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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
"Our Mrs. Reynolds"
TV episode

Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall

 

Mal inadvertently marries a young village girl.

 

Read the full episode summary at the Firefly and Serenity Database

 

Didja Know?

 

The title of this episode is a play on the Our Miss Brooks comedy franchise of radio shows (1948-1957), television shows (1952-1956), and a movie (1956).

 

Didja Notice?

 

At 2:16 on the DVD, one of the village elders gives Jayne a rain stick.

 

The fact that Saffron was hiding in the cargo hold and does not reveal herself until Serenity takes off from the planet and heads into space would seem to be an early clue that she is not really a gift from the village.

 

As Kaylee is comforting poor little Saffron at 7:30 on the DVD after Mal makes her cry, notice that Jayne's hand also moves in (on the right edge of the screen) to comfort her with a caress. Of course, Jayne has ulterior (read lustful) motives towards the girl.

 

Reading from Simon's electronic encyclopedia, Shepherd Book reveals the planet Serenity has just left is called Triumph. The Complete and Official Map of the Verse, an authorized product available from Quantum Mechanix, reveals that Triumph is a moon orbiting a planet named Heinlein. Most likely, Heinlein is named after the science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988). 

 

At 9:22 on the DVD, notice there is a rendition of a winged insect on the bulkhead, center-right of the screen. Presumably this is intended to represent the silhouette of a firefly in flight.

 

When Mal tells Saffron maybe he can help her find work on the next planet, she says, "I'll not be anyone's doxy." "Doxy" is an old English term for prostitute or mistress.

 

At 14:48 on the DVD, Mal asks Inara, aboard her shuttle, if he may come in. This is a reference back to both "Government Goods" and "The Train Job", where Inara scolded him for always walking in unannounced.

 

   Jayne has a big effin' gun named Vera, a Callahan full-bore auto lock. Nice. The prop is built upon a Russian SAIGA auto-shotgun (the original Russian gun appeared in the 2002 movie Showtime in use by a cop played by Eddie Murphy).

   Possibly the name Vera is a reference to the always off-screen character of Norm's wife, Vera, in the 1982-1993 sitcom Cheers.

   According to the Firefly and Serenity Wikia, actor Adam Baldwin appears in the 2007 and 2009 video games Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST and his characters are known to refer to their weapons as Vera.

 

Mal tells Saffron his homeworld was Shadow.

 

At 21:02 on the DVD, Mal appears to have some kind of small potted palm tree in his quarters.

 

Ironically, during his discussion with Saffron in his quarters, Mal's Chinese wall-hanging that translates to "marital bliss" (as pointed out in the study of "Serenity") is visible behind him for much of the scene.

 

Regarding marriage, Saffron quotes the Bible as saying, "On the night of their betrothal, the wife shall open to the man as the furrow to the plow and he shall work in her; in and again, till she brings him to his full and rest him then upon the sweat of her breasts." Can't say as I recall that being in our current day King James Bible! As Mal says: "Oh. Good Bible." It could be that the Bible has gone through new translations or even gained new entries and been published in new versions in the hundreds of years of human history that has passed in the Firefly universe since our own 21st Century. Another possibility is that Saffron made up or borrowed the quote from elsewhere and merely attributes it to the Bible as part of her act. Since Mal was formerly religious, as seen during the war in the Battle of Serenity Valley sequence depicted at the beginning of "Serenity", it seems like he'd realize it wasn't a legitimate Bible quote, unless there are many versions of the book floating around the Verse.

 

At 26:53 on the DVD, Wash echoes Mal's earlier comment about Saffron's Bible quote when she tells him the entendre-filled myth of Earth-That-Was, saying, "Oh. Good myth."

 

As Inara is making her excuses that she merely fell and hit her head (hiding the fact that she kissed the unconscious Mal, getting a dose of the knockout drug Saffron had used on him), notice that Zoe looks as if she realizes what really happened.

 

Simon's electronic encyclopedia at 38:06 on the DVD appears to have subject headings of Medical Science, Universal Encyclopedia, Anatomical Engineering, Bio-Physical Atlas, Human History, and Languages.

 

Unanswered Questions

 

How was Saffron able to infiltrate the village on Triumph and pose as one of the village women awaiting a husband? Wouldn't the villagers know right away she was not one of them and question her presence at the festivities celebrating their freedom from the bandits? And, particularly, questioning why she is engaging in their marriage rights with Captain Reynolds, the man who leads the crew that just eliminated the bandits for them? One possible explanation is that there was more than just the one village involved in the festivities, so an unrecognized young woman might simply be assumed to be a new face from one of the other villages. 

 

Chinese translations
(Thanks to the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Time on DVD Chinese English
7:42 Simon says, "Dahng ran." "Of course."
9:06 Kaylee says, "Nee boo go guh, nee hwun chiou." "You don't deserve her, you fink."
9:08 Mal says, "Gwan nee tzi-jee duh shr."  "Mind your own business."
9:27 Chinese writing visible on cone-shaped tubing on Serenity. Unknown
13:21 Wash says, "bao" a type of stuffed bun
17:03 Mal says, "Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze." "The explosive diarrhea of an elephant."
19:27 Some Chinese characters appear to be on the scanning device used by the space pirates. Unknown
23:07 Mal says, "hwun dan" "bastard"
27:20 Wash says, "Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung." "Holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews."
31:16 Inara says, "Run-tse duh fwotzoo..." "Merciful Buddha..."
32:28 Zoe says "jien huo" "cheap floozy"
33:43 Wash says, "Jing tsai." "Brilliant."
36:12 Wash says, "Dung ee hwar..." "Hold on a second..."
36:24 Wash says, "Aiya!" "Damn!"

 

Notes from Firefly Role-Playing Game Core Book

 

Saffron was formerly a Companion.

 

The "chop house" (the hoop-shaped spaceship that Saffron guides Serenity towards to be dismantled) is a Canuck-class explorer.

 

Memorable Dialog

 

you are not the man I met a year ago.wav

I am a mystery.wav

I'm your wife.wav

all I got is that dumb-ass stick.wav

can I know her?.wav

cleaning latrines with your face.wav

I want you all to meet Mrs. Reynolds.wav

you two kids.wav

I'm not a monster.wav

how drunk was I last night?.wav

you, sir, are a newlywed.wav

one thing in common.wav

you try to kill them right back.wav

live and try to kill people.wav

that's a dumb planet.wav

I'd be a terrible husband.wav

the special Hell.wav

that sex we were planning to have.wav

an evil, lecherous hump.wav

I have captainy things to do.wav

would you like me to wash your feet?.wav

it's my specialty.wav

touchy.wav

degrading.wav

you're a good man.wav

juggling geese.wav

good Bible.wav

a long damn while.wav

is there blubber?.wav

I swell to think of you in me.wav

I'm going to go to the special Hell.wav

good myth.wav

a beautiful woman who can kill me with her pinky.wav

is it Christmas?.wav

isn't that special?.wav

I only fell, is all.wav

molesting innocent captains.wav

I never kiss them on the mouth.wav

she married beneath herself.wav

she was naked and all...articulate.wav

everybody not talking about sex.wav

how a preacher knows so damn much about crime.wav

you didn't just trip did you?.wav

 

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