Season 1 Episode 12

Serenity (2)

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Dec 20, 2002 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
873 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Serenity (2)
The naked woman is Simon's sister River, a government test subject he helped to escape. After ducking a dreaded reaver ship, Mal tries and cuts a deal with Patience, an old "friend" but suspects a trap. Patience tries an ambush but the team escapes just as the Reavers return and the Federal agent breaks loose. Mal shoots the agent dead and Wash manages to duck the Reavers. at the end Mal decides to take on all three of his remaining passengers full-time.moreless

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  • The more rewarding part of the pilot, Joss makes it all worthwhile.

    Ultimately, the more satisfying of two, this part not only picks up the pace, tosses not one, but three bad guys into the midst of things, but it really embellishes upon the motley crew of Serenity. Furthermore, Mal's defences, while still in and around the same, slip up a bit allowing for a more playful, albeit morbid captain to man the ship - and, HA, is he morbidly hilarious!

    What elevated this one above and beyond its predecessor is the fact we're allowed to see just how much of a ruttin' dangerous life our band of (anti)heroes live. And, we're shown how they all bathe in that shady, grey area. In the last episode we only hear Wash mention that they are the crooks, but here, we get to see WHY they live the way they do and how tough it actually is out in the black. ~~

    Everything flows much more fluidly, too . The introduction of River [pun wasn't intended ^^]is handled delicately enough not to make it sway into "oh look, it's just a naked chick" territory. Likewise, the crew gel that bit better here, and the show's trademark group argument happens - just like their little dinner scene last time, here it's another seamless scene of constant dialogue between every character, which feels completely natural, instead of your typical wait-to-have-my-well-timed-spot-light moment that arises on most shows. ~~

    Patience, here, is a complete delight, as is the appearance - well, technically, I suppose - of the reavers (loved Zoë's warning to Simon about them). You really felt a history between Mal and the old hag in those few brief moments. Due to some solid writing and equally on par acting, there's a sense of great mythology already. Their confrontation was a lot of fun!

    The cruel joke Mal plays on Simon is a Joss classic. The way it was handled, equally playing on the viewers' emotions, was a brilliant misdirection - a wonderful prank.

    Mal as a character softens here - not through his actions, but through the snippets Kaylee and the others allow us to see. Kaylee and Simon's coming to terms with the captains peculiar sense of generosity and nobleness shines through that bit better than Book's and Inara's piqued interest in part 1. It's crucial that Mal, in the small manner he did here, show traits of likeability, vulnerability and nobility, because his antics in the first part really put me off some aspects of the story. Ah well, not anymore, as they say, water under the proverbial bridge.

    The momentum, especially towards the end, really gets speedier. With Patience, the reavers and Lawrence all bearing down on the crew of Serenity, it makes for a gripping finale, which is the payoff I mentioned last review - Joss, played his entire hand against the crew and added some much needed spectacle. ~~

    Overall, a stronger half to this pilot. It manages to really lay the foundations as to what to expect from the rest of the series with regards to character-interaction, loyalty, love and survival. When you think about how bad Torchwood tackled the whole "Ooooh, we have a cast who don't trust each other! HISS" in its first season, it's times like that you're thankful Joss is behind the show - as with the rest of the series, this episode carries an authenticity, despite its offbeat premise, and really sells these characters and the show as a whole. The cast all excelled, too, before I forget to mention it!

    Bring on the rest of the season!moreless
  • It's so unfortunate this show was cancelled!!!!!

    Oh, man. How could anyone not love this stuff? Flawed heroes, doing wrong things for the right reasons. Great special effects, outstanding writing, superb acting. This show is what sci-fi is all about. It tackles the crew's adventures with humor while retaining the seriousness of their issues. Malcolm is a good man, concealed in a facade of gruffness. Wash keeps it light and is the guy you want as a friend. Kaley is absolutely adorable, you just want to put your arms around her and soak up the optimism. I could list the whole crew's traits, but it wouldn't do them justice. Fifteen episodes and one movie of this series will never be enough.moreless
  • High stakes

    So the girl - it is a sister of that man and now the story of their past is unrevelad - she is a prodigy and government has been testing on her and the agent they brough - he has not given up by getting River back either.

    So we have so many people trying to figure out what is going on, Kaylee still in dangerous condition.. when they joked for Simon Tam that she is death.. oh.. I kinda started to like her..

    Ok.. and the little "offmission" to that moon where it all ended up with shooting and then Reavers.. it's never safe for them.moreless
  • Firefly Pilot Part II....

    The second half of the hour-and-a-half-long pilot episode of Firefly, "Serenity," continues to set the tone of the show very well. In this second half of the pilot episode, the crew of the Serenity find out that Simon's sister River, who was stowed away on the ship, was a government test subject and that the government is trying to get her back. Meanwhile, the crew also tries to make a deal with Patience, a former employer who shot him in a past dealing, for the risky goods he is smuggling and, during the episode's finest scenes, try to elude the dangerous Reavers.

    Nathan Fillion and Jewel Staite really prove themselves as the show's strongest acting cards in the Firefly pilot, "Serenity," while Summer Glau proves that she is the show's weakest. The second half of "Serenity" is even more exciting than the first - climactic in every sense of the word.moreless
  • The crew need money and visit an old 'friend'.

    After last week's surprise discovery of a stowaway, the crew still needs money desperately and heads to a smaller moon where the female mayor might buy the cargo but she also once shot the captain.

    The characters are fleshed out a little bit more in this second part of a double featured first episode. There's also a bit more action. I loved the special aerial manoeuvre and the response from Zoe regarding her husband...

    I loved the way the captain simply shot the 'lawman' and I think the new crew addition will be interesting, especially River. There's a lot of room for background stories...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 (2)

    • When everyone is celebrating the escape from the Reavers, we see Wash is piloting the ship. But as the camera pulls back, we see the control panel and steering wheel are gone and Wash is in fact holding on to NOTHING. According to the commentary, they needed to take out the panel to make a camera move work, and the actor playing Wash mimed holding the steering wheel for the shot, but in widescreen it's pretty blatant. Joss Whedon said no one noticed the error and the shot was used anyway.

    • Wash says he can't see the incoming Reaver ship and has to do a scan. Not more then a few seconds later Mal looks out the ship and the Reaver ship is practically on top of them.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Mal: I had a good day.
      Simon: You had the Alliance on you... criminals and savages. Half the people on this ship have been shot or wounded including yourself... and you're harboring known fugitives.
      Mal: We're still flying.
      Simon: That's not much.
      Mal: It's enough.

    • Mal: Getting awful crowded in my sky.

    • Wash: Can we all vote on the murdering people issue?

    • Mal: If anyone gets nosy, you know, just shoot em.
      Zoe: Shoot em?
      Mal: Politely.

    • Mal: (to Simon) If Kaylee pulls through, you and your sister get off at Whitefall.
      Simon: And if she doesn't pull through?
      Mal: Then you'll be getting off a mite sooner.

    • Inara: (to Simon) You're lost in the woods - we all are, even the captain. The difference is he likes it that way.
      Mal: No, the difference is the woods are the only place I can see a clear path.

    • Lawrence Dobson: All right, I can see you're not an idiot.
      Jayne: Well, I wish I could say the same, Lawrence.

    • Mal: Kaylee's dead.
      Simon: (after seeing Kaylee is fine) That man is psychotic.
      Wash: You are psychotic.
      Mal: No, you should've seen his face. Oh, I'm a bad man.

    • Kaylee: You're nice, too.
      Mal: No, I'm not. I'm a mean old man.

    • Jayne: Testing. Testing. Captain can you hear me?
      Mal: I'm standing right here.
      Jayne: You're coming in good and loud.
      Mal: 'Cause I'm standing right here.

    • Simon: I'm trying to put this as delicately as I can. How do I know you won't kill me in my sleep?
      Mal: You don't know know me, son, so let me explain this to you once. If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.
      Simon: Are you always this sentimental?
      Mal: Had a good day.

    • Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?
      Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
      Mal: What happens when it is?
      Jayne: Well, that'll be an interesting day.
      Mal: Imagine it will.

    • Zoe: Sir, I'd like you to take the helm, please. I need this man (Wash) to tear all my clothes off.
      Wash: Work, work, work.

    • Jayne: Here's a little concept I've been working on--how about we shoot (Patience) first?
      Wash: It is her turn.

    • (talking about Reavers)
      Zoe: If they take the ship they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order.

    • Mal: You've only got to scare him.
      Jayne: Pain is scary.

    • (Mal slugs Simon)
      Jayne: Saw that coming...

  • NOTES (0)


    • River in the crate
      Fans of the anime Outlaw Star may recall that Melfina was smuggled in the same fashion as River, right down to the absence of clothing and being in a fetal position.