Commercials. Shut up, Simon Cowell. Just getting back into practice.
We return to the engine room, with Kaylee tied up on the floor. River's voice emanates out of a speaker, greeting her. Kaylee's still a bit freaked out about the experience, so River tells her everything will be okay. Kaylee cries and says that she told Early where River was. She apologizes, but she didn't know what else to do. River tells her that it's okay. She's fine. But she needs Kaylee to do her a favor. Kaylee points out that she's all tied up. River points out that Kaylee has tools nearby, sharp tools, adding, "Don't be scared. I'm here."
Back on the bridge, Early is flustered by the idea of dealing with somebody crazier than him. He asks Simon where she went. Simon responds, "I can't keep track of her when she's not incorporeally possessing a spaceship. Don't look at me." Early declares it all to be nonsense. He's sure River's on the ship somewhere, playing with a communicator. River responds by echoing laughter through the speakers. Early says, "That's somewhat unsettling." Now there's the pot calling the kettle "creepy." River declares through the speakers. "Mr. Jubel Early, bounty hunter. May I call you Jubel?" Early says nobody calls him that. River responds, "Your mother does. I'm sorry 'did.' She's gone now." Incidentally, Jubal Early (note the slight difference in spelling) was the name of a Confederate general who led his troops on an unsuccessful attack on Washington. So we've got another Civil War allusion that makes no sense upon closer examination.
Early asks if he's supposed to be scared because River brought up his mother. River calls Jubel a liar. She says he doesn't have honorable intentions. Early agrees. Because he's a bounty hunter and all. He insists that he does live by a "code," though. Whatever. People think that living by a "code" means something, even if it's part of their "code" to do whatever the hell they want. River says Early hurts people. He insists that he only hurts people when the job requires it. River says he's a bad liar. She insists that he crawled inside "her" and hurt "her" crew. He insists that he only did it because people were getting in his way. Early demands that Simon stick up for him. Simon responds, "What am I, your advocate?" Early points his gun at him and says, "You are now." Simon snarks, "He's really very gentle. And fuzzy. We're becoming fast friends." No, I bet that's what he wrote in his diary about Jayne. River laughs again. Early declares them all to be insane. Simon leans back against a panel and snarks, "Well, my sister is a ship. We had a complicated childhood." Early asks if anybody cares that he has a gun. River says she cares. Early asks her if she's going to come out then, so that he doesn't have to blow Simon's head off. Silence. Early responds, "River? [pause] Serenity?"