Firefly/Objects in Space

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Objects in Space
Objects in Space
Season 1, Episode 10
Airdate December 13, 2002
Production Number 1AGE11
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
← 1x09
War Stories
1x11/12 →
FireflySeason One

Objects in Space is the tenth episode of the first season of Firefly.

Starring: Nathan Fillion (Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds), Gina Torres (Zoe Washburne), Alan Tudyk (Hoban "Wash" Washburne), Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra), Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb), Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye), Sean Maher (Dr. Simon Tam), Summer Glau (River Tam), Ron Glass (Shepherd Book)

Guest Starring: Richard Brooks (Jubal Early)


Plot Overview

A bounty hunter boards the Serenity to capture River for the Alliance.


Arc Advancement



  • Book: While talking to Simon, Jubal Early mentions that Book isn't a shepherd, which seems to confirm that Book is more than he's letting on. But, because Early is so existential in his speech, it may mean many different things.


  • 1x10 - War Stories: Kaylee recounts River shooting the men that had her cornered during the crew's raid on Niska's space station.


The Show

  • Music: Early's theme music was originally inspired by Once Upon a Time in the West, but turned out to be more like "Peter and the Wolf" because of the bassoon used.

Behind the Scenes

  • Genesis: This episode started out with Joss wanting to write an episode where River finally becomes a part of the team. He didn't get the idea for the bounty hunter angle until Tim Minear mentioned Boba Fett to him.
  • Meaning: This episode is largely tied to Joss Whedon's interest in existentialism, particularly a book called Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre where the main point of the book points to the unbearable awareness of everything around him. Also integral to the theme of the episode is how River and Early are outsiders and experience things the same way, but they both imbue objects with different meanings.

Allusions and References

  • Jubal Early: Jubal Early was an American Civil War general who was allied with the Confederacy. He is most famously known for a siege on Washington. During his battles, he was quoted as saying "Major, we haven't taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell." However, Early's forces were decimated by Sherman, although he escaped capture and was discharged be General Lee. Joss Whedon patterned much of Firefly on the Civil War and the similarity of names, but the intended significance is unknown. It is also apparent that General Early was a distance ancestor of Nathan Fillion.
  • Existentialism: In the DVD commentary Joss Whedon explains the this episode reflects his interest in existentialism and in particular the idea that objects have no inherent meaning, and that it is up to humans to bring meaning to things.

Memorable Moments


  • Mal: I find River pleasant enough myself, but she does have an oddness to her.
  • Wash: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
Zoe: You live in a space ship, dear.
Wash: So?
  • Simon: So, you're a bounty hunter.
Early: That ain't it at all.
Simon: Then what are you?
Early: I'm a bounty hunter.
  • Simon: You're out of your mind.
Early: That's between me and my mind.
  • Early: Your sister's becoming a real annoyance.
Simon: I feel for you.
  • Early: I know you're on this ship, little girl! So here's how it goes: You show yourself and finish this exchange or your brother's brains be flying every which way. (aside to Simon) You understand I'm sort of on the clock here—it's frustrating.
  • Early: Where'd she go?
Simon: I can't keep track of her when she's not incorporeally possessing a spaceship, don't look at me.
  • Early: You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I've ever had to transport yet by far the most troublesome. Does that seem right to you?
Simon: What'd he do?
Early: Who?
Simon: The midget.
Early: Arson. The little man loved fire.
  • Zoe: (removing bullet from Simon) This is really not my area of expertise, doctor. I tend to be putting these into people more than the other thing.
Wash: Can I mop your brow? I'm at the ready with the fearsome brow mop.