Black Girls' Night Out: Zoe Washburne Rewatch

"The Train Job" is Episode 2 of Firefly's only season.  It begins in classic Firefly style, at acannot go wrong with that that).
dive bar on a backwater moon (points for that) with Mal, Zoe, and Jayne discreetly meeting a contact about a "job" (they use a scantily clad belly dancer as their intermediary).  The scene ends with our Three Bad-Asse s on the losing end of a bar fight (

What triggers the fight, you ask?

A dirty, drunk jerk in the bar demands that the glorious music playing be shut off so he can give a barely coherent toast to Unification Day.  Six years to the date prior, the Alliance won the war against the Independents.

Naturally, Mal just can't let that slide.  The drunk jerk starts mouthing off about how the Independents were "inbred cowards" and "piss-pots."  While Mal distracts him, Zoe takes him out quick with the butt of her shotgun.

The fight ends when the lead drunk jerk pulls a gun (Jayne notes that "them ain't kosherized rules"), and Wash raises the ship from behind, threatening to "blow a new crater in this little moon."  In my humble opinion, Firefly should've earned a third season just for that line alone (it should've been renewed for a second automatically, due to the presence of Perfection Herself).

After that, the crew goes on their job.  They're hired by a severely demented man with a fucked-up reputation.  And to make sure the crew understands his reputation isn't just idle gossip, he shows a bloodied corpse strung upside down in his office (cue Mal looking at Zoe).  He soon reveals the dead man is his wife's nephew and that at dinner he'll be getting an earful (cue Mal looking at Zoe again).

Oh, I know that ain't a dead man strung up in this office....
Demented Dude reveals that he wants the crew to steal something off a train.  He doesn't say what, and Mal doesn't ask.  Unlike the scumbag from the first episode, Demented Dude is happy to disclose that what he wants belongs to the Alliance.  Of course, he quips that per Mal's reputation, stealing from the Alliance ain't a problem.

Zoe and Mal board the train with the plan to let Jayne in through the roof.  He'll then be lifted with the cargo back onto their ship.  Of course, as they head towards the cargo, Zoe and Mal notice twenty armed Alliance Feds on the train, chillin'.

Aw, hell naw.
Zoe brings up the notion that hey...maybe this ain't such a good idea.  Mal insists that stealing right out from under the Feds will be a hell of a lot more fun, not to mention make them look pretty stupid.  It's exactly the sort of job he'd pull for free.

"Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing."
Of course...Zoe's right (as usual).  A Fed walks in on them, tripping Zoe's booby trap and shooting Jayne in the leg during the chaos.  Jayne makes it back to the ship with the cargo, screaming and shot, while Zoe and Mal use tear gas to obscure themselves as they ingratiate back into the passenger car.

At the train station, when everyone's pulled over and being questioned, Zoe and Mal realize they've stolen medicine, much needed medicine by the residents of this planet.  As they wait their turn to be questioned, Mal reminds Zoe that whatever happens, to remember that he loves her.

Zoe: (startled) Sir?

Mal: Because you're my "wife" (thus revealing the cover story they chose).

Zoe: (uncomfortable attempt at being cheery) Right...sir.... "Honey".

Which brings us to....

Are they?
Or aren't they?
Hollis Doyle makes an appearance (not as Hollis Doyle, of course) as the town Sheriff.

Hollis Doyle Gregg Henry as Sheriff Bourne
He reveals the reason so many people are sick is that every planet terra-formed has its own little "quirk", and in this case, the terra-forming process caused a reaction with the air in the mines, causing a widespread malady.  People who aren't even miners are chronically ill, himself included.

And while he knows something's up with the happy couple, Zoe and Mal play off their innocence quite well.  Of course, once they get back to the ship, they return the stolen goods ASAP, thus making an enemy of Demented Dude.

This was a hard episode to screen cap; the lighting was poor in most places, to reflect being on a dusty train and being in a dingy station. I had to tamper with tones, lighting, and contrasts.  But as usual...Perfection.


  1. Girl you gon make me go see if the bootleg DVD girl has Firefly. I'm still not 100% kosher on streaming; I like my movies like I like my books: tangible.

  2. I must confess to only ever seeing a bit of this series, but I believe I own a copy of their DVD movie. I've had a poor relationship with the television since... well.. forever. My third sister was all up in this series though. Of course... Gina Torres is Perfection Herself.


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