(Welcome to the fourth official face-off of Sirens of the LAMBs! If you have not done so already, please read the previous fights and cast your vote! Remember to base it on the narratives and not just a bias!)
Warning: The following narratives present slight spoilers for each movie.
“Just as a warning, Mal, your oxygen is at the two hour mark,”
“Noted,” Mal says, his voice muffled by crackly interference. “We’ll be just a few more minutes. Kaylee and Jayne are finishing up some last-minute welding on the armaments.”
Several minutes later, someone calls out from the hallway, “
“Wha-whaddya do that for?”
“Because it needed to be done,” Suzanne says. “Two days ago, some sort of space/time portal deposited me here, on this spaceship. I’m from Earth.
“And how do you expect to use this situation to your advantage? Do you even know how to pilot a ship?”
Suzanne pauses for a moment. “I’m making it up as I go along.”
One hour later, Zoe wakes up in sickbay to a call from Mal. He and the other crewmembers are trapped outside the ship, and they only have one hour of oxygen left in their spacesuits! Zoe radios the cockpit, but no reply. She informs Mal that there is presumably a sabotaging intruder aboard, and that she will take care of things. She grabs her crutches, a personal intercomm device, and a nearby handgun, and heads out the door…
WHACK! Zoe falls to the floor, dropping her handgun and intercomm device. She fights back a groan as her broken leg buckles under her.
“This is almost too easy,” Suzanne says, standing above Zoe with the metal pipe. She steps on Zoe with her heel, preparing to bind and gag her. Except that Zoe has no such thing in mind…Before Suzanne has time to react, Zoe grabs one of her crutches and slams it upward, catching Suzanne hard in the stomach. Suzanne grunts and falls backward. Zoe rolls over and is up on her good leg, but in that same moment Suzanne has also had time to get up, and is now swinging her metal pipe straight into Zoe’s face. Zoe ducks and grabs the piping, wrestling it from Suzanne’s grasp. Suzanne kicks Zoe’s bad leg, and she crumples again. This time, Suzanne has the sense to grab Zoe’s handgun and her intercomm device. She pistol whips Zoe in the face, and finally the first mate is knocked unconscious.
“Zoe? Zoe? Status update!” Mal’s voice crackles over the intercomm device.
“I’ll give you a status update,” Suzanne says. “This is Suzanne Maretto of the planet Earth. I don’t know who the hell you are, but from now on this is my ship. All of you are my hostages.”
“Suzanne, this is Malcolm Reynolds, and I am the captain of this spaceship,” Mal says sternly. “I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but there’s only one person in charge of the Serenity and that’s me.”
“Empty words from someone in such a tricky situation,” Suzanne says. “I’ve captured your first mate and your pilot. Good luck getting out of this situation.”
Mal has more angry words to say, but Suzanne shoves the intercomm device in her pocket. She leans over the inert Zoe, listening to see if the other woman is still breathing. This turns out to be her crucial mistake. Zoe’s eyes flash open, and in the same moment she pulls a knife out of a secret pocket. She plunges the knife into Suzanne’s abdomen. Suzanne gives a horrific scream, then is silent.
Zoe crawls over and picks up the intercomm device. “Mal this is Zoe. Situation is under control. Repeat, situation is under control.”
Unfortunately, Suzanne survives her fight with Zoe. She is transported to a penal colony on a local planet, where she spends three weeks in a rat-infested hellhole. Then–lucky for her–the space/time portal opens up again, and she is transported back to 1995 New Hampshire, where she goes crazy and decides to kill her husband and become a TV reporter.
The differences between Zoe (Serenity) and Suzanne Stone Maretto (To Die For) are difficult to interpret to the untrained eye. Both are beautiful, sensual, and formidable. Both are femme fatales, no question, but not all femme fatales are created equal, as Zoe is soon to find out.
This isn’t a knock on Zoe. She’s downright Amazonian with her exotic looks and skill in gunplay – a useful combination for the bounty hunter nee professional soldier. And as a bounty hunter closing in on yet another quarry, Zoe cannot help but underestimate Suzanne Stone. After all, Suzanne’s no soldier. Nor does she possess the rippling muscles or extensive collection of scars that most of Zoe’s bounties flaunt.
When Zoe rises out of bed in the morning and gives a prayer for her recently departed husband, her thoughts of her imminent engagement with Suzanne Stone are tinged with the same reluctance and apprehension that you or I envision another day at the office. And if this were a Monday then you know she’s already looking forward to the weekend. In other words, Zoe, the battle-hardened veteran of countless fights, cannot help but give less than her full attention to the slim, blonde, and oh-so-perky Suzanne Stone.
While Zoe is sipping her morning coffee and dreading that early bounty-hunting commute, Suzanne has already been a busy little bee. She can afford to take all the time in the world to prepare for their showdown because she is no longer confined to marital bliss; Suzanne killed her husband when he suggested she put her television career on hold to start a family. And if Suzanne was willing to sentence her own loving husband to death then Zoe doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell at surviving their encounter. When Suzanne gets something in her head – like killing the woman who wants to end her weather girl gig – she will choose the most forceful, direct course of action possible to protect her ambitions.
For Suzanne, the most direct attack is via seduction and she has a prime, AKA incredibly sexually frustrated, target in Zoe’s shipmate Dr. Simon Tam. Suzanne Stone isn’t To Die For for nothing, and wrapping Dr. Tam around her finger is the work of a single morning and leaves all of the talented doctor’s vast knowledge of the human body at her disposal.
When Suzanne off-ed her husband she had to rely on the limited skill-set of a dull-witted teenager. With Dr. Tam she has a veritable medicine cabinet of death to choose from.
But Suzanne is nothing if not direct and she will no doubt instruct her new boy toy to slip an appropriately undetectable poison into Zoe’s morning coffee. So much for that bounty-hunting commute.
As far as femme fatale fights go, the showdown between Zoe and Suzanne Stone was neither dramatic nor fair because Suzanne doesn’t care about fighting fair the same way a genuinely good-hearted person like Zoe does. While she was busy mourning her husband’s passing and dreading the coming work day, Suzanne was laying her snare that in the end left Zoe out-planned, out-seduced, and finally, out-right dead.