Firefly 1.07 (Jaynestown)
I want a town I can be the hero of, but only if it comes with lots of easy hot chicks, oh yeah!
Written By: Ben Edlund
Directed By: Marita Grabiak
–Jayne’s goggle getup is epic, purely epic!
–The idea of a mud farm is ingenious, another example of the many flavors that make up the tootsie roll that is Firefly.
–The Man They Call Jayne is easily one of the greatest songs ever written, ever I say!
–Kaylee is super cute whenever she makes any face, any face at all.
–Book’s awesome hair, is awesome, brains spilling out everywhere.
I suppose before I go any further with this review I should let the cat out of the bag, I love Ben Edlund. How can you not love the man who created The Tick, I mean seriously, if you’re asking yourself what the big deal is about The Tick then you have no soul, no soul at all. The term that most comes to mind when I think of The Tick and Edlund’s subsequent career is irreverent. Edlund’s an original thinker, but he does so around tried and true ideas. Jaynestown is a great example of the type of originality within an established idea that has defined Edlund’s career.
The idea of a hardened man finding a deeper core within himself isn’t original, nor is the idea of the screwed over partner or the lesson of what constitutes being a man. If this were any other show with any other writer I have no doubts that Jaynestown would have been an ordinary and decidedly average episode. But, this is a Ben Edlund episode, he understands these characters and he understands how to take the tried and true ideas I listed at the beginning of this paragraph and breathe new life into them. Storytelling isn’t always about the story being told, rather it is about the way the story being told is framed. By framing this particular story around a character like Jayne in a land that is as foreign as can be with a hearty helping of off the wall humor and you have a typical Ben Edlund story.
The character of Jayne is obviously the linchpin of Jaynestown, and once again, what he goes through is old hat, but watching him go through it is what really matters. Up till this point it’s been hard to see that there’s more beneath the surface with Jayne, he has acted every part the neanderthal ruffian. But, Jaynestown marks a turning point in the life of this character, the first loud and clear sign that the time he is spending on Serenity is changing him. It’s a testimony to the writing found throughout the show that despite not knowing anything of Jayne previous to the beginning of Firefly we still welcome his oncoming change and recognize why it is happening and what it will mean for the future.
While not the most original, Jaynestown is framed in such a way that it calls into question just how important originality actually is. Jaynestown is yet another episode of Firefly that is all too easy to get lost in and all too easy to have a ball with. In short, it’s more awesome sauce from Ben Edlund and more proof of how special Firefly really is.