Down in Mal's quarters, Mal is still groggy from his beatdown. River's voice pipes in from the com, telling Mal that she needs him to do something for her. Mal wants to know what the hell is going on and how River ended up "in" the ship. River says there isn't time for questions; Mal will just have to trust her. Mal asks if he's dreaming. River says we all are. They're all actually butterflies, dreaming that they're people. Except for Jayne. Jayne's a cat, dreaming that he's people. And me. I'm a cow dreaming that I'm a parking garage dreaming that I'm a oh, never mind. Mal makes a confused face. River says, "Don't make faces." Heh.
Cut to Kaylee, who has managed to cut free of her bonds. She carefully slides her way out of the engine room.
Back on the bridge, Early asks Simon if the ship has locators. Simon says they won't help. Early says that, with the exception of one "deadly and unpredictable midget," River is the smallest "cargo" he's ever had to transport. Yet, she's also the most troublesome. Simon asks what the midget did. He was an arsonist. Bored now. Again, the pacing. They could have cut out half this crap and worked out a way to incorporate Wash and Zoe into River's plan, make it more complicated, and make the payoff at the end more interesting. As it is, River's master plan is actually rather simple.
Kaylee sneaks her way up the corridor, in full view of Early on the bridge. For some reason, he doesn't notice her. She manages to sneak over to the keyboard in the hall and unlock everybody's quarters.