The Message

Episode Report Card
admin: F | 9 USERS: B-
With friends like these...

Now, they've finally got Tracey's body on the ship. Everybody's gathered around it in the cargo bay. Jayne worries that Tracey might be carrying some nasty plague or something. And he's supposed to be the stupid one in the crew. Zoe and Mal insist that he isn't, but Wash takes Jayne's side and points out that they may have a relationship with Tracey, but it doesn't preclude the possibility that Tracey's body might be teeming with space cooties. Simon offers to perform an autopsy. Kaylee looks at him in absolute horror, because how rude is it to offer to find out how somebody Zoe and Mal clearly care for died? Shut up, Kaylee. Mal turns down Simon's offer at the moment, but takes it in the spirit with which it was intended. Kaylee calls Simon a "robot." Shut it, Handy Smurf.

Zoe, who has been looking over Tracey's body, finds a small device and pulls it out to show to Mal. It's a recorder of some sort. There's a message on it from Tracey. He opens by hoping that this message (and presumably his body) has found its way into Zoe and Mal's custody. He says he doesn't want to get into details, but has "fallen in with some untrustworthy folk." He predicts that he is going to get himself killed, which is why he's recording this in the first place. He asks for Zoe and Mal to arrange to return his body to his family on St. Alba. They have a family plot there. Jayne takes off his goofy hat in respect, but then we see it back on his head in a shot seconds later. Oops. Tracey's voice points out that they went into war thinking they'd never come home again, but it turns out it was the real world that did him in. So they never thought they'd win the war to begin with? What was it some attempt at mass suicide, then? Oh, never mind. Tracey says that Mal and Zoe "carried him" during the war, and he's hoping they'll carry him one more time back home. He repeats part of that saying that is going to be littered throughout this episode: "When you can't run anymore, you crawl. And when you can't do that...yeah, you know the rest." Er, the "yeah, you know the rest" isn't actually part of the saying, but that's what Tracey says. He asks them to make sure his eyes are closed, and then signs off...forever. Wash mentions that it's only two days to St. Alba as he heads up to the bridge to set course. Mal tells Inara that she may be a little late to her next appointments, but of course she's okay with that. Everybody files out of the cargo hold, and mournful music plays as Zoe and Mal put the lid back on the coffin.

Back on the station, three men wearing black leather dusters (evil!) stride down a corridor as evil music (evil!) plays and the men (evil!) endeavor to look as evil as humanly possible without actually twirling mustaches. They head into the post office and the main man (evil!) holds up an unidentified badge of some sort and immediately calls the Postmaster Generic ugly. Because he's evil! Do you get that he's evil, yet? Oh, and did I mention that the actor playing the main guy is the same actor who played FauxYork on 24? Evil! In case we still don't get it, the guy goes on this tirade about what kind of "troll" is going to make the postmaster his bitch in prison. Because he's an evil homophobe, as well! Apparently this guy is connected to the Alliance, though he's not wearing the bellboy outfit, because they're proactively evil instead of just reactively, apathetically evil like the rest of the Alliance. He knows about the body. He threatens the postmaster with five to ten years on a prison moon and demands to know where Tracey's body is. Postmaster Generic claims he didn't see a body, but realizing that these guys aren't just going to go away (he must be able to hear the background music of evil), he says he recently sent out a box that was big enough to hold a body. Then he sells out Mal and the crew. After getting what he wants, Officer Evil! declares he was just kidding about the prison thing, then orders his assistant (with the risibly stupid name of "Skunk") to set Postmaster Generic on fire. Just in case we haven't picked up on that whole "Evil!" thing yet. Skunk sprays some sort of fluid all over Postmaster Generic and lights a match. Then Officer Evil! warns Postmaster Generic that if he tells anybody they were there or warns Mal that they're coming, he's going to wish that they actually did burn him. Then he blows the match out and tells his evil partners that they're going to go find their corpse. Oh, so there's an upper limit to their evil. I really hope necrophilia is past that limit.

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