Season 1 Episode 5

Out of Gas

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 25, 2002 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (43)

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  • Out of Gas

    The good;

    Really, really good, a classic 'submarine' story told with comedy and tension yet with wonderful character touches too. Lovely little details like even when they're all freezing to death Jayne stays in his shirtsleeves or Simon mourning the loss of his brithday.

    The bad;

    I'm almost a little disappointed that Mal just bought Serenity at a second hand spaceship sale, I always thought he won her in a card game or stole her from the Alliance (or even the Independents?) in the dying days of the war.

    Best line;

    River (to a frightened Book); "Don't worry preacher, we won't suffocate. We'll freeze to death first"

    Packing heat;

    Mal shot with a Browning 9mm.

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost; Bester gives Kaylee a 'tour' of his engine room

    Inarra;1-a paying customer who wishes to make her his kept woman, 1 possible, Atherton.

    Wash; 1-the missus

    Zoe; 1-the hubby


    Capt subtext;

    Interestingly Inara says that she loved Serenity the moment she saw her too, just as Mal did. She also says 'I don't want to die at all'. One theory I've heard throughout the series is that she's actually slowly dying (like Darla) and that the syringe we see her with in Serenity was for medecine rather than narcotics or a suicide kit. Here she says that she doesn't want any of the crew just bursting into her room unannounced, she's not bashful of her nudity, could she be hiding something else? Is this part of the 'little clues' they speak of in the commentary?

    How'd they get away with that?

    Never liked needles, bad enough to watch Simon inject Zoe but watching Mal do it to himself is even nastier.

    Total Serenity crew; 9

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

    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 fathers. Clever use of extensive flashbacks (Fool for Love, Lies my Parents told me, Are you now or ever have been?)

    Knocked out; Zoe rendered unconscious by the explosion

    Book; 2

    Simon; 1

    Kaylee; 1


    Mal; 1

    Wash; 1

    Inara; 1

    Zoe; 1

    Happy high-class hookers in Space;

    We're informed that companions don't kiss and tell, as you would expect of people who listen to the pillow talk of the rich and powerful.

    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)

    Nathan Fillon-3; Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy and Dr Horrible

    Gina Torres-2; Firefly and Jasmine in S4 of Angel

    Alan Tudyk-2; Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse (haven't seen season 2 so don't spoil it for me)

    Adam Baldwin-2; Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel

    Summer Glau-3; Firefly, Dollhouse and the prima ballerina in the LEGENDARY S4 Angel ep 'Waiting in the wings'.

    Carlos Jacott-3; The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.

    Andy Umberger;3-the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I fall to pieces'.

    Mark Shepherd;2-Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.

    Jeff Rickets;3- one of the blue handed men in Firefly and Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4

    Gregg Henry; 2- he's one of those faces that occur time and again in TV/movies, the Sherrif in The Train Job and he later recurrs in the Dollhouse ep 'Ghost', one of my favourite eps of season 1.

    Christina Hendricks; 2-Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She'll later star in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.

    Alliance good or bad?;

    Mal talks of the Serenity representing freedom to him, that they can 'live like real people' which he doesn't feel able to do with the Alliance. They're sneaking about under the radar 'the way it should be' even when it takes them hugely out of the way, it hurts the crew. Now of course, flying under the radar and living as an outlaw from civilisation is all very well UNTIL something goes wrong (or to put it another way, even anarchists dial 999/911). Wash lacks Zoe/Mal's antipathy towards the Alliance and resents that Mal's hatred for it has landed them in this mess and may cost Zoe her life. Interestingly Inara was in favour of unification and supported the Alliance in the war, just as River and Simon did.

    Mal's no fool, he's suspicious of the 'rescue' crew, knowing there's no honour or trust in the wilderness.

    Missing scenes;

    Rumoured to be a scene where we see Mal and Zoe meet for the first time during the war, she catches him stealing supplies for his unit and then he realises she's doing the same.

    Firefly speak;


    Weak tea=not good

    Back birth=idiot

    Companion=high class courtesan



    Rutting=bloody (or perhaps 'fraking'?)


    Purple belly=officious bureaucrat

    Ta-gow=Oh god!

    Won-gwa-pee= to urinate or defecate





    Wah=what the hell?

    Mah song=quickly


    Nu-shu-quong=nice going

    Shot; Mal shot by the other captain

    Mal; 2-




    Reminds me off;

    The opening with the camera panning around the empty ship is very Alien again. Mal's leadership under pressure is inspired and he reminds me of great Irish Unionist hero Ernest Shackleton (check out Kenneth Brannaghs excellent version of the story) and of Apollo 13. Wash with his moustache and Hawaiin shirt is very Magnum PI. Kaylee is actually very close to her daddy, just like Fred. The whole ep very similar to the Space; Above and Beyond episode 'Who monitors the birds?' which Joss cites as his inspiration for the Buffy ep 'Hush' plus the Babylon 5 ep Walkabout.

    Questions and observations;

    This almost strikes you as a third pilot, we're introduced to the crew one by one and everyone's role on the ship is explained. Bester kinda reminds me of the workman in porn who turns up to fix something at the lonely housewives home. Book seems a lot more scared than everyone else which seems atypical of the character we know. Has he had a similar exeprience to this in the past?

    Is the gun Mal finds something he planted earlier for just such an emergency or one that was left lying around by Jayne or something?

    9/10; eps like this tell me why Firefly has such a devoted fanbase, hope the rest are like this