After the other three are gone, Zoe points out to Mal that the lifeboat wouldn't be able to hold all the passengers listed on the ship. Mal says he knows, then communicates with Wash on Serenity with a police CB-type device to get details about the ship. Wash has tracked down layouts for a similar vessel, and gives them directions to the likely spots on the ship where goods would be stored. I guess there was nothing important in that personal log, because it isn't mentioned again. That was awkward writing.
Back on Serenity, Inara heads over to the sleeping quarters to check on River. Except River's not there. Where could she be? There she is, wandering onto the cargo ship in her pretty sundress and bare feet. Crazy people don't like shoes.
Down in the engine room of the cargo ship, Simon is illuminating some equipment with a flashlight while Kaylee removes it. Simon asks her if she's curious at all as to why somebody would just abandon a ship. Kaylee, who obviously never watches television, starts to explain that there are plenty of reasonable explanations as to why they'd run off. Then she notes that whatever reason there might be, it's not because of mechanical difficulties. The ship is in fine working order. Sparks then fly (get it?) as Kaylee detaches a giant spark plug or some sort of tech thing, and puts it into a sack Simon's holding. The weight causes Simon to fall down. Oh please. This is when I realized that the reason they've got Simon dressed in those long-sleeved shirts is so that we don't discover that he's just as built as the other guys on the show.
Jayne, meanwhile is elsewhere, gathering up the ship's collection of aluminum take-out containers. We see him chewing, so those most be rations or something.
Mal and Zoe find their way to the door to the cargo area that Wash led them to. It's locked. Mal says, "Well now. That's like to be a very good sign." Gah. These attempts at faux-Western dialogue are awful. And pointless. I can imagine a number of reasons why there may technical reversions that result in these outsiders having to use very old weapons, but grammar reversions? That's just stupid. Mal pulls out a blowtorch and applies it to the metal door.
River wanders down a hall with creepy lighting from a grated overhead source while creepy music plays.
Zoe and Mal successfully break down the storage room door. The wander in and look around. It appears that everything the passengers stored is still there, intact. Creepy music plays some more as Zoe opens a crate and finds a doll. Yes, there were families on the ship. I got that in the beginning when Zoe said that there were families on the ship. I got it again back at the red balloon. I get it. Families. On the ship. Mal tracks down some containers full of seeds, protein, and crop supplements, supplies that would be used to start a life on a new planet. It's worth a lot of money. So much that Mal suggests leaving everything else on the ship and just taking this stuff. Zoe points out to Mal that even on a lifeboat, if the people escaped, they'd find room for goods as valuable as this. Mal sweeps his flashlight around the room and discovers that River has snuck in there quietly and creepily, and is staring upward toward the ceiling. Zoe and Mal shine their lights upwards and discover the corpses of the passengers chained together and hanging upside-down from the ceiling, looking like page seventeen in Clive Barker's next graphic novel. Zoe says, "Oh my God." Mal says something in Chinese. Then he mutters that he knows who did this. He orders Zoe to take River and get her off the ship. He uses the CB to contact Jayne, and orders him to go to the engine room and get Kaylee and Simon off the ship. We see Jayne, and he's about to respond, but the lights decide that this would be a dramatic time to suddenly turn on. When they do, we see a little guy standing a few feet behind Jayne, looking much like that man who killed Lucy on ER. He screams and runs up, attacking Jayne from behind. Metal kitchenware falls dramatically to the floor.
Commercials. We return to Wash at the helm. He hears gunfire through the CB and starts demanding that somebody give him the 10-whatever-the-number-for-violent-assault-is. Nobody answers.