In honor of the premiere of Joss Whedon's newest series, Dollhouse, I have decided to list my favorite episodes of his other three television series. I decided to start with Firefly because it was the easiest of all his series to choose my fifteen favorite episodes only because, due to the stupidity of the Fox Network, there were only fifteen episodes. So here they are, listed in the order they were intended to be aired.
1. Serenity, Parts 1 and 2: This was the pilot episode that Fox, in all their infinte glory and wisdom (yes, sarcasm.) decided to air last. Whatever. Anyway, this episode was written and directed by my idol Joss Whedon. Highlights include the whole damn episode. Since I can't list the whole damn episode here, here are some highlights from the highlights:
WASH: This is a Fertile land and we will thrive...
WASH (as stegosaurus): We will rule over all this land, and we will call it... This Land.
WASH (as T-Rex): I think we should call it... your grave!
WASH (as stegosaurus): Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
WASH (as T-Rex): Ha HA! Mine is an evil laugh! Now die!
JAYNE: Testing. Testing, Captain, can you hear me?
MAL: I'm standing right here.
JAYNE: You're coming through good and loud. MAL: 'Cause I'm standing right here.
JAYNE: Sure you don't just wanna piss yourself and back down like you did with Badger?
ZOE: I know something ain't right.
WASH: Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail.
3. The Train Job: Written by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear and directed by Joss Whedon, this is the episode Fox actually aired as the pilot. Whatever. Highlights:
INARA: What did I say to you about barging into my shuttle?
MAL: That it was manly and impulsive?
INARA: Except that the exact word I used was "don't".
MAL: Kaylee, what the hell's goin' on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?
SIMON: What are we doing?
MAL: Hell, this job I would pull for free.
ZOE: Can I have your share?
ZOE: If you die, can I have your share?
4. Bushwacked: Written and directed by Tim Minear: Highlights:
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.
WASH: Have you ever been with a warrior woman?
JAYNE: He looked bigger when I couldn't see him.
5. Shindig: Written by Jane Espenson and Directed by Vern Gillum. Highlights:
ZOE: If I'm gonna wear a dress, I'd 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?
KAYLEE: Yes, sir, Captain Tightpants.
KAYLEE: Is that him?
MAL: That's the buffet table.
KAYLEE: Well... how do we know unless we... question it?
MAL: Sure, it's humiliating. Having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. Mercy is the mark of a great man. (Stabs Atherton in the side.) Guess I'm just a good man. (Stabs him again.) Well, I'm all right.
6. Safe: Written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Michael Grossman. Highlights:
SIMON: I'm very sorry if she tipped off anyone about your cunningly concealed herd of cows.
BOOK: (after being shot) Afraid I might be needing a preacher.
MAL: That's good. You lie there and be ironical.
JAYNE (faux-reading Simon's journal): "Dear Diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Today we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever."
MAL: Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
ZOE: Big damn heroes, sir.
7. Our Mrs. Reynolds: Written by Joss Whedon and directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. Probably the most hysterical of all the episodes. Lots of highlights. Here they are:
MAL: I swear by my pretty flowered bonnet, I will end you.
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: Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.
MAL: Whoa, good Bible.
MAL: It's been a while -- a long damn while -- since anybody but me took ahold of my plow.
MAL: Oh, I'm gonna go to the Special Hell.
WASH: Whoa, good myth.
8. Jaynestown: Written by Ben Edlund and directed by Marita Grabiak. Possibily the second funniest epsiode. Highlights:
Uh...the Ballad of Jayne. Duh.
WASH: We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!
River freaking out at Book's unbound hair.
ZOE: He's putting the hair away now, River.
9. Out of Gas: Written by Tim Minear and directed by David Solomon. One of my absolute favorite episodes. Non linear, giving good background on the crew, just overall awesome. Highlights:
ZOE: Get her running again? MAL: Yeah.
ZOE: So not running now?
MAL: Not so much. But she will.
JAYNE: Yeah, 'cos sick people are hi-larious.
MAL: I need that in Captain Dummy talk.
MAL: Well. Looks can be deceiving.
JAYNE: Not as deceiving as a low down dirty... deceiver.
MAL: Offering to shoot us might not work so well as an incentive as you might imagine.
Mal and Wash's fight over boosting the beacon which ends with Wash's well delivered "Well, maybe I should do that then!" line.
10. Ariel: Written by Jose Molina and directed by Allan Kroeker. Highlights:
The whole sequence where the crew is preparing for the heist, including exchanges like the following:
MAL: Pupils were fixed and dilapidated --
The scene where the crew arrives at the hospital and finds they don't need their careful medical memorization and Jayne blurts it out anyway.
The last scene between Mal and Jayne. You do not want to see Mal angry.
11. War Stories: Written by Cheryl Cain and directed by James A. Contner. Highlights:
WASH: I am a large, semi-muscular man. I can take it.
JAYNE: I'll be in my bunk.
WASH: Hey, I've been in a firefight before! Well, I was in a fire. Actually, I was fired from a fry-cook opportunity.
WASH: I don't want you to spare me, Mal. If you think you know what's happening, then you tell me. You wouldn't spare 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. Do you know why? 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: I mean, I'm the one she swore to love, honor and obey.
MAL: Listen... She swore to obey?
ZOE: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
BOOK: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
NISKA: You died, Mr. Reynolds.
MAL: Seemed like the thing to do.
RIVER: No power in the 'verse can stop me.
ZOE: This is something the Captain has to do for himself.
MAL: No! No, it's not!
12. Trash: Written by Jose Molina and Ben Edlund. Directed by Vern Gillum. Highlights:
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)
INARA: I didn't mean petty.
MAL: What did you mean?
MAL: ...That's Chinese for "petty."
RIVER: Also, I can kill you with my brain.
RIVER: Jayne is a girl's name.
13. The Message: Written by Tim Minear and Joss Whedon. Directed by Tim Minear. Highlights:
Simon: 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?
Mal: He calls back, you keep him occupied.
Wash: What do I do, shadow puppets?
14. Heart Of Gold: Written by Brent Matthews and directed by Tom Wright. The crew goes to a whore house! Highlights:
INARA: I suppose you heard most of that?
MAL: Only 'cause I was eavesdropping.
KAYLEE: Look, they got boy whores! Isn't that thoughtful?
WASH: Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.
INARA: Every well-bred petty crook knows the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.
15. Objects In Space: Written and directed by Joss Whedon. The last of the Firefly episodes. Stupid Fox Network. Highlights:
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.
WASH: Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?
ZOE: Either blow us all up or rub soup in her 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.
WASH: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
ZOE: We live in a space ship, dear.
JAYNE: Yeah, and if wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak.
JAYNE: Are you saying she's a witch?
WASH: 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.
SIMON: You're out of your mind.
EARLY: That's between me and my mind.
EARLY: Where'd she go?
SIMON: I can't keep track of her when she's not incorporeally possessing a space ship.
EARLY: You folks are all insane.
SIMON: Well, my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.
EARLY: You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I've ever had to transport, yet by far the most troublesome.
Well, there you have it. My list of Firefly highlights. Tune in tomorrow when I explore my fifteen favorite episodes Angel. That is, of course, if I can narrow it down to just fifteen. Which I probably can't.