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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