Firefly (TV series)

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We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

Firefly (2002–2003) is a science-fiction television series, written by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear, about the 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 generally peaceful but authoritarian 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.

See also:
Serenity (film)

The Ballad of Serenity

Let's just... enjoy ourselves.
Have no place
I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me.
"The Ballad of Serenity" (Theme song) written by Joss Whedon
  • Take my love
    Take my land
    Take me where I cannot stand
    I don't care
    I'm still free
    You can't take the sky from me.
  • Take me out
    To the black
    Tell them I ain't coming back
    Burn the land
    And boil the sea
    You can't take the sky from me.
  • There's no place
    I can be
    Since I found Serenity
    But you can't take the sky from me.

Serenity (pilot) Bushwhacked Our Mrs. Reynolds Ariel The Message
Shindig Jaynestown War Stories Heart of Gold
The Train Job Safe Out of Gas Trash Objects in Space
Serenity (comic) Serenity (film) Chinese translations
Quotes about Firefly and Serenity Cast See also References
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.
Physical appearance doesn't matter so terribly. You look for compatibility of spirit. There's an energy about a person that's difficult to hide.You try to feel that —
You have a strange sense of nobility, Captain. You'll lay a man out for implying I'm a whore, but you keep calling me one to my face.
Sure. I got a secret. More'n one. Don't seem like I'd tell 'em to you, now, do it?.
Mal: We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

Bendis: We're gonna die.
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. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw!

[Wash is at his station on the bridge, 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]: Ah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Wash [as Allosaurus]: Ha ha ha! Mine is an evil laugh! Now DIE!
Wash [as Stegosaurus]: Oh no, God, oh dear God in heaven...

Wash: Kaylee! Go to blackout! We're being buzzed!
Kaylee: Shi [Meaning affirmative]. Going dark.
[She climbs on top of the engine and flicks a switch, causing everything to go dark]
Kaylee: Okay, now I can't get down.

Book: He's not wildly interested in ingratiating himself with anyone, yet he's very protective of his crew. It's odd.
Inara: Why are you so fascinated by him?
Book: Because he's something of a mystery. Why are you?
Inara: [looks taken aback, then smiles] Because so few men are.

Zoe: I know something ain't right.
Wash: Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail.

Zoe: Sir, we don't want to deal with Patience again.
Mal: Why not?
Zoe: She shot you.
Mal: Well, yeah, she did a bit.
. . .
Mal: Did you send word to Patience?
Wash: Yeah, ain't heard back yet. Didn't she shoot you one time?
Mal: Everyone's makin' a fuss!

Mal: I believe that woman's plannin' to shoot me again.
Jayne: Here's a little concept I've been working on. Why don't we shoot her first?
Wash: It is her turn.

[Shepherd Book is checking the port for a ship, and meets Kaylee sitting on a lawn chair outside Serenity]
Kaylee: You're gonna come with us.
Book: Excuse me?
Kaylee: You like ships. You don't seem to be lookin' at the destinations. What you care about is the ships, and mine's the nicest.
Book: She don't look like much.
Kaylee: Oh, she'll fool ya. You ever sailed in a Firefly?

Mal: You will keep a civil tongue in that mouth or I will sew it shut. Is there an understanding between us?
Jayne: You don't pay me to talk pretty. Just because Kaylee gets lubed up over some big-city dandy —
Mal: Walk away from this table, right now.
[Jayne exits, reluctantly]
Simon: What do you pay him for?
Mal: What?
Simon: I was curious... what is his job on this ship?
Mal: ... Public relations.

[The crew waits quietly as a Reaver ship passes.]
Simon: What happens if they board us?
Zoe: If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky? They'll do it in that order.

[Dobson is tied up in his room]
Mal: I got to know how close the Alliance is, exactly how much you told them 'fore Wash scrambled your call. So I've given Jayne here the job of finding out.
Jayne: [draws a huge knife] He was non-specific as to how.
. . .
Mal: [to Jayne] Now, you've only got to scare him.
Jayne: Pain is scary.

Jayne: [over radio] Testing. Testing, Cap'n, can you hear me?
Mal: [Standing next to Jayne] I'm standing right here.
Jayne: You're coming through good and loud.
Mal: 'Cause I'm standing right here.

Zoe: Don't think it's a good spot sir. She still has the advantage over us.
Mal: Everyone usually does. That's what makes us special.

[After Wash executes a brilliant escape from the Reavers using the "Crazy Ivan", Zoe turns to Mal.]
Zoe: Sir? I'd like you to take the helm, please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off.
[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. I believe... I just... I think I'm on the wrong ship.
Inara: Maybe. Or maybe you're exactly where you ought to be.

Mal: But he did try to make a deal with you, right?
Jayne: [guilty look on his face, looking at Mal]
Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?
Jayne: [smiling] Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: Well, that'll be an interesting day.
Mal: I imagine it will.

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.
Lund: You know, your coat is kinda a brownish color...
Mal: It was on sale. [Calmly sips his drink]
Lund: You didn't toast. You know, I'm thinkin' you one of 'em In'e'pen'ents.
Mal: And I'm thinkin' you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling. So why don't we just ignore each other until we go away?
Lund: The In'e'pen'ents were a bunch of cowardly, inbred piss-pots. Should've been killed off of every world spinnin'.
Mal: [Turns] Say that to my face.
Lund: I said you're a coward and a piss-pot. Now what are you gonna do about it?
Mal: [Smiling] Nothing. I just wanted you to face me so she could get behind you.
[Lund turns, and Zoe knocks him out with the butt of her rifle]
Mal: Drunks are so cute.

Wash: [Over intercom to Lund and other Alliance supporters] Every man there go back inside, or we will blow a new crater in this little moon.

Mal: [To Shepherd Book] Shouldn't you be off bringing religiosity to the fuzzy-wuzzies or some such?
Book: Oh, I've got heathens aplenty right here.

[Inara is brushing Kaylee's hair and explaining how Companions choose their clients]
Inara: Physical appearance doesn't matter so terribly. You look for compatibility of spirit. There's an energy about a person that's difficult to hide.You try to feel that —
Mal: [Entering Inara's shuttle] And then you try to feel the energy of their credit account, it has a sort of...aura...
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 is goin' on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?

Mal: I'm not sure you'd be safe.
Inara: Mal, if you're being a gentleman, I may die of shock.
Mal: Hm. [Bows and leaves, then reenters] Have you got time to do my hair?
Inara: [Sternly] Out.

Zoe: Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.

[Mal is insisting on continuing the job, despite the train car full of Alliance soldiers]
Mal: Hell, this job I would pull for free.
Zoe: Then can I have your share?
Mal: No!
Zoe: If you die can I have your share?
Mal: Yes.

[Jayne is demanding that Wash take off for the delivery without Mal and Zoe.]
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! Now we're finishing this deal, and then maybe, maybe we'll come back for those morons... got themselves caught... and you can't change that by getting all... bendy.
Wash: All what?
Jayne: You got the light... from the console to keep you... lifting you up... they shine like... [Starts grabbing at the air] little angels...
[Jayne falls flat on the floor.]
Wash: Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?
Simon: I told him to sit down.

[Jayne, still sprawled on the staircase, shoots Crow in the lower leg before he can stab Mal]
Mal: Nice shot.
Jayne: [Slurred] I was aimin' for his head.

[Sheriff Bourne has caught Mal returning stolen medicine to a plague-stricken town]
Sheriff Bourne: You were truthful back in town. These are tough times. A man can get a job, he might not look too close at what that job is. But a man learns all the details of a situation like ours... well... then he has a choice.
Mal: I don't believe he does.

[A tied-up Crow is made to kneel outside Serenity as it prepares to lift off]
Mal: Now this is all the money Niska gave us in advance. You give it back to him, tell him the job didn't work out. We're not thieves... well, we are thieves, but the point is we're not taking what's his. We'll stay out of his way as best we can from here on in. You'll explain that's best for everyone, okay?
Crow: [Stands up] 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. [Kicks Crow into Serenity's engine intake]
[Cut to another henchman being placed before Mal]
Mal: Now this is all the money Niska gave us in advance—
Henchman: Oh, I get it! I'm good. Best thing for everybody. [Desperate grin] I'm right there with you.
[Jayne's attacker, a malnourished settler, has been apprehended]
Simon: Oh yes, he's a real beast. [looks at Jayne] 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.

[Commander Harken questions the crew.]
Harken: You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?
Zoe: Fought with a lot of people in the war.
Harken: And your husband?
Zoe: Fight with him sometimes, too.
Harken: Is there any particular reason you don't wish to discuss your marriage?
Zoe: Don't see that it's any of your business, is all. We're very private people.
[Cut to Zoe's husband Wash.]
Wash: The legs! [laughs] Oh yeah, 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?

Mal: That poor bastard you took off my ship. He looked right into the face of it—was made to stare.
Harken: "It"?
Mal: That 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.

(The crew is playing a game similar to basket ball when an alarm goes off)
Zoe: Proximity alert. We must be comin' up on something.
Wash: Oh my god. What can it be? We're all doomed! Who's flying this thing?! (pause) Oh, right, that would be me. Back to work. (hands ball to Mal and leaves)
Kaylee: So I guess it makes us one man short.
Jayne: Yeah, little Kaylee's always one man short. (Kaylee punches him) Ow! Hey!

(the crew is in the cockpit, speculating on an apparently abandoned passenger ship after they ran down a body ejected from said craft)
Jayne: Tell you what I think. I figure that fellow we run into did everyone on board. Killed 'em all. Then he decided to take a swim, see how fast his blood would boil out his ears.
Wash: You're a very up person.
Mal: We'll check it out, see if there are any survivors. And if not, well, then, no one's gonna mind if we take a look around, see if there's not something of value they might've left behind.
Jayne: Yeah, no, uh, someone could be hurt!
[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 reveals he has stolen a large sum of money from one of the men, a slave trader]
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.

Zoe: 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, 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.

Kaylee: Look at the fluffy one!
Zoe: Too much foofaraw. If I'm gonna wear a dress, I want something with some slink.
Wash: You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?
[Zoe laughs.]
Jayne: I'll chip in.
[Zoe turns to Jayne, still laughing.]
Zoe: I can hurt you.

[Badger "invites" Mal and Jayne to a palaver.]
Badger: Course you couldn't buy an invite with a diamond the size of a testicle. I've got my hands on a couple.
[Mal and Jayne grin.]
Badger: Of invites!

Badger: You think you're better than other people!
Mal: Just the ones I'm better than.

Mal: Does, uh... does this seem kind of tight?
Kaylee: Shows off your backside. Did you see the chandelier? It's hovering.
Mal: What's the point of that, I wonder?
Kaylee: Oh, mangos!
Mal: I mean, I see how they did it. I just ain't getting why.
Kaylee: These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I! How 'bout that? [grins]
Mal: Yeah, well just be careful. We cheated Badger out of good money to buy that frippery and you're supposed to make me look respectable.
Kaylee: Yes, sir, Cap'n Tightpants.

Mal: Okay, help me find our man. He's supposed to be older, kind of stocky, wears a red sash crossways.
Kaylee: [seeing a large bowl of strawberries being carried past her] [absently] Why does he do that?
Mal: Maybe he won first place in the Miss Persephone pageant; just help me look.
Kaylee: [entirely focused on the bowl] Is that him?
Mal: That's the buffet table.
Kaylee: Well, how can we be sure, u-unless we question it? [grins]
Mal: Fine. Don't make yourself sick.

[After love-making, Zoe just wants to sleep.]
Wash: Don't fall asleep now. Sleepiness is weakness of character, ask anyone.
Zoe: It is not!
Wash: You're acting Captain. You know what happens, you fall asleep?
Zoe: Jayne slits my throat and takes over?
Wash: That's right.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: 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 Zoe, my autumn flower... somewhat less attractive now that she's all corpsified and gross—" [Zoe hits him with a pillow]

[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.

Kaylee: Don't you just love this party? Everything's so fancy and they have some kind of hot cheese over there!
Cabott: It's not as good as last year.
Kaylee: Oh really? What's they have last year?
Cabott: Standards.

Mal: And I never back down from a fight.
Inara: Yes, you do! You do all the time!
Mal: Well... yeah, but I'm not backing down from this one!

Inara: You don't need strength as much as speed. We're fragile creatures. It takes less than a pound of pressure to cut skin.
Mal: You know that? They teach you that in whore academy?
Inara: You have a strange sense of nobility, Captain. You'll lay a man out for implying I'm a whore, but you keep calling me one to my face.
Mal: I might not show respect to your job, but he didn't respect you. That's the difference. Inara, he doesn't even see you.
Inara: Well, I guess death will solve the issue to everyone's satisfaction.

[Badger notices River wandering into the cargo bay]
Badger: Who's that, then? Here, look at me. What's your story, love?
Simon: She's just a... just a passenger.
Badger: Yeah? Why ain't she talkin'? Got a secret?
Simon: No, I'm—
River: [suddenly speaking in Badger's own Cockney accent] Sure. I got a secret. More'n one. Don't seem like I'd tell 'em to you, now, do it? Anyone off Dyton colony knows better'n to talk to strangers. [pokes Badger in the chest] You're talkin' loud enough for the both of us, ain't ya? I've met a dozen like you. Skipped off home early. Minor grift jobs here and there. Spent some time in the lockdown, but less than you claim. And you're what? A petty thief with delusions o' standing? Sad little king of a sad little hill.
Badger: Nice to see someone from the old homestead.
River: Not really. [to Simon] Call me if anyone interesting shows up. [Leaves]
Badger: [grinning] I like her.

Inara: You're always breaking the rules, no matter which society you're in! You don't get along with ordinary criminals either, which is why you're constantly getting in trouble!
Mal: You think following the rules will buy you a nice life, even if the rules make you a slave.

[Mal refuses to kill the prone, humiliated Atherton.]
Sir Warrick: You have to finish it, lad. [Mal doesn't move] You have to finish it. For a man to lay beaten, yet breathing? It makes him a coward.
Inara: It's humiliation.
Mal: It would be humiliating, having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. 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.

Inara: Are you in pain?
Mal: Absolutely. I got stabbed, you know, right here. [shows bandaged wound in his side]
Inara: [squeamishly] Eh— I saw.
Mal: 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.

Mal: Don't take his offer.
Inara: What?
Mal: Don't do it. 'Cause in the case that it happens, that means he's a fella who killed me, and I don't like fellas who kill me, not in general. I said before I don't have call to stop you, and that's true. Anyways, don't.
[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: 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.
. . .
Zoe: 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 border 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"?! Serenity ain't "Luh-suh".

Mal: This is the last time. Last time with cows. Hey, there was an idea regarding beagles? They have smallish droppings?
Zoe: 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 just lie there and be ironical.

River: We're lost. Lost in the woods.

Zoe: Knew a man who had a hole clean through his whole shoulder, once. Used to keep a spare hankie in there.

[Jayne, in the process of ransacking Simon's belongings, 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."

Simon: Did you have a good time at the D'Arbanville's ball?
Gabriel Tam: What are you-?
Simon: River thought it was duller than last year. But since we don't know anyone named D'Arbanville, I'm having trouble judging.

Zoe: Cap'n'll come up with a plan.
Kaylee: Well, that's good. Right?
Zoe: Possible you're not recalling some of his previous plans.

Zoe: 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?
Zoe: "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. His eyes widen.]
Alliance Commander: Get this man to the infirmary at once.
[Mal and Zoe stare at each other.]

[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.

Doralee: It's the way of life in my findings that journeys end when and where they want to; and that's where you make your home.
Simon: This isn't our home.
Doralee: If it isn't here, where is it?

[Mal, Zoe, 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: "And they shall be among the people, and they shall speak truths and whisper secrets, and you will know them by their crafts."
Simon: What are you talking about?
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!

Gabriel Tam: Are you coming home?

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.

Book: It's good to be home.

[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 Zoe approach on foot.]
Mal: Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir.
Mal: Ain't we just? [Moves to front of crowd, covers them with shotgun.] Sorry to interrupt, folks, but y'all got something that belongs to us, and we'd like it back.
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. [But] 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: Captain, why did you come back for us?
Mal: You're on my crew.
Simon: Yeah, but you don't even like me. Why'd you come back?
Mal: You're on my crew. Why're we still talking about this?

[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."
You would... lie with me?
[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 Zoe 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: [laughs] Best keep it that way. I withdraw the question.

Mal: [aside, to Jayne, upon hearing he is married] How drunk was I last night?
Jayne: I 'unno, I passed out.
Mal: Right.

Mal: Zoe, would you get Wash?
Zoë: [on the intercom] This is Zoe. We need all personnel in the cargo bay.
Mal: "All"? I said Wash!
Zoe: 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?
Zoe: 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! Wife or no, you are no one's property to be tossed aside. You got the right same as anyone to live and try to kill people.

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: Preacher, you got a smutty mind!
Book: Perhaps I spoke out of turn.
Mal: Per-maybe-haps, I'm thinking!
Book: I apologize. I'll make her up a room in passenger dorm.
Mal: Good!
Book: [walking away, pauses and looks back at Mal] The special hell.

[Wash and Zoe 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 Zoe] But everything's laid out if you'd like to cook for your husband.
[Wash turns to Zoe, who gives him a look.]
Wash: [nervously] Z— heh-heh... Isn't she quaint? I'm just not hungry.
Zoe: 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?
[Zoe glares at Wash.]
Wash: ...Quaint!
Zoe: Remember that sex we were planning to have, ever again?

Mal: I would appreciate it if one person on this boat would not assume I'm an evil, lecherous hump.
Zoe: No one's saying that, sir.
Wash: Yeah, we're pretty much just giving each other significant glances and laughing incessantly.

[Wash and Zoe 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: Six men came to kill me one time. The best of 'em carried this. 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: Jayne, go play with your rainstick.

[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: of what's morally right.
Saffron: I do know my Bible, sir. [Recites a fictional bible verse] "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 fall, and rest him then upon the sweat of her breast."
[Cut to Mal, who is openly staring now.]
Mal: Whoa. Good Bible.
. . .
Mal:'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.

Mal: [After kissing Saffron he begins rubbing his mouth] Son of a... [falls over unconscious]

Inara: [After kissing Mal when she discovers he is not dead. She begins rubbing her mouth in a similar way] Oh you stupid son of a... [she also falls over unconscious]

[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 ecstasy, she puffed up her cheeks and blew out the sky.
Wash: Whoa. Good myth.
. . .
Saffron: Make this night what it should be. Please? 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!

[Saffron, after knocking Mal and Wash out, tries to seduce Inara as well. The latter seems to be buying it.]
Inara: Come to my shuttle.
Saffron: You would... lie with me?
[The alarm begins to sound.]
Inara: ...I think we've lied enough.
Saffron: You're good.
Inara: You're amazing. Who are you?
Saffron: [sneers arrogantly] Malcolm Reynolds' widow.
[The two begin to fight.]

[Simon describes how Saffron's lip-delivered drug is well-known to doctors.]
Simon: They called it the "good-night" kiss.
Zoe: So you two were kissin'?
Book: Well, isn't that... special [Referring to the "special hell" he threatend Mal with when he would take sexual advantage of "Saffron"]?

Zoe: 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.
Zoe: 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.
(Mal has kissed Kaylee on the head)
Wash: Captain, don't you know kissin' girls makes you sleepy?
Mal: Sometimes, I just can't help myself.

(Mal bursts in on Saffron, gun drawn)
Mal: Honey, I'm home.
(Saffron tries to grab the gun away, but Mal wrestles her onto the bed.)
Mal: Looks like you get that wedding night after all.
(Saffron fights back harder and they end up on the floor.)
Mal: It's the first time, darlin', I think you should be gentle with me.
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.
Mal: Why the act? All the seduction games, the dancin' around folk, there has to be an easier way to steal.
Saffron: You're assuming the point is the paycheck.
Mal: I'm not assuming anything at this point.
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.
Mal: You've got all kinds o' learnin' and you made me look the fool without even trying, yet here I am, with a gun to your head. That's 'cause I got people with me. People who trust each other, who do for each other, and ain't always lookin' for the advantage.
Saffron: Promise me you're gonna kill me soon.
Mal: (gets off her) Oh, you already know I ain't gonna.
Saffron: (sits up) You know, you did pretty well. Most men, they're on me inside of ten minutes. Not trying to teach me to be strong and the like.
Mal: I got one question for you, just one thing I'd like to know, straight up.
Saffron: Ask me.
Mal: What's your real name?
(Saffron stares at him, then opens her mouth to answer, he pistol-whips her unconscious)
Mal: You'd only lie to me anyhow.

Mal: You're a very graceful woman, Inara.
Inara: [surprised] I... thank you
Mal: So here's where I'm fuzzy. You got by that girl, came and found me, and somehow you happen to just trip and fall.
Inara: What do you mean?
Mal: Come on, Inara. How's about we don't play. You didn't just trip, did you?
Inara: No.
[You will remember that Inara kissed Mal while he was unconscious and that was why she passed out]
Mal: Well, isn't that something.
(Mal smiles)
Mal: I knew you let her kiss you.
(Mal leaves, whistling, while Inara just stares)
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.
[Kaylee has expressed her belief that Simon doesn't swear]
Simon: I swear... when it's appropriate.
Kaylee: Simon, the whole point of swearing is that it ain't appropriate.

[Companion Inara leaves for an appointment.]
Kaylee: Bye now. Have good sex.
[Simon looks aghast at Kaylee.]
Kaylee: What?

[Jayne is in the infirmary, which is in total disarray, taping a gun to his midriff]
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.
Simon: My God. You're like a trained ape... without the training!

Mal: Jayne, I told you we were settin' down on the Canton factory settlement on Higgins' Moon?
Jayne: Yep, that ya did.
Mal: Canton don't allow guns in their town.
Jayne: Yes sir, s'why I ain't strappin' one to my hip.
Mal: No, that's why you ain't strappin' one anywhere.
Jayne: Oh, listen Mal, I was in Canton a few years back. Might've made me a few enemies thereabouts.
Simon: [sarcastically] Enemies? You? No, how can it be?

Simon: Canton really... stinks.
Mal: That's what makes it such a good drop point. No one comes through here that doesn't have to.
Wash: I vote we do this job really really fast.

Mal: The management here don't take too kindly to sightseers, [which is] why we're posin' as buyers. There ain't-a one of us looks the part more than the good doctor. I mean, the pretty fits, soft hands, definitely a moneyed individual. All rich and lily-white, pasty all over—
Simon: All right! Fine, I'll go. Just... stop describing me.
Mal: You're the boss, boss.
Jayne: He's the boss now? [sarcastically] This day just keeps gettin' better and better.

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.]
Simon: Son of a bitch!
. . .
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 lotta 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, 'cept I'm looking at some fair compellin' evidence says they do.
[Simon is just staring at the statue]
Simon: This must be what going mad feels like.

Wash: I think they captured him, though. Captured his essence.
Kaylee: He looks sorta angry, don't he?
Wash: That's kinda what I meant.

Jayne: Hey, I got an idea. 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 'creasingly eerie-ass day, how's that?
Mal: I don't know. This here's a spectacle that might warrant a moment's consideration.
Kaylee: [shifting back and forth] Wherever I move to, his eyes keep... followin' me.

Inara: Magistrate Higgins, I may presume.
Higgins: You may. But I only make the people I own use my title. Mister Higgins will do fine.

[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: Can't be a statue of me, no reason for it. Flies in the face of every kinda sense.
Wash: Won't argue with that. [Drinks, then spits it out] Je shr shuh muh lan dong shi?!
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.

Mudder: [singing] He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor / Stood up to the man and he gave him what-for / Our love for him now ain't hard to explain / The Hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne!

[Sitting in a bar, listening to "The Ballad of Jayne Cobb" being sung]
Mal: Uh, Jayne?
Jayne: Yeah, Mal?
Mal: You got any light you'd like to shed on this particular development?
Jayne: No, Mal.
. . .
Simon: No. This must be what going mad feels like.
. . .
Wash: We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a 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.

[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! Living legend needs eggs!

[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?
Zoe: Hell, yes, preacher. If I didn't have stuff to get done, I'd be in there with her.
. . .
Zoe: 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.

[Jayne learns what extent the mudders went to show their devotion to Jayne]
Jayne: [overcome by emotion] You guys had a riot... on account of me? My very own riot?

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!

[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?

Jayne: [Addressing the collected Mudders] 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... of showing respect.
Kaylee: So, when... we made love last night—
Simon: When we what?!
[Kaylee grins.]
Kaylee: You really are such an easy mark.

Jayne: Hell, there weren't a-one of them understood what happened out there; they're... probably stickin' that statue right back up.
Mal: Most like.
Jayne: I don't know why that eats at me so.
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.
No matter how long the arm of the Alliance might get, we'll just get ourselves a little further.
If it's Alliance trouble you got, you might want to consider another ship. Some on board here fought for the Independents.
[Flashback to Mal trying to sell Zoe on the worthiness of his new ship.]
Zoe: You paid money for this, sir? On purpose?
Mal: Whoa! Come on, seriously, Zoe. What d' you think?
Zoe: Honestly, sir, I think you got robbed
Mal: Robbed? What? What d' you mean?
Zoe: It's a piece of fay-yoo.
Mal: Fay-yoo? Ah... ah... OK, she won't be winning any beauty contests anytime soon, but she is solid. Ship like this, be with you till the day you die.
Zoe: Because it's a death trap.
Mal: That's not- You are very much lacking in imagination!
Zoe: I imagine that's so, sir.
. . .
Mal: Try to see past what she is, and on to what she can be.
Zoe: What's that, sir?
Mal: Freedom, is what.
Zoe: [pointing] I meant, what's that?
Mal: Oh. Yeah, just step around that. I think somethin' must've been livin' in here.

Mal: Tell you, Zoe, we get a mechanic, get her up and runnin' again, hire a good pilot, maybe a cook. Live like real people. Small crew, them as feel the need to be free, take jobs as they come. Ain't never have to be under the heel of nobody ever again. No matter how long the arm of the Alliance might get, we'll just get ourselves a little further.
Zoe: Get her running again?
Mal: Yeah.
Zoe: So not running now?
Mal: Not so much.

[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.
. . .
[Simon is unable to quickly convey a funny story about being a doctor]
Jayne: [interrupting] Now, Inara - she's gotta have some funny whorin' stories, I'd wager.
Inara: [laughing] Do I ever! Funny and sexy. [laughs] You have no idea... [suddenly serious] and you never will.
. . .
[The crew surprises Simon with a birthday cake.]
Simon: How did… how'd 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.
. . .
Kaylee: Hope you like it. Couldn't get ahold of no flour, so it's mostly protein. In fact, it's pretty much what we just had for dinner. [everyone laughs] But I tried to make the frosting as chocolate-y tasting as possible, so.
Simon: Thank you. I'm really, I'm, um, very, very deeply moved. Thank you.
Jayne: Well... deeply move yourself to blow out them candles so we can try a slice.

[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: 'Kay, 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: Couple of hours, maybe. We'll start to feel it… 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: Don't be afraid. That's what it says. Don't be afraid.
Book: Yes.
River: But you are afraid.
Book: Yes.
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 a little snippy.
. . .
[The conversation escalates to a shouting match.]
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: Give the beacon a boost, wouldn't it?
Wash: Yes, Mal! 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!
Mal: Maybe you should!
Wash: Ok!
Mal: Good!
Wash: Fine!
[Jayne walks in on Mal and Wash arguing.]
Jayne: Hey! [they both turn] [What the] guay you two think you're doin'? Fightin' at a time like this. [pause] [You'll] use up all the air.

[Flashback to Serenity's' early days, with a mechanic named Bester, whom Mal catches in flagrante delicto.]
Mal: Bester - 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 her in the sky.
Kaylee: You offerin' me a job?
Bester: W-w-w—what?
Mal: Believe I just did.
Kaylee: [grins] I just gotta ask my folks. [starts to leave, turns back] Don't leave without me! [runs off]
Bester: Mal! What do you need two mechanics for?
Mal: [Turning and leaving the engine bay] I really don't.

Kaylee: Sometimes a thing gets broke, can't be fixed.

[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 that did.
Inara: [smiling] Oh, one further addendum. That's the last time you get to call me "whore".
Mal: Absolutely. Never again.

[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 Mal's years-earlier encounter with three bandits, one of whom is Jayne.]
Marco: Reason? He's gonna talk to us about reason now.
Jayne: Yeah, that's a joke.
Mal: Which one you figure tracked us?
Zoe: The ugly one, sir.
Mal: [nods, pauses] Could you be more specific?
Marco: Do we look reasonable to you?
Mal: Well, looks can be deceiving.
Jayne: Not as deceiving as a low-down... dirty... deceiver.
[Marco laughs]
Mal: Well said. Wasn't that well said, Zoe?
Zoe: Had a kind o' poetry to it, sir.
. . .
[Figuring out it was Jayne who tracked them, Mal offers him a better cut of the goods]
Mal: Look, forget anything I said. I'm sure you're treated very well. You get the perks, got your own room.
[Jayne looks dejected]
Mal: No? You share a bunk?
Jayne: [indicates third bandit] With that one.
Mal: [smirks] Really.
Marco: Jayne, this ain't funny!
Jayne: Huh, yeah, I ain't laughing.
Mal: You move on over to this side, we'll not only show you where the stuff's at, we'll see to [it] you get your fair share. Not no sad seven [percent].
Jayne: [interest piqued] Private room?
Marco: Jayne!
Mal: Your own room. Full run of the kitchen. Whole shot.
Marco: Jayne, I ain't asking-
Jayne: [shoots Marco in the leg] Shut up. [aims at the other bandit without looking] How big a room?

[Back in the near-present day, Mal gets the drop on the treacherous captain trying to take his ship after being shot.]
Captain: You woulda done the same.
Mal: We can already see I haven't. Now get the hell off my ship.

[Back in the present day, with Serenity fixed, Mal finds himself dazed in the company of his crew and passengers.]
Zoe: Welcome back, sir.
Mal: I go someplace?
Shepherd Book: Very nearly.
Inara: We thought we lost you.
Mal: No, I've been right here.
Mal: Wash, you okay?
Wash: [a little buzzed from giving blood] Yeah, Mal, I'm fine.
Mal: You got a thing in your arm.
Wash: [smiling] Yeah.
Simon: Try not to speak. You're heavily medicated and you lost a lot of blood.
[Mal groans]
. . .
Simon: All right, I have to insist the Captain needs to rest.
Mal: Yeah. Think the doc might not be wrong about that one. Just gonna need a few.... [trails off as he closes his eyes]
[Mal then jerks himself awake.]
Mal: Y'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: Yep. Real beauty, ain't she? Yes, sir. Right smart purchase, this vessel.
[The rocket-shaped vessel that the salesman is trying to sell Mal comes into view.]
Salesman: I 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, soon 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.]
Simon: River you have to eat. It's good. It tastes like—
[Takes bite of food.]
Simon: It's good.
Jayne: It smells like crotch.
Kaylee: Jayne!
Jayne: Well, it does.

Wash: [to Inara] Could you please tell my wife the fun she's missing out on?
Inara: Ariel's quite a nice place, actually. There are some beautiful museums, not to mention some of the finest restaurants in the core.
Wash: But... not boring, like she made it sound.

Mal: No one is setting foot on that fancy rock. I don't want anyone leaving the ship. Come to think of it, I don't want anyone looking out the windows or talking aloud.
Jayne: What's the point of coming to the core if I can't even step off the boat?
Mal: You could have got off with Shepherd Book at the Bathgate Abbey. Could've been meditating on the wonders of your rock garden by now.
Jayne: Well, it beats just sittin'.
Wash: It is just sitting.

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?
[Jayne spits again.]
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...
Zoe: Res—
Mal: Resuscitate them!
. . .
Simon: Which methods did you use?
Zoe: We— we tried pulmonary stimulators, and— and cardiac... we...
Simon: Infusers.
Zoe: Infusers!
. . .
Simon: What about cortical electrodes?
Jayne: Oh! [long pause] We forget 'em.
Simon: Let's try that again.
. . .
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. Zoe 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, Zoe lowers defibrillator paddles.]
Zoe: 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 okay— it's, it's over. We're leaving.
[River looks straight at Jayne.]
River: Your toes are in the sand.
Jayne: And your head's up your—
Simon: Hey! Back off.

[Mal and Zoe wheel out the medicine-laden containers.]
Wash: How much did we get?
Mal: Enough to keep us flying.
Zoe: Can we fly somewhere with a beach?
Wash: Maybe a naked beach?
[Wash and Zoe go into a passionate embrace.]
Mal: Cut it out! The job's not done till we're back on Serenity.
Zoe: 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: Still... I appreciate you trying.
Jayne: You know what I'd appreciate? You stop flapping that pretty mouth at me. I'm trying to figure a way out of here. I can't do it with you yammerin'.
River: They took Christmas away.
Jayne: What the hell now?
River: I came downstairs for the shiny presents. They took the tree and the stockings. Nothing left but coal.
Jayne: [to Simon] Would you shut her up?
River: Don't look in the closet either. It's greedy. It's not in the spirit of the holiday.
Jayne: You shut the hell up right now, or so help me, I will shut you up.
[River looks at Jayne with disbelief and disappointment.]

[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 stun 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' Zoe are off springing the others got snatched by the Feds!

[Mal has Jayne locked in the cargo bay airlock, with the door open to the dwindling atmosphere.]
Mal: You know, I hear tell they used to keelhaul traitors back in the day. I don't have a keel to haul you on, so...
. . .
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. [Pause.] You did it to me, Jayne. And that's a fact.
. . .
[Resigned to his fate, Jayne calls Mal on the comm-link 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.
[Mal walks away.]
Jayne: Can I come in?

[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. [holds River's hand gently.] It's time to wake up.
[Book quotes warrior-poet and dictator Xiang 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 near a volcano?
Book: I expect he was being poetical.
Simon: Sadistic crap legitimized by florid prose. Tell me you're not a fan.
Book: I'm just wondering if they were. The people who did this to your sister.
Simon: The government did this to her.
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 moon-lighting 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.

[River and Kaylee are running recklessly through the cargo bay. Inara and Mal are conversing on the stairs.]
Mal: Ah, the pitter-patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots... [to River and Kaylee] SHUT UP!
Mal: [to Kaylee and River] One of you is gonna fall and die, and I'm not cleaning it up!

[Kaylee chases River into the kitchen area and takes back the apple. She holds it up to the others in the kitchen triumphantly.]
Kaylee: [panting] No power in the 'verse... can stop me!
[Zoe and Wash are back at the table, eating apples and chuckling at Kaylee and River.]
Zoe: [holding up an apple to Wash, before cutting it with her knife] These really are the genuine article. I could get used to being rich.
Wash: It's Jayne being so generous with his cut that confuses and frightens me.
Zoe: It does kind of freeze the blood.
Kaylee: Zoe, how come you always cut your apples?
Wash: [to Zoe] You do?
Kaylee: [to Wash] Her and Cap'n both. Whenever we get fresh fruit, they never just munch on 'em.
Zoe: [pauses, then replies to Kaylee] You know what a griswald is?
Jayne: [just walking in] It's a grenade.
Zoe: About the size of a battery, responds to pressure. Our platoon was stuck in a trench outside of New Casmir during the winter campaign. More than a week, completely cut off, and the Alliance entrenched not ten yards away. We even got to talkin' to 'em, yelling across insults and jokes and such, 'cause [there was] no ammo to speak of, no orders, so what're you gonna do? We mentioned that we were out of rations and ten minutes later, a bunch of apples rained into the trench.
Wash: [hurriedly to Kaylee] And they grew into a big tree, and they all climbed up the tree to a magical land with unicorns and a harp.
(Jayne flicks his knife open and stabs it into a nearby apple, causing Wash to jump)
Kaylee: Blew off their heads, huh?
Zoe: Cap'n said wait, but they were so hungry...Don't make much noise, just little pops and there's three guys that kinda just...end at the rib cage.
Wash: But these apples are healthsome, and good.
Jayne: Yeah, grenades cost extra.
Mal: [walks into the kitchen and picks up an apple] We are about 20,000 miles from our last drop, people, then we can take a break and start thinking about spending some of this money.
(River sits nearby, her cheer gone, looking nauseous- none of the other crew members notice, and they cheer at the Captain's announcement..)
Wash: [whispering to Zoe] Could have made a little more.
Mal: [replying at normal level to Wash, despite his whispers] That wasn't a bad idea, Wash, but...eliminating the middle man, never as simple as it sounds.
Wash: [Looks at Zoe, who looks away] You heard about my —
Mal: About 50% of the human race is middlemen and they don't take kindly to being eliminated. This quadrant...we play nice. Got enemies enough as it is.

[Serenity lands in the desert. Wash and Zoe are in the control room.]
Wash: So...when you said that you didn't get a chance to tell the captain my idea...what you actually meant was, you told him my idea, he rejected it out of hand, and you didn't argue the point, or, even give it another thought-
Zoe: I gave, honey- I, I-
Wash: And then came the lying to me about it, which for me is sort of the highlight of this little adventure.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: I didn't want to upset you.
Wash: What did you think of it?
Zoe: Of what?
Wash: Of my idea! Call the local M.D.'s- forget the fed's, let's go straight to the source. Better prices, and we know the drugs get to the right people.
Zoe: Captain thinks it will get back to someone- it'd just cause trouble!
Wash: [interrupts with muttered curses in Chinese, and slams his hand down on his controls] Was I ever not asking what the captain thought!! [Gets up and almost walks out.]
Zoe: Well, I tend to agree with him.
Wash: Tend to or have to? I love the fact that you two are old army buddies, and you got wacky stories with rib cages in them, but could you have an opinion of your own, please?
Zoe: [glaring at Wash] You're losing the higher ground here, sweetcakes.
Wash: I'm sure you and Mal will take that hill and fortify it with the-
Zoe: [now raising voice] I thought your plan was too risky. I thought.
Wash: Then tell me. I am a large, semi-muscular man. I can take it. Don't hide behind Mal 'cause you know he'll shoot it down for you. Tell me.
Zoe: Right. 'Cause what this marriage needs is one more shouting match!
Wash: No, what this marriage needs is one less husband. [There is a pause between the two. Zoe looks taken aback. Wash's voice breaks when he speaks again.] Right now it's kinda crowded.

[Simon enters his and River's room, where River is laying down, looking ill.]
Simon: Whoa. Mei-mei. How you doin'?
River: I threw up.
Simon: Mmm...I'm sorry, it's a side effect. We just have to find the right treatment for you. How do you feel now?
River: Going. Going back, like apple bits, coming back up. [shakes head] Chaos.
Simon: But you felt okay this morning?
River: [smiles wanly] Played with Kaylee. The sun came out, and… I walked on my feet, and… heard with my ears. I ate the bits. The bits did stay down. And I work. I...function like I'm a girl. [sobs] I hate it because I know it'll go away! [sobs] The sun grows dark, and chaos is come again. [sobs] Bits… fluids! [sniffs] What am I?
Simon: Shh-shh...:[Simon hugs River reassuringly.] You...are my beautiful sister.
River: I... I threw up on your bed.
Simon: [Simon winces, then smiles.] Yup. Definitely my sister. [River smiles and chuckles while still crying into Simon's shoulder.]

[Book, Kaylee and Jayne sit in the common area, spying on Inara and Mal, awaiting her latest client.]
Book: Didn't Inara express a wish for privacy?
Kaylee: Oh… we've gotta see who she's got. I bet he's handsome. I think he's gonna bring her flowers.
[A man walks onto Serenity, that seems to be Inara's latest client.]
Kaylee: Oh— there he is!
Mal: Well, he looks the respectable sort. Welcome aboard. I'm Captain Malcolm Rey—
[The man ignores Mal's outstretched hand and walks by him as Mal looks questioningly at his unshaken hand.]
Bodyguard: We're all clear here, councilor.
[The councilor, Inara's client, walks in and is revealed to be a woman. Mal stands by as they walk upstairs, mouth agape.]
[Jayne, Kaylee, and Book are clearly shocked, especially Jayne, who stares confoundedly at the two retreating women.]
Book: Ohh, my.
Kaylee: Oh, gosh, I-I knew she took female clients, I just, uh- [laughs] They look so glamorous together.
Jayne:...I'll be in my bunk.

[Mal and Zoe are in the empty shuttle, preparing to leave.]
Mal: Lucrative as this stuff is, I'll be glad to see the last of it. [loading the stolen medical supplies] Kind of makes us a target for—
Zoe: [checking controls and dials] Was River in here messing around? The ignition sequence is all turned about, I can't even—
Wash: [entering] I can.
Mal: Well, get it set, would you, Wash? We gotta get moving.
Wash: Here's a funny twist. No.
Mal: No, what?
Wash: No, sir.
Zoe: You changed the sequence?
Wash: Didn't want you taking off without me. In fact, didn't want you taking off at all. Thought I might take this run instead— me and the captain.
Mal: The captain who's standing right here, telling you that's not going to happen?
Wash: Well, it's a dangerous mission sir. [looking at Zoe] 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 [chuckling], um... I'm lost. Uh... I'm angry. And, I'm armed. So, if you two have something that you need to work out—
Zoe: It's all right, sir. We've dealt with Bash before. Shouldn't be a problem. [stands to leave] And I wouldn't mind sitting this one out. [stares down Wash]
Mal: Oh, this is a fine [mutters in Chinese] but I don't have time to unwind it. Wash [nodding at Wash, clearly annoyed] get her started. Zoe, ship is yours.
[Zoe leaves.]
Wash: Bye, hon. [sarcastic] We promise not to stop for beers with the fellas! [Turning to Mal,] So... are we gonna sing army songs or something?
[The shuttle takes off.]

[Asian style music plays as Inara massages her client's back.]
Councilor: Oh— that feels amazing. [Inara smiles] Oh, right there. Oh, that's perfect. I should have done this weeks ago.
Inara: [chuckling] Well, I wouldn't have been here weeks ago.
Councilor: That would have been a shame.
Inara: For me as well. You have such beautiful skin.
Councilor: [looking up at Inara] There's no need for the show, Inara. I just need to relax with someone who's making no demands on me.
Inara: Most of my clientèle is male, do you know that?
Councilor: No.
Inara: [smiling gently.] If I choose a woman, she tends to be extraordinary in some way. [laughing] And the fact is, I occasionally have the exact same need you do. One can not always be one's self in the company of men.
Councilor: [smiling.] Never, actually.
Inara: So no show. Let's just... enjoy ourselves.
Councilor: You are so lovely.
[The councilor and Inara kiss and embrace passionately.]

[Mal and Wash are flying in the second shuttle.]
Mal: Look— this thing, with you and Zoe—
Wash: Really not looking to talk on that topic.
Mal: Hey, I let that [stupid (in Chinese)] trick of yours slide back there because this is a milk run. But when I go on a mission, I'm taking Zoe, and that's the drill. You know that. I mean, what happens if we get in a situation here?
Wash: Hey, I've been in a firefight before. [Pauses] Well, I was in a fire. [Pauses] Actually, I was fired, from a fry cook opportunity. [Pauses again.] I can handle myself.
Mal: And you understand what Zoe's job entails?
Wash: [Nodding enthusiastically] I'll learn as I go.
[After landing at the drop location, Wash carries an apparently heavy crate. ]
Wash: So now I'm learning about carrying.
(Niska's men have ambushed the drop, killing the buyers and holding Mal and Wash at gunpoint)
Wash: Now I'm learning about scary.

[Jayne and Book are working out in the cargo hold. Inara and the councilor are coming down the stairs; the two kiss, and the councilor exits the ship. Jayne leers at Inara. Inara rolls her eyes as she catches Jayne staring, and climbs the stairs back to her shuttle.]
Jayne: I'll be in my bunk.
[Zoe appears.]
Zoe: Jayne, grab your weapon.

[Wash and Mal are blindfolded in Niska's torture chamber.]
Mal: You okay?
Wash: [Panicking] I think I've been kidnapped.
Mal: Yeah.
Wash: [Pauses] Can you see where we are?
Mal: No.
Wash: Mal, what the hell is going on?
Mal: Ain't rightly sure.
Wash: But you've got some theories?
Mal: [Slightly irritated] Still working it through.
Wash: [Loudly] 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 Zoe if she were in this situation with you, would you? You would be planning, and plotting, and possibly scheming. So, whatever Zoe would do in this instance is what I wanna do. And you know why? Because no matter how ugly it gets, you two always come back. With the stories. So... I'm Zoe. 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 flight school, I was laconic. [Pause] If I'm not gonna talk, then you have to! What else?
Mal: We just gotta keep our heads.
Wash: Right. Keep our heads. That way we'll be able to, you know, keep our heads. You and Zoe have been in plenty of situations like this before, right?
Mal: Many a' time.
Wash: Many a' time, you and Zoe.
Mal: At least we know who it was took us-
Wash: Zoe and you. Together, in a tricky...[Considers this] Mal, she's my wife!
Mal: Huh?
Wash: What gives you the right to put her in a dangerous situation like this?
Mal: I didn't!
Wash: You did!
Mal: She ain't here, Wash!
Wash: No, but she would've been!
Mal: Okay.
Wash: I mean, I'm the one that she swore to love, honor, and obey.
Mal: Listen, if— [surprised] She swore to obey?
Wash: Well, no... not— [breathing heavily] But that's just my point! You, she obeys! She obeys you. There's obeying going on right under my nose!
Mal: Look, Zoe and I have a history— she trusts me.
Wash: [Annoyed] What's that supposed to mean?
Mal: Don't mean a thing, but you're making out like she blindly follows my every word; that ain't true.
Wash: Sure it is.
Mal: Not so. There's plenty orders of mine that she didn't obey.
Wash: Name one!
Mal: She married you!

[Back on the ship, Inara, Jayne, Simon, Shepherd Book, and Kaylee are anxiously awaiting Zoe's return. The door opens, and Wash and Zoe walk through.]
Book: Thank God you're safe.
Kaylee: Oh my God, what happened?
Simon: Let me take a look— how bad is it?
Wash: I'm fine. [Wash and Zoe push through the crew blocking the hallway.]
Inara: Where's Mal?
Zoe: Niska wouldn't let him go.
Inara: Is he alive?
Zoe: For now. [Zoe hands a bundle to Simon.] Take that to the infirmary— put it on ice.
Kaylee: W-w-what is that?
[Simon unwraps the handkerchief, revealing Mal's ear. Inara and Kaylee gasp and turn away.]
Simon: It's his ear.
[Shepherd mutters in Chinese. Zoe turns back to the crew.]
Zoe: We're getting him back!
Jayne: What are we gonna do, clone him?
Simon: Well it's a clean cut; with the right equipment I should be able to reattach it. [Simon looks up.] That's assuming there's a head.

[Mal is still tied to the metal post in the torture room. Blood is dripping from where his ear has been cut off, and he is grimacing as Niska's henchmen continue to torture him.]
Niska: Do you know the writings of a Xiang Yu?
Mal: [Straining in pain throughout] You starting a book club? What, you trying to torture— [Grunts in pain] trying to torture me?

[While Zoe and Wash are getting ready to assault Niska's Skyplex]
Wash: Grenades?
Zoe: Oh, yes. Thank you, dear. [Turning to Jayne] They won't be expecting it.
Jayne: Right. 'Cause they ain't insane.
. . .
[Book pulls out a rifle.]
Book: This should do.
Zoe: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killin'?
Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
. . .
[Everyone looks up at Jayne, who is suddenly on the balcony, fully armed.]
Jayne: What?
Zoe: Let's go get the cap'n.
[cuts to image of Niska and henchman looking at Mal]
Henchman:Yep, he's dead.

Zoe; Okay, people. If it moves, shoot it.
Kaylee: Unless it's the captain!
Zoe: Unless it's the captain.

[After River kills three men with single gunshots without looking, she turns to Kaylee, smiling.]
River: No power in the 'verse can stop me.

[Mal, while fighting the torturer who once revived him when his body gave out.]
Mal: Haven't you killed me enough for one day?

[Zoe, Wash, and Jayne come across Mal's struggle with his tormentor. Jayne raises his pistol, but Zoe stops him.]
Zoe: Jayne. This somethin' the Captain has to do for himself.
Mal: No! No, it's not!
Zoe: [surprised] Oh.
[They open fire, killing the torturer.]

Mal: So— I hear you all took up arms in that little piece of action back there. How you farin' with that, Doctor?
Simon: I don't know. I, uh, I never— never shot anyone before.
Book: I was there, son. I'm fair sure you haven't shot anyone… yet.

[Mal has explained Wash's desire to have the captain and Zoe sleep together to resolve "burning sexual tension".]
Mal: I know it's a... [puts Zoe's hands on his hip and shoulder] difficult mission, but you and I... [places his hands likewise on her] have to get it on.
Zoe: I understand. We have no choice. [deadpan] Take me, sir. Take me hard.
Jayne: [walking in] Well, somethin' about that is just downright unsettlin'.
(They lean in awkwardly to kiss, Wash grabs Zoe and pulls her away.)
Wash: We'll be in our bunk. (slaps Zoe's butt as they leave)
Jayne: [sniffing] Oh, hey— [smacks Mal in the chest where he was tortured] free soup.
[Mal groans in pain.]
[As the show opens, Mal is shown sitting naked on a rock, in the middle of a desert.]
Mal: Yep. That went well.

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 and tosses it away.]
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: This was all your fault, you know. I had the 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 gonna cut Monty and his crew in, but you screwed that royal.
Mal: Odd, but I don't think I'll be losing any sleep over it.
Saffron: I've got the layout, entrance codes… Believe me, this practically robs itself, sweetheart.
Mal: Bye-bye, now.

[Inara cannot find work because Mal is avoiding central planets.]
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: 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".

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?
. . .
Wash: We're in space! How'd she get here?
Mal: She hitched.
Wash: I don't recall pulling over!
. . .
Jayne: Okay. I got a question. If she's got the security codes, why don't she just walk in and grab it herself?
Saffron: [sarcastically] Good point!
. . .
Mal: Zoe? You ain't said a word. Time to weigh in.
Zoe: Take sounds ripe enough, assuming we can fence it.
Saffron: I know a guy on Persephone. Already has half dozen buyers on the bid.
Zoe: But Inara ain't wrong.
[She stands to face Saffron.]
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: Hmm. Okay.
[Zoe belts Saffron, who falls to the floor.]
Zoe: I'm in.

[Jayne is watching over Simon and River, who are talking about Saffron.]
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: [grinning] "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 holds 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, knocking him 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, 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.

[Return to the desert we saw at the beginning of the episode, with Mal sitting naked on the rock.]
Mal: Yeah. That went well.
[Inara walks up behind him.]
Inara: You call this going well?
Mal: We got the loot, didn't we?
Inara: Yes, but—
Mal: Then I call this a win. What's the problem?
Inara: Shall I start with the part where you're stranded in the middle of nowhere, or the part where you have no clothes?
[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 twelve bits! I really know how to show a girl a... disgusting time.
. . .
[Simon watches as Kaylee storms off. Zoe and Wash enter the exhibit.]
Wash: Oh my god, it's grotesque! Oh, and there's something in a jar.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: Why, is there someone you are good at talking to?
[Wash stares into the "face" of the "alien".]
Wash: [Speaking loudly, slowly, and enunciating clearly] 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 colorful 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!
. . .
[Zoe 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 Zoe quietly kills a man about to shoot a private having a meal.]
Tracey: Thanks. I didn't know you were out there.
Zoe: Sort of the point. Stealth—you may have heard of it.
Tracey: I don't think they covered that in basic.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: It does, I'm just gonna watch.
. . .
Zoe: 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 rubble.]
Mal: Whoo-hoo!
Zoe: 'Course, there're other schools of thought.

Mal: They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself.

Mal: Tracey, ain't you dead yet?
Tracey: Through no fault of my own, Sarge.
Mal: Aw... I really wanted your beans.

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.

[River to Simon after he is blown off by Kaylee.]
River: You are such a boob.

[The crew listens to Tracey's recorded message.]
Tracey: Uh, okay. Uh, recording. Hi, I guess. This is a message for Zoe, 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.

[Mal, Inara and Zoe 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.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: 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…
Zoe: 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!
Zoe: He'd 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 manages to pin Tracey to the floor, straddling him.]
Tracey: Sarge?
Mal: Yeah?
Tracey: I think I'm naked.
. . .
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?

[The crew walks onto the bridge followed by Tracey.]
Wash: I think they're about done being stalled to— ahhhh... AHHHHHHH! Mal, your dead army buddy's on the bridge.
Zoe: He ain't dead.
Wash: ...Oh...

[Mal and Wash are attempting to stall Womack, who is pursuing them.]
Womack: I'm a dangerous-minded man on a ship loaded with hurt. Now why you got me chattin' with your peons?

[Wash is flying through the canyon with debris falling onto the ship, Mal isn't flying comfortable.]
Wash: Woo! This kind of flying really wakes up a guy!
Mal: Awake helps.

[Wash is perilously flying through a narrow canyon trying to evade Womack.]
Wash: They'd have to be insane to follow us through here.
[After flying through the canyon some time, Wash looks behind them to see if they've lost Womack.]
Wash: They're not behind us any more!
[Looks up and realizes Womack is simply following them from above the canyon.]
Wash: I didn't think of that.

[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...
Zoe: find someone to carry you.
[Mal practices cocking and aiming his gun in the dining area when Inara comes up behind him.]
Inara: Hi.
Mal: BWAH!
Inara: [laughing] Sorry! Didn't mean to startle.
Mal: You didn't! I was just, uh… "BWAH!" 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: Bwah.

[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'.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: 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.
. . .
River: Who do you think is in there?

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'n 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 Rance Burgess on Mal's defensive preparations.]
Rance: Earned yourself quite a bag of silver, little kitten. But I got a… few more chores in mind before you get any.
Chari: I'm ready.
[He turns to speak to his men.]
Rance: 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.]
Rance: [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.
[Cut later to a shot of Inara crying in her room]

Kaylee: Cap'n seem a little... funny to you at breakfast this morning?
Wash: Come on, Kaylee. We all know I'm the funny one.

Book: Girls, nobody's going to die!
[Cut to Jayne.]
Jayne: There's people gonna die.

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!

[Rance is on his knees before Petaline, who holds her infant son.]
Petaline: Rance, this is Jonah. Jonah... say "hi" to your daddy.
[She shoots Rance.]
Petaline: Say "goodbye" to your daddy, Jonah.
The Alliance could have any number of uses for a psychic.
Kaylee: You couldn't possibly!
Simon: No, I wish I was lying, I just...You know, we'd all just made surgeon. That was it, we were the elite. The world was ours, you know?
Kaylee: So you had to be naked?
Simon: Naked. Yes. And, uh, on top of the statue of Hippocrates. (they laugh) Can't you just picture me?
Kaylee: What, naked? Oh, well, hmm, mmm...Let's see, I'mma have to conjure up a...yeah, that's, that's gonna be difficult...(laughs and pokes him in the cheek with her foot) So did the feds come?
Simon: There were no feds. (grins) Until I started singing.
Kaylee: Oh, no! (cracks up)
Simon: This is not--
Kaylee: What did you sing?
Simon: This is not funny. This, this is a morality tale about the evils of sake.
(they laugh, then turn and look at River)
Simon (in River's head): I would be there right now.
(back to reality, Simon and Kaylee are still laughing, having not really noticed River)
Simon: I really miss...It was, it was either that or the national anthem. I, reports vary...
Kaylee: You don't remember any of this?
Simon: I remember talking the feds out of telling my father. Or, or paying the feds out of telling my father. I get fuzzy on the aspect...
Jayne: So like, never?
Book: Well, no.
Jayne: Not ever ever?
Book: Some orders allow shepherds to marry, but I follow a narrower path.
Jayne: But you still got the urge? They don't...cut it off or nothin'?
Book: No, I'm more or less intact. I my energy elsewhere.
Jayne: You mean like masturbatin'?
Book: I hope you're not thinking of taking orders yourself?
Jayne: Heheh, yeah, that's be the day.
Jayne (in River's head): I got stupid, the money was too good.
Book (in River's head): I don't give half a hump if you're innocent or not. So where does that put you?
(back to reality, Jayne and Book are laughing)
Jayne: Saint Jayne, got a ring to it!
Book: I'm just trying to remember how many miracles you've performed.
Jayne: I once hit a guy in the neck from five hundred yards with a bent scope, don't that count upstairs?
Book: Oh, it'll be taken into consideration.
Jayne: You made that sound kinda ominous.
Mal: You know, the only thing you're gonna find in New Melborne is fish and fish-related activities, so unless you got the overwhelming urge to gut sturgeon--and who hasn't, occasionally--
Inara: But it's a layover point for almost every planet this side of the system. I could--I just don't want to draw this out.
Mal: Have you decided when you're gonna tell the others?
Inara: I...No. I appreciate your not saying anything.
Mal: Well, I don't. So make up your mind.
Inara (in River's head): I'm a big girl, just tell me.
Mal (in River's head): None of it means a damn thing.
[River bends down to look at a bent branch on the leaf-strewn cargo bay floor and picks it up]
River: It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think.
[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.

Mal: If I want a lot of medical jargon, I'll talk to a doctor.
Simon: You are talking to a doctor.

Wash: Little River gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?
Zoe: Either blow us all up or rub soup in our hair. It's a toss-up.
Wash: I hope she does the soup thing, it's always a hoot and we don't all die from it.

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.
Zoe: Sir, I know she's unpredictable. But I don't think she'd harm anyone.
Jayne: Butcher's knife?!
Zoe: 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: [sarcastically] 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.
Zoe: 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.
Zoe: 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'd all be eatin' steak.

[Kaylee hears something and crawls out from under engine.]
Kaylee: River? ...River? [startled by Early] Wah!
Early: I like this ship... Serenity... she's good looking.
Kaylee: [stuttering] Ha-how how did you... g-get on—
Early: Strains the mind a bit don'it? You think you're all alone... maybe I come down the chimney, Kaylee, bring presents to the good girls and boys. Maybe not, though. Maybe I've always been here.
Kaylee: What do you want?
Early: [looks at engine] That's a beating heart isn't it? Pull off any one of a thousand parts she'll just die. Such a slender thread... [coldly] You ever been raped?
Kaylee: [almost in tears] 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: [breathlessly, a tear starting down her right cheek] There's... there's nobody can help me.
Early: I'm gonna tie you up now—
Kaylee: [whimpers]
Early: And you know what I'm gonna do then? I'm gonna give you a 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 dealings in any way, your body is forfeit. Ain't nothing but a body to me and I can find all unseemly manner of use for it. Do you understand?
Kaylee: [holding back tears] Yes.
Early: Turn around and put your hands behind yer back.
Kaylee: Oh ughhhh... [moans, but does as she's 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: You ever been shot?
Simon: No.
Early: You oughta be shot. Or stabbed. Lose a leg. To be a surgeon, you know? Know what kind of pain you're dealing with. 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?

Early: Man is stronger by far than woman, yet only woman can create a child—does that seem right to you?

Early: Alright, that's all the hide-and-seek I got time for. [shouting] I know you're on this ship, little girl! Here's how this goes: show yourself and finish this exchange, or your brother's brains'll be flyin' every whichaway! [normal tone] You understand, I'm sort of on the clock here, it's frustrating.
River: [over Serenity's intercom] You're wrong, Early.
Early: I'm not wrong, dumpling, I will shoot your brother dead if you don't—
River: Wrong about River. River's not on the ship. They didn't want her here. But she couldn't make herself leave. So she melted. Melted away. They didn't know she could do that. But she did.
Early: Not sure I take your meaning there.
River: I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship.
Simon: River—
River: River's gone.
Early: Then who exactly are we talking to?
River: Talking to Serenity. And Early? Serenity is very unhappy.

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. [points his gun at Simon] 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 gonna be smart here, River? ...River? ...Serenity?

Mal: Ugh. What the hell's goin' on here?
River/Serenity: I need you to do me a favor, captain.
Mal: There was a guy. He was very blurry. You gotta be careful. Ugh. How come there's a guy on board and how come you're all of a sudden the ship?
River/Serenity: I know you have questions.
Mal: That would be why I just asked them.
River/Serenity: But there isn't a lot of time, captain. I need you to trust me.
Mal: Am I dreamin'?
River/Serenity: We all are.
(Mal rolls his eyes)
River/Serenity: Don't make faces.

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. Little man loved fire.

Early: Well I'll be a son of a whore. You're not in my gorram mind. You're on my gorram ship!

River: I don't belong… dangerous, like you. Can't be controlled, can't be trusted. Everyone could just go on without me and not have to worry. People could be what they wanted to be… could be with the people they wanted… could live simple, no secrets.
Simon: No.
River: I'll be fine. I'll be your bounty, Jubal Early, and I'll just fade away.

Early: [outside Serenity in a space suit] You made the right move, darlin'. Best for you to go with old Early.
Mal: [appears behind him] You think so? Some of us feel differently.

River: Permission to come aboard?
Mal: You know, you ain't quite right.
River: [smiles] That's the popular theory.
Mal: Go on, get in there. Give your brother a thrashin' for messin' up your plan.
River: [tiredly] He takes so much looking after.

Wash: Can I mop your brow? I am at the ready with the fearsome brow mop.

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.

Issue 1

[Book is giving a sermon to a church while Mal, Jayne, and Zoe 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!!!
Zoe: Jayne, you yelling like that's only going to make them want to shoot you more.
Jayne: How you figure?
Zoe: 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…

Zoe: 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.

Zoe: Where are we going, sir?
Mal: The same as always. Forward.

Mal: [After shooting an already dead Dobson] Just making sure.

Chinese translations

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)
Are we clear here? (hanyupinyin: dong le ma?)
rubbish (hanyupinyin: fei wu)
hell; ghost, demon (hanyupinyin: gui)
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)
Je shr shuh muh lan dong shi?
What the hell is this stuff?; literally: This is what (cock) thing? (hanyupinyin: zhe shi shenme lan dongxi?)
garbage (Taiwanese) (hanyupinyin: le se)
little sister (hanyupinyin: mei mei)
Ni cho lyen, yo may yo?
Do you have a worried face? (hanyupinyin: ni chou lian, you mei you?)
rhino (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 de tyen ah
Dear God in heaven (hanyupinyin: wo de tian a)
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 feng kuang de wai sheng dou)

Quotes about Firefly and Serenity

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
  • 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 Firefly flans in— "flans"? I wanted to say "Hi" to all you Firefly flans out there. You flans are the best flans a… actor could ever hope for. Keep being a good flan!
    • Nathan Fillion interview at an In Good Company premiere, 28 December 2004; origin of the Firefly fan term "flan" from Fillion's slip of the tongue
  • 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.
  • Nothing like a movie deal to make you feel better about your TV show getting cancelled!
  • People watch Firefly and they think, boy you guys must have a lot of fun there, you must have a great time, the high jinks that ensue. Well, the truth is, there are no high jinks, we're absolutely serious. We're very professional and we never, ever make mistakes. [fumbles with camera] How'dya turn this fuckin' thing off?
    • Nathan Fillion in the introduction to the Firefly blooper reel, Firefly the complete series DVD
  • This show isn't about the people who made history; it's about the people history stepped on.
  • Every story needs a monster. In the stories of the old west it was the Apaches. I used that example by saying that anyone who goes out into space and goes mad can become a monster.
  • Tim Minear: She had this magic syringe. She would take this drug. And if she were, for instance, raped, the rapist would die a horrible death. The story was that she gets kidnapped by Reavers and when Mal finally got to the ship to save her from the Reavers, he gets on the Reaver ship and all the Reavers are dead. Which would suggest a kind of really bad assault. At the end of the episode, he comes in after she's been horribly brutalized, and he comes in and he gets down on his knee, and he takes her hand. And he treats her like a lady. And that's the kind of stuff that we wanted to do. It was very dark. And this was actually the first story that Joss pitched to me when he asked me to come work on the show. He said, 'These are the kind of stories we're going to do.'



See also

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