Sitting off to the side, Jayne is hanging out with a town elder, who gives him a rain stick as a gift. This is supposed to be some poor mud hole of a town, but they've got The Nature Store? Is he going to give Mal a CD of whale songs and a butterfly collector kit? Jayne is a happy, friendly drunk, probably to make up for the fact that he's a cranky, grumpy sober. He gives the old guy a big hug and declares in that overly serious way that drunk guys do that he'll "treasure" the rain stick. He's going to be disappointed to discover that it doesn't shoot anything. Also, Adam Baldwin looks really, really hot in cowboy attire.
The night continues. Book wanders around sprinkling holy sand on the ground for blessings or whatever. I'm sure those rocks are thrilled that they're going to heaven when they die. He watches Mal and Jayne sitting off on the side. A young woman comes up to Mal, drops to her knees, and sticks a wreath of flowers on his head. They must have liked him better when he was in drag. Then she gives him a bowl of something to drink. He obliges. Then she dances off into the crowd. Everybody looks happy. Zoe and Wash hang out, hugging and being a couple. A woman comes up to Mal and Jayne and drag them out to dance. Mal dances with the young woman who gave him the wreath in the center of a circle. Happy. Everything's happy.
The next day. Serenity prepares to leave. Mal walks with the elder, who apologizes for not having much in way of payment for them. Just a geode and a rain forest coloring book. Mal doesn't seem to mind. It's not like the central conceit of this show is about a bunch of cynical fringe-dwellers who would do anything for money or anything like that. Other poor townsfolk load barrels of little quartz rocks and wind chimes or whatever, as Mal jokes that Jayne won't be letting go of that rain stick any time soon. There's so much emphasis on that damned rain stick so far that I was certain that it was going to play an important role in the climactic scene of the episode, but it doesn't. Zoe rushes out of the ship to warn Mal that there's an Alliance patrol boat on the way to the planet, so they've got to go. The town elder thanks him for his help and says he hopes to see him again, and the crew takes off.
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.