Season 1 Episode 7


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 08, 2002 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

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out of 10
842 votes
  • Nothing too startling


    The good;

    River dancing is just wonderful as is Simon's happiness at it. The scene where the rest of the crew rescue them is terrific as is Jayne looting their stuff.

    The bad;

    Can someone please explain to me exactly when the hillbillies work out that Simon is a doctor? Also what sort of supplies do they have for him to work with?

    Best line;

    Jayne; (pretending to read Simon's diary) "Dear diary, today I was pompus and my sister acted crazy"

    Packing heat;

    Everyone's guns sound very different in this ep, more zingy and less like conventional firearms. The villains/cops 6-shooters also seem to hold an inordinate number of rounds. The lead cop packs a 44. Magnum. Mal and Jayne use Mossberg shotguns and Zoe utilises a full size Winchester rifle rather than her normal cutdown version.

    Kinky dinky;

    Kaylee wants to bite Simon all over? Jayne seems to derive pleasure from having watched the cows being fed by beautiful women (presumably Kaylee and Zoe rather than Inara and River?)

    Notches on the Serenity bedpost;

    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;

    Is Kaylee the duck and Inara the swan?

    How'd they get away with that?

    Skinning the hare is nasty but makes it's point. Burning witches at the stake.

    Total Serenity crew; 9 Simon and River's status onboard confirmed

    Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inarra, Book, Simon, River(?).

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

    Clever mislead, we think the hillbillies are savages but actually they're just desperate people who need a doctor.

    Whedon cliches; (see I spelt it right!);

    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.

    Bondage; River tied to a stake

    Mal; 1

    River; 1

    Knocked out; Book goes unconscious after being shot

    Book; 2

    Simon; 1

    Kaylee; 1


    Women good/men bad;


    Mal; 9-

    Zoe; 4-

    Jayne; 2-

    Happy high-class hookers in Space (the title the porn industry wished they'd thought of!);

    Know the face?

    High School Musical star Zac Efron as young Simon, he'll later star in '17 Again' with Whedon alumni Michelle Tractenberg.

    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.

    Alliance good or bad?;

    Mal runs to the Alliance in order to save Book, how that must choke him! They seem reluctant to provide but don't say no outright. Then our Shepherd slips them an ID card? Hmmmmm.


    Missing scenes;

    Reputedly scenes where the Alliance question the Tam's parents after Simon rescues River, River reading Ruby's mind and seeing her tragic story plus paying Badger his share, his hoodlums unable to believe that Mal doesn't try to rip them off, much to Badger's chagrin at Mal's moral superiority again.

    Western cliches;

    Hillbillies kidnapping folk. Zoe actually shoots the gun out of one of the bad guy's hand.

    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


    Shot; .Book shot during a the gunfight with the cattle

    Mal; 1-




    Crew injured;

    Simon knocked around yet again, he seems to be everyone's punching bag.

    Reminds me off;

    River on the pyre reminds of Buffy, Willow and Amy tied to the stake and almost burnt as witches by M.O.O

    Questions and observations;

    So, what is Book's past and why do the Alliance treat him like a VIP once he identifies himself? Is he a former Alliance General guilt-ridden by his role during the war? A former spy who sold out the Independents? A scientist who carried out experiments like those conducted on River?

    Mal finally makes a deal and actually earns some more or less honest money from it. Presumably this pays for the slap up meal the crew enjoy at the end of the ep. Mal asks why things never go smooth for them, once again we see that he's not really suited to a life of crime. As we suspected River and Simon were pro-Alliance before River's ordeal, casting the Browncoats as the enemy in their games. The locals describe the Serenity as a fancy vessel, would do Kaylee's heart good to hear that but it really underlines how remote and backward they are if they think that. This ep is set 3 weeks after the last so a planet 3 weeks travel from Persephone must be remote indeed. Jayne enjoys smacking the cows around? Once again father's get a hard time in the Whedonverse although the Tam's parents seem nice enough folks.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10, nothing very startling here, nice to have River and Simon confirmed as part of the crew and I like the dance scene

  • "You gave up everything you had and you found me broken" We meet Simon's & River's parents & we see the stark contrast between the world they grew up in & the life they must lead now. Wonderfully written we see exactly how much Simon loves his sist

    The plot... the plot is like any other episode really. Mal gets a deal, deal feels hinky, deal goes bad, guns & wits come out, they win over in the end, but just because it's the same-ole thing, does NOT mean in watching it is. A terrific episode, one I'm looking forward to seeing again.

    It is a Simon & River episode, we see some back story, we see how Simon is still frustrated with his "lot in life" but how he tries to cope with it all again. He again puts his foot in it with Kaylee, but that's nothing new, so, we see that he's a truly gifted doctor & brother, but a little slow when it comes to women.

    We are not all born into privilege, but many that are can not deal well when they are forced to leave it. Here we see how much Simon truly loves his sister, how he will go to the ends of the "verse" to protect her. He gave up a life filled with privilege and wants (rather than needs) and for her, he left it all behind to live on board a ship that has nothing but day-to-day needs and criminal activities.

    When trying to convince his parents there was something wrong their replies were that it was him missing her, it was a game, they always loved their games and Simon could not convince them that they were wrong. It was interesting to see even their parents were aware of how strong a bond that they had.

    We also got to see in a flashback the extent of River's natural talent, her story time/game holds great clues as to what else is happening in the "verse", fans will know what it means, it just goes to show what a truly talented young woman she really is.

    One of the scenes that really stuck out for me was when the inevitable shoot-out takes place and simultaneously River finds herself dancing amongst the people. The scene was beautifully written and the contrast of the 2 lifestyles was clearly shown. River we found out earlier was a dance student in her youth, before her problems began, so when we cut to the scene of her dancing, not only are we shown the contrasting lifestyles, but also her frailty, her child-likeness as well. I saw her firstly here as a truly innocent woman who has lost, not only her memory, but her innocence in life as well.

    The most beautiful scene to see his absolute devotion to his sister, regardless of her state of mind is when he joins her on the pyre. Truly touching, we are brought straight into his heart.

    We've always known there was more to Shepherd Book than meets the eye. He's always seemed to be a man of Logical Morals. Meaning that he believes in morals, but also logic must prevail. He is a man of faith & spirit, but is not closed to "what must be done". Again, the episode has a brilliant contrast to it, we see Shepherd's quiet faith and then we are confronted with the towns folks faith. Knowing most of the specific references they were making I was moved initially to pity, to hate, then pity again, yet with Shepherd, I've always had a quiet respect for him and the way his character has been written. I hope that if they do a sequel to Serenity we have some more back story on him.

    An interesting episode that will give you further insight into 3 of our quieter characters.

    Two Thumbs up from me on a terrific episode!

    "You gave up everything you had and you found me broken"
  • Nice episode. Not the best, but still well worth watching.

    One of the things I like about this show is that it's not completely sci-fi and not totally a western. Their problems parallel some of the problems we're having now, or have had in the past.

    Obviously, River's "situation" in the village reminds one about the Salem Witch Trials, in which people used fear to justify acts that look idiotic in our eyes. And yet, Firefly is set in the future, where we would expect people to have more sense. That's what makes it so different from the science fiction shows that attempt to outdo each other in special effects and explosions.

    Safe is not the best episode of the series, but it's enjoyable. I recommend it.
  • A great episode concentrating on River and Simon

    It was really great to see episode on those two and get more to know their past and how the bound between those two was built as Simon was ready, and did, gave up everything for his sister.

    The story itself is nothing too special - dropping of those cows from previous episode, getting into trouble.. the last part sounds very familiar.

    Anyway - the whole thing with River and Simon on that village.. and the way they tried to burn her.. and Simon standing up - he does not look very much the guy to fight but for his sister - the look even - what he is ready to everything to her.. even to die with her.. that was marvelous.. And I most say the scene where there was the firefight and clips of River dancing between.. that was great too.. little ironic.. the music, mainly, but it worked dynamicly so well.
  • One of the best episodes to quote from.

    I loved this episode, every characters personalities we're truly highlighted in this episode. This episode had many excellent quotes but I think my personal favorite had to be close to then end of the episode.

    Patron: [River is about to be burned at the stake] This is a holy cleansing. You cannot think to thwart God's will. Mal: Y'all see the man hangin' out of the spaceship with the really big gun? I'm not saying you weren't easy to find, but it was kind of out of our way and he didn't wanna come in the first place. Man's lookin' to kill some folk. So really it's his will y'all should worry about thwarting. Mal: [to Simon] Gotta say, Doctor, your talent for alienatin' folks is near miraculous. Simon: Yes, I'm very proud. Mal: [about River] Cut her down. Patron: The girl is a witch. Mal: Yeah, but she's our witch. [Cocks shotgun and aims at Town Patron] Mal: So cut her the hell down.
  • we learn more about river and simon.

    the crew lands on ground for a mission but it goes wrong. mal is annoyed by river. the tension between the two is growing. he tells simon to take her somewhere so they can work on bussiness. simon and river get kidnapped because the townspeople need a doctor. meanwhile a trade gone wrong leaves shephers shot and dying. mal makes the decision to leave river and simon and take off to find him medical help. it seems as though sheoherd has connections with the alliance, bacause after they refused to treat him, he shows them a badge and they do. with simon and river gone jayne is happy and looks through their stuff. the townspeople end up accusing river of being a witch because she could read a mute girls mind. they go to burn her, but the crew comes in and saves the two. simon is grateful and sks mal why he came back, and he says"because your part of my crew" you can tell he is getting used to river and simon, and in some way cares about them. that cant be said for jayne, becaue he still doesnt like the two. this was a really good episode, especially becaue it gave a clearer backstory for river and simon.
  • Our first flashback episode raises more questions than it answers, and a new mystery regarding Shepherd is uncovered - an exciting and intriguing episode.

    Safe is another really entertaining episode. As Firefly gets into the swing of things, the plot lines, dialog and character development is improving at lightening speed.

    This episode, and the one prior, are my favorites of the series thus far. I have said it several times already, but I am so impressed with the script that I could watch the episode over and over again just to enjoy the dialog.

    This is our first real flashback episode, and if I am a fan of one thing in tv shows, it is a good flashback episode. What fascinates me about a really good show is what makes the characters tick; who are they, where did they come from, what makes them who they are and how they are? These sort of questions are always answered gradually throughout a shows development, but in a flashback episode big chunks of mystery are revealed and I really enjoy when that happens.

    River and Simon are definitely an enigma if I've ever seen one. There is no doubt that there is room for a lot to be revealed, and this episode gave a really good background into who they were. While we are really no more informed about River, at least we now have an idea of what Simon is all about: saving and protecting the only family he has left. In an absence of other things to occupy his time and mind, River has become an obsession for Simon and now we can understand a little of why that is. Clearly, as children, Simon and River were as close as a brother and sister can be, and when River was in trouble, only Simon had the clarity to realize that.

    We also now have a new mystery in the form of Shepherd - who was he in his past? The one thing about Firefly is that it tends to focus a lot more on posing questions, than answering them.

    As always there are some clever scenes, particularly the contrast between the shootout and the dancing scene where the soundtrack was used to the best possible advantage. The plot line is interesting and everything works.

    Again, top marks go to the outstanding script, and my main man Mal, who I am fast developing a major crush on! All in all, an episode deserving of at least a few re-watches.
  • Simon and River are captured while the crew are doing business.

    Very enjoyable, western-ish episode.

    While seeling the cows they picked up in the previous episode, Simon and River go to town and when River runs away, Simon goes after her. Ultimately, he's kidnapped and made to work as a doctor until someone finds out or thinks that River can read minds and the town wants to burn her as a witch.

    I liked how Simon is all surprised that the crew come back and rescue him and River and the only explanation Mal gives is that they are part of the crew. That's is, that's all the reason he needs to save them.
  • Simon, River and giving them some solid background

    Just as “Firefly” begins to move past the chaos of the mismatched airing order of the first seven episodes, the extent of the damage done to normal plot and character development has become clear. The almost schizophrenic nature of the relationships between characters starts to make a little more sense. Setting aside the not-so-small matter of the pilot for a moment, it’s clear that we’re supposed to see certain relationships form over time. Perhaps the most obvious example is the slowly simmering relationship between Simon and Kaylee. It makes much more sense for “Jaynestown” to come sometime after this episode, because as it stands now, there are comments made that never seem to get followed up upon. But perhaps more importantly, this episode is part of a stack of episodes devoted to exploring the pasts of many of the characters, and the progression of those episodes appears to have been carefully considered. After the general introduction to the crew and their universe in “The Train Job” and “Bushwhacked”, the central relationship between Mal and Inara was to be highlighted in “Shindig”. This also would have served to introduce Kaylee’s dreamy take on life, and the strength of Wash and Zoe’s relationship. This episode would have naturally come after “Shindig”, as it does now, but it would have begun rounding out the early contentious relationship between Mal and Simon. Even without seeing the pilot, it’s obvious why there would be some bad blood there. This is also the next step in Kaylee’s interest in Simon, and the first look at Book’s background. More to the point, this episode focuses strongly on Simon and River. Had the episodes aired as intended, “Our Mrs. Reynolds” and “Jaynestown” would have been next. This would have focused on Mal and Jayne, and taken Kaylee and Simon’s budding relationship another step forward. Finally, “Out of Gas” would have finished out the early run by filling in some of the history of Serenity and forging the group mentality. By that point, all of the characters would have been gotten some exploration, directly or indirectly, and the group dynamic would have been organically evolved going into the next stage of the story. As it stands, this is still true, but the effect is far less cohesive. Characters vary wildly in terms of how they interact, and small details don’t quite mesh. It sounds ludicrous that Simon would joke about missing out on the one serious wound since he arrived on Serenity after “Out of Gas”, and there’s no reason for Mal and Simon to still be wary of each other. Several scenes in “Jaynestown” make much more sense after some of the events in this episode. All of which is very important to consider when looking at this episode, because without that perspective, charges of incompetence or sloppiness could be leveled at the writing staff. There are still some plot conveniences, but overall, this episode does a nice job of taking Simon and River and giving them some solid background. While it hasn’t been a secret that Simon came from a privileged background, this episode makes it clear that his family was highly influential in Alliance social circles. It’s likely that Simon’s career was at least partially fostered by his family’s reputation, and it sounds like River was sent to a top academy for the Alliance. This fits Simon’s discomfort with living on the edge of civilization, since much of what he grew up with has been ripped away by the Alliance experiments on River. River’s development has been rather hard to track, since the episode order has made her periods of lucidity and withdrawal even more haphazard than intended. Still, we get solid evidence of her speculated psychic abilities in this episode. There’s also a closer look, though obscure, at her experiences at the academy. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the Alliance was using standardized testing on the general populace to identify children with possible psychic abilities. Identify them, offer them highly prized slots in top academies, and then conduct your experiments with none the wiser. Also introduced in this episode is some kind of connection to the Alliance in Book’s past. This is highly intriguing, because his reasons for joining Serenity have never been explained. It has to be something significant, given that Book’s identity was enough to give Mal and his crew a clean run on and off an Alliance cruiser, even with the standing alert on Simon and River mentioning a Firefly-class transport. While there could be any number of reasons behind that connection, there are some strong possibilities for Book’s decision to come to Mal and Serenity. (And without seeing the pilot episode, the audience may be missing information.) What if Book had been instrumental in some military or intelligence capacity in giving the Alliance a victory at the Battle of Serenity Valley? Book might have reacted badly to what happened during that battle, and might have sought out personal redemption through religion and personally helping the man who symbolizes the fruits of his efforts. While the episode was well done, the decision to not air the pilot episode and to run the episodes out of order hurt this episode greatly. Thankfully, it would seem that future episodes will be run in the order that the writers intended. But should the series end up facing cancellation, one will have to wonder if the confusion caused by the incompetence of the network is the cause.
  • Heart renching at time, funny at others. This episode will keep you watching.

    This episode in my mind is about River, in ways none of the episodes before or after are. When River dances, you see in the clearest way the River thats just a little girl who wants to be a little girl. You also get to see why River loves Simon so much. Personally her lines in the berry scene are what makes this episode so amazing though. "I took you away from there. I know I did. You don't think that I do, but I remember.... and some of its confused and some of its made up, but I understand. You gave up everything you had to find me, you found me broken. Its hard for you." The way Summer delivers the lines, the facial expressions, the tone..... Its amazing. You really feel it, and it makes this episode such a powerful episode. If you can only see one firefly episode, make it Safe.

    9.5 for an amazing episode, negative .5 because the leader of the hill people's acting left something to be desired.

  • Cattle, Rustlers, Sheriffs, and crazy hill folk.

    A sequel to Shindig where the crew of Serenity are delivering Badgers goods to off world settlers who need cattle. The buyers are no less than disrepital men who are fugitives of the law. With River and Simon enjoying sight seeing of the town they are being watched. In the chaos of a gunfight our beloved Shepherd Book is shot in the chest. Doc nowhere insight due to he and River have been kidnapped by hill folk who are slighty crazy. The captain hits atmo to find medical help for the shepherd. The shepherd is revealed to have some type of influence amongst the alliance, hmmmm. Now that River is revealed a witch amongst the clan of hill folk she and big brother will be burned at the stake. Our Big Damn Heroes save the day. Just another day in the life of our heroes out in the border. Good fun episode with action and the bond between Simon and River is revealed.
  • jayne has a great line.

    This is my favorite episode of Firfly. The crew has landed on a planet and is trying to sell the cows we saw at the end of Shindig. Mal convinces Simon to take River for a walk. While out walking they are kidnapped by hill folk (never to be seen again, lol). They are taken to a town desperately in need of a doctor. Serenity leaves without them. While Simon is off doctoring River is reading a little girl's mind. The hill folk think that River is a witch and they set off to burn her. Meanwhile Book is dying of a wound he recieved when he was a bystander in a gunfight. Having no doctor the crew is forced to turn to the alliance for help.
    After they do that they set off to find Simon and River rescuing them in the nick of time. I love Zoe's Big Damn heros line and when Jayne is pointing the gun at the hill folk. I also love Jayne's line: Jayne: ('reading' from Simon's journal) 'Dear Diary. Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Then we were kidnapped by hill folk, never to be seen again. It was the best day ever!'

    my favorite episode of the series!
  • We got ourselves a doctor.

    Nobody really appreciates a good doctor until they're gone. Simon studies his whole life to be the best little medicine man he can be, goes to the best schools, gets a fine position, then lays everything on the line to rescue his sister, and nobody on that little junk heap appreciates what he does. Bet they won't take him for granted anymore, unless of course they like running to the Alliance boys for help. Those people just make me warm and fuzzy all over.

    And just what did Book show those guys? One of those little mysteries, I guess. A good show shouldn't tie up too many of its loose ends; it's better to let people wonder a little bit. That's a lesson Battlestar Galactica learned with a vengeance, and one this show seems to have a pretty good handle on. Now, isn't it amazing how fast people turn to superstition when they feel threatened. That village elder guy, he goes a long way towards proving that old saying that religion is the opiate of the masses; burning a witch was a sure quick way of getting people's minds off just how he became the head honcho in that little burg. Yes sir, those simple minded country folk sure are easy to fool. No, really, Firefly, thanks for the sterotype. The simple country folk with their weak minds believe anything they hear. Gosh, them big-city people sure know a few things. Give me a break. But it was awfully big of Simon to get up on that stake with River. Poor girl just wanted to dig some post holes. And the doc was right about one thing: that girl sure does like to dance.
  • Another great story.

    In this episode, we visit a village populated by religious fanatics. River is almost killed in this episode. Something is revealed about Shepperd Book, not much but enough to tell us that he wasn't always a holy man. This episode centers around Simon and River. We delve more into their characters. The writers made sure that there was a lot of movement in this episode. The story wasn't bogged down at a particular spot, we see a lot of stuff, after all this is an adventure series. Just like the other episodes, there's action in this and we don't get bored.
  • River is a witchy witch

    For some reason, I have to chose this as one of my favourite Firefly episodes. It has flashback fun, dancing and burning stakes, what more do you want?

    The flashbacks show little River and Simon follin’ around, she was a very smart kid since she was little and he always wanted to become a doctor. When she is send to the government school she sends codes in letters but their parents don’t believe Simon but he feels like he has to save his sister and would give his entire career for her.

    River is also getting crazy, Simon wants to investigate her but she doesn’t want to let him. Mal wants her to shut up because she might cause difficulties. When they go outside with the cows, River talks to them. Mal doesn’t want them around so he sends Simon and River to the big city/ problem is, people around there get kidnapped and sold.

    While Mal and Jayne try to sell the cows, police arrives and they start a big shoot. In the city, Simon lost River and she goes to some dancing party and dances away, but then some men grab Simon from behind and take him into the woods. Over the cows, the shooting stops but Mal finds Book shot who goes in shock and needs a medical doctor.

    When River follows Simon, they capture her to and they see Serenity leave because Mal didn’t have time to wait for Simon. Simon and River are taken to some town where they are in desperate search of a doctor. Simon fits right in up until River begins to have contact with a little girl who don’t talk. River senses why the girl doesn’t talk and she can read thoughts. The woman gets upset because she thinks River is a witch and the whole town want to burn her on a stake.

    Meanwhile Book is dying and the only way to save him is to handle him over to medical doctors from the alliance, Book seems to have some pass that make them rescue him. There is something secretive about Book that he won’t tell, he probably just worked for them.

    When River is about to get fried, Simon jumps infront of it to die with her, but the firefly crew come to save them anyway, Mal says she’s his witch.

    The reason why this episode was so very good was mostly because of the great interaction and love between Simon and River. He gave all his life for her but found her broken, also River developed as a character and showed how much depth she has and how interesting she really is.
    I also liked the obviously crush Kaylee has on Simon. But he doesn’t know how to handle it and pisses her off by being mean.
    I also love the chemistry between Simon and Mal, just like on the pilot Mal proves himself once again, he told Simon that he came back because he is part of the crew.

    The episode was brilliant in all the ways possible, Firefly was meant to be a classic show.
  • A River Burns Through It

    Safe sees Simon and River abducted by local villagers who seek a doctor. They are welcomed with open arms to a small village but things eventually turn bad when River is suspected of being a witch. Meanwhile, Book is shot during a gunfight and the crew of Serenity seek help from the Alliance.

    Simon and River's storyline started well, but soon derailed itself when River almost got burnt at the stake. I'm all for witch hunts, but this one just didn't work and only helped in reminding me of Buffy, which did it a lot better. So far, the Buffy writers on Firefly have proved they don't have to keep on going back to more supernatural story developments in order to produce good episodes, but Drew Z Greenberg (based on Safe) can't do such a thing. What the storyline did well, though, was proving that Simon is willing to die for his sister. This helps "humanize" Simon and make you feel more for their cause.

    The flashbacks worked well but shouldn't have been used so sparingly. One scene in particular, the letter-opening flashback, confused me, as it had been so long since the last flashback that I forgot this device was even being used. Despite that, the flashbacks did raise some questions, one being that I wouldn't be surprised if Gabriel Tam knew about the sinister "academy" and knew exactly what was happening to River.

    The performances, as usual, were excellent. The underused Ron Glass got some intriguing character development with his strange immediate access onto the Alliance ship and I hope this is followed up on in the remaining episodes. I also thought Adam Baldwin really shined here, especially during the scene where he looked through and stole items from Simon's bag about 30 seconds after they discovered he was missing.

    Featuring some excellent acting and some decent twists of narrative and some nerve-wracking moments, Safe was an entertaining episode of Firefly. Hardly a masterpiece, but still pretty good.

    Director: Michael Grossman
    Writer: Drew Z Greenberg
    Rating: B
  • A really moving episode that reveals a lot about Simon's attitude and his relationship with River. Also, foreshadows Objects in Space.

    This episode is incredibly moving, in my opinion, because of its look at Simon and River\'s relationship. Through the flashbacks, you get a sense of just how close they are, and how their family\'s betrayal has made Simon really think that it\'s just the two of them against the \'verse.

    This episode is also really important when set against Objects in Space; it\'s here that you see one of the first hints of River\'s awareness of what toll her instability has taken on her brother. Though she doesn\'t state it outright until OiS, by this ep., she\'s already thinking that Simon\'s life would be easier if she were gone.

    Also, River\'s line, \"Daddy will come for us,\" is pretty telling. River understands what Simon doesn't quite get yet, but will realize by the end of the episode: the crew of Serenity is more than just a group of people, it's a family. River is referring no to Gabriel Tam, but to Mal, the father figure/caretaker of the somewhat ragtag crew. When Mal answers Simon with "You're on my crew. Why are we still talking about this?", he offers what Simon's father should have given, what any family is expected to give: unconditional support and loyalty.
  • Two great stories.

    The first story you have is Shepard being shot. Mal had to swallow his pride and ask the Alliance for help. A question is raised on why the Alliance helped Shepard out. Hmm? The second story is about Simon and River being taken to a village for help. Highlights from this episode is when Mal and Zoe are walking up behind the villagers before they could burn Simon and River. Pure Greatness.
  • Simon and River centric makes for another interesting episode.

    I loved the first scenes where they show us Simon and River when they were younger. Since River is probably one of my most favourite characters in Firefly, it was nice to watch that.

    In this episode, the crew lands on a planet that has a small town where some people live. They need a doctor, Simon, and so they kidnap him. River goes after him because of her creepy knows-everything-that’s-about-to-happen thing.

    I can’t believe the crew almost ditched Simon and River on the planet.

    My first reaction to when the townspeople accused River of being a witch was, Oh God maybe they’re right. River does have a little supernatural-ness to her. It was pretty interesting to see that even though this all happens 500 years in the future, that people still try to burn who they think are witches. It’s like going back to Salem except you’re in the future.

    I was in awe at how much River meant to Simon. They’re siblings from the future and they are really close, even with their age differences. (What is it, 10 years?) Simon was willing to die with her if the townspeople wouldn’t let her go.

    Now that’s family.
  • This show is more exact than any other with regard to detail of storyline and subtle hinting.

    When Jayne is using his Laser-sighted shotgun, it would be possible to conceive that after a few centuries, technology for laser sights would change. Not to mention that when you have a shot gun and you intend on using it for long distances, it would be nice to see a three inch wide laser target, instead of a laser target the size of a pencil eraser.

    Also, when Malcolm first gives the "friendly suggestion" that the doctor go into town, the camera shifts to where there are leaves rustling and then we hear Malcolm call Simon "Doctor." That was all the townfolk needed.