original airdate: 11-8-02
we get some solid dirt on River and the whole Tam family.
There is a lot to be learned in this Firefly offering.
A new mystery opens regarding Shepherds history and
origins, and the Tam family saga reveals some great detail.
a series of flashbacks, we get the history of the Tam family.
Unsurprisingly, River was a gifted and bright child. Even
at the age of three she was correcting Simons spelling.
When River grew older, her family sent her to a school for
the gifted. But the school had questionable motives and Simon
was not allowed any direct contact after River's admittance.
Very close as children, this separation was very frustrating
for both as well as a cause for concern.
was allowed to send out letters to her family. After a series
of confusing nonsense letters from River, Simon was able to
decrypt a hidden message in one of the letters. Theyre
he needed to save his sister, Simon mounted an effort to rescue
her. His parents didnt believe there was any problem.
They thought Simon was simply being paranoid. Simons
attempts to learn about Rivers state and find out if
there was a way to free her were so disruptive that his parents
basically disowned him. Undaunted, he continued his efforts.
the exact means and execution of Rivers liberation and
their arrival on the Firefly are not shown, the end results
are evident. River, in the current timeline, appears to have
telepathic powers. She can see to souls of cows and read the
minds of humans. This latter ability leads to one of the main
plot points for this episode. The town where she and Simon
have been taken comes to believe that River is a witch.
parallel storyline, the cattle negotiations go awry when the
local authorities attempt to arrest the cattle buyers at the
end of the negotiations. During the intense gun fight that
follows, Shepherd is shot. This leads the Serenity crew to
seek medical attention at the nearest available medical center,
which happens to be a nearby alliance space station.
initially refuses them medical attention until Shepherd flashes
his credentials and he is suddenly rushed into the operating
room for medical care. There is no clear indication as to
why this happens, but Serenitys crew is just as puzzled
as the rest of the viewing audience.
body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds with the proper
vacuum system. River Tam
diary: Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Dear diary:
today I was kidnapped by hill folk. Best day ever
Jayne making up entries for Simon Tams diary
appears to have been meant for earlier in the season, delayed
for unknown reasons. A number of characteristics and interactions
simply dont reflect the current state of the Firefly
crew. Multiple members frequently cuss in alien languages,
a trait rarely shown in other episodes. The character interactions
appear to have regressed to their fundamentals, as if they
have just recently met.
behaves like a whiny spoiled brat. Although this is within
his characters range, he did seem to be growing out
of it. Also, towards the end of the show, Simon states, finally,
a decent wound on this ship and I miss it." He must have
temporarily forgotten the gaping chest wound Mal had in a
prior episode that he fixed.
that most of the actors are simply trying the characters on
for size in this episode, in contrast to the full immersion
experienced in earlier episodes. This being said, the content
is well placed and the information is pertinent. If this information
had been divulged too early in the series the audience would
have been less likely to care, thus losing the viewers' interest.
But it is interesting to experience the regressions in characteristics
by the cast.
we are treated to more information on River. The crew is hired
by Simon to make a daring assault on a medical facility that
may hold the cure to Rivers condition.