Serenity: The Big Damn Movie

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | 31 USERS: A-
Next Step: Straight To Video

River walks into the bar as the argument continues. The twins discuss how the Serenity crew is a "sorry lot" that most people won't even deal with. River's attention is caught by a Fruity Oaty Bar commercial, staring up at the television. "You're unpredictable, Mal. You run when you ought to fight. Fight when you ought to deal. Makes a businessperson a little twitchy." On screen, the commercial goes like this: "Fruity Bars make a man of a mouse / Fruity Oaty Bars, pow! / Make you bust out of your blouse / Eat them now, bang!" It's pretty awesome. There are these weird little Powerpuff nuns with bindis, and at one point an octopus comes flying out of a woman's shirt. Things go silent and there's a bluish glow on everything, River brightly lit in the darkness, consciousness fully altered. Images of her torture, of the Reavers, flash across the screen. She whispers: "Miranda."

And yeah, "brave new world with such people on it," but also, "daughter of a wizard who controls the whole world, playing everyone like chess, because he's trying to teach them how to think." To elevate them from their sinful, base impulses, to a life of pure reason and control. It was on Ariel that River died away, locked in a cloven pine, and reawakened with her powers, as a tool of the Alliance, restored. Where Jayne revealed himself again as a creature without higher purpose, without self-forged belief beyond the acquisition of pleasure and riches, not honored with a human shape, a creature of the world, a savage without the nobility of his fellow savages, and was nearly judged with death by the Captain, and earlier, by his victim River herself.

River freaks out, all silence but the sound of her destruction, as she proceeds to take down everybody in the place. The light is too bright, too harsh -- but in the action of a kick, both the sound and color return to normal, brilliantly. Jayne notes the melee ("Hey, a tussle!") and Mal pushes back the large fan that serves as a privacy curtain. They watch for a second or two, and one of the twins asks if he knows the girl currently ripping the bar open from one end to the other. "I really don't." River continues to do amazing, beautiful, terrible things to more and more assailants that are nearly impossible to describe on paper. Mal signals Jayne to get into it as the twins take off, and Jayne grabs her. She fights like a creature possessed. "Gorrammit, girl, it's me!" He gets a kick to the nuts, because it's Jayne, and she beats the hell out of him as Mal runs to the weapon lockers. Mal picks the lock as guns start firing, and they pull on each other in the same instant, in a standoff, staring at each other silently.

Simon appears, speaking a phrase loudly into the chaos, and River immediately goes limp, dropping to the floor. A beautifully composed wide shot from above shows her, just a girl again in a lovely dress, lying in the middle of her wreckage. Mal grabs her and takes off, Jayne and Simon following.

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