Written by Jose Molina
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Simon has reached the limit of what he can do for River in Serenity’s tiny infirmary room, so he comes up with a sweet job the crew can pull on one of the core planets. They’ll basically pull a pharmaceutical heist while Simon takes River in for a high-tech brain scan. The plan would’ve gone completely smoothly, except that Jayne has taken the opportunity of being on a core planet to alert the authorities to Simon and River’s location. He expects a fat reward, but the fed who captures them is just as greedy as him, so he just cuffs Jayne too. But then the freaky Academy doctors (two by two, hands of blue) arrive to retrieve Simon and River themselves. Thanks to River’s prescience, Jayne’s brute strength, and Mal and Zoë’s timely arrival, they escape by the skin of their teeth. But if Jayne thought there would be no further consequences for his treachery, he was wrong. Mal knocks him out and threatens to throw him out of the airlock. Only after Jayne offers a genuine apology does Mal close the airlock and let Jayne live.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
I think Jayne expected to be considered as more of a crew member than Simon and River because of seniority. He’s been there probably a few years, and they’ve been there a few months. But Mal is equally loyal to everyone on his crew, and betrayal of fellow crew members is pretty much the worst thing someone could do, so, no, Jayne, Mal won’t let that slide.
I love Zoë. So funny, so steady. And so freaking adorable whenever she’s with Wash.
I think I’ve identified another thing Zoë loves about Wash. When they arrive at Ariel, she’s very stressed about attracting the attention of feds, but Wash helps her calm down a bit. He’s incredibly chill most of the time, but she tends to worry about all the things that might go wrong. It makes her a very useful lieutenant to Mal, but it makes it hard for her to relax. Wash is good at helping her do that.
Inara is mostly offscreen, which is odd. I suppose the main plot did take up all the screentime, but wouldn’t a physical exam be a good time to drop more hints about this terminal illness she has? The physicians performing the exams can’t possibly miss something life-threatening if Inara has already known about it since before she started renting the shuttle on Serenity.
Dang it! Jayne mentioned his dad in this one, and his mom knits him a hat later. I want to meet the Cobbs! How did what sound like such good, solid working folk end up raising an unapologetic mercenary? Also, how long has Jayne been planning to sell Simon and River out? Since before or after River slashed him across the chest? I think this episode has given him as much cause for unpleasant self-reflection as “Jaynestown.” Maybe more. He definitely isn’t proud of himself when he’s turning Simon and River in, just trying to focus on the money. And I really believe he meant what he told Mal at the end. He finally understands what loyalty is, because Mal just explained it to him, very angrily. And he’d rather be remembered as one of the crew than as a traitor. I think that’s why Mal let him live; he can tell Jayne won’t make that mistake again.
Kaylee is definitely a Hufflepuff. Her first thought after Simon explains how they’ll be stealing medicine is to be concerned for the people that medicine is rightfully meant for. Aww. And it’s funny how she grumbles about having to dig through the garbage on a core planet, but she’s actually having quite a bit of fun. Could they sell that ambulance back to the hospital somehow?
Simon’s quiet bravery continues to be awesome. I think he’s one of my favorite characters (but it’s really hard to pick because there are so many good ones). He’ll help a patient in the middle of a dangerous heist on one of the planets where he and River are most likely to be recognized. I also like the way he actually gives Jayne a simple explanation of what the Academy did to River’s brain. He takes the time to help Jayne understand, even though they’ve never gotten along.
Oh hey, River reacted insistently enough to the doctor killing his patient for Simon to do something about it! Maybe she’s starting to get the hang of this whole psychic thing. Also, the way she looks at Simon when he succeeds at saving the man’s life. Aww. Proud baby sister. But as proud as she is of Simon, she seems to have no hope that her own situation will ever improve. Look how resigned she is at the end when Simon brings out another syringe for her. She thinks she can at best be sedated, not helped.
Book doesn’t have any lines in this one at all! I kind of would have liked to see him interact with Jayne, before we find out what Jayne has planned.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.