"Firefly" Safe (TV Episode 2002) Poster

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Interesting questions are raised
Tweekums14 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Following on from the excellent "Shindig" which ended with the crew taking aboard a shipment of cattle we learn what happens when they visit a remote planet to sell them. Once the cattle are offloaded the captain suggests that Simon and River join Kaylee and Inara in town as he doesn't want anything to go wrong with the trade. Of course things do go wrong and Shepherd Book gets shot when the local law men turn up to arrest the buyers. Normally they would get the doctor to help but it turns out that at the time Book was getting shot Simon was being kidnapped by a group of locals who wanted a doctor. Needing to find medical help Mal orders Wash to take off, there being no other facilities about they do the last thing Mal wants to do; seek assistance from the Alliance. At first they aren't keen to help but upon seeing the Shepherd's ID the can't help him fast enough. Meanwhile back on the planet Simon and River are having problems; when River knows what has happened to a child without being told the locals want to burn her for witchcraft.

This was another excellent episode which introduced a couple of interesting mysteries; just what was so special about Book's ID that it got him VIP treatment from the Alliance and how can River read minds? As with all episodes there are a few good laughs and the scene where River takes part in the town dance is delightful.
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The Doctor and the Witch
claudio_carvalho29 October 2016
The Serenity brings the cattle to a plane and, when Mal is negotiating the selling with the traders, there is a shootout and Shepherd Book is hit. Meanwhile Dr. Simon and River are kidnapped by the residents to work in an isolated area. But Mal needs to leave the planet to seek help for Book and the leave the siblings behind. When the locals discover that River can read minds, they believe she is a witch and wants to burn her at stake.

"Safe" is another entertaining episode of "Firefly". It is good to see the concern of Mal with his crew. One funny moment is when Jayne puts Simon's belongs back in his cabin. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Safe"
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Nothing very startling
Joxerlives5 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The good; River dancing is just wonderful as is Simon's happiness at it. The scene where the rest of the crew rescue them is terrific as is Jayne looting their stuff.

The bad; Can someone please explain to me exactly when the hillbillies work out that Simon is a doctor? Also what sort of supplies do they have for him to work with?

Best line; Jayne; (pretending to read Simon's diary) "Dear diary, today I was pompus and my sister acted crazy"

Packing heat; Everyone's guns sound very different in this ep, more zingy and less like conventional firearms. The villains/cops 6-shooters also seem to hold an inordinate number of rounds. The lead cop packs a 44. Magnum. Mal and Jayne use Mossberg shotguns and Zoe utilises a full size Winchester rifle rather than her normal cutdown version.

Kinky dinky; Kaylee wants to bite Simon all over? Jayne seems to derive pleasure from having watched the cows being fed by beautiful women (presumably Kaylee and Zoe rather than Inara and River?)

Capt subtext; Is Kaylee the duck and Inara the swan? How'd they get away with that? Skinning the hare is nasty but makes it's point. Burning witches at the stake.

Total Serenity crew; 9 Simon and River's status onboard confirmed Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Book, Simon, River(?).

Subverting the Hollywood cliché; Clever mislead, we think the hillbillies are savages but actually they're just desperate people who need a doctor.

Bondage; River tied to a stake Mal; 1 River; 1 Knocked out; Book goes unconscious after being shot Book; 2 Simon; 1 Kaylee; 1 Jayne;1

Know the face? High School Musical star Zac Efron as young Simon, he'll later star in '17 Again' with Whedon alumni Michelle Tractenberg.

Alliance good or bad?; Mal runs to the Alliance in order to save Book, how that must choke him! They seem reluctant to provide but don't say no outright. Then our Shepherd slips them an ID card? Hmmmmm.

Missing scenes; Reputedly scenes where the Alliance question the Tam's parents after Simon rescues River, River reading Ruby's mind and seeing her tragic story plus paying Badger his share, his hoodlums unable to believe that Mal doesn't try to rip them off, much to Badger's chagrin at Mal's moral superiority again.

Western clichés; Hillbillies kidnapping folk. Zoe actually shoots the gun out of one of the bad guy's hand.

Shot; .Book shot during a the gunfight with the cattle Mal; 1- Kayleigh;1- Jayne;1- Book;1-

Crew injured; Simon knocked around yet again, he seems to be everyone's punching bag.

Reminds me off; River on the pyre reminds of Buffy, Willow and Amy tied to the stake and almost burnt as witches by M.O.O

Questions and observations; So, what is Book's past and why do the Alliance treat him like a VIP once he identifies himself? Is he a former Alliance General guilt-ridden by his role during the war? A former spy who sold out the Independents? A scientist who carried out experiments like those conducted on River? Mal finally makes a deal and actually earns some more or less honest money from it. Presumably this pays for the slap up meal the crew enjoy at the end of the ep. Mal asks why things never go smooth for them, once again we see that he's not really suited to a life of crime. As we suspected River and Simon were pro-Alliance before River's ordeal, casting the Browncoats as the enemy in their games. The locals describe the Serenity as a fancy vessel, would do Kaylee's heart good to hear that but it really underlines how remote and backward they are if they think that. This ep is set 3 weeks after the last so a planet 3 weeks travel from Persephone must be remote indeed. Jayne enjoys smacking the cows around? Once again father's get a hard time in the Whedonverse although the Tam's parents seem nice enough folks.

Marks out of 10; 7/10, nothing very startling here, nice to have River and Simon confirmed as part of the crew and I like the dance scene
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Shindig part 2
piratecat-231 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
You must watch Shindig first since the cargo their carring is from that episode. Can still pick up what's going on even if you don't. The crew now with a job carring the cargo to a backwater planet to make some quick cash from settlers. Seems OK at first and somewhat relaxing but then the men they deal with our wanted fugitives. The law pounces on the crew and fugies. In the chaos of a gunfight between the law and criminals our beloved Shepherd Book is shot in the chest. Bleeding to death Mal the captain of Serenity makes a descision to leave atmo to save his life. While everything was fine at first the Doc and his little sister River go to town. Hanging out at a country dance they are kidnapped by hill folk. They are now took to a mountain town. With Serenity and crew out in the black to save the Shepherd it seems the Tams are forgotten but Mal keeps his word and saves the day. The term Big Damn Heroes comes from this episode as well as finding Shepherd Book has influence with the Alliance. Now Book shows he has a mysterious past that puzzles the crew.
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wolfordcheyenne27 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
This is the weakest episode of the season, not saying it's bad. The main problem I had with it was all the plot convinces. Other then that I enjoyed it. I liked how Simon and River's backgrounds were touched upon and their relationship with their parents explored. The mystery surrounding Brooke and the Captain's lines upon rescuing the siblings were the best parts. I also enjoyed the moment between Kaylee and Simon.
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Is there a doctor in the house?
Fluke_Skywalker10 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Plot; Simon and River are kidnapped and taken to a down in desperate need of a doctor while the crew of the Serenity race to get help for the critically injured Sheppard.

The most interesting thing about this episode was seeing Simon and River's backstory fleshed out a bit via flashback. As much as anything, it helped to cement the bond between them, which is critical to the dramatic dynamic between the two. Also of note is that it's revealed that there may be more to Sheppard than meets the eye. A tantalizing nugget for a later date.
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