Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 18, 2002 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
883 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Serenity sets down at the mudder colony of Canton where it turns out Jayne is a hero for having dropped a bunch of money there years ago that he and his partner Stitch stole from the local magistrate. The drop was unintentional but Jayne doesn't turn down the attentions. Meanwhile, Kaylee and Simon dance, River rewrites Book's bible, and Inara beds the magistrate's son, a virgin.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Jaynestown


    The good;

    The bit where the gang see Jayne's statue alone had me laughing out loud, then the song is even better. Inara's confusion over her client referring to Jayne but she thinks it's Mal is also hilarious. The River/Book scenes where she tries to correct the bible are terrific. Also love the bit where Zoe welcomes 'her boys' home and her faked adulation of Jayne once she hears the story.

    The bad;

    Handing Stitch the loaded gun is deeply stupid, no matter what the magistrate's motivation. What IS the cargo they pick up? Stitch fires a shot in the air when we first see him confront Jayne but doesn't work the action and eject the spent cartridge until he shoots the mudder, he actually threatens Mal with an empty gun.

    Best line;

    Kaylee (to Inara who's off to see a client) "Have good sex!"

    also like;

    Simon; (upon learning of Jayne's folk hero status) "This must be what going mad feels like"

    upon hearing the Jayne song;

    "No, THIS must be what going mad feels like"

    plus Wash;

    "Let's go to the crappy town where I'M a hero"


    River (to Book whilst correcting the Bible); "Just keep walking preacher man!"

    Packing heat;

    I'm informed that Zoe's cut down carbine is referred to as a 'mare's leg', possibly because of it's kick? Stitch has a sawn-off Remmington shotgun.

    Kinky dinky;

    Simon finally tells Kaylee that she's pretty and they get all snuggly over 'mudders milk' (nice pun).

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Jayne possibly sleeps with the barmaid but unconfirmed. Inara has another paying customer.

    Inarra;2- 2 paying customers, 1 possible, Atherton.

    Wash; 1-the missus

    Zoe; 1-the hubby

    Jayne; 1 possible, Jaynestown groupie.

    Capt subtext;

    I thought that the toppling of the Jayne statue was actually a comment about the similar destruction of Saddams statue during the liberation of Iraq but that actually happened afterwards (much as The Initiative on Buffy was very Guantanamo Bay but also occured beforehand)

    Total Serenity crew; 9

    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Book, Simon, River

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Big tough Jayne whimpers as he pulls the surgical tape off his skin

    Whedon cliches;

    Devoted siblings, haunted charismatic leading man. Teenage girls with superpowers. Hookers. Babbling insane girls with truth in their madness. Fake cockneys. Misguided religious zealots. Numbered t-shirts. Girls with botanical names (Willow, Saffron, Jasmine). Absent/overbearing fathers.

    Women good/men bad;

    Really like Inara's 'what makes a man' speech to her client. Not so fond of Jayne casually tossing his groupie aside the next morning with only a goodbye spank of her ass.

    Kills; Jayne kills Stitch

    Jayne; 7-

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;

    Inara kisses on the mouth. Her guild gives her enough leeway to reject her clients father if she'd wished to but she seems genuinely fond of the son. Ceremony plays an almost more important part for her in her work than the sex.

    Know the face?

    Kevin Gage who plays Stitch essentially recreates his role of the odious Waingrow in the wonderful Michael Mann film 'Heat', best cops and robbers story off all time.

    Whedon alumni- Joss likes to reuse the same actors in his series, let's count up their appearances (let me know if I miss any)

    Jack Jabaley; 2-the bartender here and Xander's friend Tito the Plumber from Buffy.

    Crew injured;

    Simon gets roughed up AGAIN! He's beginning to remind me of Joxer the Mighty. As Kaylee observes "You got to be steeley, can't let men be stomping in you so much"

    Reminds me off;

    Bare chested Jayne reminds me off the late Kevin Smith playing Ares in Xena. River sounds very like Fred when she starts talking physics when rewriting the bible. Book with his hair down reminds me of an Afro-American Albert Einstein. 'You fought the law' may refer to the song by The Clash. Mal's remark about the Mudder's Jayne fixation being about what they need as opposed to reality is reminiscent of the Dollhouse's philosophy.

    Questions and observations;

    So, beer was intended to keep the masses down? I wonder what went wrong? Surely Stitch can't have been wholly in the box for 4 years, his muscles would have atrophied until he couldn't walk and no one would be able to stand the stench to realease him. A town so backward they don't even know what a menu is, Simon really is in hell. He comes off the ship and starts really participating in their crime for the first time. Interestingly Zoe is left behind and Mal takes Wash with him, maybe because there's not going to be any gunplay in Canton. Jayne starts to develop a conscience, he and Mal beginning to bond again in the final scene. Stitch is one tough hombre to keep fighting with a Bowie knife in his chest (take that Deadliest Warrior who said the stiletto was better).

    Magistrate Higgins got what he wanted, his son is now a real man, standing up to his overbearing father.

    8 out of 10, fairly lightweight but truly very, very funny episode with a Jayne brought to the fore for the first time and some absolutely killer lines.

  • Jayne's own town..

    Suprise, suprise - when returning to Cobb's old planet, where he worked, the whole crew founds that people have made him their hero. And as surprising as it seems as there seems to be no reason, there is - a mission gone bad 4 years ago when he had to leave back a lot of money.

    It was really funny - the way the crew first saw the statue.. and they just stared it and Cobb almost started to panic. It just like somehow hit his pride - they made statue of him.

    And then the whole song - ah, I love the music on this show.

    And if not that was enough to make it good episode - the other storys - Cobb and that boy of jumped to save him.. or doctor vs Kaylee or shepard's hair vs River..

    I think a lot of focus on character what's really good.moreless
  • Jayne is famous in in this small town called Canton. River tries to rewrite Shepherd's bible. Simon and Kaylee get drunk. Inara sleeps with a virgin.

    This episode of Firefly was so funny. What was so funny about it was everyone thought Jayne was a hero. Everyone was singing songs about him and they even made a statue of him. It's so funny because that's not the type of person Jayne is. One of my favourite parts in this episode was when River was rewriting Shephards bible. I liked the speech Shephard gave her. It was nice. I also though Shephards hair was funny. River's reaction to seeing his hair was hilarious. When Kaylee and Simon are drunk was so funny, I couldn't stop laughing. The one thing I didn't like was Simon getting beat up by Jaynes old crime partner. I liked how Jayne beat up his old crime partner. I give this episode a 10/10.moreless
  • Mal and company come to a "mud-making" planet to make a deal, only to find that Jayne has become a local folk hero due to a misunderstanding.

    I saw this episode earlier today and so far it's my favorite Firefly episode. As usual, there were hilarious bits and the story of Jayne being a folk hero was very well done, and surprisingly touching at the very end. Before I talk about anything else, let me describe one of the funniest lines I've ever heard on television. After River is startled by Book's righteous hairstyle, she hides in the cargo bay. Zoe and Book sit nearby, encouraging her to come out. Zoe says something to the effect of, "You can come out. He's putting his hair away." And River says, "It doesn't matter. It'll still be there... waiting." That had me laughing for at least a full minute.

    Anyways... I'm enjoying seeing the relationship between Simon and Kaylee develop. I ended up rooting for them. But as far as the main plot goes, a very well-done, solid episode and as I said, the best yet.moreless
  • Jayne has a town named after him and an awesome song. I must be crazy!

    Jaynestown is one of the best episodes of the season as it is probably Jayne's & one of Simon's best episode. It is one of the funniest episodes with lots of drama and Jayne's emotional outburst when he knocks down his statue was great two. It has some great interaction with River and Book, first she tries to rewrite his bible, then she is terrified but his super freaky Einstein Hair. The best scene between them is when book is going to see what she is doing and she tells him "Keep walking preacher man". Simon has some great scenes where he is drunk with Kaylee and the best is when he asks for a menu. I love the yokel factor in this episode when the bartender gives him "The best Damm whiskey in the House". The basic plot is that Jayne was pulling as heist a few years ago on this moon canton where mud is made to make clay. He was stealing from the owner of the slaves of canton who are called mudders. He stole a very large amount of money but his ship was damaged and had to lose cargo so he had to throw everything over board even his partner before he threw the loot which the mudders got and were able to keep the money through protest. The crew of serenity have to go to canton to to do a job, while their they see a statue of Jayne and find out that Jayne is a Legendary Folk Hero. He even as a song about him called "The Hero of Canton". The town has a big festival for Jayne which the crew use to smuggle goods onto serenity. The Owner of Canton who has been keeping Jayne's partner (who he betrayed) captive in a box for 4 years unleashes him on Jayne. Jayne is about to be shot until a mudder takes the bullet for him and is killed. This sends Jayne into a rage in which he violently kills his old partner. Later he talks with Mal telling him that he can't understand why the mudder saved him. Mal tells him that those people need a hero to keep them going and Jayne is that hero. In other news Inora beds a virgin.

    In conclusion this was probably one of the better episodes of firefly. It is well written and has a great mix of drama and comedy (as firefly always has).moreless
Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion

Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds

Sean Maher

Sean Maher

Dr. Simon Tam

Ron Glass

Ron Glass

The Shepherd Book

Gina Torres

Gina Torres


Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite

Kaywinnit Lee 'Kaylee' Frye

Alan Tudyk

Alan Tudyk


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When Simon pretends to be a businessman seeking mud, the worker slaps his hand on Simon's back, leaving a large, muddy imprint on his jacket. A few shots later in the same scene, the mud stain is no longer there.

    • After the young boy takes the shot that was supposed to hit Jayne, he falls to the ground. You can see a rope attached to his left foot during this stunt and when he is falling to the ground.

    • When Stitch points his shotgun at Mal, there is a pump action sound effect, even though he does not pump the gun.

    • You can't take a shotgun blast for someone. A shotgun blast is a spread of pellets, even at relatively close-range. At least some of the pellets/buckshot would have gone past the guy and hit Jayne.

    • Stitch walks upright pretty well, and manhandles Simon pretty readily, despite being locked up in a cramped box for four years. Did the Magistrate let him have daily exercise periods and all, or what?

    • So exactly what is "Port Control"? The Serenity landed in the middle of a big open field with no signs of buildings, no one to greet them, and no indication they had to request permission to land.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Inara: Our time together, it's a ritual, a symbol. It means something to your father. I hope it wasn't entirely forgettable for you.
      Fess: No, it was...
      Inara: But it doesn't make you a man. You do that yourself.

    • Kaylee: (about the Jayne statue) Wherever I move to, his eyes keep... followin' me.

    • Mal: (upon finding the statue) Jayne?
      Jayne: Yeah?
      Mal: You want to tell me how come there's a statue of you, here, starin' at me like I owe him somethin'?
      Jayne: Wishin' I could, Cap'n.

    • (Inara's client, Fess Higgins, tells her about an upcoming hearing for a criminal)
      Fess: He stole a ton of money from my dad and gave it to the poor, to my father's workers. He's become kind of a folk hero in Canton.
      Inara: Go on.
      Fess: Well, he's back. Apparently, he landed here yesterday.
      Inara: Yesterday? (to herself) Oh, no. (to Fess) I... I know this man. He's… he just has this idiotic sense of nobility, you know? He can never just let things go. He thinks he's this hard-hearted criminal, and he can be unrelenting, but… there's a side to him that's just so…
      Fess: You mean you actually know… Jayne?
      (long pause)
      Inara: Jayne? Jayne Cobb? You're talking about Jayne Cobb?

    • (River is hiding from Book, freaked out by his enormous unbundled mane of white hair)
      River: They say the snow on the roof is too heavy. They say the ceiling will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger.
      Book: River? Please, why don't you come on out?
      River: No! Can't. Too much hair.
      Book: Is... is that it?
      Zoë: Hell, yes, preacher. If I didn't have stuff to get done, I'd be in there with her.

    • [sitting in a bar, listening to "The Ballad of Jayne" being sung]
      Mal: Uh, Jayne?
      Jayne: Yeah, Mal?
      Mal: You got any light you'd like to shed on this particular development?
      Jayne: No, Mal.

    • Zoe: River, honey, he's putting the hair away now.
      River: It doesn't matter. It'll still be there. Waiting.

    • Simon: (hearing the entire pub break out into Jayne's tribute song) No... this must be what going mad feels like.

    • Simon: (sarcastically to Jayne) Enemies? You? No! How it can it be?

    • Fess: (after losing his virginity) Aren't I supposed to be a man now?
      Inara: A man is just a boy who's old enough to ask that question.

    • Kaylee: Bye now! Have good sex!

    • Mal: It's my estimation that every man ever had a statue made of him was one kind of sumbich or another.

    • Jayne: (addressing crowd) Far as I see it, you people been given the shortest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-heel 'verse. But you took that end and you - well, you took it. That's...well, I guess that's something.

    • Jayne: (singing) My love for me ain't hard to explain. The hero of Canton, the man they call me.

    • Jayne: Hey, I got an idea. Instead of us hangin' around playin' art critic until I get pinched by the man, how's about we move away from this eerie-ass piece of work and get on with our increasingly eerie-assed day. How's that?
      Mal: I don't know. This here's a spectacle might warrant a moment's consideration.

    • Simon: (looking at a statue to Jayne) This must be what going mad feels like.

    • Mal: The management here don't take too kindly to sightseers, which is why we're posin' as buyers. There ain't a one of us looks the part more than the good doctor. I mean, the pretty fits. Soft hands - definitely a moneyed individual. All rich and lily-white, pasty all over--
      Simon: All right! Fine. I'll go. Just stop describing me.

    • Simon: I swear, when it's appropriate.
      Kaylee: Simon, the whole point of swearing is that it ain't appropriate.

    • Fess: Jayne will get back and find out that he's grounded. Sorry, I hate the idea of his getting caught.
      Inara: (insincerely) Yes, that would be bad.

    • Simon: You know, I've saved lives. Dozens, maybe hundreds. I - I reattached a girl's leg, her whole leg. She named her hamster after me. I get a hamster. He (Jayne) drops a box of money. He gets a town.
      Kaylee: Hamshtersh is nice!

    • River: Bible's broken. Contradictions. False logistics. Doesn't make sense.
      Book :No. No. Y-y-you can't...
      River: So we'll integrate a non-progressional evolutionary theory with God's creation of Eden.

    • River: Noah's Ark is a problem.
      Book: Really?
      River: We'll have to call it an early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5,000 species of mammals into the same boat.

    • Jayne: Can't be a statue of me. No reason for it. Flies in the face of every kind of sense.
      Wash: Won't argue with that.

    • Wash: We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!

    • Simon: (proposing a toast) To Jayne - the box-dropping man/ape gone wrong thing.

    • Wash: (talking about Jayne's statue) I think they captured him though, captured his essence.
      Kaylee: Looks sort of angry, don't he?
      Wash: That's kinda what I meant.

    • Simon: Does anybody here have a menu?
      Bartender: A what?

    • Jayne: Do you think we should be using my fame to hoodwink folks?
      Mal: You'd better laugh when you say that.

    • Jayne: You guys had a riot on account of me? My very own riot?

    • Simon: (about Jayne) You're like...a trained ape. Without the training.

  • NOTES (1)

    • There is an easter egg on Disc 4 of the DVD set. On the second special features page, highlight "Joss sings the theme" and then hit the left arrow. Hit enter, and it will play a clip of Adam Baldwin singing the "Hero of Canton" song from the episode "Jaynestown."


    • River:
      River interprets Book's Bible in scientific and mathematical terms. When Book removes his hair tie, his shock of white hair is very reminiscent of Albert Einstein.