For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Adventures of Jack Burton ] Back to the Future ] Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] The Fly ] Galaxy Quest ] Indiana Jones ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Matrix ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Sapphire & Steel ] Snake Plissken Chronicles ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] Waterworld ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

TV episode

Written by Ben Edlund and Jose Molina
Directed by Vern Gillum


Mal is shocked to discover that an old friend’s new bride is Saffron under a new name.


Read the full episode summary at the Firefly and Serenity Database


Didja Notice?


In the opening scene of a nude Mal sitting on a rock in the desert, we see that he has a tattoo on his right hip. The image isn't very clear on screen, so it's difficult to make out. The tattoo is a real one sported by actor Nathan Fillion. When asked what it is or what it means he has said he got it when he was 19 and now regrets it. He has made a number of joking explanations of what it represents (such as "Property of Gina Torres", the actress who plays Zoe). The most plausible sounding explanation he's given is that it is an Egyptian glyph essentially representing peace.


Mal tells Monty that it was about a half-year ago that he first bumped into Saffron (in "Our Mrs. Reynolds").


At 7:48 on the DVD, as Serenity comes in for a night landing on the moon, we see that it has red and green running lights on the engines, on the port and starboard sides, respectively. This is similar to the running lights on modern day aircraft.


At 7:56 on the DVD, we see the blackened Mule in Serenity's cargo bay, burnt during the assault against Niska in "War Stories".


Zoe refers to Monty as a Sasquatch. Sasquatch is a cryptozoological hominid some people believe lives (mostly) in the American northwest. It seems a bit odd that she would use this term since most denizens of the Verse don't seem to have a lot of knowledge of Earth-That-Was. Perhaps the term has remained in use due to similar creatures on some of the worlds, though we have no indication that any of the worlds of the Verse had humanoid life on them before being inhabited by humans from Earth-That-Was.


The sweater worn by Simon at 15:30 on the DVD looks similar to the Sandman uniform tunic worn by actor Michael York in the 1976 film Logan's Run.


When Mal confines Simon and River to their room in order to avoid Saffron seeing them, Jayne is tasked with telling them and leaving them some supplies. During the discussion, River points out that "Jayne" is a girl's name and Jayne says he'll show her "good and all" that he's got man parts, while reaching into his pants, which causes Simon to comment on his crudity. Jayne then makes as if he was merely reaching into his pocket to leave them a deck of cards. But if you look back a few seconds on the DVD at 16:13, it's clear his hand really was sliding into his pants.


Mal is worried about Saffron seeing Simon and River and turning them in. But she already saw them in "Our Mrs. Reynolds". Possibly Mal has implied to her that the two were just temporary passengers, now long gone.


The large trash bins located on the underside of the floating platforms of Bellerophon Estates appear to bear the corporate name Amalgamated Waste Industries.


It's hard to believe that the crew would be able to fly Serenity right underneath one of the floating estate platforms without being stopped by security. 


At 20:29 on the DVD, the port-side shuttle is visible on Serenity...but both shuttles have already left the ship in conjunction with the heist!


The computer screen on the waste bin at 21:42 on the DVD looks to be displaying a standard Windows operating system application installation procedure!


At 22:12 on the DVD there appears to be a sheet of paper money mounted under glass on the wall in Haymer's estate, possibly one of the rare artifacts in his collection of antiques from Earth-That-Was. As Mal and Saffron make their way through the display room, we also see an old phone booth, a pay phone, a candlestick phone, a record player with 45 rpm records, a model schooner, a couple of vases, a number of paintings and other hanging artworks, a grand piano (with a candelabra on it), and a grandfather clock.


Upon seeing Haymer's collection of artifacts, Mal says (in Chinese), "Holy testicle Tuesday." Do they still have the same seven days of the week in the Verse as in the modern western world? It seems they just might, because Zoe also mentions Sunday in "Triggered".


According to the book Firefly: Still Flying, a tribute to the TV series, the Lassiter laser gun that the crew steals in this heist was a prop which has appeared in other Hollywood productions going back to 1992 (such as Seaquest DSV). The prop was constructed from a First Alert ReadyLite flashlight (circa late 1980s) and an aluminum foundry casting of a 1960s-era toy laser gun called the Galactronic Gun.


At 31:57 on the DVD, the police who are chasing Mal and Saffron arrive at the door the two just exited. But it is clearly a different door than the previous shot because the door is a different color, has a different type of handle, and the interior of the building at the door is different than what was seen as Mal and Saffron exited.


Mal appears to be wearing blue jeans or something similar most of the heist, but when he and Saffron are escaping in the shuttle and he is at the controls in the cockpit, he is briefly seen in his normal khaki trousers before being in the jeans again.


When Saffron makes Mal strip down naked, it doesn't make much sense that he seems to pull his trousers down before he has even removed his boots!


I like Inara's pistol, seen when she holds Saffron at gunpoint. Like her, it's sexy. The prop is a slightly modified Ruger Mark 2.


Thanks to River's sensitivity to duplicity, Simon finally realizes that Jayne had attempted to betray him and his sister on Ariel and confronts Jayne about it. This incident occurred in "Ariel".


River warns Jayne that she could kill him with her mind. Did she literally mean that she could kill with mind-power? Or was she just putting the scare into him? 


Chinese translations
(Thanks to the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Time on DVD Chinese English
4:35 Saffron says, "Ben tian-sheng de yi dui rou!" "Stupid, inbred sack of meat!"
7:19 Saffron says, "hou zi de pi gu" "monkey's butt"
10:16 Mal says, "Yi qi shen hu xi." "Let's take a deep breath."
11:31 Inara says, "Suo xi." "Petty."
13:46 Jayne's t-shirt has Chinese characters on it which say, "Dai ruo mu ji." "Dumb as a Wooden Chicken"
14:35 Inara says, "Ni men dou shi sha gua." "Idiots. All of you."
16:43 Simon says, "bu hui hen de" "remorseless harridan"
17:53 Chinese characters on the digital schematic of the Bellerophon Estates parlor
18:42 Large white balloons at Haymer's party have the Chinese character "ying". Welcome
18:42 Vertical banner has Japanese writing I and Raku: Ikebana to Zouka; Rakuzaka; Taguchiya Ikebanaten; Ikebana and Artificial Flowers; Rakuzaka; Taguchiya Ikebana Store
18:47 Vertical banner in background appears to have more Japanese writing Unknown
20:37 Chinese character "wei" on Serenity's top hatch as Jayne emerges Danger
21:53 Chinese writing on trash bin Danger; Electricity; Vapor
22:17 Mal says, "Shen sheng de gao wan." "Holy testicle Tuesday."
31:41 Saffron says, "Wang ba dan de!" "Whores of sons of bitches!"
31:47 Columns in the estate have the Chinese character "ying". Welcome
36:47 Kaylee says, "Ta shi suo you di yu de biao zo de ma!" "Whores in hell!"


Notes from Firefly Role-Playing Game Core Book


Monty's transport is called the Restless Soul.


Memorable Dialog


that went well.wav

devil woman.wav

you and lipstick are a dangerous combination.wav

you are a tweaked one.wav

people love those.wav

a petty thief.wav

what's she doing on this ship?.wav 

you better run.wav

you didn't see it coming?.wav

I can kill you with my brain.wav 


Back to Firefly/Serenity Episode Studies