The hits keep coming with "Jaynestown", episode that focuses on the Serenity's favorite mercenary, Jayne Cobb. An episode focused more on comedy than anything else, it's still driven well by a few character development moments for Jayne in particular. While the episode does push a couple more relationship threads, its focus on Jayne helps keep it entertaining even if the secondary stories are a touch weaker.
A smuggling pick up job has the Firefly crew landing on Canton, a backwater moon that's particularly known for its mud farm. Jayne is particularly reluctant for this job as didn't last leave the moon under the best of circumstances and fears that someone might want to take revenge on him. The crew of the Serenity is shocked to discover that Jayne has unintentionally become a local folk hero. Meanwhile, Inara tends to a client, Simon and Kaylee flirt, and Book is left to watch over River.
While much of it is rightly played for laughs, I really appreciate how Jaynestown actually put the usually comic relief and occasional source of tension Jayne into a position of personal reflection the episode's end as the inevitable truth about his selfishness came out while also touching upon the purpose of heroes in our society as well as their humanity. It was simple and it was silly, but I appreciated that it was more than just a one-joke plot. Likewise, the Simon and Kaylee flirtation is affected by matters of class and culture as each come from very different places resulting in some degree of conflict. The only storyline that was disappointing was the truly simple one-note joke between Book and River which has something resembling a genuine build-up but deflates it on a joke that isn't even that funny and possibly mildly racist.
As with the rest of the series, Jaynestown amplifies the camp level a little due to the hoard of "mudders" and the celebration of Jayne. Some of the choices, like the director's cuts to the mudder I will call Jayne's biggest fan (Daniel Bess) are so obvious and deliberate and the performance so over-the-top that it threatens to break the episode's credibility. The show is also still pretty rough--perhaps intentionally so given the amount of handheld camera work done--but it holds itself together just enough to sell the comedy and the underlying character drama.
As such, "Jaynestown" proves to be a pretty solid comedy-centered episode for this series. It really doesn't advance the overall story of the series much, but the concept of Jayne-the-Hero and its execution makes it an appreciable standalone entry into the series back-to-back with "Our Mrs. Reynolds". 8/10.