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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"Those Left Behind" Part 3
Serenity: Those Left Behind #3 (Dark Horse)
by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews
Script by Brett Matthews
Art by Will Conrad


While the blue-gloved agents move on Serenity, Mal has his own showdown with Dobson.


Read a summary of the full 3-issue series at the Firefly and Serenity Database


Didja Notice?


Oddly, the spacesuits worn by Mal, Zoe, and Jayne at the beginning of this issue look different than the ones they were wearing at the end of "Those Left Behind" Part 2! However, the ones seen here look more like the ones worn by the crew on occasion in TV episodes of Firefly.


This issue reveals that the blue-gloved agents may wear an entire outfit of blue under their traditional suits. One of them is shown to at least have a blue covering over his torso as well.


Ironically, Mal shoots Dobson in his left eye here, killing him (having already shot him in the right eye in "Government Goods").


Inara leaves Serenity in this issue, just as she said in "Heart of Gold", leaving the feelings between her and Mal unresolved.


On page 19, Shepherd Book makes an allusion to his violent past (later revealed in The Shepherd's Tale). He also tells Mal that he is leaving Serenity, setting up his absence from the ship and residency on Haven in the Serenity feature film.


After the death of the blue-gloved agents, a man who would appear to be the Operative is given the assignment of tracking down and capturing River Tam. The Operative will play a major role in the Serenity feature film, beginning in "Triggered".


The Alliance authority figure who gives the assignment to the Operative refers to the blue-gloved men as "independent contractors". This would suggest they were not directly agents of the Alliance. A popular fan theory is that they worked for Blue Sun, hired out to the Alliance.


Chinese translations
(Thanks to the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Page/Panel Chinese English
14/5 Wash says, "buyao ming de sudu" "life-risking speed"
16/4 Mal says, "Wo zai qianshi yiding redao shenme ren le ba . . ." "I surely annoyed someone or other in a past life, didn't I . . ."
20/3 Wall hanging in Mal's quarters reads "zhen ren" true benevolence
22 The end of the story features Chinese characters reading "jiewei". Endings (or "The End")


Unanswered Questions


Who do the blue-gloved agents work for? What is the purpose of the of blue gloves and other coverings they wear?


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