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The Serenity crew delivers the cargo they acquired in "Shindig".

Then all hell breaks loose.

Locals snatch Simon and River, and Book is wounded in a gunfight. In order to save Book, Mal has no choice but to take off and find medical facilities, since he can't be sure of finding Simon in time to save Book. On Inaraís suggestion, they go to an Alliance ship, whose commander only agrees to help after scanning Bookís identification, at which point the 'shepherd' gets fast, courteous, damned-suspicious service.

Meanwhile, the locals have grabbed Simon because they are in desperate need of a doctor. However, the locals discover Riverís abilities. They believe she is a witch and they want to burn her at stake.

Original airdate: 11/08/02
Written by: Drew Z. Greenberg
Director: Michael Grossman
Read the shooting script
Read the teaser that actually aired


  • Shepherd's high priority status with Alliance.
  • Interesting flashbacks of the Tam estate.
  • Insight into Simonís relationship with River.
  • River, dancing.


YOUNG RIVER: We're cut off... we need to resort to cannibalism.
YOUNG SIMON: That was fast.

MAL: So, she's added cussing and hurling about of things to her repertoire. She really is a prodigy.

RIVER: The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.
MAL: See, morbid and creepifying, I got no problem with, long as she does it quiet-like.

JAYNE: 'Bout time you broke in them pretty shoes.

MAL: You know... they walk just as fast if you lead 'em.
JAYNE: I like smackin' 'em.

ZOE: Next time we smuggle stock, let's make it something smaller.
WASH: Yeah, we should start dealing in those black-market beagles.

RIVER: They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see the sky and they remember what they are.
MAL: Is it bad that what she said made perfect sense to me.

SIMON: I'm very sorry if she tipped off anyone about your cunningly concealed herd of cows.

BOOK: (after being shot) Afraid I might be needing a preacher.
MAL: That's good. You lie there and be ironical.

ZOE: Knew a man who had a hole clean through his whole shoulder, once. Used to keep a spare hankie in there.

JAYNE (faux-reading Simon's journal): "Dear Diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Today we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever."

ZOE: You sanguine about the kind of reception we're apt to receive on an Alliance ship, Cap?
MAL: Absolutely. (pause) What's "sanguine" mean?

JAYNE: This place gives me an uncomfortableness.

RIVER: I get confused. I remember everything. I remember too much, and... some of it's made up, and... some of it can't be quantified, and... there's secrets.

RIVER: You gave up everything you had to find me. And you found me broken.

SIMON: It's been a big day, what with the abduction and all.

SIMON: She has done nothing to you! If she dies tonight, it won't be God's will that kills her. It'll be you! Your lunacy, your ignorance!

MAL: Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
ZOE: Big damn heroes, sir.

MAL: Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folks is near miraculous.
SIMON: Yes, I'm very proud.

MAL: Cut her down.
VILLAGE PATRON: The girl is a witch.
MAL: Yeah, but she's our witch. (Cocks gun) So cut her the hell down.

MAL: (To Simon) Chow's at 10. No need to dress.

MAL: So then the Shepherd says to the Companion, "Well, a good goat would do that."

Chinese Phrases

  • Jien tah duh guay!
"Like hell!" (Young Simon, about play-Independents using dinosaurs in battle.)
  • Nah may gwon-shee.
"That's all right then." (Gabriel Tam, amusedly accepting dinosaur excuse for Young Simon's strong language.)
  • tyen shiao duh
"God knows what" (Gabriel Tam, invoked about some Cortex contents.)
  • dah bien-hwa
"big change" (Young Simon, about getting a dedicated source box.)
  • Liou koe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh bun ur-tze.
"Stupid son of a drooling harlot and a monkey." (River, ranted at Mal - a real mouthful.)
  • niou-se {Simon sounds like niow-suh}
"cow poop" (Simon notes, after stepping in same.)
  • shwai {Kaylee sounds like swai}
"cute" {handsome, dashing, Literally: commander} (Kaylee, referring to Simon.)
  • luh-suh
"garbage" (*A.* Simon, referring to Serenity. *B.* Kaylee, surprised by Simon's claim. *C.* Kaylee, refuting Simon's claim.)
  • pyen juh duh jiou cha wen
"stubborn disciplinarian" (Simon, referring to Mal.)
  • Fay hwa.
"Nonsense." (Mal, refuting claim that cattle are in poor condition.)
  • Ma-shong!
"Now!" {right away, at once. Literally: on horseback} (Mal, to Wash about hurrying to the infirmary.)
  • Lao tyen, boo.
"Oh, god, no." (Wash, on seeing Book's gunshot wound.)
  • jing-(chang) mei yong duh {Mal sounds like jing-tsing myung duh}
"consistently useless" (Mal, referring to Doctor Simon.)
  • Mei-mei...
"little sister" (Simon, addressing River.)
  • choo fay wuh suh leh
"over my dead body" (Gabriel Tam, to Simon before "slippery slope" comment.)
  • nyen ching duh
"young one" (Patron, addressing River.)

For more information and a pronunciation guide, see the Firefly Chinese Pinyinary(approve sites).

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Page last modified on June 09, 2010, at 08:48 AM MST