Ain't It Cool News (

Herc Gives FIREFLY 1.11 Four Stars!!

Firefly 1.11 FAQ

What’s it called?

“War Stories.”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay is credited to Cheryl Cain (“Roswell”).

Isn’t this just the ninth episode to air? What’s this “1.11” business?

Fox is running these early episodes out of order.

Well, in what order has Fox been running them?

1.3 The Train Job 9/20 ****

1.4 Bushwhacked 9/27 ***

1.7 Our Mrs. Reynolds 10/4 ****

1.8 Jaynestown 10/18 ***

1.9 Out of Gas 10/25 ****

1.5 Shindig 11/1 ***1/2

1.6 Safe 11/8 ***1/2

1.10 Ariel 11/15 ****

1.11 War Stories 12/6 ****

1.? Objects in Space 12/13

1.1&2 Serenity 12/20 ****

Will the two-hour pilot airing on Dec. 20 be the last time we see “Firefly”?

Probably not. Fox has ordered 15 episodes so far. By Dec. 20, the netlet will only have aired 12.

Will it return to Friday nights after Dec. 20?

Word is Fox execs are seriously contemplating moving the show to Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Thursdays at 8?? Opposite “Friends” and “Survivor”?? Aaiiee!!

Maybe. But remember that the WB launched “Gilmore Girls” in the same time slot against the same shows. Remember also that “Friends” is not expected back next year.

Wait a minute. Isn’t that also the timeslot Fox dumped “The Tick” in last season?

Oh. That’s right …

Ngaa! Is there some sort of petition I can sign?

You might want to give this a gander. UPDATE: Yikes! When this story was posted to Coaxial News around 7:30 a.m. PT Friday, there were 38 signatures; now it's not quite 2 p.m. Friday and there are more than 600. ... 5:30 p.m. As Friday's "Firefly" airs in the East, the signature count has vaulted over 850. ... 7:05 p.m. "John Doe" just finished in the East; tally is over 1,000 in less than 12 hours. ... 10:05 p.m. "John Doe" just ended in the West, and the count is up to 1,250.

What does TV Guide say?

“A vengeful crime lord sets out to derail Wash and Mal's medical-supplies scam as payback for Mal's part in a botched train heist. But the bad guy may have met his match in another member of the Serenity crew, who refuses to see the captain go down without a fight.”

So I take it this is a sequel to the first episode to air? The one in which Mal kicked a mouthy henchman into the ship’s turbines?

We see this very scene in the “previously” clip package.

Which member of the Serenity crew refuses to see the captain go down without a fight? Is it Zoe?

It is Zoe.

What’s the medical supplies scam? Does it involve the costly pharmaceuticals the crew snatched in “Ariel”?

It does.

So it’s a sequel to “Ariel” too? Boy, that continuity we were promised is really starting to kick in, huh?

It’s quite a hefty “previoiusly” package this week.

At the end of “Ariel,” a better-informed Simon Tam injects his nutcase supergenius psychic sister and tells her, “It’s time to wake up.” Any evidence of River’s awakening?

Big evidence.

So she’s sane now?

She still goes in and out of the crazy, but she can feel her lucid moments growing more lucid, which makes anticipating the crazy parts even harder for her. “I hate it because I know it'll go away,” she confides after fouling Simon’s bed.

Does the increased sanity make River less interesting?

No. This week River gets a whole lot more interesting. Behold this little chunk of Simon’s foreshadowing dialogue: “The more I see the more I think their purpose was very specific. Look at this - the pattern.” (Next week’s episode, the last before the long-anticipated airing of the two-hour pilot and series hiatus, looks to be the most River-centric yet.)

Any changes on the Jayne Cobb front following Mal’s last conversation with him in “Ariel”?

Yes. Amusing ones.

The big news?

Pay attention to Book’s opening comments about Shan Yu and this business about the volcano’s edge and “you will finally meet the man.” River’s not the only character we learn some way interesting stuff about. Revelations, some far more surprising than others, await with regard to a shocking number of of the regulars this week.

The bigger news?

There’s yet another giant homage to Quentin Tarantino this week.

The biggest news?

One of the regulars dies this week.

What else is TV Guide not telling us?

This one centers around Wash and Zoe, and serves to clarify Zoe’s feelings with regard to the two main men in her life - but only after Wash’s resentment begins to boil over. He says things like, “What this marriage needs is one less husband!” and “Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiou doh sai-jin wuh dhu pee-goo!”

Do we see the blue hand group?

Only in the clip package.

Does Kaylee kiss any doctors this week?

No. But she spends a lot of quality time with a doctor’s sister.

Does River kiss any preachers?

Not that one remembers.

Does Inara kiss any captains?

Inara lays some serious smoochage, but not on Mal. Her client this week actually makes the trip to Serenity, and raises a few eyebrows. “The councilor is an important political figure and a very private person,” confides Inara. “I think he's going to bring her flowers,” Kaylee confides excitedly.

Am I crazy, or do I keep seeing Morena Baccarin in some deodorant commercial?

You’re not imagining it. Remember the shot at the end when she pours sand out of her pump? A familiar eye-roll is reprised tonight after Inara bids her client adieu.

Does Zoe kiss any pilots?


What’s great?

“No power in the 'verse can stop me.” The pacing. Gangster Niska’s sadistic giddiness. All the stuff with River and Inara. Jayne generally, and the line “I’ll be in my bunk” in particular. The sounds Mal and Wash make when the juice is on. Book’s hidden talent. Too many other things to list here.

What’s not so great?

This is the wrong series to be sticking on the shelf.

Is “Firefly” the year’s best new show?

Without question, “Firefly” is the year’s best new show.

What about “Boomtown”?

“Boomtown” is the second-best new show. Herc watches it every Sunday after “The Sopranos,” but it’s no “Firefly.”

How does it end, spoiler-boy?

“Oh, hey. Free soup.”

Herc’s rating for “Firefly” 1.11?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

8 p.m. Friday. Fox.

I am – Hercules!!

To order boxer shorts adorned with the image of a green, handicapable “Buffy” fanatic, click here.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus