The Saddest Moment of Firefly – Mr. Whedon, You’re a Genius

Episode 13, Heart of Gold; Petaline is about to have a baby, a dominating, above-the-law, male-chauvinist named Rance is about to take the baby, and the crew of Firefly are setting up to save the baby and the day.

Petaline and her peers live with their House Mother, Nandi on a large land plot outside of the main town.  Out on the land, Zoe and Wash are preparing for an upcoming battle by laying and covering wire.  They are also having what is apparently the umpteenth conversation about having/ not having a baby of their own.

Wash; “All I’m sayin is that we’re livin pretty deep in the rough and tumble and I don’t see that changing any time soon.”

Zoe; “Nor do I.”

Wash; “Well I’m not sure that now’s the best time to bring a tiny, little, helpless person into our lives.”

Zoe; “That excuse is getting a little worn, honey.”

Wash; “It’s not an excuse, dear.  It’s objective assessment. I can’t help that it stays relevant.”

Zoe; “I don’t give a good gorram about relevant Wash, or objective.  And I ain’t so afraid of losin something that I ain’t gonna try to have it.  You and I would make one beautiful baby.  And I want to meet that child one day.  Period.”

We only get one more episode before the show is cancelled.  Do they have a baby?  Do they not?  Wait…

A  movie! YES! Now we will find out for sure!

Then, in one split second, we were all placed squarely into an alternate Universe.  One in which Wash is not in it.

I replayed that second 3 times before I could finish watching the movie.

If I, an observer of a fictional story, could sense this immense moment that keenly, how intense it must have been for Zoe.   Yes, yes, I get it, she’s not real, I’m just saying….. if she were real, and this had really happened; she didn’t just lose her husband, the love of her life, she also lost any possibility of meeting their child.

The enormity of that loss was the saddest moment in all of Firefly.  We had 14 episodes of seeing Zoe and Wash get through a lot of life and still be so very in love.  That second, that moment, which had been set up 5 years and 2 episodes earlier, made me cry a three Kleenex cry.

I was angry, hurt, and sad at Mr. Whedon.  But I was also in absolute admiration.  Wash was the perfect person to kill to get that gut reaction; and to have it be so sudden, so unexpected, and so quickly over with was the perfect way to do it.

My hat is off to you Mr. Whedon, for jerking my empathetic heart strings clear through my gorram chest.


  1. Kent Horton says:

    On the other hand, since the movie ended very shortly after Wash’s untimely demise, we have no way of knowing whether Zoe is pregnant, or not. Consider the ultimate happiness of Zoe having Wash’s baby combined with the gorram pain of knowing the baby would never know his/her daddy. Or twins!

  2. I find it interesting the Robert Smith had a song with the same message

  3. Martin Soderstrom says:

    See, what we need is another comic after the birth where Serenity runs into some blue hand cloning/aging experiment. Then BAM! Movie #2 with a full grown Wash.

  4. Amanda Athan says:

    The only reason we got to have the movie made was because of the fans. There is a documentary on firefly. It is on Netflix. It explains everything. If you are a true brown coat….or firefly fan you will love it. I know I did!

  5. Chris says:

    For those of you who would like to know… Dark Horse is indeed putting out a comic book series. Basically it’s (according to what has been released) going to take place after the movie. So, we won’t have Wash anymore. Still, it is going to be nice to see a continuation of the series in someway, shape, or form.

  6. Jeff Hartman says:

    At the triple funeral scene in Serenity, it would have knocked us all for a loop if Mal had hugged Zoe, said nothing, and gently rubbed her belly and she said “He will always be a part of your crew.”

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  1. douglas pitassi

    The Saddest Moment of Firefly – Mr. Whedon, You’re a Genius | Fans Pages

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