|"Our Mrs. Reynolds"|
October 4, 2002
Our Mrs. Reynolds is the sixth episode of the Firefly TV series and was first aired on Fox, on October 4, 2002.
As a Conestoga wagon with a hunched-over couple makes its way through a shallow river, a band of men on horseback stops it to demand its cargo. The lead bandit even insists on "a little one-on-one time with the missus". The driver, Jayne, suggests they reconsider, insulting the frumpily dressed woman sitting next to him. As "she" raises her head, it turns out to be Mal, who continues the banter with Jayne until they suddenly pull their weapons on the bandits. The subsequent exchange of gunfire, aided by Zoë in the wagon, quickly kill all the bandits. At a celebration party that night, an inebriated Jayne and Mal accept gifts from the poor townspeople. Jayne's is a rain stick. Mal's is a wreath, a bowl of wine, and a dance from a lovely young woman.
After Serenity is underway again, while Mal is putting away some cargo, he is surprised by the young woman, who announces that she is his wife. Mal asks Zoë to call Wash down, presumably to have him return to the planet, but Zoë calls the entire crew down to the cargo bay to enjoy the show. While Mal sputters his insensitive attempts to disavow "Mrs. Reynolds", Shepherd Book quickly reads up on the local customs and finds that the wreath, wine, and dance were a marriage ritual. The captain is indeed married to this mystery girl.
Mal has a heart-to-heart talk with the woman, whose name he eventually learns is Saffron. He tries to convince the frightened, submissive woman that she should stand up for herself. Unfortunately, returning Saffron to the planet is not an option as one of the bandits was the nephew of a prefect, so at a loss for what to do, Mal suggests that she start a life for herself on their destination world, Beaumonde. She promises to be a good wife, but Mal claims "I'd be a terrible husband. You have five whole days to figure that out." She runs off excitedly to cook him a meal. Mal encounters Book, who tells him getting a divorce is very difficult and they would need to return to the planet to get one. He then makes clear how he feels about Mal's position: "If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of Hell. One they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater."
Saffron turns out to be every bit as good a cook as she claimed. As Wash's mouth waters over Mal's boon, Zoë expresses her contempt for the situation—both Mal's "nubile little slave girl" and Wash's implied desire for a wife who cooks. Escaping an offer to have his feet washed, Mal runs off to Inara's shuttle to engage in a more comfortable conflict. In the process of complaining about Mal's irregular schedule and its impact on her work, Inara gets around to expressing her contempt for his making a commitment to this woman and then breaking it. She finally chases him out of the shuttle, where he immediately encounters an armed and menacing Jayne.
Cocking his favorite rifle, Vera, Jayne advances on Mal, demanding respect and explaining how he acquired the gun in a battle against six men. Suddenly, Jayne hands the rifle to Mal. "You offering me a trade?", wonders Mal. After dismissing Jayne's rude attempt at barter, Mal again encounters Saffron, who concedes that she would find work on Beaumonde an acceptable alternative to wedded life. Mal surprises himself by sharing some personal history with her, which he apparently hasn't done with anyone else in the crew.
Meanwhile, Serenity passes a camera mounted on an asteroid, which tracks them and takes images. On the other craft, two men discuss the potential for salvaging the Firefly-class ship. One, named Bree, complains that the ship they are spying on is worthless. His boss disagrees, however, and is eager to take the vessel "if she comes our way".
Zoë continues to argue with Wash about the problem Saffron represents, which to Wash seems more like a problem with Zoë. Meanwhile, Mal enters his quarters to find Saffron, wrapped only in a sheet, warming his bed. She insists that, since they are married, she wants to consummate their marriage, even if she is to stay behind on Beaumonde. Mal works hard not only to resist her alluring arguments, but also to insist that she not feel beholden to him just because she was treated as an offering of payment. Saffron convincingly demands that he give her "my wedding night" using a quote from her bible, and contemplating the "special Hell", Mal finally succumbs to a kiss. He quickly succumbs to unconsciousness as well, ("Son of a...") from a potent narcotic contained in her lipstick and the formerly charming ingenue now scornfully observes his senseless form.
Saffron then goes to the bridge to seduce Wash, but Wash more successfully resists her charms, especially given that he's married to "a beautiful woman who can kill me with her pinkie". As he yammers on about Zoë, Saffron rolls her eyes and suddenly kicks him unconscious and off the bridge, locking the door and going to work on the controls. She then welds the bridge doors shut and heads for a shuttle, but is intercepted by Inara. The con artist turns her charms on Inara, who appears to warm to her vulnerability. When the ship alarm sounds, however, both women abruptly drop their pretenses, exchanging ironic compliments before Inara asks "Who are you?" to which Saffron replies "Malcom Reynolds' widow". A brief fight ensues that allows Saffron to escape in the unoccupied shuttle. Thinking that Mal has been killed, Inara rushes to his room, where he groggily responds to her panicked exclamations. She kisses him and goes to call for help, but soon gets dizzy. Touching her hand to her lips, she realizes how Saffron disabled Mal ("Oh, you stupid son of a…") before collapsing herself.
Mal finally awakens to find most of the crew in his quarters. Simon describes the "good night kiss" that took him out, Wash bemoans having been kicked instead, and Inara comically (and repeatedly) explains that she hit her head falling. Jayne and Kaylee break into the bridge, and Kaylee and Wash get to work on the "masterful job of muck-up" that Saffron made of their ship. Inara suggests that Saffron is exceptionally talented, possibly even Companion Academy-trained.
On their own spacecraft, the scrapper boss and Bree observe Serenity approaching, complimenting Saffron for her excellent work.
Serenity's crew finally gets a reading on their heading — right into an electronic disassembly net called a carrion house. While Kaylee struggles to get navigational ability, Jayne uses "Vera" to shoot up one of the net's six breakers, shorting the structure just as Serenity passes through, unharmed. Jayne also returns the scavengers' threat of depressurization by blowing out a port of their spacecraft, killing the two unsuited men.
On a snowy world, Saffron is packing when Mal bursts into her cabin. After a brief struggle, accompanied by Mal's mockery of their supposed wedding nuptials, he asks her why she would go through so much trouble for her con game. "You're assuming the payoff is the point," she replies. After exchanging dubious compliments, and having failed to satisfy his curiosity about her real name, Mal simply knocks her unconscious and leaves with his shuttle.
Back on Serenity, Mal presses Inara for an explanation of how she, a "graceful woman", managed to hit her head while calling for help. When Inara acknowledges that she didn't trip, Mal jumps to wrong conclusion: "I knew you let her kiss you!" Though her professional reputation has taken a minor hit, Inara's emotional indiscretion with the groggy captain remains her secret.
Behind the scenes
- River has no lines in this episode. The one scene she spoke in was cut during the final edit of the episode.
(Special Thanks to BrownCoats.com.)
- "Have you got an encyclopedia?" "Dangran. [Of course.]" - Simon responds to Book's request.
- "Ni bu gouge, ni hunqiu. [You don't deserve her, you fink.]" - Kaylee to Mal after he insults Saffron.
- "Guan ni ziji de shi. [Mind your own business.]" - Mal's immediate response to Kaylee.
- "I would appreciate it if someone on this boat would not assume that I'm an evil lecherous hundan [bastard]." - Mal.
- "Did she really make fresh bao [steamed buns]? Wash about the dinner Saffron made for Mal
- "Is that cider?" "By the stove." "Yum. I'll get you a refill, hundan [bastard]." - Wash curses Mal behind his back.
- "Daxiang baozhashi de laduzi! [The explosive diarrhea of an elephant!]" - Mal, when Jayne proposes a trade: Vera for Saffron.
- "Just 'cause you got handed to me by some hundan [bastard] couldn't pay off his debts don't make you beholden to me." - Mal to Saffron.
- "Wo de ma he ta de fengkuang de waisheng dou! [Mother of God and all her wacky nephews!]" - Wash curses as Saffron tries to seduce him.
- "Renci de Fozu... [Merciful Buddha...]" - Inara, when she realizes Mal is still alive.
- "My man would never fall for that jianhuo [cheap floozy]." - Zoë.
- "Jingcai. [Brilliant.]" - Wash, when he finds Serenity has been sabotaged.
- "Did she signal anybody?" "Uh... Deng yi miao. [Hold on a second.] She did." - Mal, then Wash.
- "Our Mrs. Reynolds" transcript
- "Our Mrs. Reynolds" shooting script from Firefly Browncoats at Internet Archive