I’ve been writing a lot of serious topics lately, so I decided to lighten up a bit…well…in this case, a lot. I’m a fan of the unjustly truncated TV series, Firefly, and the subsequent movie, Serenity. I bought the series on DVD, as well as the movie. Probably have watched every episode 5-10 times. Aside from all the unsolved mysteries from the series, in the movie, one part of the plot always has eaten at me. The fact Joss Whedon (the series creator and producer), decided in the movie to kill off both Wash and Shepherd Book just bugs me. Finally, one evening after watching Serenity yet again, the proverbial light bulb went on, and I had the solution.
Some background. I’ve been a science fiction fan, well, just about as long as I’ve been able to read. Started out going to the local drug store and spending my hard-earned allowance (50 cents a week!) and agonizing over which Tom Swift, Jr., book to buy. I was sure I could solve the real engineering for the “repelatron.” Fast forward a few years and one day I wandered by the paperback rack and one word caught my attention: “Foundation.” I never looked back.
Serenity: A Fan’s Vision and Re-Vision
“We’re still flyin.'”-Mal
My re-vision of the Serenity plot line. Sorry, Joss, I just couldn’t get over that you killed both Book and Wash. One, okay. It’s a dangerous ‘verse out there. Just not two. It closes the end of the story too tightly. I had to choose one or the other, so I chose Wash. So, here’s my rewrite of the scene when Wash crash lands “Serenity” on Mr. Universe’s planet.
Wash weaves Serenity through the chaotic battle between the Alliance Forces and the Reavers. Jayne comes to the rear of the bridge. Mal says “No, no, no!” Wash says, “Yes, yes.” Another piece of debris hits the ship. Jayne is slammed against the bulkhead and is knocked out, blood gushing from his scalp. Mal grabs the com and yells for Simon. Simon runs to the bridge with his medkit and appears just as Zoe says, “We’re not alone!” Simon kneels to tend to Jayne, who though dazed is trying to pull himself up.
When Serenity is hit by the Reaver’s EMP blast, Mal grabs the mike and says, “Everybody strap in,” and then he turns to Simon and says, “Doc!” Simon says “Right away!” and rushes to the engine room to pull Kaylee away from her fire extinguishing effort. Simon gets her strapped in, gets the others checked and then runs back to the bridge. Kaylee and River both scream “Simon!” Jayne is frantically using his belt to secure himself to the bulkhead and grabs Simon to the floor just as the ship begins to go into the flat spin.
As Serenity crashes, sliding down the runway, throwing sparks, slamming up and down repeatedly, Simon and Jayne are thrown about like bowling pins but somehow manage to hold on to each other.
When the ship comes to a halt, Mal looks back at Zoe and at Jayne and Simon, who are untangling themselves, splattered with the blood from the cut on Jayne’s head.
After uttering his line, “I’m a leaf on the wind,” Wash gets impaled by the Reaver’s giant spear. Zoe rushes from her seat to Wash, telling him “We gotta go, Baby!” Simon pushes himself up to Wash next to the distraught Zoe. Jayne is still sitting on the deck with a bandage held to his head but starting to pull himself up when the second set of spears smash into the bridge.
Mal pulls Zoe from the bridge, both believing Wash is dead. Simon leans forward over Wash’s shoulder and a light comes on his brilliant medical brain. Mal yells at Jayne, “Come on! Get your stuff!” but Jayne, still a little rattled is slow to respond. Simon looks at Jayne and says, “Jayne, get the chainsaw!”
Jayne, not really understanding what has happened to Wash from his vantage point on the rear deck of the bridge, plus being still fuzzy, bolts down the passageway, grabs a chainsaw and is back on the bridge in just moments. Sliding to a stop next to the impaled Wash, Jayne realizes for the first time what has happened, but Simon grabs the saw from him, yelling at Jayne to wrap his arms around Wash’s body as he cuts first the spear from the back of the pilot’s seat and then in a single motion, wheels the saw over Wash and Jayne’s head and slices through the front, leaving Wash with just a plug through his torso.
Simon yells to Jayne, “Pull him from the chair but don’t let the plug fall out! We’ve got to get him into River’s cryochamber. His body’s in shock but his cells are all still alive. If we can get him into stasis fast enough, I might be able to save him!”
Jayne, with that “Jayne” look of skepticism, almost hesitates, but he looks first at Wash and then at Simon, and grunts, “Does he have to be naked for it to work?” as he slings Wash’s limp body over his shoulder and heads to the cargo hold. They then join the others in the defense chamber.
After the fight with the Reavers, and the Operative’s order to stand down, Wash, along with the others, is patched up, though the dialogue could convey that his near-death experience has changed him. Think of the possibilities!
See, Joss, that wasn’t so hard. And you’ve options for a sequel.
Photo Credits: Universal Pictures (C) 2005.