- TV series: “Firefly” 2002
- Creator: Joss Whedon
- Seasons: 1
- Release Date: 20 September 2002 (USA)
- Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi / Western / …
- Plot Summary: It is set five hundred years from today in a new planetary system after humanity abandons “Earth That Was”. Under the leadership of Malcolm Reynolds, a renegade who fought against the new unified central government (the “Alliance”), the crew of the Firefly-class vessel Serenity struggles to survive any way they can. They fly between the border planets to keep away from the Alliance and below its radar. This series was described as a “science fiction western” but is different from other space-based shows as it features no aliens.
Summer Glau as River Tam
Season 1, Episode 1: Serenity
Original Air Date: 20 December 2002
In the first half of the original pilot episode, the crew of Serenity takes on several passengers and make their way to another planet to try and sell goods they salvaged from a wrecked ship. Their efforts are impeded, though, when Wash and Mal realize that there is an undercover alliance fed on board. In the second half of the original pilot, Simon struggles to save Kaylee, and in turn River and himself while Mal, Zoe, and Jayne attempt to unload the cargo from the salvage to a trigger-happy mayor of a border moon.
Season 1, Episode 2: The Train Job
Original Air Date: 20 September 2002
Serenity continues to travel through space conducting illegal runs across the star system, which is under the control of The Alliance. A powerful and fearsome mobster named Adelei Niska demands that the crew of Serenity pull a train robbery. The train is carrying medical supplies for a community, and Reynolds and Zoe get held on suspicion. They get free with Inara’s help but realize they were tricked and try to return Niska’s money. His henchman isn’t too happy, but Mal “persuades” the next guy to take the money back. Meanwhile, two blue-handed, black-suited operatives close in on River.
Season 1, Episode 3: Bushwhacked
Original Air Date: 27 September 2002
On a salvage mission aboard a drifting colony ship, the Serenity crew find signs that the crew were killed by the cannibalistic Reavers. They find one survivor, but things take a turn for the worse when an Alliance ship looking for an unspecified Firefly-class ship with brother-and-sister stowaways shows up and takes them in.
Season 1, Episode 4: Shindig
Original Air Date: 01 November 2002
On the planet Persephone the crew are contacted by their old “friend” Badger the ruthless crimelord to transport some goods on behalf of a local lord. In order to secure the job, Mal attends a social event where a dance with Inara leads to him being in a fight in defense of her honor. By local custom he unintentionally challenges her date, the snobbish and arrogant Atherton Wing, to a duel of swords
Season 1, Episode 5: Safe
Original Air Date: 8 November 2002
While visiting an outlying planet, Simon and River are kidnapped by local villagers in need of a doctor. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew are forced to seek medical help from an Alliance ship in order to help for the critically wounded Book, while River is threatened with burning as a witch by the villagers.
Season 1, Episode 6: Our Mrs Reynolds
Original Air Date: 4 October 2002
While completing a job on a backwater world, Mal is married to a village girl without his knowledge. The girl, Saffron, gets onboard and the crew does not find her until they’re already in the air. Mal is not sure what to do with her, but let her come along. But little do the Serenity crew know that new Mrs Reynolds is more than she pretends.
Season 1, Episode 7: Jaynestown
Original Air Date: 18 October 2002
Serenity sets down at the mudder colony of Canton where it turns out Jayne is a hero for having dropped a bunch of money there years ago that he and his partner Stitch stole from the local magistrate. The drop was unintentional but Jayne doesn’t turn down the attentions of the local folks who idealize him, in a Robin-Hood-kinda-way. Meanwhile, Kaylee and Simon dance, River rewrites Book’s bible, and Inara beds the magistrate’s son, a virgin.
Season 1, Episode 8: Out of Gaz
Original Air Date: 25 October 2002
After an explosion leaves Serenity crippled, Mal orders everyone to abandon ship while he stays behind in an attempt to make repairs. In a delirious state after Serenity’s engine explodes, draining the ship of its oxygen supply, Mal has a series of flashbacks about how he came to own Serenity and form his crew.
Season 1, Episode 9: Ariel
Original Air Date: 15 November 2002
When the crew of Serenity arrives on the heavily populated, industrialized Alliance core world of ‘Ariel’, where Inara is to undergo an annual physical examination for her clean companion medical record, Simon realizes it is the perfect opportunity to sneak River into an Alliance medical facility and find out what they did to her. In return for the crew’s help in getting them in to the facility, Simon helps Mal, Zoe and Jayne organize an operation to steal valuable medical supplies. But Jayne has other ideas when he learns about the reward for Simon and River and contacts the local authorities, leading to another appearance of the two, sinister-looking, ‘blue-gloved agents’.
Season 1, Episode 10: War Stories
Original Air Date: 6 December 2002
Wash begins to feel threatened by the bond between Mal and Zoe. In order to see for himself how the two work together, Wash demands that he goes on a mission with Mal to sell the stolen Ariel medical supplies instead of Zoe. Unfortunately, the ruthless and sadistic gangster Niska has found out where the Serenity is and captures Mal and Wash and tortures them as revenge for their failure in the train robbery mission (from The Train Job episode). Meanwhile, Inara has another client whom is a wealthy counsel person on the planet they’re on and to the crew’s surprise, the client is a woman. When Zoe learns about Niska’s abduction of Wash and Mal, she tries to strike a bargain for their release, but Niska steals all their money and stolen cargo, while releasing only Wash. Wash realizes that Mal was willing to sacrifice himself for Wash, he persuades Zoe, Jayne and Book and the rest of the crew to help him launch a rescue mission in a full-scale attack on Niska’s fortified space station to save Mal. Also, River begins showing more developing powers when she displays some accurate ‘blind-shooting’ during the rescue when Kaylee is pinned down during the climatic gun battle.
Season 1, Episode 11: Trash
Original Air Date: 21 July 2003
When Mal bumps in to his ex-wife, Saffron, he has to make a difficult decision whether or not to trust her as she offers the crew the chance to make a handsome profit from a mission that will take them to the planet Balerephon, where they’ll have to steal a heavily guarded, priceless Earth antique. However, Inara does not trust Saffron from the last time (see ‘Our Mrs. Reynolds’) and plots with Mal to have an alternate plan. Meanwhile, Jayne is concerned that Simon and River will discover that he sold them out to the Alliance on Ariel.
Season 1, Episode 12: The Message
Original Air Date: 28 July 2003
A pleasant day out at a space station turns sour when Mal and Zoe receive the dead body of one of their old army buddy’s in the post office. Their old friend is named Tracey who fought with them during the Battle of Du-Khang during the Alliance-Independence Civil War six years earlier. Along with Tracey’s body is an audio message, asking them to take him to his home planet to be buried by his parents. However, Mal begins to suspect something might be wrong when Alliance agents, led by the relentless Lt. Womack, start chasing Serenity, demanding return of their property: the body. It soon turns out that Tracey is actually alive and reveals the real reason why he faked his death, and why he’s going to die soon.
Season 1, Episode 13: Heart of Gold
Original Air Date: 4 August 2003
The Serenity responds to a distress call from Nandi, an old friend of Inara’s, who is running a brothel on the moon of Deadwood. The unsavory leader of the moon’s only town where the brothel is located has gotten Petaline, one the girls, pregnant and is demanding that he be given the baby. Nandi enlists the help of the crew of Serenity to defend the brothel and keep the baby with it’s mother.
Season 1, Episode 14: Objects in Space
Original Air Date: 13 December 2002
The Alliance has placed a bounty on River Tam’s head and a bounty Hunter named Jubal Early sets out to claim the bounty and tracks down the Serenity crew. Jubal sneaks on-board the Serenity while the crew is asleep to capture River and Simon and return them to the Alliance, so he can be paid for their capture and only River can stop him.