Apr 5, 2020
The body of a fellow soldier is mailed to Mal and Zoe with a message. They discover a secret plan to smuggle goods that become damaged in shipping. We discuss damaged goods and the bright side of single thing on the In the 'Verse podcast.
MARC: My name is Marc Gunn, the creator of the Firefly Drinking Songs show.
MIKEY: And I’m Mikey Mason, creator of the Beer Powered Time Machine Podcast and currently the MIKEYtalks podcast.
MARC: This is part TWELVE of our 14 part series. We are rewatching episodes of Firefly. Our goal is to find themes and stories that we can write songs about.
Mikey: The first six episodes were funded by Marc’s fans in his Gunn Runners Club. He hit a milestone which made this show happen.
MARC: There are still more episodes of Firefly, and these last eight episodes were funded by Mikey’s fans helping him hit a Patreon milestone as well. But you can still help us in this creative endeavor by supporting him at http://patreon.com/mikeymason/
MIKEY: And by supporting Marc at http://patreon.com/celtfather
It is the second of three episodes (Trash, The Message and Heart of Gold) that were not broadcast in the original 2002 Fox run.
MIKEY: The Message opens on a space station with a huckster selling admissions to “proof of alien life.” Simon and Kaylee are on a date viewing it which turns out to be a cow fetus. After an awkward joke, Simon offends Kaylee, and she storms off. Outside, Inara tries to convince Mal to let her help fence the Lassiter they stole in the previous episode, “Trash,” but Mal insists on keeping her out of that side of the business.
MARC: Mal checks in with the station postmaster, who passes along two packages along with Serenity's mail. Jayne arrives to find that his mother has sent him a home-knitted cap, and he proudly dons it. The others observe the headgear with a mixture of amusement and sarcasm. The other shipped item is a huge crate addressed to Mal and Zoe. They open it to discover a dead body, the corpse of Private Tracey.
MIKEY: Flashback to seven years earlier at the Battle of Du-Khang. As a young Independence soldier, Private Tracey, calmly prepares a meal behind cover, an Alliance soldier sneaks up on him. Just as the latter is about to shoot, Zoe appears behind him and cuts his throat. While she lectures the boy about stealth, Sgt. Reynolds comes screaming over some obstacles and crashes into their position. Tracey is injured when the Alliance zeroes in on them. Mal and Zoe grab Tracey and their shell-shocked lieutenant and bug out.
MARC: Back in the present, aboard Serenity, the crew finds a recorded message from Tracey. He apparently anticipated trouble from some unsavory associates and has asked them to ship his body home to St. Albans, finishing the message with an old saying from the war, "When you can't run anymore, you crawl, and when you can't do that...well, yeah, you know the rest.” Back on the station, an Alliance soldier, Lieutenant Womack, threatens first to imprison, then to burn to death the postmaster, who quickly tells the man and his aide who left with the body.
MIKEY: On Serenity, Mal and Zoe and Inara are enjoying some down time when the ship is shaken by a warning shot from an Alliance craft. Lt. Womack hails them and demands to board Serenity. The crew mistakenly think that Womack is after the Lassiter. When Womack mentions "that crate", however, Mal realizes he's after Tracey's box, and stalls for time while they take apart the crate to discover what secrets it might contain. Finding nothing, they decide to have Simon autopsy the hapless soldier, but the doctors' first incision causes the "dead" man to leap up and struggle with the gathered crew.
MARC: After he calms down, Tracey confesses that he is smuggling illegal internal organs. He was supposed to deliver the implanted organs on Ariel, but he got a higher bid. Unfortunately for him, the original buyers killed the new customer and are now after their stolen "merchandise". Another shot from Womack reminds them of their immediate peril. After a brief pursuit, the Alliance ship finally catches up with them.
MIKEY: Book does some checking on their Alliance pursuers and discovers some anomalous behavior, and he recommends to Mal that they allow the Feds to board the ship. Tracey overhears some of this conversation and pulls a gun on the crew. Annoyed at Tracey, Mal orders Wash to call the Feds. As Tracey fires at Wash, Zoe shoots him in the chest, injuring him but not killing him.
MARC: Lt. Womack and his men enter the cargo bay. He tries to cow the smugglers with his Alliance authority, but an unarmed Book arrives to explain why he won't be using that authority, given the pains he's taken to keep his extracurricular organ-dealing activity from the local Feds. Faced with a surprisingly direct threat of death from the preacher, Womack decides to depart, dismissing the "damaged goods" in Tracey's gravely-wounded chest.
MIKEY: Tracey belatedly realizes that Book's confrontation was part of a plan, one that he ruined by threatening the crew and getting himself shot for his efforts. Mortally wounded, he asks Mal and Zoe to really deliver him home this time; they agree, finishing the earlier saying, "When you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you." Excerpts from Tracey's message can be heard as the crew of Serenity solemnly returns the fallen soldier to his grieving family.
Marc: I am ever so grateful for the kindness and generosity of Gunn Runners over on Patreon. Thanks to all of these Heroic Patrons: Alan D, Alexis, Angela H, Brian M, Carol B, Cary W, Chrystin P, daniel s, David & Paulette G, Doris Lane, Ed P, Eric R, Garrett R, JACQUELINE H, James O, James R, Jan & Jim C, Jennifer B, Jennifer C, Jeremy H, Jerrie A, Jessica C, Jimmy R, Josh B, KaminaDuck, Karen C, Kate D, Kelira, Kimberly K, Kurt G, LauraMay S, Les H, Leslie M, Lilith Marek, Lisa D, Luke M, Marie A, Mario B, Miranda Nelson Designs, Rachel B, Randy B, River G, Robyn Louise F, Sarah C, Scott & Melanie W, Sherron S, Stephen C, Tammy G, Tim M. O'Brien, Tina R
Mikey: Thank you , as always, to my amazing Patreon patrons for helping keep the music being made, especially Robin Abess, Brian Jackey, John Haight, John R Woolard, Les Howard, Jeremy Jackson and Jennifer Lewis, and welcome to my new Patrons: Jim McCoy, Boo, Marshall Bush, M Johnson, Accalia, Sean, Kevin Niesen, Jessica Rising, lindsay a, Wayne Cole, John Luck, Ame Morris, Jerry Landry, Terry Comer, Bobby Browncoat, Eric Distad
Mikey: We would love your comments, songs and lyrics or links to videos to share in the next show. Use the hashtag #InTheVerse. You can post them on the Blue Sun Tour Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc: In the ‘Verse was produced by Marc Gunn and Mikey Mason. Sign up on our website and find out more about the Blue Sun Tour at http://fireflydrinkingsongs.com/intheverse/