Unlike the other writers at Bureau42, I missed Firefly in its original, aborted run. Space started running the episodes in their intended order, and I caught the bug. This week, that run has reached the first of the three “lost” episodes, unaired by Fox. I reckon they’ll be on the forthcoming DVD.


“Trash”

Cast and Crew:


Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds
Gina Torres as Zoe
Alan Tudyk as Wash
Jewel Staite as Kaylee
Morena Baccarin as Inara
Adam Baldwin as Jayne
Sean Maher as Simon Tam
Summer Glau as River Tam
Ron Glass as Book

Special Guest: Christina Hendricks as Saffron

Writers: Ben Edlund (creator of “The Tick”) and Jose Melina

Plot:

It’s a small universe, and Saffron, Malcolm’s “wife,” worms her way back into Serenity’s life, with the promise of a very big score.

High Point:

Finally finding out why Reynolds was hanging around a desert, naked, at the start of the episode. In general, the slightly fractured time-structure works quite well. I knew there was going to be a twist, but they handled it well, and made interesting use of Inara along the way.

Low Point:

Once again, a heavily-secured facility has no apparent need for security cameras or analogous devices. Heck, no one even notices Firefly hovering around the floating island.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Basically, this is another “big heist” episode. It’s enjoyable, but hardly original.

Effects: 5/6 The episode features a number of competently-handled effects, and the impressive floating islands of Bellerophon’s wealthiest citizens.

Story: 4/6 It’s not a terribly original story, but they handle a (mildly) fractured chronology very well. The escape from the floating isle happens far too easily, however.

Acting: 5/6 No one is called upon to do anything special here, but the show boasts an exceptional cast, and they manage well.

Emotional Response: 4/6 It earns this score mostly for the humour, which remains a high point of most episodes.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

Total: 29/42

Additional Comments:

I’ve heard tell that Joss Whedon considered “Our Miss Reynolds” to be the best script he’d written, and it clearly ranks as a fan favourite. Although it contains some good humour and effective characterization, I don’t share the general opinion that it represents a high point of the series, and I therefore wasn’t enthused about seeing our Miss Reynolds reappear. In fact, “Trash” works well. It doesn’t try to be anything terribly new, but I enjoyed it on its own terms.

Firefly has always done well with continuity, but I have to wonder what the impact of the conclusion to this episode will be. We’re led to believe that a certain character will soon be in Alliance hands, and that character knows a whole lot about Reynolds and Serenity and their operations, and can present evidence of their involvement in this particular heist which the victim could corroborate. In theory, this should have consequences on the order of, “the crew of the Serenity are placed under arrest the moment they arrive at any central planet.” Of course, we might expect that character to get away, and actively avoid Alliance authorities.