Hoban "Wash" Washburn
"Wo de ma he ta de feng-kuang de wai-sheng dou* do I wish I was somebody else right now. Somebody not... married, not madly in love with a beautiful woman who can kill me with her pinkie!"
Wash is Serenity's pilot, and he's very, very good at his job. He's flown Mal's cargo ship over a speeding train, dodged missiles with her, and maneuvered her through a canyon while eluding falling boulders. He even managed to dock with a space station once by aiming Serenity at the point where the docking port would be and coasting in, which is nothing short of amazing.
||It's like throwing a dart, Jayne, and hitting a bullseye six thousand miles away. That's my man.
He's also, in many ways, the least mature of the people who call Serenity home. Whether he's joking around with the rest of the crew or playing with his plastic dinosaurs, Wash often seems like a teenage boy trapped in the body of a man. With the possible exception of River, he's probably the most insecure member of the crew, and it's pretty obvious that he feels a little inadequate compared to Mal.
||Hey, I've been in a firefight before! Well, I was in a fire. (beat) Actually, I was fired from a fry-cook opportunity.
This insecurity shows itself most strongly through his jealousy of Mal and Zoe's strong friendship. Wash hates the way his wife always defers to the captain and calls him sir--especially since she's so willing to argue with her husband. This comes to a head in the episode War Stories, in which Wash forces Zoe to stay behind on the ship while he accompanies Mal on a mission. The two men are captured by the evil Adlai Niska, and they reach an understanding while he tortures them.
||I mean, I'm the one she swore to love, honor, and obey.
||Listen... (beat) She swore to obey?
||Well, no, not... (beat) But that's just my point! You she obeys! She obeys you! There's obeying going on right under my nose!
*Wo de ma he ta de feng-kuang de wai-sheng dou is Mandarin for "Holy mother of God and all her wacky nephews".
According to IMDB and other sources, Wash and Zoe's last name is Warren. However, this is never mentioned in the series.
There's an apocryphal story that Wash is short for Washburn. Again, this isn't mentioned in the series.
Wash is such a good pilot, he doesn't even need a stick!