Back in the present, blue-tinted Mal lies on the grating some more. He's steeling himself in the hopes that he hasn't gotten himself trapped in some awful time-travel story from Star Trek. Oh, he's bleeding, too. From the gut.
Credits. You can't take Ione Skye from me!
We return back to Mal on the floor. That metal grating is going to leave a nasty imprint on his face. He slowly pulls himself up to his knees. He's holding some sort of widget in his hand that looks like a cross between a stapler and a metal packing-tape dispenser. He makes his way up to his feet and gasps a few times. Slowly, he starts limping across the cargo bay to a corridor. Nathan does a really, really good job selling Mal's pain here without going too far and chewing up the scenery.
The Ironic Flashback Fairy pipes in the sound of people laughing in merriment. The camera pans up through the floor to the next deck, where the crew is gathered around the dining table, yukking it up. The yellow lighting indicates that we're in the past again, and they're not laughing because they've finally gotten rid of stick-in-the-mud Mal. Book has just finished telling some lengthy story about his days in the monastery, which the others just find hysterical. We have no idea what happened, but it sounds like Book made a fool of himself, so Ha Ha Ha! Wash wanders in and realizes that he's missed out on the funny stories and the food. Not to worry, though; Zoe prepared him a plate. Wash declares that he loves his wife, and gives Zoe a kiss. Flashback Mal insists on interrupting dinner with some exposition. He asks Wash if they have their course set. They have. Wash has arranged the navigation for their trip to Greenleaf in such a way that they won't encounter any Alliance ships. Or any ships at all, for that matter. Of course, this means that a trip that normally takes a day will take a week. Mal doesn't seem to mind.