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The Message


The Message

Production Code: 1AGE15
Original Airdate: unaired

Written by: Joss Whedon and Tim Minear
Directed by: Tim Minear

Guest Stars:

Tracey - Jonathan M. Woodward Fendris (Womack buddy) - Tod Nakamura
Lt. Womack - Richard Burgi Skunk (Womack buddy) - Craig Vincent
Amnon (postal worker) - Al Pugliese Barker in the bazzar - Morgan Rusler



    In a marketplace, Simon is out with Kaylee seeing a sort of sideshow when he says something wrong and makes a mess of things with her again. The rest of the crew is at the post office when Jayne gets a package from his mother including an orange hat. Mal and Zoë get a package as well: the body of a war buddy. Flashback seven years to when they were fighting together in the war against the Alliance. Zoë had just saved the man, Tracey’s, life and as she is explaining to him that stealth is an important key to combat, when Mal comes running in, screaming and shooting at the enemy. The three discuss what move to make considering their situation but before making any move, Tracey is wounded.
    Mailing a body is illegal so the postal worker, Amnon, is nervous until Mal and Zoë take the crate back to Serenity with the rest of the crew following. The crate is placed in the cargo bay and opened as everyone stands around it. There is a recording found on the body which is played. It explains he made some bad decisions and asked that his friends from the war to take his body back to his family. Wash immediately sets a course for Tracey’s home planet of St. Albans.
    Man, looking official and with some back up, arrive at the post office that Mal and company had just left. They intimidate Amnon, trying to find out where the body that was shipped there is now. He gives in after a little bit and tells them that Malcolm Reynolds has it. There is a little more intimidating before the men go to find Mal and the body. Back on Serenity, Kaylee is listening to the recording alone in the engine room. Book is saying words over the body as Jayne finishes a work out, replacing his orange hat and River decides to lie on the coffin; Book comments that they all just deal with death in their own way.
    Mal and Zoë are telling funny old war stories to Inara over some drinks at the dinning room table. Something interrupts, rocking the ship. The go to the cockpit, joining Wash and Book in trying to see what’s going on. A video message (from the man who just got the information out of the postman) comes across. He introduces himself as Lieutenant Womack with the Alliance and that is looking for stolen goods. They think he is there after the Lasater gun (which Mal just helped Saffron steal) at first but Womack says he is looking for the crate. Mal plays nice while staling as everyone goes down to the body, taking apart the crate and eventually Mal allows Simon to perform an autopsy on Tracey.
    In the medical room, Simon prepares to begin when he notices that Tracey has been opened up before. Then as he starts to make an incision, Tracey sits up screaming and fighting back. Mal holds him down till he is calm. Tracey explains that he had all his organs replaced with genetically engineered organs and was the vessel to transport them for some people; he wanted to make some money to give his parents a better home. But he got a better deal so he decided ditch original buyer. But when he got to that new buyer, they were dead and there were men to catch him too. But Tracey escaped and figured the best was to throw his pursuers off was to appear dead, taking some drug that was supposed to simulate death for a week.
    The ship rocks, still being pursued by the Alliance guy. They all hang on to something as Wash navigates some intricate terrain in an attempt to lose their pursuers. Kaylee and Tracey are in her room talking, at Mal’s command in order to keep him out of trouble. Book is in the cockpit with the others when he notices that there supposed Alliance pursuers aren’t calling for back up from near a near by fed station. But these guys are persistent, shooting at the ship in attempts to fry them. Book then makes a suggestion to let them board. Tracey has left Kaylee’s room to see what was going on and over hears this idea and doesn’t like it at all. He pulls a gun out and aims mainly for Wash who is still being told by Mal to call the Womack. After some arguing and gun pointing Wash goes to make the call, Tracey shoots at him (the bullet grazes him) and Tracey is shot in turn by Zoë. Tracey then starts to make a run for it, grabbing Kaylee on his way as a hostage. But he doesn’t make it that far in the ship when he finds himself surrounded by Jayne, Mal and Zoë, all armed and Tracey ends up shot again.
    Womack boards to find he is also surrounded by the armed crew above him and a shot Tracey tell him the goods are damaged. Book approaches him, telling him that he won’t be getting anything off of Serenity. He calls him on not getting back-up earlier and that his uniform stripes aren’t right and finally that he won’t be missed by anyone if he gets killed by the crew. So he leaves Serenity, after making fun of Jayne’s hat, and leaves the area.
     Tracey, dying, apologizes to Kaylee and everyone; he just couldn’t get his life straight after the war. They promise him that they will get his body home and he dies. The crew delivers the body to his family on a snow evening. Zoë and Mal give his body to his family and Kaylee gives them the recording which is playing over the scene as Jayne removes his hat and Kaylee holds Simon’s hand.

Read the Script 

Memorable Quotes:
Simon: "This may come as a surprise, but I'm not very good at talking to girls."
Zoe: "Why, is there someone you are good at talking to?"

Jayne: (wearing orange knit hat) "How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don'tchya think?"

Kaylee: "I think it's the sweetest hat ever."

Book: "Makes a statement."

Jayne: "Yeah, yeah!"

Wash: "A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything."

Jayne: "Damn straight."


Jayne: "We're taking him on board?"

Mal: "We are."

Jayne :"Don't figure the percentage in that."

Mal: "Don't strain your brain trying, then. Might break something."



Section Editor: Cassandra   -   Email Cassandra   -   Cassandra's Bio   -   Last Edited on: July 30, 2005

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