Inside the ship, Mal busies himself by stowing away all the crap the townsfolk gave him. He's startled to discover a strawberry-blonde girl cowering behind a holding cage. It's the waifish girl who gave Mal the wreath the night before. You may recall her as Abby's abused neighbor on ER last season. Mal asks the girl what he's doing there. She's confused at the question. He repeats it. She explains, "You know, I'm to cleave to you, right?" Ew. Ick. Wha? Mal has a similar response. She asks if the town elder didn't explain. Explain what? She's Mrs. Reynolds. Mal's wife. She gives him an innocent, waifish, wide-eyed, Winona-Ryder-insisting-she-didn't-steal-anything look. Mal stares back, his eyebrows all the way up at his hairline.
Credits. Okay, I'm starting to not hate this song. Eeh.
Commercials. We return right where we left off. Mal asks for a few more details. Waif explains that she is part of the payment for the protection gig, because Triumph didn't have any livestock or cash to give them. Mal continues to act like he doesn't get it, because in a future where prostitutes are treated like celebrities, a wife as payment for services rendered is simply too bizarre to comprehend.
Zoe and Jayne wander back out into the cargo bay. Mal asks Zoe why he suddenly has a wife. Jayne complains that Mal got a wife while all he got was a dumb rain stick. Ah, the joys of the hangover. Mal insists that they're not married. Waif looks downcast and apologizes for shaming him. Mal insists that he's not ashamed, just confused. He asks Zoe to call Wash down to the cargo bay. Zoe goes to the intercom and calls everybody down, all the better to laugh at Mal's predicament. Hey, this episode is directed by Vondie Curtis Hall. Zoe insists that everybody would want to congratulate Mal on his "day of bliss." Mal insists again that he's not married and that he doesn't know this girl. Jayne pulls at the lace on the waif's shoulder and asks if he can get to know her. Zoe slaps his hand away and mockingly orders him not to "sully" the moment.