Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER

halgia

S01.E03: Bushwhacked

Recommended Posts

Serenity is pulled in by an Alliance cruiser while investigating a spaceship that was attacked by Reavers. Simon and River must hide to prevent capture, while something is wrong with the lone survivor of the attacked spaceship.

(I haven't rewatched it yet, but here's the spot to talk about it when you do!)

Share this post


Link to post

Despite not actually having them present, this episode for me is the creepiest dealing with Reavers - I like the discussion around who/what they are, and Jayne's self-preserving aversion in particular, while he's still able to play the prank on Simon (priorities!)

This also has one of my favorite scenes, where they cut between the crew members being interrogated on the Alliance ship.  I love the different ways they approach answering the questions, and what it says about their individual views of the Alliance.  It's fun to hear them talking about one another, as well.  

My other favorite moment here is the reveal of Simon and River outside the ship while the Alliance tosses the place looking for them.  I know River gets a lot of hate, but I never had strong negative feelings toward her, and one of my favorite moments of theirs is here when she's looking out into space and Simon is freaked out.  Their role-reversal moments are great, I think.  

  • Love 3

Share this post


Link to post

I'd forgotten how much I liked this one. I've actually forgotten a lot about this series, so it's nice to revisit it.

Despite not actually having them present, this episode for me is the creepiest dealing with Reavers - I like the discussion around who/what they are, and Jayne's self-preserving aversion in particular, while he's still able to play the prank on Simon (priorities!)

I agree. The idea that the Reavers' dysfunction and brutality is in a way contagious and was capable of psychologically infecting the poor guy who survived still creeps me out to this day. It's a super dark episode and I think the abrupt ending with such a starkly different tone than the happy spaceketball beginning leaves a strong impression.

I also love Zoe's behavior because we get to see her wit on display with comments like her warning to Jayne to not scare the women. The scene where Mal is watching Kaylee and Inara through the med window and you know he's thinking about the damage the survivor could do to them is quietly scary, and Zoe (falsely) assuring Kaylee that Mal would never let the guy on board if he was dangerous is also a great example of Zoe and Mal's camaraderie without them even being in the same room. She trusts that even if he's a danger, Mal won't let the crew get hurt.

Simon's expression while he watches River's awe of space makes me wonder if she scares him because she isn't bovvered by the death-defying or if it also reminds him of how she used to be. I think River probably marveled at the world in alarming ways even back when she was a sane super genius.

Share this post


Link to post

The moment where Simon is freaking out about being in space and River has a huge grin on her face is just wonderful. I agree that I think she was always that way: she's seeing these huge, wide open possibilities and is thrilled by them, while he (the protector, the worrying one) is freaked out by the danger it represents.

The crew interrogations are a fun, silly way to introduce the characters a little more at this early point in the series.

The Reaver ship was pretty creepy in the pilot, but I definitely agree that just seeing their aftermath is creepier.

The ending, with the "I'm not in the habit of destroying evidence" captain blowing up the tainted ship, is both powerful but also kind of jarringly abrupt (probably because of the joke right before it). It's kind of a weird contrast that fits with the tone of the episode (dark and silly), but still feels strange.

This episode really sets up the stark contrast of Alliance "civilized" at one end (which means not letting the crew keep their salvage / dinging them for missing their space front license plate) and Reavers "uncivilized" at the other (which is just scary). Mal rails against the bureaucracy / control / pettiness of the one side, and they don't play spaceketball by "any civilized rules I know," but when push comes to shove they come out on the side of civilization. ([movie spoiler]

But of course it was the Alliance's attempts at over-civilization that caused the Reavers in the first place.

)

  • Love 3

Share this post


Link to post

While love this episode overall, what throws me out of it every time since the first time I saw it was that the ship was so clean.

It didn't look like Reavers tossed the place and did unmentionable things to the crew and passengers. There should have been blood and they should have smelled the bodies the moment they entered that storage space. Hell, the guy they "rescued" left more of a mess in the infirmary.

Agreed on the pure joy on River's face in contrast to Simon. It showed what he was about without any dialogue. A protector.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm always distracted by the purplebelly who checks for evidence under the placemats on the dining table. 

Actually, I'm pretty distracted by the fact that Serenity has placemats. 

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎03‎/‎04‎/‎2014 at 1:22 AM, Ffiferoo said:

Despite not actually having them present, this episode for me is the creepiest dealing with Reavers - I like the discussion around who/what they are, and Jayne's self-preserving aversion in particular, while he's still able to play the prank on Simon (priorities!)

This also has one of my favorite scenes, where they cut between the crew members being interrogated on the Alliance ship.  I love the different ways they approach answering the questions, and what it says about their individual views of the Alliance.  It's fun to hear them talking about one another, as well.  

My other favorite moment here is the reveal of Simon and River outside the ship while the Alliance tosses the place looking for them.  I know River gets a lot of hate, but I never had strong negative feelings toward her, and one of my favorite moments of theirs is here when she's looking out into space and Simon is freaked out.  Their role-reversal moments are great, I think.  

Yeah, that was a great reveal, a very Han Solo touch.

 

On ‎20‎/‎09‎/‎2014 at 10:05 PM, femmefan1946 said:

I'm always distracted by the purplebelly who checks for evidence under the placemats on the dining table. 

Actually, I'm pretty distracted by the fact that Serenity has placemats. 

Probably the Chinese influence?

 

On ‎03‎/‎04‎/‎2014 at 11:52 PM, JayKay said:

I'd forgotten how much I liked this one. I've actually forgotten a lot about this series, so it's nice to revisit it.

I agree. The idea that the Reavers' dysfunction and brutality is in a way contagious and was capable of psychologically infecting the poor guy who survived still creeps me out to this day. It's a super dark episode and I think the abrupt ending with such a starkly different tone than the happy spaceketball beginning leaves a strong impression.

I also love Zoe's behavior because we get to see her wit on display with comments like her warning to Jayne to not scare the women. The scene where Mal is watching Kaylee and Inara through the med window and you know he's thinking about the damage the survivor could do to them is quietly scary, and Zoe (falsely) assuring Kaylee that Mal would never let the guy on board if he was dangerous is also a great example of Zoe and Mal's camaraderie without them even being in the same room. She trusts that even if he's a danger, Mal won't let the crew get hurt.

Simon's expression while he watches River's awe of space makes me wonder if she scares him because she isn't bovvered by the death-defying or if it also reminds him of how she used to be. I think River probably marveled at the world in alarming ways even back when she was a sane super genius.

A very Scarecrow like touch, to overcome his fear he becomes what he dreads. 

 

On ‎04‎/‎04‎/‎2014 at 1:05 AM, Dougal said:

The moment where Simon is freaking out about being in space and River has a huge grin on her face is just wonderful. I agree that I think she was always that way: she's seeing these huge, wide open possibilities and is thrilled by them, while he (the protector, the worrying one) is freaked out by the danger it represents.

The crew interrogations are a fun, silly way to introduce the characters a little more at this early point in the series.

The Reaver ship was pretty creepy in the pilot, but I definitely agree that just seeing their aftermath is creepier.

The ending, with the "I'm not in the habit of destroying evidence" captain blowing up the tainted ship, is both powerful but also kind of jarringly abrupt (probably because of the joke right before it). It's kind of a weird contrast that fits with the tone of the episode (dark and silly), but still feels strange.

This episode really sets up the stark contrast of Alliance "civilized" at one end (which means not letting the crew keep their salvage / dinging them for missing their space front license plate) and Reavers "uncivilized" at the other (which is just scary). Mal rails against the bureaucracy / control / pettiness of the one side, and they don't play spaceketball by "any civilized rules I know," but when push comes to shove they come out on the side of civilization. ([movie spoiler]

  Reveal hidden contents

But of course it was the Alliance's attempts at over-civilization that caused the Reavers in the first place.

)

And I really like that about the series, it doesn't shy away from Mal's frequent hypocrisy towards the Alliance which isn't the evil empire, it actually benefits a lot of people. I've heard Mal compared to Jesse James but also to some nutball militia leader who rails against big government but still depends on it for everything. 

The good; Clever of Mal when he's asked about the brother and sister he replies 'There are no children on this boat', exactly what you'd immediately think if someone referred to siblings. Good interrogation scenes, especially Jayne's and some tense stuff with the bomb defusal, very Juggernaut. Love River's delighted reaction to seeing the stars.

The bad; Zoe comments that there were no signs of a struggle but surely the crew would have fought to the death against the Reavers? Why didn't the Reavers eat the bodies if they're cannibals?

Best line; Commander; "You fought with the Captain during the war?" Zoe; "I fought with a lot of people" Commander; "What about your husband?" Zoe; "I fight with him too"

Kinky dinky; Sweaty cast playing a variation of basketball, Zoe's top especially revealing. Wash goes enthusiastically into detail about Zoe's amazing legs and 'what's above them'.

Capt subtext; Inarra comments 'We're all running away from something'. She calls River 'sweetie' much as Kaylee does. Kaylee is very defensive of the Serenity, perhaps she identifies with the ship as herself.

Whedon clichés; (see I spelt it right!); Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness.

Bondage; Mal placed in handcuffs by Alliance Mal; 1

Knocked out; Book; 1 Simon; 1 Kaylee; 1 Jayne;1

Know the face? Doug Savant of course is Tom Scavo in Desperate Housewives, a show Nathon Fillon, Julie Benz and many other Whedon alumni guest star on. I keep expecting Lynette to show up and remind him to pick up the kids. He's also one of the soldiers in Godzilla.

Alliance good or bad?; Mal mocks the idea of the Alliance turning up to rescue their taxpayers whereupon they do exactly that. The Commander has seen torture during the war, by the Alliance to the Browncoats or vice versa? He comments that 'For some the war will never be over', does he mean for him or for Mal? He shows genuine concern for the dead passengers and when the pseudo-Reaver breaks free his first act is for a guard to be placed on the ships nursery. He leads the Alliance team onto the Serenity himself. In the end he lets them all go.

Western clichés; The term bushwhacked and bushwhacker comes from the US Civil War where both sides sponsored bands of guerillas to operate behind their opponent's lines. In reality these were little more than state sponsored brigands, the movies 'Ride with the Devil' and 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' giving a good idea of their actions. The most famous of all was Jesse James, a former bushwhacker who became a robber and outlaw because he couldn't accept the war was over, just as the Alliance Commander accuses Mal of doing here.

Reminds me off; The ghost ship is very Marie Celeste with hints of Alien and 2010 (especially the way it spins). How they find the survivor is very similar to the marines discovering Newt in Aliens. Jayne's description of his unseen attacker as 'big, strong' recalls the commandos describing Buffy after she rescues Willow in the s4 ep 'The Initiative'. Mal's talk of the darkness is similar to Nietschze's observation that if you stare into the abyss for long enough it stares back into you. The booby trap reminds me of an effect from Babylon 5, something the Drakh would use.

Questions and observations; I somehow feel the red balloon they find on the ship has some significance but I just can't think what? According to the Commander there are 40,000 Firefly type craft in the galaxy, it's the Ford Transit of the Future. It's been 4 months since The Train Job as Inarra says she's now been with the crew nearly a year. Exactly why does the Commander want to know the details of Zoe and Wash's marriage? Three eps in we have yet to see a real Reaver although here we get a glimpse of a pseudo one. How intelligent are they? They can operate spaceships and leave a boobytrap so they must have some sentience?

Marks out of 10; 7/10, interesting

Share this post


Link to post

Exactly why does the Commander want to know the details of Zoe and Wash's marriage?

Have you found the comics yet? They are published by Dark Horse, and are available in hardcover and in trade paperback.

Zoe has a secret.

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎01‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 3:29 AM, femmefan1946 said:

Exactly why does the Commander want to know the details of Zoe and Wash's marriage?

Have you found the comics yet? They are published by Dark Horse, and are available in hardcover and in trade paperback.

Zoe has a secret.

No, I must say I haven't

Share this post


Link to post

Some take place during or before the series. Two or three are sequels.

The Shepherd's Tale is a prequel, but should probably be read after the movie.

Leaves in the Wind and No Power in the Verse are sequels and available in hardback.

Share this post


Link to post
×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size