Space has broadcast the second of the “lost” episodes of Firefly, previously unaired in North America. It follows immediately from “Trash,” and is one of the show’s strongest eps. Expect to find it on the DVD.

“The Message”

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

Writers: Joss Whedon and Tim Minear


The crew pick up the post at a space station– and find the corpse of an old war buddy of Mal and Zoe’s among their parcels. Then the episode turns a little weird.

High Points:

This episode scores high for having an essential SF concept at its core, and for generally strong handling of character relations.


Jayne’s package from home.

“My food is problematic.”

Low Point:

Firefly handles so many things so much better than most pop-SF. It annoys me (as it did in “Serenity”) that scenes from the Alliance/Independent conflict play like out-takes from World War II. The technology evident doesn’t suit that kind of fighting.

The Scores:

Originality: 5/6 See “plot.”

Effects: 6/6 Firefly once again shows that ships don’t have to go “whoosh” in the vacuum of space for the shots to be exciting– and Deep Space 9 should’ve looked a little more like the station where the crew pick up their post.

Story: 5/6 For the most part, Firefly has been action/adventure (with heavy doses of gallow’s humour) in an SF/western setting. This episode has an SF concept at its heart, and handles it quite well. The ending, however, becomes somewhat predictable.

Acting: 5/6 We see more of the developing relationships, especially between Simon and Kaylee.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6

Total: 37/42