“Our Mrs. Reynolds” is a fun episode. The story line doesn’t break any creative boundaries, but you really get the feeling that the actors have settled into their roles. They are comfortable enough with their respective characters to start to play a little.
We open with Jayne and a lady fording a stream and set upon by bandits. The lady in the big bonnet is, in fact, Mal – Zoe is hidden in the back of the wagon. She pops out to shoot a bandit or three, Mal and Jayne dispatch a few and team Serenity takes the day. The notable elements of this scene are that Jayne actually sounds like a human being, instead of a grunting thug, while he is bantering with Mal, and of course the oft-quoted line, “I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you.”
Later that night the crew is being entertained by the town, in thanks for helping them with their bandit problem. There is a bonfire, dancing and lots of alcohol. Mal and Inara stroll through the festivities having a relaxed conversation, looking like they actually like each other; it’s kind of cute. As the evening wears on, we see Shepherd Book giving last rites to the dead bandits while everyone else celebrates, but he stops to take note of a young woman who kneels to give Mal a crown of flowers and some wine before leading him into a dance.
Next morning Serenity hears that an Alliance ship is coming to town, so they clear out. Once they’re in the air Mal finds a stray girl in the cargo hold. Holy plot twist Batman! It’s his new wife. He makes himself look like a total ass trying to find out what happened and explain that he doesn’t want a wife.
The rest of the episode isn’t a huge surprise. Saffron, aka “Mrs. Reynolds,” is a fake. She’s really a con woman who knocks out half the crew, after trying to seduce them, and sends the ship toward her partners in crime who run an interstellar chop-shop. Since I love this episode for the quotes, I’m skipping the blow-by-blow in favor of a Top 10 Quotes list.
Bandit: You gonna give us what’s due us. And every damn thing else on that boat. And I think maybe you gonna give me a little one-on-one time with the missus.
Jayne: Oh, I think you might wanna reconsider that last part. See, I married me a powerful ugly creature.
[The “woman” looks up – it’s Mal in a dress.]
Mal: How can you say that? How can you shame me in front of new people?
Jayne: If I could make you prettier I would!
Mal: You are not the man I met a year ago!
[Mal and Jayne get the draw on the bandits.]
Mal: Now think real hard. You been bird-doggin’ this township awhile now. They wouldn’t mind a corpse of you. Now, you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell, but if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you.
Mal: ZoÃ«, why do I have a wife?
Book: If you take sexual advantage of her, you’re going to burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.
Mal: I would appreciate it if one person on this boat would not assume I’m an evil, lecherous hump.
Zoe: No one’s saying that, sir.
Wash: Yeah, we’re pretty much just giving each other significant glances and laughing incessantly.
Mal: [resignedly] Oh, I’m gonna go to the special hell.
Jayne: It’s my very favorite gun… I call it Vera
Zoe: Remember that sex we were planning to have, ever again?
Mal: Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill ’em right back! Wife or no, you are no one’s property to be tossed aside. You got the right same as anyone to live and try to kill people.
Jayne: See, Vera? Dress yourself up, you get taken out somewhere fun.
Wash: Some people juggle geese!