Notice that during the Serenity scenes early in the episode, the
sounds of mooing cattle can vaguely be heard in the background
throughout the ship. In the previous episode,
"Shindig", Serenity picked up a herd of live cattle on
Persephone for delivery on the border world of Jiangyin in this
The casting director did a great job
of casting kids in the roles of
young Simon and River who actually
look like they could be young
versions of the adult actors Sean
Maher and Summer Glau. (The boy is
Zac Efron, who would go on to become a teen heartthrob after
starring in High School Musical in 2006).
Interestingly, at 0:24 on the DVD, young Simon appears to be doing
his homework on an Ipad about 8 years ahead of its time (at least in
At 9:45 on the DVD, we can see that Kaylee has a cartoon rabbit on
the left chest pocket of her coveralls.
Jiangyin, River wanders off from the general store and joins in at
what appears to be a sort of maypole dance, but with a decorated
tree in the middle of the dance stage in place of the pole. The
music that plays is "The Sailor's Wife" (1864) by Francis Boott
I'm not sure if it was intentional on Whedon's part, but notice that
River doesn't have her sudden, long-distance reaction at the moment
when Book actually gets shot, but seemingly at the moment that Mal
notices that Book has been shot. Maybe she has a certain attunement
to the captain even though she called him a
"stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey" (in Chinese) earlier
in the episode.
As Simon and River are led into the village by their kidnappers at
22:47 on the DVD, there is a mural painted on a cement wall in the
background. The mural appears to show a helmeted astronaut with a
red and white striped flag (either U.S. or Alliance) and to his left
is the logo "See Tomorrow Today". Maybe it's an old advertisement
meant to entice Alliance citizens to colonize the outer worlds?
Upon Simon's arrival in the village, the villagers are relieved to
finally have a doctor to care for their sick. But how did the
kidnappers know he was a doctor, and therefore worth kidnapping, in
the first place? (PopApostle reader Jason Reimche set me straight in
pointing out that there is a brief shot of rustling foliage at 6:52
on the DVD, as Mal and the crew are prepping the cattle for sale,
indicating that they are being observed by someone. And just seconds
later, Mal refers to Simon as Doctor, which was obviously overheard
by the observers.)
The ship's papers presented to the Alliance captain by Zoe name Mal
as "Captain Harbatkin".
River finds and picks wild hodgeberries near the village to which
she and Simon have been kidnapped. As far as I know, hodgeberries
are a fictional fruit; they must be native to one of the worlds
humans settled on after the exodus from Earth-That-Was.
Doralee believes that River may be a witch and horrorifiedly utters,
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." This is a quote from the
King James version of the Bible, Exodus 22:18.
Notice a slight flaw in the CGI at 33:31 is that there are no
reflections of the flying cars against the glass of the building
even though the cityscape and ground traffic are reflected.
What is the small light that appears at 39:45 on the DVD before
winking out at 39:47 (on the left side of the screen). Is it
a...firefly? (Although a pair of lights that appears at 40:12
suggests the lights are car headlights in the distance.)
Even though Jayne put back the things he stole from the Tams before
they noticed them missing, it would still be obvious something
happened since he just dumped it all out on the bed instead of
putting it back where he found it.
Notice that at 41:42 on the DVD, Simon pulls the chair out for
Kaylee at the dining table and then pushes it in for her. This may
be his way of showing her he is sorry for what he said
earlier in the episode
Serenity and the life the crew
(Thanks to the
Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Simon says, "Jien tah-duh guay!"
Gabriel Tam says, "Nah mei guan-shee."
"That has nothing to do with it."
Gabriel Tam says, "tyen-shiao duh"
"heaven knows what"
Simon says, "da bianhua"
River says, "Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze."
"Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey."
Simon says, "Niou fun."
Kaylee says, "shuai" in reference to Simon
Simon says, "luh-suh" in reference to Serenity
||Simon says, "pyen
juh duh jiou cha wen" in reference to Mal
Chinese symbol on the back of Kaylee's coveralls.
Chinese characters on Jayne's t-shirt
||Mal says, "Fei
||Mal says, "Ma-Shong!"
||"Oh, God, no."
||Mal says, "jing-tzahng
mei yong-duh" in reference to Simon
writing (Wo) on cone shape in Serenity
writing (Qian) on the bridge of Serenity
writing on a sign in the police station.
says, "Chu fei wo si le."
||"Over my dead body."
||The patron of
the village says, "nyen ching-duh"
writing (Zhan dou de Xiao jing ling) on Jayne's t-shirt,
with a number 28 below it
Elves (presumably some kind of sports team)
Notes from Firefly Role-Playing
Game Core Book
The one-person Alliance fighter that appears in this episode
is a Justice-class gunship.
is it bad that what she said made perfect sense to me?.wav
cunningly concealed herd of cows.wav
possibly you're not recalling some of his previous plans.wav
a lovely little community of kidnappers.wav
connection with the Alliance.wav
such a brat.wav
are you trying destroy this family?.wav
men of God.wav
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