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Firefly storylines we never got to see

Firefly was canceled long before its time, and although the well loved sci-fi series has been able to live on through a movie and comic books, there are still quite a few planned storylines that we never got to see play out on screen. Luckily, though, creator Joss Whedon and some of the series' stars have come out and revealed a few of the storylines the show never had the chance to follow through on, giving viewers at least an idea of what could have happened in a potential second season. Here are some of the Firefly storylines that we never got to see.

An impossible decision

According to Nathan Fillion, Whedon once pitched an idea that would have put Mal in an impossible situation and caused him to make a tough decision that affects the entire crew. (OK, so that's basically every Firefly episode, but that's the gist of it.) Fillion said the episode would land the gang on a wintry, far-out planet where the residents get caught trying to steal their ship as the crew sleeps. When the crew asks them why, the residents explain that their planet is dying and that they need to get off, leaving the crew with a tough decision. If they save everyone on the planet, they could all risk running out of food and air and dying, but, if they leave them there, they'll all die. There's a chance that if they take everyone they could run into another ship on the way out and they would all live, but it would be a risk, so the crew decides to vote. However, Mal ends up locking himself in the bridge and flying the ship off-planet overnight, taking the decision away from the rest of the crew. It turns out he made the right choice, though, at least for his crew's survival–they don't run into any other ships, meaning they all would have perished on the journey. "We were all going to vote, but Captain Mal takes the decision away from everybody, so it's nobody's decision to kill all those people but his," Fillion said.

Inara's syringe

Fans have been pondering for a while what was in the mysterious syringe that Inara was seen carrying in the first episode, and there have been quite a few answers floated around. Apparently, one of its potential uses could have been very gruesome and disturbing, at least according to executive producer Tim Minear. Minear said that the syringe was a "magic syringe" that contained a drug that would kill anyone who raped her. In the proposed episode, Inara would get kidnapped by Reavers and Mal would jump in to save her. When he finally was able to get on their ship, he found all the Reavers dead, suggesting that Inara had been assaulted by them. "At the end of the episode, he comes in after she's been horribly brutalized, and he comes in and he gets down on his knee, and he takes her hand," he said, adding that that was the first story Whedon pitched him when he asked him to come work on the show. "And he treats her like a lady. And that's the kind of stuff that we wanted to do. It was very dark."

River gets in touch with her animal side

Alan Tudyk apparently pitched the writers quite a few episodes, one of which involved the crew getting caught up in a dogfighting ring. The episode starts when the gang happens upon a group of criminals on a planet half covered in perpetual night who fight big, feral dogs that, for some reason, the crew is tasked with going out and catching. When they get the dogs back to the ship, They're able to do this with the help of River, who is able to communicate with them somehow (a new power for the young teen) and domesticates them, making them into nicer versions of themselves but ultimately making them worthless for sale to dogfighters.

Serenity goes to the junkyard

Whedon once presented Fillion with a pretty wild idea for the beginning of an episode that they never filmed, and, although he hasn't said what else would have happened, it still sounds like a doozy. The proposed episode would have started with the camera showing what appears to be a planetary ring before revealing that it's actually one of the junkyards mentioned on the show where pieces of old ships float in space. The camera begins to zoom in on different pieces of junk before eventually revealing one to be Serenity, which is floating "lifeless" with people walking around on it. As the camera gets closer to the airlock, it finally comes upon Mal, who is bleeding and cut, carrying two giant guns and getting set to deliver a very threatening message: "Get off my ship." We're not sure where the episode would have gone after that, but it sounds like it would have been epic.

Blue Sun

Blue Sun, one of the many Firefly storylines that never got resolved, is a mysterious mega-corporation that was teased at a few points during the show's run. However, Whedon said at Comic-Con in 2012 that they were forced to drop the conspiracy. He declined to say why but mentioned that it probably would have been something they refocused on in Season 2. Blue Sun was shown on a few branded products, including on the shirt Jayne was wearing when River snapped and slashed at him, leading some to theorize that the corporation had some sort of connection to her condition. While it's unclear exactly how the storyline would have played out, it would have been interesting to see where the hints that Whedon dropped would have ended up.

Jayne goes out on his own

Jayne was always a bit on the outside with the rest of the crew, and Adam Baldwin said that he wanted to push this even further by having Jayne try to break off and go out on his own. "I've floated the idea that perhaps he was able to get his own ship and compete with Mal a bit," he said. "[He would] fail at it miserably and have to return humbled." This proposal likely would have had to have been a multi-episode arc or the culmination of a series of frustrations for Jayne, but it does fit with his character and would have been interesting to see. It also likely would have furthered his relationship with Mal as he realized the true difficulty of being a captain and began to respect Mal's role on Serenity more.

Familiar faces

Whedon had a pretty meta idea that would have brought in some of the stars from his other series to the Firefly universe. The creator said he planned on having Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, and James Marsters show up on Serenity as a traveling Shakespeare troupe, something he says is fitting with a "staple" of John Ford Westerns. "I thought it would be terrific having them trying to put on a play in the cargo bay," he said. Although we never got to see this play out, a version of it did sort of take place in his version of Much Ado About Nothing, which featured Acker, Denisof, Fillion, and Sean Maher.

River in the driver's seat

River briefly showed her ability to keep Serenity flying in the final minutes of Serenity, but according to Summer Glau, she wanted to see the character go even further on a potential second season of Firefly. "I was gunning for Wash's job," Glau said of where she wanted to see River go. Of course, in Serenity, River got the job after Wash's untimely death, but she did show an aptitude for it, as Mal notes, meaning that it could potentially have been a storyline with Wash training her and her eventually taking over some of his duties later on in the series.

Inara's illness

There was a lot left unsaid about the mysterious companion Inara, but viewers paying close attention may have noticed that one of her big storylines was hinted at in one of the series' episodes, "Out of Gas." With Serenity melting down and the crew forced to evacuate, Inara says, "I don't want to die at all," a line which, while seemingly innocuous at the time, may have hinted at a dark secret the character was dealing with. Minear said Inara was actually dying from a terminal illness, something Morena Baccarin confirmed at Dragon Con in 2008. This storyline likely would have been explored a lot later in further seasons, especially since Minear said the illness was something Simon couldn't cure, meaning that he at least would have found out and made an attempt in some future episode.

Firefly daycare

Tudyk has joked that Serenity would have eventually had to include a daycare for all the kids the ship's couples would have. According to Tudyk, part of the plan was for Wash and Zoe to have a baby, leading to conflict in their relationship when he stops wanting to go out on missions. Gina Torres said that she pictured their kid as a "wiry-haired redhead boy with freckles." Meanwhile, Maher said that he also pictured Simon and Kaylee having a kid, with all of the parents relying on Jayne (naturally) for babysitting services. "He and [Zoe] have arguments about who's gonna teach [Zoe and Wash's son] about guns," Torres joked.