Simon continues to do medical things while Wash hovers over Zoe, getting in Simon's way. Mal tells Wash that he needs him to go to the bridge to see how bad things are. An angry Wash spits back that it's obvious things are "pretty damn bad." Mal tries to repeat his request, but Wash interrupts him and says, "I'm not leaving her side, Mal. So don't ask me again." Mal says that he wasn't asking; it was an order. Wash spits out something in Chinese ("bitter ladybug!") and tries to ignore Mal. Mal walks over and physically pulls Wash away, grabbing him by the collar and slamming him against the wall. Once again, he orders Wash up to the bridge. Wash gives Mal an angry, angry look, but complies.
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.