Spoiler warning: these reviews reveal plot twists.
The crew are stunned to land on a planet where Jayne is revered as a folk hero…
Written by Ben Edlund. Directed by Marita Grabiak.
Best performance: Adam Baldwin’s having a blast as the routinely funny Jayne. The character is a selfish thug with a childlike outlook, but it’s still believable when he feels guilty for his actions.
* Simon and Kaylee’s sweet chat about swearing. He’s anti, she’s pro. (It’s set-up for a gag at the end of the cold open).
* Kaylee saying goodbye to Inara, who’s off to meet a client. “Have good sex!”
* The huge exterior set of the mud farm.
* Simon sees the statue of Jayne. “Son of a bitch!” (There’s that gag.)
* Book’s shocked to find River ‘fixing’ his Bible – ie, striking through passages that don’t make sense, ripping out pages and generally editing the text.
* Jayne and co hide in a bar, wanting a low profile. Then a guy with a guitar starts singing a song in praise of “the hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne!”
* The whole song, in fact.
* River freaks out when she sees Book with his usually tied-back hair hanging loose.
* The twist of who Inara’s client is.
* Simon and Kaylee getting drunk together. “You’re pretty funny.” “You’re pretty… pretty.”
* River, still obsessed with Book’s wild hair: “His brains are in terrible danger!”
* Jayne symbolically knocking the statue over.
* Kaylee tells Simon they slept together while drunk. (They didn’t: she’s just winding him up.)
Review: There’s a lot going on. The zippy and fun main story is about Jayne and his connection to the people of Canton. There are also subplots centred on Inara and River, while the Kaylee/Simon romance goes through a few more gears. Terrific stuff.
Nine inherent metaphoric parallels out of 10