. River probably got into hers and got Mal’s ready.

This episode made me really wish there was an episode of Law and Order where Stone and Robinnette had to prosecute a midget arsonist.

“Little man loved fire”

Mal’s specific thought was “None of it means a damn thing,” which is interesting because it seems even broader and more general than just what he feels towards Inara. Mal was disillusioned and bitter since the pilot but it seems like he goes off the nihilistic deep end.

I can’t believe I read Sartre’s Nausea after JW mentioned it in the commentary to this episode. I like Joss, but this one has to be his most self-congratulatory commentary outside of any of the Angel dvds.

At first I took Inara’s thought (“overheard” by River) to be about Mal, that he’s witholding info or feelings from her. But later I thought it might tie in to the theory that Inara has a terminal illness. She’s recently told Mal she’s leaving, for reasons unknown to us. While she’s talking to Mal, it’s possible that she’s remembering a time when she was told some bad news, if that news is relevant to why she’s leaving. Or it might be that River isn’t mind-reading an exact moment, but a general feeling or emotion, which sort-of works for most of the other characters.

It’s a big stretch though :slight_smile:

This was my favourite episode. I love Jubal Early, and River is amazing in this. But Joss’s commentary was kinda pretentious :slight_smile:

Loved this episode dearly and it was a nice bounce back from the disappointing “Heart of Gold”. It stands out in my mind as the first episode in which River is a contributing member of the crew instead of a burden or someone to fear. Sure, Early boarded Serenity looking for her, but she really did a great job of handling him.

The writing is fantastic as usual. The first time I saw this episode, when River says to Early “You crawl inside me uninvited and you hurt my crew, I see everything that passes,” I thought “How the hell did something this brilliant get cancelled!” Twelve of the previous thirteen episodes were exceptional, but “Objects in Space” hinted at an even higher level of excellence that the show was approaching. Damn Fox network!

One more thing I love about this episode: Jayne, arguably the one crew member who could’ve stopped Early before he took the ship hostage, slept through the whole incident!

So much of this show, as noted above, is quotable. SO much of this ep is just outright excellent. The part about a room still being someones room if that someone isn’t in it…“kinda expands the mind.”

Jubals lines are just, well, fun and scary and absolutely perfect.
*…Maybe I’ve always been here.

Now’s not your time, Doctor.*

Oh, and his little freak-out sequence when River is talking about his dog…whoa!

Just have to throw this in, since I think it’s a perfect example of how Joss will toss a line in early and then have it come back in a completely different way:


“She understands, but she does not comprehend.”

Aah, my second fave, I think (narrowly edged out by “Out of Gas”) - loved Early even if he’s a vicious bastard - “have you ever been raped” indeed!
Another fave…

I loved the Mal-River moment outside the ship, she sounded very adult. :

And again we see how much Simon loves his sister, and is willing to dies for her.