Firefly Season 1 Episode 5: Safe
Hey everyone and welcome back to the long forgotten Firefly review page where we talk all about Firefly. After almost 2 years we are finally on episode five, Safe. It took us far too long to get here and that is all on me. But, as I always say, I will try to be better. Or so I say.
If you hven't already seen the episode I put up a link, and let's just dive into it.
The episode was written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Michael Grossman. The episode starts off with a young River playing as a young Simon, played by a young Zac Efron. It's so weird seeing him so young, but even back then he had the acting chops.
In the present River starts to having one of her attacks and Mal comes in
telling Simon to keep her under control. Something that Simon is not happy about. The herd of cattle from the last episode keep getting startled by her, so his aggravation is understandable.
It doesn't take long for Simon and Mal to go at it again over the issue of River. Mal doesn't really insult her but Simon goes out of his way to take offense. Mal sends them to the town so that they don't get in the way of his dealing. Inara and Kaylee are already there. Kaylee wanted to buy Simon a present but within moments he insults the gift, Serenity and Mal. Breaking Kaylee's heart. She tells him off and leaves the store. Breaking your heart right along with hers. Simon doesn't even have time to deal with it before noticing that River is gone.
Meanwhile Mal is having a hard time with the buyers. They keep trying to cheat him. They are far too jumpy for anyone's comfort and sure enough no longer do they come to a deal than the police show up to arrest them. I always love the whole "You are bound by law" thing. It's so cool and so "Firefly". I don't know how anyone could not love this show. A gun fight breaks out during and Mal and Jayne are caught in the middle.
Back in town, River is dancing and enjoying every moment of it. If you know anything about Summer Glau, she started off as a dancer and was cast in an episode of Angel, Waiting in the Wings, as a ghost dancer. So anytime they get the chance to show off, she does.
During the gun battle Book gets shot and Mal rushes him back onto the ship. They try to keep him alive but it is beyond their skill level. Wash runs to town to look for Simon, but has little luck finding him. This is due to him being captured by local towns folk.
He flashes back to when he first noticed something was wrong with River and her school. He wants to go and save her but his parents are strongly against it. Assuring him that she is fine. He is not convinced.
Wash tells the captain that the villagers up in the hill take tradesman captive and force them to work for them. Now they have a doctor, Kaylee wants to go rescue him but Mal orders them to leave. Poor Simon and River look up just in time to see Serenity take off.
Mal and Wash try to figure out where to take Book to save his life and Inara throws out the idea of going to the Alliance for help. Something that Mal is against. Can you blame him? The Alliance is everything Mal is against. He fought against them in the war and even after losing still sees himself in battle with them. It is who he is and he can't help it. But more than that, he is a man who helps those who put their faith in him. He agrees to go to the Alliance for help. Making Wash and us watching at home nervous. Nothing with these people ever go right.
The towns people waste no time in putting Simon to work and he doesn't waste a moment arguing. It seems, he a good man who just wants to help.
The Alliance storms onto the ship and start to act like they own the ship. Zoe gives them fake paper work and they seem to buy it but tell Mal that they can't help Book. They don't help civilians. Book then does something that drives all long time fans crazy. He gives the Alliance his ID and they jump to helping him. Setting up that he has a connection with the Alliance. Now, everyone from the crew of Serenity to us enjoying the show wants to know what it is. Unfortunately the show was canceled before they had a chance to answer the question. When we got the movie we thought we would get answered but no. They even closed off the chance for us to get answers. It was a damn shame.
That is until The Shepherd's Tale came out. A comic book that takes place during Book's final moments of his life but flashes back over the course of his life answering all our questions. It's well worth a read.
Back on world, River talks to a mute girl and gets called out as a witch, never a good thing. These people are strict Christians who don't support witches, to say the least.
Back in the past Simon is bailed out of jail by his father who tells him that if he gets in trouble again he is on his own. Cut off from the family.
We have to believe that this is the last time he saw his family. It must have been so hard for Simon to turn his back on everything he has ever known. He is truly one of the strongest people on the show, even if he doesn't seem like it.
River tells the townfolk that their leader is a murderer so they believe she is a witch even more now. Because seeing truth and spreading falsehoods go so well together right? On Serenity, Jayne points out they would be better off with Simon and River and Zoe agrees that it would be easier without them. On world, Simon throws his lot in with Rivers, if she dies he dies and it seems it might go down like that until Serenity shows up and Mal and Zoe walk right in and take Simon and River from them.
Jayne quickly returns everything he stole, what kind of asshole steals from his own crew. It's so fucked up, it's so Jayne. God I love this show.
It ends with Simon asking why Mal saved him and he gets the most Malist of answers. "You're on my crew." This episode drives home the core tenet of Mal's character over and over. If you are one of his crew, he will do anything for you. He showed that with Book and again with Simon. It's just who he is.
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