Shepherd Book mentions the writings of Shan Yu, a psychotic
dictator of the past. This appears to be a fictional
reference, though it may be inspired by the title "Shan Yu"
or "Chanyu" given to the rulers of the nomadic tribes of
Central Asia from 1045-256 BC. It may also be a reference to
the villainous leader of the Huns in the 1998 Disney
The computerese that quickly flashes by under River's brain
scan at 1:06
on the DVD appears to be mostly made up of html/xml phrases
such as "document.cookie", "href", "domain", "currenturl", "hostarray",
"hostname", "playurl", "http://play.mp3", etc.
Simon tells Shepherd Book that he has plenty of drugs on
hand with which to attempt to treat River. This is a
reference to the drug heist he masterminded and pulled off
with the crew in "Ariel".
It's subtle, but notice at 1:51 on the DVD that the planet
orbited by Serenity (and Niska's station) has a ring of
asteroids around it.
During the torture of his unnamed prisoner on the space
station, Niska says, "Now we get to the real questions about
who you truly are." This ties back into Shepherd Book's
quoting of Shan
Yu of holding a man "...over the volcano's edge. And on that
day, you will finally meet the man." Niska later even asks
the man if he is familiar with the works of Shan Yu.
Variations on Shan Yu's quote become one of the running
themes of this episode.
When Niska's stooge interrupts his torture session to inform
him about the possible detection of Serenity in orbit,
notice that the man's eyes keep flicking down to the
wicked-looking knife in Niska's hand, as if fearful his boss
may decide to turn it upon him.
While insisting he must meet her client if that person is
going to set foot on Serenity, Mal tells Inara, "Don't
worry, I'm not going to start any sword fights. I'm over
that phase." This is a reference to the dual he
inadvertently stepped into with Inara's client Atherton Wing
In this episode we learn that Jayne has spent some of his
cut from the drug heist in
"Ariel" to buy a full
crate of real apples which he is sharing with the crew. This
is probably his way of making amends for attempting to sell
out River and Simon to the Alliance in that same episode
(though it seems none of the crew is aware of his betrayal
besides Mal and, probably, River).
Mal tells Wash that he dismissed his idea about eliminating
the middleman in selling their stolen drugs because they've
"got enemies enough as it is." This is a subtle reference
back to Niska, who is looking for them as he speaks.
Notice at 11:37 on the DVD that Book pretends to suddenly be interested
in his book as Jayne walks past him, so no one will
think he's interested in Inara's latest client.
Right after Jayne observes Inara and the councilor saying
their goodbyes and he says, "I'll be in my bunk," Zoe walks
down the stairs and tells him, "Jayne, grab your weapon."
This is likely an intentional double-entendre by the writer
about Jayne being about to go masturbate.
Although the crew feels rich at the beginning of the episode
from the profits on the drug heist in
"Ariel", it's implied that
in this episode they've all given up their cuts to pay off Niska for the
return of Wash.
Zoe half-heartedly tries to talk Shepherd Book out of
assisting in the raid on Niska's space station on the
grounds that the Bible has some pretty specific things to
say about killing. But she doesn't comment on Simon's
choice to participate, even though the Hippocratic oath he
presumably took as a doctor itself states that one should,
above all, do no harm.
The gun held by Book at 32:03 on the DVD looks like more
like a modified paintball gun than an actual lethal weapon.
At 32:16 on the DVD, notice that Jayne has chosen to take
the big gun he calls Vera on the raid to rescue to Mal. Vera
was previously seen in "Our
The magazine advertizing being read by the guard on Niska's
space station at 34:33 on the DVD looks more like a
1950s-era ad than a futuristic one.
The Mule, the small, four-wheeled bike used for ground
travel and hauling in several previous episodes (and earlier
in this one) is sacrificed here in the raid on Niska's space
It's kind of hard to make out, but at 38:49 on the DVD, during their fight, Mal gasps out to Niska's torturer,
"Haven't you killed me enough for one day?" This
refers back to Mal being technically dead, and then
resuscitated, at one point during the torture.
(Thanks to the
Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Wash says, "Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiou sai-jin wuh duh
"All the planets in space flushed into my butt."
Simon says, "Mei-mei."
Mal says, "Fahng-tzong fung-kwong duh jeh."
"A knot of self-indulgent lunacy."
Mal says, "niou-se"
Mal says, "Tzao-gao!"
Mal says, "Tah mah duh hwoon dahn."
"Mother humping son of a bitch."
Niska says, "Day yim zato plahteck mahsah."
"They have enough for a slice."
Book says, "Uh choo-shung tza-jiao duh tzang-huo!"
"Filthy fornicators of livestock!"
Notes from Firefly Role-Playing
Game Core Book
Jayne's blade is coffin-handled.
what if you don't live near a volcano?.wav
the pitter patter of tiny feet.wav
I'm not going to start any sword fights.wav
I'm not cleaning it up.wav
no power in the verse can stop me (Kaylee).wav
definitely my sister.wav
I'll be in my bunk.wav
beers with the fellas.wav
are we gonna sing army songs?.wav
there's obeying going on right under my nose.wav
do you want to finish?.wav
what are we gonna do, clone him?.wav
the subject of kneecaps.wav
no power in the verse can stop me (River).wav
I just wish you'd killed that old bastard.wav
you haven't shot anyone yet.wav
we'll be in our bunk.wav
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