Great episode. It’s got everything - drama, comedy, action, and an exciting, emotional story. The cast are just so comfortable in their roles, it feels like seventh season television (but with their first-season enthusiasm and hunger). Plus, the crew are really firing on all cylinders - great camera work, the (many!) sets and props look fantastic, the lighting is creative and moody, etcetera. Postproduction’s terrific as well, but the music and the CGI have always been top-notch. I think the crew really deserve a lot of credit here.
The only criticism I can think of is that I find the idea that they could escape the Alliance’s clutches so easily a bit unrealistic, especially with such an improvised, haphazard plan. You would think with all of the preplanning between Jayne and the Alliance officer, they would have made better holding arrangements. And not sent just two plebes to lead them down to an isolated cell.
Surprisingly gory for television - but it certainly made selling the Jayne-scaring screams easier.
Great Simon development in this episode. It was interesting to see him in his element, especially when he took on the responsibility of the patient in the hospital’s common room, and afterwards, in his outrage, slipping right back into his former skin to lecture the young doctor. He was confident, comfortable, and self-assured, basically everything he hasn’t been on Serenity. And the quiet Simon and River scenes were very touching.
I agree with everyone else on the Mal/Jayne confrontation. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have the episode end with Mal walking out of the cargo bay while through the window, the daylight faded to black as they broke atmosphere.
Likes: Learning medspeak, River’s tear, Jayne trying to touch the brain display and Simon slapping his hand away (and the display registering when Jayne starts lying), and of course, “We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient…”
Dislikes: I got annoyed with Wash and Zoe when they began celebrating and kissing on the hospital roof. I agree with Mal, save that for when you’re out of sight.