EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community


Image Credit: Everett Collection/20th Century Fox

'Firefly' recap: Train trouble

Editors’ Note: Firefly fans rejoice! The Joss Whedon show was only with us for a year, but it lives on in The EW Community. Check back each week for Nathan Fillion goodness and watch with Brandi McCormick as she recaps the series from the very beginning.

Season 1 | Ep. 2 | “The Train Job” | Aired Sept 27, 2002

It’s Unification Day in the Firefly universe, and boy howdy, that does not sit well with Capt. Mal. At a local watering hole on a nearby moon, the captain, Zoe and Jayne are cooling off, scouting the joint for possible clients, when an Alliance sympathizer crosses paths with Mal and remarks about his Browncoat. You see, because it’s U-Day, it’s the celebration of the Alliance and their victory over the rebels. You know, the victory that left Mal and Co. on the run as rebels and many of their brethren slain six years ago. Snarky remarks are swapped back and forth between a staunch Alliance supporter and Mal. The ends with the Serenity crew members in an all-out brawl, fleeing the bar in a hilarious peacocking maneuver when Wash shows up to save the day and haul them off. It’s all fun and games between enemies, except this time Mal managed to snag a paying gig! Success.

Quick update on the rest of the crew: Kaylee is back in action — yay! River is still sort of skulking around. She seems to slip between lucidity and what seems like nonsense; she frequently bursts into unintelligible chatter, sometimes about crew members (“Mal. Mal, bad … in the Latin”), other times about who knows what. Nightmares from her time in the academy haunt her, but her brother, Handsome-Shady Doctor Simon, is always there to calm her down.

Back to the gig Mal scored: Turns out, it’s not just your everyday salvage. It’s a train heist. As you can imagine, the rest of the crew isn’t thrilled with the idea, but Mal being Mal, he convinces them it’s no biggie. And he would probably be right any other day of the week, except this time he couldn’t be more wrong, as he and Zoe board the train only to realize it’s crawling with Feds (the Alliance).


Now that things are nice and exciting, Zoe and Mal are in it to win it. After a very close call with some Feds, they manage to do what they came for and steal the necessary goods. Upon landing at Paradiso, however, they overhear just exactly what it was they stole, and it’s not good; turns out it’s medicine for the noticeably sick citizens surrounding them. A wave of guilt and Oh, crap creeps over both their faces.

Double whoops.

In order to maintain their cover and remain inconspicuous, Zoe and Mal take on the identities of a Mr. and Mrs. Raymond, a husband-and-wife team who’ve just come to find work. Everyone’s being questioned by Sheriff Bourne (Gregg Henry), including Mal and Zoe, who aren’t doing so hot. Bourne suspects they aren’t who they claim to be, and just as things are about to get extra-hairy, who else comes to save the day but Serenity crew member Inara? Using the respectability inherent in her being a Companion, she too spins a tale for the sheriff, claiming Mal and Zoe are her indentured servants (the look on Mal’s face is PRICELESS). Her plan works like a charm, and off they go, back to the comforts of Serenity.

Upon returning, Mal decides the only respectable thing to do is to return the medicine to the train. Knowing the client that hired him, the gruff (and kind of scary) Mr. Niska, will not be very pleased with this doesn’t stop him from doing what he feels is right. Just about the time the crew is set to return the goods, Mr. Niska’s henchmen show up to wreak havoc. They aren’t having any of Mal’s do-the-right-thing mindset, and almost instantly the Serenity crew and the Niska mercenaries are at each other’s throats. It’s a rough fight, indeed, but naturally the Serenity crew members show those bullies what’s up. Except for Jayne, who was doped by Handsome-Shady Doctor Simon, to the delight of viewers everywhere. Doped up Jayne Cobb is my favorite Jayne Cobb.

When Mal and Zoe head out to return the medicine, they’re surprised by Sheriff Bourne, and everything seems for an instant to hinge on Is this going to be a fight?. But everyone agrees that they see eye to eye, Sheriff Bourne gladly accepts the return of the medicine, and each side leaves in peace.

Back on Serenity, Niska’s lead bully, Crow, refuses to accept Mal’s offer to just give them back the money they were fronted and leave peacefully. Too bad for him, because his inability to get on the same page as Mal results in him being pushed into a jet engine. R.I.P. Crow; you won’t be missed. A secondary henchmen gladly accepts the offer Crow passed up, and he and the Serenity crew agree to just stay out of each other’s business. Good call, buddy.

Meanwhile, some very prickly-looking men who belong to the Blue Sun initiative get heavily involved with the Alliance in the hunt for River.


Oh, and by the way:

  • I’m still so intrigued by Companions. Essentially, that job is an escort, a high-class hooker, a prostitute. But it’s seen as one of the more respectable occupations, the one that brings Serenity “legitimacy.” So interesting!
  • I also love that despite his protest that her job is lowly, Mal totally has the hots for Inara, right? They would have the sassiest babies ever.
  • I take it back. I have a lot of favorite Jayne moments. Like this one:

Firefly is available for rental or purchase on NetflixHulu PlusXbox VideoAmazon Instant VideoiTunes and more.

Get more of Brandi’s take on all things entertainment over at ReelSnarky.com!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like