“The Train Job”
Written by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear
Directed by Joss Whedon
Serenity’s crew pulls a train heist for a very scary dude called Niska. After succeeding, they discover that their loot is medicine very much needed by the residents of a small town. Risking Niska’s wrath, Mal and Zoë decide to return the loot. Meanwhile, Jayne (who got shot in the leg during the heist) tries to take over the ship, so Simon drugs him, and it’s awesome. They return the loot to the town.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
I find it interesting (and awesome) that Mal will fight super dirty when he doesn’t intend to kill his opponent, such as when he has Zoë sneak up behind that dude in the bar, but if it’s a fight to the death, he’s much more fair. Similarly, he’s a Robin Hood kind of thief. If it hurts the Alliance, great, but if it hurts a bunch of disadvantaged miners, he’ll put himself in a whole lot of trouble to make sure things are right. Also, I love how he can be hilariously immature when it comes to Inara. The sparkage between them is pretty evident here, especially in the form of Mal’s protectiveness over her (but his hesitation to make it apparent).
Zoë is incredibly solid, reliable, and level-headed. Her deadpan snarking is also some of my favorite humor on the show, especially juxtaposed with Mal’s dorkiness. In fact, she’s so solid and level-headed that she’s extremely awkward at pretending to be Mal’s wife. Bahaha.
I love Wash reacting to things. He’s so funny when he’s bewildered. Apart from that and flying really well, though, he doesn’t do much in this one.
Inara is so kind to Kaylee. As we’ll see in a couple of episodes, most fancy ladies are huge snobs to Kaylee, but Inara doesn’t let the class difference get in the way of their friendship. She understands that even the grease monkey girl likes to feel pretty, and she’s both generous and honest with her compliments. She’s also much better than Zoë at subterfuge, which is interesting, considering that she’s not actually on the crew.
Jayne is clearly the type of very large man who thinks he can use his towering height and bulging muscles to intimidate the crap out of everyone around him, even people he likes most of the time like Wash and Kaylee. Well let’s raise Simon’s David to his Goliath, shall we?
It’s fun how, as sweet as Kaylee is, she’s actually quite keen on the crime side of being a smuggling ship. But if she wants Jayne to be polite to Simon, she’s going to have to be a little more insistent about it than just timid passive-aggressiveness. His conscience doesn’t operate on that frequency.
Simon earned Mal’s respect in this one. It’s interesting that saving Kaylee didn’t do that for him so much as having the guts to subdue Jayne when he got unmanageable.
I love how River gets exasperated with Simon whenever he coddles her too much. She’s traumatized, but she’s still a genius. And we get to see a lot more of her brilliance (and her trauma) in this episode. Also the terrifying foreshadowing of the men chasing her. I wonder if she knows about them because she’s met them or because it’s part of her psychic stuff.
Book is very good at understanding people. It helps that he knows so much about what the Alliance is. He’s impressed with Simon’s courage and devotion, and he’s intrigued by Mal’s willingness to harbor Simon and River. I also love the hints that Book has a more interesting past than just studying in the abbey all his adult life.
5/5 (Particularly for Simon drugging Jayne.)
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.