Everybody scatters to their bunks, and Kaylee chases Simon down a corridor. He tells her he has to go check in on his assassin. Kaylee begs Simon not to be mad at her. He says he's not. He explains that River has grown to love it on the ship; he thinks that it's become more of a home to her than anything else has. Kaylee asks how he feels about it. He says he thought the hospital was home. He was helping people and making large amounts of money. He says, "I would be there right now if she hadn't…if they had just left her alone." Kaylee asks him if it's so bad here. Simon starts saying something about not knowing if Mal will even let them stay, but Kaylee interrupts him to ask, "Is there anything about this place your glad of? Like me? Me? Kaylee? Me? Do you like me? Do you? Do you? Like me? Are you glad of me? Me? MEEEEEEE!?" Simon looks at her uncomfortably, then uncomfortably leans in to brush some hair out of Kaylee's face for a possible kiss. Uncomfortably. Seriously, this is like the inverse of Kerr Smith's attempts at kissing boys on Dawson's Creek. Either Simon's gay or Sean Maher's gay, but one of the two (or possibly both) is dreading the prospect of kissing Kaylee. Fortunately, Book wanders by at just that moment to scare Simon away from the siren song of heterosexuality. Simon and Kaylee awkwardly wish each other goodnight and head off in opposite directions.
Mal sits around in the mess room. Then he gets up and walks down a corridor. He kicks open the hatch-ladder that leads down to his quarters and climbs down. As soon as he's gone, a hatch leading upwards (and possibly outside the ship; it's not clear) opens, and our mysterious Moonwalking intruder climbs down a ladder into the corridor. The Sinister Oboe (Or Possibly Clarinet) Of The Villain Of The Week plays as he pulls out a gun.
Commercials. Uh, what? Man, nothing really happened during that first act, did it? Strega and I had a lengthy discussion in Vegas about how Joss is good with the dialogue and characterization, but tends to really fall apart when it comes to tight plotting and pacing. I think fans tend to be more forgiving of those flaws because good characterization and dialogue is so hard to come by on television. But that first act really dragged.
We return to The Sinister I'm Pretty Sure It's A Clarinet Now Of The Villain Of The Week as Moonwalker lurks down a corridor. The coast seems clear, so he puts his gun away and heads back to shut the hatch. He walks back down the corridor and abruptly runs into Mal. Mal is shocked for a moment, but then quickly tries to punch Moonwalker out. They fight. There are a lot of abrupt cuts to make it look like Moonwalker is really fast, but they didn't do a very good job of it. What really happens is that Mal pretty much reacts to everything really slowly and doesn't even bother to fight back much. There's a quick shot of Zoe and Wash's quarters, which are right nearby, to show that they're sleeping and that the fight didn't wake them up. Moonwalker knocks Mal out, then quietly drops Mal down the hatch into his own quarters. He closes the hatch to the room, and then punches something into a nearby keyboard, locking everybody in their quarters.