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On TV Today's Date:

Objects In Space
original airdate: 12-13-02

I've been having a hard time writing the review for the latest Firefly episode. It's not that it wasn't good, it was great. It's not that I don't think the information in it was cool. There was a lot to be learned... But I keep asking myself: Why?

Why did a great show like Firefly get cancelled when shows like Earth: Final Conflict get to run for umpteen seasons?

Why would a network choose a dead end time slot for a show of this caliber and then sack it for poor ratings?

Why do bad things happen to good TV shows?

You can't beat this episode for general pure content and energy. Everyone gets to show some strength and some weakness. A bounty hunter has boarded the ship while no one was looking, and he's out to retrieve River. The cold logic of this psychotic bounty hunter often borders on being prophetic. He has insights and thoughts that both cause one to pause for consideration and quiver with fear. And still, he is just not right in the head.

We begin with a shot of River as she awakes showing a feeling of all not being well. As she wanders the ship, she seems to be having psychic flashes. These flashes may show her what they are thinking, but it's also possible they are simply what she's afraid they are thinking. Regardless of where they come from, she continues to feel like she is just not wanted there.

River wanders into the cargo hold and has some sort of out of ship experience. In her mind's eye they cargo hold is full of leaves and a few branches. She picks up one of the branches and stands there calmly with it. It just so happens that what she actually has in her hands is a gun. Needless to say this is taken as an unsettling development by the rest of the crew.

In a crew meeting, minus River, they discuss what if anything they should do with her. She is potentially very dangerous and they aren't sure what she is capable of. Kaylee shares her experience from their encounter with Nisca where River shot three guards dead in a millisecond with her eyes closed and calmly said "No power in the universe can stop me."

So now the crew is scared of River, and to top if off they have a psychotic bounty hunter on the loose.

Notable quotes from the episode:
"If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak." -

Dialog between Jayne and Wash:
"Are you saying she's a witch?" - Jayne
"Yes Jayne, She's a witch. She has had congress with
the beast." - Wash
"She's in congress?" - Jayne
"How did your brain even learn human speech?" - Wash

Simon and Kaylee actually appear to have something real developing. Simon still isn't content with his life on board ship. Probably because even though River means everything to him, if it weren't for her he would be living a normal and rich life as a doctor on an alliance home world.

Book is celibate. This causes no end of confusion to Jayne's primordial brain. But in his own mind Jayne finds a way to explain Book's lifestyle. Book neither confirms nor denies Jayne's assumption, but odds are against Jayne being right.

The bounty hunter takes one look at Book and declares that Book is not a Shepherd. It's unclear why or what makes him believe this, but he just doesn't believe Book is one. And we know from previous episodes that we don't know everything about the man claiming to be a Shepherd.

For what it's worth, we learn that the bounty hunter's name is Juble Urly. He has a number of insightful comments. One of my favorites is his thought that they make psychiatrists get analyzed before certification, but they don't make doctors get cut. He also had a dog as a child that just didn't like him.

At the end of the episode you're left with a certain level of excitement. But this is accompanied by a strong feeling of sadness. Unless this show is salvaged by another TV network (and Fox has given Joss Whedon the right to shop it around), we'll never see what happens to the crew.

All things considered I'm glad Fox was adventurous enough to share Firefly with us. Even if only for a little while. We must enjoy the moments and not lose sight of the fun and entertainment that we had. Even if it was only for a brief time. Thanks, Joss, for a great show.

This coming Friday at 8pm. The two hour pilot we've been waiting for. I can't hardly wait.

Kevin Goodman

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