Tag Archives: Wash

Four on the Floor #10: Best Pilots on This, or Any, Planet

The Situation: I don’t really like to fly. Unlike most people with a similar distaste for air travel, this has nothing to do with a fear that the plane will crash. Actually, I have complete and total faith in the science of flight, believing that physics will get me where I’m going alive and well. I just don’t like being cooped up in a tiny space for three, four, five, or six hours at a time. But, if any of these four were at the controls, I might re-evaluate my misgivings.

The Criteria: There are a lot of pretty cool pilots floating around the annals of pop culture (stop giggling…I said “ANNALS”). And each and every one of them could have been on this list. But, I had to pick four. And, being the geek that I am, I had to pick these four. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect what Maverick and Goose did in Top Gun, or that Ted Striker single-handedly landed that 707 in Airplane!, or the flying that Steven Hiller and Russel Casse did in Independence Day.

1. Hoban “Wash” Washburne

He might be a spastic, plastic-dinosaur-loving goofball most of the time, but put Wash behind the controls of Serenity (or anything, for that matter) and he really is “a leaf on the wind.” Wash is always ready to do the right thing, even if it means leaving the safety of the cockpit and shooting a tiny little handgun.  Plus, the fact that he’s married to an Amazon like Zoe gives hope to spastic, plastic-dinosaur-loving goofballs everywhere.

2. Han Solo

Everyone makes a big deal about Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star.  But, Han Solo’s flown through an asteroid field, played chicken with Imperial Star Destroyers, and made the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs, all without the benefit of Luke’s reliance on “hokey religions.”  Given the choice, I’d rather trust my life to Han’s skill and experience than to Luke’s abilities with the Force.

3. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock

Since most of the A-Team’s jobs didn’t take place more than a day or two’s drive from Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget that Murdock was a pilot.  In fact, on more than one occasion, Hannibal called him the best chopper pilot in ‘Nam.  Whether he was actually insane, or just really good at faking it, Murdock was an Ace in the air, and it didn’t matter if he was flying a chopper, a biplane, or a Cessna.

4. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace

Sure, she has commitment issues and, probably, a bit of a death wish, but Starbuck is a damned good Viper pilot, and she’s relentless in a dogfight.  Plus, I’m such a sucker for a dame who can out-fight, out-swear, and out-drink any man in the room.  The fact that this dame happens to be a stogie-chomping blonde is a bonus.

“I am a leaf on the wind…”

You are Wash.


Not only are you a great pilot, you are also the joker of the group. Your devotion to your wife is admirable, though you sometimes feel insecure. Thank god you shaved off your moustache.

Which Firefly character are you?

Can’t Stop the Signal–My 10 Favorite Quotes from Firefly


Okay, I have no idea why, but in the last few days I’ve gotten a severe case of Firefly on the brain.  So, just for the heck of it, I’ve put together a list of my 10 favorite quotes from Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western.  It wasn’t easy…as with Whedon’s other shows, I could probably have come up with 10 favorite quotes for each character (but hey, a guy’s gotta sleep and eat).  There are two rules: (1) the quotes had to come from Firefly and not Serenity, and (2) they had to be single quotes, not dialogue (okay, I cheated on this one, but only because #3 is something of an in-joke).

10. “Take me Captain.  Take me hard.” –Zoe, “War Stories”

When Mal and Wash are kidnapped and tortured, Wash insists that the only way he and Zoe can be happy as husband and wife is if Zoe sleeps with Mal. 

9. “I love my captain.” –Kaylee, “Serenity” (the pilot, not the movie)

Kaylee does love her captain…and because she loves Mal, so do we.

8. “To Jayne!  The box-dropping, man-ape-gone-wrong-thing.” –Simon, “Jaynestown”

Simon’s one of those characters that grew on me the more I watched the show.  His drunken toast to Jayne almost makes up for not making a move on Kaylee sooner (seriously, dude, what the hell?).

7. “I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you.” –Mal, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”

Just when you think seeing Mal and Jayne playing a married couple (with Mal as the missus, nonetheless) couldn’t be funnier, Mal swears by his “pretty floral bonnet.”

6. “Were there monkeys?  Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got lose?” –Mal, “The Train Job”

Monkeys (space or otherwise) are always hy-larious!

5. “If you take sexual advantage of her, you’re going to burn in a very special level of hell.  A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.” –Shepherd Book, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”

This is the line that made me a fan of Book.

4. “Also, I can kill you with my brain.” –River, “Trash”

Maybe she can, maybe she can’t…but Jayne probably won’t be taking any chances (and even if River can’t kill us with her brain, she does a damned good job with a gun, an axe, and her bare feet).

3. “Wash, tell me I’m pretty.”

    “Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.”

    “‘Cause I’m pretty?”

    “‘Cause you’re pretty.” — Kaylee and Wash, “Heart of Gold”

The only exception to Rule #2.  Why?  Because it’s Wash and Kaylee.  ‘Nuff said.

2. “We gotta go to the crappy town where I’M a hero!” –Wash, “Jamestown”

I have no idea why I love this quote…I just do.

1. “I’ll be in my bunk.” –Jayne, “War Stories”

This quote sums up the character of Jayne Cobb better than anything else I can think of.  Plus, it’s useful in so many situations (and people who’ve never seen the show know exactly what you’re getting at).