Back in the accident flashback, Kaylee finds Mal somewhere on the ship and asks him if Zoe is going to be okay. He tells her to let Simon worry about her. Mal wants to know what Kaylee has figured out about the accident. Kaylee explains that a catalyzer on the port compressor blew. Oh. Well, of course. Duh. Like the rest of us, Mal doesn't understand what that explanation means. He asks Kaylee to explain it in "Captain Dummy talk." She explains that they're "dead in the water." Mal asks if she can fix it. She can try. But the problem is even worse. They've got no life support, because the engine's not running. What about secondary life support? That was "knocked out" by the explosion. All the air they've got left is what's on the ship. Jayne wanders by to point out that they've already lost about half of that from the fire and subsequent vacuum on the lower deck. How long have they got? "A couple of hours, maybe," Kaylee says. "We'll start to feel it. And then we'll feel nothing at all."
Commercials. The Symphony Of Despair plays us back into the medical bay with Simon and Zoe. Inara comes in to ask how Zoe's doing. Simon says that she's still unconscious, but her vitals are strong. Simon explains that Zoe might end up outliving the rest of them by virtue of the fact that she's using less oxygen. He heads out of the medical bay and plops down on a couch outside in the common area. He tells Inara that he always thought Serenity was a vaguely funereal-sounding name. Yeah, funeral homes and graveyards are big on using synonyms for peacefulness in their names, like they want assure customers that the people buried there are actually going to stay dead and not start lurching around, looking for brains to eat. Inara says she loves the ship and has from the moment she saw it. Simon says he doesn't want to die on it. Inara says she doesn't want to die at all. A morbid Simon feels the sudden urge to explain what happens when a person dies of suffocation. Inara stops him before he gets very far, because she doesn't want to hear it. It turns out that Simon's depressed because it's his birthday, and now he's going to go die and everything. Inara leans over and holds his hand as some sort of comfort. Why isn't he trying to comfort his crazy sister? Isn't he worried that she's going to freak out?