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"This lint is so scottish."
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September 30 2005

Tonight's Firefly episode on Sci-Fi - 'War Stories'. Contains perhaps the best Mal line of the entire show "You want to meet the real me now?". Not forgetting that huge fan favourite line of Jayne's "I'll be in my bunk".

Nathan delivering that line, truly amazing.

Anyhow the usual Whedon and Minear commentary from Cinefantastique.

There was that run of the last bunch where it felt like we were firing on all cylinders. I loved the Zoe-Wash relationship. You know, that was the sticking point at the very end of picking-up process. The studio said, “They can’t be married,” and that’s when I said, “I don’t want you to pick up the show.”


They said, “We’re thinking of picking up the show because we read “The Train Job” and we see the potential, but we don’t want the characters married, it interferes with romantic entanglements.” It was just a nightmare experience. I said, “I’m not making Melrose Space. I want to see a marriage. I’ve got a preacher on board, I’ve got a young girl who’s a schizophrenic - I’ve got aspects of life. That’s there for a reason and marriage is one of them.” And what was great in “War Stories” was being able to play the conflict of the marriage without making it whiney and insufferable. They’re both incredibly charming and funny during that, and then to play that out during a torture scene... really examine the issues as a way of trying to deal with being tortured...well, juxtaposition is pretty much the benchmark of my career and it doesn’t get any bigger than that.

We brought back Niska from “The Train Job.” This was another late script that we had to sort of pitch in on at the end of the day. I remember Joss wrote the teaser and the first act and it was a really long teaser. I remember looking at the cut and saying, “The teaser’s kind of boring with all of these people talking. What if we move this into the teaser and made this the first scene of act one and dropped this all together?” He totally went for it. And in the interrogation scene where Mal and Wash are being tortured, I took a pass at that and was trying to write Wash as sort of Woody Allen. We talked about the idea that they’re being tortured, but they should totally be having a conversation about Zoe and about this unmentioned jealousy that Wash might have because Zoe is so close to Mal. What I liked about that scene is that instead of just making that a gag, it was a way for Mal to keep Wash from dying; he made him so angry that he couldn’t pay attention to the torture. Once again, giant production values and nothing is cooler than Gina Torres taking Nathan Fillon’s ear and putting it in her shirt.

An awesome episode, and yes, that is a great Mal moment.

One of the things I love about this episode is that the quote from Shan Yu precisely describes Joss' approach to his characters: he holds them upside down over the volcano, and the viewers get to see the real them.
Melrose Space? *snicker* But damn good lines. "Take me sir, take me hard." Something just ain't right about that.
"Take me sir. Take me hard." followed by Mal and Zoe puckering up... Zoe picking Wash before Niska had finished talking, Zoe's "I think this is something the Cap'n has to do by himself" line... Pure gold.

And then there's River shooting three bad guys. Without looking.
Again, another fantastic episode and yes, that line of Mal's is one of his best and one of the best Mal moments. I loved everything about this episode from beginning to end. It had so many spectacular moments in it that some series are lucky to get a handful of in an entire run.

I loved how Zoe immediately picked Wash without a moments hesitation, River's "doing the math" and shooting those guys, Shepard's comment to Simon that he still hasn't shot anyone, Jayne's "I'll be in my bunk" and Mal's "You want to meet the real me now" are all classics. And the whole ending with Mal and Zoe teasing Wash with the whole "Take me sir, take me now" bit and the look on Jayne's face coming in on it! Adam Baldwin is so great with his expressions, just looking at him cracks me up in any of the scenes because you can literally read the characters mind.
"SHE MARRIED YOU!" is my favorite.
Also has the best River line ever. "No power in the 'verse can stop me." My favorite line in the series, I have it as my ringtone.

And as a whole, War Stories is probably my favorite episode. For all the reasons mentioned above and possibly below.
Agree, Okkay, about River's echo of Kaylee's innocent "No power in the 'verse can stop me" after their game of whateverthehellitwas.

Great Wash line: "That was the torture talking!"
What can I say.
I see this episode as a great character moemnt for everyone. There was no character that left the episode, without at least two great moment each. And Niska was back, as I've stated before, he's just sadisticaly dilightful.

It's hard to pick between this episode and "Objects in Space" as my second favorite episode in the series. These are hard choices to make.
Favorite Wash line of this ep?

"What this marriage needs is one less husband!"
Great episode! Off topic a bit, bt seeing as how the Smallville episode is yesterday's news and I'm sure I won't get any feedback by posting on that thread now...nobody mentioned that one of the bad Krypton people was that guy from Buffy season four...the one who worked at the Initiative and was friends with Riley. Two Buffyverse actors on the same show! Did anyone notice that? I can't remember his name...
Oh yeah! Leonard Roberts!

[ edited by Illyria on 2005-10-01 01:37 ]
I was kinda partial to Book's policy on kneecaps. Hee!
Great episode! Off topic a bit, bt seeing as how the Smallville episode is yesterday's news and I'm sure I won't get any feedback by posting on that thread now...nobody mentioned that one of the bad Krypton people was that guy from Buffy season four...the one who worked at the Initiative and was friends with Riley. Two Buffyverse actors on the same show! Did anyone notice that? I can't remember his name...
Oh yeah! Leonard Roberts!

I actually posted that a week or two ago.
Oops...guess I missed that. Thanks!
All of the above, plus "No, no, no it's not!"

And "grenades are extra".

This episode is really a turning point for Wash as a character also. He is not usually this deep in the action and is really surprised at how dangerous things can get and I think this really opened his eyes. I think it even impacts his flying in "The Message" (different from the calm of "Serenity"), because the trauma is still fresh in his mind.

Also, Kaylee's reaction to River killing the bad guys upset me. Clearly River knew Kaylee was in trouble and she knew she could help. Kaylee took it as "she's a loose cannon and she's out of control". But I guess it was necessary to kind of drive that wedge between them so that the reconciliation at the end of "Objects in Space" would be so great. And I guess I really hate to see Kaylee upset or worried. That Joss. He's contagious!

I'm with Numfar_PTB on this one. It's hard to put them in a favorites order because they are all so great. "Out of Gas" is far and away my favorite, but I'm beginning to think my second favorite is whatever episode I'm watching! Someday I'm going to sit down and make that list.

Edited to add: "You died, Mr. Reynolds." "Seemed like the thing to do."

Now Mal has died and has been brought back.

[ edited by brownishcoat on 2005-10-01 05:04 ]
brownishcoat, I never thought that Kaylee thought River was out of control, I thought Kaylee was just freaked out by how easily River killed three men, her casually pleased reaction to killing them and just how different River was from who Kaylee thought she was. Kaylee had been relating to River like a fairly normal girl like herself. I got the feeling that in that moment she realized not only just how different River was, but how much she did not really know River.
That's an interesting point, newcj. I never really looked at it that way.

I guess I was just thinking that after "Ariel" and Simon's discoveries of the brain surgery, etc. that the crew would be starting to realize the complexity of what the Alliance had been up to. And how it was just the tip of the iceburg.
I think they started to realise River could prove potentially dangerous, Kaylee especially, and that she was a little wary of her, but I didn't think she was completely terrified or anything, otherwise she wouldn't have waited so long to tell Mal. She was probably very suprised but River was definitely doing it to save Kaylee, not because she had a thirst for blood or anything.

I did really like this episode, seeing Niska again was a nice way of seeing how they had begun to develop the 'verse and make use of continuity, the attack on Niska's space station was also very impressive, and revealed a lot about the characters.

It was great to see Wash and Zoe act as an efficient, danergous force with Jayne, showing how Wash is much more than the comic relief. Also interesting that Book was quite proficient, Simon meant well but just couldn't get the job done, and poor Kaylee was terrified. Also suprising to see River's powers and nice to see her protecting Kaylee.

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