Firefly Review – “Bushwhacked”

Did you catch Firefly‘s lackluster second episode? Tell us what you thought!

Cast

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

Crew

Written and directed by Tim Minear.
The complete IMDB listings can be found here.
The official website can be found here.

Original Airdate


Bushwhacked
originally aired on Friday,
September 27, 2002.

Premise

Serenity and her crew come across a ghost ship, and they
decide to see if there are any crew left to prevent them from
looting.

High Point

The interrogation sequence. If you want to see the various character
personalities and the differences between them, those two minutes will
cover it very well.

Low Point

The incredible predictability and lack of originality of the plot.
We’ve seen this before. The only reason I can think of to put such a
lackluster episode this close to the start of the run of the series
was to make sure the Reavers were introduced before other episodes
that will follow.

The Review

This was not a particularly original episode. We’ve seen the
plot before in numerous variations, which made the whole thing rather
predictable. I give it 1 out of 6.

The effects were excellent. The aspects of this world really
seem to mesh together. In the shot where the audience is looking into
the ship through the window, I don’t know where the real stuff ended
and the CGI began. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was well paced and entertaining, even if it was the
same-old-same-old. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was fairly impressive. The personalities of the
characters were completely distinct and believable. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The emotional response this produced was almost absent. It’s
a rehash plot with characters we don’t quite know yet. We started to
get a good feel for Jayne and the doctor this week, and we got a
decent impression of the captain and his first officer last week, but
there’s still quite a way to go. I give it 2 out of 6.

The production was up to the same high standard as last week,
for the most part. The one part that really bothered me was the “zoom
in and refocus” thing they tried in the early part of the episode. I
found that really irritating. That’s just a single aspect, though, so
I give the production 5 out of 6.

Overall, it was good, but not great. I don’t regret spending
time watching it, but I doubt I’ll sit through a rerun. I give it 4
out of 6.

In total, Bushwhacked receives 27 out of 42.

12 replies on “Firefly Review – “Bushwhacked””

  1. rickyjames says:

    Growing on me…
    I thought this was a great ep even tho yeah, it was just another “food still warm” ghost ship story. The key, like last week, was believability – both in people and actions. I can’t help but compare with ST – no sensors, so you’ve got to go into the ship blind without any of the “X life signs” crap and the resulting loss of dramatic tension. Compare to Enterprise coming across the blood-donor slaughter ship last season – this was MUCH better handled. Doc in a suit was a very nice touch – how often on ANY show, much less sci-fi, do you see portrayals of true practical jokes between people instead of set-ups for artificial sight gags? High point for me – don’t scare the women, followed by let’em have their funeral, we’ve got work to do. Wow, accurate potrayal of cliques – when have you ever seen that on ANY Enterprise? The big ship shows up and no cute tricks, no hiding in a star’s chromosphere, no bluffing, just yes sir officer. At last on a SF show (especially vs. Star Trek, where the phaser-shootout of the week is SUCH a cliche), having big guns pointed at you elicits the realistic fear and respect it should. The banter between opposing vets was just right – not overly dramatic, just the right balance of resentment and resignation. How they hid Doc and Sis was a cute twist – elicited true surprise from me. Introduction of the Reavers was just right – something to be feared primarily because of their unknowns and savagery, just like he Apaches in the old west. We really weren’t shown too much so our imagination takes over – and imagination is what SF is all about. Hope they keep it that way – look at how the Borg became less and less scary the more human (Hugh, Queen, Seven) they were potrayed. The subtlety and low-key take Firefly shows with its action and characters is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. I have a feeling that Firefly eps are gonna be like this – definitely worth watching, but nothing big enough happens to merit re-watching a rerun. Sounds like…life.

  2. Daemonik says:

    Good episode
    I thought the episode was pretty good, it showed the personalities of the crew very well and I must say that they have quickly become comfortable with their characters. The pompous Aliance officer was as much a cliche as the ghost ship, but they were both played well. Although the episode didn’t break new ground with the idea of a ghost ship, it was believable and actually had a little suspense to it.

    I’m sure many Trek fans are missing the lack of technology as a character in this series like in Star Trek. I think it’s more realistic in most respects, I mean when you get in your car, do you drive it or ponder endlessly on the mechanics of internal combustion? People use tools, not many care about their innards. Personally, I won’t miss hearing about dilithium cooling problems every episode.

    Indeed, the only technical gripe I have to date is that in last week’s episode, when the Doctor was sewing up the Captain’s shoulder, he should have had something a little more advanced then stitches. Bio-glue or a spray-on sealant perhaps.

    I find that I like the path that the visual designers have taken with this series. The Aliance ship looked nothing like any starship we’ve seen before, but it didn’t look out of place either.

  3. OrangeCarrot says:

    Serenity
    I wonder if they flipped a coin when they named it the show FireFly. I bet Serenity was a close second.

  4. strider37000 says:

    pretty good for the second episode
    I thought this episode was pretty good as well, It definitely had the feeling joss’s other shows have going for them. As for the originality of the story, I agree it wasn’t original, and I don’t think it had to be. I mean really almost every day of my life is pretty much the same as the others. You get a few amazing moments out of weeks of the same old same old. Buffy and angel both feel that way to me as well, I stopped watching for the monster of the week 3 seasons ago, the character interaction is what makes those shows great, and I think firefly has a chance to be as good. I’m just dreading the upcoming doctor saves jane and they become best friends episode. If this was star trek you could almost count down the episodes till it happens. Nothing says it has to, but I still can feel it comming.

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: pretty good for the second episode

      I’m just dreading the upcoming doctor saves jane and they become best friends episode. If this was star trek you could almost count down the episodes till it happens. Nothing says it has to, but I still can feel it comming.

      Even more potential for pitfalls is the Doc and Mechanic Fall In Each Other’s Arms / Bed episode. That’s the one I’M dreading. Do you let em stay together? Do you let them break up and bicker? Do you find a way to put it off week after week a la Moonlighting? Besides, I LIKE the Mechanic. She’s sweet. A true technogirl… (Comments, TechnoGirl?)

      • TechnoGirl says:

        Re: pretty good for the second episode

        A true technogirl… (Comments, TechnoGirl?)

        Heh….our hair’s the same color and I’m a little older …reserving any real comments on the show for a couple more episodes. First impressions…nice effects…so-so storyline (Cowboy Be-Bop anyone?) … Big Question remains – “Who are these people and why should I like them anyway? ”

        • rickyjames says:

          One-TIme Crossover Message…

          I think Vulcan is supposed to be around the star Epsilon Eridani which is 12 light years from Earth.

          Heh! And I thought I was the only Geek who remembered stuff like that.

          Any self-professed female geek (with hair the color of the Mechanic’s!!!) that remembers Epsilon Eridani was identified as Vulcan’s home star in the old Blish adaptations and is impressed/surprised/whatever that I remember it too is a potential penpal as far as I’m concerned. Technogirl, you have a standing invite to strike up a friendship with me at [email protected], hope to hear from you. End of sappy, one-time public show of puppy dog eyes. Back to discussion of the SF we both/all know and love.

        • quecojones says:

          Re: pretty good for the second episode

          … Big Question remains – “Who are these people and why should I like them anyway? ”

          Aside from that one… what I want to know is this: What the heck is up with the Doc’s sister and why should I care and not just find her annoying as hell?

          • Daemonik says:

            Re: pretty good for the second episode

            … Big Question remains – “Who are these people and why should I like them anyway? ”

            Aside from that one… what I want to know is this: What the heck is up with the Doc’s sister and why should I care and not just find her annoying as hell?

            I suppose you could just peek into Joss’s head and find out everything that’s going to ever happen in this show OR you could just be a little patient and let things unfold in their own time. I mean damn, they’ve only shown 2 friggen episodes.

            • strider37000 says:

              Re: pretty good for the second episode

              … Big Question remains – “Who are these people and why should I like them anyway? ”

              Aside from that one… what I want to know is this: What the heck is up with the Doc’s sister and why should I care and not just find her annoying as hell?

              I suppose you could just peek into Joss’s head and find out everything that’s going to ever happen in this show OR you could just be a little patient and let things unfold in their own time. I mean damn, they’ve only shown 2 friggen episodes.

              Some personality quirks are interesting and some annoying. IF she did the space case thing now and again it would be fine that we have to wait to see what happened( although it seems a lot like B5 pshycorp was working on her) The problem is every time anything happens she has a little episode. Maybe she’ll turn out to be the cute insane chick like fred in Angel. I could go for another one like her.

      • Alexius says:

        Re: pretty good for the second episode

        I’m just dreading the upcoming doctor saves jane and they become best friends episode. If this was star trek you could almost count down the episodes till it happens. Nothing says it has to, but I still can feel it comming.

        Even more potential for pitfalls is the Doc and Mechanic Fall In Each Other’s Arms / Bed episode. That’s the one I’M dreading. Do you let em stay together? Do you let them break up and bicker? Do you find a way to put it off week after week a la Moonlighting? Besides, I LIKE the Mechanic. She’s sweet. A true technogirl… (Comments, TechnoGirl?)

        My Guess, After watching Every Buffy, And All But A Few Angels, Is That The Doc’s Going To Be Dead Before The Seasons Out. Odds Are Decent His Death Will Force The Captain To Protect The Sister, One Way Or Another.

        One Good Thing About Joss Whedon, He’s Not Affraid To Off Major Characters, Even Randomly.

        And I Agree, That Geek Mechanic Has Much ‘Dreamgirl’ Potential.

      • jbrecken says:

        Re: pretty good for the second episode
        <BLOCKQUOTE TYPE="cite">
        Even more potential for pitfalls is the Doc and Mechanic Fall In Each Other’s Arms / Bed episode. That’s the one I’M dreading. Do you let em stay together? Do you let them break up and bicker? Do you find a way to put it off week after week a la Moonlighting? Besides, I LIKE the Mechanic. She’s sweet. A true technogirl… (Comments, TechnoGirl?)
        </BLOCKQUOTE>

        I’m not TechnoGirl, but I’ll comment anyway.
        I think the inevitable coupling between the cap’n and the ho is the bigger shark to jump, so if the doc and the mech hook up there will still be an element of sexual tension left on board, to keep the plotline from getting stale.

        I’m just glad to see that now that she’s older, the mechanic can work on an engine without help from her imaginary friend. (Ok, so it later turned out she wasn’t imaginary. whatever.)

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