Now that I have all the issues together again it's time to finish my Serenity reviews.
The operative is back which naturally no one's thrilled about but they need him which means they have to put their feelings aside. Jubal gets dumped with the trash which certainty fits with the character. It just felt pointless to have him quickly rehash his appearance on the tv show which was done far better. Knowing that they need the firepower Mal agrees to meet the rebels .
Zoe regains her strength back to kick ass in jail.
On their run to get more people like River the operative holds off other--uh operatives. The first being Denon who wants to know what's up with him since our unnamed villain turned potential anti-hero is helping their enemies now. He tells Denon he knows what they are can't be changed and that Kalista should have come instead.
The creepy doctor Mals' crew come across waxes on in a crazy manner that River was his favorite but she was never completed. A girl that's "completed" is released and River tells everyone to run.
The new girl processes to beat the crap out of all of them including River. Mal flashbacks to Wash telling him about a call button then how Kaylee made it portable. Finally we see Mal getting the rebels ready for this fight before Jane snaps him out of his daze allowing him to hit the button. Outside the operative kills off Denon iconically changing his catchphrase from the movie. Kalista--the one he alluded to being better than him last issue arrives prompting him to surrender.
Mal tosses a syringe to River which takes care of the new girl. Before the operative can kill himself for an honorable death the browncoats arrive. Kalista escapes during this and they leave with the girl and on of the alliance men. While interrogating the man he says how stupid it was for them to make Mal their leader. They were unpredictable before and since that change it helped him kill off other cells of the resistance hours ago. Mal wants to know where Zoe is which the alliance guy refuses to answer. That's okay because they have a psychic.
Zoe gains a rep in prison and never waivers in her belief that her friends are coming for her. River asks Simon to help the new girl like he helped her. Kaylee gets Zoe's attention to let her know their there giving her a running start before the guards realize she's being rescued. Once aboard mother and daughter are reunited. The new girls' name is Iris and remembers everything.
The operative leaves Mal on a good terms only to meet Zoe a little later. She blames him for Washs' death since they were fleeing him when it happened. He warns that he will defend himself which she's hoping for. While Iris is trying to become a person again via dress up Zoe returns stating Emma and her are staying since the crew is their family. Kalista finds Jubal, they plot revenge and we learn she's one of the test subjects like Iris.
Overall: This would have been better in a longer series to let these plot grow organically. Jubal was wasted as he could have been easily taken out of this without affecting much. A run of the mill alliance member could have done the same but the only difference is the emotional weigh of his return--which is lost as soon as it's explored. Yeah he comes back at the end but as a stand alone mini he only serves as a potential mence never lasting for long. The concept of the other victims like River feels too much like slayers and the fact they all seem to be girls doesn't help. I don't like how Simon seems to instantly have fixed Iris despite it taking all of the show and the movie to get River to improve. Not to mention Iris was "complete" which implies the damage would go further.
Zoe fighting the operative seemed to come out of no where. Yes it makes sense for the character but that was their only interaction in this mini series. The operative is supposed to be the best fighter in this group from the series/movie with the exception of River and Zoe can take him off panel? Would they really kill off a character with so much potential as the operative? Kalista doesn't do much which hints at more stories down the road but I'd like more to been done in the series it's self. Not a bad mini just a little rushed in areas it could have taken more time to develop.