Trash (Firefly)

"Trash" is the eleventh episode of the science fiction television series Firefly created by Joss Whedon. It is the first of three episodes that were not broadcast in the original 2002 Fox run.

Firefly episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 11
Directed byVern Gillum
Written byBen Edlund
Jose Molina
Production code1AGE12
Original air dateJune 28, 2003 (2003-06-28) (Sci-Fi Channel)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"War Stories"
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"The Message"
List of Firefly episodes

Mal's "wife" Saffron convinces him to help her steal a valuable artifact, but the crew of Serenity suspects foul play.


The episode opens in a desert, where a naked Mal sits on a rock, staring into the distance and saying to himself: "Yeah… that went well."

During a cargo transfer 72 hours earlier, Mal meets up with Monty, a war buddy and fellow Browncoat turned smuggler. As Monty's crew unloads cargo, he tells Mal that he's gotten married, introducing his wife Bridget. "Bridget" turns out to be Mal's nemesis Saffron, and a fight breaks out between them. Enraged to learn of Saffron's double-dealing, Monty leaves without her, stranding her on the deserted moon where Mal is waiting for a pickup. Mal orders Saffron to walk away and be left behind, but reconsiders when she tempts him with the prospect of a lucrative heist. Later, Serenity arrives to pick up Mal and the unloaded cargo. Later Mal lets Saffron out of one of the loaded crates in the cargo bay.

In the common room, Saffron describes to the crew her plan to steal a priceless antique laser pistol, the Lassiter, from Durran Haymer, a wealthy collector of Earth-That-Was artifacts. She claims a detailed knowledge of Haymer's security arrangements, but explains that the difficulty lies in getting the weapon off the estate, something Serenity's crew could accomplish. The crew is outraged that Mal has brought Saffron on board, but they reluctantly agree to the plan.

Jayne is assigned to watch over Simon and River and keep them out of Saffron's sight. River worries about the situation, telling Simon she doesn't trust Saffron and that she knows Jayne had tried to betray the Tams to the Alliance. Meanwhile, Wash and Kaylee instruct Mal and Saffron to dump the collectible pistol, once they procure it, into an automated trash disposal unit, which Kaylee can reprogram to have the trash taken to a remote location where they can pick it up.

Mal and Saffron enter the estate without difficulty. They find the room that houses the well-protected collectible, but are met by Durran himself. Durran rushes to Saffron and embraces her, calling her "Yolanda" and thanking Mal for bringing back his wife, who had apparently disappeared six years ago. Saffron insists that Durran provide some compensation for Mal's "rescue". Durran steps out to get reward money for Mal, to allow them to finish retrieving the pistol. As Durran reenters, he attempts to remonstrate with her, but Saffron knocks him out with a kick and leaves with Mal, who has discarded the antique in the trash chute after which they escape.

Meanwhile, Wash has been hovering Serenity directly under the trash unit of Haymer's estate while Jayne retrieves the control unit and Kaylee reprograms it, clinging to the ship's hull. A delay arises during the windy EVA when Jayne is incapacitated by an electric shock, but Zoe helps Kaylee replace the control board just in time for the automated pickup vehicle to collect the trash unit. Jayne is dragged back on board by Shepherd Book.

As Mal and Saffron fly toward the rendezvous in Isis Canyon, Mal continues to explore his theory that Durran was Saffron's true love and original husband. Saffron seems to become emotional, but when Mal is off guard, she secures his gun and takes him prisoner. Saffron orders Mal to disrobe as revenge for him seeing her naked in the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds", and strands him in the desert before proceeding to the drop location.

As Saffron searches through the garbage for the antique laser pistol, Inara emerges above her to taunt her with the weapon. The Companion reveals that she been part of the plan all along, knowing that Saffron would get the drop on them somehow and arranging to beat her at her own game of deception. Inara remotely closes the garbage container to trap Saffron for the authorities to pick up later.

On Serenity, the crew discovers that Saffron has again sabotaged their ship, delaying their trip to the rendezvous so that Kaylee can make repairs. Jayne awakens in the infirmary to find that Simon has medically paralyzed him to rest a spinal injury. Simon reveals his knowledge of Jayne's plan to sell out the Tams, but reminds him that Serenity's crew are a team, and that as Jayne's doctor he will never harm him. River, however, warns Jayne that she can kill him with her brain.

Once repaired, Serenity makes it to Mal's location. Mal and Inara, having reached an understanding, trade jokes about the heist. Mal casually boards Serenity in front of his crew, still unclothed. Wash and Zoe are shocked by the captain's brazenness, but Kaylee cheerfully congratulates Mal as the ship lifts off from the desert.


  • Saffron first appeared in "Our Mrs. Reynolds", an episode that occurred "about a half a year back" from this one.
  • After Jayne stocks up Simon and River's cabin and leaves, River, in another paranormal instance, tells Simon that Jayne is afraid they'll know what he was attempting to do in "Ariel", two episodes past. Simon and River confront Jayne on the subject towards the end of the episode.


  • Won the SyFy Genre Awards: Best Special Guest/Television Christina Hendricks for "Trash", 2006[1]
  • Won the SyFy Genre Awards: Best Episode/Television "Trash", 2006

Pop culture referencesEdit

The planet where most of the action takes place is Bellerophon. Bellerophon is the name of a spacecraft in the classic film Forbidden Planet (1956), in the TV series Andromeda, and in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.[citation needed]

Bellerophon originated in Greek myth.[citation needed]

Bellerophon has been used as a name for both British Royal Navy and U.S. Navy warships.[citation needed]

The Lassiter might have taken its name from the 1984 caper film of the same name starring Tom Selleck.[citation needed]

Guest castEdit


  1. ^ "SyfyPortal Awards". Archived from the original on 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2006-10-08.


  • Espenson, Jane; Glenn Yeffeth (eds.). Finding Serenity: Anti-heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's "Firefly". Dallas, Texas: Benbella Books. ISBN 1-932100-43-1.
  • Rhonda V. Wilcox; Tanya Cochran (20 May 2008). Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Joss Whedon's Worlds Beyond: Science Fiction on the Frontier (Investigating Cult TV Series). I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84511-654-5.
  • Joss Whedon (1 Sep 2005). Serenity: The Official Visual Companion. Titan Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84576-082-3.
  • Joss Whedon; et al. (25 August 2006). Firefly: The Official Companion: Volume One. Titan Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84576-314-5.
  • Joss Whedon; et al. (25 August 2006). Firefly: The Official Companion: Volume Two. Titan Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84576-372-5.
  • Joss Whedon (December 9, 2003). The Complete Series: Commentary for "Serenity" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.

External linksEdit