No Power In The \'Verse Can Stop Me

Wash's struggles at being the emasculated male in his relationship with Zoe come to the forefront. He manages to convince Mal to allow him to come along for the exchange of the medications from the hospital heist on Ariel. The usual complication occurs as Adelai Niska learns of Serenity's nearby presence. His men intercept the two, bringing them back to his space station for payback for Paradiso as a means to protect his own reputation for ruthlessness.

War Stories plays host to one of the most memorable scenes in the entire series in which an incident of torture becomes hi-larious while at the same time being very poignant. Hands tied, Mal and Wash stand back to back with electrodes strapped to their skin. In between convulsions from the shockwaves running through their bodies, barely hanging on to consciousness, they struggle to work out their issues of their triangle with Zoe, completely ignoring Niska's babbling about his reputation. When Wash starts to pass out, Mal ups the smack-talk to a new level.

MAL: You know me and Zoe got a history, and I figure you gotta be asking yourself some fairly fundamental questions about the nature of that history.

WASH (laughing weakly): You never slept with my wife.

MAL: You know that for a fact, do you? You ever ask her? We were together good long time before you come around, Wash. And she is a damn fine lookin' woman.

WASH: Never happened... know how I know?

MAL: How. Tell me, Wash.

WASH: The whole "captain" thing isn't Zoe's trouble. It's the guy-she-never-slept-with thing. Hell, Mal, I wish you had slept with her! Then at least she'd be over it!

MAL: You want me to sleep with her? That make you feel better?

WASH: It might!

MAL: Imagine it'd do wonders for her, too.

WASH: Screw you!

MAL: Get in line.

MAL: Okay. Gonna do it, then. Wash? Wash! First thing, we get back, I'm taking your wife into my bed. Gonna get me a piece...

When Zoe boards the space station to buy off her men, Niska informs her that she only has enough money for one. She picks Wash without a moment's hesitation though Niska also gives her Mal's ear as a "small refund". Back on Serenity, Wash realizes what Mal was trying to do in the torture room.

He's insane.

ZOE: I know it.

WASH: I mean... you've told the damn stories. Saved you in the war. But I... I didn't know...

ZOE: You mean Mal?

WASH (nodding): He's crazy.

WASH: He wouldn't break, Zoe. And he kept me from... I wouldn't have made it.

Focusing on the petty issues was a survival mechanism used to deflect attention from the gruesome torture at hand. It seems to be a common tactic on the frontier - when life sucks, make up some drama and overinflate its importance.

Once again, River steals the show during the rescue of Mal as she offs three armed men with her eyes closed, confidently proclaiming to Kaylee, "No power in the 'verse can stop me."


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CMN - He 'crashed' the ship

CMN -

He 'crashed' the ship perfectly into the docking collar, which I presume more or less automatically forms a seal around whatever it comes in contact with. I think what we're supposed to come away with from that is that the systems are robust & automated enough that they *will* form a hard seal without too much intervention.

Not that I want to let

Not that I want to let little nitpicks like this destroy my enjoyment of the story, but I never quite understood in this episode how they can crash Serenity into Niska's space complex and somehow wind up with an airtight connection between the ships that lets them emerge and storm the place. Am I missing something?