We begin as we should always begin, with Mal bollicky-bareass. That is to say, nekkid, perched on a rock in the middle of a desert. He has a tattoo on his right hip. “Yeah, that went well,” says Mal.
72 hours earlier: a bunch of scruffy folks are moving goods around in the middle of the night. Monty, a big burly smuggler, comes up and gives Mal a warm welcome. Mal notices that Monty has shaved off his enormous beard; this is because Monty’s new wife, Bridget, didn’t like it. Monty calls for Bridget to introduce her to his buddy Mal. The fetching Mrs. Monty shows up and she and Mal point their guns at each other immediately. She's Saffron, ginormous boobs and all. Monty: “So, you guys have met.”
After the credits, Mal and Saffron/Bridget have some ugly fisticuffs until Monty pulls them apart and demands an explanation. Mal gives a brief synopsis of “Our Mrs. Reynolds” and Monty is displeased, taking his ship and leaving her behind. God, her breasts are huge. I’ll stop saying that now, but they really are. She tries to sweet-talk Mal a bit but he shoos her away. As she saunters off, she plays her last card: she’s got the specs for an extremely lucrative heist.
When Serenity and the crew arrive to pick up their captain and the goods, they want to know why Mal’s nose is all bloody. He is not in the mood to answer questions. He does get cleaned up and stops by Inara’s shuttle, as requested. She looks particularly lovely and offers him tea. He is immediately suspicious of her hospitality, accusing her of using her wiles against him and asking her to speak plainly. So she does: he needs to take some jobs on worlds where both of them can work – she hasn’t had a client in three weeks. Things deteriorate quickly (he suggests that he’ll stay out of her whoring and she’ll stay out of his thieving) and they snipe at each other until feelings are hurt. Finally, she accuses him of not being after serious work any longer. Mal leaves, dander up, and goes straight to the cargo hold where he unlocks a crate. Inside is a rumpled Saffron. He wants to know about her extremely lucrative heist.
Saffron and Mal present the plan for the heist to the rest of the crew: stealing a valuable gun from an uber-wealthy and shady Alliance-friendly citizen, Durin Somebody. She has the security access codes, Durin’s schedule, the layout of his home … Wash raises his hand with a question: “What’s she doing on this ship?!” Everyone sniggers. Mal settles things down. The reason why Saffron needs a team to help her is because the gun is tagged and coded and alarms will go off when it crosses a doorway. This is clearly a job for more than one –
“Dupes,” says Inara, interrupting. She and Saffron hiss at each other a bit and just to spite Inara, Mal takes Saffron’s side. Kaylee eagerly takes the disks with the blueprints to start looking for a way in, Wash assisting. Mal asks Zoë’s opinion, seeing how she hasn’t weighed in yet. She thinks the heist sounds rich enough, but she just doesn’t trust Saffron. Mal promises he’ll be with Saffron every minute on the inside. Saffron smirks at Zoë: “See, hon? All it takes for you to be a rich woman is to get over it.” Zoë cocks an eyebrow and slugs Saffron, knocking her to the ground. “Okay, I’m in.”
Some time later, Jayne is doing something that allows him to be in a room with River and Simon. River thinks that Saffron is a liar and can’t be trusted; Jayne thinks that generally speaking, all womenfolk can’t be trusted; River points out that “Jayne” is a girl’s name. Jayne bristles, saying that if “she starts in on that ‘girl’s name’ thing, I’ll show her good and all I got man parts!” and sticks his hand down his trousers for emphasis. Simon: “I’m trying to think of a way for you to be cruder, but it’s just not coming.” Jayne leaves and River stares after him, murmuring bemusedly, “[He’s] afraid, since Ariel. Afraid we’ll know.” Simon goggles at his omniscient sister.
Zoë and Inara meet each other in the corridor (Saffron eavesdropping from behind a bulkhead) and Inara warns Zoë not to trust Saffron at all. She doesn’t want to know any of the details of the job – she’s got her own appointments with clients as soon as they “hit atmo” – but she wants the crew to be very careful.
Wash expositions about the planet they’re on, playground of the rich and paranoid. The wealthy inhabitants have man-made islands of their own, hovering over the oceans. There’s lots of security. Saffron and Mal take the shuttle as Serenity approaches and land a ways from the main house. There’s a big party this weekend and they pretend to be hired help, getting inside with no trouble.
The trick is getting the gun out when it’s tagged for alert if it crosses entry/exit points. Kaylee and Wash have discovered, however, that each island estate has its own automated rubbish system whereby drone shuttles systematically take away the refuse bins. The genius plan is to throw the gun down the garbage chute and, after Kaylee reprograms the bin to a different destination, the drone will take the bin (and the gun) away for them with the security none the wiser.
So, while Mal and Saffron make their way to the booty, Wash hovers Serenity just under the garbage bin. Jayne and Kaylee, on safety lines, climb out onto her roof to access the bin’s programming. They’re both wearing goggles and hilarious hats with earflaps; Kaylee also has on a very cute quilted jacket. Jayne does something wrong and is zapped by something electrical. The crew drags him back into the ship and Simon looms - “I’ll take care of him.”
Mal and Saffron find the gun, on display in a virtual museum of “Earth That Was” artifacts – like a phone booth, a piano, candelabra, etc. Suddenly, they are surprised by Durin, the estate’s owner. “You!” he points at Mal, and then Saffron turns and Durin finishes, “… brought back my wife!” Saffron is quite the polygamist! Durin is truly grateful and overjoyed and seems to be sincerely in love with Saffron (er, “Yolanda,” as he knows her). She’s been gone for six years. Durin scurries off to get some money as a reward and as soon as he’s gone, Saffron snaps at Mal, “We don’t have time.” And they get back to stealing the gun.
Just as Mal liberates the gun, Saffron draws her own and points it at him. Totally untrustworthy! And then, of course, Durin comes back. As he and Saffron argue, Mal backs away unnoticed and drops the gun down the garbage chute. (Just in time, Kaylee finishes reprogramming the garbage bin and the drone swoops down to take it away.)
Durin’s heart is breaking as he asks how long she and Mal have been together. Mal sputters his denial and Saffron smirks, “He’s my husband.” “Well, who in the galaxy ain’t?” squawks Mal. After some more taunting by his wife, Durin tells the two that he notified the feds as soon as he saw her: “I didn’t think you’d come back here for me.” Mal grimaces. Saffron kicks Durin in the head, knocking him out. Mal grabs her by the arm and they make dash for it, feds in hot pursuit.
They just barely make it to the shuttle and beat feet out of there. Saffron is a little sad and sniffly about seeing Durin (who really is a decent man), but it’s a ploy and she soon has Mal’s gun out of his holster. She lands the shuttle in the desert and tells him to strip. He protests, then smugs that no matter what she thinks of him, she won’t catch his crew with their pants down.
“Can’t turn,” remarks Wash nervously. Something’s wrong with Serenity. Bottom line, per Kaylee: they won’t make the rendezvous – they have to land now. Cut to Saffron zooming away in the shuttle and Mal, buckass nekkid (yay!), screaming after her, “You dirty, dirty whore! … Yeah, you better run!”
A short time later, Saffron is up to her hips in garbage. Her hair is slimy and she is pawing through the waste and not finding the gun. That’s because Inara, looking fab-u-lous, has it trained on her from a nearby escarpment. “What are you doing here?” grouches Saffron. Inara is all, oh, just my part of the job: where I make a big scene, storm off, wait for you to double-cross everyone, beat you to the rendezvous spot and get the loot before you do … “[y]ou didn’t see it coming?” Tee hee – apparently the whole crew has been in on it since Mal let Saffron out of the crate.
Back on Serenity, Jayne is in a neck brace in sickbay. He can’t move his arms or legs. Simon plays with his head for a bit, then saying the paralytic will wear off in a couple of hours. In the mean time, Simon would like to know how much Jayne was offered for the Tam siblings. Jayne sputters. Then Simon tells Jayne to remember something: whenever Jayne is on Simon’s surgery table, as he may be often, due to their dangerous line of work, even though’ he will be at the doctor’s mercy … he can trust that Simon will take care of him. Point made, Simon leaves. River pokes her head into sickbay: “Also, I can kill you with my brain.” Jayne looks nervous. Heh.
And then we’re back to naked Mal, perched on his rock in the desert: “Yeah, that went well.” Inara strolls up. She doesn’t think it went all that well, really, if she was only supposed to be the fail-safe in case everything else went wrong. Nonsense, says Mal, you had a very important role and wouldn’t you have been sad if you couldn’t have taken part? “Heartbroken,” she smiles.
While they talk, we get a lovely shot of Nathan Fillion’s bare butt - let me pause here for just a moment. Okay, we’re back. As Mal walks aboard his ship, Inara totally sneaks a look at his ass. How could she not? He gives everyone their orders – only Kaylee is not discomfited by his nudity – and then smiles, satisfied, “A good day!”
7 hours ago