And now we see the bridge all bathed in yellow light, so we're even further back in the land of flashbacks. I feel like I'm recapping Boomtown, suddenly. We hear Wash's voice explaining that something is "doable." He pulls himself out from underneath a console on the bridge. Oh my. Before he became Mr. Zoe, Wash was about thirty pounds heavier and had a bushy mustache. When he sits down on the pilot's seat, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and khakis, he looks like he's settling in with a beer and a bratwurst to watch the big game. Flashback Wash (hee! "Backwash") explains to Flashback Mal and a skeptical Flashback Zoe that with some modifications, it will be a nice, maneuverable ship. Mal asks if this means that Backwash will take the job. He says he might. Mal encourages him to keep fiddling with things and get settled in.
Out in the corridor, Zoe tells Mal that she doesn't like Backwash, because all great television couples are required to absolutely hate each other at first. Mal asks Zoe what bothers her about him. She can't put her finger on it. Something just bugs her. Mal explains that Wash had a whole bunch of recommendations. He adds that they finally got a "genius mechanic," so it's about time they got a pilot. This is the cue for some surfer dude to wander by and mention that nobody's ever called him a genius before. He says, "Shiny!" as he wanders off, which I think is future slang for "cool." That's not our Kaylee! Although they do seem to have similar hairstyles.
Cut back to the other flashback, with Zoe unconscious in the medical bay. Zoe's heart has stopped. Mal and Book rush in to help Simon. He asks Mal to pull a needle out of a nearby drawer. He does. It's a giant needle full of adrenaline, which Simon plunges directly into Zoe's chest, Pulp Fiction-style. Inara gasps and turns away.
In the blue-tinted now, shirtless Mal okay, I'll stop for some of you to digest that. Nathan does nothing for me, but you all drool as much as you like. So Shirtless Mal -- stay with me, here -- groans in the abandoned medical bay as he finishes up bandaging his chest wound. He limps over to the drawer and pulls another needle of adrenaline out. Then he plunges the needle into his own chest and presses the plunger. He has spasms on the cot. I understand that this would have actually killed Mal if he had done it in real life, so kids, if you get shot in the stomach, don't just inject a gigantic needle full of adrenaline into your heart. Go see a doctor. This has been your TWoP public service announcement.