Sci Fi Saturday: The Vixen! She’s Back! Firefly TV Heats Up
So why is Captain Mal sitting naked in a desert? We get to hear the story leading up to that.
The opening scene features Captain Mal sitting naked in a desert. A caption advises us that we must go back to seventy-two hours earlier to understand how that happened. Mal, you see, meets an old buddy and shares hugs and swap banter until the buddy informs him that he is married. Mal is excited to hear this wonderful news until he sees a familiar face — Saffron, the vixen who’d tricked him into believing she was his bride in a previous episode. She is now hitched to Mal’s pal; so imagine the poor sap’s shock when the Saffron and Mal draw guns on one another.
After a brief squabble, the swindled husband leaves Saffron in Mal’s angry hands. To save her own life, Saffron tells the captain that she has access to a very rare item, which is worth a fortune. Mal doesn’t believe her, at first, but takes her aboard the Serenity just in case. He then has a row with the ambassador, Inara, who complains that the crew hasn’t run any big scams in a while. Her comments persuade Mal to risk dealing with the vixen again.
The plan is straightforward. Saffron has married another man who is wealthy and wishes to sneak back into his home to steal one of the first blasters ever invented. She needs help disabling the laser grid surrounding the gun, and Mal is just the man for the job. He discusses the plan with his crew who are all dubious, but everyone agrees — except Inara who storms off in a huff.
Meanwhile, we learn that Simon really believed that Jayne was trying to help them escape during the medical heist on Ariel. However, it turns out I was wrong about his sister River’s psychic powers suddenly reappearing after Episode 5. She informs Simon, that Jayne did in fact attempt to turn them into the feds. This is not brought up again until the end of the episode because it is important. Jayne is not done paying for his sins.
The crew begin the heist. During the mission, Jayne is electrocuted by a control panel, and is wheeled off to the medical bay where Simon is waiting. Mal and Saffron make it to the rich husband’s living room and retrieve the gun, but it turns out her hubby is home and sees Saffron with Mal as they attempt to run off with his prized heirloom. Rather than being angry, the man is heartbroken. He loved his fake wife, and to Mal’s surprise, Saffron actually valued this man’s opinion of her. She didn’t want him to ever discover what she was. Fortunately for him, he’d realized the obvious long ago, and while he may have loved her, he didn’t love her enough to just let her escape.
Mal and Saffron make a break for it and manage to get away. While flying to meet the rest of the crew, Mal and Saffron have a little chat. Saffron feels guilty about betraying a decent man, and Mal tells her, that while she’d disrobed in order to seduce him the first time they’d met, he never thought he would actually see her vulnerable. Saffron burst into tears — then takes Mal’s gun.
She orders Mal to strip and leaves him to die in the desert. But her betrayal was all part of the plan. As Saffron searches for the gun, only to realize it is now missing, Inara appears. She tells Saffron that her storming off in the huff was an act. Mal knew Saffron would turn on them.
The ambassador leaves the vixen for the authorities and retrieves Mal who is feeling rather pleased with himself — despite his uncomfortable nudity.
As for Jayne, he wakes up unable to move, thanks to a drug given to him by the good doctor. Simon looms over the big man and informs him that he knows all about the betrayal. The doctor gives a speech, a rather nice speech, telling Jayne that no matter what happens, he will never hurt him. Jayne is unconvinced because as Simon says this, he holds a needle over the thug’s arm. For good measure, River, who has been standing in the doorway, tells Jayne, “I can kill you with my mind.”
Jayne is left alone, paralyzed in the medical bay, with plenty of time to think on his sins. A fun episode about which I have no complaints — and am ready for the next one!