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Firefly Season 1 Episode 08 "Ariel" - Tvsquad.com Review

Keith McDuffee

Sunday 30 July 2006, by Webmaster

I know many fans of Firefly will disagree with me fiercely here, but I’ll say it anyway. If I had to pick an episode where I thought Firefly really hit its stride, this would be the one. This episode kept me glued to the set. It had amazing effects, drama, many tense moments and a few splashes of humor thrown in for good measure. The only thing missing, really, was something for Book and Inara to do.

I’m simply amazed at the sets used on this show and in this episode in particular. The hospital they infiltrate feels very real, though very much something that we couldn’t really conceive of seeing in today’s world. Even the technology used to scan River’s brain is something that seems not at all far-fetched.

What we learn about River in the hospital is interesting when applying it to what we already know about the future of this show.

The blue-hand guys have a very creepy appearance here. They seem very other-worldly this time, as they are not affected by that odd device they use to cause blood to pour out from every crease in a human’s body. Their chase to get Jayne and the Tams was almost Halloween-like in that they walked, not ran, to find their targets.

Speaking of the blue-hand guys, someone in a past comment mentioned that in a Firefly comic book, it’s explained that their hands aren’t actually blue and they’re wearing skin-tight blue suite under their clothes. So, maybe they are human after all.

A big part of what we learn in this episode is how much greed is flowing through Jayne’s blood. I remember it being a shock to see him sell the Tams down the river (no pun intended) in order to be rich. The scenes at the end with Mal are where the real drama comes in, as we can see Jayne really does feel bad about what he did and even comes to accept that Mal would kill him for it.

Jayne-ism of the episode:
Mal: "Now all we need is a couple of patients."
Simon: "Corpses, actually. In order for this to work, River and I will have to be dead."
Jayne: "Heh. I’m startin’ to like this plan."