What's Your Favorite Scene or Dialogue in War Stories?

UPDATED: Monday, September 25, 2017 14:48
VIEWED: 9262
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Monday, June 13, 2016 8:35 PM


The 10th episode to be scripted and filmed, the 9th to be aired, and the last to be originally broadcast in sequential order, meaning it followed the episode immediately before it. Also the last episode to be aired before Fox cancelled the series, and it had the lowest share rating of any episode in the original season broadcasts.

This is the episode after Ariel, where Jayne was reportedly scheduled to be killed off but got a reprieve due to his popularity as measured on the internet.
So this would be the only episode in the series where a major character died. For those familiar with Joss' tendency to do this, this plot twist may have had more impact. But for those not knowing like me, Mal having his ear cut off and then being killed just seemed weird.

As the return of Michael Fairman as Niska, this is the first broadcast of a guest star repeat performance, a callback for a character (other than the Hands of Blue in The Train Job and Ariel). The Train Job was aired 20 September and War Stories was being filmed less than a month after that.

I notice in the online script, the line about the Bible being fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps is attributed to Simon, not Book.

I liked the scene of Space Rambo Jayne's "What?"
And Mal's retort to Niska "We're starting a book club? What? Are you trying to torture me?"
And "I'll be in my bunk"

But I think my favorite is River's saving Kaylee by shooting 3 guys with her eyes closed. This was the first glimpse of her real abilities, a foreshadow of upcoming events in BDM Serenity. From this point, the viewer had to wonder, and pay attention. These upcoming events were the actual reason that Joss wanted Summer in the role of River.

What was your favorite?

The first thread in this series of threads:


Tuesday, June 14, 2016 10:01 AM



Tuesday, June 14, 2016 3:47 PM


There were lots of great scenes. The worst, however, was when Zoe did that somersault during the gunfight. I think Gina even mentioned it later.

My favorite was when Mal escaped and knocked Niska down. "You want to know the real me?"

Niska got away, of course, because we would have seen him again if Fox hadn't succumbed to acute mental retardation and canned the show.


Saturday, June 18, 2016 2:35 AM


Zoe: "We're going to get him back!"

Jayne "What're we gonna do? Clone him?"


Tuesday, June 21, 2016 7:29 PM


Wife soup!


Sunday, September 17, 2017 12:46 PM


Nothing in the verse can stop me. Kaylee, after getting her apple back from River.

Nothing in the verse can stop me. River, after saving Kaylee by shooting 3 guys with her eyes closed.

It was almost like a preview of "My Turn"


Sunday, September 17, 2017 9:15 PM


How about Jayne leading with his gun, not closing his eyes in reflex as most people do when firing a gun? Way cool. There's a hard man.

And Jewel played Kaylee's fear to utter perfection - Kaylee was utterly out of her depth and had no idea what to do in a gunfight, her only reason for being there her sense of obligation to her friends. Though there is of course no shame in that - she showed her courage by being there at all - she really should've stayed out of it. Of course, being Kaylee, she couldn't, however scared she of the many reasons we all love her.

The somersault aside, Zoe showed the utter grim determination we'd come to expect of her. This was a woman who would face down the forces of Hell if they stood between her and her cap'n.

Wash's best line was delivered with utter perfection: "Bastard's not gonna get three days!"


Monday, September 25, 2017 2:48 PM


Just, Pick YOUR gorram Star, then Follow IT!! I DON'T Care what you believe. Just Believe SOMETHING!! ~Anon

Favorite lines in order of sequence:

NISKA And to me, they are worth more. I think this is not enough. Not enough for two. But sufficient, perhaps for one.
(beat, smiling)
Ah... you now have --

ZOE (immediately)Him. ZOE points to WASH.
ZOE (to Niska)I'm sorry. You were going to ask me to choose, right? Did you want to finish?

This dialogue is great because Niska is so nonplussed when Zoe cuts him off. But I LOVE it because it shows(imo) that what Wash has been saying and whining about the entire episode(which got him into the situation in the first place) is entirely irrelevant because Zoe loves him, not Mal.

Now, did she think Niska was going to do this? I think not. Because, I think she believed that he would cave to her demand if she was unyielding and there was that much money involved. I think she just made the decision when confronted with it and didn't want the situation playing out for any longer than required.

WASH He's insane.
ZOE I know it.
WASH I mean, you've told the damn stories. Saved you in the war.
I-I didn't know...

ZOE You mean Mal?

WASH He's crazy. He wouldn't break, Zoe.
He kept me from...
ZOE It's okay.

WASH I wouldn't have made it.
ZOE Shh...

WASH Niska's gonna kill him.

ZOE He's gonna make it last as long as
possible. Days, if he can.

WASH is struck by this. He stands up with great effort.

WASH Bastard's not gonna get days.

I love this dialogue, because it shows that Mal's crazy powerful strength of will and 'family' protective love(whomever he considers family at the time) is WHY his crew is loyal to him.

In addition... I guess Zoe does see the prospect of Mal staying alive as a comforting thought, but the phrasing... THE GORRAM PHRASING!! :D

I also love it because Immediately Wash begins DOING and dragging Zoe with him, not really giving her a choice but to help him. I think it's one of only 2 times(that I can think of atm) in the series that Wash makes a decision more powerfully than Zoe.

Last bit of Dialogue that I love:

JAYNE, ZOE, and WASH advance, see the Captain being strangled outside on the narrow balcony surrounding the huge processing shaft. JAYNE raises his pistol. ZOE puts her hand on his arm.

ZOE Jayne. This is something the Captain has to do for himself.
MAL (strangled) No! No, it's not!

ZOE, JAYNE and WASH all shoot at VIKTOR(torturer). VIKTOR falls over the edge of the balcony and tumbles to his death.

I love that Zoe COMPLETELY over-estimates the Captain's ability to endure torture. It shows just how much faith she has in him.
It's true she doesn't know about the very Princess Bride-esque death machine, so I guess she can be forgiven for this oversight.

I also love that Wash is one of the three Big Damn Heroes of the day, after having been through so much.

In addition I think it's very ironic that the torturer's name is Viktor and he loses his life.