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On TV Today's Date:

War Stories
original airdate: 12-06-02

This week treats us to a fairly formulaic episode. The evil Niska, the bad guy from
the first episode, returns and wants revenge on Malcolm Reynolds for the injury inflicted on his pride.

During a routine sale of some of the stolen drugs, Malcolm and Wash are kidnapped by Niska and taken back aboard his space station. There they are tortured and abused in the most unpleasant ways, as opposed to the pleasant torture they normally get.

Inara takes on her first woman client, causing the crew to take on surprise and alarm. Unsurprisingly, Jayne seems to be the most affected by it. After seeing the two meet he runs off for a little solitude. But let's move on...

Kaylee and River seem to be getting along really well at the beginning of the episode. They are playing a game with each other and having a great time as Kaylee chases River to get her apple back. Jayne runs off for a little solitude.

The revenge plot is a pretty standard story line. But the story is told well and holds your attention long enough to develop the characters in some new directions. This gives Wash a chance to develop a backbone, and River a chance to get even more scary.

In the big picture of the Firefly world, a few new pieces of information are gained. Simon believes there was a pattern to what the government was doing to his sister. From his research, he concludes they were repeatedly cutting into her brain for some desired effect.

We get a brief glimpse of the possible purpose during a gunfight on the space station. The timid River takes a gun from the terrified Kaylee and efficiently dispatches three attacking soldiers like it was nothing. Off course, this freaks out Kaylee, now not quite sure how to react to River.

Jayne is trying to make up for what he did to River and Simon. It appears the only one that knows he tried to betray them is still Mal. But Jayne is doing what he can to make amends for his poor choice. Or at least he's trying to calm his own conscience. He spent some of his reward money to buy the crew a crate of fresh apples.

Zoe and Mal always eat their apples with a knife, a piece at a time. After a little prodding from Kaylee, Zoe tells the story of why. It seems that during the war there were two opposing camps of fighters in bunkers, not far from each other. They were both out of ammo and the rebels were starving. So the alliance fighters, only too happy to help, threw a bunch of apples over to them. Without thinking, some of the fighters starting grabbing the apples and eating them. The apples had tiny grizwald grenades in them and Zoe and Mal watched as some of their soldiers had their heads and chests blown out.

Ever since then, they have eaten apples with knives.

River is getting sick from the medications Simon is trying on her. She is also having really bad dreams. It's unclear if the dreams are related to her psychic powers, or a result of the drugs. But so far, Simon's attempts at a cure have not been successful.

Notable Quotes:
Zoe - "This is something the captain has to do for himself."
Malcom - "Not it's not"

River - "No power in the verse can stop me."

On next weeks episode:
From the preview it appears a bounty hunter has stolen his way onto the Serenity. What does he want? Why is he there? Who is his personal trainer?
All this and more, next week.

Kevin Goodman

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