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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Firefly Ep 3 Bushwhacked - Mike's Review

In this episode I noticed how crowded space is in the Firefly Verse.  Responding to a distress beacon Serenity encounters an apparently derelict ship.  They board and find one person alive and everyone else who was aboard dead.  They also 'salvage' the cargo and before getting away are waylaid by an Alliance cruiser and it's bureaucracy.

When the distress signal is received there little doubt about going to investigate and render aide if they can among most of the crew.  The doubts that some express, like a worry about Alliance ships responding and encountering them by Simon I understood in part I think because they were not raised very strongly and it was pretty clear they would go.  Only Jayne seemed the most reluctant until the possibility of booty is raised.  It's intended as a funny moment when Jayne agrees to go and see what can be done to lend aide when he's clearly just thinking of personal gain and I did chuckle familiar with Jayne as I am from having watched the series before.  But it was a pretty cold chuckle it didn't strike me as funny as I think it was intended.  I think I could imagine my fear giving rise to thoughts of leaving to others the task of going to see what happened to the ship and if anything could be done.  I can not imagine changing my mind for booty, or maybe even that but then to pretend it was due to a sudden change of heart.  That is difficult for me to imagine and I wonder about what could shape a response like that?  Because I do think real people can and do act that way.

An interesting scene happens that I think shows the virtuoso writing, in two scenes I felt a sense of comradeship among the crew grown, the character of Simon fleshed out a touch, and the contrasting natures of two important poles of the crew Kayley and Jayne is brought into sharp focus.  And it was funny.  Earlier in the show we learn that Simon has a fear of EVA in spacesuits.  Initially the crew has to board the derelict ship in suits and Jayne tricks Simon into thinking he's needed onboard the ship and has to suit up.  Simon enters the ship, makes his way to where the rest of the crew is and finds them all unsuited.  Everyone laughs, Simon curses Jayne.  Kayley walks up and gently tells him he attached his helmet incorrectly.  It's funny and you see the caring nature of Kayley in stark contrast to the self centered nature of Jayne.

I always thought the show handled science pretty well and depicted space well.  The images of the ships approaching and rotating around each other was beautiful and silent.

River again seems distant but maybe getting closer.  She's drawn to the ship and it's due to her that they figure out Reavers committed the murders.  I began to feel a connection to her wondering and to her as a part of the crew.

The rest of the episode involves dealing with the Alliance who suspect the crew of committing the murders and dealing with the sole survivor.  The survivor becomes savage and goes on a rampage.  Mal says it is due to the atrocities he witnessed and says it would be kinder to kill the man.  Again I realize this same character that insisted on helping strangers if they could is also capable of killing another human being without any apparent distress.  It stuck me that although Mal may be an extreme example Kayley is much the same.  When she has to disarm a sensitive booby trap her approach is to face it with the same pleasant disposition she has in every trouble she faces, she gets hurt and sad but at the start she just goes in, with a pleasant voice she details the options regarding the booby trap.  When Mal asks if she is sure she can do it she points out either she can and all is well or she can't and they will be dead and wont have to worry.  She faces each step as she is and takes that step.  So does Mal, they are just different in how.

It is a chilling moment when I realize that when the survivor says "No...mercy' it isn't a plea for mercy but a statement.  As a friend of mine likes to remind people, good grammar can save lives.

And by the end of the episode, only the 3rd, I feel already that the crew is becoming one group.

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