Firefly: The Message (2002)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Hybrid Western, Space Adventure  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Simon (Sean Maher) puts his foot in his mouth again, inadvertently insulting Kaylee (Jewel Staite). While visiting a sort of futuristic carnival freak show, the crew is unable to fence the Lasseter (the priceless weapon they stole in the previous episode, Trash), but they do have occasion to pick up their mail. Jayne (Adam Baldwin) gets a funny hat from his mother, while Mal (Nathan Fillion) and Zoe (Gina Torres) receive a large box, which contains a coffin, which contains a body. The body belongs to Tracey (Joss Whedon regular Jonathan M. Woodward), who fought alongside Mal and Zoe back in the day, when he was a raw recruit, and they kept him alive through the battle of Du-Khang. Back on the ship, they find that Tracey has recorded a message for them, asking them to bring his body to his family on St. Alban's. Soon, an Alliance ship tracks down Serenity. The feds demand that Mal turn over his illegal cargo. But it's not the Lasseter they want, it's Tracey's body. Simon starts to perform an autopsy to find out what the Feds are after. Much to everyone's surprise, Tracey is still alive, and the precious cargo he's carrying is a complete set of genetically engineered super-organs. As it turns out, Tracey agreed to smuggle the organs, but double-crossed his buyer when he got a better offer, then had to fake his own death in an effort to escape. While Tracey woos Kaylee, Mal tries vainly to outrun the feds, but despite Wash's flying skills, the feds have them outgunned and outmaneuvered. Book (Ron Glass) suggests a plan, which Tracey overhears and misconstrues. Believing that his old mates are turning him in, he takes a hostage. This episode, included in the DVD set, was never aired by Fox.

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Keywords

cargo, coffin, escape, family, hostage, illegality, organ-transplant, soldier