original airdate: 10-04-02
West used to be a simple place where men were men and women
were women. Clearly not so in the New West. In a twisted rendition
of Little House On The Prairie, the crew of the Serenity
shows up hauling cargo through the swamp on a horse drawn
of the Serenity has taken on a mission of mercy, helping the
local town folk out of the clutches of some unpleasant bandits.
No one seems to have an adequate answer as to why this requires
Mal to play Ma Ingalls. But it works.
in town after the bandits have been dealt with, we are treated
to a wondrous spectacle of the whole crew having a great old
time and getting smashing drunk. Jayne discovers the miraculous
wonders of an aboriginal rain stick. He is drunk enough to
be mesmerized. And Mal is treated to the kindly presence of
a local maiden showing favor for him. If years of watching
too much TV have taught us anything, it is this: when a woman
comes up to you, places a wreath of flowers on your head and
has you drink from a ceremonial bowl, you'd better be prepared
for the consequences.
morning, the crew accepts supplies, with the townspeople doing
as much as they can to say thank you for the help with the
bandits. Everyone says quick goodbyes, and the crew of the
firefly launches into the air, in a rush to get to their next
mission. To Malcolm's surprise, they loaded one unexpected
item onboard, a shy woman hiding behind a holding cage. You
guessed it; that would be Malcolm's wife. As Kenny Rogers
once sang, never, ever drink from the ceremonial bowl. It
will sting you every time.
drama unfolds, each member of the crew takes a turn making
fun of the captain for getting married, telling him to make
the most of it. The crew/family dynamics are part of what
is making this show great. The rest of the show deals with
the effect this "marriage" has on those dynamics, and of course
the usual plot twists are there to make this story interesting
and suspenseful instead of just an hour-long sitcom.
and character development continues to be impressive. Even
Jayne is starting to round out as a character. The motivation
for his actions in this episode aren't entirely clear, but
they're slowly building in more to him than just a macho bullet
head. These developed characters come to life in a way that
stereotyped cardboard cutout characters never can.
interesting new details come out about our characters this
week. First, we learn that Inara may have other reasons for
staying on the ship than simple commerce. A few minor actions
and one major action fuel the idea that she has feelings she
may not even be willing to deal with. Jayne has a gun named
'Vera'. This knowledge may at some point become useful, but
right now it's just a little scary. Very apt for Jayne, but
discussions that have been standards in the past episodes
are still present. But this week they give the heavy-handed
nature of past discussions a rest and deal with less global
issues. As opposed to past episodes, "Our Mrs. Reynolds" feels
less preachy and more human.
also starts to round out as a character. In a few scenes,
he still digs into Malcolm as a warning of future judgment.
But we also get to see a different side of his character as
he reveals a surprisingly detailed knowledge of crime and
its technology. Where this comes from and how he came to learn
this information remains a mystery.
quotes from this episode:
been a damn while since anyone but me took a hold of my plow".
- Captain Mal
why I never kiss them on the mouth" - Jayne
is a science fiction show. Some suspension of disbelief
is expected. But it's always nice when a show can pass a
reality test and maintain its science fiction standard.
An interesting moment happens when Jayne goes to use a high
powered rifle, the aforementioned "Vera," in outer space.
He actually makes the point that his gun requires oxygen
to shoot, leading to an elaborate solution to the problem,
actually making the gun work in a more realistic way. Without
overwhelming the show, we got a touch of realism.
we come to the end of the third episode, I have got to say
that I am loving this show. The characters have started
to become real people. The stories have also remained interesting
and fun. What will happen next Friday? In space no one can
hear you holding your breath.