Back in Inara's shuttle, the deflowering of Fess is obviously complete. They lie in bed together. Inara tells Fess that he's being very quiet. Fess laments that he thought he'd feel different afterward. But he doesn't. He asks if he's supposed to be a man now. Inara wisely observes, "A man is just a boy old enough to ask that question." Whuh? She caresses Fess's cheek and blathers about how what they did was a "ritual," and that it was important to Mr. Higgins; she hopes Fess enjoyed it, but it doesn't make him a man. Who is the audience for this subplot, exactly? I know there are a lot of stereotypes about sci-fi fans, but I do believe that most of them have had sex at least once, so it's not like there's anything illuminating about this scene. Fess's silent pondering of Inara's hooker wisdom is interrupted by his father beating on the door to the shuttle.
Back in Mudville, Mal fills Jayne in on his plan as they walk through town, Kaylee trailing behind them. In a new anvilicious development, Jayne worries that it's wrong to "hoodwink" the people of Canton with a fake celebration for him. I don't really understand his logic, though, because it's not like they're stealing from the mudders. They're just moving some goods that apparently originated from somewhere else. Jayne explains that he thinks he actually had some sort of effect on the lives of the mudders, and tells Mal how they all rioted against the magistrate to protect the statue. Jayne is their Marx! Their Lenin! Their Stalin! Or something. Wash and Zoe drive up in their ATV. Zoe mocks, "Is that Jayne? Is that really him? Wash, pinch me. I must be dreaming." Jayne offers to pinch Zoe and even makes a move in that general direction, but Wash slaps his hand away. Heh. Mal and Kaylee jump on the ATV. Mal orders Jayne over to the town square to greet his fans. Then they just leave him and drive away. I know that these guys are adults and cynical outlaws and blah blah blah. I shouldn't be expecting the kind of camaraderie they've got on Buffy or anything, but I'm still wondering why the heck nobody seems to be considering what the magistrate might do to Jayne. Mal gave that annoying speech to Saffron about trusting the people he works with and loyalty and blah blah blah, and here they are sending Jayne off alone to distract the authorities with the fact that he's a wanted man.