“War Stories” is the much-loved episode that many fans can recite from memory. In telling the story of how Wash’s silly jealousy about Mal and Zoe’s shared past gets him in a huge amount of trouble, it brought quotes like “I’ll be in my bunk” and “Take me, sir, take me hard” into everybody’s jargon. The scene where Mal and Wash are being tortured together is also comedy gold, unless you’re a ten year-old, in which case it’s really amazingly unpleasant.
The episode is a follow-up to “The Train Job”, and they get too deep into the territory of the crime lord from that episode. I wonder whether they stole back the ransom that they paid for Wash when they go back in to rescue Mal. The kid, naturally, really loved the extremely well-staged gunfight, and forgave the episode for its earlier ugliness. I like how a couple of the members of the crew turn out to be almost entirely useless with guns, and it isn’t played for jokes. It also sets up a couple of things which will become really important in the follow-up film, Serenity.