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Season 1, Episode 7
Airdate November 8, 2002
Production Number 1AGE04
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed by Michael Grossman
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FireflySeason One

Safe is the seventh 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: Isabella Hofmann (Megan Tam), William Converse-Roberts (Gabriel Tam), John Thaddeus (Stark), Gary Werntz (Patron)

Co-Starring: Andrew A. Rolfes (Older Grange), Mathew C. Ferreira (Younger Grange), Joel Steingold (Head Cop), Erica N. Tazel (Doralee), Ron Ostrow (Commander), Morina Pierce (Ruby), Skylar Roberge (Young River), Zac Efron (Young Simon)


Plot Overview

On a planet, Simon is kidnapped by locals who need a doctor, while River is threatened with burning as a witch.


Arc Advancement



  • Simon and River: Several flashbacks about River and Simon's lives before he kidnapped her from the Alliance camp are shown in this episode. It is revealed that Simon has been disowned by his father, despite his good intentions to save River.
  • Book: When Book is transported to the Alliance starship, he gives them an identification card that suddenly changes their minds about whether or not to give him medical treatment. The implication is that Book is connected to the Alliance, but Mal says that it would surprise him if that were the case. Later on, Book tells Mal that maybe one day he'll explain.


  • 1x01 - Serenity: Kaylee was wounded by an undercover Alliance agent who wanted to arrest Simon. Shepherd Book held her hand back then, just like she now holds his.
Kaylee: He did this for me once.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • Previously On...: When this episode broadcast on FOX, the previously on segment wasn't changed to reflect the out of order airing so scenes from episodes which didn't air were included.

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Young River: (playing "Alliance and Independents") We're in trouble. We got cut off.
    Young Simon: Cut off from what?
    Young River: Our platoon, Simon. We got outflanked by the Independent squad, and we're never going to make it back to our platoon. We need to resort to cannibalism.
    Young Simon: That was fast.
  • Mr. Tam: Language, young man.
Young Simon: Sorry, Dad. The Independents attacked us with dinosaurs.
Young River: Simon lost his head in the heat of battle.
Mr. Tam: Since there were dinosaurs involved, I think we'll let it slide.
  • Simon: I'm sorry, Dad. You know I would never have tried to save River's life if I had known there was a dinner party at risk.
  • Book: I am a shepherd. Folks like a man of God.
Mal: No they don't. Men of God make everyone feel guilty and judged.
  • Mal: Well look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir.
Mal: Ain't we just?
  • Patron: This is a holy cleansing. You cannot think to thwart God's will.
Mal: Y'all see the man hanging out of the spaceship with the really big gun? I'm not saying you weren't easy to find. But it was kinda out of our way, and he didn't want to come in the first place. Man's lookin' to kill some folk. So really, it's his will y'all should worry about thwarting.