For me the worst episode of the series but the one with the best lines. Go figure.
Carrying on with Whedon and Minear's Cinefantastique commentary.
This was an example of things not going the way that we wanted originally. We had a completely different bunch of flashbacks with a completely different bunch of actors. The message of the thing was very important to me, which was the idea of Simon realizing that he had found a home; that a real parent isnít somebody whoís extremely great, but only when itís convenient. Itís somebody, no matter how rough they might be, will never let you down. Thatís sort of what Mal becomes in that episode, and that meant a lot to me. It showed a lot about why Simon was so protective of his sister. But we did the flashbacks and they were just sort of histrionic and just didnít feel right, and we didnít have the one with the two little kids. It started out with River already in trouble, and I said, ďLetís see the two of them together.Ē Then we couldnít get the original people who had played the mother and father, because they had booked something else, so we had to cast that again. It was all very complicated and strange.
This was kind of a troubled episode initially. I remember we shot the episode and Joss and I hated it. We kind of blew it on the script, we werenít crazy about the way that it was shot and there were certain wardrobe elements that we didnít realize was going to happen until we saw it on screen, like big floppy hats and scarves. So we actually put it on hold for a while and returned to it. Later, Joss wrote a bunch of new scenes. For instance, the fans will recall where Jayne is rifling through Simonís room after Simon has been kidnapped, and itís a hilarious scene. That was actually added, because the show came in short after we ended up cutting all the stuff that we hated. We went back and wrote some new material and shot new scenes. By the time we put it all together, we were pretty happy with it.