The Message

Episode Report Card
admin: F | 9 USERS: B-
With friends like these...

R-R-R-Ruffles have r-r-r-ridges! There aren't any commercials or anything. I just felt like I should fill up the gap. And since when is "sour cream and onion" a "new" potato chip flavor, anyway?

Now, going back into my whiny editor mode, I really think the episode would have been better if it picked up here in the second act, after the introduction segment. Nearly everything that took place in the first act is mentioned again later in the episode. I know "showing" is preferable to "telling," but looking back at the first act, all we really learned was that Tracey was in the war with Zoe and Mal and evil, evil men want his body. The actual conflict in the episode hasn't even hit the crew yet.

Sad violin music plays as Kaylee hangs out in the engine room, listening again to Tracey's recording (see how easily they worked it into the second act?). Simon wanders by, and may I say he's looking downright unkempt! His black Structure dress shirt isn't even tucked in! Oh, the horror. Maybe he's returning from Jayne's bunk. Simon eavesdrops on Kaylee sitting in the engine room, but decides against making himself known or anything, and wanders away. I know Kaylee's a bit innocent, but when did she become a sap? She was a bit traumatized in "War Stories" and "Objects In Space," but getting all moony over some dead guy she never even knew seems a bit too much, even for her.

Down in the cargo bay, Jayne bench-presses some, like, really big weights (swoon!), while Book watches over Tracey, because he's a minister and if he doesn't get into caretaker mode when a dead body's around, he'll get his license taken away. Jayne inexplicably worries that he's making too much noise and disturbing Book. Because suddenly Jayne cares. Book says he was just saying a few words, but he doesn't know Tracey's "denomination" and blah blah blah. Well, you're too late for him anyway. If he's been dead for a week, I figure God has already decided what to do with him. Out of nowhere, Jayne says that it's good that Book is praying for Tracey: "The Lord should oughta [sic] look after the dead." This is the same guy who couldn't give a shit what happened to the dead folks in "Bushwhacked" until he discovered the possibility of scoring some loot. Although he has been shown to be superstitious, so I don't know. It just doesn't feel right. It seems like everybody's reaction to death is being exaggerated in order to serve the plot. And then Jayne offers to spot Book for a set. Okay, so he's not too put out. Book declines. Jayne says that most people get all quiet around dead people, but being around death encourages him to go "do stuff" liking working out or "getting some 'trim' if there's a woman about." Because, you know, Jayne is normally the bookish homebody of the team. Also, maybe Simon really was returning from Jayne's quarters? Book says he understands the whole carpe diem-ness that is Jayne's existence. Jayne puts the silly orange hat back on and asks Book if he's going to read over Jayne's body when he's gone. Book says he's sure Jayne will be with them for a long time. He must be reading all the forums.

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