Episode Report Card
Shack: A | 7 USERS: D+
The gloves come off

Mal and Zoe stride down a hallway, lost. They call for help from Wash and Kaylee. Kaylee tells them to take a left at cryo, past the frozen head of Ted Williams. She directs them through a door and down some stairs. Mal whines to Zoe along the way about how things never go according to plan. Now, would Hannibal have said such a thing? He would have chewed on a cigar and made everything work. Wash has even more bad news; another ship has arrived.

Back in the holding cell, Baracas and Face -- I mean, "Jayne and Simon" continue their fight. Simon's man falls unconscious due to lack of oxygen. Then Jayne snaps his guard's neck. Jayne pulls the keys off the dead guard and uncuffs everybody. Simon picks up the sonic rifle off the other guard and hands it to Jayne, then leads River out of the holding cell into the hall. Jayne follows. But then they can't decide which way to go. Jayne wants to go back the way they came. Simon points out that there are still guards there. Jayne knows. Simon wants to go in the other direction. Jayne says they don't know where that direction goes. I don't think Jayne is trying to get them caught again, since he no longer has any financial stake in anything. He's just not very good with the planning. Jayne insists that he can "handle" all the feds. River responds, "It doesn't matter. They're here."

Back in the security room, Head Bellboy greets a couple of visitors. "Gentlemen!" he says, but fortunately it's not those Gentlemen. Brrrrrr. But they're our mysterious men with the blue rubber gloves. And it's the same two that we saw in "The Train Job." I'm going to call them "Dawn" and "Joy" because, well, it made me laugh, and that's all that matters. Head Bellboy blathers on to the men about filling out paperwork. He adds that they didn't get much information from the prisoners -- the men were tightlipped and River just babbled stuff. Joy (that's the balding one with the creepy eyes) asks, "You spoke to the prisoners?" Joy's tone of voice and change in posture make it very, very clear that this the correct answer to this question is, "No sir! Didn't say a word!" But of course, body language is for the benefit of the viewers. The characters on the show are generally oblivious.

Head Bellboy explains that they needed to get enough information to "process" them, but adds that they didn't interrogate them or anything. Dawn (that's the dirty blond one who looks kind of like an insurance salesman) walks up to Joy's side, standing directly in front of Head Bellboy (who is seated), and pulls out a little device that looks kind of like a retractable baton. He presses a button, and a thin blue rod pops out of each side. Some have compared it to a tampon, but I'm happy to say that I really wouldn't know. Though I'd certainly need to wear gloves if I were carrying one of them around. Girl cooties! Dawn asks Head Bellboy if any of the other bellboys spoke to the prisoners. They did, as much as they needed to.

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