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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
"Take the Sky"
Firefly: Still Flying
Written by Jose Molina

(Page numbers come from the first edition, May 2010)

 

A seventy-odd-year old Mal receives a package at his remote rim world home.

 

Notes from the Firefly/Serenity Chronology

 

This story initially seems to take place 30 or 40 years after the majority of the stories in the chronology. But the end of the story hints that it is most likely all just in the mind of Mal before his decision to broadcast the signal about the origin of the Reavers in "Living Weapon". For now, I'm leaving the story in the final slot of the chronology; maybe further stories will confirm or deny the characters' situations as depicted here.

 

Didja Notice?

 

The photo of Mal's mailbox on page 150 in the story appears to be a typical mailbox provided by the U.S. Postal Service. Notice that the bottom of the door has the same message imprinted on the metal as those in modern times, "APPROVED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL" (however, it's shown in reverse, indicating the photo was flipped before the name "Reynolds" was "painted" on it). Also the words "U.S. MAIL" that would normally also be on the door of this type of mailbox have been removed.

 

On page 150 in the story, Mal asks the messenger, "Ni dao di yao shen me?" I've been unable to translate the phrase directly, but I think in a general sense it means "What do you want?"

 

Page 150 reveals that Mal is seventy-odd years old in the story.

 

The story informs us that Mal is now living in a small, wooden house on a remote mesa on the one of the rim worlds. Very few people know where he is.

 

Page 152 reveals that Serenity now belongs to Zoe.

 

Page 152 also reveals that Serenity has become synonymous with "The Signal."

 

Reminiscing on his days as captain of Serenity and Zoe's current ownership of her, Mal thinks, "Let her have the sky. They'd taken it from him." This also refers back to the Firefly theme song, whose final line is "You can't take the sky from me".

 

On page 153, Mal reads a news vid obituary that reveals that Jayne had cashed in on his fame after the signal was sent from Mr. Universe's complex (in "Living Weapon") and become a billionaire.

 

Jayne's beloved favorite weapon, Vera, was first seen in "Our Mrs. Reynolds".

 

The crucifix that Jayne had stolen and which Zoe sends back to Mal was seen during the Battle of Serenity Valley flashback sequence in "Serenity".

 

Opening the jewelry box that contains his old crucifix on page 154, Mal refers to the Fat Book, presumably a reference to the Bible.

 

Page 156 reveals that Simon and Kaylee got married and had two kids, Violet and Caleb. The family was living on Ariel the last time Mal had visited them.

 

The end of the story takes place during the events of Mal's fight with the Operative in "Living Weapon" and hints that the previous part of this story about Mal as a lonely, old man was merely the younger Mal musing on what his upcoming choice (to broadcast the signal about the origin of the Reavers) could mean to his life. 

 

Unanswered Questions

 

Is this story the actual future of Malcolm Reynolds or, as the ending seems to hint, just Mal musing on his own possible future? If it is real, why no mention of Zoe's baby?

 

Where is Inara in Mal's future? Is she dead from the terminal disease that would have been revealed in later episodes of Firefly if the series had continued (see the study of "Government Goods")?

 

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