Firefly Rewatch Episode 6: Meet The Mrs.

“You can’t open the book of my life and jump in the middle. Like woman, I’m a mystery.” – Mal

So Mal isn’t against taking on a good deed mission on trade on occasion. He gets to wear one of those frilly cotton dresses and it gets them some fresh supplies and a decent party. And a bit more of what they seem to find everywhere they go.  Trouble.  After the jump.

“Captain, everyone should have a chance to congratulate you on your day of bliss.” – Zoe

After a quick and fun (and funny) mission to save some peaceful townsfolk from the marauding bandits, and a bit of a shindig to celebrate, the crew of serenity is back on the move.  And who ever figured Jayne for a happy-friendly drunk?  Even more shocking, who ever figured the captain for the marrying kind?  Well that’s the problem.  It seems a certain someone special, or so she claims, has stowed away on Serenity.  Mal’s new wife.  Here’s the problem:

Mal: How drunk was I last night?
Jayne: I don’t know, I passed out.

Most of the crew finds it hilarious (as do we of course) and with Book’s help and an encyclopedia it turns out to be true also.  Meet Our Mrs. Reynolds, also known as Saffron.  Of all the (albeit limited) guest stars on Firefly, Christina Hendricks is hands down my favorite.  And this episode is possibly the one that hooked me more than any other.  Originally shown as episode 3 – and I understand the decision, it’s a strong episode – I think it works a lot better further into the series.  The characters and their interplay is better established, we’re more invested in them doing right by this lost waif, and the eventual shock of this supposedly cynical hard-bitten lot – well at least Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne and Book – being taken in by a master con artist is just too much fun.  Actually I get Jayne falling for it.  It also helps that we’ve seen more of the interplay with the characters because we notice how quickly our little Saffron manages to turn it all upside down.

So Saffron goes about seducing the whole crew, each in a different way.  For Book, she’s a lost soul to protect.  For Jayne, well that doesn’t take much work so let’s move on.  For Kaylee she’s a sister and soul mate little farm girl to protect and bond with.  For Wash she’s that softer side he seems to be missing in a wife.  And for Mal, well she’s everything he’s given up on ever having to stay free and on the move.  She’s the hearth and home that he’s worked so hard to make Serenity into with the addition of love and adoration and the thought of family and children to raise and protect.  Plus she swells to think of him in her.  … Ahem…

“We’d always hoped you two kids would get together. Who is she? ” – Wash

Who is she indeed.  Our sweet little Saffron makes quick work of the crew and Serenity once the con is on.  Mal and Wash are dispatched, the bridge sealed and Serenety on her way to a mysterious rendezvous.  Saffron beats a hasty retreat only to run into her worst nightmare.  Inara.  You don’t play a player, and though Inara sees right through her, the plan is hatched and Saffron on her way, away from the doomed Serenity.

It seems, with a bit of work and some more of Shepherd Book’s incongruous knowledge of both criminals and the Alliance, that Serenity is headed for the scrap heap, or at least re-sale.  Mal and the crew might object, if they had any say in the matter.  But Saffron has rigged the ship and set it on a course with some scavengers.  No, other scavengers other than Mal and the crew.  The crew will be headed to the hereafter long before Serenity is re-sold.  With no control of the ship, for the time being, what they need is a plan.

“See Vera? Dress yourself up, you get taken out somewhere fun.” – Jayne

Well Jayne and some high powered weaponry is usually a good start to a plan.  Or the start of a start of a plan. No, that’s pretty much the plan.  Have Jayne shoot out one of the nodes of the electromagnetic net, shorting it out and allowing Serenity to pass unmolested till they can re-gain control of her.  The extra bonus is he gets to shoot out the windows of the scavengers station.  Turn about is fair play after all.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for someone good enough to take me down.” – Saffron

There’s one last order of business for Mal.  A bit of pride.  Oh, sure he wants his shuttle back, but the payoff isn’t the point.  Mal needs to look Saffron in the eyes and let her know, you didn’t win, I did.  Mal’s the one who needs it.  He needs to know that the frontier and the lawlessness, the crime and the cons are still his territory, and to warn off the competition.

It’s a big sky out there.  Hope there’s room for both of them.


About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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7 Responses to Firefly Rewatch Episode 6: Meet The Mrs.

  1. atcdave says:

    There’s no doubt this is one of the strongest entries in Firefly’s too short run, and Saffron is one of the best characters. Inara and the drugged lipstick is one of the funniest moments as well. In fact, I can’t think of anything not to like in this episode; that doesn’t happen often outside of some S1 and S2 Chuck. Like Chuck, Firefly is one of those shows that got almost everything right at the start. Too much fun!

    • jason says:

      dave – I loved that Irina / Mal scene & burst out laughing when Mal asks her if she ‘kissed the girl too’, I think Irina may have been ready to swear her undying love had Mal asked the right ? Nice to see Chuck wasn’t the only tv star to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and screw his love chances up.

  2. joe says:

    I’m so glad to here you say that, Dave. Now I can trust my judgment. This is the episode that made me decide everything I heard about Firefly wasn’t just hype. The acting – especially the actress who played Saffron – top notch!

    And of course, Jayne came into his own here. 😉

    • Ernie Davis says:

      And speaking of Jayne, coming up next is another of my favorites, and I think a very strong episode, that just happens to be Jayne-centric.

  3. Faith says:

    I love this episode! Great writeup! Totally brings it back…and makes me want to watch it again (2nd time today). Definitely my Firefly fav.

    Yo Saff Bridge was devious, intriguing and deserving IMO of the Mrs. Mal title…for a moment 😉

    I second Dave about Inara and the “I just fell that’s all.” Plus it was really very sexual-tension-y the whole “You’re the most graceful person I know…you didn’t just fall did you?” “No.”

    But perhaps the biggest scene stealer (to prove I’m not just a big romantic goo haha) is Jayne and his #1 prized possession attempting a trade. Too funny.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Oh an absolutely brilliant scene! It goes from tense to comic without missing a beat. The biggest problem I have with these re-caps is that I just want to quote line after line, but just the quotes don’t do it justice. You really NEED to see this scene play out to get the full impact.

      Mal: [to Inara, offscreen as he leaves her shuttle] I wasn’t looking for a fight!

      [Jayne, looking threatening, cocks a very big and scary looking gun]

      Mal: Always do seem to find one, though.

      Jayne: [Menacingly] Do I have your attention?

      And they manage to draw that tension, the “standoff” out for almost 30 seconds more. When Jayne finally holds out the gun for a trade, there is a PERFECT beat and a half as it sinks in before Mal realizes and starts cursing in Chinese. Absolutely perfect.

  4. Rick Holy says:

    This was an “awesome” 😉 episode! Christina Hendricks (who played Saffron) now appears on the acclaimed series “Mad Men.”

    I just got done watching “Shindig” earlier this evening – another one of my favorites. This show just had so many possibilities – so many stories that could have been explored – it’s sad really that there’s only a handful of episodes (and the movie).

    Thanks for running this “Firefly” series. Just further proof that “you can’t stop the signal!” 😉

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