Thursday, December 29, 2011

Firefly--"Trash"

“Trash” features the return of Christina Hendricks as Saffron. She has a heist for the Serenity crew they reluctantly take on, but all is not as it seems. The episode is played mostly for laughs. In fact, the threadbare story seems to exist solely to get to the scene that bookends the episode--that of Mal, sitting naked on a rock in the middle of the desert, saying to himself, “Yeah, that went well.” The same scene does appear twice, in case you did not get enough of it the first time.

Mal meets up with a fellow ex-soldier and current smuggler named Monty. He is delivering stolen cargo to Mal and wants to introduce his new wife, Bridgette. Bridgette turns out to be Saffron. When she lets it slip she knows Mal’s name even though monty has not told her, he believes mal’s claim she is a con artist who also married him. Monty strands her with mal, who plans to strand her, too, but she offers him a job to buy her way off the planet. Mal refuses to listen.

Back on Serenity, Inara complains to Mal he has been obstructing her companion business as of late. The subsequent argument soon descends into personal insults in which inara calls Mal a petty thief. The insult inspires him to retrieve Saffron, who has been stuffed into one of the cargo boxes, to find out what her big heist is all about. The crew does not initially want to go along with anything saffron has planned, but once zoe punches her across the chin, it all works out. Sorta.

The plan is to steal a gun from the estate of a wealthy Earth as it was antique collector. It is a priceless artifect, but it will be complicated to get in and out of the estate withit. The plan is for Mal and Saffron to sneak in as party guests, steal the gun, and stuff it in the trash. Kaylee will then reprogram the garbage scow to fly to a remote location where they can retrieve the gun at their leisyre. It is a doublecross, however. Saffron was once married to the collector, and plays along with the idea Mal has rescued her after six years and returned her to him. Durran, Haymer, the happy hubby, calls the authorities unbeknownst to the two of them, and they barely get away before dumping the gun. Saffron double crosses mal yet again by stranding him naked in the desert and sabotaging Serenity so she can search the garbage scow herself. What she does not realize is the crew was ready for her. Inara was in on the caper the whole time. She has already found the gun, locks Saffron in the garbage scow for the authoritie to find, and rescues Mal.

There is a subplot in which River’s psychic abilities reveal Jayne’s betrayal from a couple episodes back. When he is injured helping Kaylee reprogram the garbage scow, Simon medically induces paralysis to rest his spine, then reveals he knows about the betrayal to the Alliance. Simon assures him he has taken an oath to do no harm, but river has not. She wryly tells Jayne she can kill him with her mind.

“Trash” is a frivolous, joke-laden romp. I am convinced someone came up with the idea of stranding mal in the desert naked and then wrote a script around it. No matter, though. The result is a fun episode. Young Christina Hendricks is hot, too. I am curious how much of her fight scenes are a stunt woman, however. A couple scenes from a distance obviously are, but some of the close ups look like her. She might be a tough little spitfire.

Rating: *** (out of 5)For those to whom it may appeal, Christina Hendricks knows how to use a gun.

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