When the Serenity crew meets Shepherd Book again at
his commune on Haven, we see he is now wearing his hair in
cornrows instead of balled up at the back of his head as he did during
the TV series.
Apparently the crew has been to the commune before, because
a little boy runs up to them when they arrive and jumps into
Kaylee's arms, both having huge smiles on their faces. A man
in a helmet also greets Jayne as if they are old pals. (The
boy makes a flashback appearance in
The Shepherd's Tale.)
Around the campfire that night, Jayne strums a guitar! Who
on the DVD, Mal has several maps
hanging on the wall of his quarters.
One of them appears to be an
old-timey map of the western
hemisphere of Earth.
Notice that at 47:17 on the DVD, River dreams of waking up
just before she really wakes up.
At 49:13 on the DVD, notice that, as the crew eavesdrops on
Mal's conversation with Inara, Wash throws a piece of food
or something at the screen when Mal tells her that Kaylee
misses her instead of admitting he himself does.
At 49:34 on the DVD, one of the computer panels is somewhat
visible next to Kaylee on the bridge. The phrases "ILLEGAL
ACTION CODES" and "FAULT/STOP ON CONDITION" are printed on
it, above lights and switches. The device appears to be a
mid-1980s model mainframe computer manufactured by
At 50:37 on the DVD, Inara is kneeling and lighting incense
in front of a Buddha statue. Buddha
was the Indian spiritual teacher Siddhārtha Gautama whose
teachings began the Buddhist religion. Buddhism is prevalent
in the Asian countries which would suggest a strong presence
in the worlds of the Verse.
During their discussion in the Companion training house, the
Operative and Mal use an albatross metaphor in relation to
River remaining on Serenity. This alludes to the
1798 poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor
Coleridge. The albatross was considered good luck by a
ship's crewman, but, in the poem, a mariner kills the
albatross, cursing the ship, bringing about the deaths of
all on board.
After Mal shoots him, the Operative immediately gets back up
and attacks, saying he's not stupid, he's wearing full body
armor. Guess it was a good thing Mal didn't shoot him the
head instead though!
How did Inara know where to set and light the fake incense
so it would explode right next to the Operative at a
specific moment? And how did she know it was going to
explode right at the moment it did, as evidenced by her
remark to him, "And that's not incense"? Does she have some
psychic abilities of her own? Or did she have some unseen
method of triggering the explosion at a specific moment?
The armor worn by the alliance soldiers is different here
than the borrowed Starship Troopers armor seen in episodes
of the TV series such as "The
Like Serenity, the interior of Inara's (former)
shuttle is also a bit redesigned from that seen in the TV
To aid in the ship's escape from the Operative's forces at
the planet on which the Companion training house resides,
Serenity drops a number of cry babies to serve as misdirections of which
way she has travelled. The cry
babies seen here appear more sophisticated than the one
cobbled from a Blue Sun coffee can used in
At 1:01:00 on the DVD, Jayne pours himself a drink into a
cup with a devil face on it!
Did River use some kind of psychic ability to entice Jayne
into opening the storage room and coming in for her, as a
means of escape? Or was it just Jayne's own nature of
self-preservation and apishness that made him decide he was
going to go in and take her out?
Mal reveals that the term "blackrock" is used to designate a
planet that is uninhabitable. Here, we learn that there is
at least one habitable world (Miranda) that the Alliance has
designated as a blackrock in order to hide activities taking
The Shepherd's Tale
reveals that the Alliance ship that was shot down by Shepherd
Book here on Haven was an
A.V.-Sparrow short-range gunship.
Using an old Hollywood trope, only the character we most
care about at the commune
when Serenity returns and discovers the slaughter
there, Shepherd Book, is still hanging onto life,
just long enough for a poignant farewell.
The cannon Book used to shoot down the Alliance ship and
which is later mounted on top of Serenity, is a modified
Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun, used by German forces in WWII.
this link to see photos of a model of the real Flak 38.
Zoe tells Wash to warn Li Shen, the Sanchez Brothers, and
others who've sheltered the crew in the past to get out now
before the Alliance comes and blows them away. Li Shen and
the Sanchez Brothers have not appeared in any previous
stories told thus far. The video feeds at 1:07:43 show that
the two have already been hit. The feeds identify Sanchez
Ship Repair and Storage on Boros and Li Shen at the K-3
Mining Post on Whitefall. Whitefall was previously visited
in "Government Goods",
but neither Li Shen nor the K-3 Mining Post was mentioned.
During his speech to the crew on Haven, Mal refers to the
Alliance men as "bungers". This may be one of Joss Whedon's
fancy English slang terms, but I've been unable to find one
that seems to fit its use here. Possibly, "bunger" means
"asshole", as in "bunghole".
While passing through the space "shipyard" of the Reavers at
1:12:17 on the DVD, there appears to be another Firefly-class
ship in the top left corner of the screen. (Assuming that we
are being shown an approximate POV from Serenity;
otherwise the Firefly might be interpreted as
Jayne's expressions of relief after the ship has passed
through the Reaver shipyard at 1:13:40 are amusing.
At 1:13:58 on the DVD, there appears to be a large number of
metal boxes stored down in the little-used compartment at
the prow of the ship, below the bridge pilot consoles. In
the TV series episodes, the compartment appeared to be
The spacesuits worn by Mal and Zoe as they scan the air at
their landing spot on Miranda appear to be the same style as
the ones used in several episodes of the TV series. Jayne is
wearing a different, yellow environment suit not previously
At 1:15:23 on the DVD, on the left-hand side of the screen,
a large stairway/ramp is seen. This is based on a design at
Robson Square, the civic center of Vancouver, Canada.
The shoes worn by the dead man at
1:16:27 are slightly modified Nike
Flightposite III basketball shoes.
At 1:16:36 on the DVD, there appears to be a reflection in
the glass wall behind Wash of a member of the production
crew kneeling down to stay out of view of the rotating
At 1:16:43 on the DVD, the dead face River sees during the
psychic flood that overwhelms her on Miranda is the same one
she got a flash of when she was triggered by the Fruity Oaty
Bar commercial in "Triggered".
At 1:17:17 on the DVD, the crew finds a small ship crashed
into the side of a building. The look of the on-location set
is hampered by the fact that there is no skid track leading
up to the building!
"C57D" is seen on the side of the
crashed ship. C-57D was the codename
of the saucer-shaped United Planets
spaceship in the 1956 classic film
Forbidden Planet is a
science-fictional take on
Shakespeare's play The Tempest.
Our Serenity film also has
elements of The Tempest in
it; the planet Miranda is named for
the only female character to appear
in the play and its moon is named
Caliban, another character from the
play. Joss probably chose the name
Miranda due to her quote
How many goodly creatures are there
How beauteous mankind is! O brave
That has such people in't."
|which was the inspiration for
the title of Aldous Huxley's classic
1932 novel Brave New World,
which features a theme of a future
society in which the populace is
controlled by a government that uses
artificial reproduction of humans to
produce well-behaved contributors to
society in a set of castes. This is,
of course, not too far removed from
what the Alliance seems to have
attempted to accomplish with the Pax
Oddly, the ground vehicle Jayne peers into at 1:15:38 on the
DVD also has the C57D code on it! Maybe the vehicle and its
occupant were also part of the same research and rescue
division as the ship, and was overcome by the Pax while
investigating the effects on Miranda.
When River plays back the holographic log on the crashed
ship, most, if not all, of the images of the dead presented
in it are the same ones River has been seeing in her psychic
The researcher in the holographic log indicates the chemical
substance that inadvertently caused the deaths of most of
the population of Miranda (and turned the survivors into
Reavers) was an experimental compound called G-23 Paxilon
Hydrochlorate (Pax). It may be that the G-23 designation is
a reference to the modern day G23 category of degenerative
basal ganglia disorders of the brain, which can cause, in
some cases, a paralysis of the will of the subject,
rendering them essentially immobile and uncaring.
Additionally, the short-form name Pax is also a term for an
At 1:19:16 on the DVD, River is mouthing the words of the
researcher in the log as she says them.
The position of the label on the blue bottle that Jayne
slides across the table to Simon changes a couple times from
the slide to Simon picking it up.
(Thanks to the
Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Several items are seen with Chinese writing on them in Mal's
Chinese writing is seen on Mal's communications screen during his
conversation with Inara.
Jayne's t-shirt says "Wan nao". (A grungier, darker
colored version of this shirt is worn by him in
Chinese words appear on the desktop viewscreen in the classroom of
Jayne says, "Go hwong-tong."
"Enough of this nonsense."
The door frame of the storage room in which River is being kept has
the Chinese word "gai"
beg (doesn't make much sense for this word to
be printed there)
Chinese words printed on a sticker stuck on a locker in the storage
in which River is being kept.
River is holding a large can of something with Chinese words on it
as she prepares to ambush Jayne in the storage room.
Unknown. (Probably says whup-ass.)
Chinese writing on the monitor screen as River searches for the
location of Miranda.
Wash says, "Juhguh jee hua jun kuhpah!"
"There's nothing about this plan that isn't horrific!"
Chinese writing appears on the electronic banner above Mal.
River says, "Runtse de shang-dee, ching dai wuh tzo."
"Merciful God, please take me away."
River says, "Wuo shang mayer, maysheen, byen shr-to."
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone."
Chinese writing on the interior wall of the crashed ship.
Unknown. (Presumably, it says the same as the
English words above them, "Research + Rescue".)
Jayne's t-shirt has the Chinese word "si".
Notes from the Audio Commentary by Joss Whedon on
Joss remarks that scenes of the dead city on Miranda were
shot at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California. The
crashed research ship is shown as having crashed into the
school band's rehearsal room.
Why was the Pax substance released, apparently untested,
across an entire planet? Didn't the researchers test it on
individuals first, where they would have learned of the
effects on a small scale? That's SOP for any scientific
much, much worse.wav
hiding ain't a plan?.wav
it's not your way.wav
if anything happens to me.wav
kind of a tease.wav
try not to faint.wav
you can't make me angry.wav
do you want to run this ship?.wav
or we could talk more.wav
that crossed my mind.wav
not very Christian of me.wav
I don't murder children.wav
a lot of fine ways to die.wav
helpin' me out or takin' your leave.wav
I aim to misbehave.wav
can't do something smart.wav
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