Firefly (2002–2003) is a science-fiction television series, written by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear, about crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity and their adventures as they try to get by as independents in a culture of conformity enforced by a peaceful but uncaring Alliance government. Its unique retro-Western interplanetary setting, in Whedon's words, combines the past and the future in a way that feels like the present.
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Serenity (pilot) 
- Mal: We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty.
- Mal: We're not gonna die. We can't die, Bendis. You know why? Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die.
- [Deleted scene: Mal's troops lie exhausted in Serenity Valley.]
- Soldier: It's a rescue ship, sir.
- Zoë: Whose colors are they flying?
- . . .
- Zoë: Are those really med ships? Are we really getting out?
- Mal: We are.
- Zoë: [almost crying] Thank God!
- Mal: God? Whose color is he flying?
- [Wash is playing with plastic dinosaurs.]
- Wash [as Stegosaurus ]: Yes. Yes. This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it… "This Land.".
- Wash [as Allosaurus ]: I think we should call it "your grave"!
- Wash [as Stegosaurus]: Ahh! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
- Wash [as Allosaurus]: Har har har! Mine is an evil laugh! Now die!
- [The Allosaurus attacks the Stegosaurus.]
- Wash [as Stegosaurus]: Ohhh, no, God! Oh, dear God in heaven!
- Jayne: Any one you walk away from, right? Long as we got the goods, I call this a win.
- Mal: Right. [sad look] We win.
- Jayne: Captain, can you stop her from bein' cheerful, please?
- Mal: I don't believe there's a power in the 'verse [that can] stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just wanna duct-tape her mouth, and… dump 'er in the hold for a month.
- [A grinning Kaylee gives Mal a peck on the cheek.]
- Kaylee: I love my captain.
- [Cut to Zoë and Wash in a corridor.]
- Zoë: I know something ain't right.
- Wash: Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail.
- . . .
- Zoë: We still gotta drop the goods.
- Wash: And when we do, we fly off to Boros, rich and prosperous. Well, less poor…
- Badger: Crime and politics, little girl: [the] situation is always… fluid.
- Jayne: The only fluid I see here is the puddle of piss refusin to pay us our wage!
- Mal: Can't get paid if you're dead.
- Jayne: Can't get paid if you crawl away like a bitty little bug neither. I got a share of this job! Ten percent of nothin' is — let me do the math here — [makes scribbling motions in the air] nothin' into nothin', carry the…
- . . .
- Jayne: I didn't sign onto this crew ta take in the sights. We need coin!
- Mal: Jayne! Your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that.
- [Mal and Zoë contemplate where else they can sell their illegal cargo.]
- Zoë: The border planets?
- Mal: I'm thinking Whitefall, maybe talk to Patience.
- Zoë: Sir, we don't want to deal with Patience again.
- Mal: Why not?
- Zoë: She shot you.
- Mal: Well, yeah, she did a bit. Still…
- . . .
- Mal: Been a long time since Patience shot me, and that was due to a perfectly legitimate conflict of interest. I got no grudge.
- Zoë: Now we have a boatful of citizens right on top of our… stolen cargo. That's a fun mix.
- Mal: Ain't no way in the 'verse they could find that compartment, even if…
- [He stops talking as a passenger walks past.]
- Mal: … even if they were lookin' for it.
- Zoë: Why not?
- Mal: 'Cause…?
- Zoë: Oh yeah, this is gonna go great.
- Mal: If anyone gets nosy, you know, just… shoot 'em.
- Zoë: Shoot 'em?
- Mal: Politely.
- [Mal flippantly introduces Inara as an "ambassador" to Book.]
- Inara: "Ambassador" is Mal's way of—
- Mal: She's a whore, Shepherd.
- Kaylee: The term is "companion".
- Mal: I always get those mixed up. How's business?
- Inara: None of yours.
- Book: Captain, you… mind if I say grace?
- Mal: Only if you say it out loud.
- [Shepherd Book visits Inara in her quarters.]
- Inara: So. Would you like to lecture me the wickedness of my ways?
- Book: I brought you some supper, but… if you'd prefer a lecture, I've a few very catchy ones prepped. Sin, and hellfire… one has lepers.
- Inara: [smiling] I think I'll pass.
- [Mal lowers his hands after realizing the lawman wants to arrest Simon, not him.]
- Mal: Hey! Is th— is there a reward?
- [After Doctor Simon Tam treats a gun-shot Kaylee, Mal decides to "do the job" and continue to Whitefall.]
- Simon: What about us?
- Mal: Kaylee comes through, you and your sister get off at Whitefall.
- Simon: If she doesn't come through?
- Mal: Well, then you're gettin' off a mite sooner.
- . . .
- Wash: Can we maybe vote on the whole "murdering people" issue?
- [After Mal tells him that Kaylee is dead, Simon rushes to the infirmary to find Kaylee still alive.]
- Simon: That man is psychotic!
- [Cut to Mal and the crew laughing.]
- Wash: Dude! You are psychotic!
- Mal: I'm a bad man.
- [Mal confronts Dobson, an undercover Alliance agent.]
- Mal: Now, I gotta know how close the Alliance is — exactly how much you told them before Wash scrambled your call. So. I've given Jayne here the job of finding out.
- [Jayne pulls out a wicked knife.]
- Jayne: He was non-specific as to how.
- [Mal turns to speak quietly to Jayne.]
- Mal: Now you only gotta scare him.
- Jayne: Pain is scary…
- [The crew waits quietly as a reaver ship passes.]
- Simon: What happens if they board us?
- Zoë: 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 talks to Patience on the vid.]
- Mal: Well, we… may not have parted on [the] best of terms. I realize certain words were exchanged. Also, certain… bullets…
- [After Mal and Patience have exchanged pleasantries and signed off]
- Mal: You know, I do believe that woman is planning to shoot me again.
- [On Whitefall, Jayne does a radio check.]
- Jayne: Testing. Testing, Captain, can you hear me?
- Mal: I'm standing right here.
- Jayne: You're coming through good and loud.
- Mal: 'Cause I'm standing right here.
- Zoë: Don't think it's a good spot, sir. She still has the advantage over us.
- Mal: Everyone always does. [grins] That's what makes us special.
- Mal: Well, you were right about this being a bad idea.
- Zoë: Thanks for sayin', sir.
- Mal: Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character, so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.
- [The reaver ship returns to pursue Serenity.]
- Wash: I guess they got hungry again.
- [Dobson holds River at gunpoint in Serenity's cargo bay.]
- Dobson: I'm not playing any more. Anybody makes so much—
- [Mal, entering the ship, casually shoots him in the head.]
- [Wash, very calmly, is trying to evade a ship of brutal reavers.]
- Wash: If everybody could just be quiet a moment…
- . . .
- Wash: I don't mean to alarm anybody, but I think… we're being followed.
- [After Wash executes a brilliant escape from the reavers, Zoë turns to Mal.]
- Zoë: Sir? I need you to take the helm, please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off.
- [As she grabs Wash by the jacket and drags him off…]
- Wash: Work, work, work…
- Book: I've been out of the abbey two days, I've beaten a lawman senseless, I've fallen in with criminals. I watched the captain shoot the man I swore to protect. And I'm not even sure if I think he was wrong.
- Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?
- Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
- Mal: What happens when it is?
- Jayne: [smiling] Well… that'll be an interesting day.
- [After Mal has offered him the position of ship's medic]
- 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 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: I had a good day.
- Simon: You had the Alliance on you. Criminals and savages. Half the people on the 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.
The Train Job 
- [On Unification Day, Mal endures Independence bad-mouthing by a drunk.]
- Mal: Say that to my face.
- Lund: I said, you're a coward, and a pisspot. Now what are you gonna do about it?
- Mal: Nothin'. I just wanted you to face me so she could get behind ya.
- [Lund turns to find Zoë, who clobbers him with her rifle.]
- Mal: Drunks are so cute.
- . . .
- [Mal and Zoë are being surrounded by angry drunks who support unification, Jayne is sitting in the corner]
- Jayne: I didn't fight in no war. Best of luck to ya though.
- . . .
- [The angered bar crowd backs Mal, Zoë, and Jayne up to a cliff edge.]
- Mal: This is why we lost, you know. Superior numbers.
- Zoe: Thanks for the re-enactment, sir.
- Zoë: Funny, sir, how you always seem to find yourself in an Alliance-friendly bar come U-Day, lookin' for a quiet drink.
- Mal: See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart.
- [Mal washes his bloodied knuckles in the infirmary.]
- Simon: Need a weave on that?
- Mal: It's nothin'.
- Simon: I expect there's someone's face feels differently.
- Mal: I know they tell ya, you never hit a man with a closed fist, but it is, on occasion, hilarious.
- Mal: Well, what about you, Shepherd? How come you're flying about with us brigands? I mean, shouldn't you be off bringing religiosity to the Fuzzie-Wuzzies or some such?
- Book: Oh, I got heathens aplenty right here.
- Mal: If I'm your mission, Shepherd, best give it up. You're welcome on my boat. God ain't.
- [Mal interrupts Inara as she's brushing Kaylee's hair.]
- Inara: What did I say to you about barging into my shuttle?
- Mal: That it was manly and impulsive?
- Inara: Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was "don't".
- Mal: Well, you're holding my mechanic in thrall, and, Kaylee… what the hell's goin' on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?
- Kaylee: I had to rewire the grav thrust because somebody won't replace that crappy compression coil.
- Mal: Ah, he's not the first psycho to hire us, nor the last. You think that's a commentary on us?
- Zoë: Sir, is there some information we might maybe be lacking as to why there's an entire Fed squad sitting on this train?
- Mal: Doesn't concern us.
- Zoë: It kinda concerns me.
- . . .
- Zoë: You don't think that changes the situation a bit?
- Mal: I surely do. Makes it more fun!
- Zoë: Sir? I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.
- Mal: Hell, this job, I would pull for free.
- Zoë: Then can I have your share?
- Mal: [quickly] No.
- Zoë: If you die, can I have your share?
- Mal: [just as quickly] Yes.
- Jayne: Time for some thrilling heroics.
- [The remaining Serenity crew argues about what to do with stolen goods, when River interrupts.]
- River: [They] won't stop. They'll never stop. They'll just keep coming, until they get back what you took. Two by two… hands of blue… two by two… hands [of] blue…
- [After the interrupted (but successful) train heist, Mal and Zoë await questioning.]
- Mal: Whatever happens, remember I love you.
- Zoë: Sir?
- Mal: Because you're my wife.
- Zoë: Right! Sir. Honey.
- [Paradiso's sheriff tells Mal and Zoë about the cargo theft.]
- Mal: Well, didn't I see an entire regiment of fine, young Alliance Federals on the train?
- Sheriff: You did… same regiment let their medicine get swiped right out from under their noses, then took off for their own camp without so much as a "whoopsy daisy".
- Mal: That sounds like the Alliance. Unite all the planets under one rule, so that everyone can be interfered with or ignored equally.
- [Jayne is demanding that Wash take off for the delivery without Mal and Zoë.]
- Jayne: You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til you understand who's in ruttin' command here.
- . . .
- Jayne: You can't change that… by gettin' all… bendy.
- Wash: All what?
- [Jayne's expression softens; his breathing becomes labored.]
- Jayne: [You] got the… the light… from the console… keep you… lift you up. They shine like…
- [He looks up and starts snatching invisible things from the air.]
- Jayne: … little… angels…
- [He falls over hard, unconscious.]
- Wash: Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?
- Simon: I told him to sit down.
- [Returning to Serenity, Mal sees Jayne lying on the stairs in the cargo bay.]
- Kaylee: We tried to get him into the infirmary. He's just… heavy.
- [After returning the medicine, Zoë brings a bound Niska henchman before Mal outside the ship.]
- Mal: Now this is all the money Niska gave us in advance. You bring it back to him, tell him the job didn't work out.
- [Henchman Crow spits.]
- Mal: We're not thieves. [pauses] Well, we are thieves. Point is, we're not takin' what's his. Now, we'll stay out of his way as best we can from here on in. You explain that that's best for everyone, okay?
- [Crow defiantly stands with his arms bound behind him.]
- Crow: Keep the money. Use it to buy a funeral. It doesn't matter where you go, or how far you fly. I will hunt you down, and the last thing you see will be my blade.
- Mal: Darn.
- [Mal kicks Crow toward the engine; Crow is sucked into the intake. Cut to Zoë bringing a second bound henchman before Mal.]
- Mal: Now this is all the money Niska gave us in advance…
- Henchman: [quickly] Oh, I get it. I'm good. Best thing for everyone. I'm right there with you.
- [Serenity's crew and passengers are playing a kind of basketball when an alarm sounds.]
- Zoë: Proximity alert. Must be coming up on something.
- Wash: [alarmed] Oh my god! What can it be? We're all doomed! Who's FLYING this thing?! [deadpan] Oh right, that would be me. Uh, back to work.
- [After Jayne shoots an attacker, Mal finds him hiding behind a fan grate.]
- Mal: No one's gonna hurt you.
- Survivor: No. No mercy. No!
- Mal: Any… more than we already did.
- . . .
- Survivor: No mercy. No mercy...
- Mal: [soothingly] We got lots of mercy. Lots... [punches survivor in the jaw, rendering him unconscious]
- . . .
- Simon: [dryly] Oh, yes. He's a real beast! It's a wonder you're still alive.
- Jayne: Looked bigger when I couldn't see him.
- Mal: Reavers ain't men — or they forgot how to be.
- [Kaylee contemplates bypassing a boobytrap.]
- Kaylee: Sure. Yeah. [long pause] I think so. 'Sides, if I mess up, it's… not like you'll be able to yell at me.
- [Alliance Commander Harken discovers the brother-and-sister fugitive alert provides little information to help them.]
- Harken: Well, I'm not about to have these surprises on a routine check. We run into these two, we shoot first. The brass can sort it out later.
- [Commander Harken questions the crew.]
- Harken: You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?
- Zoë: Fought with a lot of people in the war.
- Harken: And your husband?
- Zoë: Fight with him sometimes, too.
- Harken: Is there any particular reason you don't wish to discuss your marriage?
- Zoë: Don't see that it's any of your business, is all. We're very private people.
- [Cut to Zoë's husband, Wash.]
- Wash: The legs! [laughs] Oh yeah, [I] definitely have to say it was her legs. You can put that down. Her legs, and right where her legs… meet her back. Tha— actually, that whole area. That, and… and above it. […] Have you seen what she wears? Forget about it. Have you ever been with a warrior woman?
- Harken: Seems odd you'd name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.
- Mal: May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.
- Mal: That poor bastard you took off my ship. He looked right into the face of it — was made to stare.
- Harken: "It"?
- Mal: The darkness. Kind of darkness you can't even imagine. Blacker than the space it moves through.
- Harken: Very poetic.
- Mal: They made him watch. He probably tried to turn away, and they wouldn't let him. You call him a survivor? He's not. A man comes up against that kind of will, the only way to deal with it, I suspect, is to become it.
- Jayne: You save his gorram life, he still takes the cargo. Hwoon dahn.
- Mal: He had to. Couldn't let us profit. Wouldn't be civilized.
- [While Jayne plays virtual pool with a disreputable type, Mal chats quietly with Inara.]
- Inara: I like watching the game. As with other situations, the key seems to be… giving Jayne a heavy stick and standing back.
- Mal: Still… might oughta clear out before too much longer — seems there's a thief about.
- Inara: Thief?
- Mal: Yeah.
- [Mal pulls out a wad of bills.]
- Mal: Took this right off him.
- [An annoyed Inara quickly gets the money out of sight.]
- Mal: Now, they earned that with the sweat of their slave-trading brows.
- Inara: Mal!
- Mal: Oh, terrible shame. 'Course, they won't discover it till they go order their next round of drinks.
- [A hand slaps down on Mal's shoulder.]
- Slaver: Wei.
- Mal: [out loud] Good drinker, that one.
- Zoë: Planet's coming up a mite fast.
- Wash: That's just cause… I'm going down too quick. Likely crash and kill us all.
- [As the ship begins to shake, Mal calmly leaves.]
- Mal: Well, [if] that happens, let me know.
- Mal: It sounds like the finest party I can imagine getting paid to go to.
- Inara: I don't suppose you'd find it up to [the] standards of your outings. More conversation, and somewhat less… petty theft and getting hit with pool cues.
- Wash: You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?
- [Zoë laughs.]
- Jayne: I'll chip in.
- [Zoë turns to Jayne, still laughing.]
- Zoë: I can hurt you.
- [Badger "invites" Mal and Jayne to a palaver.]
- Mal: You backed out of a deal last time. Left us hanging.
- Jayne: Hurt our feelings.
- . . .
- Badger: You think you're better than other people!
- Mal: Just the ones I'm better than.
- [At the ball, Inara and her wealthy escort, Atherton Wing, are dancing.]
- Atherton: You belong here, Inara, not on a flying piece of go-se. You see that, don't you?
- Inara: Atherton, language!
- . . .
- ["Miss Kaywinnit Lee Frye and escort" are announced. Kaylee enters, with Mal in tow.]
- Inara: Oh, go-se.
- Mal: Okay, help me find our man. He's supposed to be older, kind of stocky, wears a red sash crossways.
- Kaylee: Why does he do that?
- Mal: Maybe he won the Miss Persephone pageant. Just help me look.
- Kaylee (seeing a large bowl of strawberries being carried past her): Is that him?
- Mal: That's the buffet table.
- Kaylee: Well, how can we be sure… u-unless we question it? [grins]
- [After love-making, Zoë just wants to sleep.]
- Wash: Sleepiness is weakness of character. Ask anyone.
- Zoë: It is not!
- Wash: You're acting Captain. You know what happens, you fall asleep?
- Zoë: Jayne slits my throat and takes over?
- Wash: That's right
- Zoë: And we can't stop it?
- Wash: I wash my hands of it. Hopeless case. I'll read a nice poem at the funeral. Something with imagery.
- Zoë: You could lock the door. Keep the power-hungry maniac at bay.
- Wash: Don't know. I'm starting to like this poetry thing. "Here lies my beloved Zoë, my autumn flower… somewhat less attractive now that she's all corpsified and gross…"
- [Mal talks to Sir Warrick Harrow about Badger's offer.]
- Sir Warrick: I know him. And I think he's a psychotic low-life.
- Mal: And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic low-life community.
- Mal: My work's illegal, but at least it's honest.
- Gentleman: If you require it, any gentleman here can give you the use of a sword.
- Mal: Use of a s-what?
- Mal: And I never back down from a fight.
- Inara: Yes, you do! You do all the time!
- [Mal refuses to kill the prone, humiliated Atherton.]
- Mal: Mercy is the mark of a great man.
- [He lightly stabs Atherton.]
- Mal: Guess I'm just a good man.
- [He repeats the poking.]
- Mal: Well, I'm all right.
- . . .
- Sir Warrick: You didn't have to wound that man.
- Mal: Yeah, I know. It was just funny.
- Inara: Are you in pain?
- Mal: Absolutely. I got stabbed, you know, right here.
- Inara: [squeamishly] Eh— I saw.
- Mal: [I] don't care much for fancy parties. Too rough.
- Inara: It wasn't entirely a disaster.
- Mal: I got stabbed! Right here!
- Inara: You also lined up exciting new crime.
- . . .
- Inara: I wasn't gonna stay, you know.
- Mal: Yeah? Why is that?
- Inara: Oh, someone needs to keep Kaylee out of trouble. And all my things are here. Besides, why would I want to leave Serenity?
- [In a flashback, a young River plays behind a couch while Simon works on a computer pad.]
- Young River: We got outflanked by the independent squad, and we're never gonna make it back to our platoon. [pauses] We need to resort to cannibalism.
- Young Simon: That was fast. Don't we have rations or anything?
- . . .
- [River glances at her brother's homework.]
- Young River: That's wrong.
- Young Simon: It's from the book, River.
- Young River: No, the book is wrong. This whole conclusion is fallacious.
- [Simon and River whine about getting a dedicated "source box".]
- Gabriel Tam: I will not have it in my house. But, since your mother's already ordered you one, I guess I should give up the fantasy that this is my house!
- [In the present day, River is violently refusing to cooperate with Simon's diagnostic tests.]
- Mal: So, she's added cussing and hurling-about of things to her repertoire. She really is a prodigy.
- Simon: It's just a bad day.
- Mal: No, a bad day is when someone's yellin' spooks the cattle. Understand? You ever see cattle stampede when they got no place to run? It's kind of like a… a meat grinder. And it'll lose us half the herd.
- Simon: She hasn't gone anywhere near the cattle.
- Mal: No, but in case you hadn't noticed, her voice kinda carries. We're two miles above ground and they can probably hear her down there. Soon as we unload, she can holler until our ears bleed — although I would take it as a kindness if she didn't.
- River: [muttering] The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.
- Mal: See, morbid and creepifying, I got no problem with, long as she does it quiet-like.
- [Simon steps in a cowpie as Jayne drives the cargo of cattle out of the ship.]
- Jayne: About time you broke in them fancy shoes. Hyah! Get along!
- Mal: You know… they walk just as easy if you lead 'em.
- Jayne: I like smackin' 'em.
- . . .
- Zoë: Next time we smuggle stock, let's make it something smaller.
- Wash: Yeah, we should start dealing in those black-market beagles.
- River: They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.
- Mal: Is it bad that what she said made perfect sense to me?
- Simon: I'm very sorry if she tipped off anyone about your cunningly concealed herd of cows.
- Inara: Does it seem every supply store on every 'water planet has the same five rag dolls and the same wood carvings of… what is this? A duck?
- Kaylee: That's a swan. I like it.
- Inara: You do?
- [Kaylee strokes the swan carving.]
- Kaylee: Looks like it was made with… you know, longing. Made by a person really longed to see a swan.
- Inara: Perhaps because they'd only heard of them by rough description.
- [Simon whines to engineer Kaylee about life on Serenity.]
- Simon: It's fun, being forced to the ass-end of the galaxy. To get to live on a piece of luh-suh wreck. And we eat molded protein! And be bullied around by our pyen juh duh jiou cha[o] w[r]en of a captain. That's fun.
- Kaylee: "Luh-suh"?!
- Mal: This is the last time. Last time with cows. Hey, there was an idea regarding beagles? They have smallish droppings?
- Zoë: I believe so, sir. Also, your disreputable men are here.
- Mal: Better go take their money.
- [Shepherd (preacher) Book has been shot.]
- Book: That's… that's quite a lot of blood, isn't it?
- Mal: Just means you ain't dead.
- Book: 'Fraid I might be needing a preacher.
- Mal: That's good. You lie there and be ironical.
- River: We're lost. Lost in the woods.
- Zoë: Knew a man who had a hole clean through his whole shoulder, once. Used to keep a spare hankie in there.
- [Jayne pretends to read Simon's journal.]
- Jayne: "Dear Diary: Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. [flips page] Today we were kidnapped by hill folk, never to be seen again. It was the best day ever."
- Zoë: Cap'n'll come up with a plan.
- Kaylee: Well, that's good. Right?
- Zoë: Possible you're not recalling some of his previous plans.
- Zoë: You sanguine about the kind of reception we're apt to receive on an Alliance ship, Cap'n?
- Mal: Absolutely. [pauses] What's "sanguine" mean?
- Zoë: "Sanguine". Hopeful. Plus, point of interest… it also means "bloody".
- Mal: Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don't it?
- Alliance Commander: Your official seal is out of date, Captain... Harbatken?
- [Mal appeals to Alliance cruiser Magellan's commander for urgent medical help for Book.]
- Alliance Commander: We aren't an emergency facility, Captain. Our services aren't available simply to anyone—
- Book: Com… mander… my… ident card.
- [The commander examines his card.]
- Alliance Commander: Get this man to the infirmary at once.
- [Simon and River have been kidnapped by the hill folk.]
- Doralee: A place like this might be good for your sister. Quiet, safe… a place where folks take care of each other.
- Simon: Mmm, yes. Seems like a lovely little community of kidnappers.
- [Mal, Zoë, and Jayne watch Book's operation just outside Magellan's surgery room.]
- Jayne: This place gives me an uncomfortableness.
- River: I get confused. I remember everything. I remember too much. And… some of it's made up, and… some of it can't be quantified, and… there's secrets… and…
- Simon: It's okay.
- River: But I understand. You gave up everything you had to find me. You found me broken. It's hard for you. [breaking] You gave up everything you had.
- Simon: Mei-mei. Everything I have… is right here.
- . . .
- River: We won't be here long. Daddy will come, and take us home. And I'll get better. I'll get better.
- Simon: It's been a big day, what with the abduction, and all.
- [Doralee reacts in alarm to River's ability to discern her young mute charge's tragedy.]
- Doralee: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!"
- [Flashback to an adult Simon, detained by the authorities and facing his angry father.]
- Gabriel Tam: Have you completely lost your mind?
- Simon: Pretty nearly.
- Gabriel Tam: We got the wave at the Friedlichs. I had to leave your mother at the dinner table!
- Simon: I'm sorry, Dad. You know I would never have tried to save River's life if I had known there was a dinner party at risk!
- Mal: They let us come, and they let us go. What kind of ident card gets us that kind of reception and send-off?
- Book: I am a Shepherd. Folks like a man of God.
- Mal: No, they don't. Men of God make everyone feel guilty and judged.
- [Simon pleads with the hill folk, who have tied River to a stake, preparing to burn her.]
- Simon: She has done nothing to you! If she dies tonight, it won't be God's will that killed her! It'll be you! Your lunacy, your… ignorance!
- . . .
- [Unable to free his sister, Simon climbs onto the pyre and holds River.]
- Simon: Light it.
- River: Time to go.
- [A blast of wind signals the arrival of Serenity. Jayne cocks a shotgun from the cargo hold while Mal and Zoë approach on foot.]
- Mal: Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
- Zoë: Big damn heroes, sir.
- Mal: Ain't we just?
- . . .
- Patron: This is a holy cleansing. You cannot think to thwart God's will.
- Mal: Y'all see the man hanging out of the spaceship with the really big gun? I'm not saying you weren't easy to find. It was kinda out of our way, and he didn't want to 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 turns to Simon.]
- Mal: Gotta say, Doctor — your talent for alienatin' folks is near miraculous.
- Simon: Yes, I'm very proud.
- [Mal addresses the crowd again.]
- Mal: Cut her down!
- Patron: The girl is a witch.
- Mal: Yeah, but she's our witch. [cocks gun] So cut her the hell down.
- Simon: So, finally a decent wound on this ship, and I miss out. I'm sorry.
- Mal: Well, you were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.
- [Simon and River enter the common room as Mal is telling a joke over dinner.]
- Mal: So then the Shepherd says to the Companion, "Well, a good goat'll do that."
Our Mrs. Reynolds 
- [Horse-mounted bandits accost a Conestoga wagon-like raft, driven by Jayne and a hunched-over woman.]
- Bandit: You gonna give us what's due us. And every damn thing else on that boat. And I think maybe you gonna give me a little one-on-one time with the missus.
- Jayne: Oh, I think you might wanna reconsider that last part. See, I married me a powerful ugly creature.
- [The "woman" looks up — it's Mal in a dress.]
- Mal: How can you say that? How can you shame me in front of new people?
- Jayne: If I could make you prettier I would!
- Mal: You are not the man I met a year ago!
- . . .
- [Mal and Jayne get the draw on the bandits.]
- Mal: Now think real hard. You been bird-doggin' this township awhile now. They wouldn't mind a corpse of you. Now, you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell, but if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you.
- Inara: So… explain to me again why Zoë wasn't in the dress?
- Mal: Tactics, woman. Needed her in the back. Besides, them soft cotton dresses feel kinda nice. There's a whole… airflow.
- Inara: And you'd know that because…?
- Mal: You can't open the book of my life and jump in the middle. Like woman, I am a mystery.
- Inara: Best keep it that way. I withdraw the question.
- Mal: Zoë, would you get Wash?
- Zoë: [on the intercom] This is Zoë. We need all personnel in the cargo bay.
- Mal: "All"? I said Wash!
- Zoë: Captain, everyone should have a chance to congratulate you on your day of bliss.
- Mal: There's no bliss. I don't know this girl!
- Jayne: Then can I know her?
- Zoë: Jayne! Don't sully this.
- Mal: You are going to be cleaning out latrines with your face if you don't cut that out.
- [Mal's insensitive remarks and horror at being wed have reduced his new bride to tears.]
- Wash: You brute.
- Kaylee: Oh, sweetie, don't feel bad. He makes everybody cry. He's like a monster.
- Mal: I'm not a monster!
- [Mal is alarmed about his new bride's expectations and attitudes.]
- Mal: Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!
- Book: If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.
- Mal: I would appreciate it if one person on this boat would not assume I'm an evil, lecherous hump.
- Zoë: No one's saying that, sir.
- Wash: Yeah, we're pretty much just giving each other significant glances and laughing incessantly.
- [Wash and Zoë find Mal enjoying Saffron's culinary skills.]
- Wash: Is there any more where that came from?
- Saffron: [to Mal] I didn't think to make enough for your friends… [to Zoë] but everything's laid out if you'd like to cook for your husband.
- [Wash turns to Zoë, who gives him a look.]
- Wash: [nervously] Z— heh-heh… Isn't she quaint? I'm just not hungry.
- Zoë: So… are you enjoying your own nubile little slave girl?
- Mal: She wanted to make me dinner. Well, at least she's not cryin'.
- Wash: I might. Did she really make fresh bao?
- [Zoë gives him another look.]
- Wash: Quaint!
- Zoë: Remember that sex we were planning to have, ever again?
- [Wash and Zoë discuss Saffron's oddities.]
- Wash: Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese. Goslings. They were juggled.
- [Jayne menacingly approaches Mal with a huge weapon.]
- Jayne: It's a Callahan full-bore auto-lock. Customized trigger. Double cartridge thorough gauge. It is my very favorite gun.
- [He hands it to Mal.]
- Mal: Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la doo-tze… Are you offering me a trade?
- Jayne: A trade? Hell, that's theft. This is the best damn gun made by man. It has extreme sentimental value. It's miles more worthy'n what you got.
- Mal: What I got? She has a name!
- Jayne: So does this! [caresses the gun lovingly] I call it Vera.
- Mal: Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly comin' to a middle.
- [Mal is disconcerted to find Saffron in his bed, wearing only a bedsheet.]
- Saffron: But we've been wed. Aren't… we to become one flesh?
- Mal: Well, no, uh… we're still two fleshes here, and… I think… that your flesh oughta… sleep somewhere else.
- Saffron: I'm sorry. When we talked, I'd hoped, but I—
- [She gestures with her hands, losing the sheet. Mal turns away.]
- Mal: Whoa, hey! Flesh. Um… Saffron… i-it… it ain't a question of pleasing me. It's more a question of what's…
- [Mal, breathing heavily, strains not to look at the naked woman.]
- Mal: … um… of what's morally right.
- Saffron: I do know my Bible, sir. "On the night of their betrothal, the wife shall open to the man as the furrow to the plow, and he shall work in her, in and again, till she bring him to his full, and rest him then upon the sweat of her breast." [N]
- [Cut to Mal, who is openly staring now.]
- Mal: Whoa. Good Bible.
- . . .
- Mal: … it's been a while — a long, damn while — since anybody but me took ahold of my plow…
- . . .
- [Saffron stands up from the bed and slowly approaches a stunned Mal.]
- Saffron: If I'm wed, I'm a woman, and I'll take your leave to be bold. I want this. I swell to think of you in me.
- [She looks down.]
- Saffron: And I see that you do, too.
- Mal: Oh, th-th— that's just, uh…
- Saffron: Leave me at the nearest port. Never look upon me again. I'll make my way with the strength that you've taught me. Only let me have my wedding night.
- Mal: [resignedly] Oh, I'm gonna go to the special hell.
- [After closing the bridge door, Saffron grabs Wash's hand and pulls him close. They stare at the stars.]
- Saffron: Do you know the myth of Earth-That-Was?
- Wash: Not so much.
- Saffron: That when she was born, she had no sky, and was open, inviting. And the stars would rush into her, through the skin of her…
- Wash: Huh.
- Saffron: … making the oceans boil with sensation. And when she could endure no more ectasy, she puffed up her cheeks and blew out the sky.
- Wash: Whoa. Good myth.
- . . .
- Saffron: Make this night what it should be. Show me the stars.
- Wash: Wuh duh ma huh ta duh fung-kwong duh wai-shung doh… I wish I was somebody else right now. Somebody not… married, not… madly in love with a beautiful woman who… can… kill me with her pinkie!
- [Simon describes how Saffron's lip-delivered drug is well-known to doctors.]
- Simon: They called it the "good-night" kiss.
- Zoë: So you two were kissin'?
- Book: Well, isn't that… special?
- Zoë: If she can fly this thing, why just take the shuttle?
- Wash: Maybe she likes shuttles.
- [Everyone stares at him.]
- Wash: Some people juggle geese!
- Jayne: That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth.
- [Mal is somewhat relieved to hear Inara describe Saffron as Companion Academy-trained. He points at a disapproving Book.]
- Mal: You woulda kissed her too.
- Zoë: Wash didn't.
- Mal: But she was naked! And all… articulate!
- Wash: Okay! Everybody not talking about sex, in here. Everybody else, elsewhere.
- [Jayne takes aim at the Net with his favorite weapon.]
- Jayne: See, Vera? Dress yourself up, you get taken out somewhere fun.
- Saffron: How'd you find me?
- Mal: Only a couple places that shuttle would make it to from where you left… happy to find it intact.
- Saffron: You're quite a man, Malcolm Reynolds. [Seductively] I've been waiting a long time for someone good enough to take me down.
- Mal: Saffron, you even think about playing me again I will riddle you with holes.
- Saffron: Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts.
- Saffron: You gonna kill me?
- Mal: Can you conjure up a terribly compelling reason for me not to?
- Saffron: I didn't kill you.
- Mal: You handed me and my crew over to those that would kill us. That buys you nothing.
- Saffron: [smiles] I made you dinner.
- [Companion Inara leaves for an appointment.]
- Kaylee: Bye now. Have good sex.
- Simon: What happened in here?
- Jayne: Needed to find some tape.
- Simon: So you had to tear my infirmary apart?
- Jayne: [Looks around himself] Apparently.
- Mal: 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.
- Foreman: We've over 2,000 workers, mostly indentured. We pay them next to nothing. That way, we can pass the savings directly on to you, the customer.
- . . .
- [Simon struggles to keep up with the foreman.]
- Simon: Yes. I… I-I've heard great, uh… um, uh… things about mud…
- [Wash turns to Kaylee.]
- Wash: What happened to Simon? Who is this diabolical master of disguise?
- [Jayne, dressed in a bulky hooded coat and goggles, keeps his head down as they walk past the workers.]
- Wash: You haven't been here in years, Jayne. You really think you need that getup? No one's gonna remember you.
- Mal: I think it's possible they might.
- [They all look up to see an elevated, life-sized mud statue of Jayne.]
- . . .
- Mal: You wanna tell me how come there's a statue here, lookin' at me like I owe him something?
- Jayne: Wishin' I could, cap'n.
- Mal: No, seriously, Jayne, you want to tell me--?
- Jayne: Look, Mal, I got no ruttin' idea. I was here a few years back, like I said. Pulled a second-story, stole a lot of scratch from the magistrate up on the hill. But things went way south. I had to hightail it. They don't... put you on a pedestal in town square for that.
- Mal: Yeah, but I'm looking at some fair compelling evidence says they do.
- [Simon is just staring at the statue]
- Simon: This must be what going mad feels like.
- . . .
- Jayne: Instead of us hanging around playing art critic till 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-ass day, how's that?
- [Shepherd Book prepares a meal as he absentmindedly addresses River.]
- Book: What are we up to, sweetheart?
- River: Fixing your Bible.
- Book: I, um… What?
- [Pan over to River, who works on a book with pens, brushes, and loose pages.]
- River: Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics… doesn't make sense.
- Book: No, no. You - you can't...
- River: So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem.
- Book: Really?
- River: We'll have to call it "early quantum state phenomenon". Only way to fit 5,000 species of mammals on the same boat.
- . . .
- Book: River, you don't… fix the Bible.
- River: It's broken. It doesn't make sense.
- Book: It's not about… making sense. It's about believing in something. And letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.
- Jayne: Mm. They call it mudder's milk. All the protein, vitamins and carbs of your grandma's best turkey dinner, plus fifteen percent alcohol.
- Wash: We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm the hero!
- [Simon and Kaylee, both drunk, chat during the town's toasting of its hero, Jayne.]
- Simon: I— I reattached a girl's leg. Her whole leg. She named her hamster after me. I got a hamster. He drops a box of money, he gets a town.
- Kaylee: Hamsters is nice.
- Simon: To Jayne! The box-dropping, man-ape-gone-wrong-thing.
- [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.
- . . .
- Zoë: River, honey, he's putting the hair away now.
- [Book starts to tie his hair back.]
- River: Doesn't matter. It'll still be there. Waiting.
- Mal: So, that's where the little "Jayne Day Celebration" we got planned comes in. Should give us enough time to get the goods back onto Serenity.
- Jayne: I don't know. You think we should be using my fame to hoodwink folks?
- Mal: You better laugh when you say that.
- Jayne: No really, Mal, I mean, maybe there's something to this. The Mudders? I think I really made a difference in their lives. You know -- me, Jayne Cobb.
- Mal: I know your name, jackass!
- [A drunken Jayne stumbles down the stairs, entwined with a local girl.]
- Jayne: [singing] "The hero of Canton, the man they call 'me'." [speaking] Eggs. The living legend needs eggs.
- [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?
- Mal: Let's go get our wayward babes.
- Jayne: 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... [pause] Well, you took it. And that's - Well, I guess that's somethin'.
- [Jayne's ravaged former partner, Stitch Hessian, confronts him at the celebration.]
- Stitch: For six months, we run together. He turned me out 'fore I could scream!
- Jayne: You'd-a done the same.
- Stitch: No. Never. You protect the man you're with. You watch his back! Everybody knows that! Well, except the hero of Canton.
- [Jayne is horrified after a young mudder's sacrifice to save him.]
- Jayne: All of you! You think there's someone just gonna drop money on ya?! Money they could use?! Well, there ain't people like that. There's just people like me.
- [A tidied-up Book stops by to talk to River, who is still "fixing" the Bible.]
- River: Just keep walkin', preacher-man.
- [Simon tries to explain himself to Kaylee.]
- Simon: I mean, my way of being… polite, or however it's… Well, it's the only way I have of… showing you… that I like you. I'm showing respect.
- Kaylee: So, when… we made love last night…
- Simon: When we what?!
- [Kaylee grins.]
- Kaylee: You really are such an easy mark.
- Mal: It's my estimation that… every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sumbitch or another. Ain't about you, Jayne. It's about what they need.
Out of Gas 
- [Flashback to Mal trying to sell Zoë on the worthiness of his new ship.]
- Mal: Ship like this, be with you till the day you die.
- Zoë: Because it's a death trap.
- Mal: That's not— You are very much lacking in imagination.
- Zoë: I imagine that's so, sir.
- . . .
- Mal: A-and try to see past what she is, and on to what she can be.
- Zoë: What's that, sir?
- Mal: Freedom, is what.
- Zoë: [pointing] I meant, what's that?
- Mal: Oh. Yeah, just step around that. I think something must've been living in here.
- . . .
- Zoë: Get her running again?
- Mal: Yeah.
- Zoë: So not running now?
- Mal: Not so much.
- Zoë: Ah.
- Mal: But she will.
- [In near-present day, Wash comes in late to hear Book's dinner-table tales.]
- Wash: Monastic humor. I miss out on all the fun.
- . . .
- Kaylee: Well, Shepherd told us a funny story about bein' a preacher, now you tell us a funny story about bein' a doctor.
- Simon: Ah, a funny story.
- Jayne: Yeah, 'cause sick people are hi-larious.
- . . .
- [The crew surprises Simon with a birthday cake.]
- Simon: How did… how did you know? River, did you…?
- River: "Day" is a vestigial mode of time measurement, based on solar cycles. It's not applicable. [pauses] I didn't get you anything.
- . . .
- Simon: I'm really, um, I'm very, very deeply moved. Thank you.
- Jayne: Well… deeply move yourself to blow out them candles, so we can try a slice.
- Kaylee: Come on, Doc. Give a good blow.
- [After the fire is contained, Kaylee reports on the accident.]
- Kaylee: Catalyzer on the port compression coil blew. It's where the trouble started.
- Mal: Okay, I need that in captain dummy-talk, Kaylee.
- Kaylee: We're dead in the water.
- . . .
- [Kaylee discusses the loss of life support, especially oxygen.]
- Mal: How long?
- Kaylee: A couple of hours, maybe. We'll start to feel it… and then we won't feel nothin' at all.
- Simon: Suffocation's not exactly the most dignified way to go. The human body will involuntarily—
- Inara: Please, I don't really require a clinical description right now.
- Simon: I'm sorry. I just, uh… It was my birthday.
- [River peeks in on Book, who is reading his Bible.]
- River: You're afraid we're going to run out of air. That we'll die gasping. But we won't. That's not going to happen.
- [Book looks up at her, hopefully.]
- River: We'll freeze to death first.
- Mal: I'm gettin' a little weary of this attitude, Wash.
- Wash: [chuckling] Are you? Well, I'm so very sorry, sir. I guess the news that we're all gonna be purple and bloated and fetal in a few hours has made me little snippy.
- . . .
- Wash: What do you expect me to do, Mal?
- Mal: Whatever you have to! And if you can't do it from here, then get a suit on and go outside on the side of the boat—
- Wash: And what?! Wave my arms around?
- Mal: Wave your arms around, jump up and down, divert the navsats to the transmitter… whatever.
- Wash: Divert the— Right! Because teenage pranks are fun when you're about to die!
- Mal: It'd give the beacon a boost, wouldn't it?
- Wash: Yes! It would boost the signal. But even if some passerby did happen to receive, all it would do is muck up their navigation!
- Mal: Could be that's true.
- Wash: Damn right it's true! They'd be forced to stop and dig out our signal before they could even go anyplace.
- [Mal stares at Wash. Wash stares back, realization dawning.]
- Wash: Well, maybe I should do that then!
- [Flashback to Serenity's' early days, with a mechanic named Bester, whom Mal catches in flagrante delicto.]
- Mal: Get your prairie harpy off my boat, and put us back in the air.
- Bester: Okay-y, but… can't.
- Mal: What do you mean, "can't"?
- Bester: No can do, Cap. Secondary grav boot's shot.
- [Bester's local girlfriend calls out from behind the engine, where she's getting dressed again.]
- Kaylee: No it ain't! Ain't nothing wrong with your grav boot. Grav boot's just fine. [waves to Mal] Hello!
- Bester: She doesn't… eh, that's not what… [to Kaylee] No it ain't!
- Kaylee: Sure it is! Grav boot ain't your trouble. I seen the trouble plain as day when I was down there on my back before. Your reg couple's bad.
- . . .
- Mal: You got much experience with a vessel like this?
- Kaylee: I never even been up in one before.
- Mal: Wanna?
- Kaylee: You mean…
- Mal: Sure.
- Kaylee: For how long?
- Mal: Long as you like. Long as you can keep 'er in the sky.
- Kaylee: You offerin' me a job?
- Bester: W-w-w— what?
- Mal: Believe I just did.
- [Kaylee grins.]
- Kaylee: I just gotta ask my folks. Don't leave without me!
- [She runs off.]
- Bester: Mal! What do you need two mechanics for?
- Mal: I really don't.
- [Back in near-present day, Mal "prepares" Inara's shuttle.]
- Mal: I'm not leaving Serenity.
- Inara: Mal, you don't have to die alone.
- Mal: Everybody dies alone.
- [Flashback to Inara leasing the shuttle. Mal wonders why a registered Companion would associate with smugglers.]
- Mal: If it's Alliance trouble you got, you might want to consider another ship. Some on board here fought for the Independents.
- Inara: The Alliance has no quarrel with me. I supported unification.
- Mal: Did ya? Well, I don't suppose you're the only whore who did.
- Inara: [smiling] Oh — one further addendum. That's the last time you get to call me "whore".
- Mal: Absolutely! Never again.
- [Flashback to Mal's years-earlier encounter with three bandits, one of whom is Jayne.]
- Marco: Do we look reasonable to you?
- Mal: Well, looks can be deceiving.
- Jayne: Not as deceiving as a low-down… dirty… deceiver.
- Mal: Well said. Wasn't that well said, Zoë?
- Zoë: Had a kind poetry to it, sir.
- Jayne: You want I should shoot 'em now, Marco?
- Marco: Wait until they tell us where they put the stuff.
- Jayne: That's a good idea. Good idea. Tell us where the stuff's at, so I can shoot ya.
- Mal: Point of interest? Offering to shoot us, might not work so well as an incentive as you might imagine. But, whatever. Stuff's hidden, you'll never find it.
- Jayne: I found you, didn't I?
- Mal: Yeah, you did. What's he paying you?
- . . .
- Mal: I mean, let's say you did kill us. Or didn't. There could be torture. Whatever. But somehow, you found the goods. What would your cut be?
- Jayne: Seven percent, straight off the top.
- . . .
- [Mal expresses amusement.]
- Jayne: Seven percent's standard!
- Mal: Okay. [laughs] Zoë, I'm paying you too much.
- [Back in the near-present day, Mal gets the drop on the treacherous captain trying to take his ship.]
- Captain: You woulda done the same.
- Mal: We can already see I haven't.
- [Back in the present day, Mal finds himself dazed in the company of his crew and passengers.]
- Mal: You all gonna be here when I wake up?
- Book: We'll be here.
- Mal: Good. That's good.
- [As Mal falls asleep, he experiences another flashback, to a used spaceship yard.]
- Salesman: Yup. Real beauty, ain't she? Yes sir.
- [The rocket-shaped vessel that the salesman is trying to sell Mal comes into view.]
- Salesman: Tell you what. You buy this ship - treat her proper - she'll be with you for the rest of your life.
- [But Mal has his attention caught by something else.]
- Salesman: Son? Hey, son?
- [As we follow Mal's point of view, we see a battered old Firefly, someday to become "Serenity," sitting on the other side of the lot.]
- Salesman: You hear a word I been sayin'?
- [The crew talks about their upcoming visit to core planet Ariel while they eat.]
- Wash: Big stop just to renew your license to Companion. Can I use "Companion" as a verb?
- . . .
- [Jayne hocks some spit to help sharpen his knife.]
- Simon: Could you not do that while we're… ever?
- Wash: So, two days in a hospital? That's awful! Don't you just hate doctors?
- Simon: Hey!
- [Unobserved by anyone, River pulls a huge carving knife out of the kitchen rack.]
- Wash: I mean, present company excluded.
- Jayne: Let's not be excludin' people. [grins] That'd be rude.
- [Suddenly, River slashes Jayne in the chest.]
- . . .
- River: He looks better in red.
- [Coached by Simon, the crew prepares to impersonate emergency medical technicians.]
- Mal: Patients were cynical, and not responding, and we couldn't bring 'em back.
- Simon: They were cyanotic…
- Mal: They were cyanotic…
- Simon: … and not responsive…
- Mal: … not responded— responsive…
- Simon: … and we were unable to…
- Zoë: Res—
- Mal: Resuscitate them!
- . . .
- Simon: Which methods did you use?
- Zoë: We— we tried pulmonary stimulators, and— and cardiac… we…
- Simon: Infusers.
- Zoë: Infusers!
- . . .
- Simon: What about cortical electrodes?
- Jayne: Oh! [long pause] We forget 'em.
- Simon: Let's try that again.
- [Cut to a montage of ambulance construction scenes and continued medi-speak rehearsals.]
- Mal: Pupils were fixed and dilapitated—
- Simon: Dilated.
- Mal: Dilated. Dilated! Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng! Shiny.
- . . .
- Jayne: Unable to get a neural…
- Simon: Response.
- Jayne: Response! Hell, I don't know. If I wanted schooling, I'd-a gone to school.
- [The newly-minted "ambulance" opens, and the three faux EMTs emerge.]
- Simon: If I didn't know better, I'd say you're ready to save some lives!
- Mal: Now all we need are a couple o' patients.
- Simon: Corpses, actually. For this to work, River and I will have to be dead.
- Jayne: Huh. I'm starting to like this plan.
- [Mal worries about Jayne's commitment to the comatose Simon and River.]
- Mal: Look, you got a little stabbed the other day. That's bound to make anyone a mite ornery.
- . . .
- Jayne: The doc did good, comin' up with that job. Don't mean I like 'im any better. Nothing buys bygones quicker than cash. Maybe I'll give him a tattoo while he's out.
- [The faux EMTs wheel in their body containers, ready to do their spiel to get them to the morgue.]
- Emergency Nurse: What do you got?
- Mal: Got a couple DOAs. By the time we got there—
- Emergency Nurse: Take them down to the morgue.
- [Mal looks at his stunned team. Zoë begins to wheel her container in, but Jayne just stands there.]
- Jayne: We applied the cortical electrodes, but we were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient!
- [A doctor is hassling "EMT" Mal for his insubordination.]
- Doctor: You must be new. Don't get comfortable. Your type doesn't last long here. When your supervisor hears about the rude and disresp— AGHHH!
- [He collapses. Behind him, Zoë lowers defibrillator paddles.]
- Zoë: Clear.
- [On the diagnostic table, River screams.]
- River: No! No! No. They come out of the black. They come when you call.
- Simon: River, it's ok— it's, it's over. We're leaving.
- [She looks straight at Jayne.]
- River: Your toes are in the sand.
- Jayne: And your head's up your—!
- Simon: Hey! Back off.
- [Mal and Zoë wheel out the medicine-laden containers.]
- Wash: How much did we get?
- Mal: Enough to keep us flying.
- Zoë: Can we fly somewhere with a beach?
- Wash: Maybe a naked beach?
- [Wash and Zoë go into a passionate embrace.]
- Mal: Cut it out! The job's not done till we're back on Serenity.
- Zoë: Sorry, sir. Didn't mean to enjoy the moment.
- [Simon thanks Jayne for his apparent resistance to arrest, unaware that Jayne had called in the feds himself.]
- Simon: I appreciate you trying.
- Jayne: You know what I'd appreciate? You stop flapping that pretty mouth at me.
- Mal: Just once, I'd like things to go according to the gorram plan!
- [As the two blue-gloved men slaughter the feds, nearby, River starts to panic and run.]
- River: Two by two… hands of blue… two by two… hands of blue…
- [Jayne fires a fed's rifle at a locked door, but it has no effect.]
- Jayne: Shee-niou high-tech Alliance crap!
- [Inara returns from her Companion checkup to find Kaylee the sole inhabitant of Serenity.]
- Inara: What's going on here?
- Kaylee: Oh, well, let's see. We killed Simon and River, stole a bunch of medicine, and now the Captain 'n' Zoë are off springing the others got snatched by the feds!
- [Mal has Jayne locked in the cargo bay, with the door open to the dwindling atmosphere.]
- Jayne: What're you takin' it so personal for? It ain't like I ratted you out to the feds!
- Mal: Oh, but you did! You turn on ANY of my crew, you turn on me! But since that's a concept you can't seem to wrap your head around, then you got no place here.
- . . .
- [Resigned to his fate, Jayne calls Mal one last time.]
- Jayne: What're you gonna tell the others?
- Mal: About what?
- Jayne: 'Bout why I'm dead.
- Mal: I hadn't thought about it.
- Jayne: Make something up. Don't tell 'em what I did.
- [Mal relents and closes the door.]
- Mal: The next time you decide to stab me in the back, have the guts to do it to my face.
- [River sees another syringe in her brother's hand.]
- Simon: I brought some medicine. Do you remember why we went to hospital?
- River: It's time to go to sleep again.
- Simon: No, mei-mei.
- [He clasps her hand tenderly.]
- Simon: It's time to wake up.
War Stories 
- [Book quotes warrior-poet and "psychotic dictator" Shan Yu to Simon.]
- Book: He said, "Live with a man forty years. Share his house, his meals… speak on every subject… then tie him up, and hold him over the volcano's edge, and on that day, you will finally meet the man."
- Simon: What if you don't live by a volcano?
- Book: I suspect he was being poetical.
- . . .
- Book: A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned.
- Simon: Now you're quoting the Captain.
- . . .
- Book: Yes, I'd forgotten you're moonlighting as a criminal mastermind now. Got your next heist planned?
- Simon: No. But, I'm thinking about growing a big black mustache. I'm a traditionalist.
- [Mal observes Kaylee playfully chasing apple-thief River around the cargo bay.]
- Mal: Ah, the pitter patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots. SHUT UP!
- [He turns back to Inara, who doesn't want her arriving client hassled by Mal.]
- Mal: Don't worry! I'm not gonna start any sword fights. I'm over that phase.
- [Kaylee triumphantly holds up the apple she wrested from River.]
- Kaylee: No power in the 'verse… can stop me.
- [Zoë is telling the crew about a close trench conflict involving tiny grenades with the Alliance during the war.]
- Zoë: We mentioned that we were out of rations, and 10 minutes later, a bunch of apples rained into the trench.
- Wash: And they grew into a big tree, and they all climbed up the tree into a magical land with unicorns and a harp.
- Kaylee: Blew off their heads, huh?
- Zoë: Cap'n said "Wait!" But they were so hungry. Don't make much noise. Just little pops, and there's 3 guys that kinda just end at the ribcage.
- Wash: But these apples are healthsome, good.
- Jayne: Yeah. Grenades cost extra.
- Zoë: Is there any way I'm gonna get out of this with honor and dignity?
- Wash: You're pretty much down to ritual suicide, lamby-toes.
- Zoë: I thought your plan was too risky. I thought.
- Wash: Then tell me. I am a large, semi-muscular man. I can take it.
- [Simon asks River how she's doing.]
- River: Going. Going back, like… apple bits coming back up. Chaos.
- Simon: But you felt okay this morning?
- River: [smiles] Played with Kaylee. The sun came out, and… I walked on my feet, and… heard with my ears. [more raggedly] I ate the bits. The bits did stay down. And I work. I… function like I'm a girl. [sobbing] I hate it because I know it'll go away. The sun… goes dark, and chaos is come again. Bits… fluids! What am I?!
- Simon: You are my beautiful sister.
- River: I- I threw up on your bed.
- Simon: Yep. Definitely my sister.
- [Repeated line, when Jayne spots Inara with her female client.]
- Jayne: I'll be in my bunk.
- [Wash has sabotaged the shuttle controls, preventing Mal and Zoë's rendezvous.]
- Wash: I can't stand the thought of something happening that might cause you two to come back with another thrilling tale of bonding and adventure. I just can't take that right now.
- Mal: Okay. Um… I'm lost. Uh, I'm angry. And, I'm armed.
- Wash: Hey, I've been in a firefight before! Well, I was in a fire. Actually, I was fired… from a… fry-cook opportunity. I can handle myself.
- Mal: And you understand what Zoë's job entails.
- Wash: I'll learn as I go!
- [Cut to the desert rendezvous, where Mal leads Wash, who's lugging the crate of medicine.]
- Wash: So now I'm learning about carrying!
- . . .
- [At the rendezvous, Mal's middlemen are gunned down. Niska's men surround Mal and Wash.]
- Wash: Now I'm learning about scary!
- Wash: I don't want you to spare me, Mal! If you think you know what's happening, then you tell me. You wouldn't spare Zoë if she were in this situation with you, would you? You would be planning, and plotting and… possibly scheming. So, whatever Zoë would do in this instance is what I wanna do. Do you know why? No matter how ugly it gets, you two always come back… with the stories. So… I'm Zoë. Now… what do I do?
- Mal: Probably not talk quite so much.
- Wash: Right. Less talking. She's terse. I can be terse. Once in, uh, flight school, I was laconic.
- Wash: I mean, I'm the one she swore to love, honor and obey!
- Mal: Listen, if— She swore to obey?
- Wash: Well, no. Not… But that's the point! You, she obeys! She obeys you! There's obeying going on right under my nose!
- [The crew discusses Niska's grabbing of Mal and Wash.]
- Jayne: Could be he's harboring some resentment at us, putting his man through our engine.
- [Back in the shuttle, Zoë tends to a tortured Wash.]
- Wash: Niska's gonna kill him.
- Zoë: He's gonna make it last as long as possible. Days, if he can.
- [Wash gets to his feet.]
- Wash: Bastard's not gonna get days!
- [Zoë returns from Niska's station with Wash — and Mal's severed ear.]
- Zoë: We're gettin' him back!
- Jayne: What're we gonna do, clone him?
- Simon: Well, it's a clean cut. With the right equipment, I should be able to reattach it. That's assuming there's a head.
- [Niska chats with Mal as his torturer continues the work.]
- Niska: Do you know the writings of, eh, Shan Yu?
- Mal: You starting a book club? What, are you trying to torture… [grunts]… trying to torture me?
- Wash: Grenades?
- Zoë: Oh, yes. Thank you, dear.
- [Book pulls out a rifle.]
- Book: This should do.
- Zoë: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
- Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
- Niska: You died, Mr. Reynolds.
- Mal: Seemed like the thing to do.
- Niska: I don't like it when you die, Mr. Reynolds. When you die, it means that I can't hurt you anymore.
- Jayne: Smellin' a lot of "if" comin' off this plan.
- Zoë: Okay, people. If it moves, shoot it.
- Kaylee: Unless it's the Captain!
- Zoë: Unless it's the Captain.
- Mal: You wanna meet the real me now?
- [After River, facing away from her aim, plugs three men with three shots, she turns to Kaylee, grinning.]
- River: No power in the 'verse can stop me.
- Mal: Haven't you killed me enough for one day?
- [The rescue team comes upon Mal struggling with his torturer.]
- Zoë: This is something the Captain has to do for himself.
- Mal: No! No, it's not!
- Zoë: Oh!
- [Zoë, Jayne and Wash shoot the torturer.]
- Mal: I hear y'all took up arms in that little piece o' action back there. How're you faring with that, Doctor?
- Simon: I don't know. I, uh… eh, I never… never shot anyone before.
- Book: I was there, son. I'm fair sure you haven't shot anyone yet.
- Wash: Mmm. Wife soup. I must've done good.
- [Mal tells Zoë about his and Wash's in-torture discussion about getting past Zoë's supposed unrequited passion for the Captain.]
- Mal: I know it's a… difficult mission, but you and I… have to get it on.
- Zoë: I understand. We have no choice.
- [Jayne arrives.]
- Zoë: [deadpan] Take me, sir. Take me hard.
- Jayne: Now something about that is just downright unsettlin'.
- [As Zoë and Mal awkwardly move to kiss, Wash gets up and drags Zoë off.]
- Wash: We'll be in our bunk.
- Monty: Mal, I want you to meet my Bridget.
- [Monty steps aside to reveal Saffron, aka Mrs. Malcolm Reynolds. She and Mal draw guns on each other.]
- Monty: So… you guys have met.
- Monty: Damn you, Bridget! Damn you to Hades! You broke my heart in a million pieces! You made me love you, and then you… I shaved off my beard for you, devil woman!
- [As Saffron rummages through her purse, Malcolm puts a gun to her head.]
- Mal: You're gonna want to pull your claw out of that bag, nice and slow.
- Saffron: Relax. I'm not going for a gun or anything.
- [Saffron pulls out some lipstick.]
- Saffron: Just freshening up.
- [Mal takes the lipstick from her.]
- Mal: You and lipstick are a dangerous combination, if I recall.
- . . .
- [Mal frisks Saffron.]
- Saffron: Mmm. You missed a spot.
- Mal: Can't miss a place you've never been.
- Mal: This is my scrap of nowhere. You go on, find your own.
- Saffron: You can't just leave me here on this lifeless piece-of-crap moon.
- Mal: I can.
- Saffron: I'll die.
- Mal: Well, as a courtesy, you might start getting busy on that, 'cause all this chatter ain't doin' me any kindness.
- Saffron: Why don't you just go ahead and shoot me then?
- Saffron: This was all your fault, you know. I had a perfect crime lined up.
- Mal: Sure. You were gonna steal a man's beard.
- Saffron: No, you HOE-tze duh PEE-goo! A million-square job. The big time. I was going to cut Monty and his crew in, but you screwed that royal.
- Mal: Odd, but I don't think I'll be losing sleep over it.
- Saffron: I've got the layout, entrance codes… Believe me, this thing practically robs itself.
- Mal: Bye-bye, now.
- Mal: Okay. What's your game?
- Inara: I offered you tea.
- Mal: Mm-hmm. After inviting me into your shuttle of your own free will, which makes two events without precedent, which makes me more than a little skittish.
- Inara: Honestly, Mal, if we can't be civilized and talk—
- Mal: I'm plenty civilized. You're using wiles on me.
- Inara: I'm using what?
- Mal: Your feminine wiles. Your… Companion training, or, some might say, uncanny ability to make a man sweaty and/or compliant, of which I have had just about enough of today.
- Mal: Are you saying I-I'm doing this deliberate, on account of you? That there's some reason I-I want you off the job?
- Inara: Is there?
- Mal: [laughs] This is one of the crazier things I've heard today, and when I tell you about the rest of my day, you'll appreciate just—
- Inara: I'm not accusing you of anything, Mal, it's just—
- Mal: Hey, no! Let's set a course for the planet of the lonely, rich, yet appropriately hygienic man. I'll tell Wash! We can park there for a month.
- Inara: Not all of your work is illegal, Mal. And the best job—
- Mal: You wanna keep me off the job now?
- Inara: —the best job you ever pulled was on a central planet!
- Mal: How about, I stay outta your whoring—
- Inara: [scoffs] Well that didn't take long!
- Mal: —and you keep out of my thieving. I know my job very well, thank you very much.
- Inara: Right, you're a criminal mastermind! What was the last cargo we snuck past the Alliance to transport?
- Mal: That was a little dif—
- Inara: What was the cargo?
- Mal: [pauses, embarrassed] They were dolls.
- Inara: They were little geisha dolls with big heads that wobbled!
- Mal: Hey! People love those!
- Inara: And what exactly was our net profit on the famous wobbly-headed-doll caper?
- Mal: Wha- Our cut? So you're in the gang now?
- Inara: Well, since I can't seem to find work as Companion, I might as well become a petty thief like you!
- [An uncomfortable silence descends for a moment.]
- Mal: Petty?
- Inara: I didn't mean petty.
- Mal: What did you mean?
- Inara: Suo-SHEE?
- Mal: That's Chinese for "petty".
- Inara: No, that's a narrow… There are nuances of meaning, that—
- Mal: Maybe you should've stuck with your wiles.
- Mal: Saffron has a notion we can walk right in there, take the Lassiter right off his shelf.
- Wash: I'm confused.
- Saffron: You're asking yourself if I've got the security codes, why don't I go in, grab it for myself?
- Wash: No. Actually, I was wondering… WHAT'S SHE DOING ON THIS SHIP?
- [Kaylee laughs.]
- Wash: Didn't she try to kill us?!
- Saffron: [with a Cheshire smile] Please! Nobody died last time.
- Wash: We're in space! How'd she get here?
- Mal: She hitched.
- Wash: I don't recall pulling over!
- . . .
- Mal: Zoe? You ain't said a word. Time to weigh in.
- Zoë: Take sounds ripe enough, assuming we can fence it.
- Saffron: I know a guy on Persephone. Already has half dozen buyers on the bid.
- Zoë: But Inara ain't wrong.
- [She stands to face Saffron.]
- Zoë: She can't be trusted.
- Mal: I ain't asking you to trust her. I'll be with her on the inside the whole time.
- Saffron: See there? All you gotta do to be a rich woman, hon, is… get over it.
- Zoë: Hmm. Okay.
- [Zoë belts Saffron, who falls to the floor.]
- Zoë: I'm in.
- [Jayne is watching over Simon and River.]
- Jayne: Captain says you're to stay put. Doesn't want you to run afoul of his blushin' psychotic bride. She figures out who you are, she'll turn you in before you can… say… "Don't turn me in, lady."
- Simon: This bounty on us just keeps getting more exciting.
- Jayne: Well, I wouldn't know.
- [Jayne surreptitiously glances at River, who is watching him.]
- River: She's a liar.
- Jayne: That don't exactly set her apart from the rest of us. The plunder sounds fun enough.
- River: She's a liar, and no good will come of her.
- Jayne: Well, as a rule, I say, girlfolk ain't to be trusted.
- River: "Jayne" is a girl's name.
- Jayne: Well, Jayne ain't a girl! She starts in on that girl's-name thing, [reaches into his pants] I'll show her good 'n' all, I got man parts!
- Simon: I'm… trying to think of a way for you to be cruder. I just… it's not coming.
- . . .
- [Jayne has departed.]
- River: Afraid.
- Simon: We'll be okay. Why the captain is trusting that BOO hway-HUN duh PUO-foo is beyond—
- River: Not her. Jayne.
- Simon: Afraid? Since when?
- River: Since Ariel. Afraid we'll know.
- [Durran, yet another Saffron spouse (who calls her "Yolanda"), interrupts her as she holding a gun on Mal.]
- Saffron: Durran, this isn't what it looks like.
- Mal: Unless… it looks like… we're stealing your priceless Lassiter, 'cause… that's what we're doing. Don't ask me about the gun, though, 'cause that's new.
- Durran: Well, I appreciate your honesty. Not, you know, a lot, but…
- . . .
- [As Saffron holds her gun on Durran, Mal draws a gun on Saffron.]
- Mal: No one's killin' any folk today, on account o' we got a very tight schedule, Yo-Saff-Bridg.
- Durran: How long have you been with him?
- Mal: Oh— pfft! We are not together.
- Saffron: He's my husband.
- Mal: Well, who in the damn galaxy ain't?!
- . . .
- [The police, whom Durran so wisely signalled for upon discovering "Yolanda", are arriving.]
- Saffron: Durran, peaches… just call them off. Tell them it was a mistake.
- Durran: You need help, Yolanda.
- Saffron: I'll do anything you want me to. You know how I can make you feel.
- Durran: Hmm. Please. You're embarrassing yourself.
- [She spin-kicks him to the floor, unconscious.]
- Saffron: I'm embarrassing? Who's the dupe on the floor?
- Mal: I hate to bring up our imminent arrest during your crazy time, but we gotta go.
- [Saffron begins to cry quietly, apparently at the permanent loss of Durran.]
- Saffron: You must be loving this.
- [Mal sadly shakes his head no, then nods.]
- Mal: Little bit.
- . . .
- Saffron: You won't tell anyone about me breaking down.
- Mal: I won't.
- Saffron: Then I won't tell anyone how easily I got your gun out of your holster.
- [She stands and points the gun at Mal.]
- Mal: I'll take that as a kindness.
- Saffron: You just may be the most gullible fool I ever marked. And that makes you special.
- [Jayne is on the infirmary table, temporarily paralyzed after his spill.]
- Jayne: [mumbling] Is [s]pine okay?
- Simon: How much did they offer you to sell out me and River on Ariel?
- Jayne: [mumbling] Das crazy talk.
- Simon: Then let's talk crazy. How much?
- [Jayne's eyes move toward the door.]
- Jayne: [mumbling] Anybody there?
- [River pokes her head in.]
- Jayne: [mumbling] Anybody else?
- . . .
- [Simon continues to work on Jayne as he talks.]
- Simon: No matter what you do, or say or plot, no matter how you come down on us… I will never, ever harm you. You're on this table, you're safe. 'Cause I'm your medic, and however little we may like or trust each other, we're on the same crew. Got the same troubles, same enemies, and more than enough of both. Now, we could circle each other and growl, [or] sleep with one eye open, but that thought wearies me. I don't care what you've done, I don't know what you're planning on doing, but I'm trusting you. I think you should do the same. 'Cause I don't see this working any other way.
- [He leaves. River pokes her head in again.]
- River: Also… I can kill you with my brain.
The Message 
- [Simon and Kaylee check out the "proof of alien life" exhibit — an inert creature in a cylindrical jar.]
- Simon: Yep — it's a cow fetus.
- Kaylee: Guess so. It does seem to have an awful lot of limbs.
- Simon: It's mutated.
- Kaylee: But cow? How do you figure?
- Simon: It's upside down.
- [Kaylee tilts her head to the side.]
- Kaylee: Oh yeah. Cow.
- Simon: And I'm out 12 bits! I really know how to show a girl a… digusting time.
- . . .
- [Simon watches as Kaylee storms off. Zoë and Wash enter the exhibit.]
- Wash: Oh my god, it's grotesque! Oh, and there's something in a jar.
- Zoë: Scared her away again, did you?
- Simon: D— This may come as a shock, but I'm actually… not very good at talking to girls.
- Zoë: Why, is there someone you are good at talking to?
- [Wash stares into the "face" of the "alien".]
- Wash: Do not fear me! Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.
- [River unsuccessfully tries to eat a spherical treat that bobs from a string.]
- River: My food is problematic.
- Jayne: Girl's a mind-readin' genius, can't even figure out how to eat an ice planet.
- Jayne: I got post?
- Book: Might we all want to step a few paces back before he opens that?
- Jayne: Ha ha! It's from my mother.
- [Inara and Kaylee catch up to the post-office crowd.]
- Inara: So, do aliens live among us?
- Kaylee: Yeah. One of them's a doctor.
- [Jayne proudly wears his mother's hideous home-knit cap.]
- Jayne: How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don't you think?
- Kaylee: I think it's the sweetest hat ever.
- Wash: A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.
- Jayne: Damn straight!
- . . .
- [Zoë and Mal open a coffin-sized box to find a body. Jayne peers in.]
- Jayne: What'd y'all order a dead guy for?
- [Flashback to the war, where Zoë quietly kills a man about to shoot a private having a meal.]
- Tracey: Thanks. I didn't know you were out there.
- Zoë: Sort of the point. Stealth — you may have heard of it.
- Tracey: I don't think they covered that in basic.
- Zoë: Well, at least they covered "Dropping Your Weapon So You Can Eat Beans and Get Yourself Shot".
- Tracey: Yeah, I got a badge in that. [seriously] Won't happen again.
- Zoë: It does, I'm just gonna watch.
- . . .
- Zoë: First rule of battle, little one… don't ever let them know where you are.
- [Cut to Mal, firing behind himself as he runs toward the two.]
- Mal: WHOO-HOO! I'M RIGHT HERE! I'M RIGHT HERE! YOU WANT SOME O' ME?! YEAH YOU DO! COME ON! COME ON! AAAAAH!
- [He lands with a grunt behind some nearby rocks.]
- Mal: Whoo-hoo!
- Zoë: Course, there're other schools of thought.
- Mal: Whew! Ha. That was bracing. They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself.
- Zoë: D'ya find Vitelli?
- Mal: Vitelli's out of it. That bumblebee laid down arms at the first sign of inevitable crushing defeat. Can you imagine such a cowardly creature?
- . . .
- Mal: Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carryin' a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is, die of old age before it finds you.
- Jayne: We're taking him on board?
- Mal: We are.
- Jayne: Don't know if I see the percentage in that.
- Mal: Then don't strain your brain trying. You might break something.
- [The crew listens to Tracey's recorded message.]
- Tracey: Uh, okay. Uh, recording. Hi, I guess. This is a message for Zoë, and for Malcolm Reynolds. And I really hope you all are the ones listening to it. I'll spare you the boring details. I've fallen in with untrustworthy folk. Makin' a bunch of bad calls. All that matters is… I expect to be shuffled off. And you two are the only people I trust to get me where I'm going, which is home. I'd like my body to be with my folks on St. Albans. We got the family plot there, and my Mom and Dad, well, they deserve to know I died. You know, it's funny. We went to the war never lookin' to come back, but it's… it's the real world I couldn't survive. You two carried me through that war. Now I need you to carry me just a little bit further… if you can. Tell my folks I wanted to do right by them, and that I'm at peace, and all. Uh… When you can't run anymore, you crawl, and when you can't do that, well… Yeah, you know the rest. Thanks, b-both of you. Oh, yeah, and, uh… make sure my eyes is closed, will ya?
- [A menacing man scares information about Serenity out of postal clerk Amnon, then chuckles.]
- Womack: Relax! You've been great. And I was just bluffing with that stuff about arresting you. I mean, who needs that kind of paperwork? Skunk, light him on fire.
- [Serenity's crew and passengers are gathered around the table, laughing.]
- Mal: I thought I was gonna die.
- Inara: How could he possibly—
- Mal: Oh, the colonel was dead drunk. Three hours pissin' on about the enlisted men. Uh, "they're scum", uh, "they're not fighters", and, uh… and then he passed right out — boom.
- Zoë: We couldn't even move him. So, uh, Tracey just… snipped it right off his face.
- Mal: And you never seen a man more proud of his moustache than Colonel Obrin. I mean, in all my life , I will never love a woman the way this officer loved that lip ferret.
- Zoë: Big, walrus-y thing — all waxed up!
- Inara: Did he find out?
- Mal: Oh! Next mornin', he wakes up, it's gone, and he is furious! But he can't just say, you know, "Someone stole my moustache!" So he, uh, calls together all the platoons…
- Zoë: We thought he was gonna shoot us!
- Mal: … and, uh… Oh, he's eye-ballin' all the men somethin' fierce. Not a word. And he comes up to Tracey, and Tracey's wearing the gorram thing on his face!
- Zoë: He had glued it on!
- Mal: He's starin' the old man down wearing his own damn moustache!
- [As Simon starts an autopsy on Tracey's body, the man screams and starts thrashing about.]
- Jayne: Spry for a dead fella!
- . . .
- Mal: You wanna explain to me exactly why you got yourself all corpsified and mailed to me?
- Mal: So, your innards… ain't your innards?
- [Mal and Wash are attempting to stall Womack, who is pursuing them.]
- Womack: I'm a dangerous man on a ship loaded with hurt. Why you gotta be chattin' with your peons?
- [Tracey is holding Kaylee at gunpoint when the bombardment stops.]
- Mal: Hear that quiet? Means the call's already been made.
- Tracey: Well, that call… that call means you just murdered me.
- [Behind him, Jayne cocks his rifle. As Tracey spins, Mal shoots him.]
- Mal: No, son. You murdered yourself. I just carried the bullet a while.
- [As Tracey lies dying, the ex-soldiers finally complete the old saying.]
- Tracey: When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, when you can't do that…
- Zoë: … you find someone to carry you.
Heart of Gold 
- [Mal practices cocking and aiming his gun in the dining area when Inara comes up behind him.]
- Inara: Hi.
- Mal: BWAAA!
- Inara: [laughing] Sorry! Didn't mean to startle.
- Mal: You didn't! I was just, uh… "BWAAA!" That's more like a… It's a warrior like… Strikes fear into the… hearts of… You know, not altogether wise, sneaking up on a fellow when he's handling his weapon.
- Inara: I'm sure I've heard that said. But… perhaps the dining area isn't the place for this sort of thing.
- Mal: What do ya mean? It's the only place with a table big enough.
- Inara: Of course. In that case, every well-bred petty crook knows that the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.
- . . .
- [Inara departs. Mal melodramatically draws his gun.]
- Mal: Bwaaa.
- [Inara answers Nandi's vid-transmitted appeal.]
- Inara: It sounds like something this crew can handle. I can't guarantee they'll handle it particularly well, but…
- Nandi: If they got guns and brains at all.
- Inara: They've got guns…
- . . .
- [After Inara signs off…]
- Inara: I suppose you heard most of that?
- Mal: Only because I was eavesdropping.
- . . .
- Inara: I'll contact Nandi at once, but you will be paid. I feel it's important that we keep ours… strictly a business arrangement.
- Jayne: Don't much see the benefit in getting involved in strangers' troubles without a up-front price negotiated.
- Book: These people need assistance. The benefit wouldn't necessarily be for you.
- Jayne: That's what I'm sayin'.
- Zoë: No one's gonna force you to go, Jayne. As has been stated, this job is strictly speculative.
- Jayne: Good! Don't know these folks, don't much care to.
- Mal: They're whores.
- Jayne: I'm in.
- Inara: Nandi, this is Malcolm Reynolds.
- Nandi: I appreciate your coming.
- Mal: Well, any friend of Inara's is a strictly businesslike relationship of mine.
- . . .
- Mal: I'll introduce you to the rest later. They're good folk.
- Jayne: Can I start getting sexed already?
- Mal: Well, that one's kinda horrific.
- Kaylee: Look, they got boy whores! Isn't that thoughtful? Wonder if they service girlfolk at all.
- Simon: Isn't there a pregnant woman I'm to examine?
- Wash: [to Kaylee] You'd really lie with someone being paid for it?
- Kaylee: Well, it's not like anyone else is lining up to, you know, examine me.
- Jayne: Whoop! My John Thomas is about to pop off and fly around the room, there's so much tasty here. Ooh!
- Wash: Would be you get your most poetical about your pecker.
- Kaylee: Everyone's got somebody. Wash, tell me I'm pretty.
- Wash: Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.
- Kaylee: 'Cause I'm pretty?
- Wash: 'Cause you're pretty.
- Mal: Inara, think you could stoop to being on my arm?
- Inara: Will you wash it first?
- Mal: Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he's right with God.
- . . .
- Nandi: Captain Reynolds, it took me years to cut this piece of territory out of other men's hands, to build this business up from nothing.
- Mal: Nandi…
- Nandi: It's who I am, and it's my home. I'm not going anywhere.
- . . .
- Mal: Well, lady, I must say — you're my kinda stupid.
- Wash: Well, I'm not sure now is the best time to bring a tiny little helpless person into our lives.
- Zoë: That excuse is gettin' a little worn, honey.
- Wash: It's not an excuse, dear! It's objective assessment. I can't help that it stays relevant.
- Zoë: I don't give a good gorram about relevant, Wash, or objective. And I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it. [tenderly] You and I would make one beautiful baby. And I want to meet that child one day. Period.
- Nandi: Truth is, I expected a whole lot more of you to be takin' payment in our trade.
- Mal: Well, we're an odd conglomeration. Got a preacher, a married fellah, and the doctor… well, he'd have to… relax for thirty seconds to get his play. That'd be more or less a miracle.
- [Simon and Inara tend to Petaline during her contractions. River waits at her feet like a catcher.]
- Inara: How many babies have you actually delivered?
- Simon: As the primary? This would be the first. You?
- Inara: My first, too.
- River: Mine, too.
- Mal: Miss Nandi, I have a confession to make.
- Nandi: Maybe I should get the Shepherd.
- Mal: Well, I ain't sinned yet. And I'd feel a little more than awkward if he were here when I did.
- . . .
- Nandi: Malcolm, I been waiting for you to kiss me since I showed you my guns.
- [Mal kisses Nandi, then draws back for a moment.]
- Nandi: You okay with this?
- Mal: I'm just waiting to see if I pass out. Long story.
- [Nandi's girl Chari reports to Ranse Burgess on Mal's defensive preparations.]
- Ranse: Earned yourself quite a bag of silver, little kid. But I got a… few more chores in mind before you get any.
- Chari: I'm ready.
- [He turns to speak to his men.]
- Ranse: Now, Chari here, she understands a whore's place, don't she? But Nandi, and those others, they spit on our town! They've no respect for the sanctity of fatherhood, or… decency, or family! They have my child held hostage to their decadent ways, and that I will not abide. We will show them what power is! We will show them what their position in this town is! Let us all remember, right here and now, what a woman is to a man!
- [He turns back to Chari, who stands facing him.]
- Ranse: [whispering intensely] Get on your knees!
- Inara: So you took to bed with Nandi. I'm glad.
- Mal: Glad?
- Inara: Yes! She's a dear friend, and probably in need of some comfort about now.
- . . .
- Mal: So, you're okay. Well, yeah. Why… why wouldn't you be?
- Inara: I wouldn't say I'm entirely okay. I'm a little appalled at her taste.
- Kaylee: Malcolm seem a little… funny to you at breakfast this morning?
- Wash: Come on, Kaylee. We all know I'm the funny one.
- Jayne: [over radio] Whoa, now, girl, that is just plain dirty.
- Mal: Jayne, you aware your radio's transmittin'? Cause I ain't feelin' particular girlish or dirty at the moment.
- Jayne: Mal! Looks like we got some imminent violence!
- [Ranse is on his knees before Petaline, who holds her infant son.]
- Petaline: Ranse, this is Jonah. Jonah… say "hi" to your daddy.
- [She shoots Ranse.]
- Petaline: Say "goodbye" to your daddy, Jonah.
Objects in Space 
- [River comes out of a vision to find herself holding a gun, which Mal takes from her.]
- Mal: Fully loaded, safety off. This here is a recipe for unpleasantness. [to Simon] Does she understand that?
- River: She understands. She doesn't comprehend.
- Mal: Well, I'm glad we've made that distinction.
- Zoë: Where's River at now?
- Mal: In her room, which I'm thinking we bolt from the outside from now on.
- Wash: That a little extreme, isn't it?
- Jayne: Anyone remember her comin' at me with a butcher's knife?
- Wash: [reminiscently] Wacky fun…
- Jayne: You wanna go, little man?
- Wash: Only if it's someplace with candlelight.
- Zoë: Sir, I know she's unpredictable. But I don't think she'd harm anyone.
- Jayne: Butcher's knife?!
- Zoë: Anyone we can't spare.
- Mal: Girl knows things. Things she shouldn't. Things she couldn't.
- Jayne: What, are you— are you sayin' she's a witch?
- Wash: [sardonically] Yes, Jayne. She's a witch. She has had congress with the beast.
- Jayne: She's in Congress?
- Wash: How did your brain even learn human speech? I'm just so curious.
- . . .
- Wash: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
- Zoë: We live in a spaceship, dear.
- Wash: So?
- . . .
- Jayne: Well… I don't like the idea of someone hearin' what I'm thinkin'.
- Inara: No one likes the idea of hearing what you're thinking.
- Book: The Alliance could have any number of uses for a psychic.
- Zoë: A psychic… or an assassin.
- Simon: She's just a kid! And she just wants to be a… kid.
- Mal: I wish it were that simple.
- Jayne: Yeah, and if wishes were horses, we'll all be eatin' steak.
- [Kaylee hears something and crawls out from under engine...]
- Kaylee: River?.....River? [startled by Early]...wahhh
- 'Early: I like this ship...Serenity...she's good looking.
- Kaylee: [stuttering] ha-how how did you...g-get on...
- Early: It strains the mind a bit don'it? but then you're all alone...maybe I come down the chimey Kaylee...bring presents to the good girls and boys...maybe not though...maybe'vah always been here.
- Kaylee: Whatddayou want?
- Early: [looks at engine with double meaning] That's a beating heart isn't it? Pull off any one of a thousand parts she'll just die. Such a slinder thread...[dryly, calously, viciously, lacking emotion] You ever been raped?
- Kaylee: [stuttering, almost in tears, shaken] mmmuah..th-the captain is right down the hall-hallway..he...c-can...hear you...
- Early: The captain is locked in his quarters. They all are. There's nobody can help you...SAY IT.
- Kaylee: [breathless] There's...there's nobody can help me.
- Early: I'm-el tie you up now...
- Kaylee: [whimpers]
- Early: And you know what-I'ma-do-then? I'ma give youa present. Get rid of a problem you've got. And I won't touch you in any wrong fashion, nor hurt you at all, unless you make some kind of ruckus. You throw a monkey wrench into my deal'ins in any way...[dryly]...your body is forfeit. Aint nothing but a body to me and I can find all unseemly manner of use for it. Do you understand.
- Kaylee: [dishearted, broken, holding back tears] Yes.
- Early: Turn around and put-cher hands behind yer back.
- Kaylee: oh ughhhh...[moans, whimpers, begins to cry, but does as told]
- Early: [From behind her as he ties her up] Now tell me Kaylee, where does River sleep?
- [The mysterious intruder holds Simon at gunpoint.]
- Simon: Are you Alliance?
- Early: Am I a lion?
- Simon: What?
- Early: I don't think of myself as a lion. You might as well, though — I have a mighty roar.
- Simon: I said "Alliance".
- Early: Oh, I thought—
- Simon: No, I was—
- Early: That's weird.
- . . .
- Simon: So you're a bounty hunter.
- Early: No, that ain't it at all.
- Simon: Then what are you?
- Early: I'm a bounty hunter.
- . . .
- Simon: You're outta your mind.
- Early: That's between me and my mind.
- . . .
- Early: They make psychiatrists get psychoanalyzed before they can get certified, but they don't make a surgeon get cut on. That seem right to you?
- [River announces that she's "melted" into Serenity, then leaves Early to stew in silence.]
- Early: Where'd she go?
- Simon: I can't keep track of her when she's not incorporeally possessing a spaceship — don't look at me.
- . . .
- Early: I only hurt people 'cause they keep gettin' in the way of me finding you.
- [He points his gun at Simon.]
- Early: Tell her.
- Simon: What am I, your advocate?
- Early: You are, starting now.
- Simon: [deadpan] He's really very… gentle, and fuzzy. We're becoming fast friends.
- [River/Serenity giggles.]
- Early: You folks are all insane.
- Simon: Well… my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.
- Early: You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I've ever had to transport, yet by far the most troublesome. Does that seem right to you?
- Simon: What'd he do?
- Early: Who?
- Simon: The midget.
- Early: Arson. The little man loved fire.
- Early: Early's on the move.
- River: I don't belong… dangerous, like you… can't be controlled, can't be trusted. Everyone can just go on without me and not have to worry. People can be what they wanted to be… can be with the people they wanted… can live simple, no secrets.
- Simon: No.
- River: I'll be fine. I'll be your bounty, Jubal Early, and I'll just fade away.
- Inara: Any chance that shiong-mung duh kwong-run might survive?
- Mal: Air he had left, I'd say his chance'd be about one in… a very large number.
- [Early is floating in space.]
- Early: Well, here I am.
Serenity (comic) 
Issue 1 
- [Book is giving a sermon to a church while Mal, Jayne, and Zoë are on a job at the local bank. After the job goes south, Book shows up in some sort of giant dune-buggy to rescue them.]
- Mal: So... how goes the flock?
- Book: At the moment? To their homes. To fetch their guns.
- [Still in the dune-buggy, dodging bullets.]
- Mal: Prayerful group you found yourself here, Shepherd. And here I thought that book of yours had a thing in it about not killing folks.
- Book: It does. Comes a bit before the one about not stealing.
- . . .
- Jayne: Stop chasin' us! We don't got your damn money! Go chase the guys with the money!!!
- Zoë: Jayne, you yelling like that's only going to make them want to shoot you more.
- Jayne: How you figure?
- Zoë: Because it makes me want to shoot you.
- River: Ball of yarn... All knotted and tangled with different weights and colors, but pull one string and you pull them all...
Issue 2 
- [Mal hands a bag of coins to Wash.]
- Mal: Get her fueled, Wash.
- Wash: With dirt? With cheap dirt?
- Jayne: He was crowdin' me, and I don't know him. I hit people that crowd me I don't know.
- [Dobson talks with the blue-gloved men.]
- Dobson: You’re wrong. I don’t want Serenity. I want Reynolds.
- [Reveal: A room filled with defaced images of Mal, "Kill Reynolds" and "die Reynolds" scrawled on the walls and furniture.]
- Dobson: You could say I'm …preoccupied with the idea.
- [Mal is wearing a red shirt and just finished explaining their next job.]
- Mal: Anyone else has words, now would be the time.
- River: I hate that color on you. I always have.
Issue 3 
- Mal: You kill me. What then?
- Dobson: I dunno. I imagine I'll get a hobby or something…
- Zoë: And after we kill 'em all, sir?
- Mal: Honestly, my thinking hadn't gotten that far.
- Mal: We're in space, Shepherd. It's always the middle of the night.
- Zoë: Where are we going, sir?
- Mal: The same as always. Forward.
Serenity (film) 
- The Operative: You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
- Dr. Mathias: Well, unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sword.
- [The Operative pulls out a sword.]
- Dr. Mathias: I would put that down right now if I were you.
- The Operative: Would you be killed in your sleep, like an ailing pet?
- [As Serenity begins a fiery dive into atmo, Mal hears a loud metallic clank.]
- Mal: What was that?
- Wash: Did you see that?
- Mal: Was that the primary buffer panel?
- Wash: It did seem to resemble…
- Mal: Did the primary buffer panel just fall off my gorram ship for no apparent reason?
- Wash: Looks like.
- Mal: I thought Kaylee just checked the entry couplings. I have a very clear memory of it!
- Wash: Yeah well, if she doesn't give us some extra flow from the engine room to offset the burn-through, this landing is going to get pretty interesting.
- Mal: Define interesting!
- Wash: [deadpan] "Oh god, oh god, we're all gonna die"?
- Mal: [on the ship intercom] This is the captain, we have a lil' problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence, and then… explode… [to Wash] Can you shave the vector?
- Wash: I'm doing it! It's not enough.
- Mal: Just get us on the ground!
- Wash: That part will happen pretty definitely.
- Jayne: We're gonna explode? I don't wanna explode!
- Mal: Jayne, how many weapons you plan on taking? You only got the two arms.
- Jayne: I just get excitable…as to choice. Like to have my options open.
- Mal: I don't plan on any shooting taking place during this job.
- Jayne: Yea, what you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar.
- Mal: No grenades.
- Jayne: What…? Aw!
- Zoe: We crashing again?
- Mal: Talk to your husband. Mule prepped?
- Zoe: Good to go, sir. Just loading her up.
- Zoe: Those grenades?
- Jayne: Yeah, Captain doesn't want them.
- Zoe: Jayne, we're robbing the place. We're not occupying it.
- Mal: Kaylee!… Kaylee, what in the sphincter of hell are you playing at? We got the primary buffer panel coming right—
- Kaylee: Everything's shiny, Captain. Not to fret.
- Mal: You told me those entry couplings would hold for another week!
- Kaylee: That was six months ago Captain.
- Mal: My ship don't crash. [If] she crashes, you crashed her.
- Mal: Doctor. Guess who needs a to get innocked before we hit planet-side. Bit of a rockety ride. Nothing to be worried about.
- Simon: I'm not worried.
- Mal: Fear is nothing to be ashamed of, Doctor.
- Simon: This isn't fear. This is anger.
- Mal: Well, kind of hard to tell one from the other, face like yours.
- Simon: Well, I imagine if it were fear, my eyes would be wider.
- Mal: Hmm, I'll keep a lookout for that next time.
- Simon: You're not taking her.
- Mal: No, no, this is not a thing I'm interested in talking over with—
- Simon: She is not going with you, and that's final.
- Mal: I hear the words "that's final" come out your mouth ever again, they truly will be… This boat is my home. You all are guests on it.
- Simon: Guest? Now I earned my passage, Captain—
- Mal: … and it's time your little sister learned from your fine example.
- Simon: I have earned my passage treating bullet holes, knife wounds, laser burns…
- Mal: Some jobs are more interesting than others.
- Simon: … and you want to put my sister in the middle of that.
- Mal: Didn't say "want", said "will." It's one job, Doc. She'll be fine.
- Simon: She's a 17 year old girl. a mentally traumatized 17—
- Mal: She's a reader. Sees into the truth of things. Might see trouble before it's coming. Which is of use to me.
- Simon: And that's your guiding star, isn't it? What's of use.
- Mal: Honestly, Doctor I think we may really crash this time anyway.
- Simon: Do you understand what I've gone through to keep River away from the Alliance?
- Mal: I do, and it's a fact we here have been courteous enough to keep to our own selves.
- Simon: Are you threatening to—
- Mal: I look out for me and mine. That don't include you less I conjure it does. Now you stuck a thorn in the Alliance's paw. That tickles me a bit. But it also means I got to step twice as fast to avoid them and that means turning down plenty of jobs. Even honest ones. Put this crew together with the promise of work which the Alliance makes harder every year. Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all. This job goes south, there well may not be another… So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don't push me, and I won't push you.
- Simon: River, stay behind the others. If there's fighting, you fall down or run away. It's okay to leave them to die.
- Mal: Doctor. I'm taking your sister under my protection here. If anything happens to her, anything at all, I swear to you — I will get very choked up. Honestly. There could be tears.
- [The crew prepares for a payroll robbery.]
- Jayne: Shiny! Let's be bad guys.
- [Mal opens a bank vault to find it virtually empty.]
- Zoe: [sardonically] At last, we can retire and give up this life of crime.
- [The crew's Mule is being pursued by a Reaver hovercraft.]
- Jayne: Gee, sure would be nice if we had some grenades right now, don'tcha think?!
- [Mal's Mule crashes into Serenity's bay. Kaylee rushes to Simon, both of whom stayed behind.]
- Kaylee: [to Simon] Are you okay?
- Mal: Is he okay?!?
- . . .
- [Simon asks River if she's alright.]
- River: I swallowed a bug.
- Kaylee: Goin' on a year now, ain't nothing 'twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries.
- Mal: Oh, God! I can't know that!
- Jayne: I could stand to hear a little more.
- [After River's swift incapacitation of an barful of patrons, the crew regroups on Serenity.]
- Mal: [to Simon] I believe you got some storytelling to do. What in the hell happened back there?
- Wash: Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl, 'cause I don't think that's ever getting old.
- [After Inara invites the crew to join her at the companion training house]
- Wash: Inara. Nice to see her again.
- Zoë: So... trap?
- Mal: Trap.
- Zoë: Are we going in?
- Mal: Oh, it ain't but a few hours out.
- Wash: Yeah, but, remember the part where it's a trap?.
- . . .
- Kaylee: But how can you be sure Inara doesn't just want to see you again? Sometimes people can have feelings, you know. And I'm referring here to people.
- Mal: You all were watching, I take it?
- Kaylee: [pause] Yes.
- Mal: Did you see us fight?
- Kaylee: No.
- Mal: Trap.
- Mal: Zoë, the ship is yours. Remember, if anything happens to me; if you don't hear from me within the hour; you take this ship and you come and you rescue me!
- Zoë: What? And risk my ship?
- Mal: I mean it. It's cold out there, and I don't want to get left.
- [A robed man kneels next to Inara in front of a Buddhist shrine.]
- Mal: Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony, a plastic rocket, and one of those—
- Inara: Mal!
- The Operative: I have to say that I'm impressed that you would come for her yourself. And that you would make it this far, in that outfit.
- Mal: I can be very graceful when I need to.
- The Operative: I've no doubt.
- The Operative: That girl will rain destruction down on you and your ship. She is an albatross, captain.
- Mal: The way I remember it, albatross was a ship's good luck, 'til some idiot killed it.
- [Mal turns to Inara.]
- Mal: Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint.
- The Operative: I'm not threatening you. I'm unarmed.
- Mal: Good.
- [Mal shoots the Operative, who falls but quickly recovers.]
- The Operative: I am of course wearing full body armor. I am not a moron.
- Mal: I never credited the Alliance with an overabundance of brains, and if you're the best they've got.
- The Operative: Captain Reynolds, I should tell you so you don't waste your time: you cannot make me angry.
- Inara: Please, spend an hour with him.
- Mal: Do you want to run this ship?
- Jayne: Yes!
- Mal: Well…you can't!
- Wash: I am a leaf on the wind… watch how I soar.
- River: Put a bullet to me… Bullet in the brainpan, squish.
- River: Run-tse duh shang-dee, ching dai-wuhtzo! [Chinese: "Merciful God, please take me away!"] Make them stop! They're everywhere! Every city, every… every house, every room - they're all inside me! I can hear them all and they're saying nothing! Get up! Please get up! Wuo-shang mayer, maysheen, byen shr-to… [Chinese: "I will close my ears, and my heart, and I will be a stone…"] Please, God, make me a stone…
- Jayne: [upset] She is starting to damage my calm…
- Zoë: Jayne…
- Jayne: She's right! Everybody's dead. This whole world's dead for no reason!
- [Mal and the crew watch a holographic report on the Mirandans' fate.]
- Dr. Caron: There's 30 million people here, and they just let themselves die.
- [Everyone jumps at the sound of a brutal attack in the distance.]
- Dr. Caron: I have to be quick! About a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Pax.
- Mal: This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there’s a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They’re gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.
- [A large object smashes into the front of Serenity.]
- Wash: [frantically] It's okay! I… I'm a leaf on the wind!
- Mal: What does that mean?!
- [Serenity comes to a stop after a crash landing on Mr. Universe's planet.]
- Wash: [relieved] I am a leaf on the wind. Watch—
- [A Reaver harpoon impales Wash, killing him.]
- [As the Reavers batter the entrance to the crew's final stand, Simon turns to a shaking Kaylee.]
- Simon: In all that time on the ship… I've always regretted… not being with you.
- Kaylee: With me? You mean to say, as in…sex?
- Simon: I mean to say.
- Kaylee: To Hell with this. I'm gonna live!
- The Operative: Do you know what your sin is, Mal?
- Mal: Oh hell, I'm a fan of all seven. But right now, I'm gonna have to go with wrath.
- The Operative: You've done remarkable things, but you're fighting a war you've already lost.
- Mal: Yeah, well I'm known for that.
- [Mal is loading up the last of the repair equipment.]
- The Operative: It's not over, you know.
- [Mal instinctively goes to his holster, but doesn't draw. He turns to face the Operative.]
- The Operative: I can't guarantee they won't come after you - the Parliament. Your broadwave about Miranda has weakened their regime, but they are not gone, and they are not… forgiving.
- Mal: Well, that don't bode especially well for you - giving the order to let us go, patching up our hurt…
- The Operative: I told them the Tams were no longer a threat - damage done. They might listen, but I think they know I'm no longer their man.
- Mal: They take you down, I don't expect to grieve over much. I like to kill you myself, I see you again.
- The Operative: You won't… There is nothing left to see.
- Zoë: Sir, we have a green light. Inspection's pos, and we're clear for upthrust.
- [Mal looks at his recently bereaved first mate.]
- Mal: Think she'll hold together?
- Zoë: She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true.
- Mal: It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flyin' is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I'm about to say.
- River: I do. But I like to hear you say it.
- Mal: Love. You can know all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down… tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens… makes her a home.
- River: Storm's getting worse.
- Mal: We'll pass through it soon enough.
- [As Serenity breaks atmo, a panel falls off the ship.]
- Mal: What was that?
Unknown episode 
- from "Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary"
- stuffed bun (hanyupinyin: bao)
- ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng
- frog-humping sonofabitch (hanyupinyin: qing wa cao de liu mang)
- da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la doo-tze
- the explosive diarrhea of an elephant (hanyupinyin: da xiang bao za shi de la du zi)
- crap, worthless thing; from gou-shi, dog excrement (hanyupinyin: gou shi)
- HOE-tze duh PEE-goo
- monkey's butt (hanyupinyin: hou zi de pi gu)
- hwoon dahn
- jerk, bastard, scoundrel; literally, "bastard egg" (hanyupinyin: hun dan)
- garbage (Taiwanese) (hanyupinyin: le se)
- little sister (hanyupinyin: mei mei)
- cow-sucking (hanyupinyin: xi niu)
- shiong-mung duh kwong-run
- violent lunatic (hanyupinyin: xiong meng de kung ren)
- petty, small and tedious; trivial; trifling (hanyupinyin: suo xi)
- hey; hello (hanyupinyin: wei)
- wuh duh ma huh ta duh fung-kwong duh wai-shung doh
- holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews (hanyupinyin: wo de ma he ta de fong kung de wai sheng dou)
Quotes about Firefly and Serenity 
- So I wanted to get a show that took the past and the future, and put them together by making them feel like the present…
- Joss Whedon, "Here's How It Was: The Making of Firefly", Firefly DVD set, disc 4
- And I wanted to say "Hi" to all the Firefy flans in— "flans"? I wanted to say "Hi" to all you Firefy flans out there. You flans are the best flans a… actor could ever hope for. Keep being a good flan!
- So here's what I have to say about Serenity: This is the kind of movie that I have always intended Ender's Game to be (though the plots are not at all similar). And this is as good a movie as I always hoped Ender's Game would be. And I'll tell you this right now: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made. I'd rather just watch Serenity again.
- Nathan Fillion — Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds
- Morena Baccarin — Inara Serra
- Adam Baldwin — Jayne Cobb
- Ron Glass — Shepherd Book
- Summer Glau — River Tam
- Sean Maher — Simon Tam
- Jewel Staite — Kaywinnit Lee "Kaylee" Frye
- Gina Torres — Zoë Alleyne Washburne
- Alan Tudyk — Hoban "Wash" Washburne