Back on the ship, Simon tends to the survivor's wounds while Mal watches. Outside the sick bay, the rest of the crew watches through the windows. Kaylee wonders how long the guy had been surviving there alone and how he made it when none of the others did. Jayne cynically theorizes that he's actually the one who killed the other passengers. Kaylee is shocked at the idea, and wonders if anybody else would be thinking that. There are several seconds of silence (meaning "yes"), but Zoe tells her that Mal wouldn't have brought the guy aboard if he thought he murdered people.
In the sick bay, Simon gives the guy's stats. There are no injuries other than the one bullet wound. The guy lies there on the cot, sweating, and reciting the latest programming on KRZY: "Vaguely Menacing Rants." He mutters about how the people on the ship were all "weak" and "cattle for the slaughter." Mal looks out through the window and sees Kaylee and Inara watching him. He orders Simon to dope the survivor. Simon starts to argue, but Mal insists. Survivor rambles more about no mercy or resistance, et cetera. When Simon injects him with a sedative, he grabs Simon's arm and mutters, "Open up. See what's inside." Eventually the sedative takes effect. Mal looks concerned.
Simon and Mal join the others outside. Simon explains that the guy is malnourished, but okay. Book asks if the guy will live then, with a strange self-satisfied smile, as if Book had played any role in his rescue whatsoever. Mal agrees that he will, but something he describes as "unfortunate." A confused Book calls such comments "uncharitable." Mal responds that charity would be "putting a bullet in his brain." Inara responds in shock. Mal insists that it will prevent future suffering. Mal shuts the doors to the sick bay, locks them, and orders the rest of the crew to stay out. He says there's nothing more they can do for the guy after what he's seen. Wha? Simon is as confused as I am. Mal "explains" that the ship was hit by "Reavers." The rest of the crew responds with horror.