Sunday, February 20, 2011

Firefly-"The Train Job"

Adam Baldwin on "Firefly"
Credit: FOX

Sundays during the winter/spring I'll be revisiting the old TV series Firefly. My review of the second episode produced and the first episode to air of Firefly is after the jump.

This episode plays quite a bit like a pilot. As explained on the DVD commentary, what happened was FOX didn't want to air "Serenity" so they asked Joss Whedon and Tim Minear to write a pilot in 48 hours. What they came up with was this episode. It was full of exposition, which seemed repetitive after seeing "Serenity", but that wasn't a problem once the making of the episode was taken into account. It was basically a repilot where the major plot and the characters were reintroduced, sometimes in a similar way to "Serenity", sometimes not in similar way. It all combined into a fun hour of television that I greatly enjoyed watching.

Joss Whedon knows how to tell a self contained story. He knows how to make what could seem like a boring storyline much better then it sounds. He made a simple heist storyline much more interesting by adding moral implications and making Mal question his latest task.

It was a fun mission of the week and it was executed perfectly. It features the perfect "classic villain" who was played by Michael Fairman. He is very creepy and is a brilliant villain. It helps that the set in that scene is as evil and menacing as Fairman's character. The scene was very good and achieved what it tries to do.

The episode moved along to a very cool train heist. That scene was very well done and very exciting. Adam Baldwin and a crazy hat works every time. It was a cool action sequence and was really cool to watch.

Then we find out that the cargo they stole was medicine for the people of the Peradiso who suffer from a degenerative disease. This scene was very good not only because of Gregg Henry's fantastic guest performance but because of the setting. It made for a great scene with Fillion and Torres's shock really showing. The sequence was also a good introduction to Inara as a character and what it means to be a companion, it's probably better then what they did in "Serenity".

The fight scene on the ship was very, very cool. The Fillion and the bad guy had a very cool fight ended very well with a drugged Jayne shooting him. We then got Mal and crew doing the right thing and returning the medicine. It was a beautiful scene that was very well done. Then we got a really funny, dark scene. The scene with Mal and Crow which ended with Mal shoving Crow into the engine was very funny. It was very dark and very funny.

There was some great character introductions for Jayne on Serenity during the episode. We learned about Jayne's trustworthiness. We learned that he might not be completely trustworthy. We also got the great scene with Jayne being drugged. We know from Chuck that Adam Baldwin can be very funny when he wants to be and that was a great example of that.

We also got an introduction to River and Simon. We learn more about River's backstory and that she was tortured at the academy. We got some of River's craziness. It seems like she's saying a useless rhyme but it actually has meaning based on the cliffhanger. The scene with the men with the blue hands was a great way to end the episode and a great way to continue the arc.

Overall, "The Train Job" was a fun episode that had a fun mission of the week and some good exposition. Even if it did seem repetitive, it worked for what its intention was.

Next week: the show goes to a very dark place with "Bushwhacked".

What did everyone else think?

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