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Firefly Episode 01 "The Train Job" - Tvsquad.com Review

Friday 9 June 2006, by Webmaster

(S01E01) Not many people seemed to disagree with my starting with the ’Serenity’ episodes last week rather than this one, the episode that those of us who watched Firefly from the start saw first. I still think FOX shouldn’t have messed with the episode order, as I think it’s important to see how some of these people came to be on Serenity before doing things like robbing trains.

I hadn’t watched this show in quite a while (with the exception of last week), and I’d forgotten that the "hands of blue" actually did appear in the TV show. To those who have read the comic books and other supporting work for this show, has it ever been explained how/why these mysterious guys have blue hands?

One thing I think you miss from this episode if you watch it first, before the movie or any other episode, is that preacher Book isn’t all that he seems. From everything we learn in the ’Serenity’ episodes, we suddenly find that Book has had his share of dealings with shady characters, though I don’t believe we ever get the full tale of what these dealings were. In some ways I feel like Book is to Firefly what Giles is to Buffy — a rather meek exterior at the times we see him, though with a badass past we only get a glimpse of here and there.

We get another look at the way "society" views a registered companion, a profession that is regularly illegal in many parts of the world today (I use quotes around society because it’s difficult to imagine calling the galaxy a society). Inara is looked upon with an almost princess-like quality by the citizens of the town. I remember when I first saw this episode, I was confused as to what these people thought a "companion" was, nor was it clear if Inara was indeed a companion. We learn a little bit of what she does in the scenes with Kaylee, but it’s still not exactly clear what she does. I mean, I assumed it’s what she did, but I wasn’t really sure if it was just my dirty mind wishing someone as incredibly hot as Inara would do such a thing for a living. This was another thing we learn from the ’Serenity’ episodes that might have cleared things up a little.

We start to really see how messed up River is, while at the same time being a living databank of information (what she knows of the Firefly-class ship she’s in, just from standing in the medical bay).

Jayne-ism of the episode:

"You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go and beat you with ’til you understand who’s in ruttin’ command here."