Sunday, February 27, 2011


Summer Glau takes a walk on "Firefly"
Credit: FOX
 I continue my look back on Firefly (as a part of the Old TV Watch Project) with the second episode to air, and the third to be produced "Bushwhacked" after the jump.

This is a damn good episode of Firefly. It wasn't afraid to go to very dark places and this created a thrilling and slightly scary hour of television. Tim Minear did really well with his first episode of the series as a writer and a director, using some very cool lighting and camera work to create an episode that was very exciting to watch.

This episode was not afraid to go to very dark places, like visiting a ship that had suffered from a Reaver attack. This functioned as a way to reintroduce Reavers into the world (there was some introduction done in "Serenity) in a way that was much better then "Serenity". To show how scary the Reavers are all they had to do was show Jayne be terrified at the mere mention of them. Having the big man be terrified of them really says it all about how scary they are.

The episode also showed the traditional western theme of isolation leading to insanity very well. Back in the olden days, there would be people who would go insane from being isolated in the desert for a long time. The show did a good job translating that and showing its western genes through this. The survivor from the ship becoming a reaver was a good twist that worked on every level. 

Tim Minear really took this idea and made the most of it. The camera work, especially in the first scene on the abandoned ship, was fantastic. It really created a sense of world and a sense of fright that wouldn't have been there if it was lighter. He really knew how to plot out the episode and he helped create a sense of world that made the episode even more realistic and made me care for the characters even more then I already did. He helped shape the episode and make it a truly great episode of television.

Doug Sevant was the perfect choice to play the alliance commander. He did a fantastic job playing the commander who had to question his morals. The character had to question following the rules in the outer limits. He had to let Mal go first and I think Sevant did a great job showing this torment that the character was going through. 

The entire inclusion of the alliance was a brilliant way to tie up the plotline and to continue establishing the world in which the show is set. The alliance is a real threat and the episode did a great job showing that. They came off as the "strong and proper" people they are. 

The alliance interrogations were the funniest parts of the episode and really worked to reestablish quite a bit of exposition. We had Inara being interrogated about her profession and why she's on the ship (introducing the role of a companion). We had the reintroduction of Wash and Zoe's marriage. This was the best showcase for Alan Tudyk in this episode, he got a chance to truly be funny with this scene. We had Jayne being Jayne. Adam Baldwin does comedy without talking very well. We had Kaylee rattling off engine stuff in a very funny moment. (*) And we had Mal not giving up anything. (**)

(*) This was a great Kaylee episode wasn't it? I'm growing to really love this character. Jewel Staite is amazing.

(**) Another great Mal episode as well, and his death count is now three people at the end of the episodes so far. Will this continue? (no spoilers about future episodes please!)

This episode also fleshed out River's character. It reveled more about what exactly she can do and giving her more to do then the first two episodes combined. I'm growing to really be intrigued by this character because Summer Glau is giving a great performance. Seeing her pure joy on the spacewalk was very good. It was a great moment. Glau also does crazy really well and it showed in this episode.

Overall, I really loved this episode. It wasn't afraid to go to very dark places and did it very well.

What did everyone else think?

Next week: We look at Shindig.

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